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All posts by Pippa Tshabalala: Columnist

  • Murdered: Soul Suspect review | one foot in the grave

    I had high hopes for Murdered: Soul Suspect when I saw the original trailers and gameplay demos -- it was what appeared to be a cross between a ghost story and an old school detective novel. A ghost detective bent on discovering the identity of his own murderer, who wouldn't love that idea? Unfortunately Murdered: Soul Suspect doesn’t quite live up to the fantasy. What could have been an intriguing and complex tale of murder coupled with the tragedy of dying with unfinished business instead turns into a predictable and somewhat stale piece of gameplay. Before we get into the nitty...

  • 7 games on our wish list for E3 2014

    With E3 right around the corner, by now we all have an idea of what games will be showcased in 2014. For example, Destiny developer Bungie has already indicated it will be showing off more of its amazing FPS RPG MMO. The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt will certainly make an appearance, and The Order: 1886 is heading to E3 as well. But what of the games that we can only wish for? Games that have garnered a mention in the press at some point but then disappeared into obscurity. Games that have been lurking at the edges of our...

  • The updated Xbox One vs PS4 buyer’s guide

    Of course the age-old (not really, but it sounds better) rivalry between Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation is still alive and well. But six months down the line, what exactly is the current situation in terms of sales and potential peripherals? Umpteen announcements have been made, and with E3 fast approaching, no doubt we’ll see even more of them in the upcoming weeks, attempting to persuade the public why they should buy a specific console. Of course, the first thing to remember is that unless you’ve imported it, the Xbox One still isn’t available in some territories, with South Africa...

  • The worst (and best) console to PC ports

    Video game ports: a term most gamers cringe at hearing. After all, what could be worse than playing a game that was absolutely amazing on one platform, only to find it completely massacred on another by a combination of bugs and lazily ported control systems? It seems that although the graphics are often (notice I didn’t say always) better on PC, the control systems are often so odd and disparate that the game becomes practically unplayable in its new form. Poor frame rates become blindingly obvious, and it becomes apparent when the developers have lazily ported the game to make...

  • 5 of the best Square Enix and Sony franchises

    By now you’ll no doubt have heard the news that, in an effort to lift its profits and minimise loss, Sony Computer Entertainment has sold off its shares in game publisher Square Enix, producers of Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts among many others. The 9,52 million shares (approximately 8.2% of Square’s shares, making them one of the company’s largest shareholders) amount to somewhere in the region of US$46.9-million. What many don’t realise is that Square Enix Holdings isn’t just a developer and publisher in its own right, but is also the holding company for a number of other well-known subsidiaries,...

  • 5 absolutely awful video game sequels

    We've all had the experience of playing a game, and knowing within the first five minutes that it is going to be a winner. That it’s going to change your life. That it's something you will forever look back on and think -- that game was amazing. So imagine your excitement when you see that a sequel is being made. The anticipation! You lie awake at night for hours imagining how it will look, what new characters there will be, thinking about how many hours you’re going to dedicate to playing the most amazing sequel to the most amazing game you've...

  • InFamous Second Son review: one giant leap

    If you’ve played the previous inFamous games you’ll remember electric hero conduit Cole MacGrath. You’ll know that while the first game was amazing and innovative, the second one continued the story, but gameplay was same-same, ho-hum. Infamous: Second Son takes places seven years after inFamous 2. The Department of Unified Protection has been formed to hunt down and capture or destroy conduits by any means possible. Second Son (understandably if you’ve played the others), gives us an entirely new protagonist, Delsin Rowe, who obtains conduit powers by means of a freak accident. Although his initial powers are smoke and fire based,...

  • 11 of the worst video game movies you’ll ever see

    There have been a plethora of bad video games, but perhaps even worse, there have been a number of good video games that have been developed into terrible movies. While we all might praise the narrative of an amazing video game -- the well-rounded characters, the intricate plot -- this doesn’t necessarily mean that the dialogue translates well into movie form, or indeed that the plot can be successfully condensed into a two-hour sitting. While there have been a single handful of vaguely passable (I didn’t say good) movies based on video games, the majority of them, quite honestly, sucked things...

  • The Freemium boom and the games defining it

    It might sound like a buzz word... scratch that, it really is a buzz word called "Freemium" and over the last year it’s been the word on everyone’s lips when it comes to mobile gaming. It is of course a portmanteau word combining "free" and "premium", but it’s the direction that many game developers have taken in an effort to attract more customers and earn money at the same time without resorting to constant in-game advertising, and nowhere more so than in the mobile gaming arena. It involves charging the customer for in-game purchases, extra lives, unlockable characters and the...

  • 5 player vs player games that are still worth playing

    In a world increasingly connected by the internet, it might sound redundant to point out the popularity of online gaming. After all, few games are completely devoid of multiplayer in one form or another. That said, PC gamers have always been streets ahead in their online gaming habits, and depending on your tastes and budgets there are a number of options available to you if you’re looking for something new or just starting out on the online circuit. Of course one of the most appealing aspects of online play is gaming against your friends, in which case it is essential...