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What We Played #40

The one that still suffers from ‘rim-lag.

“Nothing at all” was the answer I got back from a couple of the team this week as real life has left neither Chris or Toby with the time for any gaming. Chris expects that to change over the forthcoming weeks as he’s eagerly awaiting both SSX and Journey. Toby offers no excuse while admitting to having the latest Uncharted, Batman and Modern Warfare games still in his “yet to play” pile!

Our PS Vita owning comrades having been putting their super oval handhelds through their paces. With his PS3 having died Alex is now dependent upon his PS Vita for his PlayStation fix, at least until he buys a new PS3.  He’s not missing it to much though as the “wicked” and “addictive” Unit 13 has been keeping him entertained for the most part. When that’s failed a spell of Wii-powered Zelda has stepped up to the task.

For Peter it’s been WipEout 2048 that’s done enough to earn the title of being his favourite from amongst the PS Vita’s launch lineup though Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Everybody’s Golf both gain the much-coveted “great fun” accolade.

Shank 2: it's da bomb!
When he can bring himself to put down his PS Vita he’s been 2D-brawling his way across the screen as ex-mob hitman Shank in the eponymous sequel Shank 2. While similar to the first game it has “just enough new elements to keep it fresh” and its “fast, smooth combat” and “wonderful presentation” making it a real stand-out title.

Jim is still blasting his way through Mass Effect 2 on Insanity and “absolutely loving it”. Yet not loving it enough to stop the majority of his time being spent exploring the Kingdoms of Amalur so he can deliver his reckoning in a review. “It’s a strange beast”, he says, “a concoction of MMO, RPG, and hack n’ slash” that while being “certainly enjoyable” and managing to “amaze in some parts, falls flat in others”.

Avid readers will be aware that he’s also still enjoying Uncharted 3’s multiplayer despite the odd moan that the collectibles that are clearly there to encourage you to spend time in the different modes require you to spend too much time paying modes you may not want to. On his PC he’s been playing the classic RTS Dawn of War which despite looking a little dated these days gets a hearty recommendation as a “must-have for PC gamers”.

The mixed bag that is the Sega Mega Drive: Ultimate Collection has been doing its bit to keep Tuffcub entertained when he needs a break from his other regular games, Killzone 3, Saints Row: The Third and Skyrim. Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time got a rent but he’s found it “tired” compared to the series’ outing on PS2.

Gran Turismo 5 still retains its more-or-less permanent place in my weekly gaming, though playing online with friends we found that for some reason they couldn’t race on the DLC tracks I’ve bought, something that’s not been a problem before. Anyone else found that since installing the 2.04 patch?

I also spent some quality time with my favourite red-haired smuggler in Star Wars: The Old Republic running through a number of flashpoints, SWTOR’s equivalent of World of Warcraft’s raids, rather than progressing her single-player story for a change. Despite not enjoying Eufloria as much as I had been I’ve persevered with it on the PS3 out of a stubborn refusal to be beaten.

Somebody get a crate of this over to Bethesda. (Other 'rim cleaning products are available.)
The promise of eliminated, or at least substantially reduced, lag drew Aran back to Skyrim but the latest patch has not left him all smiles. The problems will be familiar to anyone who’s played the game; he’s still left with a broken quest that cannot be completed and the “considerably cut down” lag is still especially bad, to the point of being almost game-breaking, when he finds himself in combat with a dragon and multiple other enemies.

On the flip side he’s still coming across oodles of new quests which is “brilliant” and were it not for other gaming commitments he could easily see Skyrim monopolising his free time at weekends.

Sadly it seems that despite the latest patch, if you’ve yet to pick up Skyrim yourself your best bet is still to get it on Xbox 360 or PC if you can. The game engine’s need to keep track of the huge number of in-game objects just does not seem to be a good fit with the PS3’s split-memory architecture. It’s still a great game on PS3, but it is better played elsewhere.

What have you been playing this week?

  1. Eldave0
    Since: Aug 2008

    After a very work-filled week last week I’ve taken it easy over the past few days and caught up on my gaming hours. Lets see if I can remember them all:

    Kingdoms of Amalur demo – Despite the cruddy visuals I loved it. Much better combat than the likes of Skyrim and I really liked the open world style when you finish the opening section. Tried to buy a copy that day but everywhere in town had sold out :(

    Shank 2 demo – Really enjoyed the first game and this is more of the same (plus some subtle improvements). Picked up an 800ms points card from town and bought the full game when I got home. Looking forward to trying out survival mode :D

    Catherine – Wow what a great game! Easily one of the best I’ve played recently. Really digging the anime style and strong focus on storyline. The puzzles are a lot of fun too. Wish I’d bought the special underpants edition now though :( lol!

    Binary Domain demo – Incredibly generic. Bland visuals, cringe-worthy dialogue, clunky game play and pointless voice commands. A definate pass from me. The fact one of the robots is French earns a couple of bonus points.

    Metal Gear Snake Eater demo – Never played the PS2 version so was looking forward to giving this a try. Looks great on the 3DS with a subtle 3D effect and nice visuals overall. Game play is typical Metal Gear and the ability to move while aiming/crouched is welcomed. Will certainly pick this up at some point

    Phew I think thats it! :)

    Comment posted on 17/02/2012 at 12:51.
    • Eldave0
      Since: Aug 2008

      Oh and the Mass Effect 3 demo (knew i’d forget one lol) – Enjoyable but its a little disappointing to see how unchanged it is from Mass Effect 2. Don’t get me wrong that game was awesome but I was hoping to see a bit of polish put in the shooting mechanics (after all, its hardly an RPG anymore is it?). The lip syncing is also rubbish. Otherwise it’s great and I’m looking forward to finishing the trilogy :)

      Comment posted on 17/02/2012 at 12:55.
    • Eldave0
      Since: Aug 2008

      Oh and a few hours of Resident Evil Revelations with the Mrs. Curse you Raid mode and your addictive nature ;)

      Comment posted on 17/02/2012 at 13:08.
    • Origami Killer
      Since: May 2010

      I was pleasantly surprised by Binary Domain. I enjoyed the demo, reminded me of Vanquish and also a hint of Gears Of War. Nothing special though.

      Comment posted on 17/02/2012 at 13:56.
      • Eldave0
        Since: Aug 2008

        I can definately see the Vanquish and GoW elements and I thoroughly enjoyed those games but for some reason BD really didn’t click with me at all.

        Comment posted on 17/02/2012 at 14:02.
      • Origami Killer
        Since: May 2010

        I see what you mean. If they are going to have squad commands I would like it if your player had a voice when you dish out commands. Also the whole gameplay felt a bit clunky.

        Comment posted on 17/02/2012 at 14:44.
  2. R1MJAW
    Since: May 2010

    Played through (and platinumed) Cars 2 in just over a day. Been playing little bits of Kingdoms of Amalur here and there. I’ve also been dipping in and out of some DS/3DS games … Super Mario 3D Land, Professor Layton and the Curious Village, Scrabble, Let’s Golf 3D and Super Scribblenauts.
    Picked up House of the Dead 3 on PSN on wednesday but haven’t got around to trying it yet.

    Comment posted on 17/02/2012 at 13:05.
  3. Mundham
    Since: Feb 2011

    For me it’s been Skyrim (patch seems to have helped to a degree,but not perfect)- have now completed the main Dragon and Civil War quests, kinda wondering how long my enthusiasm will continue.

    Also Space Marine, MP and boosting with Del and Yog; and a rather enjoyable MP session on Bioshock 2 last night with Skib – gonna try and make it a regular thang :-)

    Comment posted on 17/02/2012 at 13:20.
  4. mwuk
    Since: Feb 2012

    I’ve been battling throughout WipEout HD Fury in anticipation of 2048. Such an enjoyable (technically) experience and such fiendish, yet rewarding gameplay.

    Oh and I finally unlocked the L85A2 in Battlefield 3 :P

    Comment posted on 17/02/2012 at 13:37.
  5. MadJunkBoy
    Since: Aug 2010

    been playinng skyrim since the last patch came out, and since my internet have been fucked up i havn’t been able to download the last software so i havn’t been able to play DIRT3 online :(
    but my internet have become better and i just downloaded the update! =D hurray for me=)
    DIRT3 online right now… its soooo much fun=)

    Comment posted on 17/02/2012 at 13:49.
  6. aerobes
    Since: Aug 2009

    Completed one of my favourite games ever again, Mass Effect 2 this week in anticipation of the forthcoming ME3. The demo of which I found a little disarming, enough that I’m not prepared to spend $60 on and won’t be buying it at launch.

    Comment posted on 17/02/2012 at 16:01.
    • Watchful
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Oct 2008

      I’ve still got my second ME2 play through to complete. The intention was to have it done before ME3 comes out but I’m running out of time… Skipped the ME3 demo as I’m in full spoiler-avoidance mode.

      Comment posted on 17/02/2012 at 16:07.
  7. plutoniumdragon
    Since: Dec 2008

    Kingdoms of Amalur here, I meant to just have an hour or so on it yesterday and played it for 9 hrs almost without realising it.
    I await the review, while it’s obviously hooked me like Skyrim did, it does seem somewhat generic and “borrows” so heavily that it leaves me feeling that I’m playing several different games at once :)
    I’m playing the PC version, with a Sixaxis emulating a 360 controller so I can play on the big tv :)
    The graphics may not be cutting edge but it’s absolutely fluid 1080p and no lags anywhere, brilliant! :)

    Comment posted on 17/02/2012 at 18:51.
  8. elpablo79
    Since: May 2009

    I’m currently working my way through Fallout: New Vegas after buying it for £6 well over a year ago and not playing it. I’ve been trying to finish a game at a time from my “bought but not played” pile before Mass Effect 3 comes out. Dead Island, Heavy Rain and Ratchet & Clank: ACIT are recent beneficiaries of my new focus. Sadly I still have another dozen or so to go back to

    Comment posted on 18/02/2012 at 11:25.

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