Friday 29 June 2018

CeX is helping raise funds for Help for Heroes this Armed Forces day!

June 30th is Armed Forces day and CeX is helping raise funds for our charity partner, Help for Heroes! 

Help for Heroes is a non-political charity that supports those with injuries and illnesses attributable to their service in the British Armed Forces. 

No matter when someone served, Help for Heroes believes that those prepared to put their lives second, deserve a second chance at life. 

Each day, seven people are being medically discharged from the Armed Forces and their lives will change forever. In an instant, these highly-trained individuals will lose the camaraderie, purpose, and career which has been their life. 

Every course and activity Help for Heroes offers aims to empower them to look beyond illness and injury, regain their purpose, reach their potential and have a positive impact on society. 

To find out more about Help for Heroes and how you can help, visit their website at

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Wednesday 27 June 2018

CeX Kurla Has Moved!

Our store is now located at:
G-33B, Lower Ground Floor, Phoenix Market City,
Opposite Max, Kurla (West)
Come & check out our new store for the best variety of gaming and gadgets!

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E3 2018 Roundup

With each year it seems as though we get shown more and more games, that are lingering on the horizon. As a self-confessed gaming nerd, this is my Champions League, my Wrestlemania, my Superbowl. Narrowing this list down wasn't easy. Here are 20 games, that have my attention. (In no real order).

Fallout 76

Set in 2102, you're an inhabitant of Vault 76, the first Vault to be opened. The trailers show off a bunch of new enemy types (The game takes from West Virginia folklore). There was a Giant angry Sloth and a Mothman and vegetation seems to have survived the blast. The map is apparently four times larger than Fallout 4 and has sixteen times the detail. The game is fully Online and every person you meet will be someone real. Bethesda are aiming for between 24-32 people per server. it is possible to play on your own, you’re just more likely to survive with others, as dozens of other people will occupy the wasteland and other people are generally asshats, online. Death isn't the loss of progression and progression carries over between servers. The building mechanic, from Fallout 4, makes a return but you can now build and move it to wherever you want. In what feels like an odd shift of tone for the series, there are atomic bombs scattered across the map. You can find them and do what you want with them. You need to find the codes to launch them first though. Due out 14th Nov but there will be a Beta “Break-it-Early-Test-Applications” before it’s out.

Cyberpunk 2077

Hacked it's way into the show, with lots of little in-jokes about the gaming industry and information about the game itself. The game looks amazing but, sadly, still no real gameplay available to the public and was only shown behind closed doors. The trailer is accompanied by some ace music by DJ Hyper, which perfectly captures the vibe of the games cyberpunk aesthetic. Unlike Bethesda, bragging about the size of their new map, CD Projekt Red hide within the text of the trailer that they have no idea how big the game is. They just know it’s big.

Last of Us 2

The trailer started out happy and you know this can't last long, as it transitions from a dance into some sneaky sneaky gameplay, much Metal Gear Solid, as Ellie takes out some human enemies. This game looks crazy good. Almost too good. The original is nearly five years old, now.

Death Stranding

Shows that Norman Reedus is an extreme delivery man and does a lot of scavenging. In an eight minute (gameplay?) trailer, that wasn’t giving much of anything away. Still, no idea what this is. Still, want it.

Ghost of Tsushima

This game looks beautiful… and I’m not one to use that word often. Kurosawa was clearly an inspiration in the presentation of this game. There are endless fields of flowers, the leaves shuffle and float as you walk, or fight, over them. Sword fighting looks very satisfying, too. You play as the samurai Jin, during the Mongol invasion (of Japan). I think I've found the game to fill the Tenchu gap.

Resident Evil 2: Remake

Daaaaamn, this looks ace. Running on the new RE engine, that RE7 was built on, graphics and zombies look outstanding. Leon’s face looks a little weird and Claire doesn’t have her jacket, but I can’t wait for this. RE2 is still my favourite, in the series. Zombies now take limb damage, so it’s possible to shoot off arms and legs… for strategic reasons. The beats of the story have been kept the same but the police station and the way things play out have all been rejigged, to change it up slightly. The police station now has toilets.

Doom Eternal

Hell yeah, more Doom. Some meaty Mick Gordon music teases us over the short trailer showcasing some new demons. Set on a hellbound Earth, with twice as many demons to fight. More is to be shown at QuakeCon, later this year.

Forza Horizon 4

Is this time set in Britain, with changing seasons. I didn’t think it was possible to look any better than Horizon 3 but somehow they’ve pulled it off and also got it running at 4K60. Cars look really slidey (arcadey). Where’s all the traffic, though?


Very little was shown, of Control, but it was enough to make an impression. It basically looks like Chris Nolan: The game. Lots of weird bendy environments and weapons. Being made by 505 and Remedy (Quantum Break and Max Payne).

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Is a welcome mashup of Bloodborne and Tenchu. From Software (Dark Souls, Tenchu) team up with Activision, which is weird. Two ninja (ish) games in the same years. I’ll still need to keep wishing for a new Otogi.

Devil May Cry 5

Had been rumoured for a little while now, and we finally got to take a first look…. And it looks as cheesy as ever. Starring a younger looking Nero, who looks like a white haired Cody Rhodes, with a tech arm beating up a streetful of monsters, at the same time as driving. With a brief glimpse of a stubbly Dante, at the end. Also running on the RE engine.


Gets a lengthy demo, displaying a section of the game that shows off a bunch of the bad guys. Electro, (who sounds like Gilbert Godfrey), Rhino, Falcon, Scorpion and Mr Negative, making up five of the Sinister Six. I’ve been waiting for a decent Spiderman game, since the second movie tie in. I hope this is it.

Kingdom Hearts 3

Showed two trailers. One goes all Frozen, with a talking snowman, and the second showing off a bunch of the new World's and had a bit more of a focus on The Pirates of the Caribbean. Jack Sparrow and crew’s in-game models looked great. Seems the wait for Kingdom Hearts 3 could be nearly over, with a date of Jan 29th, people have only been waiting for twelve years, since the end of KH2; and five since it’s originally reveal, at E3 2013.

Mario Party

Makes a return, and dropped the stupid idea of everyone going around the board together, simultaneously. As you’d expect, there’re a bunch of new mini games and ways to play; including putting Switch screens together to create more stage layouts. I’m sure this will start more arguments than the cheesy trailer lets on.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate

This game took up the majority of the Nintendo Direct, with Masahiro Sakurai going into great detail about all the new changes to his latest in the line of Smash games. 65 characters were shown. "Everyone is here" including the announcement of Ridley, from the Metroid series and, as given away with the original announcement trailer, Inklings are now playable. A lot of Moves have been tweaked and new Final Smash moves have been added. All stages now have an infinite abyss version and most importantly of all, Gamecube pads will be supported (using the same adapter as the Wii U. Smash is set for a  Dec 7th launch.

Battlefield V (5)

Which looks amazing, as soldiers run through the snow and the destructive environment explodes all around them. Single player seems to be War Stories, again, which I think worked well in BF1, so I’m okay with that. Dice show some gameplay from the online mode. You can now build things, like sandbag walls and gun turrets. There are no loot boxes and no premium pass. Only Custom characters cosmetics. A Battle Royal mode is set to be added to the game. likely at a later date


This is Bioware’s big new game we’ve all eagerly been waiting on some more information on, since it’s reveal last year. While we got some, it’s also left more questions. A new 'In engine’ trailer and some supposed gameplay made up what was shown, followed by a sit-down panel with the Devs... which was a bit weird. Individually you get your own hub world, where the story revolves around your character. The rest is a shared world, between all players. While people keep saying it’s not, to me it still sounds like Destiny or Monster Hunter. Javelin, the suits you wear in the world, are Customisable. There are four kinds of Javelin - Ranger, Colossus, Interceptor and Storm. Basically, these are character class. Microtransactions will only be for cosmetic items. It’s possible to play solo but it will be a little harder. Only showed a location that looked quite similar to what was shown last year and none of the rest of the world. Can only hope this isn't another Mass Effect Andromeda case.

I left these three for last, as they are all a long, long time away.

Halo Infinite

Was teased by Microsoft to open their show. The video was more a demonstration of 343 Studios new game engine, named Slip Space. It looks really pretty and looks to accommodate large open environments with tons of stuff going on. I'm not convinced that was running on Xbox One. Was it possibly a sneaky look into next gen?


Bethesda’s long rumoured sci-fi game. All we got was just a shot of space and a satellite. Now we all need to wait for Quakecon to find out more.

And even further out is:

Elder Scrolls VI

Just a touch of the tip. A view of the map and some music. No info or hint of a location. We're gonna be waiting for years. T_T

Bry Wyatt

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SEGA Mega Drive Classics ★★★☆☆

Sega does what Nintendon't. Release a piss poor rendition of their classic games, with a defective emulator riddled with audio glitches and sprite issues.

The idea of having a bunch of your childhood favourite games, in a single collection, should fill one with joyous squees. And partly, it does. There's a decent selection of games presented within a virtual kids bedroom, designed by Dt3, aiming at a nostalgia trip. (I don't remember anyone's room looking anything like this, to be honest. That could just be because everybody I knew shared a room with their siblings). Being able to customise the room, a little, would have been a nice feature. Change the posters on the walls or something, but I guess as an interactive main menu, it serves it's purpose. For anyone that owns Sega Room, on Steam, It's a straight up port of that with a few lighting differences and a 50+ game collection is already padded out, on your bookshelf. Games in the collection include the ones below, plus more!

Not a bad assortment, and it's nice to have the Toejam & Earl and Gunstar Heroes included, for once. A few there to knock the numbers up and not likely to be played. Sadly there are also some glaring omissions, like Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles, Ecco the Dolphin, and OutRun all neglected from the set. Sonic 3 is likely down to a music licence issue, with Sega having to pay royalties on their own game. Personally, I hate Ecco the Dolphin, but it's a bit of a favourite among many. I'm sure a few of these will appear as a DLC pack, possibly with some other games, at some point. I'd also like some of the third party games, like Road Rash 2, Chuck Rock, Zool, Cool Spot, James Pond 2 and Micro Machines. Probably just wishful thinking, though.

It's a shame, then, that the emulator itself, running on Unity, struggles to play these games to a decent standard. There are frequent stutters in the gameplay like the emulator's trying to catch up, to itself. Sprites often failed to load in correctly and were sometimes partly invisible. Collision detection was also a little wonky, at times (maybe something to do with the sprite issue?) and so, so many audio problems; from the music sounding like a low quality ZX Spectrum rendition, to sound effects just sounding like horrible digital farming noise or failing to play at all. On the positive side, the emulator offers a few post visual filters. I find that these make the games look slightly like a mosaic and stick to the original pixel art, myself, but I can see how some people may prefer these options. (heathens). The ability to jump out of a game and instantly start another, - once you realise Alter Beast isn't as good as you remember- is quite nice. A perk of emulation is the option for having Save States, so you can come back and finish the game without having to leave the console on and hoping that your parents don't come along and turn it off. One of the surprising features and one that I look forward to using a bit more is the ability to play the games multiplayer, online. Neglecting the need to have a friend present, at your house, because who wants social interaction when you could just talk with headsets.

No emulator is a perfect replacement for the real thing, but I've played these games, with better results, on far less demanding machines. Hopefully, all these issues can be fixed, with a patch, as there is no reason a PS4 or an Xbox One should struggle to run a game that came out twenty years ago. It's a shame that currently, in most ways, the Mega Drive Collection, on the last generation of consoles (360/PS3), is the superior edition. That also had Master System and Arcade versions of select games to unlock, too.

Bry Wyatt

SEGA Mega Drive Classics at CeX

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Tuesday 26 June 2018

Dragon’s Crown Pro ★★★★☆

In the early days of gaming, when we were happy to be stuck to the floor of the local Arcade, by what I hope was spilt Coke, there was an abundance of Scrolling Beat 'em ups. Every company was trying to cash in on the success of Double Dragon and Final Fight. Capcom made some of the best, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, The Punisher, Alien vs Predator and the legendary Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara, while Konami took everyone's money with Turtles in Time. My favourite still goes to Sega's Streets of Rage 2, for the Mega Drive. With the transition to 3D and the sad demise of the Arcade, the genre I once loved, fizzled out. Not that people didn't try making new games, they were just generally quite bad with the odd exception, like Guardian Heroes, for the Saturn. Mostly though, they all came out like The Bouncer...

With the resurgence in retro fandom and the influx of the indie scene, within the last couple of generations, the genre has started to poke it's head out again. The small studio Behemoth master crafted Castle Crashers and Vanillaware gave us Dragon's Crown.

Taking inspiration from the aforementioned D&D: Shadow over Mystara, Dragon's Crown is a frantic Hack 'n' slash Action Rpg, scrolling brawler; set in a medieval Fantasy world with a very peculiar and unique art style. Like the rest of Vanillaware games, everything is their infamous hand-drawn art style which aside from the protagonists, drawn by someone's puerile idea of human anatomy, it is very pretty to look at. I'm fairly sure Vanillaware's character artist skipped all their life drawing lessons, at art school.

After a lengthy and gruelling, but sort of necessary, opening tutorial you're finally able to start Quests, picked up from the guild, and begin hacking your way through intricately designed and animated enemies. One of the strongest, and essentially so, elements of gameplay are the fighting mechanics. Each class of hero has its own play style, with new moves and abilities to learn as you progress and level up. You can team up and venture out with up to three other adventurers or, for those that don't have friends, let the computer control them. The screen does get a little overcrowded, at times, with four big heroes on screen plus the hordes of enemies and everyone's attack animations flying about, though.

A feature of the game I really like, and one that's often overlooked, is the ability of Cross Play between systems. So even that friend who still owns a PS3 and has no intention of getting a PS4 can join you online to take down nests of Griffins, with their hero of choice and physic defying boobs. Then transfer your cloud save to a PS Vita and continue the journey on the move.

Bry Wyatt

Dragon’s Crown Pro at CeX

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Monday 25 June 2018

The Foreigner ★★★★☆

The Foreigner is Jackie Chan’s first Western release since 2010, and time hasn't been kind to the martial arts star. He looks great for somebody is his mid 60’s, but he's clearly now old enough to play a subtler role convincingly. The role suits his now unassuming stature, causing him to believably shuffle around with less grace than an elderly relative with gout. The film follows Quan (Chan), who leads a simple existence in London with his daughter. She gets caught up in an act of terrorism, with a group of IRA dissidents responsible for ending her life in a bomb blast. (It's loosely based on a 1992 novel named the Chinaman, which explains why the Irish bogeyman takes the stage.)

Quan opts for vengeance, taking on the cell’s backers at their source in the Republic. (Although not before attempting to bribe the head investigator in London to give him the names of those responsible.) The audience has an idea of the skills he has in reserve, but he's disregarded by most of the characters he meets along the way. They soon learn the error of their ways, as he doggedly continues his pursuit of those responsible. Pierce Brosnan takes on a starring role as former IRA deputy minister Liam Hennessy, keen to enhance his role in the government by any means necessary. He thinks Quan is the least of his problems, and the pressure begins to mount on all facets of his life as time wears on.

“The foreigner” ramps up the pressure on the politician, while time is also running out in the English capital. The B plot follows the remainder of the terrorist cell, trapped in a London flat with little hope of escape. They're planning to set off more explosives, with the police desperately searching for them. It’s been a long time since the heyday of Goldeneye and Rumble in the Bronx, but there’s still life left in a pair of actors that have nothing left to prove.  With innumerable twists and turns until the final act, it's one you’ll have to pay attention to if you want to fully appreciate what’s going on. The Foreigner is no ‘Jackie Chan’ film, with a distinct lack of humour and a deadly serious tone.

Ladder based combat and improvised jacket tactics are always fun, but there's a time and a place for the stuntman of yesteryear. While there are no quips, it's understandable when the main character is a semi-mute, lonely man who just lost the one person in his life that he truly cared about. It’s a chance for Chan to show his range, while Brosnan oozes sleaze, like an anti-Bond. 

There's no suspension of belief, and it’s easier to watch once you get used to the gritty realism. With a combined age of 128, they may have more wrinkles than the world’s oldest Shar Pei, but age is only a number. It’s a slow burner, but it’s worth the effort to stick with it as the tension builds to breaking point.

James Millin-Ashmore

The Foreigner at CeX

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Sunday 24 June 2018

Fear Effect Sedna ★★★☆☆

The Fear Effect series divided audiences from the very beginning. The original PSX games were reasonably popular for their time, helped by a sequel which featured adverts focusing on the exploits of the two lesbian protagonists in a voyeuristic manner that would likely cause a mud wrestling promoter to blush. (The advertising campaign for FE2 literally had one straddled atop of the other in their underwear, with the tagline; ‘No one’s surprised this story is capable of thirteen climaxes’.) 

On the other hand, the edginess was probably a sign of the times, and the game earned extra notoriety and publicity after annoying pearl-clutches across the US and the UK. Despite the last iteration coming out way back in 2001, it wasn’t difficult to drum up interest in a new game, even if it had to be significantly pared back compared to the originals. A successful Kickstarter campaign raised over €100,000 thanks to over 2500 backers,  ensuring the return of Hana, Rain, Deke and Glas on modern consoles.

Sushee is a smaller studio, and the developers have been quick to stress that Sedna isn't an AAA release like its forebears. That helps to explain the isometric viewpoint, as well as a number of additional limitations in comparison to the older games. Aside from the characters and the setting itself, it’s completely unrecognisable compared the PSX versions. The combat has been revamped to fit the new perspective, so you control your team by exploring areas in a style similar to other isometric titles. 

You’ll be killing off random mooks you find along the way, while there are items to grab and difficult puzzles to solve. The AI isn’t the best in shootouts, (be it friend or foe) but it’s still fun to clear a room by using a combination of grenades and a flamethrower. Each character has special weapons and moves if you’re more interested in the tactical side of things, but enemies will still storm at you mindlessly most of the time. It gets repetitive after a while, and highly frustrating when your allies just aren’t helping during boss fights. This is pretty much the only time I had to use the tactical pause features, to make sure each character was firing on all cylinders. 

Others have complained about the voice acting, which is best described as faithful to the originals. That being said, it has been well received by most backers, who had a clear idea of what they were in for since the beginning. There’s a clear understanding of the source material, causing the anti-heroes to be just as obnoxious as they ever were. The game itself is also steeped in mythology, and there’s a clear purpose to the story at all times.

Overall, there’s a clear tradeoff. Sedna would probably be buried and forgotten within a couple of weeks without the Fear Effect name attached. On the other hand, while most fans would have preferred a full-blooded third instalment, Sedna is certainly better than nothing, and it’s more than a ploy to remove money from wallets by dishing out a large dollop of 2000’s nostalgia. It’s nowhere near perfect, but far from unplayable. 

Final Score: Near Effect!

James Millin-Ashmore

Fear Effect at CeX

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Saturday 23 June 2018

A Way Out ★★★★☆

Console co-op experiences are few are far between, so A Way Out is an interesting proposition. The prison escape game has no solo campaign and no form of traditional online matchmaking. Instead, you’re able to send an invite to anyone on your friends list, and after a short download, they’ll be able to jump online to play along with you. It’s a novel idea, helping to get rid of most of the problems that arise when attempting to play a game with friends. There's no worrying about trade-in prices or additional costs, and you won't have to enter the experience with a random child from another country. (I’m looking at you, Fortnite.)

Keeping in line with the co-op focus, you’ll have to choose which of the two main protagonists is under your control, with the decision locked in thereafter. There’s the calm and collected Vincent Moretti, just starting a stretch for a range of crimes which culminated in murder. Leo Caruso is the second option, representing a more traditional type of career criminal. He's tougher and more aggressive, with previous experience of prison life and a surly demeanour to boot. Both men have different strengths and weaknesses, and you'll have to work as a team to have any hope of unlocking one of the better endings for the duo. The two escapees are often separated in some shape or form, with the camera split through the middle so you can always see what the other is up to. 

Gameplay involves a typical array of ATB style events, coupled with a puzzle or two to solve. They're not the most taxing of tasks, but gameplay often takes a backseat to accommodate telling the story as fluidly as possible. With only 6-8 hours on offer, it's probably best served in a sitting or two. The length is reflected in the accessible price tag, and it's not long enough to get repetitive. That being said, there's not much room for replayability, despite the option to do it all again from the perspective of the other half of the duo or to aim for a different ending.

The world is also vaguely empty, and there's little to do aside from working towards whatever objective is presented to you at the time. When you study the rules of the universe, it's not a particularly complex game, but that doesn't detract from the overall feel. When it works; it's one of the best ways to spend time with a friend. Be it desperately trying to avoid the glare of guards on patrol, or fighting off half of the prison when things go awry at the beginning.

If you have a particular gaming partner in mind, it's well worth having a look at one of the better co-op titles of recent years. You'll only have to send them an invite to get started, and the story grips you from the very beginning. It's nowhere near perfect, and it'll never live up to the hype it saw before release, but A Way Out is still worth spending a rainy afternoon or two with, even if it’ll be gathering dust forever after.

James Millin-Ashmore

A Way Out at CeX

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Nokia 1 ★★☆☆☆

HMD Global has been launching all kinds of new phones & legacy Nokia phones as well for the past couple of years. This time they decided to launch the cheapest Android smartphone running Android 8.1 Oreo, The Nokia 1.

At first glance, you’ll realise why it’s a sub £80 phone. It’s all plastic, has a dull 4.5” screen (with more bezels than screen!), 5MP rear camera, barely there front camera, 8GB of memory of which you can use only 4GB & 1 GB RAM with a Mediatek Processor. What am I gonna do with so much power!? That being said, the back of the Nokia 1 is replaceable with “xpress-on” covers that HMD sell similar to legacy Nokia phones. It does have Dual SIM support, a removable battery & a Micro-SD card slot, 4G, Wi-FI and most importantly a 3.5mm jack. Sadly though, on the inside of the phone, there’s not much you can do.

The Nokia 1 runs on the Android Oreo Go edition which is the scaled down version of the Android Oreo, for budget phones that still need the latest software. The phone does support regular apps like Twitter, FB, Whatsapp etc. but Google has provided special lite variants of their in-house apps like Youtube Go, Maps Go, Google Go and so on. These apps are a hit and a miss and would not give all features you’d be used to when using on a normal Android phone. The user experience overall was laggy & it kept throwing quite a few crashes/errors. Hopefully, upcoming software updates would fix these issues. A useful feature is the Glance Screen where notifications are displayed on the lock screen even when the display is off, which is not something you’d expect on a device in this price range.

The rear camera can only click in natural light, you’ll need to take studio lighting wherever you go if you want any clicks indoors or in low light! The front camera is slow and average. Video recording maxes out at 720p so do not attempt to use it unless you want your videos to look like being shot in the 90s! 

In conclusion, the phone is only useful if you are coming from a feature phone to the world of smartphones or if you need a secondary phone with basic features. The Xiaomi Redmi series of budget phones is a better option in this price range.

Pritesh Khilnani
Nokia 1 at CeX

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Wednesday 20 June 2018

Best of Nintendo Switch - May 2018

Have you watched our latest Nintendo Switch review yet?

Check out the latest and greatest for the month of May
brought to you by Sir Thomas Baker!

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CeX @ Q-Con Belfast

Come see us at this weekend's Q-Con Belfast and check out our awesome pop-up store!
Q-Con takes place at Queen's University, Belfast 22nd - 24th June. We are located within the trade hall.

You can drop by to say “Hi!”, check out our treasure trove of goodies, and of course, buy, sell & exchange to your heart's content. Check out our photo competition of fans and cosplay aficionados who've visited our store and vote for your favourites from Monday onwards. The top 3 will win a £250, £150 or £50 voucher (voting ends 24th )! 

What are you waiting for? Come down and party!

Can't make the event? No worries, you can also see what's happening via our Instagram feed and Twitter (@CeX)


Team CeX

Post by CeX.

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Tuesday 19 June 2018

CeX Chennai VR is NOW OPEN!

We’ve just opened a brand new store in Chennai and it’s packed to the rafters with Games and Gadgets. Feel free to swing by, say "hey!" and see what CeX has brought to the table.

Check us out for all your buy, sell, exchange and geeky needs!

Find us at:
S-15, 2nd Floor, VR Mall
P Koil Street No 44, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Anna Nagar
Tamil Nadu

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Friday 8 June 2018

Onrush ★★★★★

Welcome to Onrush. A three-way lovechild of Motorstorm, Burnout and Overwatch. Birthed during a violent coke binge, with gummy worms and sherbet saucers. Evo Studios, formally Evolution Studios, are no strangers to racing games, having previously made the Playstation exclusives Driveclub and, the much missed, MotorStorm. Onrush is an entirely different beast and their first multiplatform game that keeps with the studio's tradition of putting two words together with no space in-between. There's no coming first, in Onrush, as you're not exactly racing. More striving to gain the upper hand, over the opposition. Sticking and working together as a pack, with your team, to outdrive, outmanoeuvre, outscore and wreck the rivals, is the goal. Learning every possible route of the map becomes equally and just an integral as learning the nuances of each vehicle type.

Vehicles are split into four classes, light to Heavy, with two in each class. Each with their own set of advantages and perks. All vehicles come with Boost. Burning off Boost feeds your Rush tank. Hitting Rush sends you into a destructive rage while omitting a blue aura, giving you exceptional speed and velocity to spearhead through the rivals, while also giving off your chosen vehicle’s unique perk. Onrush consists of four main game types. During Countdown everyone needs to get through as many of the checkpoints as possible, to delay the team's timer from dropping to zero and losing the round. This causes some great stampeding herd moments, as everyone attempts to try simultaneous occupy the same space. Overdrive is a test of speed. Take big jumps, risky manoeuvres and smash the other cars, off the track, to keep the Boost meter filled; keeping a combo going for as long as possible to earn more points faster than the orange team. Lockout works similar to King of the Hill, with all combatants trying to catch up and take control of a moving zone. Lastly, there's Switch. Every player gets three lives to take out the opposing team. The catch is you switch vehicle class each time you wreck; starting from the lightest, the bikes and ending the heavyweights. These modes will be taught to you through Superstar, which works as a single player mode Campaign, forcing some not really necessary story into the game but more importantly, teaching all the rules of the game and giving you a chance to try out each of the vehicles, game types and maps without the judgemental eyes of those online.

Quickplay is your standard, join a random game online. Unlike a lot of games, however, this works extremely well. I’ve never had to wait for players to join and been left waiting, in a lobby.

The magic of Onrush is under the hood, so to speak. The game's engine allows for an insane amount of things to be happening at any one time, while things you wouldn't generally even notice are happening, simultaneously. Water will pool as it rains and snow will get deeper, during a blizzard. Dirt and snow will get stuck and build up between tyre treads and your vehicle will amalgamate a buildup of dynamic dirt and damage. All this while running at a nearly flawless 60 FPS. The soundtrack of Onrush helps fuel the feeling of its intensity and speed, much the same way as the Wipeout series has always utilised an EDM soundtrack. With Evo's partnering with Ninja Tune, they were able to use many of their top artists; including one of my personal favourites, The Qemists. The dynamic way the audio shifts as you Wreck. Faze in or get some air, and graciously freewill after launching off a cliff’s edge and land, crushing an unsuspecting rival, adds to the overall impact.

I can see Onrush as being a game I’ll keep coming back to, over time, for a few races before turning off my machine and to fill the gap between other games. This will be this generation's SSX.

-There isn't a pat on the back, for being at the front of the pack-

Bry Wyatt

Onrush at CeX

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Tuesday 5 June 2018

Apple WWDC 2018

It’s that time of year again where Apple gives us a glimpse of what's in store for their products in the near future. A show all about software, Apps and Updates, to make your current devices run slow, enticing you into the upgrade culture that is Apple. Next month (July) marks the App Stores tenth birthday. The app store is the world's largest app marketplace, with 500 million visitors, per week, bringing in a colossal $100 Billion.

iOS11 supported devices “as far back as 2013's iPhone 5s”, which wasn’t really that long ago, to be honest, and then Craig Federighi compares this to Android, who are mocked for not having an updated model. Notably, Craig doesn't point out that the iOS updates are adding features that Android has already had, for several years, and supports devices dating back a lot further without bogging the phone's hardware, but I digress. This is all about iOS12, with promises of doubling down on performance, for older models. He’s slightly vague on what he means by this but said it's supported by anything that could run iOS11 with a focus on the oldest (2013) devices. iOS12 will help older iPhones, like the 6 plus, launch Apps up to 40% faster and the keyboard to be displayed up to 50% faster, while the camera, which was already pretty good, will be accessible up to 70% faster. Gotta go fast.

-Augmented Reality (AR) A new smaller file type, called USDZ, has been created; supported by most of the big name 3D software developers. AR essentially allows you to play out the Ikea scene from Fight Club, in real life. I got to play a few iPad AR games, back at EGX, and they were quite cool. I'm interested in where the tech can go as it develops at a rapid pace. Lego are onboard with Apple's AR dream, turning Lego sets into an Augmented Reality Sim like Bullfrog’s old Theme Park games. I can see this being big with kids.

-Photo Apps - New recognition technology is a bit scary. Recognising your pets, friends and inanimate objects, for ease of searching and tagging them in the pictures.

-Siri is capable of using new shortcuts and the shortcuts app allows you to essentially macro a bunch of App commands together and make custom shortcuts for your own convenience.
Siri also attempts to take over your life and starts predicting suggestions based on your daily habits. “Time for your morning coffee, Dave”.

-Ibooks has dropped the “I” and is now called apple books.

-Car Play, For safe hands-free, while driving, is now compatible with third party Apps, so Apple users no longer need to get lost with Apple Maps.

-Measure is a new app that lets you measure objects in three dimensions and will automatically detect rectangles. Good if you’re going travelling, I guess.

-Screen Time will keep track of how long you spend on your phone and which apps are sucking up your time and making you a slave to your devices. Seems like a decent idea as a parental control.

-Memoji allows the user to create and use their own face, as an emoji. Sounds like Mii universe and looks like an Xbox avatar. I know someone who’s going to love this. How long before its possible to use someone else's face, in real time, and frame them for things. There’s a lengthy live demo of how emojis work... (No wonder this conference is over two hours long). Went and made a drink. Came back and it was still an emoji demo. With the power of iOS 12, your devices will now recognise when you’re poking out your tongue.

-FaceTime gets a useful upgrade, with Group Facetime, now supporting up to 32 people, simultaneously, across devices. This is shown off with another lengthy demonstration of face chat and another chance to show off those new Memoji’s and the Animoji’s.

Apple Watch saves lives. So that’s good. The new Watch OS5 updates the Health App with an Awards system, like Xbox Achievements for your Health App, for reaching milestones. New Runner features are also implemented, such as Rolling mile (how fast you ran your previous mile) and Cadence (how many steps, per minute). The Apple Watch will also now automatically detect when you start a workout, in case you forget to set it, and end of the workout.

-Walkie Talkie is an App that sets your phone back thirty years so you can send each other voice messages, in real time… or you know, just call them.

-Siri has been upgraded with new shortcuts and third-party App support. Siri no longer requires the need to say, “Hey Siri”... Because apple are always listening. This seems like it might cause a bunch of involuntary activations and phone calls. 

I thought this was already doable, but Apple have added Podcasts support, from your watch. The future is here.

Someone called Jules demos the new features of the Apple Watch, while she gets to work on closing her rings. A pretty cool looking new Pride wrist strap and background are available now.

Apple TV has seen a 50% year on year growth. A statistic I found odd as I don’t know anyone with an Apple TV. Could be an American statistic. Last year tvOS brought 4k HDR to the service. This year it adds Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. Apple TV is the only player to support Dolby Vision and Atmos... providing you have the hardware required. Any Movies you currently own, through Apple TV, will be upgraded for free, to 4K. Which seems like a decent deal.

-Live sports and News have also been added, as well as the ability to stream from certain locations, such as the ISS, so you can watch the Earth from Space. So that should piss off some Flat Earthers. You can also do all this with new controls from your phone.

Finally, onto the last part of the conference and, to be honest, there’s not much to say. I wasn’t impressed by any of it. Mac OS. The big news was the naming of OS Mojave (moe-harv-A).

-App Store gets a makeover. Not much to say. It's an App store.

-Dark Mode which, unless I’m missing something, basically changes the theme, making all the desktop and windows shade of grey.

A new Gallery view, with a quick view at the bottom and a large preview window above, for looking at all your pr0n. Metadata (any data related to the picture, i.e. file size, date created…) is also added, in your sidebar. Something Windows has had since 2001.

-Voice memos sync from iCloud between your Apple devices.

-Home gives you access to thermostats, lights and CCTV cameras, or anything else you may have connected. Allowing you to control your home like Hal 9000. Apple intends to extend protection, to stop apps accessing data and also add a new Ad Blocker that they seem to be making a bigger deal about than necessary like they just invented the thing. All of this is available this Fall (Autumn) and Developer beta versions are available now.

Dark Mode or Riot!
Bry Wyatt

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Monday 4 June 2018

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ★★★★★

Feelin’ Funky?

Despite its status as a notorious failure, the Wii U did have a few hidden gems when it came to first party game releases, and 2014’s Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze was one of the best and most underrated. Thankfully, like many games from that generation, it's been granted a second chance at life on the Nintendo Switch - a console that people… you know, actually bought. 

But after 4 years, will the return of Donkey Kong be as sweet as a ripe banana, or will playing it feel like a barrel to the head?


The Good

As expected, the game plays just as well on the Switch as it did on the Wii U; Nintendo perfected the ‘faux 3D’ 2D side-scroller over 20 years ago on the SNES, and that formula is still just as enjoyable in the post-apocalyptic wasteland of 2018. Every background pops with gorgeous textures and animations, every enemy feels original and every victory feels hard earned (more on that later). 

But what if you’re one of the half a dozen gamers that have already played the game on the Wii U? Well, the Switch version is still worth a gander as it includes the brand new ‘Funky Mode’, in which you play as Funky Kong, Donkey’s cool, wrap-around sunglasses wearing uncle. When controlling Funky, you enjoy additional hearts, refreshed items and the option to skip levels, making for a far more accessible experience, particularly for younger players.

The Bad

And it’s a good job Nintendo decided to include this new, more casual mode as the base game might have you throwing a temper tantrum in public. At times, it’s positively punishing, with controls feeling a little sloppy on occasion, meaning some aspects of the game require trial and error rather than a satisfying, deliberate learning curve. Certainly not enough to make this a bad game, but enough to be intermittently infuriating.

The Verdict

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze on the Nintendo Switch is just as beautiful and as fun as the original with additional accessibility making it more Mario than Dark Souls. With that being said, still expect the occasional urge to throw your joy cons at the nearest wall.

Sir Thomas Baker

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze at CeX

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