Beat Da Beat

Beat Da Beat

Blast away aliens that move and attack to the beat of some great Dubstep tracks in this addictive bullet hell shooter. The game is no walk in the park and with four difficulty settings as well as ten ships to unlock it will keep you busy for a while. Being a fan of EDM obviously helps, but the charming pixel art style visuals and relentless action is what kept us coming back for more.

Gameplay: As simple as dodging bullets and grabbing coins.

Graphics: Retina searing colors and flashes, but very nice overall.

Sound: Your personal music taste will determine whether you like the Dubstep soundtrack or not

Caromble! (Crimson Owl Studios)

Caromble! (Crimson Owl Studios)

Fancy a rather destructive take on the brick break genre? Well, Caromble from Crimson Owl Studios has got you covered. The five members that make up this talented team of Dutch indie developers have apparently been working on the game for a few years already while also juggling other jobs, so clearly they are committed to getting it right!

Deathsmiles

Deathsmiles

Combine the gothic art style of the early Castlevania games and mix it with the frantic bullet hell gameplay CAVE is so good at and you get Deathsmiles. Although it has been many years since the game first graced arcades and the Xbox 360 its arrival on the PC is still a cause for celebration. The loss of online coop and lack of PC extras is a pity, but the game will still put a smile on any shooter fan’s face.

Gameplay: Not the hardest game in the genre, but attaining a highscore still takes skill.

Graphics: The arcade mode visuals look a bit dusty, but the rest of the game still look good considering its age.

Sound: The soundtrack is nice and energetic while the sound effects are good without being overwhelming

Hitman: Codename 47

Hitman: Codename 47

While Hitman: Codename 47 was a good game in its time it requires a lot of patience to get the most out of it. The lack of checkpoints or save spots means that one mistake can take you all the way back to the start of a mission. I also encountered quite a few bugs and crashes during my time with the game which is a pity. Check it out to see where it all started, but don’t expect it to blow you away.

Gameplay: Entertaining but expect lots of trial-and-error as well as needless repetition.

Graphics: Looking very dated at this point.

Sound: Flat voice acting, but the sound effects are good

Blue Rider

Blue Rider

Blue Rider is a game that will make you remember the days of encountering bosses that actually served as a challenge and not just a minor speed bump on your road to finishing the game. And while the game is far from easy it is addictive enough to keep you coming back for more. Thanks to the vibrant visuals and excellent enemy designs, especially the bosses, it is also a very good looking game. If you are not scared to be challenged and in the mood for a very polished shooter then get yourself a copy of Blue Rider.

Gameplay: Tough and uncompromising, but still very entertaining and addictive.

Graphics: Vibrant and varied.

Sound: Nice music and booming explosions

Grand Theft Auto IV

Grand Theft Auto IV

Its hard not to harbor some resentment for the delay and lesser port that PC owners have received with this game, but at the end of the day it’s still a lot of fun to play and a great game. As long as you can look past the technical issues that is.

Gameplay: The technical issues and more “mature” feel detracts a bit from the gameplay but it’s still good.

Graphics: With the right hardware this game looks stunning.

Sound: Decent voice acting and loads of good tunes

Borderlands: Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot

Borderlands: Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot

After I praised The Zombie Island Of Dr. Ned as a good example of how to do DLC properly Gearbox goes and does the exact opposite with Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot. The arena fighting idea is nice but by removing all the XP and loot gathering we are left with a empty shell of the addictive Borderlands experience. This could have been so much better.

Gameplay: A tedious grind with very little to show for all your efforts.

Graphics: Nice, but nothing we haven’t seen before in the main game.

Sound: Pretty good, but Moxxi can become a bit repetitive with her quips

Hero Defense – Haunted Island (Happy Tuesday)

Hero Defense – Haunted Island (Happy Tuesday)

Grab your crossbow and put on your garlic aftershave because it is time to hunt things that go bump in the night again. This time the opportunity to thin out the freaks comes courtesy of Hero Defense – Haunted Island from Happy Tuesday. The most powerful vampire in the world, Count Necrosis, is making a menace of himself and his brethren, so you must gather your merry team of slayers to take him down. While this sounds like the perfect setup for some good old fashioned role playing, Hero Defense is actually a tower defense title

Assassin’s Creed III

Assassin’s Creed III

While the lead character, Conner, is not quite as charismatic or interesting as his predecessor, Ezio, the game is definitely not lacking in ambition. While it is the largest entry in the series to date, it can get bogged down in all kinds of menial tasks. The story is interesting and Desmond finally has his chance to shine but the story feels overly scripted with little of the freedom that the series was based on.

Gameplay: Large and varied but less focussed than previous installments.

Graphics: Beautiful in places but the setting is rather drab.

Sound: Quality audio and effects

LEGO Batman

LEGO Batman

Lego Batman: The Videogame is not something you are going to bust out to show off the power of your console but it is a fun game that packs a lot of content. Traveler’s Tales has done a good job with the license and the game has something for players both young and old.

Gameplay: Suffers from some monotony but there’s a lot of content here.

Graphics: Surprisingly good although it’s not cutting edge.

Sound: Grunts, yells and laughs mixed in with the classic Batman theme