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Feature: Top 5 X-Men Games

X-Men: Days of Future Past hit cinemas in the last week, raking in the money and garnering great reviews here’s mine. Surprisingly, for a film this big with a massive hype machine behind it, there was no official videogame to try and part us from our hard-earned cash. So, if you’re in the need for a game to give you your mutant fix, we’ve got a top 5 to sort you out. The only rule is the game needs to have X-Men in the title, so Marvel Vs Capcom 2 is out, but our number five should make up for that…

X-Men Vs Street Fighter

The first official entry into the ‘Vs’ series (although its predecessor, X-Men: Children of the Atom, is Capcom’s first fighting game using Marvel characters) pits the Cyclops, Wolverine and co. against Street Fighter favourites like Zangief and Kylie Minogue (I mean, Cammy) because of… something to do with Apocalypse. The genesis of the legendary Vs games can be seen here, with colourful and crazy combat and tight controls. The tag mechanic was introduced here, allowing you to take two characters into battle for double the fun.

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That is, on the arcade version anyway. The PSone port suffers from poor loading times, missing frames and the tag feature. If you can find the original arcade version somewhere, or have a way we’re not going to tell you to play the Japanese only Saturn port, then you are going to have a blast with this one. Or just play Marvel Vs Capcom. Or X-Men: Mutant Academy. Actually don’t do the last one, it was pretty lame.

X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse

Before the rivalries of iOS vs Android, Xbox vs PlayStation and Pokemon vs Digimon there was the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis (or Mega Drive if you live outside America). Each system has a competing side scrolling action platformer based on the merry Mutants and fans continue to debate which one was better.

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Personally, I’ve already preferred the SNES and Mutant Apocalypse is part of that reason. Each of the five characters had their own mission to follow through as part of a bigger plan to sort out the problems in Genosha caused by Apocalypse. Except… Magneto is actually the final boss. I guess being called Mutant Mangeto doesn’t have that ring to it…

X- Men Arcade

Probably the most famous X-Men title out there, this game is all sorts of cheesy goodness. We were blessed by the game gods at Konami for giving us “Magneto, Master of Magnet” and “The White Queen welcomes you to die” in all their hammy glory. Of course, the game is (correctly) fondly remembered for its gameplay too. A recurring theme of this list is about the X-Men beating people up and for good reason: I can’t imagine a Farmville type game where Storm waters the plants and Wolverine trims the hedges would do very well.

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Like the classic Turtles in Time, X-Men Arcade is about going from screen to screen clearing all your enemies out of the way with just your trusty jump and attack buttons, with the occasional (and costly) mutant power thrown in for good measure. The nineties were built on these kinds of games and X-Men is one of the standouts. The HD port for PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade is well worth picking up, with drop in/out online and local multiplayer carnage. Avoid the smartphone version however, whilst it costs pennies, its tough to control and takes all the fun out of the most fun X-Men game.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Isn’t it ironic the worst X film by a mile gets the best movie tie-in by a mile? X2: Wolverine’s Revenge wasn’t bad, laying the foundations for this triumph by focusing just on the one character. Origins takes liberally (pinches everything) from God of War and to its credit, does it very, very well. This game is amusing gory, especially with the real-time healing factor system in which your skin patches itself up after being shot, sliced or burnt off. Wolverine may be a tragic character with a horrific past, but playing this game, you understand just how cool it is to cut people up with adamantium claws. Swings and roundabouts.7

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So, this game loosely follows the dreadful movie plot (which means Hugh Jackman – woo!- and will.i.am -boo!- on voice duties) but throws a lot of other characters from the comics at you for good fanservice. The classic unlockable costumes are a plus too, its nice to see the movie franchise include easter eggs that link to the comics. This isn’t up there with the first two Arkham games when it comes to revolutionary solo-superhero games, but it is mighty satisfying to play through.

So, if Arcade nails the unbridled fun, and Origins gets the franchise’s most iconic character down to a T, what can top them to take the number one spot? It has to be something legendary…

X-Men Legends

It was pretty difficult choosing between this and the sequel, Rise of Apocalypse, but a few things swing it in the direction of the original. You get more characters to play in number two, but they took out my favourites, Emma Frost and Psylocke. The sequel has a lot more generic, repetitive environments, and the music is equally so. The original also has a much sleeker menu design, with a nice shade of blue and a pleasing font compared to the harsh red menus and EVERYTHING IN CAPS of the sequel. It’s a little thing, but it counts. If you’re looking for a good multiplayer experience, you should go with Rise of Apocalypse, because the hub sections are much shorter and there are no one player segments, meaning you aren’t far from jumping into action with your friends.

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However, this is the main reason why I prefer the original over the second and every other X-Men game. You see, the story of X-Men Legends follows a young girl named Alison who discovers her mutant powers and gets thrown into the conflict between the X-Men and the Brotherhood, joining Xavier’s School for the Gifted and the superhero team as things progress. In-between missions you spend a lot of downtime in the mansion just… talking to the other X-Men and pupils. And I love that. Magma is a great audience perspective character and its fascinating to see her reactions to everything around her (it helps she’s voiced by the always excellent Cree Summer). Just being able to hang with the X-Men during down-time from world saving gives you a level of immersion into the world of these Mutant heroes not seen in any game before or since. The combat is fun but perhaps not quite as good as X-Men Arcade, and the action isn’t presented as cinematic or as well as Wolverine, but for bringing you into the world of Charles Xavier and his pupils, you can’t top this PS2/Xbox/Gamecube classic.

If you like what you’ve read and want even more of my ramblings about the X-Men, you can read my spirited defence of X-Men 3: The Last Stand right here. If you have a Top 5 to suggest, or agree/disagree with this list. Post in the comments below.

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News: Flappy Bird Returning With Multiplayer This August

Remember Flappy Bird? The game that caused blistering fingers amongst smarthphone users with its frustratingly addictive yet simple gaemplay? Well, it’s coming back.

The games creator Dong Nguyen has supposedly revealed to CNBC’s Kelly Evans that the addictive title will be coming back this August, but not as we previously knew it.

Flappy Bird will return “less addictive” but with multiplayer features, though there’s no solid details.

Flappy Bird hit the iOS App Store and Android Google Play Store earlier this year and was supposedly raking in over $50,000 a day in advertising revenue for the games creator. Unexpectedly, the game was pulled from both stores with Nguyen stating that the game had gone too far and was ruining peoples lives with it’s addictive qualities.

Are you happy to hear that Flappy Bird will be making a return? Or are you still haunted by the nightmares brought on by the game?

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Source: Twitter

News: New Angry Birds Star Wars Info Coming This Monday

angrybirdsstarwarsThere’s some “big news” coming from Rovio this coming Monday, and it’s looking like a new Angry Birds Star Wars game.

A teaser image posted on the developers official website indicated that it’s to be another Angry Birds Star Wars game, though this time around it’s looking like it’ll be based around the events of Star Wars: Episode I, II and III.

The image shows one of the Angry Birds characters dressed up like Anakin Skywalker, as well as adopting a similar pose to the promotional posters for Star Wars: Episode I, casting a Darth Vader shadow over the background.

You can have a nosey at the image down below:

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The description on the developer’s website states:

“Attention, Angry Birds fans! Stay tuned on Monday, July 15th, for big news about a brand new game! We’re talking the biggest character line-up ever, awesome new powers, and maybe even a few surprises!”

It’s hard to imagine this announcement being another other than an Angry Birds Star Wars based on the prequel trilogy, though if it does turn out to be something completely unrelated, I’ll eat my own toes.

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What do you reckon? Another Angry Birds Star Wars game? It’s not really a question at this point, is it?

Source: Rovio

News: Prince of Persia: The Shadow and the Flame Releasing This Month

prince-of-persia-the-shadow-and-the-flamePrince of Persia fans, there’s a treat on its way to you in the form of a mobile game titled Prince of Persia: The Shadow and the Flame.

Yes. A mobile game. Last week Ubisoft teased an incoming Prince of Persia announcement and it seems this is it. Yes, it’s a little underwhelming but on the plus side, it’s looking like it could be a good addition to the iOS App Store and Google Play as well as Amazon’s service.

Prince of Persia: The Shadow and the Flame is a remake of the classic Prince of Persia 2 from yesteryear, and by yesteryear I mean five console generations ago. It’s not just a HD port either, it’s gotten a complete overhaul and is being remade in the fashion of 2.5D, giving a more immersive and grand feel to what would otherwise be just another side-scroller. 

It’s confirmed for iOS devices and Android smartphones and tablets, but I have a feeling we may see a version get a release on the PS Vita in the form of a PSN download. We’ve wrote a polite email to Ubisoft posing the question, so be on the lookout for updates.

Prince of Persia: The Shadow and the Flame will be releasing on July 25th for the very cheap price of $2.99.

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Is this a little disappointing? Or do you not mind another mobile game? Would you like to see it on the PS Vita? Let us know down in the comments section below.

P.S Apologies for the lack of updates, but rest assured we are back in full swing!

TGC Review: Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta: Episode 1

Unearthed-ArtUnearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta is just enough like Uncharted that it can be considered an homage. Is it an homage worth playing though? Can it satisfy your need for adventuring until Uncharted 4? Or will you have to settle for some NeoPets instead? Let’s find out.

Unearthed is all about Faris Jawad and his sister, Dania Jawad. These two treasure hunters receive a call from Morocco which will take them on an exotic adventure on the trail of famous Muslim explorer, Ibn Battuta. Neither realize how dangerous their journey really is until they’re caught up right in the middle of the action.

How much does Unearthed resemble Uncharted, though? Is it too much to dissuade you? Nope, not at all. It’s clear the guys over at Semaphore had the intention to make a game similar to Uncharted, but it’s also clear that they wants to make their game unique in its own ways. Each of the game’s 6 chapters has a different kind of gameplay style thrown in to it. Whether it be driving around the streets of Tangier, Morocco, or being chased in the desert by mercenaries while going full speed on an ATV, the game has enough diversity to keep each minute fresh. It made it quite an exhilarating experience at times, personally.

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Of course, just because the game has diversity, doesn’t mean everything is perfect with it. There were countless times when I became rather frustrated with the driving mechanics, the awkwardness of aiming, the stiff jumping and climbing, it all made it almost hard to play at parts and caused me multiple deaths. An odd glitch here or there didn’t help, either. The camera also wasn’t making it any easier, but it held its own for the most part, thankfully.

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The checkpoint system was perfect though, with just enough time in between each one as to not make it too hard or too easy. It notified me when I reached one, too, so I knew I was in the clear, which with the gameplay gripes was a welcomed breather.

The music in this game though, was phenomenal. It made the game much better than it might have actually been to me. It comes on and off at the right time, and when it is on I feel a sense of real urgency if I’m in a gun fight or running for my life. There were some moments when I just kind of sat in a safe spot and listened to the awesome Moroccan drumming or Arabian wind instruments.

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The sound effects, however, were downright awful at times. The gun shots, the jumping, the explosions, they were all practically recordings of recordings. With the music being so good I was surprised to hear how bad the sound effects really were, they’re just not up to par for a PSN game, at all.

Voice acting wasn’t that bad at all though. In fact, it was pretty good. All voice actors are able to effectively convey their respective situation’s tone, and they do it all relatively well. With the voice acting, you’ll learn to like these characters and root for them against the mercenaries and cheer for them on their journey. Faris had some pretty funny moments where I caught myself laughing here and there. The characters all have some sort of depth, whether they talk about past experiences or memories. Not all are elaborated on well, but it’s still there.

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The game occasionally has some nice graphical moments, too. At times, I stopped to admire some of the Moroccan setting. The game definitely doesn’t look particularly good, especially for a PS3 game as it is clear it was built for iOS devices, but it can hold its own at times. Some beautiful areas to experience. The setting was definitely a good choice, and if they continue in the same direction as they did in episode 1 for episode 2, be sure to expect some diverse, pretty environments.

The graphics though look like they’re from the PS2 era. They’re shoddy, a bit ugly, and sometimes the textures refuse to pop in. It really hampers everything else about the game, especially on a game that could and probably should excel in this area. Of course, it’s only a PSN game, but it doesn’t excuse graphics from the PS2 era.

There isn’t a whole lot to keep you occupied either for the price of 10 dollars. There is the actual campaign, which will last you around roughly an hour and a half if you’re lucky and depending on what difficulty you chose to play on. There were extras though, which was a welcomed addition since many games don’t include that kind of stuff anymore. There was concept art, character models, renders, cut scenes, and more. They were definitely a nice addition.

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There is also survival mode after you beat the main game. There are 6 maps to choose from, but when you get it you’ll find it is the most basic, cliché form of survival mode around. You chose a random character (all share the voice of Faris, save for the other two main characters who have their respective voices) and then you just shoot zombies as they shamble towards you. Each kill nets you 10 points, and you go until you die. There is a very basic leaderboard which you have to get to on your own afterwards, and that’s it. It’s a kind of random addition, but it’s a nice one if you want to play it.

There are some collectibles though. Seven, to be exact. They aren’t very hard to find, but if you feel like treasure hunting they might give you an extra 15-20 minutes of gameplay. You’ll get a nice gold trophy if you do find ‘em, so I guess they’re worth it.

In short, the story can be pretty good at times, but downright odd at others. Characters are likeable, graphics are shoddy but definitely have their moments

 

Story: Faris and Dania are likeable enough characters with some added depth and light humour. Interesting enough of an adventure to keep me interested for episode 2. 7.5/10

Sound: Fantastic music, probably the best element of the game. Voice acting is decent, enough to make you believe they’re real characters. Sound effects downright awful, definitely in need of improvement. 7.1/10

Gameplay: Good diversity each chapter, enough to make you sort of excited for the next. Some types of gameplay need some tuning, but they all have potential and some are rather fun despite frame rate issues. 6.9/10

Graphics: Has some great looking areas, but in definite need of some sort of overhaul. Textures are unreliable, character models look iffy, but environments are awesome. 6.6/10

Lasting Appeal: An OK amount to do. Survival mode might keep you busy for a short amount of time, it is way too basic. Campaign is rather short, and collectibles won’t last long. Still, an OK amount of content for 10 dollars if you delve into all of it. 6.9/10

Final Score: 7/10

Definitely keep an eye on this series. Apparently the developers plan on improving a lot of aspects for the next episode, so if you do end up buying episode 1 and you enjoy it to its full extent, be sure to keep an eye out for episode 2, I’m actually kind of looking forward to it and I’m sure there’s greatness to come.

Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta was reviewed on the PlayStation 3, and is available now on PSN for $9.99 and iOS and Android devices for $4.99.

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Release Date: May 29th 2013

Publisher: Semaphore

Developer: Semaphore

Genre: Action/Adventure

Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, iOS, Android

Version Tested: PlayStation 3

Review Disclosure: Review code provided by publisher.

News: 22 Can’s Curiosity Is Finished, Winner In For BIG Treats

curiositywinner22 Cans’ smartphone game Curiosity is finally over, and the winner has decided to share what his/her prize is going to be.

Curiosity was released back in November for Android and iOS devices. The aim of the game? Simple, just tap the small square pixels that sit on a hug cube, slowly but steadily breaking down the cube’s layers along with millions of other players to reveal the “life changing” secret that lay inside.

It’s taken a long time for the cube to be broken down, but all that perseverance has paid off for the lucky winner. In return for their efforts, they’ll be rewarded with playing a big part in 22 Cans’ Kickstarter funded Godus. As well as helping decide what rules players will play by, the winner is also set to receive a small portion of any in-game purchases, which in itself could lead to a life-changing amount of money.

You can check out the video below which features 22 Cans’ boss and legendary industry figure Peter Molyneux talking about the project and how it will affect the winner.

I’ve got to admit, I’ve spent more than my fair share of time with Curiosity, though I gave up a few months ago. The simple gameplay of just tapping a screen was furiously addictive, though I imagine many like myself soon get fed up and moved on. Still, congratulations to the winner, you’re in for a great time!

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News: ‘First Look’ At EA’s Star Wars Plan This E3

eastarwarsFrank Gibeau of EA recently confirmed that during this years E3, EA would be showing off their plans for the Star Wars license that they have recently acquired.

According to Fran Gibeau’s post on the EA’s Beat blog, the E3 conference will be giving us “a first look at our plans for the Star Wars partnership with Disney.”

What this is set to entail, we’ve no idea. There’s been speculation around the wonderfully rumour-ridden internet that EA are looking to finish off the work already put into Star Wars 1313, and maybe even Star Wars: Battlefront III. This is all rumours at the moment though, we’re just going to have to wait until EA’s E3 press conference for confirmation.

EA’s E3 conference will be taking place on June 10th at 23:00 GMT time and 15:00 PT.

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Source: EA.com

TGC Review: Men’s Room Mayhem (PS Vita)

MRM_LogoToilet humour is often described as the lowest form of humour. In the case of Men’s Room Mayhem, it’s nothing short of fantastic.

The premise might not sound like much, but it’s the subtle humour that will hook you on and drag you in. The game plays out as a line drawing game, much like the many airplane games available on the Android market and iOS App Store. You know the ones, the games where you have to land the planes without them colliding.

Men’s Room Mayhem could be described as a knock off of the aforementioned games, maybe it is, but it’s done it a damn sight better than anything that’s come before it.

You’re the janitor and your job is to guide patrons to the urinals/poop cubicle before they make a mess all over your lovely clean floors. However, don’t let the patrons get in each others way or a scuffle with occur, losing you points in the process.

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The gameplay is simple and friendly, just draw a line from the character to the destination and they’ll follow it like an obedient little pixel-man should. Each time you successfully navigate a patron to their desired destination (clue: a yellow drop above the head means they need a pee, toilet paper means they need to drop a dirty bomb,) you’re awarded with points. For an extra bonus you’ll need to get them to wash their hands, and for mega-points you’ll want to practice some typical men’s room etiquette. That means if there are three urinals available and two patrons come in looking to make a splash, make sure they have a urinal dividing them and you will have successfully avoided that awkward silence, only broken by the sound of warm urine splashing the urinal cake. Once a round is complete, it’s time to tidy up after your mucky buggers. This is where you can see a big boost in points, you’ll need to be quick though, you only have a short amount of time to scrub the urinals and poop cubicles as well as the wash basins clean, all done with some nifty finger work.

You’re not just confined to the one dirty bog either, there’s a total of 7 different toilets to manage, each larger than the next with a more diverse clientèle to look after.

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Gameplay is simple yet frustratingly addictive. If you decide to take your PS Vita to the toilet for a sit on the throne, be prepared to wallow in your own filth for a bit, because Men’s Room Mayhem will have you hooked with its ‘one more go’ gameplay.

Graphically, it’s as charming as you could imagine a game about men and toilets could be. The bright and well detailed levels all blaze out from the PS Vita’s screen. It’s got that charming aesthetic that makes you forget you are basically directing men where to relieve themselves.

It’s not completely without its faults though. As fun and addictive as it is, the difficulty curve is pretty steep. Just when you think you’re a pro at hanging around in men’s toilets, you’ll fall flat on your face in a puddle of piss once those tiny bladdered patrons come barging through one after the other. That being said, it’s more about personal preference. I like to take it easy with my games, have a bit of fun and relax. If you’re after a challenge, you’ll be sure to check out the ‘Blitz’ mode. You have three minutes to get as many points as you can whilst those looking to splash some urine come lugging in thicker and faster than a hot Thai curry can leave your anu-, um, body…

Summary

Men’s Room Mayhem may be tredding on old ground (maybe even slipping on the wet floors at times) but it’s a perfect time killer whether you’ve got five minutes before a meeting, an hour to kill at home, or just a trip to the dumping ground.

Gameplay: Simple, yet addictive. Not much of a learning curve, but once the difficulty is ramped up you might find yourself going back to the earlier stages for a breather. 8.5

Sound: Lovely music that potters along, minding its own business. Thankfully we don’t have to hear the splash of pee on urinal nor the straining sounds of little pixel-men in the poop cubicle. 8.0

Presentation: Nice and easy to navigate, all done via the PS Vita touch screen. You won’t get lost on the way to the men’s room. 8.5

Graphics: Simple animations and nicely detailed backgrounds make hanging around in the men’s room more fun that it could ever be in real life. Unless you are George Michael. (Could not resist.) 8.5

Replay Value: It’s one of those where you’ll be coming back for more, even once you’ve reached your peak and can’t get a higher score, it won’t stop you from trying. 9.0

Overall: 8.5/10 – More fun than you might think. Just don’t try directing men where to pee in real life, you may find yourself eating urinal cake and dirty bog roll.

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Have you played Men’s Room Mayhem? Think the review was a fair representation of it? Or do you completely disagree and think toilet humour should never be allowed in video games?

Release Date: May 22nd 2013

Publisher: Ripstone

Developer: Sawfly Studio

Genre: Casual/Line Drawer

Platform: PS Vita, Android, iOS

Version Tested: PS Vita

Review Disclosure: Review code provided by publisher.

News: Men’s Room Mayhem Out Now, Launch Trailers Inside

MRM_LogoMen’s Room Mayhem is unzipping it’s jeans and splashing all over your PS Vita, starting from today.

Today North American PS Vita owners will be able to purchase and download the quirky line-drawing game from Liverpool based Sawfly Studio’s and publisher Ripstone, whilst UK and European players will have to cross their legs and hold on tight until tomorrow when the title becomes available on the EU PlayStation Store.

If you’ve not heard of Men’s Room Mayhem, let me fill you in. You’re the janitor and your job is to keep order in various men’s rooms. It’s your duty to guide the bursting patrons to their urinal/cubicle before they make a mess, that’s the easy part, the hard part is keeping the patrons away from each other before they start scrapping, as men usually do in the toilets…

We’ve spent some time with Men’s Room Mayhem and it’s honest to goodness fun, definitely worth taking to the loo if a newspaper isn’t handy.

Men’s Room Mayhem is out now in North America for the PS Vita and will be releasing for the UK and Europe tomorrow for the budget toilet paper price of £1.99 / €2.49 / $1.99.

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Men’s Room Mayhem will also be releasing on iOS and Android devices on May 23rd for the even cheaper price of £0.69 / €0.89 / $0.99. Although the iOS and Android version may be cheaper, it’s not the full package that PS Vita owners can expect. PS Vita players will get the complete game with no need to purchase any add-ons whereas mobile players will have to pay for extra locations and the “Blitz” mode.

Check out the launch trailers below:

Check back in with The Games Cabin later today for our PS Vita review of Men’s Room Mayhem.

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Thinking of picking up Men’s Room Mayhem? Which platform will you be getting it for? Let us know down in the comments section below.

News: Nvidia Shield Pre-Orders Open Next Week, Pricing Announced

nvidia-shield_2Nvidia’s first step into the handheld gaming market comes in the form of the Nvidia Shield, an Android based device which will allow gaming on the go with Android apps as well as streaming PC games to the device from your PC.

The Nvidia Shield is set to launch during the back-end of June, though you’ll be able to place your pre-order from May 20th to guarantee yourself one of the devices.

The price? It’s a whopping $349.99. Ouch. That’s much more than the PS Vita or Nintendo 3DS, in fact it’s more expensive than a brand new PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 or Wii U. I’m pretty sure you could also find a decent laptop that will play decent games for around the same price. (For those who think that it’s impossible to game on a laptop that doesn’t have an aliens head plastered to the back, my laptop was just under £380 and plays the latest games just fine, so it is possible!)

The Nvidia Shield is set to compete with the likes of the PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, iPhones and iPads, not to mention the endless waves of Android powered devices as well as Windows-based phones and tablets alike.

The device itself is running Android version 4.2.1 and features a Tegra 4 graphics chip, 16GB on board storage and a 5-inch screen to display games. The streaming capabilities are what most are interested in, but it’s not all good. The device can stream your games from Steam, though you have to be on the same WiFi network and your PC’s graphics card must be a GTX 650 or better. In addition, only a small number of games will be supported at launch, with more being added in the future.

When the Nvidia Shield was first announced some months ago, I have to admit I was intrigued. However, with the revelation that you’ll only be able to stream select PC games via Steam and on the same WiFi network, it begs the question; What’s the point?

If you’re looking for a powerful handheld console that is truly portable, I highly recommend the PS Vita. It’s a damn sight cheaper and despite what it’s critics say, there are a ton of games out there to get stuck into.

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Interested in the Nvidia Shield? Thinking of plonking down some hard-earned cash on the device? Or will you stick to a truly portable gaming machine? Let us know down in the comments section below.