The Gamestyle Archive

Long time readers may already know the story, but Gamestyle has been the victim of two hacking incidents. Both times causing a lot of content to go up in smoke. The fact that we were originally a Dreamcast only site should tell you how long we’ve been going, and how much content would’ve been lost. The hacking took a lot out of us, and in some ways, Gamestyle was never the same again. But this week something miraculous happened.

Like the E.T cartridges in the desert, former editor Mr Jason Julier unearthed something. Discs containing around 200 old reviews, previews and features. All of which are being uploaded and be viewed by CLICKING HERE. It’s amazing the amount of content that was lost, but even more amazing that a good chunk of them have been found.

Over the coming months these may start to appear on the main site, maybe in retro themed weekends, but for now why not head over and check out some of our older work.

Just Dance 4 review

The Just Dance series stands alone as the go to part dance game across all consoles, making use of the various aspects of each console. Kinect on the 360, Move on the Playstation and the Wii remote on the Wii. The forth (main) entry in the series hopes to bring a load of new features, but is it worth the upgrade?

Just Dance 3 was a fine game, offering up plenty of fun, ideal for those party nights at home. Just Dance 4 offers over 40 new tracks, from artists such as Flo Rider, Jessie J, Justin Bieber and more. But it really needs more than just new music to be worth a purchase, otherwise simple DLC would have sufficed. Luckily Ubisoft have managed to add some more modes to the extra tracks.

The basic game play elements are back and pretty much unchanged from before, it is in the new modes that the game starts to stand out. The Dance Battle allows players to go head to head in a dance off over five rounds with one being crowned champion at the end. It adds an excellent competitiveness to the game, making players face off against each other. The five rounds are well balanced and will mean players aren’t having to wait around for too long to get their turn, nor are those playing feeling overly rushed. It really is a hit when everyone gets involved and can create quite the atmosphere.

Away from simple head to head play, each song has up to four different dance routines at any one time. This can see a group of players taking to the stage at the same time, each playing their part in the action. The different routines too mean that there is variety to the action and different people of different abilities can still get fun out of the game (drunk or not). It is a major improvement over previous titles.

The workout mode returns with new sessions and more personalised programmes. Truth be told, this is a great way to stay in shape, while still having plenty of fun. Whilst not as demanding as some of the fitness games out there, it does come across as a hell of a lot more relaxed.

Visually the game remains similar to previous efforts, with the colourful on screen avatars choreographing each routine, with the colourful and hype backgrounds keeping things looking as funky as possible.

What you get out of the game really depends on the sort of person you are, what music you like, how active you want to be and how happy you are to strut your stuff in public. It’s not a game that will appeal to metal heads, however it isn’t a game that was designed to appeal to everyone. It is aimed squarely at those who simply love to dance, have a bit of showmanship about them. To that end, it really does succeed.

The track listing does have an impressive amount of variety, from Barry White’s ‘You’re The First, The Last, My Everything’ to Brittany Spears’ ‘Oops I Did It Again’. It is a mix that should get some reaction from everyone who plays at some point. It is possibly the best opening list Just Dance has had, with more to likely come from DLC later.

When games like this start to get later into a series, a staleness can appear, however Just Dance 4 manages to keep things fresh, the new tracks, new modes and improvements to returning features see this as a solid entry, it is an essential purchase for fans of the genre and another reason to get up and hit the dance floor.


Geometry Wars: Galaxies review

Everyone’s favourite fake retro shooter Geometry Wars has come a long from its origins as a humble mini game in Project Gotham Racing 2. When it was released on Xbox Live Arcade is was met with a kind of excited dizziness not normally seen in this day and age. The following transformation to a retail title raised a few eyebrows, but though we here at Gamestyle were unsure, we never really believed it would be allowed to fall short in terms of quality.

For those that dont know, Geometry Wars sets you in an arena into which enemies of different shapes appear. You fly around and try and stay alive as long as you can. It may be simple but then most of the best ideas normally are. While the previous version of the game only had one arena Galaxies has many of all different shapes and sizes. To progress through the game you must play each arena or planet to earn points which are then used to unlock more levels.Helping you in your shape shooting quest is a drone. This is a small square which can be programmed to do a number of things. For instance you can get it to go and pick up score multipliers, defend your ship or aggressively go after and shoot targets. As you progress you gain experience points for your drone which raise its effectiveness.

There are a whole host of different planets to visit and, surprisingly, they all manage to add variety to the simplistic Geometry Wars gameplay. Some are merely a different shape, while others contain new enemies, different attack formations or extremes such as meteor showers and moving blocks. The developers really have done an admirable job of keeping the game interesting from start to finish. Also special congratulations must go to whoever designed the soundtrack, as is it excellent and matches the frenetic grove of the game.Control wise the game lets you use, pretty much, whatever you want. For those settling in for the long haul you may want to master the intricacies of the remote. For the rest of us the classic controllers twin stick set up will do just fine.

Of course the key to longevity in Geometry Wars on the Xbox 360 was always the live leader boards. Thankfully the Wii has its own set for each level. After each encounter players have the chance to upload their score and see where they stand against the rest of the world. Unfortunately you cannot check how you have done against your friends as you are restricted to looking at the top ten and scores around your own. This is a bit of an over sight as not many people will really care what score some random stranger has posted on level three. The real nature of competition exists only if you can see your friend is a couple of hundred points ahead of you.

Overall Geometry Wars Galaxies is a tight and fast paced shooter that is guaranteed to get the pulse flowing. The difficulty builds nicely over the different planets and there are so many good ideas that it adds variety that we really didn’t expect to see. Galaxies shows that the basic idea of the game is more than strong enough to stand as a retail title and every single Wii owner owes it to themselves to give it go. It truly is a game for all occasions, whether you play it for five minutes or a few hours at a time it will always leave you wanting more.

Guilty Gear Core review

Each generation represents a step away from the two dimensional genre, so its refreshing when a title such as Guilty Gear Core lands on Gamestyle’s desk. Beat ‘em ups nowadays are a pale imitation of what they once were and have become bloated, unresponsive, full of novelty characters and frankly dull in comparison to their forbearers. So can Guilty Gear Core continue the fight and show that such titles remain a viable option?

The simple answer without hesitation is yes, but first lets dispense with the storyline. Any seasoned gamer will know that such commodities in this genre only exist to create a platform for a punch up. Thankfully Gear Guilty does not have aspirations above its station, instead content to overhaul the mix of characters and presentation on offer including two fighters new to Western gamers. 505 Games have also seen fit to shorten the elaborate American title Guilty Gear XX Accent Core to something a little more digestible, although the cover art still boast the extra strong motif.

The novelty factor with this release is the inclusion of a control method that attempts to match a fluid fighting system to the Wii Remote. Despite the work that has gone into attempting this feat, ultimately it just doesnt work with such a fast paced experience. The Wii Remote handles punch, kick, slash and the heavy slash, while the nunchuk covers actual movement, guard and jumping actions. Even on paper it seems convoluted and despite some effort trying to come to terms with the system, it fails to deflate Gamestyle’s initial scepticism.

Guilty Gear Core as with any release in the series is all about fluid fighting movements that are linked together to form a devastating chain. The Wii Remote with the nunchuk cannot cope with the sensitivity and rapid fire of commands that are essential to winning a bout. Shaking the remote may work for titles such as Cooking Mama or specific movements, but to try and map a fighting system just doesnt work.

An admission of some sorts from the developer is that Guilty Gear Core supports a variety of control options including the Gamecube and classic controllers. Either option is a lifesaver and the only way to truly appreciate what a brilliant fighting experience Core represents. Of course Nintendo Wii owners bought the system in pursuit of motion sensitive pleasures. In our opinion after a series of short-lived and repetitive Wii titles, one that offers a challenge and experience such as this is very much a minority on the console, and deserves better.

Visually Core is as brash and colourful as any arcade beat em up can hope to be nowadays. Each character is distinctive and expertly balanced so that one does not have an unfair advantage over the rest of the roster. The action flows fluidly with a top gear frame rate that does not stutter or falter, even during the most frantic and visually stunning attacks. While the animation is impressive, arguably the characters and environments could to with a final polish to remove some rough edges. However that is the only technical criticism Gamestyle can levee against Guilty Gear Core, as the audio is suitably arcade in nature and you could easily imagine it blaring out in your local amusement hall.

The staple modes are offered in what is a comprehensive package, including a detailed training option that allows you to polish your fighting skills. The expected arcade, CPU and two player offerings are also in place. The only real deviation from the norm is the MOM mode where the knockout format allows you to pick up medals that in turn boost your multiplier. Its nothing sizeable and Gamestyle could argue that the time for a similar option to that seen in Virtua Fighter is now warranted, given the history of this series. Even the most hardened followers may suggest that not enough is included here to warrant upgrading from the previous edition. Certainly minus the Wii controller scheme, Guilty Gear Core is playing it safe and treading water.

Aficionados of the beat em up genre will know all about the Guilty Gear series, however the vast majority of Nintendo Wii owners are casual gamers and probably without a Gamecube or classic controller. Gamestyle promises for those that do make the required double purchase, a game that is the best fighting experience on the system.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]8[/author_image] [author_info]Guilty Gear Core Review Summary

The best fighting experience on the Nintendo Wii system.[/author_info] [/author]