GAMES: Raiden hits top gear
This week, Dragon Ball Z’s Battle of Z blasts onto PS3, the Dead Rising Collection is unleashed on Xbox 360 and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance rears its head on PS3. Elsewhere, Shadow Blade and Robocop digitally assault your smartphone and tablet screens
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance | PC | Action | £24.99
To describe Revengeance as just the latest title in the legendary Metal Gear series would be a little misleading. A new development team grabbed the franchise almost a year ago and shook it to the core, sending it spinning into new territory by delivering a novel action experience, rather than the traditional stealth approach. While this may not be to the tastes of die-hard fans, when judged as a standalone spin-off, it was an overwhelming success, and this month will make a welcome appearance on PC. Players can indulge in a fresh synergetic experience that combines the best elements of pure action and epic storytelling, all within the expansive Metal Gear universe. Ninja cyborg Raiden excels as the lead character, equipped with a high-frequency katana blade and a soul fuelled by revenge. Though his hair-cut may be dodgy, the world around him and the incredible combat system at his disposal are pruned to perfection, leaving even naysayers itching for more sensational swordplay.
Dead Rising Collection | Xbox 360 | Action | £24.99
Dead Rising 3 got our undead pulses racing once again last year, and now you can delve into the zombified back catalogue, thanks to this groaning collection of zombie-slaying mayhem. With more limb-shy opponents than you’ll know what to do with, the compilation lets you relive all the very best moments from the franchise’s early offerings - exclusive to Microsoft machinery. Crammed into the collection are Dead Rising, Dead Rising 2, Dead Rising - Off the Record and digital codes for Case West and Case Zero. Flicking between the frantic, apocalyptic scrambles of photojournalist Frank West and motocross champion Chuck Greene is an absolute blast, and forging powerful weapons from all manner of everyday items never fails to raise a smile or inspire another over-the-top bloodbath. They may slightly show their age from a graphical point of view now Xbox One has landed, but it’s a twisted, outrageous experience that’s well worth a revisit.
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z | PS3 | Fighting | £49.99
Dragon Ball Z is one of the best-loved brawlers out there right now, and Battle of Z cranks things up several more notches, with four different battle types, plus a whopping solo campaign for those days when you want to bathe in the glory alone. But it’s best enjoyed in multiplayer arenas, where you’ll need crazy skills and cool composure in order to triumph in some massive cooperative battles - featuring fantastic team battling for up to four players in co-op or in a giant eight-player battle royale. The large cast of playable characters including Goku, Piccolo and Vegeta, will please long-time fans of the series, as will famous attacks such as the Kamehameha, Special Beam Cannon and Spirit Bomb. And, if you’ve got time to pause for breath, appreciation for the cracking visuals, that remain faithful to the inimitable universe will prove to be the icing on the cake.
Shadow Blade | iPhone/iPad | Action | £1.49
Shadow Blade plays like a new ninja graduate slashing and spinning out of the blocks, intent on redefining your impression of the very best action platformers gone before. Drawing on the ying and disposing of the yang from similar games gone by, it slices through any new year gaming apathy you may still be harbouring to deliver a visceral, if depressingly brief, digital distraction. It controls like a dream, offers obvious style and panache through its martial arts execution, and is all underpinned by glorious level design that keeps the blood pumping through your palms as you try to dispatch every enemy on screen and reach your goal. There’s drama, great design and drool-worthy danger at the end of every digit swipe - just cut to the chase and download this razor-sharp slice ‘em up.
Robocop | iPhone/iPad | Action | Free
For gamers old enough to remember the 1987 original Robocop film, a sci-fi action thriller classic, the thought of a silver screen remake may spark something in our teenage memory bank that compels us to revisit a dystopian Detroit, now set only 15 years from the present day. The gaming app equivalent, unfortunately, may dampen that urge. Offering little more than an average touch-screen shooter, this carefully-timed movie tie-in is more than passable to while away half an hour here and there, but it’s unlikely to engage your action-craving brain anywhere near as much as the first time you heard the robot hero bark “Dead or alive, you’re coming with me”. Controls are smooth enough, graphics slick, but in today’s world of gaming goliaths, this tin man needs more than a big heart and a healthy does of nostalgia to tick the all the ultra-demanding boxes of modern day gamers.