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Ben Ward

Lincoln, UK
winstano
winstano
winstano

Favorite Games:
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

56 games reviewed
81.3 average score
85 median score
78.6% of games recommended

Ben Ward's Reviews

Ben. I do the writings about the video games for NGB.
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8.5 / 10.0 - Child of Light
May 1, 2014

Child of Light is a game that's worth of a spot in anyone's collection. With the PlayStation versions being cross-buy, it's difficult not to recommend it. In the video review, I mention that it's £16, and this was an early price for the deluxe edition online. If you download it from the store, it's £12, and that's a fantastic price for what is a beautiful game. If you're willing to forgive the slightly irritating rhyming structure to the narrative and just get on with exploring the gorgeous environments, you won't go far wrong with Child of Light.

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8 / 10.0 - Transistor
Jul 2, 2014

Transistor is a worthy follow up to one of the most revered indie games of the last generation. Supergiant have taken a formula that works really well and applied a truly gorgeous art direction to it, with an incredibly deep combat system to boot. It's a game that is well worth your time, and with the big AAA game drought heading our way over summer, it's a perfect title to sink your teeth into for a few hours and just let it wash over you.

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I actually came into Rise of the Dark Spark with relatively high hopes. The "Cybertron" games have actually been quite good, and with the dawn of new console hardware, I was looking forward to seeing what was possible for my favourite robots in disguise. Sadly, what we got was a half-baked offering that was clearly put out to meet the movie's release date. As a long term fan, Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark is about as fun as having unnecessary surgery. The only thing that poses any form of saving grace is Peter Cullen's voice work, but if you're after that, there's plenty more Transformers content that you could be watching.

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All in all, in spite of its flaws, New 'N' Tasty is well worth a purchase. If you've never played Abe's Oddysee and have a PS4, go and buy this immediately. It's a chance to play one of the all-time classic platform games with up-to-date graphics, as well as keeping Abe's unique sense of humour and mischievous ways intact. It couldn't be clearer that the love and commitment to Abe at both of the teams at Oddworld Inhabitants and Just Add Water is huge, and this really is a remake that's worth picking up.

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Aug 25, 2014

All in all, inFamous: First Light is a solid addition to the franchise that further showcases the technical excellence that Sucker Punch have been able to pull off so far. Whilst the story falls a bit flat in places, it's generally solid enough to carry you through it. The challenge rooms are a lot of fun and will put you through your paces as you try and best your friends' scores, and if you've not yet sampled any of the inFamous franchise, this is well worth a go as an introduction. A good example of DLC done right, inFamous: First Light sheds some brightly coloured neon light on areas of Second Son that were previously unknown to us all.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Lords of the Fallen
Oct 28, 2014

Lords of the Fallen is a challenging and well paced hack 'n' slash RPG. If you're not a fan, or have yet to dip your toes into the waters of the Souls series, it might seem somewhat frustrating at first, but once you get your head round the mechanics and pacing, it becomes a satisfying, if not brutally difficult, RPG. Whilst it's not really my cup of tea, I can see this taking a spot in some players' libraries as the wait for Bloodborne gets ever more excruciating. Whilst it's probably somewhat harsh to compare it to From Software's output, it's inevitable really. This is to its credit and its detriment, as certain elements outpace From's games, but other areas fall sadly behind. Overall though, Lords of the Fallen holds its own, but fails to do much more than that.

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6 / 10.0 - Driveclub
Nov 8, 2014

Hidden somewhere within DriveClub is a very good racing game. A game with online hooks that dig in to every element of the experience, whether you're taking on friends and rivals directly or through the challenges dotted around the game. Sadly, the most crucial part of the game simply doesn't work right now, and in spite of its extra 11 months, feels horribly unfinished in places. Things like dynamic weather should be in the game at launch, particularly as that's what was showcased so much at the likes of E3 and EGX. Whilst everyone should appreciate that things happen that will derail some plans a little bit, the fact that DriveClub is still as broken as it is this far down the line, in spite of the additional year that was given to it is inexcusable. Hopefully, in 6 months time, when everything is fixed and all of the content patches are out, it will be a game worth picking up. Until that day arrives, it's very, very difficult to recommend DriveClub as anything more than an astonishingly pretty, but ultimately nothing more than competent single-player racing game.

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Nov 9, 2014

To cap this all off, I'll address the "Exo Suit feels like Titanfall" thing mentioned at the start of the review. To the untrained eye, this may well be the case. Jumping up and boosting through a window to take down a player shooting from the other side of the room is possible in both of the games, but the key difference is this. Titanfall was designed like that from the ground up. Advanced Warfare has taken the core Call of Duty mechanics and enhanced them with these new fangled suits. They feel totally different, and frankly, who cares if they've taken an idea from another game and implemented it? That's what video games have been doing since day one, and although I doubt it's been ripped wholesale from Respawn's new baby, it's done more for Call of Duty than anything has done over the past 4 or 5 years. Considering how much I was down on the series as a whole, Advanced Warfare has turned me round on it. Maybe not quite to the level I used to, but it's done enough to get me back on side again.

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10 / 10.0 - Grand Theft Auto V
Dec 1, 2014

I said in my original review that Rockstar dropped the mic on the previous generation with the release of GTAV. If that's the case, this feels like a remastering of a classic album. The fact that this isn't known as "GTAV: Definitive Edition" speaks volumes to the attitude Rockstar have taken with this release. It's GTAV, and it's on the new systems. There is an absolute treasure trove of content to dive headfirst into, and with its fresh coat of paint, GTAV on PS4 is one of the best looking open worlds that there has ever been on a console. I fully expect the PC version to be modded to the moon and back when it's released in January, but for now, this version of Los Santos will remain the pinnacle. If you've yet to play Grand Theft Auto V and own a new system, there is absolutely no excuse for not picking up this release. If you're thinking about double-dipping, then it's a slightly more difficult proposition, but I would recommend it. Admittedly that's because I was looking forward to taking my time with the game rather than mainlining the story campaign in a few days like I did with the review last year. There are still parts that I've yet to touch on the last generation, so with everything to do all over again plus all of that? It's one of the best value propositions on the market right now. Hopping on a scooter and riding down to Vespucci beach during the sunset never felt quite so good.

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Feb 8, 2015

Grim Fandango is very much a product of the late 1990's. It's an extremely well put together story, with interesting and funny characters that you begin to care about as the tale unfolds. It's an absolute stone-cold classic of gaming history, and is a title that everybody should play. The remastered character assets and re-recorded audio simply look and sound great, and whilst the overlaying of these on the classic VGA level of backdrops is sometimes disjointed, it never feels "wrong". In fact, Grim Fandango Remastered holds up so well it's a little scary. I would like to think this isn't nostalgia clouding my judgement, but it was hard to suppress a smile the first time I bumped into Glottis and he knocked together the Bone Wagon for me. If you've got the patience to deal with some devious puzzles, and want to experience the final hurrah of the LucasArts point and click legacy, this reissue is more than worth the download. Vita cross-save bug aside, I absolutely loved the chance to get back into Manny's Land of the Dead, and I can now proudly say "Grim Fandango? Yeah, finished it. Great game."

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