This week, Pro Evolution’s Euro 2016 offering kicks off on PS4, Ratchet & Clank cranks up the action on the same system, and Star Fox Zero lands on Wii U.
Elsewhere, Toby: The Secret Mine and Cell Surgeon add darkness and doctors to your smartphone and tablet app collection
GAME OF THE WEEK:
Title: Ratchet & Clank
Classic Sony characters crank the action up on PS4
It’s time to play the game, based on the movie, based on the game. The PS4’s stab at Ratchet & Clank takes the original PS2 title and merges it with the animated film coming to cinemas soon to deliver a rip-roaring action adventure that lets you join Ratchet, Clank, Captain Qwark and new friends as they battle to save the Solana Galaxy from the evil Chairman Drek. Here, the more powerful console affords us a deeper look at the characters’ origin stories and modernises the original gameplay, letting you explore the galaxy featuring new planets, new and updated gameplay segments, all-new bosses, all-new Clank gameplay, all-new flight sequences, and so much more. An out-of-this-world arsenal keeps the incredible action flowing throughout, but, at its heart, this Ratchet & Clank revamp stays true to the original that made the duo so successful in the first place. As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and in the case of this game, everything has just gone one better.
Title: Star Fox Zero
Platform: Wii U
Zero becomes the Wii U’s new hero
Fox, Falco, Peppy and Slippy (and their original voice actors) are back, in a brand new adventure for the Star Fox series. In this action-packed intergalactic universe, your TV will display a cinematic view from behind the Arwing, while the Wii U GamePad puts you straight into the gunner’s seat, complete with immersive accompanying audio and super-tight motion controls for pinpoint aiming. As you progress through the game, you’ll be able to return to earlier missions to find hidden collectibles and alternative routes that offer brand new challenges and, with multiple paths through bringing new surprises, you’ll find a way that suits your skill level and play style. Fans of the original will be delighted to discover many nods to the classic title, augmented by the series’ embracing of the new Wii U technology that delivers an awesome action experience for Nintendo fans to savour.
Title: Euro 2016 Pro Evolution Soccer
UEFA football fun from our friends Pro Evo
The Pro Evolution series has seen the highs and lows of console football, in a similar vein to Leicester City’s 2015 slump, survival and stunning success this year. This Euro 2016 offering, though, cements the encouraging strides the series has made towards redressing the balance between itself and FIFA. The game features all the thrills and spills from this year’s upcoming tournament, including over a dozen fully licensed teams and replicated playing styles within the Player ID and Team ID systems. And when it comes to gameplay, Pro Evo delivers in spades, with advanced collisions, player AI, goalkeeper abilities and aerial strength just a few of the tweaks applied to in-game scenarios that take realism to new heights. All in all, it’s a bona fide bursting bundle of summer football action to keep you going when the Premier League season draws to a close.
Title: Toby: The Secret Mine
Toby’s digging himself a big hole...
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Toby and his Secret Mine are seriously in love with Limbo and Badlands. This unashamed visual mirroring of those wonderful platform puzzlers certainly recreates the characteristic silhouetted environment very well, but it fails to flourish on the gameplay front. The controls are a bit hit and miss, and will leave you cursing as you fall into a pit of spikes too frequently for it just to be about your poor judgement. Similarly, the level design will let you down now and then, again fostering frustration when some greater clarity for the player would have simply solved this issue. All in all, it’s a case of “looks good, but could play a lot better”, in a portable platforming world that’s already so densely populated. And if you’re going to copy the best, you really need to make sure that you’re better...
Title: Cell Surgeon
A cell smashing puzzle success
Cell Surgeon ups the ante from match-three puzzlers by making it match-four, but that’s not the only twist applied to this creative gaming concoction. Levels are constructed on a 3D spherical game-board where viruses of different types reside, ready for you to obliterate them. To start with, spinning the sphere and tapping four of the required colours or characters isn’t too tricky. But it’s as the individual viruses introduce a particular way of dispatching them (taps, double taps, swipes etc) that the difficulty cranks up - especially as you’re against the clock. And that’s where Cell Surgeon offers something fresh to the genre. The quickness of thought and memory skills you need to succeed will push the cutesy cartoon fun presentation into an adult audience and send you loopy with illness curing addiction - great stuff.
WHAT’S HOT AND WHAT’S NOT?
The app market is big business for game developers, as a recent report from Sensor Tower has shown. Of the 17.2 billion apps downloaded in the first three months of 2016, 6.65 billion were games - 4.7 billion of which were downloaded from Google Play and nearly 2 billion via the Apple App Store. The most downloaded game so far in 2016 was Piano Tiles 2, with Candy Crush Jelly Saga in second place and Color Switch third.
Meanwhile, in the PC and console charts this week, Dark Souls III had a brilliant debut week, cementing the number one spot and sending last week’s top dog Quantum Break spinning down to four. EA Sports UFC 2 also performed well, climbing five places from eight to three.
GAME CHART ALL FORMATS FULL PRICE
1. Dark Souls III
2. Tom Clancy’s The Division
3. EA Sports UFC 2
4. Quantum Break
5. Dirt Rally
6. Far Cry Primal
7. FIFA 16
8. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
9. Grand Theft Auto V
10. LEGO Marvel Avengers
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (c) 2016 UKIE Ltd