Five years, that’s how long it has taken for Remedy to get Alan Wake onto a disc and have it ready for us to play, it really does seem like longer than that doesn’t it? If you are to compare the announcement trailer shown at E3 2005 it’s not really an issue for me that it took the amount of time to be completed, the concept has obviously kept fundamental themes, but there is a very different game to be had in the final release.

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So here we are once again, enjoying the next instalment in the Final Fantasy series. With the thirteenth iteration, the series is just entering its troubling teens, but really the series is far from experiencing an identity crisis. Spanning a total of three discs, Final Fantasy XIII is the first single-player Final Fantasy title to make it to this generation of consoles.

Square Enix are well known for their amazing CG cut scenes, having produced two feature-length films in their time. FFXIII stays true to form. The in-game graphics are nothing to sneeze at either. It’s the best looking Final Fantasy game to date.

After one of those famous cinematics, the game starts with some Helghast-looking bad guys aboard a train. Soon you’re thrust into a battle against a flying machine. After which it opens up to a third-person view behind Lightning, a young female solider who’d probably kick the crap out of you for just being in her way.

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Best selling games these days aren’t often made from companies outside of the UK, USA or Japan, so when news of a title from Eastern Europe shows up interest is bound to start flowing, even more so when it’s a companies first title. While Metro 2033 may be 4A Games’ first title, they aren’t exactly strangers to videogames, as the company was founded by people who split off from GSC Game World (the team behind S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl).

When Metro 2033 showed up on my doorstep I had no knowledge of what I was about to experience. I knew Wugga had found sections “claustrophobic” thanks to a hands-on in Auckland and that the ButtonMasher community was getting excited about it, but that’s all. Upon loading up the game I was met with thick Russian accents, atmospheric tunnels and an uncertainty about how good this title was going to be.

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With a long legacy of high quality titles named [blank] Rain such as Vampire Rain, Chocolate Rain, and Blood, er, Rayne, Heavy Rain has some pretty big shoes to fill. Joking aside, Heavy Rain is the first game in a while (not including Fahrenheit, a long while,) to covet the notion of an interactive movie. It almost feels like the ‘interactive movie’ idea has become a dirty word in the current climate; I guess angels fear to tread where one such as Rob Schneider has failed…

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If you’re unfamiliar with the first instalment would you kindly do a google and find out you’ve missed out on, it’s pretty spectacular and well worth picking up this long since its release. The sequel is something many people are looking forward to, with much anxiety, while others reserve a slight amount of trepidation that a return to Rapture will taint their past happy experiences. While this recount of our play through of one of the levels won’t sway either party in any particular direction, it will show that there is a game of some substance in the works from 2K.

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Now when comments like “The spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate” are thrown around in the land of Role Playing Games someone is either taking the piss or has some mighty big Cojones and better be willing to back themselves. But when said comment comes from a little team that call themselves Bioware, the hype machine kicks in and D&D geeks worldwide start clutching their D10 dice in anticipation.

Not having any dice, I made do with equipping my Rose Tinted Glasses of RPG Fondness and entered the realm of Ferelden to see if things would live up to my own high expectation.

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Did you love the first game or was it not quite your cup of tea? Were there perhaps some elements that tainted your experience? The great thing about Uncharted, is that almost everyone has an opinion, I know I did when I reviewed it, and for the record I loved it, not in a creepy, unwanted homoerotic stalker fan fiction kind of way that the review might have hinted at, but like a fat man loves cake. Understandably I was excited when the review code found its way to my doorstep, 5 hours later I realised I was still wearing my pyjamas and hadn’t showered, eaten, or brushed my teeth when my ride arrived. Sounds like its going to be a good game right? Either that or I have decided that personal hygiene simply isn’t my bag.

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Okay, hands up who’s been let down or disappointed by a Need For Speed game in recent years. Alright put your hands down. It’s no secret that the NFS franchise, although reasonably popular with the masses has lost the faith with some in the racing genre community. Full credit to EA for evolving the series and trying new things with their NFS releases. But they’ve been missing that ‘wow’ factor, that special something that makes it hard to put the game down. Enter their newest title, Need For Speed: Shift.

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Westerns are almost an untapped area of inspiration in the current console cycle and have been massively overlooked in the past as well, the recent attempts haven’t managed to capture my attention so I was interested to see what Red Dead Redemption would have to offer when the Rockstar guys showed up to let us have a look at an early build. Will it be the adventure that the shooter that gets people interested in the old west? That’s a question that will have to wait for the final release, but my level of interest after the walkthrough is something that can be gauged.

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