What We’re Playing – Week 8

Considering the amount of non-Slims the staff here at TSA own, expect this feature to be acutely devoid of many PS3 games next week. But that’s the future and this is now. Actually, this is then, for here’s what we were playing last week.

An eclectic bunch of misfits we have on display here. From some old classics to a gaggle of newer releases to keep us warm on these frosty evenings. And birds, lots and lots of Angry Birds.



I played and completed Aliens Vs. Predator. It’s a weird game that, for the most part, I didn’t enjoy. Here you have two of the greatest sci-fi monsters, in my opinion, and yet it feels clumsy and lacklustre. There are some good bits but I found them to be few and far between. The finishing moves are fun for the first time but then they become annoyingly long, repetitive and more of a hindrence than anything. There was a good atmosphere with the Marine campaign but that’s the only thing I enjoyed there. Shame. 

It did however reignite for my love of the Alien Quadrilogy and I spent four nights re-watching them.

I also downloaded Angry Birds for the iPhone. I haven’t had a chance to play much but I love it. iPhone games are just great at the moment.


This week I’ve been delving back into PSP Minis, in particular Age of Zombies and a bit of VectorTD for good measure.  I think I’m addicted, although I don’t really know why. When you’re forced to play for playing’s sake (without the prospect of a Trophy’s ‘ping’ or an Achievement’s ‘bleep’) it’s all about the game, and whilst Minis don’t make your e-peen any bigger, they are a lot easier to play in the bath.

I also downloaded the Hasbro thing on Xbox Live, after playing Yahtzee for the first time the other weekend.  It’s shit, compared to the real, physical thing, but it’s done as accurately as it can be for a videogame.  There’s no substitute for a proper board game though, which is why I hate things like virtual poker and Scrabble – give me little chunks of plastic and wood any old day of the week.

I’ve also been messing around with a top secret PS3 game that I can’t possibly talk about.  Yet.  It’s bloody good, though.


With the PS3 only on its way back home now, it’s been Pokemon Platinum all week for me again. There really hasn’t been much of a development there. Just caught a good few more of them. Little bit here, little bit there. Mostly been incredibly busy with “real life” things so I’ve not had much time to play anything! I did throw a few demo disks into the old PS2 though for an hour. So there was some fun to be had there!


This was my last week at work, and it was insanely stressful. However it was also the week that I tidied my room, and moved my consoles into the front room and the larger TV. With a bigger TV that now has a 360, an N64, a GameCube and a Master System hooked up to it, along with my new free time I expect much gaming goodness in the coming weeks. I mean take a look at the Backlog of games I need to play.

Enough of the future, what have I been up to this week? Well as I said, work’s been stressful and I haven’t had much time to game really. However I’ve played a lot of the promotional Flash version of the original Prince of Persia which Ubisoft put out to advertise the Sands of Time. That game is freakishly hard, just like any good platformer should be. I’ve also become further addicted to the Flash version of VectorTD. It’s pretty much the best tower defence game I’ve ever played, and is insanely addictive. I wish I had a PSP just so I could play it on the go.


Been playing a nice mix of games this week. I started (and finished) Heavy Rain, and it will certainly be an experience I will remember. As Kovacs has already mentioned, MAG makes for a great game to play in short bursts, which I have been doing.

I even returned to Borderlands, teaming up with some fellow TSAians to get some Zombie Brains, then commencing my second playthrough. It’s rather annoying that, irrespective of where you are in the story, the General Knoxx DLC starts off at level 35 (if you’re on your first playthrough) or level 51 (if you’re on your second). So I’m trying to level up as fast as I can, with me currently on level 44. Borderlands just never gets old.


Diverse mix this week with everything from world-conquering strategy games, through epic fantasy and sci-fi RPGs, before arriving at an interactive drama via a couple of flavours of PopCap’s digital crack.

Finally got the new PC I’ve needed for a while, so as with all my PCs over the last few years the first check is how well it handles the latest Civ game. Civilization 4 is a few years old now, so of course a new PC plays it without really breaking a sweat.  The other gaming task for with it was to migrate my Steam account, which exists purely for one reason, Plants vs. Zombies, so naturally I had to have a good long play of that, just to make sure it worked you understand.

I’m still playing a couple of games of Borderlands online every week with different groups of friends. Dragon Age: Origins is also still getting a reasonable share of screen time and I’ve now spent well over 200 hours playing it.  There have been a number of unintentionally long sessions of the PSN version of Peggle this week.  I always make the mistake of thinking I can just have a quick go…

Suitably, bearing in mind the weather on Sunday, I’ve also been playing Heavy Rain. Really enjoying it so far.  I have avoided as much news on it as possible for the last six months and didn’t play the demo either, so I’ve gone in ‘cold’ and apart from the odd dodgy character animation I’m very impressed.  It was good to see that Aurélie Bancilhon, the actress from the original E3 2006 Casting Call tech demo, has got a role in the full game.

Finally, BioWare are soaking up even more of my free time after I finally caved in under the pressure of Peter’s enthusiasm and bought the original Mass Effect for my 360.  I found the Classic 2-disc edition for £7.99 at Gamestation and that seemed like too good an offer to miss.  Though the last thing I needed on my gaming plate at the moment is another hour-devouring BioWare RPG.


Not felt very inspired by the PS3 this week so haven’t picked up my joypad for longer than a quick blast on Warhawk. I have however, become completely addicted to Angry Birds on the iPhone, it’s a game so fiendishly addictive I’m ready to declare it the best game ever made.


Heavy Rain. I’m still not quite sure if it is a movie or a game but it certainly is an experience; one that everyone one should enjoy. Every scene is filled with tension, emotions, questions, realism. I found myself screaming at the TV and fulfilling every order asked in an attempt to keep my character alive. I love it. Probably the quickest I’ve complete a game too.

Another new found love is
Mass Effect. I recently purchased both but this is the first time either have been played. Murdo Shepard is a rugged, tough commander who really does have a soft spot for the ladies. However, he does shoot first and ask later; it’s the quickest way to get things done.

Finally, I had my weekly dose of Modern Warfare 2. Not much else to say about the game except from it is still as addictive. I can’t wait for the next clan match.


This week I finally got to play the game I’ve been impatiently waiting for since E3 last year. Heavy Rain is without a doubt one of the best games I have ever played. It is one of the few games that I have felt connected to the characters and experienced a range of emotions at different points. Graphics and soundtrack are brilliant and the controls work well enough if a bit fiddly at times. I can’t really say much more without possible spoilers so I’ll just say this is one of my all time favourite games.

I’ve also been playing Killzone 2, shocking I know. Managed to get along to our weekly Boot Camps, they are on two nights now, and to the special marathon Boot Camp to celebrate Killzone 2s first birthday. We had a good turnout, some fantastic games and a lot of fun, thank you to everyone that made an appearance at some point during the day.

I saw some clan action this week on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and I’m happy to report that TSA were victorious. After four had fought rounds we battled back in the fifth and final round to snatch victory right at the death. A fantastic performance by my five team-mates who communicated and fought brilliantly, I was very impressed. Definitely will be joining more of these in the future and hopefully bag TSAN a few more wins.


Another hectic week so I’ve literally only managed one or two rounds of MAG, some time with Dante and his raging Inferno and, literally only since last night, a mere hour or so with Heavy Rain. Who knows what I’ll be playing this week. Probably my PSP by the looks of it. Thankfully, and after constant badgering on Twitter by a certain cc_star, I do have Angry Birds to keep me going. Avian-themed addiction if there ever was such a thing.