With Xmas and the New Year becoming a distant memory, normality is reasserting itself and Britain is preparing to be immobilized by a handful of snowflakes this weekend. With the back-to-work feeling, the evenings still dark and travel chaos imminent, thankfully we can take refuge in our gaming to preserve our sanity…
Dan has been playing the new Sly Cooper game on his PS Vita but suitably embargoed all he can tell us after several hours is that “it’s very good indeed”. He’s also tried some Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed and that gets the even better “bloody brilliant” rating.
Similarly crushed beneath the weight of embargoes is Kris. Despite my trying to bribe him with a plastic triceratops model I got from The Natural History Museum many, many years ago (it’s probably quite a bit older than Kris) I couldn’t get him to even name what the embargoed game(s) is/are. That’s integrity for you.
He did admit to finally getting around to playing Journey though. While he didn’t find it as amazing as some have said (I suspect Al is implicated there) he did own up to having enjoyed his time in the desert. “Towards the end there is a moment of pure joy that made me very happy.” Presumably not the credits? The one criticism he identifies is that “it didn’t feel quite as explory as I’d thought though”.
Your path to riches starts with this cassette tape.
It’s deceptively clever but totally mental. It also kind of breaks at one point early on when you can completely circumnavigate the in-game currency system. That “break” is obviously intentional though, which makes it kind of hilarious.
Tuffcub meanwhile has been struggling with with a “dreary” and “badly scripted” game, The Walking Dead. Cue hoard of
attacking zombies enraged game fans. He did provide an example of the game’s inconsistency similar to ones you probably encountered if you have played it:
One character is nice to me for giving him an energy bar then 2 seconds later tells me to fuck off and never speak to him due to something else I did earlier.
TC says that he much prefers Telltale’s version of Jurassic Park which is “exactly the same game structure, complete with annoying kid, but has giant bloody dinosaurs chasing you about rather than badly drawn zombies”.
"As the velociraptor advanced, Clementine discovered she'd been handed an unloaded gun..." - a scene from Tuffcub's soon-to-be-favourite game.
Vanquish has seen a bit more action and TC still “really quite likes it”, suggesting that “at least that has proper characters who act like humans rather that sub par soap opera stand ins”. Discuss.
His PS Vita has been exercised with Knytt Underground, “which attempts to be a hipstercool version of Jet Set Willy but ends up being annoying”, and Big Sky Infinity “which is strangely addictive, even with that awful voice over”.
Aran is still story-dodging in Far Cry 3 preferring to spend his time murdering the poor inhabitants of the game’s ‘enemy’ outposts. Finding ways to keep the blood off his own hands he enjoys “scouting an outpost, and exploiting weaknesses” which seems to be a euphemism for ‘finding a patsy’.
One outpost in particular where he chose to blame those he murdered for their own deaths he let a bear do the killing. “Who leaves a bear in a weak wooden cage that can be broken by a single shot?” he asks before providing his own answer, “people who become bear food, that’s who”.
I prefer to think that the outpost belonged to a charitable wildlife organisation who, having found an injured bear, were nursing it back to health. And the bear certainly can’t be blamed for becoming a bit irate when someone starts taking potshots at it with a sniper rifle, can it?
On most occasions I’ve managed to take the camps without raising the alarm with my long range shenanigans. However my favourite scenario was when I sniped from a boat out at sea and then finished any stragglers off with the boat’s mounted gun. I’m aware this makes me sound like a psychopath.
Aran suggests there are a number of areas where NBA 2K13 beats other sports titles. First is that “when it’s a big game there’s real life footage of famous landmarks of the host city” helping to anchor the game in the real world.
“And every sports game dev needs to play the game to learn how to get in game commentary perfect”, citing the way “the commentators react to your press conferences” and how they make it “sound like you’re watching a live game”.
Finally this week we have Blair who has “been really busy developing a game in Flash for University so I absolutely hate games right now”. He has valiantly struggled to play some New Super Mario Bros. U though as it’s a recent acquisition.
It’s good fun but not quite as rewarding as the 3D Mario titles, somehow; progressing through the levels just doesn’t feel as good, even though there’s plenty to do and collect. It’s quite hard, too – a proper platformer – which has just heightened my momental enragement for games even more.
So, after giving you with the impression that we’re all game-hating psychopaths who feed young children to zombies for pleasure and have a fetish for horny dinosaurs all I’ve got left to say is what have you played this week?