Category: PC

Pure Pool™_20140707153303Despite being an extremely popular recreational game, there have been very few video games that try to replicate Snooker. Occasionally we’ll see one though, especially on downloadable platforms, such is the case of Pure Pool, on Xbox Live Arcade, PSN and Steam. Pure Pool does a really good job at mimicking the experience of setting up shots and implementing the proper rules. Although getting used to using the right analog stick to push the pool stick is kind of tricky, it really feels similar to matching the pressure as you do in the real game. The jumping into a game is extremely fluid as soon as the opening titles pass you can play immediately jump into any game. This makes the game extremely easy to pick up.

Pure Pool™_20140707153227The game’s UI and graphics are a mixed bag, while in tutorial mode there are PSN names of people on the games popping up in the corner of the screen. The UI can be confusing and you need to press a button just to prompt it. Also while the table and balls are gorgeously rendered the pool stick and background leave much to be desired. There’s also a dramatic moment every time someone makes the winning shot where the pool stick hits the cue ball it makes an animation where a cloud of chalk dust hits the air. However the cloud animation is very flat and looks extremely out of place. Not only that but since the only thing you can unlock is pool sticks it would be nice if they didn’t look so jagged. It just seems so odd that a game that has some of the best looking set pieces I’ve seen in a long time can have such jarringly bad elements.

Pool is a very social game and would seem great for multiplayer, however I’ve never been able to publicly join a match online. There seems to be a massive connectivity issue and thus cannot review multiplayer. However similar to ghosts in racers, there’s an option to download players DNA to have a CPU act as your friends. The local multiplayer however works very well and just like the real game lets you pass the stick to your friend allowing play with just one controller.

Pure Pool™_20140707154831

The game is extremely soothing to play, it’s relaxing and calming and extremely easy to pick up and put down. However the price is a bit steep at $13, without much to unlock there’s not much incentive to just play alone and with multiplayer issues it can be a difficult sell. However the easy to get into pick up and put down gameplay provides an enjoyable experience for any fan of the real game. – 7/10

Note: The Playstation 4 version was played for this review and is the version demonstrated in the screenshots.

Steiger Dynamics show off their new home theatre PC called LEET. Starting at $1799 (with an additional $150~ shipping charge for European customers) this home theater PC features water cooling by Swift-Tech and uses standard PC parts that accommodate for user side upgrades. Steiger Dynamics boldly claim that their new home theatre PC has enough under the bonnet to support 4K gaming, which they show off to Samuel in a live demo.

Check out more about Steiger Dynamics and the LEET on their website:

Magic: The Gathering is one of the longest running card-games of all time. With thousands of cards released since it’s inception two decades ago, it has been a force to be reckoned with annual tournaments, meet-ups, and it’s own secondary market to selling, buying and trading. In 2009 and 2010, Wizards of the Coast released a simplified, digital card game version for consoles and the pc. Since then, there has been continuation of the digital game with some minor changes and tweaks with each iteration. Although Magic: The Gathering Duels of the Planewalkers 2014 has addressed complaints from critics and players from past releases, there are still some gripes that I had personally with this game.


Having little to no knowledge of the game in either incarnation, other than echoed conversations I have had with friends, I was a bit nervous jumping into this dedicated, fan-based driven game. Thankfully, like the others, Magic 2014 has a hold-my-hand tutorial for those unfamiliar with the gameplay and its mechanics. After completing the tutorial, gone away were my doubts on how to know the types of color, summon creatures, utilize artifacts and enchantments, and how to block attacks. The tutorial did introduce me to the previous mentioned and more, however there were a few items left off the table regarding complex advanced techniques, though this was probably intentional in order to over complicate novices.

The campaign for Magic 2014 has the player traversing to different realms, conquering opponents and besting the Planeswalker (boss) from each “stage” in order to move on to the next one. The campaign features unique cut-scenes and voice over, it’s not ground-breaking, but it adds some spice to the mix. The “minions” other than the boss use the same strategy and deck which can be boring at predicable at times, but beating the campaign nets the revenge campaign, which has you challenge only the bosses from each realm, which can be challenging but rewarding.

Sealed Play is the main draw for Magic 2014. Unlike the main campaign, which allows minimal changes for the pre-constructed-deck, Sealed Play has the player open booster packs filled with random cards in order to create a deck from the ground up. A definite step in the right direction as winning duels in Sealed Play’s own minor campaign will often yield more booster packs to unwrap and use. Now every card isn’t available in Sealed Play to use, but for the most part there is some variety in this packs.There is also downloadable content if you feel the need to get that extra “boost” in your deck.

Multiplayer is big here as well; you can battle one on one against a fellow duelist online with or without a sealed play deck; you can also team up with a local or online buddy to take on two opponents on the special Two-Headed Giant Mode.
Challenge is certainly the weaker of the modes here, and has a few bare-bone brain-buster tasks to accomplish. Nothing challenging as the name of the mode implies, but beating them unlocks avatars that are used to represent you in the game.

The tutorial/campaign did have a few hiccups for me, seeing as I was prompted to select an action with one button and on the side of the game was also showing the same action but substituted with another button, only for me to skip the action by error and my turn altogether, thus allowing the opponent to alter the game and win the duel. Duration of the duels due to said action-stopping sequences and speed of the digital game altogether can make some duels last two to three times it normally should in the real card game. The music though one-tracked, is catchy and sets the mood for the game.

The price to enter the world of Magic: The Gathering in digital format is cheap and well worth it. Although there’s a few of the gameplay hurtles that I have yet to master and understand, and Sealed Play can use some changes that will hopefully be addressed in the 2015 game, I am at ease knowing that through this game, I know how to play the card game and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I look forward to the next installment of the Duels of the Planewalkers series.


Pros Cons
Sealed Play is a welcome change. Overhauled Campaign. Friendly Tutorial for Novices. Very Slow paced game. Questionable button prompt layout. Predictable AI.

The continuation of the set of videos where I play free games I got during my PSN+ trial… I am in serious need of a new name for this. This time I play through a bit of Limbo on PS3, a game that I have completed on 360 and own on PC. So… It’s a not-so-first impressions