Stuff.co.nz - Games

    Donkey Kong switches it up in Tropical Freeze

    Donkey Kong switches it up in Tropical Freeze


    Review: "If at first you don't succeed try, try again." Wise words that apply as much to work as they do to play, and a phrase that anyone who has experienced the exercise in frustration that is Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze will be all too...

    Review: "If at first you don't succeed try, try again." Wise words that apply as much to work as they do to play, and a phrase that anyone who has experienced the exercise in frustration that is Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze will be all too familiar with.

    Plenty of games are based around the idea of trial and error, but this is more a case of trial by error. You will fail, fail, and fail again but somehow you keep coming back for more.

    Sometimes it feels as if the failure is a fundamental part of the experience, an essential rite of passage that must be endured to maximise the satisfying pay-off that comes from the rare, fleeting moments of success.

    Here's how a typical session plays out: Die. Die again. Die three or four more times, give up for a while and come back for "one more go". After the ninth or tenth try, swear at the screen, die again, then invent some entirely new swear words as none of the usual ones accurately reflect your level of rage.
    Ashen: Kiwi-made Xbox adventure highlights NZ's booming game industry

    Ashen: Kiwi-made Xbox adventure highlights NZ's booming game industry


    At New Zealand's International Games Festival Play by Play in Wellington last month, gamers from across the country gathered to get a glimpse of the future of the NZ game...

    At New Zealand's International Games Festival Play by Play in Wellington last month, gamers from across the country gathered to get a glimpse of the future of the NZ game industry.
    State of Decay 2: Create your own post-apocalyptic survival story

    State of Decay 2: Create your own post-apocalyptic survival story


    As the long-awaited follow-up to the biggest Xbox Live Arcade game of all time, State of Decay 2 certainly has a tough act to follow. Like the 2013 original, the sequel is a survival horror game set in a harsh and hostile world teeming with undead...

    As the long-awaited follow-up to the biggest Xbox Live Arcade game of all time, State of Decay 2 certainly has a tough act to follow.

    Like the 2013 original, the sequel is a survival horror game set in a harsh and hostile world teeming with undead monsters.

    While the zombie outbreak trope isn't exactly the most original of settings for a video game, what sets SoD apart is its emphasis on building - not just physically constructing bases and strongholds but building relationships and resilient communities.

    New to SoD2 is the addition of co-operative multiplayer - allowing you to team up with up to three other players online to create your own unique story of post-apocalyptic survival. Developer Undead Labs recently held an exclusive media preview event in Sydney and Stuff was lucky enough to talk about the game's development with lead designer Jeff Strain, as well as some hands-on time with an "almost finished" version of the game.
    God of War: Kratos returns in a true modern masterpiece

    God of War: Kratos returns in a true modern masterpiece


    Review: The most difficult games to write about are the really bad ones, the tediously average ones and the absolutely amazing ones. The total stinkers can provide some laughs when you break down just how terrible they are, but you find yourself worrying...

    Review: The most difficult games to write about are the really bad ones, the tediously average ones and the absolutely amazing ones.

    The total stinkers can provide some laughs when you break down just how terrible they are, but you find yourself worrying if maybe you've missed something obvious or completely misunderstood the concept.

    The mediocre bore-fests are a challenge to simply find something interesting to say. If you've seen it all before, you've probably written it too and it's hard not to plagiarise yourself.

    But the hardest reviews of all are the genuine gems. The instant classics. The ones that raise the bar and remind you why you fell in love with gaming in the first place. Sometimes it's tough to find the words to accurately describe just how incredible something is. God of War is one of those games.
    Far Cry 5: Battling religious misfits makes for a different type of cult hit

    Far Cry 5: Battling religious misfits makes for a different type of cult hit


    When Ubisoft announced the fifth instalment of its open-world shooter series Far Cry would be set in America for the first time, it reignited interest in a franchise that some people felt had been flagging in recent...

    When Ubisoft announced the fifth instalment of its open-world shooter series Far Cry would be set in America for the first time, it reignited interest in a franchise that some people felt had been flagging in recent years.
    Attack on Titan 2: The bigger they come, the harder they fall

    Attack on Titan 2: The bigger they come, the harder they fall


    Review: The worldwide phenomenon that is Attack On Titan (AOT) has already seen its story shine through multiple platforms. From manga, anime and live-action adaptations to spin-offs and games, AOT has left quite the mark on the world of pop...

    Review: The worldwide phenomenon that is Attack On Titan (AOT) has already seen its story shine through multiple platforms. From manga, anime and live-action adaptations to spin-offs and games, AOT has left quite the mark on the world of pop culture. 

    Attack On Titan 2 is a hack-and-slash action game based on the popular manga and anime series. Released across multiple platforms including Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and Nintendo Switch, this game is the sequel to Omega Force and Koei Tecmo's 2016 original, Attack On Titan: Wings of Freedom.  

    Most adaptations, whether film or video game, often struggle with remaining faithful and true to the original source material. Game adaptations are generally at their best when the source material is followed to the letter, with as much passion as an obsessed 'otaku'. Fortunately, AOT 2 manages to do the original justice by rigidly following the storyline of the first two seasons of the dystopian anime series. 

    Wings of Freedom laid the groundwork with interesting gameplay, cell-shaded graphics and intuitive movement mechanics. It introduced us to the fast-paced and thrilling overhead battles against the terrifying, gargantuan titans, using the Omni-Directional Mobility Gear ("OMD Gear") that lets players zip around through various environments easily. 
    Yakuza 6: The Song of Life - A fitting end to gaming's greatest gangster epic

    Yakuza 6: The Song of Life - A fitting end to gaming's greatest gangster epic


    Review: All great stories have a final chapter, but it's fair to say some are a lot better than others. In theory, every tale should build to a satisfying crescendo, tying up all the loose ends and leaving you with fond memories. Unfortunately, in the...

    Review: All great stories have a final chapter, but it's fair to say some are a lot better than others.

    In theory, every tale should build to a satisfying crescendo, tying up all the loose ends and leaving you with fond memories. Unfortunately, in the world of gaming this is rarely the case. Series either outstay their welcome and drag things out for too long or suddenly disappear before the story is even properly finished.

    Every now and then though, a developer knows exactly when the time is right to quit while they're ahead, even if that means killing off the golden goose and leaving fans wanting more. The Yakuza series is a perfect example.

    While this might not be the last we'll see of the series, Yakuza 6 is almost certainly the curtain call for Kazuma Kiryu, the Dragon of Dojima whose story first began way back in 2005 on the PlayStation 2.
    Eight year-old YouTube gamer raising money for Ronald McDonald House

    Eight year-old YouTube gamer raising money for Ronald McDonald House


    An 8-year-old gamer is giving back to an organisation that helped her parents when she fought for her life in Wellington...

    An 8-year-old gamer is giving back to an organisation that helped her parents when she fought for her life in Wellington Hospital.
    Ships and riddles:Sailing the Sea of Thieves

    Ships and riddles:Sailing the Sea of Thieves


    Rare is not your average game developer. Establishing itself as a key player since the days of the ZX Spectrum and creating some of the greatest games ever made has set them apart as an iconic brand, but they've always made a name for themselves by...

    Rare is not your average game developer. Establishing itself as a key player since the days of the ZX Spectrum and creating some of the greatest games ever made has set them apart as an iconic brand, but they've always made a name for themselves by doing things a bit differently.
    Gaming classic Spyro the Dragon is being remade for PS4: report

    Gaming classic Spyro the Dragon is being remade for PS4: report


    Spyro the ice breathing dragon is set to be brought back to life and remade for PlayStation 4, according to a gaming news...

    Spyro the ice breathing dragon is set to be brought back to life and remade for PlayStation 4, according to a gaming news site.
    A beginner's guide to loot boxes - harmless fun or gambling?

    A beginner's guide to loot boxes - harmless fun or gambling?


    OPINION: At the Classification Office we've had a few emails about loot boxes lately – mostly to do with their similarity to gambling, and that they're accessible to...

    OPINION: At the Classification Office we've had a few emails about loot boxes lately – mostly to do with their similarity to gambling, and that they're accessible to children.
    Tauranga's newest nightspot breeds 'Street Fighter' champions

    Tauranga's newest nightspot breeds 'Street Fighter' champions


    Tauranga's newest night spot is mashing old-school arcade with the modern day brew house and it has proved a knockout with Street Fighter II...

    Tauranga's newest night spot is mashing old-school arcade with the modern day brew house and it has proved a knockout with Street Fighter II fans. 
    Xbox One X: Microsoft's 4K superconsole is a game changer

    Xbox One X: Microsoft's 4K superconsole is a game changer


    The history of entertainment technology can be traced back as a series of incremental steps. In the past 20 years, we've seen video go from grainy VHS tapes to  DVD and beyond with blu-ray and HD...

    The history of entertainment technology can be traced back as a series of incremental steps. In the past 20 years, we've seen video go from grainy VHS tapes to  DVD and beyond with blu-ray and HD streaming.
    Game publisher EA's holiday-quarter sales forecast misses estimates

    Game publisher EA's holiday-quarter sales forecast misses estimates


    Electronic Arts' revenue forecast for the holiday quarter narrowly missed estimates on Tuesday as the game developer gears to face tough competition from rivals such as Activision. The videogame publisher forecast third-quarter adjusted revenue of US$2...

    Electronic Arts' revenue forecast for the holiday quarter narrowly missed estimates on Tuesday as the game developer gears to face tough competition from rivals such as Activision.

    The videogame publisher forecast third-quarter adjusted revenue of US$2 billion (NZ$2.9 billion), a tad lower than the analysts' average estimate of US$2.01b, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

    "We always try to be conservative ... Christmas is always the toughest time to predict how business is going to be," chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen told Reuters.

    EA's holiday quarter launches include "Star Wars Battlefront II" on November 17 and "Need for Speed Payback" on November 10.