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



Mario Kart 8 Review

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Monday 23 June 2014No Comments

Available on WU l Published and developed by Nintendo l Classified G l Supports 1-12 players

REVIEW IN BRIEF > As long as you’re not looking for meaningful innovation, Nintendo’s latest mascot racer provides a great multiplayer experience, both online and off. The overall package is undermined by a couple of key issues. The lack of dedicated Battle Mode arenas is very disappointing. Worse yet, the Wii U Gamepad simply isn’t a good fit for the game, so you’ll probably have to invest in a full complement of Wii U Pro Controllers in order to get the most out of Mario Kart 8. Read the rest of this entry »



Destiny Preview

Posted by Stephen Foote On Sunday 22 June 2014No Comments

In this writer’s humble opinion, Destiny has been going about its hype in all the right ways. I recently lamented the fact that Watch Dogs became a victim of its own marketing campaign, and I think Ubisoft could learn a lesson from Bungie in how to get a hype train on the right track, so to speak. Sure, there’s plenty of Destiny marketing material available, but in my mind, while Ubisoft’s marketing team had all the subtlety of a star tour hawker on Hollywood Boulevard, Bungie are more like the disinterested mall kiosk salesperson quietly contemplating their life choices up to that moment. Read the rest of this entry »


The Black List 250

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Saturday 21 June 2014No Comments


Welcome to The Black List, your one stop shop for the stories published on the site this week.

SUNDAY JUST ANNOUNCED Guns Up > Sony has announced a new *cue Imperial March.mp3* free-to-play game called Guns Up. The game is something of a mix between a real time strategy and tower defence with a dash of humour thrown in for good measure. It is certainly giving off a Cannon Fodder vibe, which is sure to please the old people who still know what Cannon Fodder is (i.e. me). READ MORE

MONDAY PREVIEW Battlefield: Hardline > EA won the award for the “worst kept secret in gaming 2014” with the constant leaking of info about its upcoming game Battlefield: Hardline. Trailers leaked, screenshots made it onto Twitter and we all knew it was coming. Luckily EA did manage to keep one thing under wraps for the official announcement at E3 and that was the beta going live on the day of its E3 Press conference. I have spent a good few hours with the multiplayer beta and I am pleased to say that there is quite a bit of fun to be had in this cops and robbers based spinoff. READ MORE

TUESDAY REVIEW Tropico 5 > In the fifth iteration of the cult hit Tropico series, things are refined and improved to a point that is sure to keep even the most jaded strategy fan happy. Interesting political simulation, technical and engaging city building and a healthy dose of humour make Tropico 5 a great sequel and even the perfect starting point for new players. It does suffer from a convoluted interface at times, but in the end El Presidente’s return is a fine celebration of his magnificence. READ MORE

WEDNESDAY REVIEW Watch Dogs > As one of the most hyped releases this year, Watch Dogs has inevitably failed to live up to the astronomical (and somewhat unrealistic) expectations set by its marketing team. What it does deliver is an enjoyable and content-heavy open world experience made unique through a focus on stealth in conjunction with its much-touted hacking mechanics. Tying the bundle together is a story that, while oft cliché, provides some worthwhile commentary on individual privacy rights in the digital age. READ MORE

THURSDAY JUST ANNOUNCED Ori and the Blind Forest > Ori and the Blind Forest is a new indie platformer coming to both Xbox One and PC. The beautiful trailer shows a lush world to explore but game director Thomas Maller of Moon Studios is aiming for much more than a pretty face, telling Polygon that “I grew up playing Super Metroid and I want games like that again. I read NeoGAF and constantly read how they want games like this but it’s not being done.” READ MORE

FRIDAY NEWS AEI funds four indie games > While the Australian Government is cutting back on gaming industry funding in the Federal Budget, other organisations are stepping up to support the industry that supports them. The not for profit Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE) has announced four grants, totalling $110,000 to former students to make their gaming dreams a reality. READ MORE


Wishes granted for emerging devs

Posted by Peter Nickless On Friday 20 June 20141 Comment

An early image of Warden from Cardboard Keep.

While the Australian Government is cutting back on gaming industry funding in the Federal Budget, other organisations are stepping up to support the industry that supports them. The not for profit Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE) has announced four grants, totalling $110,000 to former students to make their gaming dreams a reality.

The four studio winners are:

Cardboard Keep: Their game, Warden, is a third person exploration game with colourful graphics and a Zelda-like feel. ‘Warden’ is expected to be finished by late 2014.

Big Paw Games: Their game, Rumble Academy, is an arena-based brawler in which you use traps and obstacles to help defeat your opponent. Rumble Academy should see a 2015 release on PC.

Wildgrass Games:  Bearkzerkers is a multiplayer fighter tasking you to be the last animal left alive in a pit with a bear (à la Brienne of Tarth).  Players can use power-ups and traps to make others vulnerable to attack and win the day.  Bearzerkers should arrive late this year.

Atomizer:  This developer has created an isometric stealth game in the form of Heist.  Looking cool and suave with its 1920s inspired design, Heist will push players through ever increasing difficulty as they avoid guards in order to steal the loot. Heist is set for a mid-2014 PC release.