Friday, 22 October 2010

Game Review – Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

Format: PS3, Xbox 360

Castlevania, the name instantly opens up streams of nostalgia to veteran and old school gamers. The series is without a doubt one of many that should have stayed in its native side-scrolling home; nevertheless, here we are today admiring a technically impressive addition to the series, one full of excitement and adventure, yet lacking in what some might call personality and depth. Indeed Castlevania gives you the impression that there is plenty offered and to an extent this is true with varied fighting mechanics and a large move pool to choose from. It also screams exploration with its beautiful and diverse environments. However, it becomes fairly obvious quite early on that many of the diverse moves available are quite useless and you will stick to only a select few abilities to conquer the game. It is also incredibly sad to find out that the game doesn’t trust you enough to let go of your hand and let you explore this expansive land, instead opting to keep you on a linear pathway. These limitations certainly hinder Castlevania, but it is a testament that this aside, the game still offers plenty of enjoyable moments and experiences.

This joy to be had actually begins almost immediately with Castlevania’s story. While not necessarily ground-breaking, it serves its purpose well to fill you in on the historical nature of the Belmont’s family eternal struggle against the forces of evil, what Gabriel is fighting for in this arch of the story and intertwining some tense moments, the plot keeps its interest throughout. Castlevania as a series has a rich history of story telling and this is by no means let down in this installment with Sir Patrick Stewart doing the narrating as you progress in your adventure. It is fairly obvious that the depiction of the historical struggle that Gabriel is now part of, is much deeper than the continuing story itself, which is a shame because you would hope that the game would dwell deeper into the fictional world of werewolves and vampires. Nevertheless, it serves as a welcome addition to the forces that let the game flow. Castlevania also shows drastic inconsistency with its story-telling, giving you an exciting introduction and climax, while offering very little dynamism throughout your adventure other than as I stated before, moving the game along and the occasional dramatic implementation of a boss story battle.

This un-even story presentation is easily omitted however when you uncover that Castlevania is a long game, spanning across almost 20 hours of game-play. There is certainly no dependency for story here and it is clear that the designers wanted the story to take a back seat and the action to be at the forefront of their game. With these ideals, it is impressive that the story and delivery is as good as it is. Castlevania offers an engaging story-mode with plenty of secrets and unlockables to find. It provides for the most part, very entertaining and enjoyable technical combat mechanics, but is plagued by some uneven platforming errors, a bad camera and just some lousy development issues at times.

The combat is certainly a treat here, offering you the full-blown power of Gabriel’s Cross that acts like the series’ traditional whip. The mechanics spread your abilities across strong and weak attacks, allowing many different chain combos and moves to be linked together, creating mass carnage on the plains that surround you. Of course you are able to purchase and upgrade your abilities throughout the story mode but unfortunately these are not implemented as well as you would hope, with certain moves and abilities being very obviously more effective and useful than others. This perhaps limits the variation available when going through the game mode, but everything is worth trying out at least once. On top of all this, Gabriel will eventually unlock the power of spirits, magic and other slightly less demonic weaponry to keep the action intense and flashy.
Unfortunately the same appeal cannot be found outside of the fighting in Castlevania. The game’s plays out as a 3D platformer, offering an expansive and beautiful world to gaze upon, but never really giving you a real taste of its potential. Plenty of subtle invisible walls hinder any form of exploration, the awkward camera makes navigating ledges and obstacles a serious pain and the game really enjoys holding your hand throughout its numerous puzzles, leaving almost no room for freedom to act on your own accord. It really ruins the fluidity of the game going from one excellent fight encounter to another but having to navigate ridiculous areas and portions of the map. More time and care definitely couldn’t have gone a miss for the platforming elements of Castlevania.

Thankfully Castlevania makes it really easy to just forget about these niggles and moves on with the experience to the more impressive elements of the game, such as the dramatic boss battles. You will encounter two different forms of bosses, the Lord’s of Shadow; the story enemies and Titan battles where you are forced to take on monsters of epic proportions and use your navigational abilities to climb to the monster’s summit and take it down. Both types of battles require strategy and comprehensive understanding of the skills Gabriel has at his disposal, concluding in fantastic face-offs that get the heart racing.

From a technical perspective Castlevania impresses tremendously. This is one of those games where you will find yourself stopping throughout to admire the incredible surroundings around you. Surprising variation in stages including shattered ruins, swamps, wastelands and so forth all ooze with personality and this helps engulf you into Gabriel’s world and struggle. Most notably Gabriel and the Titans are some of the game’s most impressive visuals with your main character moving fluidly and performing some visually pleasing maneuvers while the Titans loom over the land and are a sheer joy to look at. The audio is also brilliant throughout, which is exactly what you’d expect from a game coming out of a series as dramatic and foreboding as Castlevania. The score fits with your surroundings and actions, creating atmosphere and sucking you deeper into the dark and dismal world that drowns Gabriel. As mentioned before, I will re-emphasize that when there is scripted narrative, this is also very impressive.

It seems that many people have been criticizing Castlevania for its lack of innovation and the pretty obvious influences from God of War and Shadow of the Colossus among other titles. Well, while Lords of Shadows might not be something new out of the hat, it takes elements from successful series and implements them into the Castlevania world to offer and present an enjoyable and action packed adventure. It is of course not perfect and has problems, most notably in the platforming department, but this is an action platformer where you will spend the majority of the time fighting and Castlevania certainly excels in that part. With great visuals and audio, plenty of content and lots of fun to be had slaying vampires, werewolves and other fiends, this is a great experience in my book.

Technical presentation – 9.0
Graphics – 9.0
Game-play – 7.0
Replay value – 7.0

Final score – 7.5 / 10

Igor, CeX UK Contributor
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Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Wonderful nonsense on the CeX facebook page

We've compiled a list of some of the weird and wonderful things we've seen on the web recently. If you want to see more of these, check out the CeX Facebook page and join in the banter.

Who can't resist a life like singing Japanese robot?

We pondered if this is still the best gaming ad?

Found a great bed for a gaming couple:)

Chuckled at this NES wallpaper.

Got misty eyed over this medley of LucasArt's animations.

And wondered if this bloke is a genius or mad?

Surely you can't live without this type fun in your life? Head on over to CeX Facebook today.

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Game Review – Medal of Honor

Format: PS3, Xbox 360, PC

‘’Not another FPS!’’ I hear you say, I understand and sympathise with your pain readers because without a doubt, the FPS genre is the most flooded and competitive genre in our current catalogue of games. In order to drag a gamer away from his comfort zone i.e. Halo or Call of Duty, a game must deliver on numerous fronts, to an excellent standard. We have seen games such as Solidarity and Metro 2033 come out with bold statements that in their own right, offered something a little different to the market from the usual war simulator. The fictional angle is pretty much useless here because Medal of Honor is set in modern day Afghanistan and implements this to try and get ahead of its competitors. Fortunately, it does so admirably, bringing a decent campaign that shines with realism and authenticity to the table, alongside a very competitive and engaging multiplayer brought to you by D.I.C.E, the guys behind Battlefield: Bad Company 2’s online experience. With a few issues hampering the overall package including disappointing enemy AI and some map restrictions, you will find yourself slightly perplexed as to why such small issues were not resolved to sand down the rough edges of what could have been a top end video game experience.

Being tasked with the elimination of Taliban forces in Afghanistan is a powerful and exciting prospect for a video game story. Medal of Honor really brings guts to the table by portraying a very sensitive and scrutinised war scenario. Nevertheless, upon entering the varied terrain, you find yourself immersed in a team of professional soldiers ready to take on and complete their missions with deadly accuracy. The life-like portrayal of combat and the representation of conflict between the two sides is given a proper sense of realism, simply because you know that this has been a serious issue in real life. This really gives Medal of Honor a strong backbone for its campaign and allows you to overlook the lacklustre enemy AI on lower difficulty levels and the limited ability to explore the environments. You will find yourself controlling varied characters throughout, all of which engage with the story in a cohesive manner while at the same time providing top of the line voice acting and narrative. A noteworthy shining star amidst Medal of Honor’s campaign is the incredibly challenging Tier One Mode. This particular game type pits you against the clock in completing campaign missions, trying to score the quickest times and most kills etc while being monitored and recorded onto leaderboards. This certainly helps up the difficulty of the campaign and if you have the persistency and will to give this a go, you will find a whole load of satisfaction in accomplishing these incredibly difficult missions. Everything screams realism as Medal of Honor tries to capture your mind in what really feels like a strategic military effort.

For the more competitive gamers out there who don’t need campaign modes, fear not for Medal of Honor has one of the most respected design companies paving the way for a fantastic multiplayer experience. Those of you who loved the challenging and compelling online action of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 will get a real kick out of taking the similar ride that is Medal of Honor online. D.I.C.E, the geniuses behind the framework for that particular style of FPS took the reigns to create another dramatic, engaging and furiously paced competitive scene. You can participate in various well-known game-types with up to 24 players per game, using one of three different classes, each with their own upgrades, weapon enhancements and play-styles. D.I.C.E are very much known for their realism and difficulty curves, so prepare for a frantic but fair experience should you choose to play online. It is a welcome addition to any FPS game to see varied and decent sized maps, fair and balanced weaponry and little that can be classified as cheap. Medal of Honor online is certainly no walk in the park, so you better get good and get good fast. Once that initial phase of getting destroyed is over and you acquire some skill, there is a rewarding upgrade system awaiting you that helps keep the experience fresh and well worthy of continuous replay.

From a technical perspective Medal of Honor does very well with its terrain visuals and character models. The colour scheme is a little bland but this is partly due to Afghanistan not being a Mediterranean Forest of colours. Vocals and narrative are for the most part intriguing and well done as mentioned before and the sound of war is certainly realistic and action packed as you hear bombardments and missile strikes. All of this mixed in with believable technical jargon from your teammates really engrosses you in the Afghanistan mission effort.

Ultimately Medal of Honor does not actually bring anything new to the table, so if you are looking for something completely different, this is not for you. However, it does implement realism unlike any of the current modern shooters, so if a more life-like shooter simulator sounds appealing to you, it is very hard to go wrong here. To put it simply, it is a game with a good campaign and a great multiplayer, I’m not going to be fancy about it and coat them with other big words. It is hard to get excited about Medal of Honor especially if you already have Call of Duty, Battlefield 2 or Halo Reach in your systems and honestly, they warrant your attention before this does. There’s very little wrong with Medal of Honor, on the contrary, it does certain things like the most important asset; online multiplayer, brilliantly. But as a package it just doesn’t stand out over the competition. It certainly is a hard time to bring FPS’s to the market so we can acknowledge that Medal of Honor is certainly a good attempt, but just not special enough unfortunately.

Technical presentation – 8.0
Graphics – 7.5
Game-play – 7.5
Replay value – 8.0

Final score – 7.5 / 10

Igor, CeX UK Contributor
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Why I'm sticking with Palm, for now.

After almost a year and a half with the Palm Pre, I've been itching for a new smart phone. I've been sitting on my upgrade eligibility since June and now I'm seriously considering getting one of the new Sprint 4G devices.

Now most may ask, "what the f*#% are you waiting for?" The Evo 4G has gotten awesome reviews and the Samsung Epic 4G Galaxy S phone is no slouch either. The only thing keeping me from getting a new phone is how much I love webOS. I've been waiting to see what HP and Palm come out with because I don't want to lose the operating system that I honestly think is better than any other out there. I don't want to lose the ability to click on links in my twitter feed and let them load in the background as I keep scrolling through the rest of my tweets. I don't want to lose the ability to have Google maps open while I simultaneously text my friend directions. I want to be able to have the best foursquare app available because I know the developer loves webOS as much as I do. As much as I would love to have the awesome hardware that comes with one of the new 4G superphones, I don't want to upgrade to an inferior OS. YES, inferior. 

Now, rumors of a new device have been confirmed as fact. France will have an updated version of the Pre (Pre 2) with webOS 2.0 in the immediate future and Verizon will be getting it before the end of the year. The Pre 2 will have a 1GHz processor, 512mb of RAM, an upgraded 5MP camera, a glass screen and higher quality construction. WebOS 2.0 (or HP webOS as it's now being called) will further improve on what Palm has been doing well all along and an update will be pushed to all existing devices before the end of the year. Sounds great, but no mention of a new device for Sprint. There are rumors that a new device will be announced Q1 of 2011 but that's all we know. Sprint isn't divulging any information and neither is Palm so far. So what do I do? 

A substantial OS update may hold me over for a little while, I really have no immediate NEED to upgrade my device, but I'm itching for a new toy. It's not very comforting that Sprint hasn't gotten the Pre Plus or the Pixi Plus that were released on Verizon at the beginning of this year. Should I wait, or will I be waiting in vain? 

I've made this decision: I will wait til the end of this year, if there isn't some sort of announcement by then for a new 4G Palm device on Sprint, I'm jumping ship.

**Update: Sprint probably won't be getting the Pre 2. Looks like they're holding out for better hardware

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Friday, 15 October 2010

Game Review - Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

Formats: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Whether you realise it or not, I'm sure most of you are familiar with some version of the ancient Chinese epic, Journey to the West. The adventures of Tripitaka and Monkey have inspired many works of contemporary culture, including Monkey the TV show, Damon Albarn's 'circus musical', and even the Dragonball series. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West represents Ninja Theory's take on the popular tale, but can the makers of Heavenly Sword create a worthy adaptation of the legend?

Enslaved follows the adventures of Monkey, a surly and weirdly proportioned brute (seriously, what is up with those back muscles?) and Trip, a tech-savvy rebel who enlists the services of the monkey-monikered man. Having escaped the clutches of the mysterious 'Slavers' at the outset of the game, Trip and Monkey make the perilous journey home and beyond using a mix of platforming, combat and teamwork, across a beautifully designed post-apocalyptic landscape.
The lush overgrown cityscapes of Enslaved make a refreshing change from the grey and brown environments of most futuristic video-game settings, and navigating through them is a joy thanks to thoughtful level design and event scripting.

The principle characters are definitely the game's highlight, and I found the interactions between Trip, Monkey and Pigsy to be genuine, funny and endearing. The character models are well detailed and intricately animated, with Monkey moving with fluid grace from handhold to handhold as he clambers across the environment, displaying various animations for the same action. Trip and Monkey are brilliantly voiced (Monkey being voiced by Mr. Gollum himself, Andy Serkis) and display a surprising amount of emotion both throughout cut scenes and during gameplay- check out the slow-motion combat finishers to see the astounding facial detail on Monkey as he fights!
Unfortunately the robotic enemy design in contrast is fairly uninspired, with only a handful of enemy types, and the later levels degenerate into generic 'robot factory' environments.

As well as having simple mechanical antagonists, Enslaved also features simple gameplay mechanics. Combat is distilled to a single combo, spiced with charge, evade and counter attacks. Thanks to the kinetic visuals and sound design, the fighting sequences can be quite thrilling, but this is no 'Bayonetta' Platforming similarly is condensed down to single button sequences, and Monkey is restricted to jumping at pre-ordained points. Spectacular 'Uncharted'-style platforming segments are let down by the fact that you can never misplace a jump, and that hammering the jump button will get you through most situations safely. The teamwork elements of the game are also fairly simplistic, reduced to brief moments where you instruct your partner to activate a switch or provide a decoy.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West however, is a game that becomes much more than the sum of its parts. Though comprising of simple combat, easy platforming and almost no story whatsoever, Ninja Theory manage to craft an experience full of wonder and excitement, populated by characters that I actually came to care about. While it may not keep you playing for month after month, Enslaved is definitely a game I would play through again in the future. If not only to see Andy Serkis' squishy hobbit face again.

Lukao gives Enslaved: Odyssey to the West 8 conveniently-placed handholds out of 10

Lukao, CeX UK Contributor
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Friday, 8 October 2010

Game Review - Halo Reach

Formats: Xbox 360

I'm sure by now almost all of you have read a review for Halo: Reach. You've heard all about Bungie's “perfect love-letter to the fans” and seen the 10/10 scores. I am not here to add my voice to the crowd, however. Now before any of you start sending me hate mail or hurling bricks through my window, hear me out: Halo: Reach is a good game. Just not the perfect Halo game.

That's not to say that Bungie haven't made improvements to the series. The graphics have been refined, built once again from the ground up. While it still has that definitive 'Halo' feel, everything has a grittier, more realistic look. The character models have been redesigned and improved, the new-look Jackals and Elites amongst my favourites. Your fellow Spartans also look fantastic, especially during the cut-scenes (a vast improvement of those seen in ODST, which to me looked like 'The Sims in Space')

The improvements Bungie have made extend beyond the visual. The addition of new weapons and armour abilities (which replace the equipment system of Halo3) really opens up the gameplay, giving the player plenty of options on how to approach any given situation. Some abilities are more useful than others, but I get the feeling that they all can be used effectively once you can figure out the trick to each of them, The new Needle Rifle quickly became my weapon of choice, combining the precision of the Battle Rifle with the explosive power of the Needler. Awesome!

However, as I implied in my first paragraph, it's not all sunshine and roses. One of the strongest elements of the past Halo games has been the campaign mode, a story-driven roller-coaster ride, filled with dramatic set-pieces and incredible vistas. From the feelings of discovery and horror of Halo: Combat Evolved, to the themes of religion and revolution in Halo 2 and the desperate struggle to the finish line of Halo 3, the entire series is peppered with memorable moments. Halo: Reach seems to be the most muted of the whole series, even more so than the noir-inspired ODST. For those who don't want to spoil the campaign mode, the following paragraph contains spoilers!

Given the backdrop of Reach, I really expected more from the campaign. Telling the story of the fall of humanity's last defence against the Covenant Armada, the home of the Spartans, and resting place to a wealth of Forerunner artefacts, Bungie had plenty of material to work with. It is a shame, therefore, that the campaign fails to impart the importance of the scenario. Noble team, an elite squad of battle-hardened Spartans, is so full of clichéd and cardboard characters that even Master Chief seems charismatic in comparison. Upon encountering the Covenant for the first time, a moment that spells almost certain doom for the human race, Noble team treat it with such nonchalance that it seems of no consequence. When the Spartans meet Dr. Hasley, the creator of the Spartan project, they act as if they barely know each other. It was at moments like these that I felt Bungie really missed an opportunity to create a compelling single-player campaign.

Aside from the lack of story (the entire game seems to be a series of 'go save those dudes' or 'go blow up that thing' missions) the campaign mode also seems to be missing the trademark 'Halo moments', like the edge-of-your-seat driving finales and GIANT ROBOT SCARAB FIGHTS (the heavily publicised space battle was far too short and simple). The final mission was a particular disappointment, with the game's ending creeping up with little to no crescendo.

However, I realise that Halo: Reach's campaign mode will represent only a small percentage of the games value to many of you. The multiplayer experience is the most complete yet, featuring the Firefight mode from ODST and new Invasion and Headhunter gametypes. The ever-escalating action of Invasion is an interesting addition, with matches starting off with assault rifle skirmishes and ending with full-on tank battles! Forge mode makes a triumphant return, now with even more options and players can even customise their in-game avatars to a greater degree.

Bungie really go all out to ensure the Halo community thrives, and Halo: Reach is no exception. On top of the features that were present in Halo 3's multiplayer, Bungie have added daily and weekly challenges, achievements, commendations and season ranking systems that guarantee that players will always have something to work towards. My only complaint concerning the multiplayer component is that the file sharing system seems more unwieldy than before.

The improvements in the game's multiplayer and core gameplay make this review somewhat of a compliment sandwich. There's no denying that Halo: Reach is a good game and online gamers will be busy for a loooong time, but those who play Halo purely for the campaign will be disappointed. Bungie may have been trying to end the series with a bang, but the perfect Halo game still remains out of reach.

Lukao gives Halo: Reach 7 GIANT ROBOT SCARABS out of 10

Lukao, CeX UK Contributor
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Thursday, 7 October 2010


I seem to have missed the memo on what is so amazing about Google TV. What is the big deal? The more I read about it, the less interested I am. I understand why people would want to have the internet on their TV, I really do, but why would I spend $300 on a Logitech Revue when you already have a device that does everything it promises to do? It's called a computer. 

I don't see how Google TV is supposed to be any better than connecting my computer to my TV. I already have a computer, the Boxee software is free, why would I pay for another box? Will Google TV make listening to Pandora that much better than it is on my computer? It won't make YouTube any cooler and doesn't do Netflix any favors my Xbox 360 doesn't already. So what is the point? I can connect my Mac Mini to my 46" TV via HDMI and stream not only the web, but my downloaded content as well and Boxee already lets me use my phone as the remote. Google TV's target demographic is probably already doing something like this. 

Of course people are already speculating that Google is going to change the way we watch TV, but if Hulu has been doing it this long and hasn't caused much of a TV revolution so far, why is Google going to be any different? Google hasn't announced any sort of network partnerships and if they did, there is no way that there would be any less advertisement. People are eager to cut their cable bills for an internet option, but there isn't going to be a valid cable option until more TV networks get on board with sites like Hulu and stop bucking progress the way NBC went after Boxee. 

I'm not anti-Google or ant-Google TV for that matter, I'm just not drinking their Kool-Aid quite yet. 

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Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Game Review – FIFA 11

Formats: PS3, Xbox 360, PC

There is no doubt in my mind that FIFA has become a staple household product for any fan of football. Throughout the past three editions of the game, we have seen FIFA rise to dominance as the best and most comprehensive football simulator, brushing aside the ever-popular Pro Evolution Soccer series and other attempts at football games. Since FIFA10, the development staff has been hard at work tinkering and redefining the game-play of FIFA and this was evidently shown in the World Cup addition to the series. Many however, exclaimed this was nothing more than a 1.5 model of FIFA11 and the 2.0 final product was not yet complete. Well right they were, as good as World Cup 2010 was, FIFA11 continues its tradition by expanding its mechanics to make FIFA11 even more fluid and life-like. Once again, this is the best football sim on the market and the best installment of the series yet.

It is difficult to describe the changes FIFA11 have put into place as like all sports simulators, it is all about the ‘feel’ of the game, I think that is the most appropriate word for what I am trying to get across. If one had to describe immediate and noticeable differences between FIFA10 / World Cup 2010 and FIFA11 is the latter is slower paced, relies much more on one touch football to work round players, has a much better and harder to master passing mechanic, more intelligent goalies so scoring is even harder and an unpredictability in shots taken so finishing does not become robotic and easy. These are just the tip of the iceberg but FIFA11 does a fantastic job portraying and even more realistic and fair game than its predecessor, if that’s even possible. A pretty entertaining amendment was the fact it was clear that the development staff simply didn’t know what to do with the lob shot; in FIFA10 it was hilariously easy to score using the lob, while the World Cup game completely nullified the technique giving me a grand total of 0 lobs scored in over 250 clocked games. Well it has become slightly easier to manage a chip in FIFA11, but once again, with the air of unpredictability surrounding the game, those lob shots can go just about anywhere.

On paper FIFA11 stresses the importance of individual player traits through the Personality Plus schematic. This essentially categorizes players and shows their best skills in badge form, be it having incredible strength, speed, the ability to produce excellent crosses, long distance shots or prolific finishing inside 25 yards. It kind of feels like a badge system for those who do not really know footballers, so when you pick a team logic dictates your speedster should be out on the wing and your strong holding player should be at the back of the midfield. Regardless, as much as the game parades these badges, there really isn’t that much player differentiation. I have noticed some really nice touches, like Lionel Messi running exactly like he does in real life, but other than the top athletes of the top clubs, little can be distinguished between players.

EA have certainly made a bold statement by essentially not offering any new game modes to FIFA11, instead concentrating entirely on redefining their already incredible formula. The career mode offered is a mixture of the previous ‘be a pro’ and ‘manager’ modes, allowing you to do one or the other, or both at the same time. This is certainly a welcome enhancement as it takes the best from the previous modes and rolls them into one package, allowing variation in how you play the games and with some enhanced managerial abilities that increase player interaction, it can actually be quite a lot of fun to progress through the career. A somewhat controversial addition to FIFA is the ability to play as the Goalkeeper in career mode offline and in competitive online modes. To be fair, they have done a fantastic job making playing as the keeper fun, the controls are intuitive and easy to use and it also opens the way for 11 vs. 11 online matches. Regardless, the inevitability of standing around and waiting all game for a few shots can be tedious, so small stints are recommended but long hauls between the sticks can’t be that thrilling.

If you don’t have a furiously competitive group of friends to play offline on the same machine with, then you will be very happy to hear that FIFA11 continues bringing excellence online as well. You will have to input a code to play online however as FIFA11 is one of the first of EA’s titles to sport the online pass system. That is an entirely different debate in itself so I will not go into it, but regardless, I will mention that once you play online, it will lock to that machine and if you take your game to a friends house, you will not be able to access the online game modes unless they are willing to pay a charge. On top of this once again you can purchase Live Season that upgrades and tracks player performance in real life and the hospitality mode will find and transfer your game preferences from previous FIFA games. There are also friend leagues and lobbies that allow players to interact and create competitive point ranking systems to fire up the competition. All of this joins together to bring an excellent online package that is so addictive it really is unbelievable.

Technically FIFA11 is simply outstanding. The game once again tweaked and expanded the game’s visuals from players to the pitch to the crowds; everything is downright beautiful. The soundtrack is great as ever and the crowd is even louder and engulfing this time round. The commentary has not seen great improvement and seems like a repeat of FIFA10, but this could very well be because World Cup 2010’s commentary was absolutely brilliant. Regardless, it is a great technical achievement that should have you in awe.

Ultimately, it is the improvements of the game-play’s core that makes FIFA11 so good. We all knew that FIFA10 and World Cup were brilliant, but to be able to expand upon it once again and make it even better is just phenomenal. It’s true what they say, enjoy the finer things in life because those little things are what make playing each and every single match on FIFA11, exciting, different and thrilling.

Technical presentation – 9.0
Graphics – 9.0
Game-play – 9.5
Replay value – 10.0

Final score – 9.5 / 10

Igor, CeX UK Contributor
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Saturday, 2 October 2010


As a massive storm unleashed it's cold, wet fury on Philadelphia, a group of do-or-die gamers were busy mashing their fierce buttons as they kicked the brotherly love out of one another at our first ever sponsored game tournament.

Close to 60 people braved the rain and filed into Steaks on South, our gracious neighbors and hosts for this event, to get their Super Street Fighter IV on. With steaks and PopChips in their bellies and their eyes on the prize, our 42 pre-registered players duked it out for their chance at some awesome prizes being offered up by our kick-ass co-sponsor and MC for the event, Jaleel Beck, owner of If you follow us on facebook, you already know that FocusAttack offered up some major swag, including a MadCatz Super Street Fighter 4 Tournament Edition Joystick S for Xbox 360 and some other neat-o Capcom and SSF4 themed prizes. 

With DJ Jayvert and DJ Fatboymonster putting the whole event to a soundtrack, the energy stayed at maximum while kicks and punches were flying well into the night. Thanks to everyone who came out and made this all possible. A special thanks to for helping us spread the word. Make sure you sign up for our email newsletter and be the first to know when the next tournament is coming. 

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