Thursday 31 December 2015

CeX is open on New Years Day!

A happy New Year from all of us here at CeX!

We just thought we'd let you know that CeX stores will be open on New Year’s Day. So, whether you're buying, selling or just popping in to say “Hi!”, we’ll be there. Pretty awesome, right?
Check for opening hours here

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CeX is open on New Years Day!

A happy New Year from all of us here at CeX!

We just thought we'd let you know that CeX stores will be open on New Year’s Day. So, whether you're buying, selling or just popping in to say “Hi!”, we’ll be there. Pretty awesome, right?
Check for opening hours: UK, Ireland, Australia

Get your daily CeX at

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10 Games To Watch Out For In 2016

2015 is just about over. Politicians and news networks will stop pretending that they give a crap about poor people, and alcoholics now have one less excuse to hide behind. But let's not lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas; getting presents off people. That included a game or two for you, right? So now, of course, you need to start thinking about what to ask/tell people to buy for you this year. Or maybe you'll just treat yourself. Go on, you deserve it! Here for your consideration are ten games due to be released in the space year 2016 with lots of potential. And remember; if you spend your money in CeX, you will become five times more sexually attractive to the gender of your choice with each game you purchase. Maybe. Possibly. Okay, probably not. But do you want to take the chance of not giving it a go?

The Last Guardian (PS4)

Development on this PS3 game began in 2007 and finally, allegedly, it will see the light of day as a PS4 game in 2016. This could go either way, really. On the one hand it will serve as the third game in an unofficial trilogy, the first two entries of course being the sublime Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. The extended and troubled development period is worrying, but Resident Evil 4 suffered something similar; and remains, in my not-so-humble opinion, the best game in the series by a country mile. On the other hand Team Ico no longer exists, with Fumito Ueda and his new studio (including some of Team Ico) GenDesign kept on only as “creative consultants”. I suspect the finished product will have iffy graphics and (my number one candidate for the reason behind its time in development hell) flawed AI, but I'd love to be proved wrong.

FUN FACT: Sony insist that gameplay footage is thin on the ground because the game is so story heavy, and not because they're just trolling everybody about a release date.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Yes, yes, I know the name is an incredibly cheap and childish pun; but it still makes the fourteen year old in me giggle. (Much) more importantly, The Stick of Truth wasn't just a good South Park game – it was an awesome South Park game. It looked frickin' exactly like the show and, thanks to the original acting and writing talent being involved, sounded exactly like it too. It made me laugh out loud many a time. It provided little challenge but, given the fact that it was enormous fun to play, I didn't give a monkey's about that. I have high hopes for this, and Ubisoft better not let me down.

FUN FACT: George Clooney has cameoed in the TV series as a dog (with no dialogue, just barking), but Jerry Seinfeld refused a cameo that he asked for because he wasn't offered a major part.

No Man's Sky (PS4)

Have you seen it? I mean, seriously, have you seen it? It looks awesome. It's basically the fuckin' universe, procedurally generated; only instead of lots of nothing there are dinosaurs, and alien planets, and buildings, and spaceships, and and and I really want to play it now. It's like all that awesome 50s sci-fi art you used to get on book and magazine covers brought to life. Hello Games are going to have to work really hard to mess this one up.

FUN FACT: I met and interviewed the Hello Games team once, and can confirm that they are awesome people.

Mirror's Edge Catalyst (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

I played – and loved – the original. I played it through twice actually, something I rarely do with a game (one run without shooting a single bullet). If you've never played it grab yourself a copy, it's dirt cheap now and unlike anything else. Catalyst, like the original, puts a heavy emphasis on first person parkour – and, by the sounds of it, even more emphasis on your character Faith not having much skill or interest in guns. The new title also raises the stakes with open-world gameplay however, giving you a whole city to make a nuisance of yourself in. Being able to launch improbable runs across walls whenever you like sounds like fun. So does scrambling up the fronts of random buildings like a madman on acid, and finding your own paths through rooftops and between buildings. Will it actually work, though? We can but wait and see...

FUN FACT: You shouldn't climb on buildings and jump between rooftops in real life, because it's naughty and dangerous.

Far Cry Primal (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

I thought Far Cry 4 was great, but let me get something off my chest. How in the hell did Ubisoft avoid sparking a controversy by casting a white guy as the Indian-American hero (not to mention casting a white guy as the mixed-race antagonist)? Devs are often disturbingly obsessed with movies and let me tell ya buddy, you wouldn't get away with that in a film – and quite right too. Anyway, now I've hopped off my soapbox, I can get on with stating the obvious: the Far Cry series is one of the most famous open-world experiences and, surely, one of the best too. There have been a few stinky spinoffs, but generally Ubisoft haven't yet run it into the ground like they have with Assassin's Creed. It's a good fit for a prehistoric adventure, especially given the emphasis the last few games have placed on wildlife. The only worrying thing about this game is that there are no dinosaurs. I'm well aware that dinos and smelly humans didn't co-exist, but we don't play games for hyper-realism, do we?

FUN FACT: The game's creative director has worked on many Prince of Persia games. Time travel powers so you can get a gatling gun, maybe?

The Legend of Zelda (Wii U)

Surprisingly little is known about this game, considering the fact that it was originally due a 2015 release and will prove to be one of the Wii U's most important games. We don't even have the traditional Zelda subtitle yet. What we do know is that not only have Nintendo gone full open-world for this entry, they also seem to want to do away with the idea of clearing dungeons in a strict order. Zelda games have dabbled with the open-world concept before, but have never jumped in with both pointy-shoed feet in such a fashion. Can Nintendo change the structure so radically while keeping the experience 100% Zelda? The Wii U isn't exactly drowning in games with huge worlds to explore, but Xenoblade Chronicles X has set the bar pretty damn high.

FUN FACT: You see that mountain in the distance? You can go there.

Star Fox Zero (Wii U)

Like the new Zelda, the new Star Fox had its release date pushed back to 2016. A release date delay means one of two things – that the game is in trouble, or the team is determined to make the game as good as it can be – and this is hopefully a case of the latter. Judging by what's been seen of the game so far it will hark back to the unashamedly retro gameplay of previous entries; while introducing new elements too, such as transforming vehicles which in turn provide new styles of gameplay. It's being co-developed by Nintendo and Platinum Games, and the last time they got together we had the incredible Bayonetta 2. Fingers crossed, people!

FUN FACT: If you go to the Google search home page and search 'do a barrel roll', it still works. Go on, try it!

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

This is the third listed game in a row to have had its release delayed, though it was always due in 2016 (originally February, now August). Again, the delay is probably a good sign; it would not have been a decision taken lightly, and there were probably some behind-the-scenes fights between the production and marketing departments before the announcement. There are still reasons to be cynical, though. While all the Deus Ex games are great (yes even Invisible War, I really enjoyed it so fuck off), the footage released to promote Mankind Divided thus far tends to be along the lines of BANG RIP BOOOM KILLING IS FUCKING AWESOME which, let's face it, isn't really what Deus Ex is all about. Then there were Human Revolution's boss fights. Ugh. The 'improved' versions were still crap, and don't let anybody tell you otherwise. I'm still looking forward to it, though; let's hope they use the power of the newest gaming machines for more than shinier guns.

FUN FACT: I'm saying this again: I liked Invisible War. I really liked it. Deal with it.

Uncharted 4 (PS4)

This could be one to watch as in 'look at this amazing cinematic adventure', or one to watch as in 'look at this train wreck of a game where they burned everything that people loved about the series to the ground'. I genuinely don't know. Now, in my opinion, The Last Of Us is an example of a fantastically written story masterfully told, and is one of the bestest games ever. However, bringing in the creative heads of that game to steer a new Uncharted sets off alarm bells for me (as does the fact that head writer and creative director for the series, Amy Hennig, left early in the game's development; allegedly pushed by the aforementioned Last of Us duo). The teaser first released was tediously “dark and gritty”, a million miles away from the light-hearted eighties-style adventuring we all love Drake for. The E3 gameplay footage was very pretty, and I seem to be the only person on the internet who wasn't impressed; so what do I know? Maybe it'll be great and, after all, Sony wouldn't let the name of one of their most important franchises be ground into the dirt.

FUN FACT: Uncharted 3 isn't as good as everybody says it is.

Telltale Batman Game (everything, probably)

Telltale have been pumping out walk-and-clicks for years now; some good, some great, some boring (Minecraft Story Mode, I'm looking at you). They've proven themselves a very talented team, but a Telltale Batman game may nonetheless seem a strange choice to some people. Think about it, though. In the comics (the good ones, anyway), Batman actually does very little fighting. Most of it is talking, some of it is detective work, and more of it than you may remember is Bruce Wayne out of costume. So long as Telltale are careful, this could be the most Batman game we've ever seen.
FUN FACT: Batman isn't the hero Gotham deserves. He's the hero Gotham needs.

Luke Kemp

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CeX is open on New Years Day!

A happy New Year from all of us here at CeX!

We just thought we'd let you know that CeX stores will be open on New Year’s Day. So, whether you're buying, selling or just popping in to say “Hi!”, we’ll be there. Pretty awesome, right?
Check for opening hours here

Get your daily CeX at

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Wednesday 30 December 2015

The Top 10 Films of 2015

2015 was another great year for film. Narrowing the year’s best down to just 10 was extremely difficult, but here goes…

10- Slow West

John Maclean’s Slow West achieved the near-impossible – it brought something new to the western genre. Blurring the line between pure art and entertainment, Slow West was a visually gorgeous slow-burning feast full of fantastic performances, beautiful music by Jed Kurzel and a brilliant script by director Maclean. Clocking in at 80 minutes, the film is rather short for the genre but remember – it’s not the length, is it lads? It’s how you use it. A fresh, brilliant piece of work.

9- Legend

I know what you’re thinking – “where’s Mad Max – Fury Road on this list?”. Yes, I had a great time with that film but I enjoyed Tom Hardy’s other big film this year, Brian Helgeland’s Legend, a lot more. As both Reggie and Ronnie Kray, Hardy delivered a mesmerising dual-performance showing great versatility and proving you can have incredible chemistry with yourself on screen. Despite some narrative misfires, Legend was a stunningly acted era-authentic crime film and a hell of a lot better than 1990’s The Krays.

8- Me & Earl & The Dying Girl

Next up, we have the delightful indie Me & Earl & The Dying Girl. Despite a somewhat predictable story, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s sweet and endearing dramedy is a touching tale about the power of friendship and film itself. As well as making the film buff inside me sing, the film also made me think about all the friends I’ve had and still have, and how important it is to truly feel accepted and loved. It is an unforgettable little film and truly deserves a spot on this list. Just remember to bring tissues.

Me & Earl & The Dying Girl at CeX

7- Jurassic World

After years of development hell, 2015 brought audiences in long-awaited return to Isla Nublar. Set 20 years after the original Jurassic Park, Jurassic World features a new park, new characters and new, genetically-modified dinosaurs. But of course, chaos ensues. Because if there’s one thing the original trilogy showed us, it’s that making dinosaurs is a bad idea. With amazing CGI, exciting action and a whole lot of respect for the original film, Jurassic World is a perfect example of how to reboot a franchise.

Jurassic World at CeX

6- Star Wars: The Force Awakens

A late entry to this list, JJ Abram’s Star Wars – The Force Awakens is, thank goodness, a return-to-form for the intergalactic franchise. After unprecedented hype, the film was everything audiences wanted and more. Full of thrills, humour and a big ol’ dose of nostalgia, The Force Awakens is vintage Star Wars and perfectly lays the foundations for this third trilogy. What a relief. I don’t think the fans could’ve handled another Phantom Menace.

Star Wars at CeX

5- Birdman

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Oscar-winning Birdman was released in January here in the UK, so finds itself eligible for a spot on this list. In an award season that featured modern classics like Whiplash and The Grand Budapest Hotel, one unique and complex meditation on the concept of ego and theatre soared highly above the rest, and rightly won all the biggies including Best Picture. Featuring a fantastic ensemble cast led by Michael Keaton and a flawless script, Birdman is one that’ll stay with you for a long time.

Birdman at CeX

4- Macbeth

Justin Kurzel, the man behind the highly-anticipated Assassin’s Creed movie, brought us the year’s 4th best film in the form of Macbeth. A visually breath-taking and powerfully performed piece that stands mightily among the best Shakespearean adaptations in the history of cinema, Kurzel’s Macbeth takes a fresh and gritty approach to the play while maintaining the Bard’s original vision. Bravo. I cannot wait to see what he comes up with for Assassin’s Creed now.

Macbeth at CeX

3- Straight Outta Compton

F. Gary Gray’s Straight Outta Compton was a film I wasn’t expecting to enjoy as much as I did, but it well and truly blew me away. This passionate story of 5 young men standing up for what they believe in and making their voices heard was a powerful portrayal of a hugely important moment in cultural history. And if you’re thinking to yourself “but I don’t like hip-hop, why would I enjoy this?” - it doesn’t matter. This isn’t just a story about music. It is a story of passion, anger and taking a stand. It is inspiring. And it is timeless.

Straight Outta Compton at CeX

2- Steve Jobs

Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs is an incredible piece of work. With a unique 3-act structured screenplay – the film takes place in real-time, with 3 acts across 1984, 1988 and 1988 showing the lead-up to 3 product launches – and a phenomenal performance from Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs does something new with the biopic genre by creating a theatrical character study rather than your average birth-to-death story of success. And it is a significant step up after the awful Ashton Kutcher attempt of 2013.

Steve Jobs at CeX

1- Love & Mercy

And lastly, Bill Pohlad’s Love & Mercy is without a doubt the finest film of the year. Despite initial festival screenings in 2014, the film went on general release this year and so makes it onto the list. My love for the film doesn’t just come from being a huge Beach Boys/Brian Wilson fanboy, but from being a film fan in general. Delivering an astonishingly crafted double timeline structure set in the ’60s and ‘80s, and featuring 2 complex and stunning performances from John Cusack and Paul Dano as the deeply troubled but endlessly talented Brian Wilson, Love & Mercy is one of the most passionate and respectful films ever made. Unsurprisingly, it’s got a bloody brilliant soundtrack too. I’m pickin’ up good vibrations, indeed.

Love & Mercy at CeX

So, there you have it. Naturally I couldn’t put every good film from 2015 into this list but believe me, I could’ve easily done a Top 50. If you haven’t seen any of the films on this list yet, I urge you to check them out. And if you’re angry that I’ve missed one of your favourites out, it might have been #11 in my list if I had more space so don’t hate me too much!

Sam Love

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Tuesday 29 December 2015

The Top 10 Games of 2015

These sorts of lists always ruffle a few feathers, so beware if you're a chicken scared of other people's opinions. 2015 was a pretty good year for games – but it was probably also a record year for old games dusted off and resold at a higher price. Be aware that I have decided to exclude any game that was re-released, remastered, or regurgitated from this list. If it was available to buy in any form before 2015, it ain't allowed here. That left me in a moral dilemma regarding Rare Replay, which I reluctantly decided should also be disqualified. If you have an Xbox One, though, you really ought to buy it. Anyway, here we go; the ten best games of 2015 in ascending order. Let the outrage commence!

10: Batman: Arkham Knight (PS4, Xbox One, PC)


Scraping itself into tenth position by the skin of its teeth is Arkham Knight. Despite being significantly inferior to Asylum and City, Knight is a fantastic Batman experience when it gets things right (so basically, when you're not forced to drive that fucking stupid tank around). The combat has wisely been left largely unfiddled with, but the addition of Fear Takedowns – knocking out multiple enemies in a row under the right conditions – is most welcome; as is the blissful opportunity to disable stun sticks. Driving the Batmobile around can be pretty cool but, oh dear god, why piss all over the experience with the tank transformation? Just give us a Batman game where we can fly the Batwing already!

FUN FACT: You made the identity of the Arkham Knight way too obvious way too early, Rocksteady. You really screwed that up.

Batman: Arkham Knight  at CeX

9: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

Some of you will cry in agony at this not being number one but, as with Arkham Knight, it wouldn't even be here if I'd allowed old games in. Don't get me wrong, it's a very good game; absolutely crammed full of missions, info, Easter eggs and detail, it's one of the prettiest and most generous games of the year. Kudos also for the way that some missions can take anything from ten minutes to two hours to complete in a clean run, depending on how difficult you choose to make things for yourself. The story's silly and poorly told, but that doesn't really matter when player choice dictates the experience so heavily. Besides, tying a balloon to a sheep and hearing its distressed bleat as it rockets skyward never gets old.

FUN FACT: Before starting his career in the games industry, Hideo Kojima enjoyed writing short stories – but was never able to get anything published, as his stories were four times as long as the magazines he submitted to wanted. Another fun fact: Despite what you might think, I'm not making that up.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain at CeX

8: Fallout 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Well it had to be in there somewhere, didn't it? It's not as well written or user friendly as Fallout 3 (which is why it isn't further up the list), but Fallout 4 is a perfect example of why the series is so loved. Playing it makes you feel like you're wandering through a living, breathing, and extremely dangerous world. Being able to take a companion along for the ride is a nice touch. Although you are, as law dictates, offered a dog as a companion, another option is a robot. Your own personal robot! With a flamethrower!!! For that reason alone, Fallout 4 was always going to be considered one of the best games of the year.

FUN FACT: War. War never changes.

Fallout 4 at CeX

7: Yoshi's Woolly World (Wii U)

Yes, I am seriously saying that this game is better than the previous three. If you're screaming and swearing at the screen and you haven't actually played it, please do both of us a favour and shut up. Sorry, but your opinion does not change the fact that I had more fun playing Yoshi's Wooly World than I did playing the new Batman, Metal Gear, or Fallout. With Miyamoto taking more of a back seat nowadays, it's comforting to see games like this prove that the “Nintendo magic” is still alive and well. As well as looking absolutely gorgeous, it brought to mind for me some of the very best SNES platformers. As those old and cranky like me can attest, that is high praise indeed.

FUN FACT: Yoshi has a designated voice actor – Kazumi Totaka, a videogame musician who has worked on many Nintendo games.

Yoshi's Woolly World at CeX


6: Super Mario Maker (Wii U)

Some might argue that Mario Maker “isn't a game” and in a way, they'd be right. It's something better than a game. It's almost an entertainment platform in itself. There's a small collection of basic levels to play on the disc, but that's not what the experience is about at all. A massive part is of course creating your own levels. Technically speaking it's extremely simple to use, the epitome of user friendly. You'll quickly realise however that actually designing a level – i.e. making one that functions properly and (most importantly of all) is fun to play – is quite a challenge. Even if that's not your thing, there are literally millions of levels made by other people accessible through the magic of the interwebs, with the most ingenious (generally) pushed to maximum visibility. Then you have the seemingly endless updates, additions, and tweaks – all free of charge. Why wouldn't you want this?

FUN FACT: My levels are better than your levels.

Super Mario Maker at CeX

5: Splatoon (Wii U)

Yet another Wii U game. Why? Because like it or not, the Wii U has this year absolutely crushed the competition in terms of quality exclusives. Splatoon is hard to categorise, which is one of the reasons it's so good. It's an online shooter in theory; but it has offline-only content, boys and girls that can transform into squids at will, and weapons that shoot (or explode with) ink rather than bullets, explosives, or shrapnel. You can 'splat' (kill) other players but the objective, generally speaking, is to cover as much of the map in your colour as possible. If your team concentrates on kills then your team will lose, simple as that. Nintendo frustrate in some areas, such as lack of map voting; but as with Mario Maker, there's a constant stream of free content that still shows no sign of stopping. If you have a Wii U and an internet connection, you need Splatoon.

FUN FACT: Most of the dev team are much younger than those that usually work on Nintendo games, and the game's producer is on record as saying that there are people on the team “super into” FPS games such as Call of Duty and Battlefield.

Splatoon at CeX

4: Disgaea 5 (PS4)

You probably won't find this on many (if any) other top 10 lists, which I think is kinda sad. With no huge marketing budget, sites don't feel obliged to remember its existence, which is unfair – because it's absolutely brilliant, and guaranteed to last anybody who gets into it a looooooong time. You'll know this already if you read the enthusiastic review I wrote for it. The anime-style design (complete with exaggerated voices) will be off-putting for some. If you like that, however (or can at least look past it) you'll be rewarded with a deep, lengthy, and ferociously addictive experience. Also there are exploding penguins.

FUN FACT: One cameo aside, Disgaea 5 is the first entry to avoid including characters from other games in the series.

Disgaea 5 at CeX

3: Forza Motorsport 6 (Xbox One)

I know, I know, this now brings the proportion of sequels in the top ten up to 50%. I'm not entirely comfortable with it myself – but many of the best games in 2015 were sequels, and there's no point denying the facts. Forza 6, like Forza Horizon 2 before it, first grabs you by the private parts with its incredible visual quality. Combined with a silky smooth frame rate even at speed, it's almost enough to convince you that you wouldn't die a violent and messy death if you attempted such driving in the real world. Then there's the superb handling, which varies so much from car to car. The exquisitely recreated racetracks. The now ubiquitous rewind feature which allows even losers like me to pretend they know how to drive in a straight line. The legion of options and mods which allow you to make the experience as close to – or as far away from – real driving as you wish. The... look, just buy it.

FUN FACT: The Top Gear twats are just as annoying here as they are on TV, even though you can't see them.

Forza Motorsport 6 at CeX

2: Life Is Strange (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

Life Is Strange is a masterpiece in the true sense of the word (or something close to it, anyway). It's the game which proves that Dontnod Entertainment – developers of the great-but-not-awesome Remember Me – are masters of their craft. The episodic walk-and-click is a far cry from their first game in technical terms, but is remarkably close to it thematically. Memory, pain, loss, and the butterfly effect are again explored here; but, with no combat or traditional game mechanics to worry about, for far longer and in much more depth. The writing and acting are (a few blips aside) almost flawless. The atmosphere is incredible, in no small part thanks to the team's realisation that small, quiet, calm moments are just as important as plot-defining set pieces. There are in theory multiple endings, but really there are only two. Of those, I think one is easy to see as the 'true' ending – and that one made me cry. The only other game to ever achieve that is one of my all-time favourites, To The Moon. Although digital only in 2015, Life Is Strange sees a physical limited edition released in January 2016 (though not for last gen consoles) which includes commentary, an art book, and a selection from the sublime soundtrack. That will then leave you literally no reason to not buy the game.

FUN FACT: Ashly Burch, who puts in a stunning performance as your character's best friend Chloe, is also the voice behind Tiny Tina in Borderlands 2 and various minor voices in Adventure Time (for which she also does some writing work since season seven).

Life Is Strange at CeX

1: Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U)

Have I chosen this game just to be controversial? I feel confident that virtually anybody who's actually played the game will be happy to scream “NO, YOU MORON” in your face on my behalf. In fact, I'm gonna stick my neck out onto the internet's chopping block here, and declare Xenoblade Chronicles X the greatest open-world game made thus far (and yes, I am well aware that the GTA games exist). The world itself is huge, and lush, and detailed. Whereas other games boast of the size of their map and then fluff it out with dull and empty fields, deserts and forests, Xenoblade Chronicles X ensures that every turn has something to show you. Something to gawp at, or discover, or fight, or explore, or collect, or investigate. The story is interesting but the script, to be honest, isn't the greatest. There are some surprises nonetheless, and it's all more than enough to keep you engaged for the many, many, many, many hours you'll need to see even half of what the game has to offer. If you have even the slightest interest in open world games or RPGs – or, ideally, both - this is totally worth buying a Wii U for.

FUN FACT: On release in the UK, Xenoblade Chronicles X charted at 28th, because life is not fair.

Xenoblade Chronicles X at CeX

Luke Kemp

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Monday 28 December 2015

Monster High: New Ghoul in School

Snuck onto shelves just in time for the tail end of your Christmas shopping (or released well before you even start thinking about it if you're a bloke), Monster High: New Ghoul in School has been developed by Torus Games and out now on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, Wii, and 3DS. The problem with kids' licenses in the world of videogames is that, while things aren't as bad as they used to be, they're still sometimes used as a quick and lazy way to print money without worrying about making a game the kids will enjoy – and it can be very hard to even find reviews of these things. Just bear in mind the 3DS version may be different to all the others, and I haven't played that.

To answer one of the main questions: yes, this has definitely been produced on a budget that probably comes to only slightly more than I've spent on kebabs over the past year. Although it shows in a variety of ways, the main warning klaxons are avoided. Cheap kids games often have a frame rate so bad it makes your eyes bleed, but things are kept under control fairly well in that respect. There's a fair amount of voice acting here too (although it's one of those games where large chunks of the script are presented via subtitles only, one of the low budget signs) and, best I can tell, the original actors have all been brought in. Always a bonus. There are loads of characters from the franchise included, and all look as they should. That's some important boxes ticked already.

But how does it play? Well for one thing, there are only two areas – a fair reconstruction of Monster High itself, and a tiny space identified as your bedroom which, basically, acts as a stop-off point between school days. Each 'day' is split into morning, lunch, afternoon, and after school. You advance the day by attending a class – which means nothing more than entering a door, watching a clock whizz round a few hours, then seeing your character come back out again. Missions mostly consist of fetch quests, with the occasional minigame thrown in for good measure. You get around school by running, jumping climbing, and now and again moving a block to help get to an out-of-reach ladder or platform.

That doesn't sound like it makes for a particularly complicated game, and it doesn't; this is hardly an RPG. However – and I say this having seen my six and ten year old daughters play it for hours – it is a game that Monster High fans will love playing, and that's all that really matters. The script is a pleasant surprise, in that it has a few laughs and is overall superior to any Monster High TV movie that I've been subjected to. I sure hope you like the Monster High theme, though (“we are monsters, we are proud”), because you'll be hearing it a lot. It plays over the opening screen – fair enough – but it's also the only song that's ever played for the recurring 'fearleading' rhythm minigame. Did I mention the limited budget?

There are giant coins to collect throughout the school on the ground, on top of bookshelves, and even floating through the corridors. These are used in the Monstore (aaaargh) to buy new clothing. The character customisation is a nice touch that's been well implemented. Before entering Monster High, you can create your own character by choosing monster type (but not sex – you're the 'new ghoul' remember?), hairstyle, clothes, and skin colour/pattern. You're not nailed down to any of your choices either, being able to change any element as many times as you like given the right place and time. It may have been cheaply made, but this is a game that understands kids.

Monster High fans will draculove it. 4/5.


Luke Kemp

Monster High: New Ghoul in School at CeX

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Sunday 27 December 2015

Need for Speed

Sup bro *fist bump* so I’m guessing you’re here *fist bump* to find out if the new Need for Speed *fist bump* is any good? Yo check it! After taking a year out to spend extra time to develop the game, you’d expect it to come out and be a full-fledged satisfying street racing game. Well, dial your expectations back a bit. While it is a fun racing game, it still lacks in places and feels very much like a game that features a foundation on which the series can start releasing yearly again. 

Out now for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and developed by Ghost Games, Need for Speed boasts five ways to play. They are: speed, style, crew, build, and outlaw. While this sounds like the game will be expansive, asking you to play in completely different ways, the truth is much less interesting. Each way is headed by a character which gives you these events on the map. It’s all just too similar though with some of the events crossing over into one another making the different ways to play feel nothing more than a different colour on your map. 

The story attached to these events are delivered with FMV sequences. These start by feeling like a novelty, a different way to tell a story that may keep people interested, especially pre-pubescent teens who sees there are real people living and acting like these. Very quickly though it grates, then it gets a bit embarrassing, and eventually you cringe at every word mashing the skip button. Oh, and they really like to fist bump you and your crew – like in every cut scene. 

Gameplay feels like a mash-up of all the best elements of previous Need for Speed games. The open world of Ventura Bay looks stunning while a persistent night to early dawn constantly gracing the landscape. The wet roads also add to the visual flair and it’d be really hard to not be impressed by what you see. The customisation is deep and crazy and becomes so close to feeling like Need for Speed Underground except one thing: There are no options to add neon lights to the underside of the car which honestly made me kinda sad. They were so close of giving fans exactly what they wanted but just hold enough of it back to disappoint. 

While execution is fun for the most part, the design of some of the game is perplexing. First off, you have to be online and there’s pretty much no reason as to why this is needed. I hated it. Why? A couple of times I was in a race, one of which was the longest one in the game and as I finally took the lead with just a couple turns to go, a player in the game was coming the other way being chased by the cops and intentionally smashed into me head-on. What happened next could only be described as fury tears. I’d also be randomly dropped from the server after completing events and even just randomly driving around the city.

The game is surprisingly thin and lacks legs, like a man who lifts weights at the gym and nothing else (you just shouldn’t skip leg day). Everything worth doping can be done in less than a dozen or so hours. Once the events are done, there’s very little incentive to keep going. I saw the 100% in one of the ways to play and even though there were plenty of side events still to do, I just didn’t care about it anymore. While it’s good to have Need for Speed back but it very much feels like the beginning of another wave of wash, rinse, and repeat yearly sequels that will eventually need a reboot again. It’s can be quite fun but the best thing I can say about it is that next year’s Need for Speed will probably be great and that’s quite depressing. 

I’ve got the need . . . the need for something better 3/5.


Jason Redmond

Need for Speed at CeX

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Saturday 26 December 2015

5 Christmas Films That Aren’t Very Christmassy

There are a lot of films out there that take place during the festive season, but don’t really do anything to identify as Christmas films. We’re going to have a look at a few of these, and see what we could do to make them more festive.

Jurassic World

When the young Gray and Zach are at the airport about to leave their snowy home for the tropical Isla Nubla, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” plays. One can only assume this is done to strengthen the contrast between their cold, white home-life and the luscious green jungle they’re headed for. But there is absolutely no further reference to Christmas in the film. Weird. Do they not celebrate Christmas at Jurassic World? Why are there no decorations up? Too busy fucking with nature and creating genetically-engineered dinosaurs probably, the bastards.

How to make it more Christmassy – the film plays out like a Jurassic Park Holiday Special, with the dinosaurs performing a festive variety show and learning the true meaning of Christmas. Indominus Rex is particularly opposed to the festive season but the raptors and ol’ T-Rex convince him otherwise, as snow falls over Isla Nublar.

Jurassic World at CeX

Iron Man 3

Being directed by Lethal Weapon’s Shane Black, a man who always sets his films at Christmas, Iron Man 3 follows this tradition. But why? It adds nothing to the plot. It is purely for Shane Black’s tradition to live on. That’s great n’ all, but it makes for a throwaway setting that just made me question why. But don’t panic, ladies and gentlemen. I have an idea of how we can make Iron Man 3 a Christmas film for the ages.
How to make it more Christmassy – Ben Kingsley’s villain The Mandarin is in fact an angry terrorist Santa Claus, bitter about his festive workload. It’s up to Iron Man to remind him what Christmas is all about, through wise-cracking and general Robert Downey Jr-isms. Maybe we even get a MCU crossover scene in which we see the Avengers Christmas party, which Santa attends. He gets pissed and forgets his troubles. Everybody’s happy.

Iron Man 3 at CeX

Batman Returns

Despite being released in June as one of 1992’s summer blockbusters, Batman Returns takes place at Christmas. It has a rather good sequence involving Gotham’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, which descends into riot. But it isn’t a Christmas film. The festive setting seems almost coincidental, and certainly inconsequential. I suppose they just needed a cold setting for The Penguin to be able to wreak havoc in. I can’t imagine him waddling around in a Gotham heatwave…

How to make it more Christmassy – in the style of It’s A Wonderful Life, Batman decides to hang up his cape in a sort of superhero-suicide but his guardian angel Alfred shows him how bad Gotham would’ve been if he hadn’t been there to defend it. He realises he’d be wrong to give up and continues saving the day. This culminates in a big festive sing-song around the Gotham Christmas tree. Alfred quietly mutters to himself “my work here is done” and flies into the sky, heading for another galaxy that needs his help. Too much?

Batman Returns at CeX


Sure, Gizmo is a Christmas gift. The town is very festive. A few Gremlins sing Christmas carols. But outside of this, it’s more of a creature-feature horror meets 80s comedy. Sure it needs the winter setting for the quiet, snowy streets that the Gremlins run amok on. But does it need to be Christmas? Why not just early December?! How can we make this one a Christmas film, I hear you cry…

How to make it more Christmassy – A Gremlin Christmas Carol. Gizmo is Bob Cratchitt, Spike is Ebeneezer Scrooge. I leave the rest to your imagination. If the Muppets can do it, so can Gremlins!

Gremlins at CeX

Die Hard

The all-time classic non-Christmas Christmas film. There is no doubt that Die Hard is one of the finest action films in cinema history. But is it a Christmas film? Sure, it’s set at Christmas. But it has none of the cliché holiday cheer and Christmas spirit. While the debate will live on forever as to whether or not it’s a Christmas film, I have an idea of how we can definitely make it one.

How to make it more Christmassy – Change John McClane to Santa Claus, Nakatomi Plaza to the North Pole and the terrorists to radicalised elves. I call it Mince Pie Hard. I’m here all week.

Die Hard at CeX

Sam Love

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Friday 25 December 2015

The Top 5 Christmas Films

Christmas is upon us! Struggling to decide what films to watch, with the thousands of Christmas films out there to choose from? Understandable. But we at CeX don’t like you to struggle, so here are the 5 best festive flicks of all time. Watch all 5 and you’ll have a perfect Christmas – that’s a promise! 



Now a shocking 12 years old, Elf is showing no signs of ageing. You all know the story. Will Ferrell plays Buddy, a human raised by elves who finds himself in New York City searching for his true family. But his father Walter (James Caan) is on Santa’s naughty list due to his greed and selfishness as a child. Buddy most show him the true meaning of Christmas and reconnect with him in this family-friendly but not overly-cheesy Christmas classic!

Festive fun fact – When Elf’s screenplay first surfaced in 1993, Jim Carrey was attached for the lead role. It’s hard to imagine anyone but Ferrell in the role now.

Elf at CeX

Bad Santa

Bad Santa is described by The Washington Times as ‘Miracle on 34th Street’s evil twin’, which tells you all you need to know. Hilariously rude and offensive, Bad Santa isn’t for everyone but brought something new to the Christmas film genre – some balls. Billy Bob Thornton shines as the crude Willie Stokes, an alcoholic sex-addict who disguises as a department store Santa with the help of his dwarfed assistant Marcus (who disguises as an elf) to steal from the stores they’re working at.

Festive fun fact – Billy Bob Thornton admits to being genuinely very drunk during the filming. Talk about method acting…

Bad Santa at CeX

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

The third installment in the Vacation film series, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is extremely deserving of a spot on this list. Chevy Chase reprises his iconic role as Clark Griswold, ‘the last true family man’. As he scrambles to make the perfect Christmas for his family at home, things go from bad to worse in a series of increasingly unlucky situations. Consistently funny and continuing to hold up well after over 25 years, Christmas Vacation is a classic.

Festive fun fact
- The term "Griswold House," soon became a part of the American vernacular to describe a home that is overly decorated in a gaudy and tacky fashion for Christmas.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at CeX

The Muppet Christmas Carol

With countless adaptations of A Christmas Carol out there, one shines brightly as the best. The Muppet Christmas Carol, despite its comedic tone and frequent musical numbers, follows Dickens’s story closely with love and respect, and creates not only the best adaptation of the source but the second best Christmas film of all time. Altogether now; “There goes Mr. Humbug, there goes Mr. Grim,”…

Festive fun fact – Michael Caine considers his role in this film to be one of his best and most memorable performances. Rightly so.

Muppet Christmas Carol at CeX


It’s A Wonderful Life

It couldn’t be anything else, could it? It’s A Wonderful Life is not only the finest Christmas film, but one of the best films ever made. Telling the timeless story of George Bailey - a suicidal banker shown how different the world would be without him – the film is a perennial classic for its messages of love, family and the power of Christmas to bring people together. A true delight.

Festive fun fact - despite being set around Christmas, the film was shot during a heat wave. It got so hot that director Frank Capra gave everyone a day off to recuperate.
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen!

Merry Christmas to all my readers - I hope it is a time full of love, joy and fun. Stay safe and I’ll see you in the New Year!

It's a Wonderful Life at CeX

Sam Love


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Thursday 24 December 2015

CeX in Android Headline's "Top Ideas To Reuse Your Old Device"

Android Headlines names CeX as website that can help you sell you old phone for cash.

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The Top 5 Games Set At Christmas

It's that time of year for footsie blankets and spending time with the ones that you care about, but maybe that special time includes the finally having a few hours to get through your gaming backlog because work, school, or both has decided to be a greedy bastard and take all of your time. While you may be dying to explore the wasteland some more, or, like me, you just can't get enough of Rocket League, here are some other games that while they may not be directly about Christmas (because those game usually suck), there's no denying that they will give you that festive feeling while also having a complete game behind it. 

Batman: Arkham Origins

It was Christmas Eve babe in Arkham City, Black Mask set a bounty on the Dark Knight, but then he fought them off. So that’s enough wrestling words to the tune of Fairytale of New York. Batman: Arkham Origins is set five years before Arkham Asylum and sees Batman learn his ways of being the incredible vigilante he finally becomes. So where does Christmas come into this? You see, Arkham Origins takes place on Christmas Eve which explains why no one is one the streets and lights, trees, and decorations can be seen throughout the city and in buildings.

See Batman at CeX


Before he became known as the man behind the Metal Gear Solid franchise, independent developer Hideo Kojima created a cyberpunk graphic adventure game called Snatcher. This dystopian world has been overtaken by robots known as Snatchers to remove the last humans from the city. There’s even a scene in the game where your character dresses up as Santa to escape the evil robots that are after them. Christmas!

Die Hard Trilogy

Quite possibly the greatest Christmas movie ever had a Christmas game tie-in. Released in 1996, the Die Hard Trilogy was one of the most ambitious titles released at the time. It was a game that broke down into three completely different genres. This game was a driving game, a Third-Person Action game, and a light gun game, which I can assure you was all the rage in the mid-1990s. It didn’t look good or play particularly well but it was essentially three games in one based on the best Christmas movie ever.

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Duke: Nuclear Winter 

Duke Nukem 3D was a massive hit when it released both for its gameplay and its controversial content. Back in those times though, post-release content were substantial enough to be known as expansions. You may not know this but Duke Nukem 3D had an expansion set around Christmas time. Alien maggots have brainwashed Mr. Claus and you must take down these alien scum in order to save Christmas. Oh, and because it’s Duke Nukem expect some manly tones as he takes them down.

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Every MMO and MOBA still running

Yup, pretty much every single one of them have some sort of Christmas event going on right now. It might never specifically state “Christmas” but it will include words like “festive”, “Yuletide”, “presents”, and many words that will let you know exactly what to expect. RIFT? Tera? World of Warcraft? League of Legends? I can almost guarantee you that they all have something festive going on in their little code folders. Mounts with antlers, hats, colourful attire, and a bunch of other goodies to get you into the festive mood can all be found but . . . . Is it all worth it? It’ll come and go, hidden until the following year which never comes for so many MMOs and MOBA nowadays. 

If you want that magical feeling that this season brings but don’t want to play a game to get it then I recommend watching the intro cinematic of Fable II. It’s just magical. Happy Gamesmas!

Jason Redmond

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