Thursday 14 April 2011

Gaming Reviews

Cthulhu Brittanica – Avalon: The County of Somerset
Call of Cthulhu Sourcebook & Scenarios
Cubicle 7

Available Now - £9.19 (PDF) & £17.99 (Paperback)
Review by Brad Harmer

The county of Somerset lies in the English West Country, a green and pleasant land steeped in millennia of history, folklore, and superstition, often overlooked as a rural backwater good for nothing but strong cider and tall tales. Yet something powerful and ancient is stirring in the county’s hills and valleys, and mysterious lights flicker by night on the slopes of Glastonbury Tor, rising like a beacon from the marshes of the Somerset Levels. Old even before the heavy tread of Roman sandals pushed back the darkness, strange blood has flowed through the families of Somerset since the thawing of the last ice sheets. Legend even says King Arthur is buried here, sleeping on the lost isle of Avalon, to rise again in the hour of the land’s greatest need. But what else lies out there, across – or beneath – those lonely desolate waters?

Cubicle 7 have to be one of my favourite indie publishers. Their games such as 3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars and the ever hilarious UmlaĆ¼t: Game of Metal are individual, unique and damned good I wondered how they were going to fare when dealing with another universe, not of their own creation (I hesitate to call the Cthulhu Mythos a ‘licensed’ property).

The answer is ‘not bad, for a first attempt’. There’s an absolute wealth of source material here for anyone looking to create their own scenarios of campaign in the county of Somerset. There’s fact, legends, and settings depicted in great detail, but this is very much more of a tool kit than a ready prepared campaign.

Put simply, the raw resources presented here are great, but the aspects that have been prepared for you...not so much. The background info is incredible, but if you like your ideas/adventure seeds to feature anything other than Deep Ones, you may find this a little limited. It seems as though every other plot hook is to do with the Children of Innsmouth, and they’re a pretty overdone aspect already, in my opinion.

Sadly, the scenarios themselves are also really quite lacking. They have moderately interesting plot hooks, some reasonable investigation in the middle, but the endings all feel a little wet, and unsatisfying.

Ultimately, if it resources or inspiration you’re after, then this is a great one to add to your collection. If you’re looking for something that’s playable “out of the box”, then look elsewhere. 6/10

We’ve undergone some changes here at E14, and one of the things that’s changing is E14 Arcade. Now, this will be your source for information on the week’s Arcade game releases on Xbox Live and Playstation Network. We’ll play them, and give you our feeling on whether they’re likely to be worth the money. Enjoy!

Yar’s Revenge
Atari, Available on Xbox Live (800 MS Points), Coming soon to PSN
Review by Rob Wade

Yar’s Revenge is a remake of the original Atari 2600 game, but plays in the vein of 3D shooters such as Descent and Starfox. Players move around the screen with the left analogue stick and aim the targeting reticule with the right analogue stick to shoot down waves of enemies coming at you.

The game looks great, with the Japanese-style artwork looking really colourful and bright, which makes for pretty good visibility of enemies and environments, important in any game where you’re moving at high speed which is definitely applicable here. The style is, as I said, particularly Japanese, and if you’re not a fan of that style of super-challenging game with only three continues and such, then this isn’t going to be for you.

The game plays well as well, with the action fast-paced and pretty frantic but at the same time it has some issues. The plot is almost non-existent, and at times it is difficult to see what you’re doing when it comes to large amounts of enemies on the screen, particularly if you’ve placed yourself in the middle of the screen. Ultimately, though, the game is pretty reasonably priced, so it’s one to check out if you like this sort of game.

You May Also Like: Ikaruga, Omega Five.
Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes
Ubisoft, Available on Xbox Live (1200 MS Points) and PSN (£9.99)
Review by Rob Wade

M&M: Clash of Heroes is an adventure RPG with probably one of the most interesting battle systems I’ve ever experienced. Players play through as a character who experiences some tremendous family tragedy early on (in traditional Fantasy RPG fashion), and sets about protecting the world from a vaguely unknown evil. This is done using this aforementioned battle system, which is almost like if Columns was interesting.

You play with a selection of fantasy-based units such as Hunters, Pixies and Bears (Yes, bears) to set up Attack and Defence formations in order to protect your life line (which runs behind your last line of troops) and deal damage to the opponent’s life line. You can also perform some spells as well as the usual attacks, in order to maximise damage and end the battle as quickly as possible.

Ultimately, this game is a lot of fun. The battle system is really well done and the exploration mode, though linear, is also pretty tidy and polished. However, for those with anything less than a keen interest in games like this, probably not the best starting point. However, if these sorts of games are your bag, definitely think
about picking this one up.

You May Also Like: Puzzle Quest, Puzzle Quest 2.


The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles meet The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!!?? What the shell is going on?

In this brand new animated feature-length adventure the turtles from one dimension meet the turtles from another when a teleporting mishap occurs. So Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello must join forces with their near identical counterparts and work together to fix the trans-dimensional debacle. Standing in their way however are Shredder and Ch'rell who have plans to eliminate the turtles once and for all!

As their worlds collide the turtles come face to face with classic characters such as Casey and April, plus a slew of enemies including Krang, Hun, the Foot Soldiers, the Purple Dragons, Bebop and Rocksteady.

A brand new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series comes to Nickelodeon later this year ahead of Michael Bay's live-action re-boot of the franchise due to hit cinemas worldwide in 2012.

Thanks to our friends at Best Medicine, we've got three copies of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles Forever on DVD to give away! For your chance of winning, send your name and full postal address to before midday on Sunday 24th April, making sure to put "Turtles Forever" as the subject. The first three entries out of the electronic hat after the competition closes will receive a free copy!

Don't forget to put "Turtles Forever" in the subject line. Incorrectly labelled or blank entries will be discarded.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles Forever is available on DVD from Monday 18th April, priced £12.99.

Entries limited to one per household. Offer open only to postal addresses in the UK and Ireland.

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