Tekken 7 Teased at Evolution 2014
Tekken 7 Teased at Evolution 2014 - weknowgamers

Evolution 2014 or EVO 2014 is the biggest fighting game tournament in the world, hosting legendary titles across gaming history with an attendance of a ridiculous size! This year Tekken king Katsuhiro Harada hit the stage to talk about Tekken by teasing the next instalment with a short trailer.

See the teaser below!
Fire Emblem Characters And Captain Falcon Join The Super Smash Bros. Roster

Hot of the press, Nintendo revealed some new details today regarding a few new characters that will be joining the upcoming Smash Bros. Wii U and Smash Bros. 3DS roster!

Fire Emblem characters Robin and Lucina have been confirmed in the trailer, along with the Captain himself, Captain Falcon making a return.

See the trailer below!

See new screenshots below!  







Win A Copy Of Sniper Elite III And A AX1-R headset

Yeah! Competition time and have we got an amazing one for you. Thanks to 505 Games we have a copy of Sniper Elite III on both PS4 and Xbox One to give away, but that’s not all… The PlayStation 4 winner will also get an AX1-R headset from Gioteck!

Want to be in with a chance to win? Easy, all you have to do is head on over to our Facebook page, give it a like and also comment on this post stating which system you’d like it for. Simple right?

Competition closes on July 25th 2014 so you’ve got just over 2 weeks to get your submissions in. The winners will be chosen by the 28th July, if the winner fails to respond within 2 days, a runner up will be selected. Competition open to UK entrants only. Sniper Elite 3 is out now on PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360 from 505 Games

In addition, Gioteck are offering 50% off their AX1-R headset for PS4 (also works with Xbox One with the additional Microsoft Stereo Headset Adapter) via Gamers Outlet http://ift.tt/1lM6CcS - just enter the code SNIPER50 on the check-out screen (valid from the 1st of July to 22nd July)’
E3 2014 Press Conference Round Up: Sony
E3 2014 Press Conference Round Up: Sony - weknowgamers

A couple of weeks ago the industry prepared itself for this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo and with it, a whole host of excited fans anticipating the next big hit sat quietly. Unknowing of what developer’s from all parts of the globe would be announcing, presenting and showing via the many gaming booth’s on site.

Would we finally get another taste of Final Fantasy XV? Would that Final Fantasy VII remake catch us off guard? Would Shenmue 3 finally be announced?

Needless to say, none of the above got a single mention, but we sure were in for a show.

As expected, a lot of focus was placed on Bungie’s latest and highly anticipated title – Destiny. It’s a futuristic title, promising great multiplayer experiences for the now current gen platforms and is “destined” to be a hit with PlayStation gamers who may not have ever had the chance to play the likes of Halo 1 or 2, which in my opinion are true Xbox gems.

It’s easy to see Destiny is made by the creators of Halo. The scenery resembles that featured within the levels of the Halo Universe and although having somewhat of a darker tone, the gameplay within Destiny is very reminiscent of what exactly makes Halo… well Halo. Vehicles are scaled in a similar manner and the tech involved in addition to the way you hold your weapons just feels comfortably familiar. The main thing here is the improved graphics and the fact that you feel encompassed by this vast and mysterious world.

Next up we have The Order: 1886, which is a title I’m most looking forward to. It mixes historical aspects of centuries past London with “what if” scenarios and a chilling theme of horror and slaughter (just what you need on a full stomach).



In the footage presented, we watched on as one of the four main protagonists made his way through a damp, dark and poorly lit corridor before suddenly stumbling across what appeared to be a lifeless corpse-like man, hovering above the body of a fallen fellow. Moments after, what I suspected to be nothing but a mere Zombie was in fact a man with some serious skin problems (likely leprosy). Not even Maybelline could help this guy with his rather crude blemishes. Instead, the man began to talk.

“This is no ordinary Zombie” I thought to myself as I curiously watched on. It was tense and then almost out of nowhere the person began to change. His fingers suddenly snapped back, the shape of his body started convulsing and then it happened. His features, once only human, gradually settled into a new shape and moments later the chase was on.

The transformation, much akin to that featured within the classic film “An American Werewolf in London” was both intense and gruesome, though kept my interest fully as I watched a dark-hearted man shift into a walking menace…..a feral beast…..a Werewolf. The encounter was tense and was certainly something you wouldn’t want to experience in your everyday life, but on that note it’s time to move onto one more of my standout moments from the show.

This next game was something that came as a surprise, not just to me but to all those in attendance at E3 and undoubtedly the millions of people viewing the show worldwide. The screen fades in, atmospheric music grows louder and as things become visible my eyes winced at the vibrant colours before me. This was a planet being explored from the first person perspective, however there were no weapons on screen and everything felt cinematic in a meaningful way.

“Which well known series often features weird and wonderful landscapes?” I thought to myself. “Star Wars of course!” and that’s exactly what I believed I was seeing, the latest Star Wars Battlefront. As the presentation went on however and when things almost seemed confirmed at the sight of some Brachiosaur typed Dinosaurs walking past a very X-Wing-esque air/spacecraft, I really began to grow excited.



As the music picked up the pace, my adrenaline began to flow and moments after the player presenting the title stepped into the vehicle, the unexpected happened. The craft moved up towards the planets upper atmosphere and departed from the planet unbelievably fast, only to reveal dogfights in space, floating and presumably colonised ships, as well as asteroids and space rocks that proved impressively destructive when fired upon.

I believed this game was going to be Star Wars: Battlefront right up until the point where the player chose not to engage with the feud in space and instead went for a stroll through the upper atmosphere of another planet, shooting small crafts as they passed overhead while flying low across the planet’s otherworldly surface. There were even floating islands in the sky much akin to those within James Cameron’s Avatar. It was a real treat to watch and shortly after the credits rolled only to reveal the title – “No Man’s Sky”, of which was a title I’d never even heard of before. This game came from nowhere and I hold high hopes for it.

Overall, Sony’s E3 conference this year proved both underwhelming and interesting simultaneously. Titles many fans wanted to be announced had not so much of a mention, where as other titles that we’d previously known little or nothing about raised our hopes a little for weeks to come before we can finally get our hands on these titles ourselves.

So that was Sony in a small nutshell! What are you’re standout games from the conference? Let us know in the comments below or catch me over on Twitter - @CaptainCortez

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E3 2014 Press Conference Round Up: Nintendo
E3 2014 Press Conference Round Up: Nintendo - weknowgamers

Nintendo decided to not actually show up for an E3 event and opted to do a digital event much like they’ve been doing with their Directs as of late.

Starting off strong with the latest Smash Bros news, as well as announcing yet more playable characters in the forms of the Mii Fighter, which comes in 3 different flavours, the fighter, the sword master and a gunner. New details on gametypes were shown but not elaborated on, hopefully another Smash Bros dedicated Direct will be out before the game itself which is heading to the 3DS on October 3rd with the Wii U version following a little later on.

One final reveal was for new Super Smash Bros character, Lady Palutena from Kid Icarus also joins the battle. We’re treated to a spectacular animated encounter between Pit and Link in which Lady Palutena intervenes in order to join the battle.

The next thing revealed was the Amiibo, a Skylander type toy that when placed onto the Wii U gamepad, downloads the character into different games. You can then level up that character and bump it’s stats up. At this moment in time the games that these Amiibo figures will work with are Smash Bros and Mario Kart 8.



Next up was Yoshi’s Wooly World, with a similar look to Kirby’s Epic Yarn only this time using a fully 3D Yoshi rather than the cotton outline that Kirby had. New to the series is a co-op two player mode, much like the Mario Bros game on Wii U, you can either choose to help or hinder your friend. Yoshi is set for a 2015 release.

Last seen as bonus stages in Super Mario 3D World, this time Captain Toad is his own adventure on Wii U for the holidays of 2014. If you’re new to Captain Toad, you have to navigate small worlds by shifting the perspective at key points in order to reach the goal.

The first of two new Zelda titles was next, this one focusing on a more open world version of Hyrule reminiscent of the original game where you can choose to go in any direction from the start and explore anywhere you want rather than travelling along a linear pathway through predetermined dungeons.

A trailer for the latest Pokemon remake of Ruby and Sapphire was up next. Using the same engine as the latest X and Y games we were shown some of the new Mega Evolution versions of old favourites as well as the two cover Pokemon Groudon and Kyogre. Along with those that were announced during the Digital Event, Mega Diancie and Mega Sableye were also revealed after the show. Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire will be launching Worldwide on November 28th 2014.



Just incase you’d forgotten about it, Bayonetta 2 was up next showing off some of it’s crazy hair fighting mechanics and some very flashy visual effects. Also announced was the fact that the original game will be bundled in with the new title as well as some special outfits for Bayonetta herself including a Peach style dress, a Link style green tunic and a full on Chozo Power Suit from Metroid. The game is set to release in October of this year.

The second Zelda game to be shown was Hyrule Warriors from Tecmo Koei, if you’ve played a Dynasty Warriors game before you should know what you’re in for, if not then expect huge armies of enemies that you rush through to battle your way to a boss encounter; it’s very different from your traditional Zelda game. As well as Link, you can also play as Princess Zelda, a new looking Impa and Midna from Twilight Princess, as well as more that have not been revealed yet each with their own unique play styles. It’s looking really great so far and I can’t wait to see more of this myself. Hyrule Warriors is set to release on Wii U on September 26th.

Ring around the rosie.
A few trailers for games set for 2015 were shown next, first was Kirby and the Rainbow Curse which looks like it’s all made of playdoh, you move Kirby around by drawing lines for him to travel along. Next was Xenoblade Chronicles X an RPG with some fancy looking space battles. Ever wanted to make your own Mario game? Well now you can with Mario Maker! A simple looking editor for the classic style Mario where you can drag and drop objects to build 2D levels.

The final game to be shown was Splatoon, a third person shooter with a difference! Rather than just trying to kill each other, you’re armed with a gun that shoots ink, the objective of the game is to cover the world in your teams coloured ink to dominate the area. As well as running about splatting ink everywhere, you can turn into a squid and swim through your teams ink to get around twice as fast, as well as refilling your gun with more paint. On the gamepad is a real time map that shows how much of the level is covered by either you team’s or the opponent’s paint. Interestingly with the map, you can fast travel around by simply clicking on one of your teammates at which point you get blasted into the air and come down to land right next to them, seems like a great way to get straight back into the action. Splatoon is due for release next year.

Compared to last year, Nintendo definitely had a much better E3, however do you still think they’ve done well? Or has this been Nintendo’s year? Let us know in the comments section below or catch me over on Twitter - @ChaosRiotZero

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E3 2014 Press Conference Round Up: EA
E3 2014 Press Conference Round Up: EA - weknowgamers

Going into this year’s EA conference, many were hopeful that we would see more of Star Wars: Battlefront (after its brief tease at last year’s show) as well as finally seeing a new Mass Effect announced. Both were shown during the conference, though in a slightly disappointing fashion.

Star Wars: Battlefront ended up opening the show to the delight of those watching, with a behind the scenes trailer showing the designers at the original trilogy’s filming locations. Snippets of early in-engine footage was shown and while it was (once again) brief, it all looked absolutely terrific.

We were treated to three different Dragon Age: Inquisition videos, with the first showing off the ridiculously detailed environments. The short second video showed gameplay as the Inquisition did battle with a dragon, which from a gameplay standpoint had more similarities to Dragon Age: Origins then Dragon Age 2. The third and final video was a trailer showing 4 of the inquisition characters, with the The Iron Bull, a Qunari mercenary looking particularly awesome.



Another behind the scenes video was shown, this time looking at the development of the next Mass Effect, by showing conceptual prototype footage of characters and environments. While what was shown looked good, it was hard to not feel disappointed at there not being more of the game shown. A new Bioware IP was briefly mentioned, though no information was given regarding it.

The Sims 4 focused heavily on the heart and emotions of each sim, along with how they interact with each other. As entertaining as it was, it just didn’t feel like anything truly new from the Sims franchise.

EA Sports’ first appearance at this year’s conference began with a quick look at EA Sports UFC. The emphasis was on the inclusion of Bruce Lee, who they showed fighting BJ Penn and all in all the game looked very solid and detailed.

The first gameplay trailer of NHL 15 was shown, which graphically looked as good as you would expect from an EA Sports title.

When Criterion Games were set to appear next, the safe bet would have been on them showing a new Need for Speed. Surprisingly, it was revealed that they are in fact working on a game with a ridiculous amount of different vehicles in it. With every vehicle controlled from a first person perspective, the video shown hinted at using parachutes, ATV’s, helicopters, boats, wing suits, planes and a whole lot more. It’s a really interesting route for Criterion Games to take, and I’m hopeful they are able to deliver.

EA Sports PGA Tour had a quick video shown, showing off the game’s “golf without limits” tagline where a freaking battleship was shown as part of a course.

Easy enough.
Madden 15 looked primarily at the defensive side of the game, and how it has been redesigned along with improved presentation and camera work. Pretty much what you would expect from Madden.
A MOBA titled Dawngate, was shown with a variety of unique playable characters, however it didn’t look like it offered anything that will help it to stand out among other games in its genre.

After it’s reveal last year, many were looking forward to hearing more about the return of Mirror’s Edge. The behind the scenes video shown looked at the game’s concept art, along with showing prototypes of Faith running around basic areas. After waiting a year to hear more about the game, what was shown did come off a tad disappointing however the early prototypes looked great, with Faith’s movements looking smoother than ever.

The features mentioned for FIFA 15, included player memories and emotion, improved ball physics, player agility, enhanced visuals and atmosphere and a pitch that can now be physically affected during the game with grass and mud being visibly altered. The same usual from FIFA really, just improving upon aspects of the previous year’s game.



To close the show, gameplay of Battlefield: Hardline was shown. It was hard not to think of the epic shootout from Michael Mann’s Heat while the game was shown, as it played out as cops vs. criminals in a cross city chase. In usual battlefield style, the gameplay looked very intense and exciting whilst seeming like a nice change from the military firefights we are used to. Ending the show on a positive note, it was announced that a Battlefield: Hardline beta would be going live immediately.

Overall EA’s conference was much like last years; weak due to a lack of gameplay or announcements. Battlefront looked amazing from its oh-so-short appearance, Battlefield Hardline brought the action and Dragon Age: Inquisition continues to look great, but other than those, it was hard to take much away from the conference. While it was okay seeing a bit of Mass Effect and Mirrors Edge, the behind the scenes videos were really disappointing as I personally think Mass Effect would have benefitted more from some sort of trailer to announce the new game, where as Mirrors Edge could have used more gameplay especially as we have had to wait a year to hear more about it. The sports titles came and did the same as usual, not showing much gameplay and instead talking about what the focus of each game is this year.

We just have to face facts, this type of conference has become the norm for EA. However on the bright side, there are some nice looking titles in EA’s future.

So that’s EA for E3 2014. Did you enjoy the conference? Or do you share similar opinions to my own? Let me know in the comments section below or catch me over on Twitter - @KingKicks

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Preview: Incredible Kill Cams In Sniper Elite III
Preview: Incredible Kill Cams In Sniper Elite III - weknowgamers

Headshots, incredible kill cams? That’s exactly what you’ll be getting in 505 Games upcoming title Sniper Elite III and recently I was lucky enough to be invited to a secret location where I got to listen in on a detailed presentation by the developers and go hands on with the PlayStation 4 version of the game… oh those graphics, but what is it that really makes Sniper Elite III so awesome?

To begin with we were given a rundown of all the new features of the upcoming game via a small presentation which went into detail regarding the campaign, multiplayer and what we would expect from the different platforms the game would be available on. Some of these features include a new A.I system, an overhauled engine and DX11 tessellation on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Scoping out the enemy and planning the next move.
Now before getting into the game, I wasn’t sure what to expect seeing as this is the first time I was going to play a title from the Sniper Elite series. Was I looking at a generic third person shooter which will have me going through waves of enemies without any explanation or hint as to why I was doing it? Or was there much more to it and was I going to be shown something that would make me see the genre in a completely new light.

First off it’s refreshing to see that you do have a choice in how you approach a specific mission. While running and gunning is indeed the quickest and less time consuming option in this case, it’s not necessarily the smartest. You are given many options to proceed and I found this to be totally awesome. Before even engaging with anyone on the enemy side you can use the binoculars to mark soldiers in the area, so you’re not going round a corner and surprised to see one standing there.

You literally get to see what part of the body your bullet impacts… awesome.
One of the great things I noticed during the preview was how smart the A.I can be. Depending on what you do, you can cause a lot of noise and give away your location, if this is the case you better run and find somewhere else to hide. So why should you do this? Well for one the AI search the last location they heard the noise come from and sometimes when there are more than one of them, they will tactically try to surround you as well. The game calls this “Relocation” and helps to make things a lot more realistic. As mentioned earlier there is more than one way to complete a mission and one of those options just happens to be stealth. Depending on the weather conditions or even if you’re ducking behind some form of cover, this can greatly affect the A.I’s ability to spot you, however even they have a way around this. Now you’re enemy comes in ranks with you obviously taking out the standard soldiers at the beginning, however if there so happens to be someone of a higher rank among them, that person can boost the rest in terms of attack, defence and being more wary of their surroundings bringing a whole new challenge when approaching the enemy.

Sniper Elite III has turned my shooter disliking ways in to something that looks to challenge me both in its gameplay and intellectually. The kill cams are absolutely incredible with a few easter eggs in levels where you’re pretty much shooting someone who is a great distance away from you making for an awesome slow-mo. The environments are huge and the additional elements such as relocation make it tactically sound. I look forward to the game’s release and luckily there isn’t long to wait. Sniper Elite III will be releasing for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC June 27th in Europe and July 1st for North America.

Looking to pick this up? What makes you get excited about the upcoming game? Let me know over on twitter - @WKG_Liban

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Strider Review
Strider Review - WEKNOWGAMERS

Streets of Rage, Super Metroid, Contra and even Quantum Fighter were brilliant titles for their time, but is Strider Hiryu’s 2014 adventure a true and rejuvenated gem that makes proud its fathers of old, or is it just another attempt to cash in on an overly dusty series from an era of gaming mostly unknown to the 3D generation?

When I first caught wind of Capcom’s new title, other than recognising the name as that of the character from Marvel vs Capcom 2, I knew little of Strider’s character or that of the original title released back in 1989. So when I loaded up Capcom’s latest entry into the series, I began playing with an open mind, having already experienced some of the finest titles known to the side-scrolling genre from my early childhood.

Gameplay
At first glance, Strider himself is effectively a Cyber Ninja. Well, a Cyber-Ninja who breaks standard tradition of wearing nothing but black, instead wearing stylishly red and purple coloured clothing, all while proudly sporting an ultra-long scarf that would have likely strangled our hero long ago.

Whether a fashionista or stone cold killer, Mr.Hiryu is a veteran in his line of work and although Ryu Hayabusa would look to the man as a human does an ant, Strider’s latest outing has a lot going for it, equally in content, visuals and gameplay.

Look at Strider looking so cool and… cool!
As you first begin play, it’s quite easy to say the title feels a little underwhelming. Your moves are limited and you’ll find yourselves craving a block button while the only things holding your interest (originally) are likely to be the beautifully detailed level design and atmospheric, electronic vibes that make up the titles soundtrack.

Like any decent title though, you start off with very little and end up unlocking more and more as time goes on. Energy and health upgrades are what you’ll be scouring for initially, but the unlockables featured within Strider are plentiful. Character and story intel, concept art and alternate costumes make up for a large portion of the goodies you’ll find scattered throughout each level, while story/level progression will net you most of your new abilities, gear and weapon upgrades.

With multiple abilities on offer you’ll gain access to Kunai that can be thrown to activate switches inaccessible by any other means, and as soon as double jump and the option of teleporting over short bursts become available, the combat speeds up considerably. Additionally, although basic in design, each new Cypher (the primary blade Strider wields) ability proves for a fun experience.

Colour co-ordination is a key factor in the games design, with each colour representing a different and unique ability. Red is your basic scarf and blade colour, undoubtedly representing the insatiable bloodlust our hero holds for his enemies, allowing him to reflect any bullets fired his way, back to the point they originated from. Each coloured Cypher consists of Red, Yellow, Blue and Purple, with Blue being my personal favourite.

Errm… I think he saw me…
For me, the appeal comes from what the ice based Cypher can actually do. Essentially doubling as a platforming aid and invaluable tool, it allows you to bring fast moving (and otherwise impassable) doors to a halt, also freezing your enemies in place with a flurry of “Shivan” slices, turning your once freely moving opponents into human/mechanical ice shields, also doubling as temporary platforms for even more combat options.

Unsurprisingly, certain enemies are only susceptible to attacks that correspond with the matching coloured Cypher’s available for Strider utilisation. Basic enemies can be killed with either charged or standard sword attacks, while Soldiers with yellow shields can only be de-shielded with the explosive attacks of the yellow coloured Cypher. It’s a simple enough concept, but when faced with multiple enemy types, you can really feel the heat as the pressure of challenge rises.

Being a side-scrolling platform game, traversal plays a key part in Kazakh’s exploration. You can double jump, climb and monkey bar your way through most of the earlier segments of the game, but you’ll eventually reach a point where you need to propel yourself forwards with what I call the “R1 teleport dash”. Additionally, you’ll find propulsion rings that propel you through the level on a fun but fixed path (incredibly reminiscent of the automated tunnel sections in Sonic 2), as well as finding Eagle and Panther points that fly and carry you to some of the later sections of the game.


As mentioned earlier though, Strider likes to challenge you. It wants you to rise to each challenge it presents and if you have any level of competitive spirit, it’ll likely antagonise you to such a point that you have no choice other than to succeed. A room full of shielded enemies, two hulking machines that bombard you with Incendiary Grenades, or three bosses (almost identical in looks) to fight simultaneously? No problem. By the time you reach the ending sections of the game, all of this should be pretty much a breeze if you’ve fully embraced the tools Strider has on offer.

Of note, when it comes to Boss fights, it’s all about learning the attack patterns, knowing where to tread, when to evade and when to dish out the pain. Boss designs featured within the game vary from bland to great, offering a healthy mixture of both lean and mean adversaries to those of the larger, clumsier and more brutal mechanised types. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses, but aside from a few silly names (such as the three sisters; Pei Pooh, Nang Pooh and Tong Pooh), virtually every battle will keep you on your toes, entertained from start to finish as you find yourselves admiring your opponents armour, technology and resiliency.

Graphics/Sound
One of the most pleasing aspects of Strider is undoubtedly the visuals. At first glance it’s easy to overlook the attention to detail featured within every segment of the game, but when you stop the killing as Strider takes a moment to regain his breath and composure, take a long hard look at every object, building and backdrop in your immediate proximity.
Amazing visuals.

You’ll quickly notice that the level of detail is incredible. There’s no lazy work here. Everything that should be textured has been textured. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking way out into the yonder or up close at Strider’s flashy Ninja suit because the minute detailing is astounding no matter where you look. Add some clever motion and character effects onto the already artistic styling and you’ll have no issue differentiating the protagonist from his surroundings even in the most heated of moments.

Moving onto the sound now, the effects are synced perfectly with character and level animations, though the ambient soundtrack lacks the memorable and addictive vibes of Capcom’s other side-scroller - Bionic Commando: Re-Armed. As such I feel it’s easily forgettable and although fitting in some locations, something more upbeat and exciting would have been better suited to really set the mood for combat.

Design
Titled “Kazakh City”, Strider consists of one fairly sizable map that’s broken down into ten different segments/levels, each of which are free to climb, fight and explore your way through, keeping the limitation of exploration to a minimum and encouraging you to revisit old areas for any collectibles you may have missed the first time around.
Don’t expect an easy time here.
Although not an easy game by any standard, the challenge and upgrade placement has been carefully designed, leaving you in sticky situations, but ones you can overcome with good tactics and lightning fast reflexes.

Final Verdict
My time spent with Strider has been both enjoyable and engaging. The platforming is solid, combat is fast and as you’re kept on your toes from start to finish, the visuals are a real treat to look at too.

Although a small game, there’s a large amount of content featured within and if it’s bragging rights you want, Strider also features online leaderboards and a challenge section that includes platforming time trials and a wave based survival mode, guaranteed to test your very worth and efficiency.

Overall, if you’re a fan of old school side-scrolling games then this should be right up your street. With the tried and tested gameplay from times of old mixed with upgraded visuals and a modern take on the series, Strider should have little to no trouble in appealing to the masses and may even offer a little nostalgia along the way.

Gameplay = 8.5/10
Graphics/ Sound = 8/10
Design = 7/10

Final We Know Gamers Score = 7.8/10

Agree with what I had to say? Perhaps you’ve played it and reached a different opinion? Let me know your thoughts over on twitter - @CaptainCortez 

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Three Big Titles To Watch Out For At E3 2014
E3 2014 is nearly upon us and this year gaming fans are awaiting some of the most hyped titles to come out, especially as we can finally look forward to the actual games we want to see for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox one, but also what Nintendo plans to do next with the Wii U.

Here I make my predictions and break down what I believe to be the most important titles to keep an eye out for!

Destiny
The game every Halo fan is waiting for just as much if not more than Halo 5. Halo’s original creators (before the franchise was taken over by Microsoft’s 343 Inudstries) Bungie have been promoting their upcoming release Destiny for what feels like a very long time. The lengthy period before it’s actually released is no surprise when realising that the game’s genre is a “massively multiplayer online action role-playing first-person shooter”. Wooo that’s a lot of genres.

The Legend of Zelda Wii U
Various pictures of a super high-res and original Zelda game with a graphical style more akin to Ocarina of Time or Twilight Princess have been cropping up on the internet for a few years now, with rumours of the pictures simply being from tech demos or actually being in-progress pictures of the up-coming Zelda game.

Either way, since the most recent releases have been a 3DS game and a remake of the Gamecube’s Wind Waker, Zelda fans have been waiting patiently (ok, not many people are patient about this at all) for something that will do more than just whet their appetite. For many, this is going to be the next huge milestone in the franchise and rightly so, judging from the pictures of our Hero of Time battling a giant Shelob-esque spider in a huge majestic temple, it should be another awesome adventure on the already confusing timeline… so there was a chance that Link didn’t beat Ganon at the end of Ocarina of Time? Get out of here!!

Kingdom Hearts 3
As if the Zelda franchise is the only one guilty of releasing games instead of the big one, Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts has been following the same pattern also. Releasing side-games that have been showing off different and unusual gameplay styles while also fleshing out the extremely complex storyline since 2008, fans have been waiting for a real sequel to the main arc of games like rabid dogs… I included.

With short videos and pictures being released recently, Keyblade Masters around the world will be tuning in to E3 2014 for more details of possibly the most anticipated part 3 ever.

Speaking of three-parters though, there is still one other title that maybe, just maybe, could be finally announced…


LET THE RUMOURS COMMENCE FOR THE BILLIONTH TIME!!

So what games are you looking forward to at E3 2014? Agree with the three four I mentioned? Let me know over on twitter - @LZR_ATK 

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Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster Review
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster Review - weknowgamers

Since the original’s release back in 2002, Final Fantasy X has caused quite the rift among Final Fantasy fans. From X being the first fully voiced game in the franchise to having a main character that comes off as both likable and dislikeable, there were many areas up for debate between fans.

X was also the first Final Fantasy to have a direct sequel, with Final Fantasy X-2 being a more criticised game than its predecessor.

So here we are, 12 years later as Square Enix have finally decided to release the international versions of both Final Fantasy X and X-2 on PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation Vita. This review will be focusing on the Vita versions, as we have a look at how the two titles have aged and translated to Sony’s handheld.

Story
If you are unfamiliar with the plot of Final Fantasy X, the basis of the story centres around Tidus, a blitzball player looking to return to home and Yuna, a summoner undertaking a dangerous pilgrimage. The two are brought together by Sin, a gigantic monster that wreaks havoc in the world of Spira as summoners look to destroy it at the end of their pilgrimage. A consistent presence throughout the game are the issues between the followers of Yevon and the Al Bhed, which helps to make the world of Spira more realistic (and controversial) as it comes off as two religions disagreeing with one another.

Sin remains in the background throughout the majority of X’s plot, making appearances every now and then which makes the villainous Maestar Seymour the more apparent antagonist, as he looks to become the next Sin by any means necessary. You’ll find yourself more interested in knocking sense into him instead of killing Sin, though his intentions are pretty unique in comparison to most FF villains.

Meet Maestar Seymour Guado
As for the party of characters that you control, the group still remains a memorable one especially with Auron’s cool demeanour making him the standout. However what stood out to me this time around was the natural vibe I got from the relationship between Tidus and Yuna. During their time together, you see awkward moments (such as the infamous laughing scene) and signs of their affection growing for each other. It managed to make me care more for their relationship then I ever had before, though Tidus made it tricky for me to do so.

While Tidus isn’t a very likable main character, he is made much worse by a narrative that I genuinely don’t remember being as bad as it was this time around. While the voice acting can be absolutely shocking at times (more on that later), the dialogue doesn’t do it any favours as it comes off sounding comical in situations when it really shouldn’t, especially a lot of what Tidus says. Tidus is unlucky, as we are subjected to hearing him speak more so then any other character, so it’s his lines that (unfortunately) stay with us the longest.

The plot for X-2 is much more on the lighter side then X, as it follows Yuna, Rikku and newcomer Paine collectively known as the Gullwings, as they hunt for spheres in hope of finding Tidus. While the game again features a dispute between two factions (this time New Yevon and the Youth League), the tone as a whole is a lot less serious. Now despite the shift in tone, the plot actually remains relatively enjoyable for the most part however as a result, the events of the game don’t feel like that big of a deal especially compared to the rest of the series. This isn’t helped by having a main antagonist such as Shuyin that’s incredibly uninteresting and forgettable.

Say hello to YRP
Bridging the gap between X and X-2 is Final Fantasy X: Eternal Calm; a 15 minute cutscene that focuses on Yuna and does a decent enough job showing why she decided to become a sphere hunter ahead of X-2.

Gameplay
The gameplay in Final Fantasy X remains the same, with the smooth turn-based style still a lot of fun to use. It’s made even better by being able to switch characters in and out of your party mid-battle, which is something I’ve always loved as it allows you to utilise all characters on a consistent basis. The sphere grid system is still a delight to use, as it allows you to customize each characters’ skills however you want, which still surprises me as to how excellent it works over a standard levelling system.

X-2 ditches the sphere grid system; instead introducing dress spheres in its place which allows the three characters to change the skills they possess by changing dresses (similar to the character/job classes in some of the older FF titles). It’s a mechanic that Square Enix brought back for Final Fantasy XIII: Lighting Returns earlier this year and it remains a solid and interesting way to use your characters (even if some of the outfits look ridiculous).

Another change made in Final Fantasy X-2 was the battle system, which moved away from the traditional turn-based style in favour of a fast-paced ATB (active time battle) system. The change was loved equally as much as it was disliked, with me falling into the latter category. I never found myself enjoying the battle system, with it becoming borderline ridiculous as to how many times you would have to revive a character in battle because of them getting killed literally seconds after being healed. Despite my dislike of the battle system, I can fully understand why players enjoy the fast paced battles over the slower turn based system.

Final Fantasy X-2: Last Mission is an extra mission that takes places 3 months after the end of FFX2. The mission occurs in just one new area known as Iutycyr Tower, as you control just one character that ascends the tower. The gameplay completely changes here, becoming grid based as you move about, striking enemies, levelling up and finding new jobs (dress spheres), and boy does it stand out as the most mundane part of the game. It’s incredibly slow compared to the ATB system (and hell even the turn based system) and is such a boring way to close the Final Fantasy X story. I genuinely wouldn’t be surprised if players skipped Last Mission after seeing how it plays, and I wouldn’t blame them either.

The PlayStation Vita’s touch screen and analog sticks add both a bit of good and bad to the final game, with a swipe of the touch screen being used when not in combat to heal your party (via items or magic; entirely up to the player), which is a nice touch that enables you to heal while on the move. Unfortunately the Vita analog sticks aren’t suitable for some of FFX’s uses; with it being very fidgety trying to select the correct enemy to attack (I attacked my own party more times than I would like to admit). Lastly the choice to not change how you perform Lulu’s overdrive was a seriously bad one, as you still have to rotate the right analog stick to build up the power of her overdrive yet the Vita’s analog sticks aren’t as mobile as the PS2/PS3’s, so it’s highly unlikely that you will ever be able to use her overdrive to its full potential.

Graphics/Sound
Tidus, Yuna and co look better than ever on the Vita screen. There were moments very early on where I was shocked as to just how detailed the characters actually looked. Every character looks great and while the facial animations aren’t too great on X, they do look particular good on the main characters in X-2. If I had to nit-pick one thing about the visuals, it would be that Tidus’ face looks oddly fat at times especially in comparison to how he looks during FMV scenes (that also look fantastic on the Vita screen).

The main characters look fantastic in HD
The music for both games is still as magical as ever. Whether you are loading the game up and hearing the iconic piano introduction, traveling through the mystical Macalania Forest or encountering the enigmatic Seymour, every song in the games’ soundtrack is superb and a genuine treat to listen to. It really is impossible to find faults when it comes to Square Enix and the music of Final Fantasy; they manage to knock it out of the park every single time.

The voice acting in FFX is just…strange; strange because I don’t remember it sounding so terrible. As I already mentioned, the narrative is pretty bad throughout FFX (though slightly improved in X-2) with characters speaking in a manner that doesn’t sound natural and as a result just comes off comical. Tidus is the worst offender, as he comes off being so annoying whenever he opens his mouth though he does improve somewhat as the game goes on (funny enough when narrating, he doesn’t sound anywhere as bad). I won’t pick on Tidus as many of the characters sound surprisingly bad, and as a result don’t show as much character as they should do. I think the fact that X was the first fully voiced Final Fantasy could be one of the reasons as to why the voice acting was as bad as it was, as X-2 did a better job than X at showing off each character’s personalities.

Final Verdict
There’s no denying that Final Fantasy X was a landmark in the franchise. Some see it as the start of the decline in the Final Fantasy series; others consider it one of the best Final Fantasy titles. It remains highly debatable, but that doesn’t stop it from being a game worth playing especially if you are a JRPG fan looking for a title to sink dozens of hours into on your PlayStation Vita.

Story = 7.9/10
Gameplay = 7.7/10
Graphics/Sound = 8.5/10

Final We Know Gamers Score = 8/10 

What do you think of the HD versions? Agree with what I said or do you have a different opinion? Let me know over on twitter -  @KingKicks

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