Family video games – Christmas 2014 buyer’s guide

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2014 has seen the video game business continue to go from strength to strength.  With consoles such as Sony’s Playstation 4 having sold over 15 million units more and more family homes are making use of these to provide family entertainment.

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Video games provide a great activity for children and their families to enjoy sharing at home but many are not suitable for younger gamers.  Despite various aged certification on game boxes children are frequently being exposed to games that are not suitable for them to play.  What games are children allowed to play and which ones are they likely to want to play?

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Nintendo 2DS impressions

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Last week I received a Nintendo 2DS.  It’s a handheld gaming console, very similar in style to the 3DS but offered without the ability to display games in 3D, hence a smaller price tag.  Every 3DS game works on the 2DS, it is a budget version of the more popular 3DS.

The device is well built and feels solid to hold and use.  My 2 year old has got hold of it a couple of times and I have at no point felt concerned that she could break or damage it.

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The user interface is wonderfully straightforward to use, packing a lot of information and options into a small space.  The two screens are really well utilised in the menus and allow you to find whatever you want quickly and easily.

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Shadow of Mordor review

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Check out other game reviews HERE

Following years of fairly unimpressive Lord of the Rings inspired games, Shadow of Mordor arrives, ready to not only prove that games set in Middle Earth can be amazing, but that open world games can offer more structured and interesting gameplay than we’ve seen recently.

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Shadow of Mordor is set during Sauron’s return to Mordor as he builds his armies and prepares for his assault on Middle Earth as he attempts to retrieve the One Ring.  The game focuses on a ranger (just like Aragon), Talion, as he attempts to gain revenge for the murder of his wife, son and his own at the hands of The Black Hand of Sauron.

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Resogun review

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I was, of course, hoping to enjoy Resogun when I downloaded it.  I had seen reviews online and had watched a couple of videos of it in motion and it looked ok.  It’s not my typical game but I was really trying to find a truly outstanding Playstation 4 exclusive to make me feel more confident in my purchase.  So far Killzone and Infamous have both been fun but hadn’t quite convinced me that PS4 was the right choice.

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Resogun is a shooter that takes places around the circumference of a circular level.  At all times you can see pretty much the whole level and then you proceed to fly around shooting enemies and saving humans.

The shooting looks and feels incredible.  The screen gradually fills with more and more enemies, rockets, bullets, humans, and tracer fire.  It feels like you’re in Ikea’s lighting section shaking your head viciously from side to side.  Somehow though, amongst all of the mayhem you can just about figure out what is happening and skill will always win.  No death feels like a cheat, it is always the players fault.  The more you play, the more you increase your current high score.  Now my high scores are really weak at the moment but I cannot wait to get back on to attempt to increase it again and again.

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On top of shooting enemies you have to also save humans who are scattered about the levels.  This adds a fantastic extra layer of depth to proceedings as you have to be continually attacking the enemy, protect yourself and move the humans to the safe zones.  I’ve recently found that you can “juggle” humans throwing and catching the whilst doing all of the above.

Basically it’s an incredible game not just in how it looks but mainly in gameplay.  It’s so refreshing to play a game that has been created with gameplay first and foremost in mind.