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  • The rise and fall of the 3D Platformer

    The platformer genre has been a staple of gaming since the eighties, with famous titles such as Super Mario Bros. becoming big enough to enter into mainstream pop culture, but it wasn't until the mid-nineties, with the release of the 64-bit generation of consoles (PS One and Nintendo 64), that platfomers finally saw themselves transformed into the third dimension. The 3D platformer was born, and it rose to prominence alongside titles such as Mario 64, Crash Bandicoot and Banjo Kazooie. The Golden Age of the 3D platformer was at hand, and it didn't end for many years. It's possible that...

  • UE Roll review: quirky looks, clever design, brilliant sound

    Ultimate Ears is a mental company, and that's a compliment. It's a company that breaks the mold, and doesn't quite care what its neighbours are doing either. With the UE Roll, the company has shoved everything that makes a portable Bluetooth speaker great into a package no larger than Kobe Bryant's left hand. As the name suggests, it's made by Ultimate Ears, a subsidiary of German peripheral maker Logitech, that focuses on premium audio products. The "Roll" part is a bit more peculiar. It's more flying saucer in shape than any roll I've ever seen. It also seems to have...

  • The best indie games of 2015

    Once again it is almost time for us to wave goodbye to another year, forcefully having to accept the perpetual nature of time. It can be nerve wrecking to see the days and months fly off the calendar, each year seeming to pass by faster and faster. But before this year passes and forever becomes a thing of the past we would like to commemorate five of the best indie games of 2015, a year that has brought as some truly unique, captivating and innovative titles. Let us pay tribute to these wonderful titles for they do not only mark how...

  • TomTom Bandit review: solid camera, marvellous app

    The TomTom Bandit is one of those disruptive devices, not largely because it's doing anything revolutionary in the smart camera space, but it provides an adequate alternative to the GoPro range. And that's a godsend for consumers. It's also something fresh, and different, and that's a good thing too, but perhaps that's not enough to defeat GoPro's immense marketing budget. TomTom at least acknowledges this, and arms its camera with a bevy of extremely useful tools, software wizardry and design decisions. Essentially, the TomTom Bandit tries to beat its competitors by rectifying others' shortcomings. I previously had a go with the Bandit...

  • Hard West review: the Wild West Warsaw style

    I’m not sure why Western-themed games are so rare. It’s a genre and time that we can more or less relate to, but just distant enough it to retain an element of mystery -- a balance that sounds perfect for a game. Thankfully, the ambitious Hard West aims to fill this gap, and does it surprisingly well. Developed by Warsaw-based studio Creative Forge, this turn-based strategy title boasts a strong narrative and immersive gameplay. Admittedly, it is not without its shortcomings but is undeniably still a title that is well worth your time. So unholster your six-shooter and throw on your...

  • Xbox One Chatpad review: texting while gaming made easy

    Consoles have always had sloppy text input functionality, even when they allow the usage of generic USB keyboards. The process is cumbersome when trying to find the right key with a D-pad, or inane when you need to put the controller down and pick up a keyboard. Enter the Xbox One Chatpad, which looks to benefit players wanting a full keyboard on their controllers. The Xbox One Chatpad is unassuming in size. The device plugs into the expansion port of any Xbox One controller and creates a bridge between the hand grips. Once attached, it adds a bit of weight to...

  • 5 things you should know about the PlayStation VR

    We thought 2015 was the year of virtual reality, or VR, but it turns out that things are only just beginning. In 2016, a number of companies will be outing their virtual reality devices, and one of them is Sony. The company's PlayStation VR headset (previously Sony Project Morpheus) will likely be the first device to plug directly into a console, in this case, the PlayStation 4. Sony already has a gaggle of titles lined up for the device's launch, but what should you -- the consumer -- know about the next advancement in gaming? We give you a crash course below. Specifications...

  • Xbox store ‘biggest sale ever’ pricing up early [Update]

    A few days ago, Major Nelson teased that the Xbox store would be having a major sale starting on 22 December. Well, it seems as it all of those sales prices are already pre-loaded ahead of schedule. According to the teaser, titles such as Halo 5: Guardians (review), Rise of the Tomb Raider (review), and Forza Motorsport 6 will be discounted. There will also be deals on a wide variety of non-exclusive titles like Assassin's Creed Syndicate and Fallout 4 (review). Prices can range from 40% to over 60% off Xbox One and Xbox 360 backward compatible titles, though don't expect those kinds of...

  • BB-8 by Sphero review: strictly for the fans

    Droid sidekicks have always played an important part in the success of the Star Wars franchise. What, after all, would the original trilogy have been without R2-D2 and C3PO? When the latest installment arrives in the shape of The Force Awakens, it'll come with a new droid: BB-8. And almost inevitably, a toy version made it to shelves before the film got anywhere near a cinema. For those of you who've been wilfully ignoring anything to do with Star Wars over the past few weeks, here's how Wookiepedia describes the spherical droid: BB-8 was an astromech droid who operated approximately thirty...

  • 5 awesome holiday gifts for kids

    'Tis the season for family, for goodwill, and to be spending crap loads of money on stuff for your kids. Let's not lie, that's the reality. We're here to help you spend that bonus however, by advising you on what gadgets are likely to be on your tech savvy kids Christmas list. Don't worry if you feel your kids are a hell of a lot more advanced than you on the tech front however. I mean, they probably are, but you're not alone - there are plenty of people out there whose kids are rolling their eyes at their...