Archive | November 2013

Nintendo Wii U – One Year On

miyamotoHere in the UK today is the first birthday of Nintendo’s Wii U. Apparently not many people have bought the console, and I’ve heard this said like it’s a reason why not to own one. Personally, I’m glad that it hasn’t sold well, all the best consoles didn’t. I’d like to think that one day the Wii U will be remembered alongside the Dreamcast, GameCube and SEGA Saturn as one of the best videogame consoles ever made, so today let’s celebrate its first year of turmoil together.

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Review: Forza Motorsport 5

titleForza 5 was the game that got me excited about Xbox One. The series had already established an incredible level of simulation, and the possibilities enabled by a new, more powerful console looked very promising. The end result is technically spectacular, yet whilst Forza succeeds as a masterpiece in certain areas, it lacks the depth and content that defined previous entries in the series.

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This Week’s Purchase: Xbox One: Day One Edition

01This week I spent a little more than I usually do on videogames, and I usually spend quite a lot. I’m not going to try and justify the Xbox One’s enormous price tag, but hey, if you’re planning to play Xbox games in the next seven years then you’ll need one of these machines, so why not get it now? ‘Day One’ has certainly been an exciting day, and before it’s over I’m going to share some early impressions of Microsoft’s new console, as well as a few of it’s games.

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This Week’s Purchase: Sakura Wars Pink Dreamcast Controller

titleSo this is what a slow news day looks like at Dracula’s Cave. Usually I’m talking about an entire console or something, but today all I’ve got to show is a single controller. And to make matters worse I didn’t even buy it this week, I bought it two weeks ago but had to wait ages for it to ship from Japan. Still, it’s a pretty awesome controller (it is pink after all) and marks a good opportunity for me to show off a few other items from my collection. Please enjoy this look at some of my rare, collectible, and downright strange controllers.

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Review: Ratchet & Clank: Nexus

Ratchet and Clank NexusInsomniac Games have tried to break away from the classic Ratchet & Clank formula on a number of occasions. They experimented on the PlayStation 2 with the combat focused Ratchet: Gladiator (or Deadlock), and tried out a number of strange ideas with the more recent entries on the PlayStation 3. This technically means it’s taken four years for Ratchet & Clank to return to form, and whilst Nexus might offer familiar gameplay, it’s the most fun I’ve had with the series in a long time.

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Review: Future Diary

Future DiaryIs ‘Survival Game’ becoming my favourite genre of anime? It just might be. Nothing can really compare to the thrill of watching a bunch of Japanese teenagers try and kill each other, and Future Diary also benefits from a well thought out structure and some extensive character development. There’s no denying that trying to kill your friends to become god would change you, and in Future Diary actions always have appropriate consequences. It’s one of the best in the genre, and fully realises ideas many other shows have attempted to explore.

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Book Review: Ready Player One

ready player one‘Three hidden keys open three secret gates. Wherein the errant will be tested for worthy traits.’ This is the first riddle presented to Ready Player One’s protagonist, Wade Watts, and it effectively sums up the immense competition at the heart of Ernest Cline’s novel. The worthy traits referred to is a vast knowledge of 1980s videogame history and pop culture, as in 2044 there’s no better way to spend your time than to study how good everything use to be. Ready Player One has a unique premise, and tells the story of a terrifying future where the real world is so terrible that everyone spends as much time as possible inside a virtual reality simulation known as the OASIS.

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Dracula’s Book Club

I don’t usually write book reviews, but I’ve recently read some really great stuff I’d like to share with everyone. All the books I’ll be talking about focus on videogames in some way, so should hopefully be the kind of thing readers of Dracula’s Cave will be interested in. I’ve currently got plans for three reviews, and this is a mix of fiction and non-fiction. First one will be up later today, and please look forward to the following two I’ll be publishing in the upcoming weeks!

Review: Call of Duty: Ghosts

titleThe premise of Call of Duty: Ghosts is a lot like that of 24 Season 6; the calamity isn’t prevented, the nuke goes off, and a load of people are blown up, although in the case of Ghosts it’s technically a giant space laser used to fry California. Think the Hammer of Dawn but bigger and you’re halfway there. Infinity Ward’s latest game combines a grim future with familiar gameplay, and takes the series in an interesting, if slightly confused, new direction.

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Retro Review: Daytona USA: Championship Circuit Edition

Daytona USABack in 1993 SEGA released the original Daytona USA, the first title to utilise their new SEGA Model 2 hardware. Whilst the mid 90s are now generally remembered for SEGA’s clumsy add-ons, overpriced peripherals, and the commercial failings of the Saturn, it’s easy to forget that at the same time the company was dominating the arcade market. The Model 2 was incredibly advanced, and at the time Daytona USA was perhaps the most impressive looking game ever made. Two years later and SEGA was porting their arcade hits to the Saturn, a system not exactly famous for its 3D processing power. The home console version of Daytona is a far from perfect port, but it’s still a unique conversion of this classic game.

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