Minecraft (Xbox 360)

Whistle while you work…

Minecraft has been a huge part of PC culture for a few years now. A breakthrough indie hit for Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, it gave a renewed hope to thousands of struggling game developers that they too could hit the big-time. Minecraft sold millions, and it’s easy to see why. There’s no story, and little in the way of objectives, but there is freedom and creativity. From these ingredients players all over the world have created amazing things, from simple Youtube videos to programmable calculators. Now the sensation that is Minecraft has come to Xbox Live Arcade, in a slightly different form.

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Max Payne 3 (Xbox 360)

Find out what it feels like to be an utter failure in your job and life while comitting mass murder!

Max Payne is a terribly pathetic character. Typically in action games you play some kind of lovable rogue, or all-out action hero with a strong sense of patriotism or honour (however misguided). Max Payne is an alcoholic painkiller-addict hypocrite whose self loathing is only topped by his misguided sense of self-importance. In the past this was part of what made the series stand out; Max was always a misguided fool in a terrible situation, but you couldn’t help feeling sorry for him. Nearly a decade since the last entry we’re more used to fleshed out characters, and Max suddenly seems more ridiculous than tragic.

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Mass Effect 3 (Xbox 360)

The effect this game had on me, it was… large?

Mass Effect, for me, is possibly the most important RPG series there has been so far in gaming. At least it’s up there with Final Fantasy, Ultima, and World of Warcraft. It symbolises the purest form of the Western RPG. There’s no schoolgirls, few tentacle monsters, and what swords exist are properly proportioned.

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Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (360)

Not once did this game ask me what I reckon about anything…

I need to start this review by saying I haven’t finished the game. But I think I am done with it. I am usually a story-mode completionist when it comes to games. I might not get 1000/1000 achievements, but I’ll make sure I get to the end of the single-player. Sometimes I struggle due to not being very good at the game. Sometimes I just can’t find the motivation.

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Journey (PS3)

Little Red…

I read the early reviews of Journey and was annoyed that they wouldn’t tell you much about it. Now, after playing it, I see why. A lot of the joy of older games, film or books was in the exploration. You were finding out new and exciting things. Now in a world of reviews, online walkthroughs, extensive marketing campaigns and simple word of mouth on social media, there is precious little of that left. So this is going to be a short review in which I tell you very little about the game.

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Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (Xbox 360)

What’s the point in a fair fight?

We first played Future Soldier at last year’s Eurogamer Expo back in September. It was running a multiplayer build and it was awful; the shooting felt wrong, objectives were unclear and the animation was a mess. Fast forward just over half a year and Ubisoft have really pulled something special out of the bag. Future Soldier is somewhat of a reinvention of the Ghost Recon series, but it stands on its own as a fantastic game.

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Fez (Xbox 360)

The amorphous blob with eyes has got his hat on, hip hip hip hooray….

Fez is the latest in a series of high-profile indie games to make it big. A labour of love from controversial developer Phil Fish, it has taken years to get here but has finally been released on Xbox Live Arcade. You’re a funny little white blob in a hat, and you set off on a surprisingly peaceful adventure to go find some cubes. Sound like your cup of tea?

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Catherine (360)

A tale of two women…

Part puzzler, part dating sim, part anime show; Catherine takes elements of each to create something refreshing and frustrating. You play as Vincent, a whiny, commitment phobic Manchild who is struggling to deal with his girlfriend Katherine’s desire to move their relationship on to the next level with her hints at marriage.

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