Guild Wars 2; Rocksmith; Just Dance 4 – Review Shorts
A quick-fire review summary of some of the titles we've been playing over the last couple of weeks.
Michael Plant is chief editor and writer of gaming ezine and blog GamesCatalyst.com, as well as editor of 'The Independent'’s games review printed in the Saturday supplement 'Information'. Established in February 2011, Games Catalyst endeavours to bring its unique brand of fact and satire to the videogaming community and, in tandem with 'The Independent', hopefully turn a few non-believers on to gaming while we’re at it.
Monday 08 October 2012
Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 is the latest attempt in gaming’s ongoing quest to topple World of Warcraft. While evolution rather than revolution is the order of the day, almost everything this game does gets it right.
Most importantly, unlike nearly every other MMO, there are no monthly subscriptions. You buy the game once for access in perpetuity, and ArenaNet makes its money through optional in-game microtransactions – none of which tip the competitive balance in favour of paying customers.
Meanwhile, tedious genre staples are buffed to a new shine throughout. There’s no tedious level-grind to the late-game: the game rewards you with decent experience and loot for doing absolutely anything, from questing and crafting to exploring or even helping others. And that’s before you get to the WvWvW – huge, two-week tournaments in which three servers-worth of players do pitched battle.
GW2 is not without its problems, but most game-breaking bugs have been squashed by a proactive development team, who communicate effectively through Twitter and Reddit. In all, it looks like a game that will keep serious players and newbies entertained for months.
By Tom Mendelsohn
Ever played Guitar Hero and felt guilty that it was a plastic guitar, complete with cheerfully coloured buttons, you’d dedicated whole chunks of your life to mastering? Well, feel guilty no longer, as Rocksmith offers a solution in the shape of a specially designed USB guitar lead which sees you TV become an amp, with the co-benefit of letting your console detect the frequency of the note you’re playing.
Included songs are the expected mix of rock from past and present, but the beauty is the carefully pitched difficulty which automatically adjusts depending on the skill of the player until (hopefully) you’re playing the whole song note-for-note. A guitarist’s guide’s worth of tutorials completes the package to teach everything from basic chords, to techniques like hammer-ons, pull-offs and bends while there are even min-games on hand to help new players learn fret positions, etc.
A most impressive package which gives what you put in and only suffers through the odd moment of inaccuracy in its pick-ups which can be a tad galling at times.
Format: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Developer: Ubisoft San Francisco
Just Dance 4
Just Dance returns, bringing with it an all new collection of cheesy pop songs to strut your stuff to encompassing everything from One Direction to Barry White. The new ‘Battle Mode’ which pits friends against each other in dance-offs makes for a fun variation on the standard formula, while various multiplayer modes test the moves of your entire crew.
The Wii version tested is beginning to show its age however, particularly when compared to the Xbox 360 Kinect’s motion capture boogieing options, making it fun as ever for parties but not the show-stopper it once was.
Format: Wii (also on Xbox 360, PS3)
Life & Style blogs
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 London council removes 'unacceptable' Stamford Hill posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 4 The response to my Pizza Express review has been overwhelming, and taught me a lot about journalism
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£24000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Graduate BI Consultant (B...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Service Delivery Manager (Product Ma...
£50000 - £70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Cloud Product and Solutions Marketin...
£18000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...