I get the feeling that Text Zedventure was developed for me. Or at least the special subset of people who held choose-your-own-adventure books very dear to their hearts. As a young boy, I used to love ‘playing’ the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks; a whole series of paperbacks from the pens of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, who later went on to found Games Workshop. Played with a pair of dice and a pencil to make notes and fight battles, the gamebooks allowed the reader to forge his own path through the adventure, making key decisions along the way. Although Text Zedventure lacks the dice, and the combat, of these fondly-remembered works, I can’t help but feel that a love for the choose-your-own-adventure paperbacks beats at its austere heart.

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Perhaps it can be chalked up to the 100+ hours of driving tanks and ‘pwning noobz’ in the exemplary multiplayer modes, but when I finally got around to sitting through Battlefield: Bad Company 2’s singleplayer campaign, I found it straightforward, or dare I say it, rather easy. Not that this is altogether unexpected; Dice’s answer to Infinity Ward’s smash hit Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was always going to be about its online modes, but the singleplayer campaign still has its virtues, even if it does, at times, feel like an extended tutorial in order to prepare players for multiplayer play on the battlefield. Finally able to bring you an appraisal of everything the game has to offer, hit the jump for a comprehensive review of Battlefield: Bad Company 2.

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Reviewing Decay – Part 1 using traditional videogaming criteria is a tricky business, as it bears little resemblance to anything else on the Xbox Live Indie Game platform, or any of the current crop of retail titles. Sure, there are puzzles, and the kind of item examination and use that recalls fond memories of a certain Resident Evil, a franchise cited as one of developer Shining Gate Software’s influences. But there is no jump button, no shooting, no health bars, no enemies, no game overs. Just a series of moments, snatches of plot, a few cerebral puzzles and an atmosphere of true dread.

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Alan Wake // Xbox 360

May 16, 2010

It’s mildly ironic that a title that tries its hardest to ape other mediums and thus transcend its own, is marred frequently by its insistence on incorporating run-of-the-mill videogame mechanics. Alan Wake is a cultural hodge-podge of influences, most notably the brash thrillers of Stephen King, but also finding time to riff on Ridley Scott’s adaptation of King’s ‘The Shining’, incorporating motifs from Alfred Hitchcock’s films, name-dropping authors from Raymond Chandler to Brett Easton Ellis, and aping the episodic format of successful TV series’ like Lost. But a bewildering array of meaningless collectibles that add nothing but artificial padding to the game length and solid but repetitious combat prevent this good game becoming a great one.

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Judging by a price tag of £22.70 on UK retailer Amazon (at the time of writing) for the full retail version of Super Street Fighter IV, you could be forgiven for thinking Capcom are trying to pre-empt and diffuse consumer ire over an update to the release of Street Fighter IV just over 14 months ago with a bargain basement offer. Whilst a vastly reduced price is obviously welcome, they needn’t have worried. Super Street Fighter IV is absolutely stuffed to bursting with new features – characters, stages, ultras, game modes – which fully justfies another retail release instead of a bloated DLC package. Fans of the series that snapped up the original last February will want to do so again, and newcomers tempted by the price will be rewarded with the definitive current-gen version of a legendary beat ‘em up.

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According to the developers of games for consoles such as the Philips CD-i and the Panasonic 3DO, FMV was the future of gaming. In the PS1 era, FMV was the medium of choice to explain narrative in the form of filmed cutscenes. Fast forward to 2010, and FMV is used as the chief game mechanic for this weeks minis game, Hysteria Project.

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minis Monday: DynoGems

April 5, 2010

After last week’s minis experience, I admit to being apprehensive as I downloaded DynoGems for £1.74 (it’s currently part of the PSN Special Offers) to my PS3 for this week’s minis Monday. I needn’t have worried really, as DynoGems is a pretty solid, if unspectacular, effort that can easily while away a few lazy hours.

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