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Andrew Bailey

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Score! Classic Goals iPhone/iPad game icon

Score! Classic Goals

Saturday, 6 October 2001 at Old Trafford. It's the nintey-third minute and England are staring into the abyss. Following a typically nervy performance, we're 2-1 down to Greece, facing the ignominy of gifting automatic qualification to Germany and the prospect of a tricky two-leg play-off against Ukraine to reach the 2002 World …
Andrew Bailey, 30 May 2012
Ghost Recon Future Soldier

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier

As with any dominant genre, the question keeps arising: is the military-shooter nearing the end of its hegemony? Well, on the evidence of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier this question appears to have an answer. Ghost Recon Future Soldier Wading for war It has everything you'd expect from a modern Triple-A shooter. There's the …
Andrew Bailey, 30 May 2012
Lost Winds 2 iOS game icon

Lost Winds 2: Winter of the Melodias

With his Chibi proportions and boyish looks, Toku cuts an extremely familiar figure, as do most of the things around him: talking animals, impish sprites and elemental deities. So pervasive is Nintendo's influence throughout Winter of the Melodias, in fact, that neither the land of Mistralis nor its diminutive hero would seem …
Andrew Bailey, 16 May 2012
Total War Battle: Shogun Android/iOS game icon

Total War Battles: Shogun

For fans of the PC series, the first hour of Total War Battles: Shogun - on iOS but coming soon to Android - will be defined purely by what's missing. The RTS gameplay was never going to squeeze onto fondleslabs without hefty distillation, of course. But in early forays The Creative Assembly's first handheld stab at its popular …
Andrew Bailey, 02 May 2012
Hunters 2 iOS game icon

Hunters 2

Turn-based tactical role-playing games seem ideally suited to touchscreens. Their top-down or isometric graphics go easy on mobile processors, their measured, methodical gameplay never asks too much of limited control inputs and, perhaps most importantly, their short challenge and reward cycles provide instant dopamine …
Andrew Bailey, 18 Apr 2012
Angry Birds Space mobile game icon

Angry Birds Space

Such was the original's stellar success it's no wonder resisting the pull of Angry Birds Space is proving more difficult than escaping an event horizon. Ask the ten million or so folk who've apparently downloaded it since last Friday, and they'll tell you. You simply can't mess with universal laws - you're going to get sucked in …
Andrew Bailey, 28 Mar 2012
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

At the core of zombie fiction lies a deep-seated sense of hopelessness and inevitability. That no matter how hard you fight, no matter how many lucky escapes you pull off, and no matter where you flee to, your eventual, grisly demise is assured by the indomitable Pepé Le Pews of horror. Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Is …
Andrew Bailey, 23 Mar 2012
Waking Mars iOS game icon

Waking Mars

An exquisitely mature and thought-provoking iOS adventure, Waking Mars is a love letter to late-1970s and early-1980s sci-fi films such as Silent Running, Solaris and Alien. Just as those movies contrasted the space opera of Star Trek and Star Wars with more believable, melancholic depictions of man's cosmological insignificance …
Andrew Bailey, 14 Mar 2012
Razer's concept Project Fiona gaming tablet

Mobile gaming: battle of the gadgets

Reg Hardware Mobile Week Gamers are everywhere nowadays. Often gamers who don't even consider themselves gamers. Take the woman beside me on the Sardine Express to London last week. Late-30s, attractive, suited and well-manicured – far removed from the stereotypical gamer. But there she was, 7:30 in the morning on a packed …
Andrew Bailey, 02 Mar 2012
Beat Sneak Bandit iPhone game icon

Beat Sneak Bandit

Tap your finger to the beat. On the face of it, Beat Sneak Bandit's mechanic doesn't promise compulsive gaming. But developer Simogo squeezes more innovation from this single-finger iOS puzzler than many console and computer games manage by tying your hands in knots. Beat Sneak Bandit iPhone game screenshot Drawn in a …
Andrew Bailey, 01 Mar 2012
Syndicate

Syndicate

Cyberpunk's lasting appeal is often attributed to its familiar tropes: dystopian near-future settings, rapid technological advancements, massive societal upheaval and, of course, alienated loners living off-the-grid. But it's not the conventions that sustain the genre, but its allegories. Syndicate Rooftop rampage They warn …
Andrew Bailey, 24 Feb 2012
The Darkness II

The Darkness II

On paper, there's very little to like about The Darkness II. Take your character Jackie Estacado, for starters. Even before taking into account the unspeakable evil to which he is host, few gaming protagonists are as monstrously unsympathetic as the contract killer turned mob boss. The Darkness II Hit the fairground Then …
Andrew Bailey, 16 Feb 2012
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Like a mage's potion, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is based on a tried and tested formula: the essence of Fable II, a dash of Oblivion, the gizzards of God of War. And let's not forget the vital binding agent, of course: a liberal dose of Tolkien's legendarium. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Circle of strife That's not to say …
Andrew Bailey, 09 Feb 2012
Halo 4

2012 Games Preview

What are you most looking forward to next year? Euro 2012 and the Olympics? Quad-core fondleslabs? The extra bank holiday? Ridley Scott's Prometheus? Sequoia blitzing 20 petaflops? Something entirely different, perhaps? Or maybe you're just too busy cramming your underground bunker full of bottled water and dried fruit ahead of …
Andrew Bailey, 28 Dec 2011
Uncharted 3

2011's Best... Games

With the likes of Bulletstorm, Gears of War 3 and Frozen Synapse narrowly missing out on my annual list of top ten games, it would seem 2011 has been a pretty decent year for videogames. The vulture-eyed Reg reader will, however, notice the list is dominated by sequels and franchises – for which I make no apologies. It's simply …
Andrew Bailey, 10 Dec 2011
Epoch iOS game icon

Epoch

With its heavy arsenal and cover-to-cover, pop-and-shoot gunplay, Epoch looks every inch the Gears of War clone. But look a little closer and you'll discover Uppercut Games' shooter has a great deal more in common with Infinity Blade than Epic's testicular trilogy. Epoch iOS game screenshot Warbots Thanks to the Unreal Engine …
Andrew Bailey, 30 Nov 2011
Need for Speed: The Run

Need for Speed: The Run

Releasing a driving game into an already congested market is a risky endeavour for any developer. So it follows that releasing two within six months could be considered careless. But to release three within a year, as EA has now done, seems at best illogical and, at worst, pure cannibalistic folly. Need for Speed: The Run …
Andrew Bailey, 25 Nov 2011
Saints Row The Third

Saints Row: The Third

You shouldn't laugh at Saints Row: The Third. I mean, what's funny about bludgeoning an old lady to death with a three-foot-long purple dildo? Or kidnapping a gimp-wearing BDSM fetishist and forcing him to to pull your chariot in gladiatorial Pony Play? Saints Row The Third Hand over the Carats That's the crux of the Saints …
Andrew Bailey, 23 Nov 2011
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition

Love it or hate it, it's impossible to ignore Halo's legacy. With the exception of Super Mario, no other videogame series has been as critical to the success of its target platform - or as influential on the videogames industry as a whole. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition Urban jungle Arguably the most important …
Andrew Bailey, 15 Nov 2011
Goldeneye 007 Reloaded

Goldeneye 007: Reloaded

Here we go again. Back to bungie jumping from the dam at Arkhangelsk. Back to sneaking across the snowy fields around the Severnaya satellite installation. And back to dodging fierce crossfire on the gantries of an antenna cradle. Goldeneye 007 Reloaded The sound of silencer After almost 15 years, these sequences remain some …
Andrew Bailey, 07 Nov 2011
Batman: Arkham City

Batman: Arkham City

Hung upside down over a vat of acid or strapped to a conveyor belt inching towards a blast furnace, Batman could always rely on technology to help him pull off an unlikely escape. That is if he... could... just... reach... his... utility belt, of course. Batman: Arkham City 'If this is a consular ship, then where is the …
Andrew Bailey, 21 Oct 2011
Another World 20th Anniversay Edition iOS game icon

Another World 20th Anniversary Edition

It's one of gaming's longest enduring and most profound existential questions. Twenty years and as many platforms later, Another World - aka Out of this World in the US -remains as enigmatic as ever, surviving even creator Eric Chahi's own fascinating personal deconstruction of his work at this year's Game Developers Conference …
Andrew Bailey, 19 Oct 2011
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon

“For good or for ill, air mastery is the supreme expression of military power,” said Churchill, “and fleets and armies, however vital and important, must accept a subordinate rank.” Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Taken under the wing That may be true in the real world, but when it comes to videogames air combat has long accepted …
Andrew Bailey, 13 Oct 2011
Dark Souls

Dark Souls

Plunging from a treacherous rampart, slowly succumbing to the poisonous bite or bludgeoned by a monstrous ice giant – Dark Souls wants you dead. And it doesn't care how. Dark Souls Shanking of the colossus That should come as no surprise, of course. Anyone who dared play last year's Demon's Souls knows all too well that death …
Andrew Bailey, 11 Oct 2011
Rise of Nightmares

Rise of Nightmares

A spine-tingling unease, an oppressive sense of dread, an irrepressible fear – dusting off and firing up the Kinect sensor can fill any self respecting gamer with a profound foreboding. Since its release almost a year ago, Child of Eden stands as the only hardcore game to shine its - admittedly brilliant - light through the …
Andrew Bailey, 29 Sep 2011
Gears of War 3

Gears of War 3

When it comes to goodbyes, Gears of War 3 proves that parting truly is the sweetest of sorrows. A swansong of bewildering scope and ambition, it's a near-flawless conclusion to Epic's highly acclaimed series. Gears of War 3 Fire in the hole With only a handful of games able to rival it for intensity, action and drama, and …
Andrew Bailey, 20 Sep 2011
Resistance 3

Resistance 3

It's hard to know whether to blame its own over-bearing derivation or the over-saturation of FPS games in general: either way, Resistance 3 is an anticlimatic end to a series that has struggled to rise above mediocrity. Resistance 3 Holey smoke That's hardly surprising. The greatest achievement of the first two Resistance …
Andrew Bailey, 16 Sep 2011
appToyz appBlaster

appToyz appBlaster

Gaming peripherals have a bad reputation, and not without good reason. From the sublime Steel Battalion controller to every ridiculous Wii peripheral, these plastic appendages have one thing in common: they make gamers look sublimely ridiculous. appToyz appBlaster Point and shoot: appToyz appBlaster Even those which actually …
Andrew Bailey, 07 Sep 2011
Dell Alienware M18x

Dell Alienware M18x 18.4in gaming notebook

Last year, Dell added to its Alienware laptop family and simultaneously expanded the definition of ultra-portables with the tiny-beefcake M11x. This year's new addition, the flagship M18x, now expands the other end of the spectrum. Dell Alienware M18x Big player: Dell's Alienware M18x Labelling this colossus a desktop …
Andrew Bailey, 02 Sep 2011
appToyz appWheel iPhone gaming accessory

appToyz appWheel

“For fuck's sake, Mum. I asked for the appBlaster; not the fucking appWheel. You've totally fucked Christmas. No wonder dad's shacked up with that 26-year-old stunner. I fucking hate you!” I can picture it now. Christmas morning 2011 – surly, ungrateful teenager versus distraught, nonplussed mum. Not that I've even tried the …
Andrew Bailey, 24 Aug 2011
Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Forget the lacklustre sequel Invisible War, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the true, worthy successor to Deus Ex, a breathtaking paragon of the genre the original helped define. Deus Ex: Human Revolution Bringing more to the table Yes, there's little novelty in its genre conceits. Hacking and circumvention, augmentations, …
Andrew Bailey, 23 Aug 2011
The Register breaking news

Five... freshly picked iOS gaming apps

If you've survived the sink estate uprising and still have a job after Global Financial Meltdown II, you might just enjoy one of the recent crop of iOS games on your commute to work. Cut the Rope: Experiments RH Numbers Cut rope, free candy, feed Om Nom. Like all the best casual titles, Cut the Rope's simple premise and …
Andrew Bailey, 10 Aug 2011
Call of Juarez: The Cartel

Call of Juarez: The Cartel

In theory, The Cartel's contemporary setting is a wise move for the Call of Juarez series. The moderate success of the first two Western-themed games was instantly undone when Red Dead Redemption moseyed into the overlooked genre, rounded up the pretenders and rode them out of town. By relocating to the present day, developer …
Andrew Bailey, 28 Jul 2011

Oi, Android, get gaming sorted out NOW

On Christmas Day 2011 I'll pass a significant milestone. This year's baby-Jesus-knees-up will mark the thirtieth anniversary of my love affair with gaming. That's thirty trips around the Sun since I unwrapped, unboxed and played my first videogame - Fire on Game & Watch, if you're interested. Or some 10,957 sunsets and sunrises …
Andrew Bailey, 27 Jul 2011
Air Conflicts: Secret Wars

Air Conflicts: Secret Wars

In recent years aerial combat games have been in free fall. The genre stalled after the seminal Il-2 Sturmovick and has struggled to pull out of a seemingly irrecoverable nosedive. But, contrary to their dubious quality, the continuing popularity of the Ace Combat and Hawx series proves interest remains sky high for the genre. …
Andrew Bailey, 21 Jul 2011
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Last year's War for Cybertron salvaged Transformers from gaming's scrapyard. While still not fully realising the potential of the IP, High Moon Studios' game combined reverential treatment of the fiction with solid controls and decent gameplay to mark a high point for the franchise. Transformers: Dark of the Moon Step on it, or …
Andrew Bailey, 05 Jul 2011
Shadows of the Damned

Shadows of the Damned

The old saying goes that if you go to hell, you'll be far too busy shaking hands with friends to care. Well, not in Shadows of the Damned's hell, you won't. Your finger's never off the trigger long enough to shake with fear, let alone shake hands with anyone. Shadows of the Damned Lighten up, mate Developed under the banner …
Andrew Bailey, 29 Jun 2011
Infamous 2

Infamous 2

When it comes to superhero videogame sequels, it pays to be honest about your expectations. With the most compelling elements exhausted in the original – namely the collection and mastering of superpowers – all you can realistically hope from a sequel is one of two clichés. Will it go for the cheap shot and rob you of your …
Andrew Bailey, 18 Jun 2011
Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Android tablet

Billed as the year of the fondleslab, 2011 has so far failed to deliver on the hype. With sales of Motorola's Xoom sluggish at best, the BlackBerry Playbook too idiosyncratic for most and the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tantalisingly conspicuous by its absence, Asus looks to steal a march on the competition with its Eee Pad Transformer …
Andrew Bailey, 15 Jun 2011
Duke Nukem Forever

Duke Nukem Forever

In a game bursting with 1980s macho-movie quotes and in-jokes, one line resonates far beyond Duke Nukem Forever’s puerile script. Besieged by an alien invasion, the President of the United States ignores calls to beg the eponymous meathead to save the planet, lamenting, “Duke, you’re a relic from a different era.” Duke Nukem …
Andrew Bailey, 14 Jun 2011
Hunted: The Demon's Forge

Hunted: The Demon's Forge

Let's get one thing straight, Hunted: The Demon's Forge is not an RPG. Hunted: The Demon's Forge Hanging in the green room before a shoot Sure, you fight through enough besieged villages, possessed forests and dank and gloomy dungeons to fill Middle Earth twice over. Your standard enemies, the Wargar, bear an uncanny …
Andrew Bailey, 09 Jun 2011
8 ball

Ball games: the latest sports releases

Here at Vulture Central, we love a challenge. And they don't come more challenging than reviewing three sports games in three days. So all warmed up and ready to play, with club, racket and cue in hand, I head onto the course and court and into the Crucible to give you the lowdown on Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2012 Masters, Virtua …
Andrew Bailey, 30 May 2011
L.A. Noire

LA Noire

If you were expecting Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption dressed in police uniform, then I'm sorry to disappoint you. LA Noire is far removed from its Rockstar stablemates. Sure, it bears all the hallmarks of gaming's master craftsman: the peerless synergy of narrative, art direction and game design, the unabashed depiction …
Andrew Bailey, 20 May 2011
iControlPad

iControlPad Bluetooth controller for mobile devices

Ever tried a bout of Quake III on your Android tablet or a few laps of Super Mario Kart on your iPhone? Chances are, you spent the first few seconds smiling with nostalgia and the rest of the time hurling expletives at the poor controls. Even simple platformers, such as Super Mario World, although translating well onto …
Andrew Bailey, 18 May 2011
Operation Flashpoint: Red River

Operation Flashpoint 2: Red River

Hightailing it across the vast, open countryside in the middle of the night. Fighting a desperate rearguard action against an indomitable force. Squinting through the claustrophobic green murk of nightvision for enemies hidden among trees and rocky outcrops. Operation Flashpoint: Red River Gun runners Fearing the lethality of …
Andrew Bailey, 11 May 2011
Socom 4

SOCOM 4

If the murder-sim genre has taught us anything, it’s that gamers require little pretext to kill. It helps, of course, when justification is provided through exposition, or by that simplest casus belli of all, an enemy pulling the trigger first. But occasionally, along comes a game like SOCOM 4 to prove all we really need to know …
Andrew Bailey, 05 May 2011
Portal 2

Portal 2

“The best solution to a problem,” says GLaDOS, “is usually the easiest one.” She's right, of course. But then she always is. Portal players know all too well how inadvisable it is to disagree with Aperture Science's sociopathic AI caretaker, but it's surprising how often her maxim proves true during the sequel to Valve's much- …
Andrew Bailey, 22 Apr 2011
Llamasoft Minotron 2112

Minotron: 2112 on iOS 4

A psychedelic 8-bit arena shooter featuring amorous ungulates and minotaurs in rainbow-coloured jumpers. The more you try to explain a Jeff Minter game, the more ridiculous it sounds. Llamasoft Minotron 2112 No need to dust down your Amiga or Atari thanks to the Minotaur Project For over 20 years, his company Llamasoft has …
Andrew Bailey, 20 Apr 2011
Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Android smartphone

The evolution of smartphones has introduced a divide between gaming capability and gaming playability. Powerful processors and operating systems allow increasingly complex gaming. But complex games demand complex controls. Finger swishing and prodding might suffice when flinging belligerent avians around the screen, but virtual …
Andrew Bailey, 19 Apr 2011
Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed

Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed

Just how can a new racing game carve out a niche in a saturated genre? How can you improve on the intensity of Race Driver Grid, the visuals of F1 2010, or the driving physics of Gran Turismo 5 and Forza 3? Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed Pretty straight forward Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed seeks to answer those …
Andrew Bailey, 15 Apr 2011