Temporary Website - Returning Very Soon.

Unfortunately we have been experiencing major issues with the site over the past couple of months as a result of the unexpected loss of our webhost following Hurricane Sandy on the east cost of the USA (where our server was based), and the need to rebuild the site from backups towards the end of last year. Thankfully, things are almost ready to go again. Apologies for the lack of a proper website and regular content since we went down, but we'll back with most of our archive and a whole host of new content very soon.

UK Charts - All Format (All Prices) - Week Ending 23rd February 2013

posted 1 Mar 2013, 07:59 by Matt Bailey   [ updated 1 Mar 2013, 08:00 ]

LW

TW

TITLE

AGE RATING

PUBLISHER

 

 

 

 

 

NEW

1

CRYSIS 3

PEGI 16+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

NEW

2

METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE

PEGI 18+

KONAMI

3

3

FIFA 13

PEGI 3+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

4

4

CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II

PEGI 18+

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

1

5

ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES

PEGI 18+

SEGA

2

6

DEAD SPACE 3

PEGI 18+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

5

7

FAR CRY 3

PEGI 18+

UBISOFT

7

8

NEED FOR SPEED MOST WANTED

PEGI 7+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

6

9

ASSASSIN'S CREED III

PEGI 18+

UBISOFT

11

10

HITMAN ABSOLUTION

PEGI 18+

SQUARE ENIX EUROPE

8

11

JUST DANCE 4

PEGI 3+

UBISOFT

12

12

THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM

BBFC 15+

BETHESDA SOFTWORKS

9

13

SONIC & ALL STARS RACING TRANSFORMED

PEGI 7+

SEGA

13

14

SKYLANDERS GIANTS

PEGI 7+

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

15

15

LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES

PEGI 7+

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

10

16

HALO 4

PEGI 16+

MICROSOFT

16

17

LEGO THE LORD OF THE RINGS

PEGI 12+

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

20

18

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV

BBFC 18+

TAKE 2

36

19

THE SIMS 3

PEGI 12+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

21

20

FORZA MOTORSPORT 4

PEGI 3+

MICROSOFT

30

21

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. 2

PEGI 3+

NINTENDO

19

22

DISHONORED

BBFC 18+

BETHESDA SOFTWORKS

22

23

MEDAL OF HONOR: WARFIGHTER

PEGI 16+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

18

24

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2013

PEGI 3+

SEGA

23

25

GRAND THEFT AUTO EPISODES - LIBERTY CITY

BBFC 18+

TAKE 2

31

26

MARIO & SONIC LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES

PEGI 3+

SEGA

14

27

HITMAN: HD TRILOGY

PEGI 18+

SQUARE ENIX EUROPE

28

28

WWE '13

PEGI 16+

THQ

17

29

FORZA HORIZON

PEGI 12+

MICROSOFT

24

30

DEAD ISLAND GOTY EDITION

BBFC 18+

KOCH MEDIA

RE

31

RED DEAD REDEMPTION: GOTY

BBFC 18+

TAKE 2

RE

32

PERSONA 4 GOLDEN

PEGI 16+

NIS AMERICA

34

33

BATTLEFIELD 3

PEGI 16+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

40

34

PAPER MARIO STICKER STAR

PEGI 3+

NINTENDO

26

35

BORDERLANDS 2

BBFC 18+

TAKE 2

33

36

SLEEPING DOGS

PEGI 18+

SQUARE ENIX EUROPE

38

37

DISNEY EPIC MICKEY 2: THE POWER OF TWO

BBFC U

DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS

37

38

PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2013

PEGI 3+

KONAMI

29

39

SUPER SCRIBBLENAUTS

PEGI 12+

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

RE

40

THE SIMS 3: SEASONS

PEGI 12+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

 
(c) Ukie Games Charts©, compiled by GfK Chart-Track.

Sony announce PlayStation 4, demo new social features

posted 1 Mar 2013, 07:42 by Matt Bailey   [ updated 1 Mar 2013, 07:49 ]

The Wii U may have launched, but with its technology pegged more along the lines of the PS3 and Xbox 360, in some way the next generation of consoles has yet to begin. We are, however, getting closer as last Wednesday Sony took the opportunity to announce the PlayStation 4, throwing off rumours about a new name and setting out its stall for what it believes will be important for next round of hardware upgrades.

The PS4 hardware will be a significant departure from the unique, and sometimes overly challenging, architecture of the PS3 which initially caused many headaches for developers, resulting in delays and sub-standard versions of cross-console releases. While those issues are now in the past, Sony is hoping to get developers going with its new hardware more quickly by moving to a PC-based setup, using x86 architecture processors just like a regular desktop PC. It will also feature 8GB of RAM, pleasing many developers, and marking a significant step up from the 256MB on the PS3, and the 512MB on the 360. In fact, Sony seems to have worked closely with many third-party developers to design a system which should allow them to get what they need out of the PS4 early in the cycle.

It's not just developers who should get an easier ride with the PS4, with Sony emphasising that they wanted to make the experience of using the console much easier, from redesigned interfaces, to avoiding delayed start up times by having the console sit in a low power mode when you turn it 'off', which can include suspending and resuming a game from anywhere. That low power mode will also be used to update games so that they're ready to play when you're ready to play, rather than the long wait that often happens on the PS3. Adding to the instant gratification is the ability to start playing downloaded games before most of the game has downloaded, and the use of the Gaikai streaming technology Sony purchased last year to allow you to play demos without having to download anything at all. It's clear that Sony has taken its cues from the popularity of mobile devices and the instant gratification gaming that has made these platforms so successful.

That Gaikai streaming technology will also have other uses. There is a heavy emphasis on social features, including a dedicated Share button the DualShock 4 which was also shown off. You'll be able to capture screenshots and videos from any games and share them with your friends, while the streaming technology will allow your friends to watch you play, and even take over remotely to help you through difficult bits. There's even built-in support for sharing your gaming stream over UStream, matching the popular activity that takes place on the PC with the likes of StarCraft II and League of Legends. Streaming games will also be the only way of playing PS3 games on the PlayStation 4; due to the changes in the architecture there is no backwards compatibility built-in, with Sony instead choosing to use streaming, but the details of which titles and whether you can use your existing discs in some way hasn't been revealed.


The DualShock 4, meanwhile, is essentially the same as its three predecessors, but it's undergone considerable aesthetic improvements, in addition to gainging the much-requested concave triggers and better analogue sticks. Start and Select are gone, instead replaced with a touchpad similar to the one on the rear of the PS Vita, but there is an Options button instead as well as the aforementioned Share button. Along the front edge there is a PS Move-like glowing LED stream which can be tracked by the new PS4 Eye camera so the console knows where you're located for Kinect-like interaction. In fact, the PS4 Eye includes two cameras so it can provide a high quality image of you with one while using the other to focus on tracking. Other features for the new camera have also been rumoured, such as voice control, but have only been alluded to in interviews since the event.

What was missing was the console itself. When Sony revealed the PS2 it too was missing from display for quite awhile, although that was over a year away from launching. The PS4, however, is due out by the end of this year - at least in some parts of the world - but it seems that Sony isn't quite ready to show off the new design and will likely be saving this for E3 where it also promises to have playable demos on the show floor. Talking of games, we'll be discussing the new reveals in a follow-up post.

UK Charts - All Format (All Prices) - Week Ending 16th February 2013

posted 20 Feb 2013, 01:09 by Matt Bailey

LW

TW

TITLE

AGE RATING

PUBLISHER

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES

PEGI 18+

SEGA

1

2

DEAD SPACE 3

PEGI 18+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

2

3

FIFA 13

PEGI 3+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

3

4

CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II

PEGI 18+

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

4

5

FAR CRY 3

PEGI 18+

UBISOFT

12

6

ASSASSIN'S CREED III

PEGI 18+

UBISOFT

7

7

NEED FOR SPEED MOST WANTED

PEGI 7+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

8

8

JUST DANCE 4

PEGI 3+

UBISOFT

10

9

SONIC & ALL STARS RACING TRANSFORMED

PEGI 7+

SEGA

13

10

HALO 4

PEGI 16+

MICROSOFT

9

11

HITMAN ABSOLUTION

PEGI 18+

SQUARE ENIX EUROPE

11

12

THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM

BBFC 15+

BETHESDA SOFTWORKS

15

13

SKYLANDERS GIANTS

PEGI 7+

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

5

14

HITMAN: HD TRILOGY

PEGI 18+

SQUARE ENIX EUROPE

18

15

LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES

PEGI 7+

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

17

16

LEGO THE LORD OF THE RINGS

PEGI 12+

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

14

17

FORZA HORIZON

PEGI 12+

MICROSOFT

16

18

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2013

PEGI 3+

SEGA

26

19

DISHONORED

BBFC 18+

BETHESDA SOFTWORKS

21

20

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV

BBFC 18+

TAKE 2

20

21

FORZA MOTORSPORT 4

PEGI 3+

MICROSOFT

23

22

MEDAL OF HONOR: WARFIGHTER

PEGI 16+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

30

23

GRAND THEFT AUTO EPISODES - LIBERTY CITY

BBFC 18+

TAKE 2

27

24

DEAD ISLAND GOTY EDITION

BBFC 18+

KOCH MEDIA

6

25

NI NO KUNI: WRATH OF THE WHITE WITCH

PEGI 12+

NAMCO BANDAI GAMES

22

26

BORDERLANDS 2

BBFC 18+

TAKE 2

24

27

GRAN TURISMO 5 ACADEMY EDITION

PEGI 3+

SONY COMPUTER ENT.

28

28

WWE '13

PEGI 16+

THQ

 

29

SUPER SCRIBBLENAUTS

PEGI 12+

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

34

30

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. 2

PEGI 3+

NINTENDO

32

31

MARIO & SONIC LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES

PEGI 3+

SEGA

29

32

ANGRY BIRDS TRILOGY

PEGI 3+

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

31

33

SLEEPING DOGS

PEGI 18+

SQUARE ENIX EUROPE

39

34

BATTLEFIELD 3

PEGI 16+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

33

35

UNCHARTED 3: DRAKE'S DECEPTION GOTY

PEGI 16+

SONY COMPUTER ENT.

 

36

THE SIMS 3

PEGI 12+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

35

37

PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2013

PEGI 3+

KONAMI

36

38

DISNEY EPIC MICKEY 2: THE POWER OF TWO

BBFC U

DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS

25

39

DMC

PEGI 16+

CAPCOM

40

40

PAPER MARIO STICKER STAR

PEGI 3+

NINTENDO

(c) Ukie Games Charts©, compiled by GfK Chart-Track.

DLC Digest: Tank! Tank! Tank! goes free-to-play, Castlevania, Rocketbirds, Impire

posted 18 Feb 2013, 17:36 by Matt Bailey

We don't usually cover digital versions of retail games on the DLC Digest, but we'll make an exception for Namco Bandai's Tank! Tank! Tank! because it has adopted an interesting digital model. The game was originally released on disc for the Wii U at launch in Europe, but now we get to experience the game as Japanese gamers did back on its launch in that part of the world; for free. The base game, which includes limited players of three of the game's modes, will cost you nothing, but there's a whole variety of DLC options available to make those modes infinitely replayable, as well as to add all the other modes that were available in the full game. The pick and choose options are available on the Wii U's eShop, where you'll also find that free base game, which should act as a rather generous demo you can play with your friends.

Konami's classic NES side-scrolling action-platformer Castlevania returns on the 3DS Virtual Console this past week, coming just ahead of the brand new 3DS Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate. In fact, a free demo of that game is due out next Thursday on the 3DS eShop. For now you can get the game that kicked off the highly acclaimed series for a slightly pricey £4.49.

We thought that Rocketbirds on the PS3 was an interesting but ultimately frustrating game when we gave it 6/10 in our review last year, but since then developer Ratloop has been making various improvements to the game as part of bringing it over to the PS Vita. Now on the PlayStation Store for £6.49 (£5.19 if you own the PS3 edition), the new handheld iteration also has 2 player co-op online, support for touch and motion controls, as well as a brand new end boss.

Lastly, Paradox and Cyanide's take on Peter Molyneux's classic Dungeon Keeper is now available on Steam. Last Summer at Gamescom Richard Pilot got a good look at the game and came away hopeful that we would get to return to a classic genre, although early online impressions have been mixed. Sadly there's no demo, but if you are interested in the full game you can pick it up for £14.99.

Rayman Legends goes multiplatform, delayed until September

posted 17 Feb 2013, 17:02 by Matt Bailey

Wii U owners are desperate for new games, but luckily one of the big hitters, one of the exclusives that was promised before launch, is on its way by the end of month. Except, that's no longer true. Ubisoft's previously Wii U-only 2D platformer, Rayman Legends, the follow-up to the acclaimed Rayman Origins, is now coming to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as well. As if news that the game no longer required the purchase of their expensive new device wasn't hitting Wii U fans hard enough, then came the news that multi-platform expansion means a delay in the release from the end of February until September, an extra 7 months. This is despite the fact that the development team at Ubisoft Montpellier in France had already finished the Wii U version ready for its impending release, which had also been foreshadowed by a demo on the Wii U eShop.

Ubisoft seem to have decided that Nintendo's struggling new home console wouldn't provide a large enough audience for their high-profile, and potentially big-bucks-earning, game, and that if they were going to launch on the other current consoles then they might as well have one marketing push when all three are ready. From a business perspective, that makes sense, but it doesn't stop fans from getting rather angry about something that was so near to completion being pushed back considerably. Especially when it was originally meant to be a Wii U launch game. Ubisoft's only effort to placate fans so far is to promise a second Wii U-exclusive demo for the game at some point in the future before release.

It is said that not only are fans unhappy, but the staff at the Montpellier studio who were working on the game are also less than pleased about the decision, especially when they have been working hard to make the previous deadline. While they don't officially comment outside of the channels controlled by the Ubisoft central office, Rayman creator Michel Ancel and some of his staff at Montpellier have appeared alongside French fan Joffrey Babilotte who brought a banner he made pleading for the release of Rayman Legends to the studio. While it's unlikely to make a difference to the release timing, it is good to know that at lease some people in Ubisoft realise that the decision has been rather unpopular.

UK Charts - All Format (All Prices) - Week Ending 9th February 2013

posted 13 Feb 2013, 17:13 by Matt Bailey

LW

TW

TITLE

AGE RATING

PUBLISHER

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

DEAD SPACE 3

PEGI 18+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

2

2

FIFA 13

PEGI 3+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

3

3

CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II

PEGI 18+

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

4

4

FAR CRY 3

PEGI 18+

UBISOFT

5

5

HITMAN: HD TRILOGY

PEGI 18+

SQUARE ENIX EUROPE

1

6

NI NO KUNI: WRATH OF THE WHITE WITCH

PEGI 12+

NAMCO BANDAI GAMES

7

7

NEED FOR SPEED MOST WANTED

PEGI 7+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

8

8

JUST DANCE 4

PEGI 3+

UBISOFT

9

9

HITMAN ABSOLUTION

PEGI 18+

SQUARE ENIX EUROPE

18

10

SONIC & ALL STARS RACING TRANSFORMED

PEGI 7+

SEGA

10

11

THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM

BBFC 15+

BETHESDA SOFTWORKS

6

12

ASSASSIN'S CREED III

PEGI 18+

UBISOFT

13

13

HALO 4

PEGI 16+

MICROSOFT

14

14

FORZA HORIZON

PEGI 12+

MICROSOFT

15

15

SKYLANDERS GIANTS

PEGI 7+

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

12

16

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2013

PEGI 3+

SEGA

17

17

LEGO THE LORD OF THE RINGS

PEGI 12+

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

16

18

LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES

PEGI 7+

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

 

19

MADDEN NFL 13

PEGI 3+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

21

20

FORZA MOTORSPORT 4

PEGI 3+

MICROSOFT

26

21

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV

BBFC 18+

TAKE 2

22

22

BORDERLANDS 2

BBFC 18+

TAKE 2

29

23

MEDAL OF HONOR: WARFIGHTER

PEGI 16+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

25

24

GRAN TURISMO 5 ACADEMY EDITION

PEGI 3+

SONY COMPUTER ENT.

11

25

DMC

PEGI 16+

CAPCOM

23

26

DISHONORED

BBFC 18+

BETHESDA SOFTWORKS

28

27

DEAD ISLAND GOTY EDITION

BBFC 18+

KOCH MEDIA

19

28

WWE '13

PEGI 16+

THQ

27

29

ANGRY BIRDS TRILOGY

PEGI 3+

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

30

30

GRAND THEFT AUTO EPISODES - LIBERTY CITY

BBFC 18+

TAKE 2

20

31

SLEEPING DOGS

PEGI 18+

SQUARE ENIX EUROPE

33

32

MARIO & SONIC LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES

PEGI 3+

SEGA

38

33

UNCHARTED 3: DRAKE'S DECEPTION GOTY

PEGI 16+

SONY COMPUTER ENT.

35

34

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. 2

PEGI 3+

NINTENDO

36

35

PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2013

PEGI 3+

KONAMI

 

36

DISNEY EPIC MICKEY 2: THE POWER OF TWO

BBFC U

DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS

39

37

LEGO HARRY POTTER: YEARS 5-7

PEGI 7+

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

34

38

XCOM: ENEMY UNKNOWN

BBFC 12+

TAKE 2

 

39

BATTLEFIELD 3

PEGI 16+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

31

40

PAPER MARIO STICKER STAR

PEGI 3+

NINTENDO

(c) Ukie Games Charts©, compiled by GfK Chart-Track.

DLC Triple Digest: The Cave, Skulls of the Shogun, Antichamber, Dokuro, Strike Suit Zero, Dungeonland, a few demos and more

posted 9 Feb 2013, 10:30 by Matt Bailey

We're still slowly putting the site back together on a new server, so our postings are a little sparse at the moment, but right now we're going to catch up with some downloadable highlights from the past three weeks.

We start with Double Fine's The Cave, which sees Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert again working with Tim Schafer on an adventure game. But this side-scrolling puzzler is not the "Double Fine Adventure" game that got kick-started last year, but one that was actually in production before that, and one that looks to doing a new approach to the genre. For one thing it's a game that works very well on the consoles, so it's not surprising to see it get a simultaneous launch on the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U, alongside a PC and Mac release on Steam (and a few other PC services), with a Linux version on the way very soon. The console versions also all have a demo version available so you can give it a go before paying the £9.99 asking price (1200 MSP/£10.20 on 360).

We first saw Skulls of the Shogun in August 2011 at Gamescom, and it looked ready for release, then - and indeed it was supposed to be out before the end of the year. But delays and a commercial tie-up with Microsoft and Windows 8, mean the turn-based strategy game has only just seen the light of day a few days ago. It's receive a simultaneous release on the Xbox Live Arcade for the Xbox 360, the Microsoft Store for Windows 8 PCs and Windows RT tablets, and the Windows Phone Marketplace for Windows Phone 7 and 8. The combined launch means you not only can you play the same game with progress synchronised across multiple devices, but they can all play multiplayer together, including asychronously. This is similar to Sony's Cross-Play and Cross-Save initiatives, but Microsoft is missing that extra piece in the puzzle that usually comes with PS3/PS Vita cross-overs; Cross-Buy, that is, the ability to buy the game on one platform and get it on all the others. Sadly they have decided that you must buy each one separately. So while you can get a £6.99 version for a Windows 8 PC that also works on Windows 8 or Windows RT tablets (such as the Microsoft Surface), you'll also need to pay 1200 MSP to play the game on your 360, or an additional £3.99 to play it on your Windows Phone 7/8 phone.

Another title we saw at 2011's Gamescom show, and then subsequently at Rezzed and the 2012 Cologne event, was Born Ready Games' space fighter Strike Suit Zero. The indie developer has brought back a genre which has sadly been left aside in recent years. It's currently available only on Windows PCs, although it should be coming to Mac and Linux later this year following the successful Kickstarter campaign late last year. It's available on Steam and GamersGate for £14.99 and we'll have a review on the site soon. We're also soon going to be covering Paradox Interactive and Critical Studio's Dungeonland, a co-op hack and slash game set in a medieval theme park. It's available on Steam for Windows for £7.99.

The indie darling on Steam at the moment, however, is Antichamber, a first-person puzzle game which could be best thing in the genre since Portal 2. In fact, it's more in the vain of the original Portal with various rooms offering a range of different and sometimes quite fiendish puzzles, which can be completed in a non-linear manner. It primarily deals with black and white with splodges of colour for quite a striking looking, but it's the gameplay which has led to rather positive reviews. It's £14.99, also only on Steam for Windows. Hopefully there will be a demo in the future, as it's a game that doesn't always come across well through screenshots or even videos alone.

Another indie puzzler of note is PS Vita-exclusive action-puzzler Dokuro. Also a game with a rather distinctive look, the 2D side-scrolling title's art direction comes from director Noriaki Kazama, who previously worked on Ninja Gaiden Sigma for Team Ninja. Here he's working for Game Arts, the developer known for the Grandia series of RPGs, although a download-only puzzler is a different direction for them. It has been well received and is available for £11.99 from the PlayStation Store.

Fans of Mega Man 2 probably own the game on the variety of consoles it has appeared over the years, including the Wii's Virtual Console, but they might be interested to buy it again as it's now on a handheld, thanks to the 3DS Virtual Console. Capcom's classic platformer can be picked up for £4.49 from the 3DS eShop. While you're there you might also be interested in Picross e2, the follow up to the well-received puzzler Picross E which arrived on the eShop last year. Both, of course, are a take on the popular Japanese pen and paper game, and now there's new puzzle and a new Micross mode. It's the same cost of £4.49.

From one eShop to another, the Wii U has gained a version of Zen Pinball 2, which has been popping up on most platforms these days, including the PS3, Vita, Xbox 360, and the 3DS. Now it's on the Wii U, and follows the same pricing model of giving you the base game with a few trial versions of tables for free, and then letting you pick tables ala carte for between £2.39 and £7.99 for individual tables or bundle packs. Sadly, versions bought elsewhere, including from the 3DS eShop, can't be used here, so it may not be of interest to you if you already own the game on, say, the Xbox 360, but if you don't, then it is a very good version that allows features the ability to play solely on the GamePad.

Across the last 3 weeks a bunch of demos have popped up across the download stores. Cross-platform we have the Crysis 3 multiplayer demo on the Xbox Live Marketplace, PlayStation Store, and Origin for 360, PS3 and Windows PCs respectively, while the first two also gain samples of Dead Space 3 and Metal Gear Rising Revengerence. All free, of course. A demo of Sonic All Stars Racing Transformed came out on the PS3 and 360 last year, but now PS Vita and Wii U owners can sample the game on their platform too. SEGA's arcade racer also came out on the PC and 3DS, but neither of those platforms have demos at this time.

And lastly we end with a bit of actual downloadable content, the "Deathmatch Made In Heaven" pack for Rockstar's third-person shooter Max Payne 3. It's available on the Xbox Live Marketplace, PlayStation Store and Steam for 800 MSP (£6.80), £7.29 and £7.49 respectively (don't ask us why the prices are so varied). The pack, delayed from the end of last year, contains the "Dead Man Walking" two-player co-op mode that has been eagerly awaited by fans of the game, a run and stun mode, a marked man mode, and a time attack mode. Which makes the pricing seem fair, although we're unsure how big the multiplayer audience for Max Payne 3 still is 9 months on from release.

UK Charts - All Format (All Prices) - Week Ending 2nd February 2013

posted 6 Feb 2013, 16:53 by Matt Bailey   [ updated 6 Feb 2013, 16:54 ]

LW

TW

TITLE

AGE RATING

PUBLISHER

 

 

 

 

 

NEW 

1

NI NO KUNI: WRATH OF THE WHITE WITCH

PEGI 12+

NAMCO BANDAI GAMES

2

2

FIFA 13

PEGI 3+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

1

3

CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II

PEGI 18+

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

3

4

FAR CRY 3

PEGI 18+

UBISOFT

NEW 

5

HITMAN: HD TRILOGY

PEGI 18+

SQUARE ENIX EUROPE

5

6

ASSASSIN'S CREED III

PEGI 18+

UBISOFT

6

7

NEED FOR SPEED MOST WANTED

PEGI 7+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

7

8

JUST DANCE 4

PEGI 3+

UBISOFT

10

9

HITMAN ABSOLUTION

PEGI 18+

SQUARE ENIX EUROPE

9

10

THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM

BBFC 15+

BETHESDA SOFTWORKS

4

11

DMC

PEGI 16+

CAPCOM

8

12

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2013

PEGI 3+

SEGA

13

13

HALO 4

PEGI 16+

MICROSOFT

19

14

FORZA HORIZON

PEGI 12+

MICROSOFT

15

15

SKYLANDERS GIANTS

PEGI 7+

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

11

16

LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES

PEGI 7+

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

12

17

LEGO THE LORD OF THE RINGS

PEGI 12+

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

14

18

SONIC & ALL STARS RACING TRANSFORMED

PEGI 7+

SEGA

16

19

WWE '13

PEGI 16+

THQ

28

20

SLEEPING DOGS

PEGI 18+

SQUARE ENIX EUROPE

18

21

FORZA MOTORSPORT 4

PEGI 3+

MICROSOFT

20

22

BORDERLANDS 2

BBFC 18+

TAKE 2

17

23

DISHONORED

BBFC 18+

BETHESDA SOFTWORKS

NEW 

24

ABBA: YOU CAN DANCE

PEGI 3+

UBISOFT

25

25

GRAN TURISMO 5 ACADEMY EDITION

PEGI 3+

SONY COMPUTER ENT.

22

26

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV

BBFC 18+

TAKE 2

26

27

ANGRY BIRDS TRILOGY

PEGI 3+

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

24

28

DEAD ISLAND GOTY EDITION

BBFC 18+

KOCH MEDIA

21

29

MEDAL OF HONOR: WARFIGHTER

PEGI 16+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

29

30

GRAND THEFT AUTO EPISODES - LIBERTY CITY

BBFC 18+

TAKE 2

23

31

PAPER MARIO STICKER STAR

PEGI 3+

NINTENDO

RE 

32

RED DEAD REDEMPTION: GOTY

BBFC 18+

TAKE 2

27

33

MARIO & SONIC LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES

PEGI 3+

SEGA

RE 

34

XCOM: ENEMY UNKNOWN

BBFC 12+

TAKE 2

33

35

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. 2

PEGI 3+

NINTENDO

32

36

PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2013

PEGI 3+

KONAMI

34

37

MARIO KART 7

PEGI 3+

NINTENDO

RE 

38

UNCHARTED 3: DRAKE'S DECEPTION GOTY

PEGI 16+

SONY COMPUTER ENT.

40

39

LEGO HARRY POTTER: YEARS 5-7

PEGI 7+

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

30

40

NBA 2K13

PEGI 3+

TAKE 2

(c) Ukie Games Charts©, compiled by GfK Chart-Track.

UK Charts - All Format (All Prices) - Week Ending 26th January 2013

posted 29 Jan 2013, 16:24 by Matt Bailey   [ updated 6 Feb 2013, 16:28 ]

LW

TW

TITLE

AGE RATING

PUBLISHER

 

 

 

 

 

3

1

CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II

PEGI 18+

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

2

2

FIFA 13

PEGI 3+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

4

3

FAR CRY 3

PEGI 18+

UBISOFT

1

4

DMC

PEGI 16+

CAPCOM

10

5

ASSASSIN'S CREED III

PEGI 18+

UBISOFT

5

6

NEED FOR SPEED MOST WANTED

PEGI 7+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

6

7

JUST DANCE 4

PEGI 3+

UBISOFT

7

8

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2013

PEGI 3+

SEGA

9

9

THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM

BBFC 15+

BETHESDA SOFTWORKS

8

10

HITMAN ABSOLUTION

PEGI 18+

SQUARE ENIX EUROPE

17

11

LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES

PEGI 7+

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

11

12

LEGO THE LORD OF THE RINGS

PEGI 12+

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

22

13

HALO 4

PEGI 16+

MICROSOFT

14

14

SONIC & ALL STARS RACING TRANSFORMED

PEGI 7+

SEGA

15

15

SKYLANDERS GIANTS

PEGI 7+

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

12

16

WWE '13

PEGI 16+

THQ

13

17

DISHONORED

BBFC 18+

BETHESDA SOFTWORKS

16

18

FORZA MOTORSPORT 4

PEGI 3+

MICROSOFT

25

19

FORZA HORIZON

PEGI 12+

MICROSOFT

20

20

BORDERLANDS 2

BBFC 18+

TAKE 2

18

21

MEDAL OF HONOR: WARFIGHTER

PEGI 16+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

30

22

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV

BBFC 18+

TAKE 2

35

23

PAPER MARIO STICKER STAR

PEGI 3+

NINTENDO

23

24

DEAD ISLAND GOTY EDITION

BBFC 18+

KOCH MEDIA

27

25

GRAN TURISMO 5 ACADEMY EDITION

PEGI 3+

SCEE

40

26

ANGRY BIRDS TRILOGY

PEGI 3+

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

34

27

MARIO & SONIC LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES

PEGI 3+

SEGA

28

28

SLEEPING DOGS

PEGI 18+

SQUARE ENIX EUROPE

36

29

GRAND THEFT AUTO EPISODES - LIBERTY CITY

BBFC 18+

TAKE 2

19

30

NBA 2K13

PEGI 3+

TAKE 2

21

31

DOOM 3: BFG EDITION

PEGI 18+

BETHESDA SOFTWORKS

24

32

PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2013

PEGI 3+

KONAMI

33

33

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. 2

PEGI 3+

NINTENDO

32

34

MARIO KART 7

PEGI 3+

NINTENDO

 

35

MAX PAYNE 3

BBFC 18+

TAKE 2

 

36

THE SIMS 3: 70S 80S 90S STUFF

PEGI 12+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

39

37

BATTLEFIELD 3

PEGI 16+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

26

38

SONIC GENERATIONS

PEGI 7+

SEGA

 

39

THE SIMS 3

PEGI 12+

ELECTRONIC ARTS

 

40

LEGO HARRY POTTER: YEARS 5-7

PEGI 7+

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

(c) Ukie Games Charts©, compiled by GfK Chart-Track.

THQ closes, Koch Media and others snap up studios and IP in auction

posted 24 Jan 2013, 16:22 by Matt Bailey

Last month, publisher THQ went bankrupt. The publisher has long been struggling, but seemed to be refocusing on fewer titles, and Naughty Dog co-founder Jason Rubin took the helm. Last summer's Darksiders 2 seemed to be a bit of a success (and we rather liked it as well), and then there was the Humble THQ Bundle which raised a few million for the company. But it wasn't enough, so the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December, an American procedure that allows a company to continue operating while it finds a buyer and resolves its debt. Clearlake Capital Group came along and offered up $60 million for the company, include $10 million for the company's creditors. THQ and its studios would continue operating as normal, and despite the bad notions of going into bankruptcy, all would be fine.

Except, that wasn't the case. THQ's creditors weren't happy, as they decided the company was worth more than that, and took the issue to court. This resulted in a closed auction taking place earlier this week, where if the sum of the sold assets was greater than the $60 million offered by Clearlake, then the company would be split up and shut down. Well, that happened, and now THQ is essentially no more. The bids were revealed on Wednesday, showing a range of companies involved in the bidding process, which is done without the bidders knowing how much each one has bid. Koch Media, the people behind the Deep Silver brand, were one of the biggest spenders, while the likes of EA and Warner Bros., which were apparently interested in either the brands or the studios, were not top bidders or runners up - if they did indeed even put in any bids (only the top two were revealed). The list is as follows:
  • The Saints Row brand and the developer behind it, Volition, have been snapped up by Koch Media for $23 million, beating out Ubisoft's $5.4 million bid by a significant amount
  • Koch Media also snapped up the rights to the Metro series, and will presumably keep working with Metro Last Light developers 4A Games (who weren't owned by THQ) to release that game at some point early this year (it was due in March by the THQ collapse). Ubisoft were again beaten, this time offering $5.175 million
  • Ubisoft did, however, gain two items where there were no other bidders; they picked up the South Park rights for $3.2 million, as well as new studio THQ Montreal for $2.5 million who were apparently working on new IP for THQ
  • SEGA have bought Company of Heros developer (and presumably the brand) for $26.6 million, narrowly beating Zenimax (Bethesda's owners) by a mere $0.3 million
  • Crytek were able to purcahse the Homefront rights for a mere $500,000 against no other bidders. Crytek UK are currently working on Homefront 2, so it makes sense to ensure a smooth continuation, although they will need to find a new publisher
  • Take 2 paid $11 million for "Evolve", a new franchise from reformed developer Turtle Rock Studios, who were working on Left 4 Dead before being acquired by Valve. The second bid was from Turtle Rock themselves who offered $250,000. Presumably the developer (also not owned by THQ) will now be working with Take 2.
That wasn't quite the whole company. Sadly Darksiders developer Vigil Games was not picked up, and thus neither was the Darksiders franchise itself, although the remains of THQ will still be looking to sell these on. However, it looks likely that the staff at Vigil will lose their jobs. Staff at other studios should hopefully generally make a smooth transition, but some jobs will likely go to avoid overlaps with their new owners. What remains of THQ will continue functioning in order to wind up the company, before it eventually disappears. We wish all staff the best of luck to the future, and watch with keen interest where some of them will end up. That includes what Jason Rubin will be doing next. With games such as Company of Heros, Saint's Row, Red Faction, Dawn of War, Full Spectrum Warrior, Metro 2033, and many more in the last decade, it will certainly be sad to see the company go. RIP THQ, 1989-2013.

Thanks to VentureBeat for the auction details.

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