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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Open world action-adventure game face off

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This Month has seen the release of a number of BIG games.  Titles such as Dragon Age: Inquisition, Super Smash Bros and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will be popular on plenty of people’s Christmas lists.

Games featuring “open worlds” are growing dramatically in popularity.  They afford their players large worlds to explore, enjoy and usually offer a hours of content.  Of the various genres of open world titles that are available it’s the action adventure titles traditionally attract the most sales.

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This Christmas the most popular of these open world action-adventure games are Assassins Creed: Unity, Grand Theft Auto V and Far Cry 4.

The question is, if you’re a fan, which one of these is the game for you to spend hours exploring.

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Evolve Alpha impressions

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Evolve is a game that caught my attention quickly when I read previews of it and saw trailers showing off its unique take on cooperative multiplayer.

Evolve sees two “teams” go up against each other.  On one team is a group of 4 hunters made up of a medic, a trapper, an assault and a support.  The other is a monster!

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The monster is a one player team that goes up against the four hunters, as you’d expect that monster is very powerful but with good teamwork the hunters are able to take the Monster down.

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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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Initial impressions of Phonics fun with Biff, Chip and Kipper

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The Biff, Chip and Kipper books are nearly as old as I am (thanks for that Wikipedia) and I turned 31 yesterday!  phonics fun 3

The books are a series of stories designed to teach children how to read and speak English in line with the National Curriculum that is taught in schools.  Because of this they have been incredibly popular with parents and schools for nearly 30 years!

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Diablo 3 review

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Diablo 3 is a beast of a game.  I mean this of course in the nicest possible way.  I haven’t played either of the previous Diablo games but was aware of them before Diablo 3 came along.diablo33

The game is best described as an action role playing game or if your not video game savvy a game where you control a character who roams around killing creatures and in doing so becomes more powerful.  Being more powerful then allows you to kill more challenging creatures and so the gameplay loop continues.  That gameplay loop is key here because Diablo 3 is incredibly addictive thanks to that tight rotation of getting more and more powerful and therefore being able to take on more and taking on more allows you to get more powerful.

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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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