If you're eyeing up the PlayStation 3 version of Xtreme Legends then I can't strongly recommend it. New characters are always great, as are new stages, but the lack of thought put into the addition to Ambition Mode is disappointing to say the least. The same negative applies to the PlayStation 4's Complete Edition though doesn't impact on the game's other contents, taken from the original Dynasty Warriors 8.
After four years with the license, Beenox has yet to deliver a truly ground-breaking Spider-Man experience. Yet, despite not having that "Arkham" effect, this latest movie tie-in is still worth a punt. It may be a little rough around the edges and could have done with more substance, but it's still fun for a good few hours and ideal for younger gamers.
Games like Disgaea 4 are what the Vita was built for. Although the console has recently been rebranded as the home of indie gaming on-the-go, there are dozens of stellar Japanese imports to be had, A Promise Revisited being one of them.
Whether looking to expand the original Disney Infinity experience or joining the series for the first time, 2.0 is a sound follow-up. Though mature gamers will find it hard to warm towards its basic mechanics and lack of stock content, younger audiences will relish the freedom and creativity it instills. Avalanche Studios and its cohort of developers have gone a long way to capture the essence of its super hero line-up while still ensuring plenty of heart-warming Disney magic throughout. Overall, 2.0 may not have the impact of the original but it's still one of the best "toys to life" gaming experiences on the market.
Shadow of Mordor is without doubt the best Middle-earth game available on consoles. Though not entirely original (then again, what is nowadays?) all of the elements which it borrows flow in sync with Monolith's intuitive Nemesis system, creating something both immensely fun and replayable. That's not to say the game doesn't start to lose steam, especially once you've hit the thirty-hour mark, long after you've finished the story and explored the world. Still, when you eventually come to that milestone you will undoubtedly have had your fill.
Natural Doctrine was never going to bring hardcore strategy to the masses. The developer knew exactly who they were targeting with their debut title and, for those players, the game will prove a worthwhile experience. For those who aren't too hot on their strategy role playing games, however, Natural Doctrine is a risk, yet one still worth taking if you're looking for something testing and out-of-the-norm.
With a more intuitive – not to mention, convenient – core gimmick, Skylanders' fourth instalment is a solid outing for the series, dispelling fears that the Activision power seller is succumbing to fatigue. For fans, it's yet another all-round improvement, but Trap Team also serves as a perfect entry point for newcomers.
Great things were expected of Samurai Warriors 4 and, thankfully, the sequel has delivered on a number of levels. Though it still carries the same old Musou blueprint, and so there's little to draw in those who dislike its particular brand of hack n' slash action, there are enough changes to attract any self-respecting fan of the series.
If you've played the original Resident Evil inside out, or the Gamecube remake, you know exactly what you're getting with Capcom's shiny re-release. It's a polished update that never strays far from the template, proving just as faithful as it is hardcore. For those looking for a gateway into the series, however, we advise extreme caution, especially if your notions of Resident Evil are based on more recent instalments. Although perfectly playable, it is likely to defy most, if not all, expectations you may have.
Although a sound game, Dying Light just falls short of greatness. Compared to its predecessors it looks stunning and has picked up a raft of new and interesting ideas. Several hours in, however, and a familiar sense of fatigue will inevitably set in. Unless roaming Harran with friends in tow, Dying Light isn't one of those games you can comfortably sit and play for hours on end. Zombie enthusiasts are still in for a treat though, as well as anyone looking for an unconventional first person action game.
In summary, Empires is yet another instalment in the Warriors franchise that provides hours upon hours of fun for those who enjoy its tried and tested formula. With that said, it fails to do anything that really pushes the series forward, borrowing heavily from previous games while adding a few extra bells and whistles. Although some will revel in the notion of building their own kingdom and conquering all of China, others will find Empire's repetitive mission grinding and narrow scope hard to overlook.
Fans of previous Dragon Ball games will no doubt have a field day with XenoVerse. Aside from the immediate sense of familiarity, it has a shedload of content to wade through, including a trove of iconic items and clothing that can be used to customise your own unique character. Online play is also quite the boon, allowing you to saddle up with friends in a Monster Hunter kind of way. Inevitably, however, there will be those who simply don't see the appeal of XenoVerse's core gameplay, and it ultimately grates as it becomes repetitive no matter how much you enjoy it at first.
These gripes are incredibly minor though when you evaluate the rest of the game. Defiant has done a fantastic job of marrying together two very different flavours of game, presenting it a stylish package that feels one part adventure book, one part action brawler. The potential for expansions and sequels further down the line is immediately apparent so, hopefully, this won't be the last time we're dealt into Hand of Fate.
As a remaster for new consoles, there was only so much Omega Force could do in trying to make Bladestorm relevant once more without having to rebuild the game from scratch. What new feature Nightmare has to offer are intuitive and gel perfectly with Bladestorm's existing mechanics. The demonic campaign is admittedly underwhelming in parts yet gives Bladestorm fans another series of unique battles to play through. If undecided, try the demo – it even extends the option to carry your progress into the main game.
Bar that, there's little else I can do to defame the game without slagging off the entire JRPG genre. It's a slightly more active, engaging iteration on the traditional Final Fantasy experience and one that works well, even away from its native platform. If you've been avoiding the series for a good few years then Type-0 is a great place to pick up the thread once again.
If you're pining for a Monster Hunter style game on console or simply waiting for Dragon's Dogma Online or Deep Down to come along, Toukiden Kiwami offers more than just a stopgap. Although still in its infancy, the IP is certainly going places. It will be interesting to see what Omega Force will do next when, hopefully, it decides to launch a sequel.
There's nothing majorly wrong with Toren. Although barren, its gameplay systems operate well enough, going hand-in-hand with developer Swordtales' minimalist approach. That said, mechanically, it fails to do anything that truly immerses players any more than the game's pretty visuals.
Omega Quintet is a competent role-playing game that builds on Compile Heart's previous successes. The combat system works well and there's an absolute glut of content for those willing to stray from the beaten path. That said, it's not a particularly stunning game to watch, looking more like a remaster than a title genuinely meant exclusively for PlayStation 4. Then there's the inevitable culture clash that comes from Omega Quintet's story and setting, as well as its emphasis on popstars as opposed to armoured knights and space travellers that just won't have the same appeal outside its original market.