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What We Played #41

The one where dawn is a graphical revelation.

Okay, so the PS Vita’s out in the wild in the West now and you know what that means? It means there are some great bargains to be had if you fancy seeing what its inspiration, the PlayStation Portable, has to offer.

That’s exactly what Chris did at the end of last week, grabbing himself a bargain-priced PSP and a shed-load of great games “for less than a couple of pounds each”. He’s been busy playing through GTA Vice City Stories, GT PSP, Burnout Legends and SSX On Tour and still has UMDs containing awesome games like LittleBigPlanet, GTA Liberty City Stories and Chinatown Wars, Ready at Dawn’s amazing God of War games “and much, much more still to play”.

There’s been little in the last month or so that’s tempted Chris to fire up his trusty PS3 but the chance given by Motorstorm RC’s Cross-play and asynchronous multi-player racing to be the fastest arrow on everyone else’s screen proved too much of a temptation. Unfortunately when I heard from him an “impossibly slow download speed” meant he was still waiting to play it.

In another example of savvy shopping Josh has picked up some of last year’s PS3 big hitters for around a tenner each. He’s playing through Infamous 2 and LittleBigPlanet 2 “both of which are really good and really didn’t get enough praise”. Having not long completed the first Infamous the improvements made in the sequel are readily apparent and flat surfaces everywhere need to be on their guard as LBP2 has reawakened Josh’s sticker-obsessiveness.


Word to the wise; don't let Josh borrow your laptop.
Away from his console he’s got into playing League of Legends with some friends. “It manages to strike a great balance between how accessible the basic design is and how tough it can actually be to win a game”. While he’s really enjoying playing, like many multi-player experiences he says that it is at its best if you can manage to corral two full teams of friends together.

Alex has been playing through Journey for review and that’s all we can say about it until 4PM UK time on Monday when the review goes live. Also tightly embargoed until Monday are Peter’s thoughts on the new SSX. Fortunately there’s nothing stopping him telling us about his PS Vita gaming.

Top Darts and Hustle Kings proved pleasant surprises, their limited subject matter leaving them free of distractions form their core experiences and the short duration of a game of darts or pool making them eminently suitable for portable gaming.

Of all the PS Vita games Peter says “MotorStorm RC is undoubtedly the best of the bunch though”.

It’s so compelling, trying to beat other people’s times. I do get a little frustrated by it though. I’m not proud of this but for a split second, I actually considered deleting Gazo69 and Nofi from my PSN friends list because they were destroying my times so much!

Speaking of compelling, I couldn’t actually get Tuffcub to put down his PS Vita long enough to tell me what he’s playing on it. Dan meanwhile has been playing “a bucket load of WipEout 2048, finally beating the 2050 challenge”. The intense racing hasn’t left him unscathed though as he claims it’s aged him ten years!

Then he played a “hammock full of Asphalt Injection”, which for those of you who haven’t read his review he summarises as “an average racer elevated slightly by some cool Vita control methods”. That was in turn followed by a not particularly enjoyable “crate’s worth of Syndicate”, a game that unfortunately squandered the potential it had.  All of which begs the question which is biggest, a bucket, hammock or crate?

UFC Undisputed 3 is one of two games that has been keeping Aran busy. Having played through it for review he says it’s the “best MMA game available on the market”, singling out the fighting system and need to prepare for each new opponent for special praise. He’s finding the online matches a tough challenge though.

The second game he’s been “playing/watching” is Metal Gear Solid 4. A big fan of 2 & 3 it has taken a while for him to finally get to 4 and he’s enjoying it so far, “the opening especially gave me goosebumps”.

My own gaming has been fairly varied this week with some Gratuitous Space Battles mixed up with some empire building in Sid Meier’s Civilisation 5. Then of course there’s my new PS Vita which hasn’t been spending much time ensconced within its case due to excessive play.

I’m still only part way through the assortment of games I’ve got for it with only Little Deviants, Ridge Racer, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Super Stardust Delta, WipEout 2048 and Motorstorm RC getting some screen time. I would have played more but for Motorstorm RC; whether racing against your own or someone else’s (especially Peter’s) arrow there’s almost always someone to beat and it becomes dangerously un-put-downable.

My PS3 ‘gaming’ has been largely in the hands of my Gran Turismo 5 B-Speccers this week as they’ve been racking up some serious endurance miles, most recently in the Le Mans 24-hour race. Obviously I wasn’t going to watch them for 24 hours so I was just checking in on them from time to time.

While they were encouraged towards a good first few laps that saw them into the lead my poor pit strategy saw them a lap down and in third about seven hours in. A tweak to the strategy soon had them gaining ground again and the next time I checked in with them they were in the lead and six laps up.


This isn't a GT5 screenshot but the game can come surprisingly close.
This happened to coincide with the breaking of dawn at the circuit. I have to say that despite GT5’s numerous graphical flaws there were a few laps where some of the camera shots were essentially indistinguishable from real Le Mans footage.

With no bright sunlight casting horrifically blocky shadows and it being light enough to make out the car’s details, while at the same still being dark enough that the headlights and brake lights light the trackside, GT5 did look spectacular.

The best shot was my 787B’s silhouette, perforated by it’s rear lights, stark against the rising sun as it passed under the Dunlop bridge at the end of the pit straight. One of those times when you wish there was an ‘insta-screenshot’ button on the Dualshock 3.

Where has your own gaming taken you this week? Hands up if you couldn’t resist a shiny new PS Vita.

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51 Comments
  1. KeRaSh
    Member
    Since: Nov 2009

    Platinumed FFXIII-2 and waiting for real DLC to hit before I go back to that.
    Finally was able to start playing Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and so far really enjoy the game.

    Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 12:55.
    • Shakugan
      Member
      Since: Mar 2010

      Heh Congratulations! I’m still waiting KoA to have price drop then i can buy it. :D

      Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 12:58.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        Thanks! Yeah, the price hasn’t changed since the launch. Just keep looking. You’ll find a copy. It’s well worth it.

        Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 13:57.
  2. Origami Killer
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    No Vita playing from me this week. The Vita is in my house but not allowed to play it just yet. So from me its been Killzone 3 single player on Elite which has gone pretty well. Will have plat by the end of the week on it.
    Then I have been playing Motostorm RC on the PS3, its a great game. However, the buggy’s are shite and how the hell do you do the drifting challenges. These two elements really put me off the game. And as its motorstorm the difficulty in the final events is brutal. Even worse are the times which Teflon and THL (tom) set on it, they are very fast indeed.

    Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 12:58.
    • The Lone Steven
      Never heard of him.
      Since: May 2010

      Unless a certain reg breaks into your house and steals your vita. ;)

      Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 13:11.
      • Origami Killer
        Member
        Since: May 2010

        Only one TSA member knows where I live and he wouldn’t do that!

        Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 13:25.
      • yogdog
        Member
        Since: Feb 2010

        I damn well would!

        Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 17:32.
      • Origami Killer
        Member
        Since: May 2010

        I hate you all! :L

        Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 19:41.
  3. Omac_brother
    Member
    Since: Nov 2011

    *Hand Up*
    FIFA Football has absorbed almost all of my portable gaming time, A bit of Welcome Park, trying for the harder trophies (Struggling with digit chase under a min).
    Played some Jurassic Park Game Episode 3 (boring…boring…boring AWESOME…boring…) and some (late to the party) Deus Ex.

    Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 12:59.
    • Eldave0
      andUandU
      Since: Aug 2008

      “A bit of Welcome Park, trying for the harder trophies (Struggling with digit chase under a min).” The horror. The best I’ve managed is 1min 2seconds at the moment lol :(

      Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 13:26.
      • Omac_brother
        Member
        Since: Nov 2011

        Its a killer. Got in to 1:01:58 too. Cant even find somewhere to make it any quicker.

        Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 13:56.
      • Omac_brother
        Member
        Since: Nov 2011

        Just got it!!! *Phew*

        Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 14:28.
      • Eldave0
        andUandU
        Since: Aug 2008

        Congrats! :) The “wheel and peel” part always holds me back :(

        Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 14:32.
      • Omac_brother
        Member
        Since: Nov 2011

        I managed to get the 1st part down to 22.5 seconds and both the second parts were just above 18 seconds. Just had to keep restarting.

        Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 15:29.
  4. colmshan1990
    Member
    Since: Apr 2009

    Motorstorm RC…
    I wonder how many Vita’s it smashed into a million pieces yet?
    I know I nearly threw mine out the window last night… :P

    Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 13:01.
    • cam the man
      Member
      Since: May 2009

      Not many, unless you have a footballer’s pay packet.
      It can be a bit frustrating, there’s been a few times on the TSA comp event that the last car to overtake knocks into you when trying to pass it.

      Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 13:42.
      • Youles
        Member
        Since: Feb 2011

        I heard Mario Balotelli is going to buy everyone a replacement Vita, if they damaged it through MotorStorm RC rage!

        Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 14:34.
      • Omac_brother
        Member
        Since: Nov 2011

        Youles – He just about that crazy.

        Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 15:30.
      • Youles
        Member
        Since: Feb 2011

        I know! Not sure if these are true but apparently he: went into a school to use their loo, then just went around and met all the kids; bought everyone’s petrol at a service station; drove around Manchester handing out £20 notes from his convertible; paid peoples’ library book fines; went to a women’s prison and just asked to look around because “he was just interested”; and told police when asked why he was carrying 5 grand in cash “because I am rich”.

        At the moment, I’m not sure if I really like him, or hate him.

        Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 15:34.
  5. Youles
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    Vita: MotorStorm, Uncharted: GA, Wipeout and Escape Plan

    PS3: FIFA 12, Killzone 3, Brink, MW3, Bioshock 2, Gatling Gears.

    Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 13:03.
    • Youles
      Member
      Since: Feb 2011

      Does anyone know if you just use the Vita’s Content Manager to transfer your MotorStorm RC save data between PS3 and Vita?

      Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 14:32.
      • Origami Killer
        Member
        Since: May 2010

        I thought the saved data on Vita was tied in with the game install/download anyway, so I wouldnt think you could transfer the PS3 save to it

        Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 15:55.
      • Youles
        Member
        Since: Feb 2011

        Uh oh. So that means I’d either have to play it on both consoles, or keep to playing it on one if I don’t want to duplicate.

        Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 16:04.
      • Origami Killer
        Member
        Since: May 2010

        Thought you can earn trophies for both, so pretty cool I think. Play either :P

        Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 21:19.
  6. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    I’ve been playing FF8. I’m on the third disc. And a bit annoyed at it as it deleted all of my magic for one character. FFS, that took me 20 hours. I flat out refuse to do that again, so may start refining magic from items. Oh and the junction system is annoying as whenever you change parties, you have to set it all up again. Well, i’ve ended up doing that.

    I’m on the Lunatic Pandora atm, plan on getting Ragnorak then messing around afterwards. :) I may try to grind on the Islands closest to heaven and hell. As i’ve heard they have a ton of AP per monster.

    Also, tried to beat Tef’s time on MS:RC. I find the controls a bit fiddly and it reminds me of mirco machines on the PS1.

    Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 13:05.
    • Spence1115
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      You can use the Junction system to copy the set up from one person to another before you change the party members. Though yes, it does get annoying trying to remember which magic you had on what stat, and who had was GF.

      Also, refining from items is so much quicker in the long run than just drawing magic. Especially if you play the card game, just keep converting the cards to items and you’ll get plenty of top level magic.

      Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 13:15.
  7. Spence1115
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    Got my Vita on launch day, not had a great deal of time but I’ve played some Uncharted, played a lot of FIFA as has my girlfriend, as its ideal for 20-30 minute spells, played a bit of Motorstorm RC, and I’ve bought Escape Plan with my £5 off preorder discount. Copied over all my PSP games now as well, so there’s lots of Final Fantasy games and the few games from the PSPGo giveaway that will actually download onto it. Absolutely loving it so far though.

    Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 13:12.
  8. Mundham
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    Bioshock 2 SP and MP (must get round to buying the first one); Magic 2012; Sonic & Sega All-Star Racing (thanks to Origami Killer for the heads-up on that little gem); and of course Motorstorm RC (although not as much as I would have liked – bloody work!)

    Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 13:12.
  9. Severn2j
    Member
    Since: Aug 2008

    *Hand sort of up*

    My Vita was dispatched from Amazon on Tuesday, and still hasn’t arrived yet.. Dammit. So I’ve spent my game time playing (finally) Uncharted 3 and Fallout New Vegas on the PC..

    Not much of a consolation for my missing Vita tho… :(

    Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 13:15.
    • Youles
      Member
      Since: Feb 2011

      That’s poor from Amazon since its Friday – I hope it arrives soon for you!

      Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 14:08.
      • Severn2j
        Member
        Since: Aug 2008

        In fairness to Amazon, when I emailed them about it this morning, they apologised for it not turning up (even tho, I think the fault is with Royal Mail) and said they’ll replace it with no quibbles if it hasn’t arrived by 1st March..

        Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 15:02.
      • Youles
        Member
        Since: Feb 2011

        That’s fair enough I guess – just surprising as they are usually pretty good. You would think retailers would send all launch-day console oders by courier, at their cost – as its likely to create upset customers if not delivered.

        Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 15:07.
      • Severn2j
        Member
        Since: Aug 2008

        Well, quite.. Next time I think I’ll bite the bullet and pay the extra couple of quid for a courier.

        Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 16:53.
  10. R1MJAW
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    Pretty much just Kingdoms of Amalur and Motorstorm RC this week … outside of the Dirt, Driver and Motorstorm Apocalypse meets (although the motorstorm server didn’t like me on monday and kept disconnecting me, so I gave up and wen back to playing KoA).

    Comment posted on 24/02/2012 at 13:18.

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