Gaming Weekly: Arkham DLC, Ratings and Rovio’s Next Big Move

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Hi there!

Yes it’s time for another slice of gaming recap-ness (new word ahoy!) where we at Gadget Helpline will run you through all of the happenings in the gaming world!

Games to Get UK Ratings Revamp

Those good old chaps over at the BBC have reported that the VSC (Video Standards Council) has decided to revamp the ratings systems in the UK for all future games. The system is aimed at both simplifying the rulings and ratings systems as well as offering a stronger enforcement of compiling to the gaming ratings system.

The ratings that are currently in place by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) will be moved over to the VSC and the rating will be placed on games in accordance to the PEGI’s specifications. PEGI currently gives a European age rating alongside additional information, including violent content and bad language.

The VSC will then be in charge of enforcing the ratings compliance with retailers and staff in stores, which could mean that failure to follow the rules will result in a potential prison sentence.

The changes are expected to come into force from July this year and they have been heavily backed by most of the industry, with the UK games industry trade association TIGA stating that “The PEGI system is reasonably easy to understand. The fact there are criminal sanctions in place will mean that retailers will want to train and support their staff.”

With numerous cases of violence and bad behaviour often (inappropriately) linked to video games it looks like a good move to heighten the importance of game ratings for both retailers and customers alike.

All it needs now is the public to take in the new severity of age ratings on games and to use the information provided to get the best gaming experience for their consoles.

Nintendo DSi Price Drop!

Nintendo is continuing on with its waves of publicity this week as the mighty Japanese games company has announced a round of price cuts to its Nintendo DSi and DSI XL handheld games consoles in the U.S. The original DSi is now below $100 at just $99.99 (£63) and the larger DSi XL is now just $129.99 (£80).

The bargain prices will come into place from May 20th in the U.S, and although our American cousins get the improved prices there are no such plans are in place for similar reductions in the UK or Europe.

A Nintendo rep stated: “Although this announcement has been made in the US, the European and UK market don’t have anything to announce at this time,

Both systems come pre-loaded with Flipnote Studio, with the DSi XL also coming loaded with Photo Clock, Brain Age Express: Arts & Letters and Brain Age Express: Math.

It’s a bit annoying that we in the UK won’t have a similar price drop, as a DSi around £70 is a serious bargain and should be snapped up by anyone who hasn’t already got one. Hopefully Nintendo will drop the pricing later on in the year and the DSi could be a great Christmas bargain.

Picture Break

Someone annoyed the Wife!

Batman Arkham City – The DLC We Have Been Waiting For

It’s been months since Rocksteady released the excellent Batman: Arkham City, but with the dust finally settled on the epic single player story Rocksteady has now announced the official release date and pricing for the new DLC single player campaign entitled “Harleys Revenge”.

The DLC pack will pick up the action in Arkham City a few months after the initial game ended and will start out with Batman missing and Robin trying to find the big Batman in Harley Quinn’s Hideout.

The DLC is exactly what fans of the game will be clamouring for after months of costume and skins downloads for characters along with additional challenge maps, the game finally gets a new addition to its storyline aspect.

Now, at Gadget Helpline we love an additional costume or two but what really keeps us interested in a game is a continuation of the original storyline and some brand new gameplay content, so naturally we’re very excited about this DLC pack.

Harley Quinn’s Revenge is a single-player story arriving worldwide on May 29th as a standalone download or for those who have yet to pick up the game they can soon buy the Batman: Arkham City Game of the Year Edition, which will have all of the DLC for the game pre-loaded and available on disc. This will include the Catwoman additional story, Robin Challenge maps and costumes, Jokers Hideout and all of the original Batman skins for the single player games.

The new DLC will also be the first time that players will be able to play as the boy wonder outside of the character challenge maps so fans of the game can expect a few extra gameplay challenges at the DLC’s start.

Rocksteady has also stated that the Harleys Revenge pack will be for the experienced gamer as eth game gets straight into the action and skips some of the slow Tutorials and slow ramp up to action as from the get go the mission is to bypass the Snipers and bad guys scattered across the city.

Tutorial; go save Batman. Snipers and groups combining knife-wielding villains and stun gun foes are ready for you as soon as the game gets going, so don’t expect to be eased back into combat.

We are really excited to get our hands on the DLC and with will be coming to consoles on Tuesday the 29th of May for 800 Microsoft Points or $9.99 on the PlayStation Network.

Internet Explorer Coming to Xbox 360

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 games console is slowly but surely unleashing the devices full capabilities over the last year or so and soon the machine will become a fully-fledged home entertainment multimedia centre as Microsoft are looking set to release a new Internet Explorer update to the console allowing web connectivity.

The Playstation 3 has had a web browser incorporated into the machine since its inception but Microsoft have preferred the slow game by slowly but surely releasing Entertainment related update over the past 5 years.

The newest update will join Apps such as YouTube, iPlayer and Netflix on the console to add another depth to Microsoft’s baby.

The news comes from tech website The Verge who state that a modified version of the browser will include Kinect functionality, allowing voice initiated navigation through the console’s Bing integration, as well as motion-based gesture commands, although Kinect will not be required for use.

The web browser on the console will also bring the Xbox 360 more in line with the Windows 8 design and features implementation that is said to be coming to all Microsoft products in the next few months.

We will be expecting an announcement in the next 4 weeks as Microsoft will undoubtedly release the update at the E3 conference at the start of June.

Rovio announced Angry Birds new game follow-up

The game will be called Amazing Alex and will be based on a game called Casey’s Contraption which has been recently purchased by Rovio and is a highly regarded physics-based puzzler for iOS.

The much lauded creators of the angry birds franchise have been developing a follow-up for some time but with Angry Birds being such a huge success, there is a huge amount of pressure on the developers to provide a new game with a similar quality and playability.

Rovio CEO Mikael Hed told Yle that the new game focuses on a curious young boy named Alex who loves to build things, and that it’ll have an educational element.

“The quality pressure is high,” he said. “We want to maintain the high standard Angry Birds fans have come to enjoy.”

Angry Birds topped one billion downloads this week and we have been heavily playing the latest instalment Angry Birds in Space since its release so hopefully Amazing Alex can give us a break from them dastardly green pigs.

And Finally…

Check out some of the gorgeous gameplay of the forthcoming Assassins Creed 3 game.

Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.
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