20th Oct2017

‘South Park: The Fractured But Whole’ Review (Xbox One)

by Matthew Smail

Like most sequels, South Park: The Fractured But Whole clearly suffers from the usual questions about how closely it should follow in its predecessors footsteps, whilst still doing enough to justify itself as a standalone product. It answers these questions rather neatly, presenting players with an experience that is similar to 2014′s South Park: The […]

19th Oct2017

Digital Shorts: ‘Oxenfree’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Matthew Smail

In DIGITAL SHORTS we review some of the latest video games that are only available digitally (at least in the UK), in a short-form review format. In this edition we take a look at Oxenfree, which has recently made its debut on the Nintendo Switch. It’s rare for me to become emotionally attached to games, […]

18th Oct2017

‘Jim Henson’s Labyrinth’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

As a child of the 1980’s, I spent a lot of my time recording movies at Christmas on my mum and dad’s VCR. From blockbusters like Star Wars and Indiana Jones to classics like Oliver, I probably had thirty or forty tapes that I watched over and over, occasionally bumping a bad movie from my […]

12th Oct2017

‘Mansions of Madness: 2nd Edition’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

For most people, the introduction to modern board games comes by way of Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride or maybe Carcassonne. For me, it was the original edition of Mansions of Madness. I’ve always loved board games, but for several years in my twenties, I had no one to play them with and MoM was the game that I […]

11th Oct2017

‘Sine Mora EX’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Matthew Smail

First released in 2012 on the previous generation of consoles, Sine Mora EX is a beautiful, cinematic and modern bullet hell shoot-em-up that channels classic genre staples from 1942 to Ikaruga. I tend to find this kind of recent-release-remake fairly contrived due to a lack of new features but, obviously, this iteration of Sine Mora […]

05th Oct2017

‘Project Cars 2′ Review (PS4)

by Matthew Smail

Whilst I’m not intentionally going directly to the end of this review (without passing Go! or collecting two hundred pounds) I feel like I simply must start by saying something that I would usually reserve for my conclusion. That something is the exclamation that Project Cars 2 is an exceptional game that has the better […]

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26th Sep2017

‘WRC 7′ Review (PS4)

by Matthew Smail

Without putting too fine a point on it, WRC 7 is a hard game to recommend. I’m a huge fan of rally racing and rally games, yet the gameplay in Kyloton’s third installment of the WRC series (the others being WRC 5 and 6) feels as if it has barely advanced in three years. Considering […]

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20th Sep2017

Digital Shorts: ‘League of Evil’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Matthew Smail

In DIGITAL SHORTS we review some of the latest video games that are only available digitally (at least in the UK), in a short-form review format. In this edition we take a look at the popular League of Evil, released recently on the Nintendo Switch. Shovelware is a strong and unpleasant word. It conjures up […]

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12th Sep2017

‘Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth’ Review (PS4)

by Matthew Smail

Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth (just Mask of Truth from here on in) is the rapid fire sequel to Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception, which was released earlier this year. The original Utawarerumono was first released in 2004, but only came out in Japan, although a 26-part anime series and some other assets did make it west. For whatever reason, developer Aquaplus […]

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05th Sep2017

Digital Shorts: ‘Piczle Lines DX’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Matthew Smail

In DIGITAL SHORTS we review some of the latest video games that are only available digitally (at least in the UK), in a short-form review format. In this edition we take a look at Piczle Lines DX, a mobile puzzle game ported over to the Nintendo Switch Piczle Lines DX is a straightforward, single player […]

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31st Aug2017

‘Yakuza Kiwami’ Review (PS4)

by Matthew Smail

For fans of the Yakuza series, things have been rather rosey lately. In Yakuza Zero (launched earlier this year) the series finally brought together complex fighting, interesting plot, visual appeal and lasting challenge in a package that appealed to gamers the world over. Enter Yakuza Kiwami, which clearly intends to build upon the success of […]

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29th Aug2017

‘Rabi-Ribi’ Review (PS4)

by Matthew Smail

In Rabi-Ribi, players control Erina, a so-called “Bunny Girl” who begins the game trapped inside a cardboard box, having been transformed from an actual bunny into her current, humanoid form. It’s a weird intro, and the very basic pixel art of the main game juxtaposes with the finely drawn, anime-style stills of Erina kneeling in […]

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22nd Aug2017

‘White Day: A Labyrinth Named School’ Review (PS4)

by Matthew Smail

As far as walking simulators go, White Day: A Labyrinth Named School easily ranks among the scariest that I’ve ever played, and believe it or not, it’s actually one of the oldest. You see the 2017 PS4 version of White Day is actually a remake – a remake of a remake in fact. The original game was launched in […]

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21st Aug2017

‘Agents of Mayhem’ Review (PS4)

by Matthew Smail

Agents of Mayhem is the latest outing from Volition Studios, the creators of the much loved Saints Row series of games. Oddly, whilst it’s set in the same world and features interlinking characters, Agents of Mayhem works hard to distance itself from the Saints games in structure and gameplay. As an example, it features a […]

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18th Aug2017

‘Lobotomy’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Have you ever wanted to recreate your favourite B-Movie horror movie in board game form? If such a game existed, wouldn’t you just love it to be packed with miniatures, randomised scenarios, huge stacks of cards and a deep and complex rules structure? With Lobotomy, Titan Forge Games may have released just such a game, […]

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17th Aug2017

Digital Shorts: ‘Sine Mora EX’ Review (PS4)

by Matthew Smail

In DIGITAL SHORTS we review some of the latest video games that are only available digitally (at least in the UK), in a short-form review format. In this edition we take a look at Sine Mora EX, the extended version of the critically acclaimed original shmup. First released in 2012 on the previous generation of […]

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16th Aug2017

‘The Godfather: Corleone’s Empire’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

The Godfather: Corleone’s Empire is the latest game from well regarded veteran designer Eric Lang, featuring the “dudes on a map” style of gameplay that Lang is most famous for, combined with the strong theme of Francis Ford Coppola’s epic movie trilogy. Essentially a game of area control, resource/hand management and trick collection with a twist, Corleone’s […]

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31st Jul2017

‘Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age’ Review (PS4)

by Matthew Smail

When the re-release of Final Fantasy XII was announced, I really began to wonder if I had been living under a rock at the time of the original release, way back in 2006. I’ve always been a huge Final Fantasy fan, and I love FF VII, VIII, IX, X and X-2. What I really don’t know, upon reflection, is why I never played XII. There […]

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27th Jul2017

‘Aliens vs Predator: The Hunt Begins – 2nd Edition’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

The Aliens vs Predator brand is now so strong and spans so many forms of popular media that sooner or later, a miniatures board game was inevitable. That particular game came in 2014, following Prodos Games successful Kickstarter for Aliens vs Predator: The Hunt Begins – First Edition. The Kickstarter was not without controversy however, […]

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24th Jul2017

‘Conan: Nordheim’ [Expansion] Review

by Matthew Smail

In Monolith’s incredibly atmospheric board game adaptation of Conan, players control the titular hero and his ally’s through a broad range of individual scenarios, each inspired by famous scenes from Robert E. Howard’s novels. The latest expansion to Conan is Nordheim, which sees Conan and a select few of his pals (plus a brand new […]

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19th Jul2017

‘Game of Thrones: The Card Game’ Review

by Matthew Smail

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have been waiting for the latest season of HBO’s Game of Thrones adaptation with baited breath. No doubt, you’ll also have been hoping and praying that the treacherous winds of Westeros blow favourably for your favourite characters as the epic series draws to a conclusion. But what if you […]

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14th Jul2017

‘Accel World vs Sword Art Online’ Review (PS4)

by Matthew Smail

There are many famous crossovers in gaming history, and whilst many of them are flawed, some (such as Marvel vs Capcom 2, Battletoads vs. Double Dragon and many more) are sublime. I’d never played either an Accel World or a Sword Art Online game when I came into Accel World vs Sword Art Online, so […]

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