Wednesday 22 November 2017

Digital Life: Got the Monday blues? Cheer yourself up with this

Ronan Price

Ronan Price

Monday Night Combat

X360

8.5/10

From unpromising beginnings, Monday Night Combat rises far above its station with clever twists on the timeworn tower defence genre.

This is the game for someone who finds StarCraft too complicated and Unreal Tournament too frantic but likes the notion of defending a base against wave after wave of enemies. The early set-up fails to get the pulse racing, dropping you into a gaudy gameshow-style arena complete with jabbering commentator and lack-lustre visuals.

But as you learn the ropes of defending your base by building turrets, the quirks in the gameplay begin to add up to something more. Unlike conventional tower defence games, you're not a god-like figure, manipulating resources from on high.

Instead, your soldier operates on the ground, shooting the enemy personally in between managing the turrets. Better still, you've a choice of six soldier classes, a la Team Fortress 2, ranging from tank to sniper to mechanic.

Single-player has its moments but online multi-player, with up to four players working as a team against another four, is where it really gets entertainingly explosive.

PlayStation Plus

PS3

7/10

With Sony haemorrhaging cash in recent years, all avenues for revenue are being explored, even ones PS3 bosses have derided Microsoft for using.

PlayStation Plus is a subscription service for PS3 costing €50 a year or €15 for three months.

Much like Xbox Live, it grants access to special offers on new games and trials of full games. You also get four free download titles every month but if you cancel your subscription, those games expire too.

Multi-player gaming remains free if you don't subscribe, however, unlike on Xbox Live. That's the kernel of the PlayStation Plus dilemma -- given you get multiplayer free, many PS3 owners may fail to see the value of extra treats from a subscription.



Ghosts 'n' Goblins: Gold Knights II

iPhone

5/10

Ah, the memories of a misspent youth pumping 10p coins into the Ghosts 'n' Goblins arcade machine.

The happy addiction waned only after beating the insanely hard but beautiful platformer.

Gold Knights II clearly comes from the same stable but it's far too rough a facsimile for even ardent fans.

Blocky graphics are the least of its worries given that the awkward control system, although improved in this iPhone sequel, conspires time and time again to send you to your death.

Irish Independent

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