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Arts and Entertainment

Become humanity’s last hope on Wii U

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The last of Earth’s survivors after an alien annihilation need to wonder the mysterious Mira planet while fighting the hostile wildlife. Players need to team up and develop strategies to watch out for each other.

When the Earth is destroyed by a mysterious alien race, the last of humanity escapes and crash-lands on the mysterious planet Mira. Facing the threat of extinction, players must survive the perils of their new home in Xenoblade Chronicles X, an RPG set in a massive open world just waiting to be explored in-depth, releasing exclusively on the Wii U on 4 December.

In this new RPG from the creators of Xenoblade Chronicles, players can create their own character and explore a planet five times bigger than the world in Xenoblade Chronicles. A rich variety of hostile wildlife makes Mira an inhospitable place, and players will need to master a deeply strategic real-time battle system to survive.

During combat, your avatar can switch between different battle classes that allow them to become more adept at long-range or close-quarters combat, as well as issue tactical orders to up to three AI partners. Party members will also advise players on when to use special skills, known as Arts, to boost their allies or blast away foes. Each class has access to different Arts, and strategic use of these can be instrumental in turning the tide of the battle.

Outside of combat, players can focus on the necessities of exploration and survival by taking jobs in eight different divisions. Those who want to focus on discovering the massive, open environments and scavenge for new materials can take a job as a Curator, while joining the Harriers will allow players to concentrate primarily on defeating the dangerous monsters that roam the landscape. Another choice, Outfitters, spend the bulk of their time helping to develop the giant weaponised mechs known as Skells. Eventually, players will be able to pilot the Skell themselves, allowing access to places they couldn’t find before, providing even more possibilities for exploration.

By using the Wii U GamePad, players can access the navigation system, which displays a hexagonal map grid to plot the course ahead to avoid ambushes from giant monsters, uncover new resources, and fast-travel between previously discovered locations. The game can also be played on the GamePad screen alone.

Xenoblade Chronicles X brings the series online for the first time, making it possible to team up and take on co-operative missions as a party of four. Players can also join a party of up to 32 asynchronous characters with whom they can trade items and weapons, even if they are not battling together. In addition, avatars created by other players can be recruited into your team as AI party members, providing you with even more avenues for strategy in the midst of battle.

Explore humanity’s final frontier in Xenoblade Chronicles X for the Wii U, as it launches across Europe and South Africa on 4th December. The game will also be available as a bundle with a Wii U Premium Pack console and as a Limited Edition. Users who purchase Xenoblade Chronicles on Nintendo eShop on Wii U will be eligible for a R130 discount on Xenoblade Chronicles X if they buy it on Nintendo eShop on the same Wii U console before 18th December 2015.

Arts and Entertainment

Timberlake to headline iTunes London festival

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Apple has announced that Justin Timberlake, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Jack Johnson and Jessie J are among the headliners at this year’s iTunes Festival in London.

Running every night in September at the Roundhouse, the iTunes Festival features more than 60 acts performing at the legendary venue.

Performances can be watched live or on-demand by millions of iOS users around the world on their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, as well as by music fans with iTunes on their computer or in stunning HD with Apple TV. Tickets are free for competition winners only.

Music fans from across the world, including the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, Japan and Mexico can win tickets to the iTunes Festival through competitions run by local media partners. In the UK, fans can win tickets using the iTunes Festival app and the iTunes Store as well as select media partners including Channel 4, Global Radio and Metro.

Sir Paul McCartney, Amy Winehouse and Crowded House played the first iTunes Festival at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2007. Since then over 370 artists have performed in front of more than 370,000 fans and tens of millions more online and on television. Other performers have included Adele, Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Alicia Keys, Paul Simon, Jack White and Oasis. Performances are available for purchase and download on the iTunes Store.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

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Arts and Entertainment

New PS games ready for download

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Sony has announced its June line-up for PlayStation Plus subscribers, including Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and two new catalogue releases, Demon’s Souls and ICO and Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection.

Immerse yourself in the ancient world of Amalur and its 10,000 years of magical history in the action-packed tale Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, created by acclaimed New York Times bestselling author R.A. Salvatore. Take destiny into your own hands as you combat your way through this vast and vibrant world as envisioned by the visionary creator of Spawn and much-admired artist, Todd McFarlane.

In Demon’s Souls you are summoned by a mysterious maiden as the last hope for humanity to take on a mighty demon horde that has taken over the kingdom of Boletaria, after a terrible curse was mistakenly unleashed by King Allant the XII whilst in search of greater powers. Prepare for a battle that has so far defeated all other realm champions as you set out on this epic journey to save the Kingdom from a fate worse than death.

ICO and Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection brings two exciting worlds to PS Plus ready for fans to explore. Adopt the role of ICO, a young boy who finds himself imprisoned by the people of his village inside the walls of a menacing castle before joining forces with a young girl named Yorda as she attempts to escape in ICO. Take on the role of a young man named Wander in Shadow of the Colossus as you journey through an enchanted land, battling 16 enormous beasts known as the Colossi in order to restore the life of a girl named Mono, whose soul is trapped in this haunting world.

For gamer’s on-the-go, grab your PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) and transport yourself to lush forests in the cartoon-quality action title Rayman Origins. Alternatively, weave through airborne mazes as you avoid falling coconuts in Coconut Dodge HD, both available on PS Plus from 5th June.

PS Plus provides subscribers with access to top-rated games on PS3 and PS Vita, extending the service to two platforms for a single price for a one-year subscription. Additionally, 90 day subscriptions are also available giving user’s access to the same fantastic titles and great PlayStation Store discounts.

PS Plus subscribers receive an array of exclusive features, including 2GB cloud storage (1G for PS3 & 1G for PS Vita) for game saves. Automatic updates and beta access, as well as a huge collection of exclusive dynamic themes and PlayStation Network avatars, makes PS Plus the place to be in 2013.

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