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These days the words ‘hack and slash’ conjure up images of the beautiful gore of God of War or the fluidly addictive gameplay of Bayonetta. Ninety Nine Nights II reminds us of what it used to mean. With no developed combo system and only two methods of striking (quick and strong), you’ll be mashing X and Y until you’ve either fallen asleep from boredom or smashed the controller out of frustration...
We're screaming along at a speed that should not be possible in a racing game. Everything streaks into a blur and the camera vibrates as if attached to the front fender of our bike. The illusion of real speed is glorious. We should be hurtling uncontrollably out of bounds and smashing into trees, but we are not. We are weaving a flawless, improbable swooping thread through tiny arches of ancient stone aqueducts and flying hundreds of feet down through intricate rock formations, directing our flight in mid-air to avoid an end to our perfect run. These feats don't happen because of some extreme skill on our part; they happen because developer Techland implemented a clever combination of controls, track design and visual cues to empower the player to become a superhuman racer...
Containing nine of publisher Namco Bandai’s Xbox LIVE Arcade releases and then tossing in 25 old-school arcade games, Namco Museum Virtual Arcade is a tremendous value – IF you don’t have all this stuff already and you don’t mind a few rough edges. But as you might have noticed from the all-caps presentation, that’s a pretty big “if”.
Final Fantasy: an odd game to reference in a Naruto review, we’ll readily admit, but despite the distinct lack of turn-based battles it’s precisely what Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 reminds us of. Erase all those memories of exploring a sandbox Hidden Leaf Village in Ubisoft’s two (brilliant, if very weird) Naruto titles. Here you’re boxed into a series of fixed-camera scenes and asked to run up and down the same few streets, ferrying items and speaking to people while the same plinky music bores its way into your brain. Just like (you’ve guessed it) Final Fantasy, really...
Can an anime about a loud blonde ninja produce an impressive fighting game worth your time? Find out in our Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 review…
Kiddie game? Think again. Last year’s Naruto: Rise of a Ninja was startlingly strong. Buoyed by the positive response, Ubisoft’s Montreal brigade have gone back to the drawing board and crafted a sequel that builds a little sandcastle on top of the original and decorates it with Christmas lights before plonking a fairy on top.
Thundering down a Daytona straightaway, trading paint with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Kyle Busch, and frantically trying to hold your beat-up bucket of bolts together, you realize there’s a decision to be made. Half a lap to go until the finish – do you nudge Junior out of the way and risk a black flag, cut Busch off on the inside, or just maintain your line and hope there are enough fumes in the tank and rubber on the tires to make it to the winner’s circle?
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