Saturday, 11 December 2010 - tech news fast! - tech news fast!

Electricpig game review roundup: Tron Evolution, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Halo: Reach Noble Map Pack review

Posted: 11 Dec 2010 05:00 AM PST

It’s been a game-filled week here at Electricpig. This week we reviewed Tron: Evolution, Donkey Kong Country Returns and the new Halo: Reach Noble Map Pack. Do they deserve a place in your console? Read on for a roundup of our thoughts on each.

Halo: Reach Noble Map Pack – worth the money?

For £6.70, or 800 Microsoft Points, as Microsoft insists will get you the first Halo: Reach Map Pack packing three new maps. But are they worth it. Only of you’re a serious Halo: Reach fan.

While much welcome the three new maps: Tempest, Anchor 9 and Breakpoint don’t offer too much in the way of gameplay that Reach players won’t have played before, though additions of vehicles scattered across Tempest and Breakpoint especially are good fun.

Playing the Noble Map Pack I felt that the developers could have pushed the boat out just a little more. Anchor 9 for example isn’t the most inspiring of level designs, but for just under £7 players are hardly getting ripped off.

Donkey Kong Country Returns. Welcome return?

Ben Sillis had the pleasure of reveling in some much welcome nostalgia when reviewing Donkey Kong Country Returns. A Donkey Kong Country game has been a long time coming. But was it worth the wait?

“Donkey Kong Country Returns is an addictive and hilarious game, which though it follows many platform staples (eight worlds, each with a boss at the end), still manages to inject lots of creativity into the mix, alongside the banging MIDI tunes that made the original so memorable,” Ben wrote this week.

Although it is very difficult. “You should know that this game is hard. Really, really hard. Trying to cut a diamond with a spork hard.

“Still, there's no doubt that Donkey Kong Country Returns is supremely polished, and for anyone with fond memories of the superb SNES games, or even without, a brilliant blast from the past. Just be sure to put on your Wii remote's caseguard/condom. You will be throwing it around in frustration.”

Tron: Evolution – Best left on the big screen?

Fresh from playtesting Donkey Kong Returns, Ben Sillis also got his hands on Tron: Evolution on PS3. From tron’s film visuals you’d think that the film  would effortlessly transfer to the console and still be brilliant. Not quite.

Ben liked that it felt at times like the classic Rez, but deplored its controls and camera, suggesting that Tron: Evolution is one for Tron geeks than everyone else.

“Visually, Tron: Evolution should be awesome, and it just about is. Everything is a pill popper's disco nightmare, with throbbing lights, scary dancers, but just another sanity to keep the bad guys colour coded.

“Sadly though, the cracks soon start to show: player motions look jerky, hot female characters look like unrealistic humanoids straight out of Oblivion or Fallout 3, and well, the whole disco thing never ever lets up. Play Tron: Evolution for an extended period and something akin to neon snow blindness sets in.”

The gameplay isn’t quite up to scratch either, Ben reckons.

“It's a shame too that the gameplay lets the side down a little. As we noted in our preview, developer Propaganda Games is clearly imitating the likes of Prince of Persia and Assassin's Creed with all the free running and leaping. And indeed The Grid seems like a perfect setting for it. But leaping around is frustrating when the camera will trick you to your death on a regular basis, and driving the light tank is like skidding on ice in slow motion.”

“If you're a hardcore Tron fan, you really are going to love scurrying around the The Grid in Tron: Evolution, and might even appreciate the absurd backstory. For everyone else though, this is a rental only.”

Agree or disagree with any of the opinions expressed? Let us know in the comments section below.

Related posts:

  1. Donkey Kong Country Returns review roundup
  2. Donkey Kong Country Returns to Wii!
  3. Donkey Kong Country Returns dated for the UK!

Advent Calendar day 11: Win an Advent Vega 10-inch tablet, plus loads more

Posted: 11 Dec 2010 03:22 AM PST

Good Saturday to you! Tucked into your first big lunch of the weekend yet? Before you settle down, check out today’s Electricpig Advent Calendar, if you’re quick enough you could win a cracking prize! Click the headline or Read More button, drop a comment at the bottom of the post, and you could nab a new laptop, Android tablet, gaming PC, digital photo frame or PC accessories!

Today we’re asking for Christmas jokes. The last lot you gave us tickled our funny bone something rotten, so we’re looking forward to a fresh dose of hilarity. The first person to log in using their Facebook ID (that’s really important, without it we can’t reliably contact you, or check you’re based in the UK) and tell us one in the comments section will win! Once we have a winner, we’ll reveal the prize they’ve scooped.

Each day we’ve got a mystery prize up for grabs thanks to the generous people at PC World. It could be a speaker system, a digital photo frame, a keyboard and mouse set, an Advent Amico tablet, Advent laptop or computer, or even a newly-released Advent Vega tablet.

What’re you waiting for? Scroll down, log in using your Facebook account and get commenting!

We have a winner!

Phew! That was quick – congratulations to Ruth Hunter! She swooped in with the first joke (and a cracker to boot!) and has won… an Advent Modena M201 laptop! Well done Ruth! Check back tomorrow for more prizes!

Check out more Advent products at, and remember to come back tomorrow for another chance to win: we’ll offer up a fresh prize each day between 9am and 12 noon! Our usual terms and conditions apply.

Related posts:

  1. Advent Calendar day 4: Win free laptop, tablet and gadget prizes!
  2. Advent Calendar day 10: Win laptops, Android tablets and gadgets every day!
  3. Advent Calendar day 3: Win laptops, Android tablets and gadgets every day!

Top tech stories this week: Nokia C6-01, Kinect shortages, Apple Mac App Store, iPad 2 and more

Posted: 11 Dec 2010 01:00 AM PST

It’s nearly Christmas, but don’t think the tech news has stopped rolling in. This week we’ve got the latest word on the second generation iPad, news on the BlackBerry PlayBook, Motorola’s 10-inch tablet, Kinect shortages and the first ever look at the new Tomb Raider game. All that and more this way.

Nokia C6-01 unboxed
Plumping for another Nokia alternative the the N8? The Nokia C6-01 might be up your street. It even looks similar. It features an eight-megapixel camera and the same Symbian 3 software. See it unboxed here.

Facebook founder Zuckerberg giving away half his wealth
Zuckerberg is the latest billionaire to have signed up to Warren Buffet and Bill Gates’ philanthropic project with a public pledge to sign over half his earnings to charity.

Apple Mac App Store launching in January?
The latest report suggests that Apple won’t launch its Mac App Store till first thing next year.

Microsoft Kinect suffering global shortages?
Microsoft has been building as strong a supply as possible, according to Xbox bosses, but even so, many shops are now limited in stock of the gaming body sensor.

First glimpse of new iOS?
A patent reveals some interesting possible info on the new iOS with a feature called “radical menus”. Take a look at it here.

BlackBerry PlayBook OS is new BlackBerry phone OS
RIM head-honcho Mike Lazaridis said "This is a complete mobile computing platform. All of this is coming together to set up Blackberry for the next decade."

Amazon Kindle for Web to battle Google eBooks?
Amazon earlier announced Kindle for Web, a cloud-based hub bringing your book library to any web browser. Google also announced Google eBooks letting users download books from Android devices. Fight, fight, fight!

Motorola Android tablet to go to war with iPad 2
A new, yet to be released Motorola Android tablet with a 10-inch screen was shown off in the week impressing greatly. Could it be a contender to the iPad 2 when it comes out.

Speaking of the iPad 2
The latest launch rumours surrounding the next generation iPad put the tablet at a possible January launch.

Lara Croft like you’ve never seen her before
The first details of the newest Tomb Raider game were revealed this week. Even Lara’s been given a fresh makeover. We reckon she looks like Gemma Arterton. What do you think?

Apple iPad getting two cameras, arriving April 2011
A report from Reuters claims that the second-gen iPad will have dual cameras and be expected to arrive in April 2011.

Related posts:

  1. Top tech stories this week: iPod Touch with FaceTime, Eee Box EB1501P details scooped, new Apple Store, iPad Mini, BlackBerry Torch 9800 and more
  2. Top tech stories this week: HTC Vision, Apple TV on the cheap, iPad gets Flash, Microsoft Kinect, PlayStation Move and more
  3. Top tech stories this week: Nokia N8, mystery device revealed, PlayStation Move, PSP phone, Apple TV delay, BlackBerry tablet and more

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