Skylanders: The Total Cost Of Ownership


Gavin Average takes a look at the money making machine that is the Skylanders franchise.

My name’s Gavin Average, and I have a problem. It all started innocently enough, when I picked up a pre-owned copy of a video game called Skylanders Giants, the sequel to Skylanders – Spyro’s Adventure. You may have heard of it, I certainly had thanks to a younger relation, who extolled the virtues of the game to me at a family gathering. At 6 years old he is firmly within the target demographic for Skylanders. In my thirties, I am not, or so you’d think…

This isn’t a piece about these games directly, but I will say that I love and thoroughly enjoy them, and I do promise to review each of them for you in the fullness of time...

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Guest Post – When Is Griefing Really Griefing?


Today’s post was written by Colin Ford who is the producer and presenter of Top Shift, an Elite: Dangerous oriented videocast. He’s also a part-time contributor to Lave Radio and can be contacted via his Twitter account.

We’ve all heard about it on our MMO gaming forums, ‘I hate player X because they’re a griefer or they ganked me’; the main issue I have are people being called ‘griefers’ when they’re not. The first thing I would like to share is my definitions of a griefer:

  1. A player who targets newbie players or players who would stand no chance against them.
  2. A player who stalks another player and attacks and kills them at every opportunity.

Think of ‘WoW-guy’ in the South Park World of Warcarft episode and you kind of get the idea. A spoilsport...

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WoW: The Iron Tide Brings More Than Just The Iron Horde


Just yesterday saw the release for the bridging patch between Mists of Pandaria and the new World of Warcraft expansion Warlords of Draenor, titled ‘The Iron Tide’ a.k.a. patch 6.0.2. It’s a mammoth of a patch with notes that go on for days with the huge amounts of tweaks and changes, some of the headline features are the arrival of new character models, revamped ‘Group Finder’ utility and the world event dubbed: Iron Horde Incursion.

The Dark Portal in the Blasted Lands has turned blood red. Hundreds of strange-looking orcs are violently pouring into Azeroth, killing everything that stands in their path. Nethergarde and Okril’lon have already fallen, and while the Horde and the Alliance moved as quickly as they could to get reinforcements to their people, they are too late...

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Jagex Announce Hearthstone-esque CCG


In a time where the popularity of the digital collectible card game (CCG) is on the ascent with Hearthstone featuring prominently amongst them, it seems that Cambridge, UK-based Jagex have decided to take a page out of Blizzard’s book in a very literal fashion. The company revealed over the weekend at RuneFest that they are making their very own CCG based on the game they are best known for, the now 13 year-old MMO RuneScape, with a working title of Chronicle: RuneScape Legends.

chronicle runescape legends

It all looks a little familiar…

The picture above is the only available image of what the game might look like, it demonstrates the ‘living book’ portion of their vision quite well and is step forwards in digital CCG design, seemingly taking it beyond that of an imaginary inn or gaming table...

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Star Citizen’s Grey Market


Internet spaceships have always been serious business to a very specific corner of our digital world and I can’t pretend that I know even a small fraction of what there is to know about them, but the existence of a ‘grey market’ for a game that isn’t even done yet caught me off guard. I’ve played a few games that feature spaceships, but Eurogamer’s Wesley Yin-Poole has discovered a section of the Star Citizen fanbase that likes to spend thousands of their currency of choice on digital spaceships, not only that, spaceships that you can’t even use or look at yet.

This grey market has evolved from Star Citizen’s business model, which all hinges on their “in-universe” store...

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Xbox Live: Games With Gold In October


Never one to turn down a freebie, I always look forward to what the Games With Gold program is going to offer up next. Some months have been more generous than others in terms of number of games or just sheer value gained, but this month sees the return of two classics on the Xbox 360 and a little gem from the ID@Xbox initiative on Xbox One. Let’s take a look:


Chariot is described by its makers, Frima Originals, as “a couch co-op platformer” that can be played alone or with a friend – “Players take the role of the brave Princess or her faithful Fiancé as they manoeuvre the departed king’s coffin-on-wheels through […] vibrant underground environments, with his majesty’s ghost giving them a piece of his mind every step of the way.”

I love the idea of it being the b...

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Gaming Culture: CoD and The Government Are Not The Same


Dark and disturbing things happen when you let a former game director and writer start advising security think tanks on matters of national security just because he worked on a First Person Shooter series. Picture a world where a man, formerly involved in the Call of Duty series, is invited to talk at a nonpartisan think tank in Washington where he is a fellow in international security. This man is Dave Anthony, former writer and director for CoD and he wants the U.S. government to contemplate putting soldiers in schools. In a time where games already have enough negative press at their door to deal with, this is a man who is making things worse on all fronts.

This past Wednesday, Anthony spoke to the assembled forum, called ‘The Future of Unknown Conflict’, hosted by the Atlantic Council ...

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Destiny Diaries: Days 6 to 7


I had hope in my heart as I fired up my Xbox One, I was going to finish the Moon missions and I was looking forward to doing the Strike mission there. I realise that statement makes me out to be a glutton for punishment and repetition I needed to see this through, I needed to get to Venus or Mars, I was desperate for a change of scenery. My hopes were of course suitably dashed.

Day 6

I finally conquered the Moon. Sadly the conquering did not bring me any further wisdom as to why the Hive still remind me of B-movie sea creatures, why they are about as tactically gifted as a dead fish and why Bungie think that merely a bigger version of an existing enemy type (with the same weak-spots) is definitely going to get the job of killing me done; spoilers: It didn’t.

Amongst the dusty ruins of te...

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Thursday At EGX London


Last week was a hectic one for the Voo’s Review team with an awful lot of travelling, serious amounts of walking and some memorable experiences. Unfortunately we could only make it on the Thursday, but we still had a lovely time walking around the show floor meeting fans, talking to developers and checking out the huge variety of games on offer to the public. Voo was kept happy with the deluge of Nintendo Streetpass hits she got, Gavin got to play some Quake III and relive his competitive play days.

We got to see a lot of games, some of them we were already aware of and are looking forwards to but others we wanted to explore a little more. What were our favourites? Let’s take a look…


Elite developer Frontier Developments returns to the rollercoaster building genre in fine ...

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Lave Radio Interview With David Braben At EGX London


I mentioned in our previous post that we might get the chance to speak to the man and driving force behind Elite: Dangerous whilst we were at EGX London in Earls Court, and I hate to disappoint.

So, in conjunction with one of my fellow crew members from Lave Radio, Fozza, we sat down with David to get his thoughts on his 30 years in the games industry, the 30th anniversary of the original Elite and the current developments in Elite: Dangerous. Check out the interview over on the Lave Radio website.


(Featured image by Commander Angua von Überwald)
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