Archive - Mike Channell
Mike is co-editor at Outside Xbox. His favourite thing about making videos is adding unnecessary special effects. He has heard all of your 'channel' jokes.
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Saints Row 'expandalone' Gat Out Of Hell is a pretty slim package. There's not much in the way of story missions and the objective is just to cause as much trouble as possible with the various open-world activities. Fortunately, Saints Row is never not fun in co-op; the way to make the most of the game's two hours of content is as a twosome.
I'm as big a fan of Game of Thrones as the next person, but the Xbox 360 RPG based on George R.R. Martin's brutal fantasy world was deeply disappointing. Telltale's recent effort was a definite improvement and we're fascinated to see where it leads, but it doesn't give you the freedom to wander off exploring. If you want an experience that blends the elements of Game of Thrones that make it so popular with a fully fleshed-out fantasy world, The Witcher 3 may well be the answer.
Well, they finally caught up with us. After a valiant fourteen-hour standoff and the weirdest ransom demands you've ever heard, Outside Xbox has been put in the slammer. Fortunately, the prisons in The Escapists (arriving on Xbox One in February) are riddled with security holes and design flaws. The question is, which one to take advantage of so that we can break out and continue our spree?
More Far Cryathlon from the twisted minds that brought you the Tuk Tuk Ski Jump and the Release the Hounds Far Cry 4 challenges. My custom contribution to the most thrilling spectacle in videogame sports is the King of the Swingers assault course, wherein participants grapple and swing to victory and avoid mashing Ajay Ghale's pretty face against a solid wall of unyielding rock.
Kalimba is a charming yet brain-boiling puzzler for Xbox One in which you control two cutesy totem creatures at the same time. It looks like it's for kids but will straight up ruin your puny, fully-developed adult brain. Kalimba is available to download on Xbox One. Imagine trying to rub your stomach and pat your head, only your head is also made of lava.
After a sucky 2014 full of Ebola and war, we are good and ready for a happy, peaceful 2015. And if you've seen Back to the Future 2, you know this is the year where we're finally living in the future as well. What then can we expect from this new year? These games set in 2015 offer up clues and, sorry, but it's not looking good.
Is it possible to beat a mighty Premiership football team with a bunch of League Two minnows? That's the task ahead in today's Oxbox Xmas Challenge as I take control of the unstoppable force that is Portsmouth FC against the immovable object that is Burnley FC and try to direct the footingball into the... bag of onions? We're new at this.
Day seven of the Oxbox Xmas Challenge is here and it's the turn of the recently patched Assassin's Creed Unity to host our festive competition. The rules for this one are straightforward: sprint across the rooftops of revolutionary Paris and catch one of two fleeing Assassins within five minutes. The execution will be much tougher.
We don't mean to be unkind, but Evolve appears to be a bit boring. It's got a forgettable title, a generic sci-fi art style and a cast of characters whose names simply refuse to stay in our memories. The worst part is, if you've played it you know there are some brilliant mechanics in there and that it plays unlike any other multiplayer shooter. This is our last ditch attempt to convince you that Evolve isn't as dull as it looks.
Things are heating up on day four of the Oxbox Xmas Challenge. I've eked out an early lead but it's all to play for as I draw a task similar to one I failed last year. Still, I'm more familiar with Street Fighter than I am with Killer Instinct. I didn't say I was good, mind.
By popular demand (no, really) the Oxbox Xmas Challenge returns for 2014 with a whole new batch of randomly drawn challenges, taking in the year's games. I'm up first with a challenge that should play into a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. That career being 20 years of shooting things in the crotch in videogames.
Show of the Week ponders open-world racer The Crew, in which the entire continental United States has been squeezed and compressed into a driveable sandbox, filled with other players driving their own disgustingly decorated rides.
Let's not get our hopes up, Jurassic World may be terrible. If the trailer is anything to go by, the dialogue is a bit hokey and the plot revolves around a genetically modified super-dinosaur. So lets regress into our nostalgic comfort zone and remember five classic Jurassic Park games that would serve as better sequels than Jurassic World will, probably. And Jurassic Park 3 too, come to mention it. Probably The Lost World as well.
If you're old and hoary enough to remember a) the word hoary and b) Micro Machines on 16-bit consoles, you'll understand why we were rather excited by Toybox Turbos. In all but name, it's a Micro Machines remake by its original development house, pitting four tiny cars against each other in a race across domestic tabletops. If you've played the classic games, you'll also be aware that it has one of the most fiendishly entertaining local multiplayer modes around, which is why that's exactly what we're playing here.
Never Alone, or "Kisima Ingitchuna" in the Inupiat language, is a super charming retelling of an Alaskan Native fable, starring a little girl and her adorable white fox friend, who battle both evil and the elements. Our version of the story, played here in co-op on Xbox One, includes multiple screw ups as we accidentally steer Fox into the icy brine for the eighth consecutive time.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection is all well and good, but you'll forgive us for being more excited for Halo's proper next-gen debut, Halo 5. We'll have a much better idea of what's in store for Xbox One-owning Halo fans when the Halo 5 multiplayer beta launches the week after Christmas, but after a mere two hours of hands-on time with that beta, here are five things we have already learned about Halo 5.
Millions of kids are transfixed by the Skylanders games, hoovering up expensive plastic models in order to unlock areas inside the videogame they (or rather their parents) have already bought. What is the special sauce that keeps them coming back? As Skylanders ignorami, we threw ourselves at the series' debut on Xbox One, Skylanders Trap Team, to see what the fuss is about.
It's Halloween: the most wonderful time of year, when jolly Saint Dracula swoops down the chimney and feasts on the blood of misbehaving children. At least that is what I'm telling my kids if I ever have any. We're all very excited here at Outside Xbox, which is why this week's Show of the Week is a spooky special. We've got tips for the perfect Halloween costume and the next-gen revival of a horror classic on Xbox One in the shape of Resident Evil HD Remastered.
The biggest surprise during our hour or so with Resident Evil: Revelations 2 wasn't being jumped by a slathering mutant zombie inmate or diced by some whirling-blade contraption, it was the first time Moira Burton dropped an f-bomb. In spite of the liberal gore and violence, Resident Evil's characters have always remained relatively composed in the past. We blame Barry Burton's absentee parenting. But then we always blame Barry Burton.
The word dystopia literally translates to 'bad place' and, to be fair, places like Rapture and City 17 would not be fun places to eke out an existence. But with so many sci-fi dystopias in videogames, are they all really that terrible? We've found six that we reckon would at least scrape a couple of stars on TripAdvisor.
We're all looking to save a bit of money after Christmas, having spent all of our money in December on presents for relatives and festive booze ups. It's fitting, then, that one of the earliest games scheduled for 2015, Dying Light, contains features from five of the biggest games coming out later that year. We knew Techland's co-op, open world zombie game was ambitious, but could it be the best value game you buy all year?
What's the one thing more annoying than Claptrap? Two Claptraps. That is the regrettable entourage with which I wound up in this co-op session in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. The mobile toaster's special ability in particular is enough to have you twisting your controller in half. Called vaulthunter.exe, this special ability is a randomised buff that affects the entire group and although each buff has its advantages, there are also disadvantages designed to be super irritating. Hit the jump to watch us struggle through the chaos in Xbox 360 gameplay.
As if Alien Isolation's brand new storyline wasn't exciting enough, for the day one DLC Creative Assembly somehow found time to meticulously render the Nostromo from the original Alien film and hire members of the original cast to reprise their characters. CA had access to production notes from the movie, so this is as accurate a recreation of the spaceship as you'll ever see and it looks stunning. Not much time for leisurely sightseeing with an Alien stalking the corridors though. Perhaps Sgt. Apone from not-that-Alien-film can help?
The question with Alien: Isolation was never whether the game's super-smart Alien could scare you. That much was guaranteed. The question was always would it continue to scare you. The answer, having played a good 16 hours of the thing is yes. Yes it most certainly can. But the Alien is just one of the five things we liked and there was something we hated too. Hit the jump for our definitive Alien Isolation review.
Given how aggressively Sony has targeted indie game developers, you would be forgiven for thinking the PS4 is the only place to play charming, downloadable indie titles. Since Gamescom, however, Microsoft has been scrabbling to regain territory and has announced a host of indie games for its ID@Xbox program. London games expo EGX 2014 was the perfect place to play these games and meet the developers, so we struck out in search of Xbox One indie games.
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