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Andrew Bailey

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Crysis 2

Crysis 2

Review Where Crysis shifted the paradigm of photorealism for a lucky monster-rig owning few – while power slamming the nail into the coffin of my creaking 9800 Pro – Crysis 2 is a far more forgiving beast. Crysis 2 Rocket salad The near-identical performance of the PC and console versions might not please PC gamers, but the shift to …
Andrew Bailey, 30 Mar 2011
Nintendo 3DS games

Nintendo 3DS launch games

Review Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition RH Numbers A faithful port of the Xbox 360/PS3 original, SSF IV is the most comprehensive 3DS launch title. It's also one of the best looking. All the console features are retained, from Arcade and Challenge Mode to Internet Match and the fully-customisable Training Mode. And the full roster …
Andrew Bailey, 25 Mar 2011
Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo 3DS

Review “You have to see it for yourself.” As the 3DS' unofficial marketing catchphrase, that's as good as it gets: an enticement at the most personal level. As the opening gambit to a product review, it's far less auspicious. But that's the reality of Nintendo's new wunderkind. Seeing is the only way of believing. Nintendo 3DS …
Andrew Bailey, 25 Mar 2011
iStunt 2

iStunt 2 on the iPhone 4

iGamer That's it, hands, you deserve a break. You've worked tirelessly these past few weeks and proved your mettle. Dead Space and Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard were enjoyable iOS games, but playing them back-to-back was far too much like hard work. These fingers are done playing digit-Twister for a while. Time for a holiday. Time to …
Andrew Bailey, 23 Mar 2011
Motorstorm Apocalypse

Motorstorm Apocalypse

Review Motorstorm Apocalypse's unabashed and riotous disregard for realism is the antithesis of most modern racing games – and it makes perfect sense. Who cares about traction control, sports intake manifolds and torque splits when you're taking a high-octane tour through the picture-postcard backdrops of the apocalypse? Motorstorm …
Andrew Bailey, 22 Mar 2011
Killzone 3

Killzone 3

Review Killzone 3's Infiltrators are a class apart. Camouflaging themselves, they mimic their opponents' identity to move unmolested through hostile territory. Then, when the pivotal moment presents itself, they break cover and wreak havoc on an unsuspecting enemy. Killzone 3 Smoke on the war ground, fire in his eyes Infiltrators …
Andrew Bailey, 25 Feb 2011
Marvel Vs Capcom 3

Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds

Review The decision to resurrect the Marvel vs Capcom series is a logical choice for Capcom. After the success of Street Fighter IV and Super Street Fighter IV, it makes sense to capitalise on a general appetite for comic book movies by exhuming the ten-year-old crossover franchise. Marvel Vs Capcom 3 Americaa... thud, yeah! But …
Andrew Bailey, 18 Feb 2011
Nail'd

Nail'd

Review There's something obvious missing from Nail'd. For grammarians, it will be the title's unnecessary contraction of a perfectly acceptable transitive verb. For Newtonians, it will be the game's flagrant disuse of the laws of motion. For everyone else, it will surely just be the total lack of challenge on offer in developer …
Andrew Bailey, 11 Feb 2011
Real Racing

Real Racing 2 for iOS

Review Firemint's Real Racing set the early benchmark for iOS graphics and, along with a handful of other games, confirmed these Apple iDevices' potential as serious handheld gaming platforms. A scalable career mode and blend of simulation and arcade driving styles attracted casual and hardcore gamers alike. And excellent tilt-controls …
Andrew Bailey, 08 Feb 2011
Mindjack

Mindjack

Review 'Do you wish to continue?' It's a question games have always asked after death – a challenge to players to overcome defeat and try, try, and try again. But when that same question is posed upon completion of every stage, as in MindJack, what initially comes across as over-politeness quickly begins to feel just plain apologetic. …
Andrew Bailey, 04 Feb 2011
Ten Fitness Gadgets

Ten... fitness gadgets

Product Round-up OK, so it's that time of year again, and every newspaper, website, daytime television show and franchised gymnasium is bombarding you with Xmas-excess guilt. But if you have decided to get fit in 2011, you might find some of these gadgets useful in your quest to attract the opposite sex... er, sorry... improve your health. …
Andrew Bailey, 25 Jan 2011
NOVA 2

NOVA 2 for iOS

Review Supersoldier required for highly autonomous role in planetary defence organisation. Duties include relentless futuristic combat, security door hacking and driving through superfluous vehicle sections. Must be highly competent with a variety of human and alien weaponry, and must wear own advanced battle armour. Will be …
Andrew Bailey, 24 Jan 2011
DC Universe

DC Universe Online

Review The backstory to DC Universe Online reads like that of so many of Metropolis and Gotham City's superheroes and supervillains. Lift the cape and pull back the mask and DCUO reveals itself as a regular-Joe action-brawler that gained special powers after falling into a vat of MMORPG mutagen. DC Universe Pick on someone your own …
Andrew Bailey, 20 Jan 2011
2011 Games Preview

2011 Games Preview

Despite continuing 2009's sales dip, 2010 was still a great year for videogames. While the trend showed gaming wasn't impervious to global recession, the sales figures also proved it is firmly established as the world's leading entertainment medium. So how to improve upon a year that saw Super Mario Galaxy 2, Mass Effect 2 and …
Andrew Bailey, 11 Jan 2011
Games of the Year

Sony PlayStation Network vs MS Xbox Live

Head-to-Head The online functionality of games consoles has come a long way. Unrecognisable from the 14.4Kb/s modem sideshow curios on the SNES and Megadrive, and a quantum leap over Sega's iconoclastic Dreamcast, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3's online services can alone inform purchasing decisions. So if you're contemplating buying either …
Andrew Bailey, 16 Dec 2010
Games of the Year

The year's best... console games

2010: It's a Wrap 2010: it's a wrap How was your gaming in 2010? Which console games will you remember most when you're through overindulging and it's time to carelessly box up the tangle of Christmas lights and decorations? Which stand-out moments will you recount as you drunkenly belt out Auld Lang Syne and resolve to make these New Year's …
Andrew Bailey, 08 Dec 2010
Gran Turismo 5

Gran Turismo 5

Review After spending six years on the waiting list for Gran Turismo 5, new owners might be surprised to find that the pristine Bugatti Veyron 16.4 they thought they had ordered has rolled off the forecourt more like a cut 'n' shut. Gran Turismo 5 Straight into the lead For those unfamiliar with the term, a cut 'n' shut is the …
Andrew Bailey, 03 Dec 2010
Tron Evolution

Tron Evolution

Review The original movie Tron was something of an irony. Considered by many as a landmark in computer animated cinema, the movie actually owed more to traditional animation techniques than CGI. Tron Evolution I'll punch your lights out As the technology to mix computer animation and live action didn't exist in the early 1980s, of …
Andrew Bailey, 30 Nov 2010
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

Review Pigs, gavvers, filth, babylon, bizzies. The sheer wealth of familiar pejoratives suggests few people admire the police. Even fewer, I suspect, admire traffic cops. But despite an incongruous contempt for those who uphold the law, I'm sure many people share my fantasy of a night spent behind the wheel of a lumbering Volvo Estate …
Andrew Bailey, 26 Nov 2010
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

Review It seems odd to complain of a sense of déjà vu when playing a sequel, especially when the game in question is the third in a highly successful series. But when that déjà vu pervades through twenty hours of gameplay, as it does in Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, it's difficult to ignore an overriding sensation that comes to define …
Andrew Bailey, 23 Nov 2010
Xbox Kinect

Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect Launch Games

Review Kinect Adventures RH Numbers Bundled with the hardware, Kinect Adventures is a compilation of minigames intended to introduce players to Kinect's distinct brand of motion-controlled gaming. It's a title developed with the whole family in mind, where children and parents can compete against each other on a level playing field …
Andrew Bailey, 10 Nov 2010
Xbox Kinect

Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect

Review Every Christmas it seems a must-have toy or gadget splits people into the haves and have-nots. Only this year things are slightly different. Little Johnny might be overjoyed to find Santa has left a shiny new Xbox 360 Kinect under the tree, but imagine his heartache when he realises his living room isn't large enough for his …
Andrew Bailey, 10 Nov 2010
Call of Duty: Black Ops

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Review The 1960s: the decade of peace, love and rock'n'roll. The decade of LSD and flower power, colour television and manned space exploration. Call of Duty: Black Ops 'Knife to meet you; to meet you, knife' Only that's not how Captain Alex Mason remembers them. Under interrogation and drugged up to his eyeballs with sodium …
Andrew Bailey, 09 Nov 2010
007 Blood Stone

007 Blood Stone

Review According to Matt Damon, there's very little to admire about James Bond, whom he once described as “an imperialist, misogynist sociopath who goes around bedding women and swilling Martinis and killing people". 007 Blood Stone It's rude to point Of course, were James Bond real and able to reply, he'd probably do so by licking …
Andrew Bailey, 05 Nov 2010
Star Wars: Force Unleashed II

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

Review There's something magical about Star Wars, but it's not what you might think. It's not the simple yarn of good versus evil spun against a backdrop of galactic war. Nor is it the juxtaposition of blasters and hyperspace with, to quote Han Solo, “hokey religions and ancient weapons". Star Wars: Force Unleashed II Careful not to …
Andrew Bailey, 02 Nov 2010
Fable III

Fable III

Fable III is every bit the logical conclusion to the series, and the culmination of creative director Peter Molyneux's quest to bring simplicity to the RPG genre. Fable III A light shower Successive Fable games have pared back the genre's defining traits to the point where Fable III's RPG credentials are tenuous at best. …
Andrew Bailey, 28 Oct 2010
Vanquish

Vanquish

Review If Vanquish had been made around 150 years ago, Shinji Mikami would have had to commit seppuku, the Japanese ritual of suicide by disembowelment. Vanquish All right, Mr. big shot Like many artists and scholars during Japan's Bakamatsu period, the legendary producer of Resident Evil, God Hand and Bayonetta would have sliced …
Andrew Bailey, 25 Oct 2010
Medal of Honour

Medal of Honour

Review For all the pre-release controversy surrounding Medal of Honour, EA's contemporary world shooter is surprisingly understated. The controversy that players would be able to "recreate the acts of the Taliban" was, like most other videogame controversies, founded on rumour and speculation. Served up by credulous politicians and …
Andrew Bailey, 19 Oct 2010
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

Review The central story of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is one accustomed to poetic licence and dilution. The original 16th Century Chinese novel Journey to the West was itself an amalgamation of supernatural fables based loosely on a 7th Century Buddhist monk's pilgrimage to India. Centuries later, in 1942, a heavily abridged …
Andrew Bailey, 12 Oct 2010
Castlevania Lord of Shadows

Castlevania: Lord of Shadows

Review The challenge to create an entirely new Castlevania game must have been a daunting one for developer Mercury Steam. Plucked from the relative obscurity of developing American McGee's Scrapland and Clive Barker's Jericho, the Spanish developer found itself dice-in-hand for Konami's big-budget gamble of rebooting its vampire- …
Andrew Bailey, 08 Oct 2010
F1 2010

F1 2010

Review Reverse is a gear not often associated with Formula One, a sport entirely focused on hurtling forwards at breakneck speeds of up to 220mph. But it's one the sport had to engage in recent seasons to reverse a seemingly inexorable decline in popularity. F1 2010 Going off grid - the revolutions begin Several factors combined to …
Andrew Bailey, 01 Oct 2010
Dead Rising 2

Dead Rising 2

Review Zombies, I love 'em. Sometime during my acne years in the mid-1980s I became obsessed after chancing upon Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead in a late-night Channel 4 horror season. If I hadn't messed up the timed recording of Day of the Dead a week later, my fascination with the undead might have... well... died …
Andrew Bailey, 29 Sep 2010
Ruse

RUSE

Review “Time is everything,” said Horatio Nelson. “Five minutes make the difference between victory and defeat.” Ruse Risky move It's a war quote repeated several times in RUSE's loading screens. But it could just as easily apply to game release schedules. Arriving just a few weeks after Starcraft II on the PC, and almost …
Andrew Bailey, 24 Sep 2010
Halo: Reach

Halo: Reach

Review Of all life's truisms perhaps the most specious is that nothing is perfect. Whether a safety valve to prevent a blowout of hubris, or merely an envious reflection of our flawed and capricious nature, it is dogma inherent to all. But nowhere is it more apparent – or afforded greater prominence - than when wielded as a chisel by …
Andrew Bailey, 14 Sep 2010
H.A.W.X.

Tom Clancy's Hawx 2

Review Just like its predecessor, Hawx 2 falls fouls of one of gaming's most frequently exasperating ironies: dogfighting. Of all the approximations of real-world thrills, aerial combat must rank as one of the most exciting imaginable. Time and time again, however, those thrills fail to translate through the medium of videogames. TOM …
Andrew Bailey, 14 Sep 2010
Mafia II

Mafia II

Review A few hours into Mafia II and it finally happens. It's the summer of 1951 and you've just been released from an eight-year stretch in Sing Sing. You're cruising around the wide, pristine streets of Empire Bay - the game's fictional amalgam of New York, Chicago and San Fransico – when all of a sudden you hear the unmistakable pow …
Andrew Bailey, 07 Sep 2010
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days

Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days

Review Remember Whac-a-Mole? Mole pops out of hole, bash with rubber mallet; mole pops out of hole, bash with rubber mallet; mole pops out... well, you get the picture. Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days Roadkill I must have walked past the game a thousand times, but I only ever played it once. Like all Whac-a-Mole players, I think I smiled …
Andrew Bailey, 23 Aug 2010
Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light

Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light

Review Whether you regard her as female icon or sexual fantasy, and whatever your thoughts on the Tomb Raider franchise itself, you have to hand it to Lara Croft. Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light Let me throw you a few pointers Videogame's greatest femme celebre, Lara smashed through gaming's glass ceiling to become global …
Andrew Bailey, 19 Aug 2010
Monday Night Combat

Monday Night Combat

Review “Gnarlacious,” drawls Mickey Cantor, Monday Night Combat's fittingly exaggerated commentator, as he rouses the crowd for another explosive competition. And he's right. Monday Night Combat Noses are red, violence is blue You'd be hard pressed to think of a better superlative. Colourful, frantic and comically OTT, Uber …
Andrew Bailey, 18 Aug 2010
Castlevania: Harmony of Despair

Castlevania: Harmony of Despair

Given that Dracula is so often the star of Castlevania games, it's ironic that Konami has whipped up something of a Frankenstein's monster with Harmony of Despair. Castlevania: Harmony of Despair Higher burning You see, Frankenstein was so obsessed with whether he could bring his abomination to life, he neglected to question …
Andrew Bailey, 11 Aug 2010
Limbo

Limbo

Left, right, jump, push, pull. As far as mechanics go, they are some of gaming's oldest conventions. In its 2D salad days little else was needed to captivate players the world over. But then 2D almost did a Dodo around the mid-1990s, as developers migrated from the plane to the shiny new third co-ordinate. Limbo Rock and Roll …
Andrew Bailey, 27 Jul 2010
Blacklight: Tango Down

Blacklight: Tango Down

One of the few things I learnt at university was Pareto’s Principle, or the 80/20 rule, which states that in anything, 20 per cent is vital and 80 per cent is trivial. Blacklight: Tango Down Pedestrian crossing? Doubtful Originally calculated to describe the distribution of wealth in society - where 20 per cent of a …
Andrew Bailey, 23 Jul 2010
Xbox 360 250GB

Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB

Review Five years after its original release, the Xbox 360 finally receives its long expected 'slim' overhaul. Just don't tell Microsoft I called it that. The company’s reluctance to use the 's' word is understandable. Sony used it to distinguish versions of its PS2 and PS3 consoles. Xbox 360 250GB Fighting fit: Microsoft's Xbox 360 …
Andrew Bailey, 16 Jul 2010
Crackdown 2

Crackdown 2

Review The original Crackdown was something of a surprise hit. It didn't come as a surprise that people bought the game in droves – the inclusion of the Halo 3 Beta key ensured Crackdown was always going to fly from the shelves. What surprised many people is that a solid, enjoyable action game was bundled with the Beta key– and one …
Andrew Bailey, 12 Jul 2010
Sniper Ghost Warrior

Sniper: Ghost Warrior

Review The closest I've come to experiencing the realities of war has been pad or mouse in hand, crouched behind a virtual crumbled wall, as I strain to line up a head shot on the digital Nazi a few hundred metres away. Sniper Ghost Warrior Pop one in your temple I'm no Sun Tzu or Napoleon, but I have gleaned enough understanding of …
Andrew Bailey, 12 Jul 2010
Demons Souls

Demon's Souls

Review Just a few hours into From Software's already infamous RPG and I couldn't stop thinking of Lemarchand's Configuration. Demons Souls It's dangerous round the block For those unfamiliar with the name, Lemarchand's Configuration was the puzzle box in Clive Barker's Hellraiser. Legend had it that those who solved the puzzle were …
Andrew Bailey, 07 Jul 2010
Transformers: War for Cybertron

Transformers: War for Cybertron

Review At its heart, Transformers: War for Cyberton is a five-minute experience stretched out over 10 hours. That's hardly surprising when you consider the source material – an animated TV series and range of comic books cynically cobbled together to sell a faceless range of Japanese toys. Transformers: War for Cybertron The …
Andrew Bailey, 05 Jul 2010
Tiger Woods 2011

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11

“Golf is like an 18-year-old girl with big boobs. You know it's wrong, but you can't keep away from her.” Of all the golfing quotes, this one from Val Doonican (of all people) resonates most when considering Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11. Tiger Woods 2011 Despite the name, you can't cheat in this game If you think that's a cheap …
Andrew Bailey, 01 Jul 2010
Singularity

Singularity

I'm not sure why I'm writing this review when you've already played Singularity countless times before. Don't worry, though. Your memory isn't failing you. Quite the contrary, it's working far too well. Singularity Now now, you've gone and got a head of yourself You see, you fought Singularity's amorphous mutants in Dead …
Andrew Bailey, 29 Jun 2010
International Cricket 2010

International Cricket 2010

I don't like cricket... oh, no... oh, actually, wait a minute, I really don't like cricket. It's not that I don't admire the game. Cricket and I once had a two-year love affair, which peaked with England's win in the 2005 Ashes series. International Cricket 2010 It's funny, they're in creases I still respect it as the …
Andrew Bailey, 28 Jun 2010