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The Simpsons Games: Yes or No?

The Simpsons Games: Yes or No?

Written by TimmyHarris on the 13th of August 2019 at 09:17
This post is tagged as: blog, games

I don't need to tell you who the Simpsons are. Everyone knows. That's just a marker for how popular they've become. So of all the things America's first family have found themselves a part of, it is unsurprising for even the most unschooled gamer to hear that they've been the focus of a number of video games. I was inspired to write this after seeing this article running down http://gamereactor.eu/the-best-marvel-games-ever/ some of the top Marvel games, so for the Simpsons, which ones come up best? Let's find out.

Arcade Attraction

We'll start this list in chronological order. Obviously I can't run through all the Simpsons games, because we'd be here a while. You might be surprised to know though that there have been 27 Simpsons games created, with a big number of them (nine in fact) being created from 1991-92. A lot of them seemed to focus on Bart, and were aptly named as such, like the first ever title to be released, Bart vs the Space Mutants - which was a 2D side-scrolling platformer.

However, the first title to feature the whole family in the title was 1991's arcade game, simply called 'The Simpsons'. It was a side-scrolling beat 'em up where the family had to rescue Maggie from Mr Smithers after a jewelry heist went awry. Because of its never-before-seen look at Springfield in game, it was said to transport you all the way to Springfield. However, if you wanted to go to Springfield for real, then you'll need to head over to Universal Studios Florida. To get there you'll probably need a plane, and to get to the airport you'll probably need a car. http://parking-at-airports.co.uk/ Parking at Airports can help when you need to find cheap parking at airports for when you jet set off on your holidays, so don't leave things like that to chance.

Hit (& Run) Success

Probably the most popular and most critically acclaimed of all the Simpsons games has to be Hit & Run. Released on Xbox, PS2 and Gamecube in 2003, the game sold over 5 million copies worldwide. The game was basically a parody of Grand Theft Auto III that had been released a couple of years previous. It was the most open-world game so far, and had levels where you could play as Homer, Bart, Marge and Lisa, as well as level where, quite weirdly, you can play as Apu. Because it has been a while since its release, you can sometimes get a greater insight into how the game was made. In this video from http://youtube.com/watch?v=4y07g7N2ROo, he breaks down what the mechanics of the game looked like off-camera with developer Cary Brisebois.

The Simpsons Return

Following up from the somewhat unexpected success of Hit & Run was a big ask, and something that the next in the series, simply titled 'The Simpsons Game' failed to do. Whilst it was reviewed positively by some critics, it was bemoaned for its persistent camera faults and short story with repetitive jumping puzzles. But more importantly, it failed to capture the public's imagination like its predecessor. Hit & Run was a cult phenomenon and every household that had a games console had that game. The Simpsons Game, however, seemed to pass the zeitgeist by, much like recent episodes of the Simpsons. However, the game isn't totally without its merits. It's still the most graphically advanced, and has a detailed and comprehensive open-world map for you to explore. If you're a Simpsons fan you would still get enjoyment out of playing this title.

Tapping Tapped Out

First released on iOS in 2012, this app has been a big success for developers EA Mobile, with it still going strong today. The premise for this mobile title is that Homer unwittingly destroys Springfield, and you have to help rebuild it by collecting buildings and the familiar Springfield residents that go with them. This city-building game is free to play, but does come with addons that can be purchased using real money. It is fun to play and to do all the quests and collect all the characters, however after a while you get the feeling that it's a never-ending story, which is fine for those who want to build and just keep building, but not good for those who like a bit of narrative in their gameplay.

The Top Racing Titles

Written by TimmyHarris on the 12th of August 2019 at 12:15
This post is tagged as: Racing Games

We all love a good race. Whether it's watching the F1, going to the athletics or just running around the park with your nephew, racing is big. And in gaming it's no different. There are many different titles to choose from, which cater for a whole host of different racing tastes. So what's out there, and what's the best?

Be Serious

Sometimes you just want your racing games straight. Real cars, real tracks and an authentic-feeling driving experience. Your dream is probably to have the whole simulation set up with a bucket seat, steering wheel and pedals, all with a surround screen. However, that might be a little bit out of your price range - at the moment. So which games deliver this best? Well if you like to drive your favourite tracks with recognisable cars, you can't go wrong with Project Cars 2. Available on Xbox One, PS4 and Windows, this racing game features 140 tracks from 60 different locations. And for all you motorheads, there are 189 cars from manufacturers like Lamborghini, Porsche and Ferrari. And whilst those cars may be out of your price range in real life, owning them in digital fashion won't cost, especially thanks to sites like https://www.myfavouritevouchercodes.co.uk They have a whole host of discount codes from retailers such as Amazon and Argos, meaning you can make good savings whilst getting your hands on the biggest and best titles.

Another title you might want to consider that has real cars and a realistic feel is Forza Horizon 4. With over 450 licensed cars, the game has a huge open-world map which resembles the UK, in which you can race on a number of different circuits as well as creating your own. Also recently at E3, an expansion was announced for the game, based on LEGO Speed Champions. It lets you drive around on a LEGO map using models of real-life cars. It really has to be seen to be believed, and [[gamer BlackPanthaa has reviewed it http://youtube.com/watch?v=Yt3W5Q4JbR0]]
Krazy Karting

If you're looking at Project Cars and Forza and going 'no', then maybe you like the idea of racing, but don't like all the seriousness. You're not into traction control, tight racing lines or hitting the apex, you just want to have a crash 'em, smash 'em, dash 'em kind of experience. Well thankfully, there are a good number of options out there. The classic is, of course, Mario Kart, which is currently into its ninth incarnation with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.

Mario Kart is a classic, but it has always been the way that the karting series has been a Nintendo exclusive, so what is available on the other consoles? Well you have two options, both follow in a similar vein to Mario Kart in taking an existing franchise and racifying it. Both released in 2019, Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled and Team Sonic Racing (based on Crash Bandicoot and Sonic the Hedgehog respectively), are available on PS4 and Xbox One, as well as the Nintendo Switch. If you enjoy any of the previous games in those series' and enjoy racing, these will be right up your street.

Speed Demons

But what if you want to go quick? Really quick? Well there are two good options for you. F1 is seen as the pinnacle of motorsport racing, with the cars in real life reaching up to 200mph. F1 2019, available on all major consoles, allows you to take your favourite cars and race as your favourite drivers on your favourite Formula 1 circuits. So how well will you do when you have a go at trying to win the Driver's Championship? However, if you prefer two wheels to four, then maybe something like MotoGP 19 would be more up your street.

Go Retro

Maybe something new isn't for you, and to move forward, you like to go back. There is a huge back catalogue of racing titles available to you to choose from, but some of the best include Project Gotham Racing 3, one of the first racing games to be released on the Xbox 360, and if you want to go really far back, the original Mario Kart.

So there are plenty of titles to choose from, so there's absolutely no excuse for you to go out and find your new favourite racing game. So what are you waiting for? Ready, set, go.

Storming Area 51? Prepare Yourself with These Games

Storming Area 51? Prepare Yourself with These Games

Written by TimmyHarris on the 18th of July 2019 at 10:04
This post is tagged as: blog, alien, area51, conspiracy, games

If you're one of the brave few who is planning to take on the might of the American army in storming Area 51, then you'll probably need to be prepared if you want to successfully take on the US armed forces. Thankfully, gaming is a great simulation tool, so you can hone your skills to storm the base, steal the tech and rescue the aliens all without having to move from your sofa. So which ones will best prepare you for your mission? Thankfully, we have you covered.

Get Ready for War

Probably the first thing you need to think about is how to actually get into the base, and you'll probably be met with hostile forces stopping you from entering. Probably the most obvious choice to play is Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. The 2018 title, available on PS4, Xbox One and PC, will teach you how to handle futuristic cutting-edge technology, probably so futuristic that you won't actually be able to get your hands on it until you successfully storm Area 51 and find the hidden stash of alien weaponry. If you want to go old school however (then good luck to you as you will get decimated), then look no further than the World War II-based Battlefield V. Once you get your hands on a first person shooter you'll soon learn the ins and outs of what is required.

Know Your Alien History

To better know the present, you have to look at history. How often is it that people just don't look into these things, only repeating mistakes of the past? Unfortunately, it's all too common. However, you can learn all about the history of the aliens - some of whom are still residing in Area 51 - by playing the right games. Coming out in 2020 is the reboot to the popular Destroy all Humans series, which accurately tells the story of how the aliens first came to be on the planet in the late 1950s. When you think about it, it does all add up. The US were losing to the Soviets in the space race, so they utilised the alien technology to eventually beat them to the moon. The original two games in the series are currently available in the PlayStation Store, and the first is available to play on Xbox One through the Microsoft Store. Or alternatively, you could just wait for the reboot to arrive next year, and with the trailer looking this good, you'll be mad not think it's a worthwhile purchase. Or maybe you're just being mind controlled by the powers that be.

Teaming up with Strange Lifeforms

The aliens you eventually counter could come in any shape or form, you never know. So you would have to be prepared to expect the unexpected, and ultimately, if you want to escape the base, you'll need the help of your new alien friends to do so. Therefore, it is probably beneficial that you immerse yourself in games where cooperation with other creatures is paramount. Thankfully, there has been a game series that's been around for years that's been preparing us for just that. Pokemon has existed in many forms: an anime series, a collectable card game, an app, a big-budget movie and of course, many games. The latest in the line of Pokemon titles will be Pokemon Sword and Shield, which is set for a November release this year. Currently out for you to flex your Pokemon muscles, however, are 'Let's Go! Pikachu' and 'Let's Go! Eevee', which include more than 150 different Pokemon creatures, meaning if you manage to catch them all then you'll have the experience in befriending different beings and persuading them to do your bidding.

Making Your Escape

If you don't escape Area 51 successfully, then it's likely you won't have a happy ending, and your alien adventure will be over before it's begun. However, thankfully, there are many games on the market where you can hone your driving skills, making an evasion of the US forces all the more likely. One game that has been out for a few years, but is great for testing out how you can outrun the police and military, is Grand Theft Auto V. The GTA series is full of morally reprehensible things, but learn how to get away from the cops will be very useful if you decide to visit Area 51. Alternately, if you think the journey will be pretty bumpy and there'll be a lot of smashing and crashing, then look no further than Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled. The latest title in the popular Crash Bandicoot series was rated 9/10 on this site, and is a good game to practise with if the journey home from the military base is more hectic than expected.

So hopefully now you'll feel more prepared than ever to take on the task of storming Area 51. However, if you now realise that it probably isn't the cleverest of ideas (or you just want to spend your day lazing about instead), then you can't go too wrong with a harmless sporting game like F1 2019 or Cricket 19.

My First Blog: Are Classic Titles Worth a Reboot?

My First Blog: Are Classic Titles Worth a Reboot?

Written by TimmyHarris on the 10th of July 2019 at 13:59
This post is tagged as: blog, game, classic

Rebooting and reimagining is a trend that has become commonplace in movies, and now that trend seems to be seeping into the game world too. Just like films, it is probably less of a risk to recreate rather than coming up with something new and original. However, with the success of emulation engines and commercially available 'retro' consoles like the Playstation Classic, there is still a clamouring for older titles. And with the vastly-expanded graphic capabilities compared to 20 years ago, aging games can be given a fresh lease of life through a remake. So have they been successful? What is yet to come? And what could be adapted in the future?

Crash Bandi-reboot

Crash Bandicoot first appeared in a game of the same name in 1996 on Playstation. A popular character, he has since gone on to feature in 14 original titles, as well as two recent reboots. Released on Playstation in 2017 and Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC a year later; the N. Sane Trilogy gave three classic Bandicoot games - Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back and Warped - a cosmetic facelift released them as a single package. As that became a critical and commercial success, that gave the developers the boost they needed in producing another reimaging, this time in the form of Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled. A remake of the 1999 title Crash Team Racing, the new game features the 31 maps found in the original game and it's spiritual sequel Crash Nitro Kart. Here's what Game Reactor made of the game. But what do you think? Get yourself a copy of both games to see for yourself. Sites such as Discount Promo Codes offer a range of discounts from gaming retailers such as Argos, 365 Games and Zavvi, so you can have your nostalgia trip without it hitting you hard in the pocket.

The Ones Anticipated

Of the nine films that will be visited in the upcoming LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, set to be released sometime in 2020, seven have already been depicted in previous LEGO Star Wars titles. Those being 2005's LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game (which featured Episodes I through III), The Original Trilogy in 2006 (IV-VI), The Complete Saga a year later (I-VI) and a standalone The Force Awakens game in 2016. Since the mid-00s LEGO games have grown immeasurably in both scale and quality, so to fans it would be welcome news that a remake is soon to be released. Additionally, this would also give the chance for the games to accurately reflect the developments LEGO have made in their minifigure design and set building, as the older games now don't reflect the types of sets that can be bought nowadays. Here's everything that's known about the game so far.

One remake is so blatant that it has 'remake' in the title. Final Fantasy VII, which was originally released in 1997 on the Playstation, is getting a big facelift. Square Enix, the developers for the aptly-named Final Fantasy VII Remake, have brought back some of the key staff that brought the original together. Original character designer Tetsuya Nomura returns as director, original director Yoshinori Kitase is the producer and writer Kazushige Nojima has come back to write some new material. Whilst the Final Fantasy remake will include some new material, the game itself is being split into multiple parts so that none of the original story will be lost. Part 1 is set to be released on 3rd March 2020, and recently showed off what's soon to come at E3.


Potential?

With the market for remakes seemingly booming, there are many classic titles from the 90s and early 00s that could be due a reboot. Jumping Flash was an obscure but successful game released on Playstation in 1995, and had sequels released in 1996 and 1999, but it seemingly has fallen off the face of public consciousness. But if it returned with the same gusto as the original, then Flash will be jumping again. One of the biggest games in the PS2/Xbox era was The Simpsons: Hit & Run - who didn't have a copy of that game? With the development of graphic styles and the insane expansion potential - the idea of a reimagining of that game is tantalising. It seems that the idea of remaking games is one that's here to stay, at least for the time being.