Daily updates on video games and popular culture, along with Australia’s grooviest gaming podcast.

Forza Horizon 2 Review

Posted by Matthew Hewson On Wednesday 1 October 2014No Comments

Available on XBO and 360 l Published by Microsoft l Developed by Playground Games, Turn 10 Studios and Sumo Digital l Classified PG l Supports 1-8 players

REVIEW IN BRIEF > To say Forza Horizon 2 is a great game would be selling it short. The combination of the pitch perfect driving from previous Forza games with a wonderfully varied and vibrant open world has created one hell of an experience. Apart from a few minor issues such as hard to identify scenery there is really nothing meaningful to complain about here. If you like driving, even if only a little, then Forza Horizon 2 is for you. Read the rest of this entry »

Home being vacated

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Tuesday 30 September 2014No Comments

It doesn’t get any more depressing than this.

Sony has revealed that it is pulling the plug on its long running PlayStation Home service, simultaneously providing the first reminder in years that it actually still exists. This may be overstating things just a tad (Sony has been rolling out content here and there) but this is probably the first time that the mainstream has paid any attention to the service since, well, shortly after it launched back in 2008.

A virtual world in the tradition of Second Life, PlayStation Home gives PS3 players access to a unique avatar and house, as well as the ability to interact with other users. Players are also encouraged to unlock and/or purchase a range of items, such as clothing and furniture. PlayStation Home has also played host to a range of mini games and virtual press events.

Sony elected not to bring the service across to the PS4, a decision that probably foreshadowed this latest announcement. PlayStation Home will cease to operate on 31 March 2015.

Total War rages on with Attila in tow

Posted by Erin Marcon On Monday 29 September 2014No Comments

A year after the release of Total War: Rome II, SEGA and Creative Assembly have revealed plans to continue their long running series of real time strategy epics. The latest instalment will be known as Total War: Attila. According to the initial publicity material, players will control the Roman Empire at a “time of apocalyptic turmoil at the very dawn of the Dark Ages.”

As the title of the game makes abundantly clear, the formidable Hun Empire will also play a major role in proceedings. At this stage, though, it isn’t clear if players will have the chance to control the forces of the legendary Attila during the campaign or if he will serve merely in the role of antagonist. Attila is only the second historical figure after Napoleon to feature in the title of a core Total War game.

Creative Assembly is promising “improved core gameplay” as well as “breathtaking scale” and “improved graphical performance” when Total War: Attila arrives on PC in 2015.

Australia nabs revised 3DS in November

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Sunday 28 September 2014No Comments

Coming soon to a store near you.

When Nintendo revealed that it would launch two new revisions of its 3DS hardware in Japan this October, western audiences more or less assumed that they’d have to wait until 2015 to get their hands on it. It therefore comes as something of a surprise that the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL will launch in Australia and New Zealand on Friday 21 November 2014.

In the first ever locally produced Nintendo Direct video message, Nintendo Australia Managing Director Tom Enoki reveals that this “will be the first launch outside of Japan, as we are not going to release the system in America and Europe this year.” This surely represents quite a coup for the local arm of Nintendo, and a happy bonus for the company’s local fans.

Nintendo also revealed the local pricing for the latest editions of its popular handheld. The standard sized New Nintendo 3DS will retail for $219.95, while the XL model will be priced at $249.95.