Game reviews: Resident Evil Revelations, Kingdom Rush, German Truck Simulator
This week, Resident Evil: Revelations gives Nintendo 3DS owners the fright of their lives, Kingdom Rush dazzles on iPad and German Truck Simulator finds its niche on PC.
NEW DIMENSION TO SURVIVAL HORROR
Title: Resident Evil: Revelations
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Survival Horror
The Evil has been lurking in the corners of most consoles in recent years, and now it takes up residence on Nintendo 3DS to deliver a brilliant survival horror story on the small screen. With a new storyline, locations and characters, plus old favourites Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield, Revelations showcases the classic tense gameplay within the dark confined spaces of a cruise ship and treacherous snow-covered mountains. The 3DS touchscreen is also used intuitively to solve puzzles and switch weapons as you tackle the all-new T-Abyss enemy, and the enhanced graphical capabilities prove to add an additional layer of immediacy to the evil threat that lurks round every corner. As a triple-A adult title, it's an essential purchase for 3DS owners, and if you've long been hooked on the horror from this enduring franchise, you'll absolutely love this latest instalment.
KEEP ON TRUCKIN'
Title: German Truck Simulator
Hmmm, if you asked me how I'd like to spend the precious few hours gaming I try to cram into a regular week, driving a truck through Germany is unlikely to feature in the top 10, 20 or even 50 disc suggestions. But, as with many niche titles, the truck simulator experience has a dedicated following, so much so that the adventures in Germany have now been translated for the UK audience. Here, you must get a job with a haulage company, gaining experience on the road to drop cargo in one of 18 major German cities included. You need to ensure your deliveries are on time and your truck is in pristine condition while keeping an eye on fuel consumption, too, as you work towards becoming the boss of your very own haulier business. For gamers who know the ins and outs of lorry interiors and German Autobahns, it's no doubt heaven. For everyone else, it'll be a slightly surreal few hours of PC time before you go and find a virtual ball to kick, gun to fire or faster car to wreck.
TOWERING ABOVE THE COMPETITION
Title: Kingdom Rush
Tower defence titles have seen a surge in popularity since the likes of Plants Vs Zombies have conquered the mass market in recent times. In what's becoming an increasingly competitive genre, it's often the fun factor or creativity within the gameplay constraints that set titles apart, and Kingdom Rush perfectly presents itself as a case in point. The fantastic fantasy setting for your tower battles bring a delightful array of medieval enemies on to your iPad, from devilish demons to gung-ho knights, not to mention some huge boss battles along the way. Be warned, though, this is no walk in the park and you will die - a lot. But what will keep you coming back for more is that sense of humour that keeps you hooked, even when the defensive odds are stacked against you. A brilliant but taxing tower challenge for you and your tablet.
Title: Soul Calibur
As fighters go, Soul Calibur offers gamers that slightly different scrapping experience with the addition of filthy great weapons to wield during your one-on-one battles, compared to simply bare knuckle brawling. It has carved a niche for itself over the past decade, and now the touchscreen tablet iteration opens up the sword-swiping possibilities for a whole new generation of gamer. Initial concerns about porting controls from arcade architecture to the touchscreen can be forgotten as there is so much customisation, you can't fail to find a set-up that works for you. The subsequent fights with an intriguing cast of powerful characters are enjoyable enough, but once the will to pummel a computer opponent fades, the absence of a multiplayer option will make you wonder whether the £8 price tag is truly justified. Still a console classic, but a costly one on iPad.
Title: NFL Flick Quarterback
When you think about it, an NFL quarterback (aside from the astronomical wages) has a pretty hard life - landing a 50-yard throw with the opposition team charging him down, baying for blood and well within their rights to floor him. Such are the delights you'll need to juggle in this excellent finger workout for American football fans, where a flick of the digit will help you send the ball spiralling into a wider receiver's arms and then on towards a touchdown. Early levels take it easy on you, but soon multiple defenders and tricky play positions make hitting your target all the more difficult. As you succeed, further trick shot challenges and other objectives are unlocked to provide the kind of replay value that isn't always that easy to come by for under a quid. Simple premise, quality execution, and well worth a look.
WHAT'S HOT AND WHAT'S NOT
The world's largest video game controller - a NES joypad that measures 12ft x 5ft 3in x 1ft 8in, and weighs 18 stone - was unveiled last week at London's Liverpool Street Station.
If you wanted to use it like a standard handheld pad, you would need to be 51m tall - the same height as London landmark Nelson's Column!
Such is the size of the controller, it requires at least two gamers to press the buttons - or jump on them - which communicates with a standard console.
The device, created as part of a university project, took five months to create at an estimated cost of £4,000.
Meanwhile, in the charts this week FIFA 12 remained at the top of the tree, while Skyrim climbed one place from three to two. Saints Row: The Third enjoyed a successful seven days, leaping seven places from 14 to seven, while Rayman Origins squeezed into the top 10 after its jump from 17 to nine.
GAME CHART ALL FORMATS
1. FIFA 12
2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
3. Just Dance 3
4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
5. Battlefield 3
6. Zumba Fitness
7. Saints Row: The Third
8. Zumba Fitness 2
9. Rayman Origins
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (c) 2012 UKIE Ltd