Bespoke Arcades

Month: March 2014

Titanfall touches down on Xbox One and PC.

I excitedly waited for the game to install, then update as I personally felt this was the first major title for the Xbox One. So what is Titanfall about?

You start off on foot with Samus-style double jumps, your pilot can run on walls parkour-style as well as be pretty fast. After a countdown you can summon your giant mech onto the battlefield, mount up, then go wild blowing up all and sundry…

It’s great fun to play, the matches are always exciting as the maps are pretty small. Respawn have developed a game which is delicately balanced so a player has a fighting chance even when they’re not aboard a mech. Respawn have done their best to make it more accessible to novices- there are easier kills via ai-controlled opponents and self locking pistols.

Bold strides have been taken in order to provide gamers with a new slant on a very tried and tested formula. The standard repertoire of moves available to both pilots and mechs (which feature a dash mode to get out of tight spots, a shield which can absorb and repel projectiles as well as others) genuinely make gameplay different from the plethora of other multiplayer shooters. Normally if any game deviates from the well-trodden paths of others, a rubbish game results (like Brink). But in Titanfall’s case- it works.

Matches are fast paced, varied and above all enjoyable. There are a multitude of blockbuster moments inn each game where your pilot can achieve death defying escapes while your mech absorbs a volley of incoming frags to turn the tables in a fight.

Graphics aren’t up to the standards of what I’m sure the Xbox One is capable of and there is no one player option to play. There is a campaign mode, however this consists of a standard multiplayer game with dialogue preceding the events while you’re in the lobby.

Speaking of lobby- stability over the opening weekend was flawless, not one timeout or glitch.

Microsoft were looking for an exclusive killer-app to wave in Sony’s direction in order to push gamers over the edge and shell out for some Seattle-based next generation tech. And once the hype has settled- was it worth the wait?

In my humble opinion- you bet’cha! It’s good fun to play, 15 maps to wade through and it’s a great introduction to those unfamiliar with the genre.

Happy Gaming

5 great shoot em ups to get to grips with

This 1985 vertically scrolling shooter is centred around Billy Bob, a sheriff after a series of bandits. You have to keep your wits about you at all times as the screen automatically scrolls upward. This game has many original features including the ability to shoot in 3 directions and take out those pesky varmints.

(Available on Hanaho Arcade Classics)

Darius Gaiden
Take control of the Silver Hawk’s controls and launch through the underwater themed stages. The Darius series has always been a staple in providing a good side-scrolling experience and Darius Gaiden is no exception, so why not take a ride on this 2 dimensional shooter and have some fun.

(Available on Taito Legends 2)

This hallmark game from the stables of Capcom has a devout following. Set during World War II, the aim is to cross the Pacific Ocean and reach Tokyo and destroy the Japanese fleet. A fiendishly tricky game with a hugely memorable soundtrack. Definitely work spending a few minutes playing. You can also have a punt at 1942: Joint Strike on the Xbox 360 but nothing beats the original.

(Available on Hanaho Arcade Classics)

Building on the Success of Taito’s Space Invaders, Galaxian pushes the technological boundaries with its RGB graphics ad colourful explosions. With the plot consisting of “WE ARE THE GALAXIANS / MISSION: DESTROY ALIENS”, it’s pretty straightforward what the player has to do- destroy swarm after swarm of aliens. This game set new standards and is great fun to experience once more.

(Available on Namco Arcade Classics)

Lets advance a decade and take a gander at Rayforce. Arcades have now truly embraced storylines and Rayforce tells a n extremely complicated one. To cut a long story short, humanity created a supercomputer. Obviously it turns against it’s creators and creates an artificial world (its own body) where Earth dwellers unwittingly lives… It then seeks out other colonies to extinguish. Which is where you come in to do the usual chores and save humanity. To add further confusion- the Game is also known as Layer Section in Japan, Galactic Attack in Europe and North America and Gunlock in Europe…

This game is a great example of the shoot-em-up’s progress through the decades and is an enjoyable game to play, great graphics, design and fast frenetic action which the Rayforce series has now been recognised for.

(Available on Taito Legends 2)