Category Archives: Top 10

3 great mobile titles the challenge the stereotypes

As I’m sure you’re aware, our mobile app, the Arcadeberry – Mobile Website Hub, has recently launched for Android and Amazon devices! Although we’d highly recommend you immediately go and download our app (you can even pick up reading this very article on it!), all this talk of mobile apps has got us thinking:

It’s an unfortunate fact that the mobile game app market has quite the poor reputation, especially on the gaming front. It’s an even more unfortunate fact that this reputation is actually quite well deserved. Most mobile titles are vacuous, surface-deep money-grabs. With countless asset flips and endless in-app purchases, many of us have simply just given up trying to find good games on the appstore.

That’s why we decided to wade into the practically infinite appstore library to try and pick out some diamonds in the rough. Although there a certainly more great games to be found on the appstore, and this list is definitely not exhaustive, these three great titles might be a place to start rebuilding your trust with mobile gaming.


3: GameStart Pixel Battle

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Price*: Completely free

Developer: Eliphant

It may have just been released as a little promotion for GameStart, a Southeast Asian gaming convetion, but GameStart Pixel Battle is actually a surprisingly excellent game.

You play as Alyse, the convention’s mascot, in a battle against a mysterious figure who has been sabotaging games. There’s a plethora of levels to play and numerous unique playable characters to collect as you go. If you’ve played any Mega Man title, you’ll likely be familiar with Pixel Battle‘s blend of 2D side-on running and gunning.

It’s not surprise considering the fact the developer, Seow Zonghui, worked on the Capcom endorsed fan-project Street Fighter X Mega Man. Pixel Battle may just be a Mega Man game at heart, but it’s an excellent Mega Man game at that. Best of all, it’s a Mega Man game you can carry around in your pocket, and is downloadable completely for free! That’s right, no pesky in-app purchases or even a single advert to be found.

With a small file size of 50M, GameStart Pixel Battle is a great little offline title to keep on your phone for when you need your gaming fix out and about.

You can click here to open GameStart Pixel Battle on Google Play.

 


2: Cytus II

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Price*: £1.79

Developer: Rayark Iternation Limited

Set in the near future, Ctyus II takes us to cyTus – an online virtual city – in the shoes of Aesir, a famous DJ hosting a virtual concert.

A solid rhythm game which has players frantically tapping notes as they pop up on their screens, Cytus II features 35 base game songs from a variety of composers and in countless genres. With electronica, rock and even classical music to choose from, Cytus II offers something for everyone.

Although the game does include song pack purchases, with which you can expand your repertoire, these are wholly optional. You nevetheless get an awful lot of high quality content for the entry price of £1.79. The music is great, and songs offer different levels of difficulty and a comprehensive scoring system which both serve to offer much replayability. If you want a cheap and cheerful mobile ryhthm game to keep you occupied on the go, you don’t get much better than this.

You can click here to open Cytus II on Google Play.


1: OXENFREE

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Price*: £3.89

Developer: Night School Studio

A gripping mystery set on a dark island, OXENFREE is like the adventures of The Famous Five gone horribly, horribly wrong.

The plot is excellent and, as it is best experienced first-hand, I will try and keep details to a minimum. Just be sure it’s intense and excellently written with a handful of shocking and memorable moments.

Although a strictly linear game, your dialogue choices offer a comprehensive degree of choice and a variety to your play sessions. The game is easy to control, and presented in a charming and unique graphical style.

Our only complaint with OXENFREE is that it’s just so good you might not be able to put your phone down until you and your friends have uncovered the sinister truth of Edwards Island.

You can click here to open OXENFREE on Google Play.


*Prices are Google Play prices (excluding discounts or sales) as of January 2020.

3 jolly holiday themed games to raise your Christmas cheer

Whether you find yourself craving the sublime action of Die Hard or the heart-warming fun of Elf, everyone has at least one Christmas film they love to watch time and time again. Unusually however, the popularity of the genre seems to exclusively extend to the mediums of film and music, and those wanting to experience a festive themed game are left with very few options to choose from.

Despite this, we’ve compiled this little list to bring a few often overlooked games you could try this Christmas season.


3: Dead Rising 4

Platform(s): PC, XBOX ONE, PS4

Price*: £19.99

Developer: Capcom

Although the inexplicable departure from many of Dead Rising‘s conventions, including the removal of the series’ time-limit mechanic, may have caused an uproar among series fans, Dead Rising 4 is nevertheless a worthy entry in Capcom’s zombie-fighting franchise.

The large open world of the fictional Willamette Colorado, complete with a colossal shopping mall, is decked out in decor festive in the extreme. With numerous weapons, items of clothing, vehicles and even boss fights entirely Christmas themed, accompanied by a soundtrack wholly composed of popular yuletide songs, Dead Rising 4 makes the absolute most of its November setting.

Although its simple mechanics and lenient difficulty make an experience far too casual for series veterans, for most Dead Rising 4 is actually a shockingly relaxing experience. The almost therapeutic ease with which you can mow down thousands of zombies in a sleigh to an orchestral cover of Jingle Bells makes a game that excellently accompanies a Boxing Day sofa-sprawl and a large tub of Quality Street.


2: Batman Arkham Origins

Platform(s): PC, XBOX 360, PS3, WII U

Price*: £14.99

Developer: WB Games

Recently given away on the Epic Games Store as a freebie, it’s quite likely you already own this oneSet on Christmas Eve, Batman faces off against eight of the most iconic DC comic book villains, including Bane and The Joker.

A third-person beat-em-up, Batman Arkham Origins shares the excellent combat of the WB Games Batman franchise in a much larger, and extremely festive, open world. With a plethora of interesting side-quests to choose from and an exciting main story, Arkham Origins offers a surprisingly rich experience.

Although often, and sometimes unfairly, cited as the weakest entry in its franchise; if you’re willing to sacrifice a small degree of polish found in the other Batman titles for a Christmas setting Batman Arkham Origins is definitely worth a look.


1: Viscera Cleanup Detail: Santa’s Rampage

Platform(s): PC

Price*: £1.79

Developer: RuneStorm

It’s official. Christmas is cancelled.

After a lengthy dispute with the toy-elf workers’ union, Santa finally snapped.  This standalone expansion for Viscera Cleanup Detail tasks you with cleaning up the aftermath of Santa’s bloody rampage. Armed with only a mop, a bucket and a pair of rubber gloves it’s time to get to work.

Featuring an enjoyable co-op mode and hours of floor-scrubbing action cleaning has never been so fun. As the cheapest game on this list, Santa’s Rampage is the best option for someone who wants something festive to play, but doesn’t want to shell out a fortune on a game that is only really worth playing for just one or two months of the year.


*Prices are Steam store prices (excluding discounts or sales) as of November 2019.

3 truly scary indie games to play this Halloween

We’ve already highly recommended Gibbous: A Cthulhu Adventure as a perfect option for those who want something more cutesy than spooky to play this Halloween. For those who want to play something genuinely terrifying however, we have made this handy list of a few lesser-known indie titles which are sure to have your hair standing on end in no time.


3: Paratropic

Platform(s): PC

Price*: £4.79

Developer: Arbitrary Metric

You play as a smuggler in a decrepit world of surrealist corruption and a rapidly collapsing civilisation. Presented through the grimy lens of a corrupted VHS tape your goal is to smuggle contraband goods across a guarded border checkpoint.

With tense and highly atmospheric sections of exploration and dark discovery, Paratropic is a game which doesn’t hold your hand and refuse to provide any clear answers. Spiralling into insanity, you must see through the broken fever-dream world to try and understand what is really going on. Designed to be played in one sitting, Paratropic is accompanied by an hour of superbly composed dynamic music that serves to create a constant feeling of tense uneasiness.

With a short length and a branching plot that warrants one or two additional playthroughs, Paratropic is a game perfectly suited to occupy you on the evening of Hallows’ Eve.


2: DreadOut: Keepers of The Dark

Platform(s): PC

Price*: £4.99

Developer: Arbitrary Metric

Originally intended as a DLC for the first DreadOut title, a game we reviewed many moons ago, Keepers of the Dark finally surfaced as a stand-alone title two years later. Steeped in the lesser known world of Indonesian horror lore, Dreadout: Keepers of the Dark is a title with some refreshingly unique scares.

A short side story in the supernatural adventures of the lost schoolgirl Linda, Dreadout: Keepers of the Dark provides a chilling small set of varied levels to explore, some very good scares and a surprisingly gripping combat system.

It’s short, sweet and with the announcement of a highly-anticipated sequel game in, addition to the release of an officially licensed horror film on streaming giant Netflix, there’s never been a better time to jump back into the world of DreadOut.


1: White Noise 2

Platform(s): PC

Price*: £6.99

Developer: Milkstone Studios

The only multiplayer title on this list, White Noise 2 is an asymmetrical five player horror experience. Four intrepid investigators are pitted against one powerful monster in a frantic race against the clock to collect eight tapes and win.

With a a plethora of characters to choose from both human or monster, each game of White Noise 2 is as unique as it is terrifying. With something for everyone, it’s an excellent choice for those who want something to play that is both simple and scary this Halloween.

Despite being excellently balanced, and overall an awful lot of fun, low player numbers and empty servers do mean that (for the moment at least) purchasing this game with friends who all own it too is unfortunately a necessity.


*Prices are Steam store prices (excluding discounts or sales) as of October 2019.

3 teeny-tiny developer mistakes that had catastrophic repercussions

Believe it or not, we all make mistakes. Mistake making is one of the defining characteristics of humanity. Believe it or not, Game developers are also human, and that means they can make mistakes. Unlike the rest of us however, the smallest mistakes on their end can have absolutely huge knock-on effects.

Although it is certainly through making mistakes we learn,  sometimes it can be quite fun just to look back at some painful memories and reminisce about our (or others’!) mistakes. This is exactly what we’ll be doing here by coming together to point and laugh at 3 examples of tiny developer mistakes that had catastrophic repercussionson their games.


3: Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing – Forgetting to make the truck move

Image result for Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing

Platform(s): PC

Price*: NA

Developer: Stellar Stone

When it comes to Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing, it’s quite hard to find part of the game that isn’t a mistake. It’s a veritable buffet of errors. Everything from the missing textures on maps to the strange behaviour of the “physics engine” and the non-existent collision detection for your vehicle aims to hamper this would-be racer.

After many hours (40 seconds) of careful deliberation however, we have decided that the most egregious error is the fact that the developers seem to have forgotten to make your opponent’s lorry move. That’s right; Big Rigs is a racing game – without the racing.

What’s worse is the fact that the developers could has programmed in your oppositions movement. In an official patch version that surfaced online some time after launch, your rival actually moves! They don’t finish the race of course, just stopping short of the finish line (sorry if I got your hopes up). At least it’s something I suppose.


2: Team Fortress 2 – The crate that crashed a market

Platform(s): PC

Price*: Free!

Developer: Valve

By 11 years old I had already made plenty of mistakes. In Team Fortress 2‘s almost 12 year career however, it had very few under its belt. After over a decade of clean updates that would put other titles to shame, Valve was long overdue a major muck-up and, sure enough, in the last few weeks it finally arrived.

Ironically, it wasn’t a large-scale update that finally broke the game; but the simple addition of a new crate. It should have been an easy task. The TF2 team was just getting ready for a nice summer break and just needed to add a few new cosmetics in a groovy summer box before they could kick back and relax. They’ve added literally hundreds of different crates over the game’s long lifetime; everyone thought nothing could go wrong.

Everything went wrong.

Some strange coding mishap resulted in the game’s most valuable items; the highly coveted “unusual” hats to drop guaranteed from certain crates. This naturally tanked the game’s thriving Steam Community Market based economy and cost some hat traders losses hundreds of pounds in real world cash. The long term effects of the mistake are still unknown, but the market seems to have stablised in the last week. At least the community seems to have taken the glitch well, with countless hilarious memes appearing on the game’s subreddit.


1: Aliens: Colonial Marines – Giving the aliens lead poisoning

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Platform(s): PC, XBOX 360, PS3

Price*: £24.99

Developer: Gearbox Software

Gearbox Software is no newbie when it comes to controversy. Although this year’s trend seems to be to victimise the company for their allegiance to the Epic Games Store they have fallen victim to the internet’s disdain on many previous occassions. One such occasions was the release of the highly anticipated Aliens: Colonial Marines way back in 2013.

Freshly burned by the company’s previous disaster; the absolutely dreadful Duke Nukem: Forever, many fans and critics were quick to notice that Aliens: Colonial Marines was bad. Quite bad in fact. The title was critically panned with one of the main criticisms directed at the enemy aliens’ utterly incompetent AI.

What would have been an already mediocre horror-FPS became completely farcical with enemies that got stuck in walls, jammed in corners or otherwise just failed to acknowledge your existence. It took 5 years for a strangely dedicated modding community to pin down a problem with the AI. It wasn’t that the alien’s were inherently badly programmed, but rather that their programming was jeopardised by a typo.

Believe it or not, a mere typo managed to absolutely decimate a modern AAA game. Correcting “PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachXenoToTether” to “PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachPawnToTeather” in one of the game’s files exponentially improves the enemy’s AI.

I’m not going to pretend that fixing this error makes the game that much more enjoyable, but it certainly makes it at least playable.


*Prices are Steam store prices (excluding discounts or sales) as of August 2019.

5 times DLC was so good it would make you regret not buying the season pass

It’s safe to say that DLC is one of the most divisive topics in the gaming world today. Some people love it, some people hate it. It’s also safe to say that no matter on which side of the fence you sit we can all agree that some DLCs are definitely better than others. In light of this, why don’t we take some time to set aside our differences and discuss some of the times that DLC was so good it would definitely make you regret not buying the season pass.


5: The Crew: Calling All Units

Image result for the crew calling all units

Base game: The Crew

Platform(s): PC, XBOX ONE, PS4

Price*: £20.99

The biggest problem for me with the base game of The Crew was that it was quite frankly incredibly boring. A generic racing game with an admittedly enjoyable online open world that suffered from a severe lack of anything real to do. Luckily, The Crew: Calling All Units is a surprisingly expansive DLC that remedies that issue.

Calling All Units feels much more like what The Crew originally should have been, taking a leaf or two from games like Need For Speed: Most Wanted. Picking a side; either as a police officer or a criminal, transforms the vast open world of The Crew from a boring inconvenience you have to navigate between missions into a dynamic arena jam-packed with activities. As a policeman, you can patrol around urban the map participating in engaging police pursuits with any wrongdoers you happen to encounter and as a criminal you can cause as much vehicular chaos to your heart’s content while avoiding the watchful eye of the law.

Coming bundled with the previous expansion, The Crew: Wild Run, that £20.99 price tag feels like very good value for money – especially considering the base game is frequently free on Ubisoft’s store Uplay. As well as the online play to player content, the pack unlocks a set of very nice police and off-road vehicles, a host awesome customisation options and a even two whole new story campaigns to follow for people who aren’t too keen on the online aspects of the game.


4: Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep

Image result for Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep

Base game: Borderlands 2

Platform(s): PC, XBOX ONE (HD Ed.), XBOX 360, PS4 (HD Ed.), PS3

Price*: £7.99

Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep may be only one of the numerous DLC available for Borderlands 2 but it is certainly the strongest of the bunch. Offering an interesting twist on the Borderlands formula, Assault on Dragon Keep takes you to the world of an endearingly over-the-top parody of tabletop role-playing games.

With a distinctive artistic flair accompanied some of the funniest dialogue in the franchise, Assault on Dragon Keep stands out from the crowd. Although admittedly quite short, it’s length is certainly appropriate for the under £10 price tag and the co-op modes combined with the game’s inherent strong level of replayability means you’re certainly getting a lot of bang for your buck.

Whether for a fan of the franchise as a whole, a fan of the titular narrator Tiny Tina, around whom the whole DLC is centred, or just someone who wants to squeeze a couple more hours out of Borderlands 2, Assault on Dragon Keep is an absolute necessity.


3: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen

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Base game: XCOM 2

Platform(s): PC, XBOX ONE, PS4

Price*: £34.99

XCOM 2: War of the Chosen is the most expensive DLC on this list and for very good reason. Originally conceived as a fully fledged sequel to the superb XCOM 2, War of the Chosen packs a jaw-dropping amount of content.

War of the Chosen adds a renewed level of threat to the Advent regime; with a huge number of new enemies paired with never before seen mission locations and deadly new hazards but most importantly the inclusion of several new mini-bosses; the titular “chosen” who can appear randomly throughout the campaign and transform an already brutally difficult game into a nightmarishly tense desperation fuelled bid to save not just your squad, but the whole of humanity.

On top of all this, a new faction system adds a host of potential allies in the form of other human resistance factions. These potential allies however can also be potential enemies, and an in-depth level of micromanagement allows you to carefully control and monitor your relationships with each group.

Although its immense difficulty restricts this DLC exclusively to XCOM  2 veterans (seriously if your first playthrough is with this DLC you have zero chance of success) it is the rejuvenating boost the game needs to keep its experience fresh, even many years after its release.


2: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Rise from the Ashes

Base game: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Platform(s): PC (HD Ed.), XBOX ONE (HD Ed.), PS4 (HD Ed.), NINTENDO SWITCH (HD Ed.), NINTENDO 3DS (HD Ed.), NINTENDO DS

Price*: £29.99 (Trilogy pack)

Whilst technically not a DLC in the modern sense, Rise from the Ashes – a special bonus episode added to the DS port of the original Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – was certainly too significant to overlook.

Rise from the Ashes fills all the check-boxes for a perfect DLC, with a length rivalling that of almost a third of the base game, a stand-alone story which introduces some of the series’ best characters, new and excellent additions to the base OST and most importantly a set of new forensic themed game-play additions which despite being all new to the series managed to fit in seamlessly with pre-existing game-play elements.

Despite being a bonus case, Rise from the Ashes is by far the strongest, most tightly written and deeply engaging of not just the first game – but arguably the whole original Ace Attorney trilogy.

If you missed this case first time or simply overlooked it, it is most certainly worth picking up a more modern variant of the game – I’d recommend the HD remasters with which it is included as standard – and see what all the fuss is about.


1: Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

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Base game: Far Cry 3

Platform(s): PC, XBOX 360, PS3

Price*: £12.49

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is unique on this list as the only truly stand-alone DLC. With a seperate launcher, menus and even steam store page; Blood Dragon is very good at presenting itself as a very different take on the Far Cry formula.

Whilst Far Cry 3 was an exploration of vulnerability, putting you in the shoes of a fragile protagonist and watching their struggle to overcome insurmountable odds and cope with the emotional impact of the sacrifices you had to make along the way, Blood Dragon is a power fantasy, playing as an almost indestructible cyborg power-commando in a mission to slay legions of robot troopers and occasionally the titular Blood Dragons.

Where Blood Dragon truly stands out however is not its gameplay, which is effectively just late-game base Far Cry 3, but rather in its presentation as an over the top parody of 80s action. With plenty of references, a brilliant synthwave soundtrack and many little details from the CRT overlay, the VHS tracking loading screens and ridiculously cheesy over-the-top dialogue which demonstrate that Blood Dragon is far more than just a basic Far Cry 3 reskin but rather an extremely well crafted love letter to all things 80s action.


*Prices are Steam store prices (excluding discounts or sales) as of April 2019.