Games With Gold December 2014 – What’s Free For Gold Members

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Here is the list of free games available on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One to Gold Members only. Don’t forget you can save lots of money on Xbox Live Gold Membership and Microsoft credit here

Get 12 months Xbox Live Gold membership for just £23.70 here

Get £25 Xbox credit for just £22.31 here

Get £40 Xbox credit for just £35.15 here

Get £50 Xbox credit for just £41.70 here

Free Games

Worms Battlegrounds Xbox One

The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief Xbox 360 – Available until December 15th

SSX Xbox 360 – Available from December 16th

Games With Gold November 2014 – What’s Free For Gold Members

gameswithgold

Here is the list of free games available on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One to Gold Members only. Don’t forget you can save lots of money on Xbox Live Gold Membership and Microsoft credit here

Get 12 months Xbox Live Gold membership for just £23.26 here

Get £25 Xbox credit for just £22.31 here

Get £40 Xbox credit for just £35.15 here

Get £50 Xbox credit for just £42.65 here

Free Games

XBOX 360: “VIVA PINATA: TROUBLE IN PARADISE” (11/1-11/15)
XBOX ONE: “VOLGARR: THE VIKING” (11/1-11/30)

XBOX 360: Red Faction: Guerrilla (Nov. 16-30)

Games With Gold October 2014 – What’s Free For Gold Members

 

gameswithgold

Here is the list of free games available on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One to Gold Members only. Don’t forget you can save lots of money on Xbox Live Gold Membership and Microsoft credit here

Get 13 months Xbox Live Gold membership for just £24.50 here

Get £25 Xbox credit for just £22.31 here

Get £40 Xbox credit for just £35.15 here

Get £50 Xbox credit for just £41.71 here

Xbox One

Chariot, the newest ID@Xbox game from Canadian developers Frima, will debut on Xbox One as a free download

Xbox 360

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Darksiders II (

Frugal Gaming Preview – Forza Horizon 2

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With the Demo being made available to download just last week and the 3rd of October release date looming, Frugal Gaming’s MrBaddog and PridedLlama both share their thoughts about one of the biggest Xbox exclusive titles set to launch this year.

MrBaddog writes

The original Forza Horizon was one of the finest examples of open world racing to date. A fictional Motorsports festival played host to some of the most breathtakingly beautiful racing ever realised. From its open rural landscapes to the constricted canyons, rarely had a Motorsport game been so visceral. Tearing through a busy highway, circumventing traffic to the tune of ‘Hate to Say I Told You So’ by The Hives, is there any better way to spend a Sunday afternoon?

Fast forward to today and the long awaited sequel power slides onto the Xbox One. Moving away from the original Colorado setting, the Horizon festival has thundered into Southern Europe. Tight city streets, sprawling vineyards and perilous Cliffside roads await those in search of infamy. Arriving on a ferry at the wheel of a throbbing Lamborghini Huracan, stamping on the throttle, tyres screech as they are very nearly ripped from the rims, you disappear in a cloud of smoke and goosebumps, the sense of raw power is almost tangible.

The beauty of the surroundings is astonishing and the attention to detail is staggering, the world created here feels alive. Flora and fauna sway in the wind, towns are heavily populated with decor, not that you may notice when you are hurtling at 200 mph bumper to bumper with other competitors. Couple this with the lavish care which has been spent recreating each of the cars and you have one of the best looking racing games ever created.

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Road surfaces genuinely feel different to drive upon. Whether you’re sliding through fields and dirt roads or burning along the tarmac, the cars handle convincingly. It is an awesome feeling when you hit the bend just right and you slip around the corner at breakneck speeds. Take care when the rain comes, the car will squirm and slide as you fight the elements for control. It is all perfectly balanced and incredibly satisfying.

As this is only a demo, there are a limited amount of races for you to enjoy. There is a stunning cross country point to point race which will have you tearing through the countryside and then there is a tight and twisting circuit race. Also available to try is the new ‘bucket list’. Find the Koenigsegg and you will be challenged to ‘drive like you stole it’, which essentially means drive as fast as you can past a predetermined speed camera. Events make a welcome return, the one on offer here will have you racing an aerial display team. These are great fun and add to the overall festival feel. There is very little to do with regards to the online side of things. A free roam mode is available so you can have a little taste, but much more has been promised come full release.

If you enjoyed the first title or you’re a fan of open world racing, Forza Horzion 2 looks as though it will keep you entertained for quite some time. With its improved graphics, wonderful handling, dynamic weather, varied races, extra challenges and an enhanced multiplayer there is a lot on offer. A truly epic racing game may just be on the horizon.

gamescom-press-kit-05-wm-forza-horizon2PridedLlama writes

I hate this time of year, grey skies that are forever gloomy and not a glimpse of the sun for weeks.  We have got a long wait ahead of us for Summer to return, but Playground Games might just be offering us a winter sun deal far too good to pass up.

Forza Horizon was both a commercial and critical success.  Whilst Turn10 Studios doggedly stick to their tried and tested, if somewhat increasingly stale formula of exclusive track based racing, the original Horizon flipped the whole thing on it’s head and added a much needed injection of personality and fun.  Horizon 2 looks set to expand on every aspect that featured in the first open world title, and befitting of a game developed primarily in sunny old England adds dynamic weather with very British rain.

The whole game is much more European affair this time round, and it’s all the better for it.  Gone are the rocky and dusty roads of Colorado, replaced by sparkling Mediterranean tides and lush Tuscan panoramas.  Quite simply it’s a perfect fit not only in the pretty department but also in the driving.

No longer confined to just the roads, the environment and setting is more important than ever.  While established franchises continue to lean heavily on Americana, what Horizon 2 and it’s locals brings to the table is altogether more refreshing.  Twisting coastal roads, open highways and quaint villages abound, but its off the beaten track where things get even more interesting and fresh.

Opening up the fields and dirt tracks has upped the drivable area in the new instalment by 3 times the size when compared to the original.  While a point to point race might start on pristine tarmac it won’t be long until you’re bumping and swerving farms and fields at breakneck speeds.  It takes the whole franchise a step further away from it’s Motorsport roots and offers a real challenge if like me you are used to dropping all the assists.  It’s exhilarating in a way that Forza Motorsport 5 just never got close to matching.

700 events, nearly 150 music tracks, 7 radio stations and over 200 licensed cars.  Add to that truly breathtaking environments and vistas gorgeously rendered in full 1080p not to mention Sean Maguire! Yes Sean Maguire in 1080p too!  October the 3rd can’t come soon enough.  I still have a couple of little reservations, all the dev speak about 3 times the drivable area is rather ambiguous, and for all the near 150 songs they still don’t have a GEM106 equivalent but, the hours and hours of gameplay being offered in much sunnier climes will be the perfect Autumn antidote.  I’ve dug out the factor 50, ordered a new pair of sunglasses and I might even top up my tan whilst I wait for Forza Horizon 2 to release.  Actually sod that, I’m off for another spin on with the demo!

Forza Horizon 2 is developed by Playground Games and set for release on the 3rd of October on xbox one, an xbox 360 version by Sumo Digital is also set for release on the same day.  Both impressions were taken from hands on time with the xbox one demo.

R-Type Dimensions Review

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R-Type Dimensions is a graphically updated version of the classic R-Type and R-Type II, which has just been released on the PS3. This was released a few years ago on the Xbox 360. Why it has taken so long to get to the PS3 is unclear, but one thing is clear this game is as frustratingly hard as the originals I remember. The original R-Type game was released in the arcades in 1987, the follow up- R-Type II arrived two years later in 1989. The 25 odd years since then, these games have been ported countless times and Dimensions is the latest, so what makes it different?

The main difference is the ability to change the look of the game, from the new modern looking HD visuals with the press of just one button, back to how it looked in the late 80’s. The ability to do this in game is great and certainly had me switching between the two comparing how the game looked. The modern look is smooth and beautifully realised in HD with bright colours and sharp backgrounds, what we expect now from modern games. But I have to say I preferred the ‘classic’ look of the game. It still has a slight tweak to make it look crisp and sharp on modern day TV’s. The 16 BIT era graphics looked superb back in the day and added charm that I wanted when playing what is effectively the classic game I used to love. The classic sound also seemed far more immersive for the game I was playing, but perhaps this is due to the nostalgia of playing it when it was released, if you had never played R-Type games before, maybe you would prefer the modern updated version.

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To make sure this isn’t just a visual update the menu gives you two different ways of playing the game: Classic Mode- which well, is the classic mode. Here you just have three lives to get through the game. I will be honest I found this impossible, but I always have found R-Type games impossible to complete. Even with the new slow-mo mode, when you hold down R2 it just becomes too frantic and you seem to have no chance with the vast array of enemies on screen, how games have changed. The other option is the new Infinite mode which gives you (as the title says) infinite lives to get through the game, but this effects your final score. The more lives you lose the more points gained, the object being to have as few points as possible. Playing it this way I found more enjoyable as I could actually get to the end!
Playing it this way did seem far too easy. It felt as though a third mode is needed, one in between classic and infinite, as it was impossible on classic with just three lives. It took me about thirty on the final boss alone, but took only twenty minutes on infinite and had no challenge, especially if you don’t really care what your score is. It did remind me of just how hard and frustrating games were when I was growing up, the first level took me around three minutes on infinite mode yet I just couldn’t complete it on classic, just the first level had me beaten and frustrated. How did I play these games twenty years ago!

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R-Type Dimensions is a great trip down memory lane, but it is also more than that, the updated visuals bring new life to a classic. The ability to get to the end thanks to Infinite mode is a very welcome addition but it certainly needs some middle ground in difficulty to make it more long living. If you love playing through retro games like me, then you will love this. Comparing the old with the new with just a touch of a button is great. Overall for the price of 7.99 this is good value, you are getting two classic titles with enough options to make them feel different.

Reviewed on the Playstation 3

Developed by Irem, Tozai Games

Published by Tozai Games

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South Park: The Stick of Truth Review

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South Park – The Stick of Truth | PC

Dev: Obsidian Entertainment | Pub: Ubisoft

All together now…

“Shut your f*cking face, Uncle F*cka!”

This new South Park game is an RPG featuring all the ‘Park gang in some typically outlandish situations involving aliens, Canadians, MenBearPigs and Taco Bell. Despite its troubled development and changes in publisher, SOT has actually ended up a high quality, polished product which manages that very difficult job of appealing to hardcore fans of the series as well as newbies.

South Park owes quite a debt to Double Fine’s awesome kid-starring role player, Costume Quest. Both games use the mechanic of a child’s imagination powering their struggles with real-world assailants, you and your little friend’s dressing-up games turning you into superheroes. Where Costume Quest was Halloween themed, Stick of Truth draws on the comedic value inherent in the generic fantasy RPG. Once it has had its’ fun with those clichés however, it expands its scope to something with greater breadth.

South Park Line up

Like the TV program upon which it is based, South Park pushes the boundaries of taste. Quite to what extent this will impact upon your enjoyment of the game is up to you to decide. If you think that jokes about rape, abortion and cancer have no place in your video games, you should steer well clear of this title.

For those of you who remain, South Park’s irreverent and crude world is there for you to explore. You will wander around, collecting loot and weapons whilst periodically getting into turn-based encounters with a variety of enemies. Attacks are often gross – more extreme examples include a female character throwing her used tampon at the boys. Farting on your foes is frequent, but for the most part it’s fairly standard ‘hit-enemy-A-with-weapon-rinse-and-repeat’ fare. Although one of the summons does involve Mr. Slave sucking enemies up his ass – so, you know, it rarely gets boring.

It does however offer quite different experiences depending on your familiarity with the franchise.

South Park Classes

There’s no way I’m writing five separate reviews for five different types of people who might approach this game, dude. That’s weak.

Seriously.

You guys?

GODDAMNIT!

1. Review for: People who read the opening quote and immediately starting singing the song and farting. You remember watching the movie when it came out in cinemas.

You’ve probably already bought this game from ASDA, and good for you! It’s like playing a 20 hour long episode of South Park, featuring all of your favourite characters from the series. No anal probing is left unreferenced. The experience is going to be one long fist-pumping exercise in nostalgia and gross-out jokes with some annoying ‘game’ elements littering your good time. You know what to do though, right? Hell, you already completed COD: Ghosts this year and totally smashed your mate Darren off the park in FIFA so you’re still a gamer.

This game has an autosave feature, so when Jo-ann tells you it’s time to ‘switch that thing off now’, you won’t lose any progress. Isn’t that super?

2. Review for: People who watch South Park all the time. You have a plush Cartman in your house and know what Kenny says in the opening credits.

You should definitely buy this. Trust me. You’re going to think this is a laugh riot. Matt and Trey wrote the script for the game and all the voices are present and correct. The Goth kids are suitably surly and – if you choose – Butters can take a major part in the action.

You’ll be quite happy to spend endless hours finding any extra little collectible and secret thing – and it will all be worth it.

3. Review for: People who remember South Park from the early days and watch it occasionally. You clicked on the link and laughed at the song.

This game could be for you – it depends on how much you’re going to enjoy the RPG experience. To get the most from the game, you’re going to need to explore every nook and cranny in this town. How do you feel about adding a couple of hours to the title as a result of searching for those last couple of Chimpokomon? You get an achievement out of it…

Try to complete the whole thing in a weekend if you can, or your enjoyment will wane. There are some pretty obvious optimal equipment sets and team mates to have, so you should be able to power through the game without much challenge.

4. Review for: People who don’t give a shit about South Park, didn’t click the link, but have an interest in RPG titles.

Tough sell, as this game is South Park through and through. The role-playing in this isn’t quite enough to sustain the game by itself – as the game points out, a lot of the questing is generic and pointless – and a lot of the rewards are just further references to the show. The game doesn’t want to throw up too much in the way of a barrier to you progressing through the main story, since it’s very pleased with and excited by the jokes it wants to tell. Not to say that SOT is a bad game by any stretch – it’s just that you’ll enjoy it less than your mate who is a big South Park fan.

5. Review for: The easily offended, who thought South Park had gone away years ago.

Just no.

Turn around.

Flee.

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At the end of the day, South Park – The Stick of Truth is the definitive South Park game without being a truly great RPG. It has many things going for it, but the shallow combat and under-developed item system means that an important chunk of the game is weak. Couple this with the facile puzzles and you have an entertaining one-shot title that uses gaming as a vehicle to provide some laughs. You get to decide for yourselves if it’s the kind of humour you enjoy.

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Reviewer: Karlos Morale

South Park: The Stick of Truth is out now for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3

Rambo: The Video Game

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Rambo: The Video Game | PC | Teyon

Question Time:

As a rule, games based on film franchises are:

A. Well realised adaptations of the intellectual property, expanding on the world of the story using the unparalleled freedom of the video game form to enrich the players’ enjoyment of the franchise they love.

or

B. Cynical cash-ins involving minimal effort on the part of the developer who shovel out crapware to suckers who don’t know any better.

If you answered A or B, then I’m sorry – you have no concept of the unmitigated shit factory of a game that awaits you by purchasing Rambo: The Video Game, probably the worst title I have had the misfortune to review for frugalgaming.co.uk*

*note: I’m not counting Dungeon Keeper for mobiles, since there is nothing there that constitutes a game in the first place.

So friends, let me take you on a journey of misery and false promises as we travel together through the R:TVG experience.

First of all, I’m not really a massive fan of the Rambo movies. I mean, they’re OK, but they never grabbed me in the same way those 80s Schwarzenegger films did. Maybe I’m prejudiced against Stallone’s wonky mouth, I have no idea. So anyway, I’ve only seen the films a couple of times, but even I can recognise that the dialogue from this game has been directly ripped from the movies themselves. A nice idea you might think, adds authenticity you might think. Unfortunately, no one bothered to clean up these sound assets or even go as far as to equalise the volume, so what should sound highly professional ends up sounding like a cheap rip-off. Bizarre, but hardly the worst crime the game commits against you.

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The trailer for the game does a fantastic job of hiding the game’s true nature. From looking at it, one might think you’ll be playing an FPS mixed with some third person elements, allowing you to play key sequences from the films. Bless your heart, I was once naive like you, living in a dream world where developers at least made a token effort to include game play in their titles.

In fact, the game play here is split between two elements that both suck balls and infuriate in equal measure. The first is the shooting. With so many substandard FPS titles out there, you’d think even Teyon – a developer with a history of crappy titles – would be able to crowbar something together. Sadly, this was beyond their wit, and what we’re given is actually an ‘on rails’ shooter. Yup, a flipping light-gun game.

Without the light gun.

A light gun-less game that fails to live up to the standards set by Taito’s Operation Wolf back in the 1980s when the Rambo films still had relevance.

Sure, there are some nods to modern titles in there; you duck behind cover periodically only to pop out again and shoot, shoot and shoot some more. Sometimes there’s no cover for you, so you have to shoot more quickly or go into ‘rage mode’ where you have to kill targets as fast as possible in order to revive health.

Occasionally you toss a grenade.

And that’s about it folks. It’s stupidly easy until you get to the final level, where the difficulty ramps up from ‘meh’ to ‘oh for fuck’s sake’ and will probably take you a few goes to learn the waves and the best time to utilise grenades. Then it’s done.

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The 3rd person sections contrive to actually be even worse than the scrolling and shooting parts. Firstly, they’re all QTE based. If that isn’t enough of itself, you also get to really dwell on the frankly appalling graphics of the character models. They’re all pretty dreadful but special mention needs to go to the Rambo model himself, which is so poorly put together you could end up questioning whether it’s supposed to represent a human being or a bag of sausages glued together with fresh turd. Oh, and then shrink-wrapped to give it an uncanny sheen. Poor Sylvester Stallone, I hope he never sees this travesty of an image of himself – the shock alone might be enough to do him in.

The game tells you it includes stealth sections. It doesn’t. You just need to press Y at the correct time to sneak.

The game tells you it includes fighting sections. It doesn’t. You just need to press X at the correct time to punch (or dodge a punch).

Fortunately, the developers must have recognised what a load of crap these quick time event sections were and so they actually included an unlockable perk that means you can’t fail the QTEs.

Seriously.

So what was the point then guys? If you felt it appropriate to include a perk that helped us skip sections of your dreadful game, why not simply do us all a favour and not make us play any of it in the first place?

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I don’t know where to spray my hate cannon next on this game. How about the fact that it can be beaten in less than 3 hours? Or that this drivel costs £30 on Steam right now? Similar price on consoles. £10 an hour for this. I’m quite certain you could get all the movies for a tenner, and if all you did with them was smack them repeatedly into your face, you would have had a better time than playing this awful game.

I don’t mind giving games a chance, even when people tell me they’re rubbish – if something gets terrible reviews but I have even the slightest interest I’ll wait for a sale and pick it up. Hell, I managed to squeeze £3.49 worth out of Aliens: Colonial Marines because I went in with limited expectations. But there is really nothing here to justify you spending any money. There is no price level at which I would agree you should even try this game. If your time is worth so little to you, go and volunteer somewhere and make the world a better place to live in. But send a message to Teyon and Reef Entertainment:

We deserve better than this.

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Karlos Morale

Rambo: The Video Game is available now for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3

http://www.rambothevideogame.com/