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When he's not being a Formula One champion, model, adventurer and President of the universe, Scott likes to spend his time playing RPGs. Contact this marvellous twit at scott[at]thirteen1.com


    Have you managed to recover from taking in that behemoth of a title? From now on, the game will be referred to as Cognition, just to save everyone’s sanity… and my fingers. But don’t let the lengthy name put you off. This is indie studio Phoenix Online’s first commercial output, having already worked on The Silver Lining, a spiritual successor to the King’s Quest series; and it’s always refreshing to see a new studio begin with an adventure title as its something of a rarity these days. For a commercial debut, Cognition is a good effort that will keep fans of classic adventure games happy and newcomers enthralled in the story.

    There’s a reason why Cognition is such a strong game – the story has had a helping hand from adventure guru Jane Jensen. For a new studio, Phoenix were massively lucky to have Jensen on board with the project and her golden touch shines through. She’s not the only big gun the developers have on their side either; the stunning artwork was done by none other than Romano Molenaar, a comic book artist who has worked on big titles like Hellboy, Spider-Man, The Darkness and Conan. Truly these are some formidable allies to have on your game.

    So it’s only natural that Cognition has gone for a comic book inspired visual style, with gorgeous 3D cell-shaded graphics layered on top of beautiful background paintings. Speech boxes appear in conversation using a comic style font, making it seem like you’re playing a motion comic rather than a game. The visuals are incredibly effective and easily one of Cognition’s strongest assets.

    Titular protagonist, Erica Reed is an FBI agent based in Boston, who begins the game tracking down a mystery figure who has taken her brother, Scott. But she ends up being too late, and becomes haunted by her brother’s death.Read More in The latest Issue of T1 Monthly


    Too many first-person shooters nowadays are crusted in mud, their protagonists crossing bleak, brown environments to reach another environment that’s a different shade of brown.

    Games such as Call of Duty, although good, are sometimes too damned serious. We play games because we want fun, not a skewed history lesson with characters who have a perpetual look of constipation in their faces. It’s a good job the silly has finally returned to serious with Serious Sam HD, a game that I’m sure will trigger fond memories in many an older gamer.

    Now, it’s not fair to say that Serious Sam is Duke Nukem-lite, although at first glance the granite-jawed hero certainly looks like he’s ‘all out of gum’. While the white t-shirt wearing Sam draws parallels with everyone’s favourite pig-slaying misogynist, Serious Sam stands on its own merits in this two game boxed set, which contains magic high-definition versions of The First Encounter and the aptly named, Second Encounter.
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    PopCap are market giants in casual gaming, which has come to be the new curse word among gamers (once upon a time it was ‘Powerglove’).

    To many, casual symbolises everything that’s wrong with the industry: games that reward players for not doing a great deal, and drop graphics and story in lieu of addictive gameplay. Whatever side of the fence you’re on, we can all probably agree that Plants Vs Zombies is way fun.

    Popcap have loaded their second ‘greatest hits’ disc with some pretty good games, definitely in comparison to the first volume, which was Peggle and Bejeweled 2 sloshed together in a vial of dreck.

    Volume 2 is much better, although there’s still the bizarre inclusion of a rubbish game’s rubbish sequel. For your money you get the aforementioned Plants Vs Zombies, Heavy Weapon, Zuma, and a scrape of the bottom of the barrel with Feeding Frenzy 2.
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    Written By: Scott Malthouse

    Cats are best known for their cuteness and terrible grammar. They are not known for their prowess as bounty hunters. Atari, however, has other ideas with its latest platformer: Blade Kitten.

    Of course, there have been sillier concepts for a videogame hero. After all, who would have thought a worm wearing a white suit and toting a 1950’s ray gun would have been a success? It’s a shame then that, although a fun idea, Blade Kitten is a decidedly average affair that fails to deliver an exciting experience, while having ‘just’ enough going for it to warrant a play through.

    Taking obvious influences from Japanese anime in its colourful style and goofy tone, Blade Kitten follows the story of Kit Ballard, a pink tailed felinesque bounty hunter who is pursuing her blonde and incredibly annoying enemy, Justice, after she stole Kit’s Breaker key and destroyed her ship.


      The latest iPhone adaptation of a classic Fighting Fantasy gamebook has been released in the iTunes store.

      Creature of Havoc, the fourth Fighting Fantasy gamebook on the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, has players take on the role of a feral beast whose goal is to learn more about itself and unveil its destiny.

      Developer Big Blue Bubble Inc said: “You begin this adventure not knowing where you are or who you are. All you know is that you are some kind of creature of instinct, understanding little.

      “But even if you know all this, success is by no means certain, for the traps and terrors of Trolltooth Pass are many … Are you ready— to become the Creature of Havoc?”

      The adaptation include a new feature allowing players to earn in-game achievements.


        Former Rockstar Games developers announced yesterday that they are working on a casual online social boardgame called Push.

        Push will be a “stylish and addictive” turn-based browser game that allows friends to compete against each other using social networking sites such as Facebook.

        “After almost 10 years of developing big budget, AAA titles such as Grand Theft Auto and Max Payne for Rockstar Games it is a breath of fresh air to focus on developing independent games with a direct connection to our fans and players on social networks around the World,” says Helmut Hutterer, CEO of Socialspiel.

        “Our goal … is to develop richly crafted online games, with high quality production values and appealing experiences for players and their friends to enjoy throughout their daily life online”.


          Soar on the aircurrents in a relaxing and unique new game for Xbox Live Marketplace – Breeze.

          In the game players take control of a fan in order to gently blow a flower to its goal while collecting items and listening to a smooth, chilled-out soundtrack.

          The press release explains why Breeze will keep gamers coming back for more: “Breeze features 60 unique levels of flowery twitch play for you to enjoy.

          “This game will have you itching to try and beat the levels which vary in difficulty from the very easy to the infuriatingly hard. There’s plenty of content to explore with unique and interesting traps and game mechanics. Breeze has been designed to offer high replay value with each level having a record time set by the developer.”


            IPad RTS favourite Knights of the Phantom Castle has hit the iPhone and iPod Touch in all its 16-bit glory.

            Based on medieval warfare, Hudson Entertainment’s Knights lets users construct and conduct a unit of class-based knights with the objective of clearing over 50 stages set with various obstacles, treasures, and monsters; with gameplay specifically designed for the multi-touch interface.

            Same as the iPad version, Knights of the Phantom Castle takes place across 3 scenes: Camp, Combat Deployment, and Stage Battle. Camp is where users create a unit of knights to deploy in to a later battle. In Combat Deployment, users set the formation of the unit, while Stage Battle is when they fight. Knights are classed in 6 groups: Defender, Soldier, Assassin, Ranger, Mage and Healer. Each class has unique skills (shields, special fighting techniques, etc.) which hold the keys to successfully conquering the stages.


              MMO behemoth Perfect World Entertainment Inc have announced the latest expansion to Jade Dynasty, entitles Vengeance.

              The update, which is released on August 25th,  adds two new playable factions, daily events and a territory war system that will allow alliances to battle it out, as well as a new story.

              Players will be faced with a tough decision between aiding the humans in their search for immortality, or joining the immortal Athan race to destroy the humans.

              “New and existing players can look forward to new features and content in the upcoming expansion that will help progress the ongoing story between humans and the immortals,” said Andrew Brown, Product Manager.


                Nintendo will be letting gamers try out The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Metroid: Other M as well as other anticipated titles at this year’s Gamescom.

                Kicking off the Cologne gaming conference in August, Nintendo is set to showcase a mix of traditional classics and innovative modern games at their booth.

                The voice of Mario himself, Charles Martinet, will be presenting the show where attendees will be able to try out every Mario game that has appeared on Wii and DS, as well as a plethora of new titles.