What We’re Playing – Week 17

Oh, you know the drill. We’re a gaming site for crying out loud. Here’s what we’ve been up to over the last week.


Just Abe’s Odyssey for me this week. Loving it more than I remember. I find it amazing how such an old game is still posing a challenge and keeping me entertained. Graphics are so good for such an old game. Switches between 2D side scroller to 3D camera zooms and segues are great. It’s funny, too. Where else can you communicate via whistles and farts?

It’s definitely time for a HD remake.


Final Fantasy XIII – For about two minutes, I’ve been rather busy.

Blacklight Tango Down – Fast, polished and best of all you can hang dangly things from your weapon. Hoping the final version will include a set of furry dice to hang from my Uzi.

BBC iPlayer – Does this count? It is on the PS3 and I do hit play, so it is something I am ‘playing’.


Another busy week has gone by for me, so not much gaming has been done. I expect this trend to continue for a month, unfortunately. Anyways, so I did play a bit of Burn Zombie Burn (In Space!), After Burner Climax and Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition… goes to show how popular PSN games have become.


I haven’t been playing that much this week, although my usual FIFA time has been switched to FIFA World Cup. I’ve also done the first few missions of Lost Planet 2 which is surprisingly good. Aside from that I’ve spent a lot of time in bed feeling sorry for myself because of illness so there’s been plenty of time for Angry Birds on the iPhone and a game called Implode which is properly brilliant. I think the only other thing has been Football Manager 2010 on my laptop. I always play as Manchester City in football games and this is the first season when that strategy has made for an easy game.


Well, it was meant to be a quiet week for me game wise, but I couldn’t resist the temptaion of turning on my PS3. First up, I am on the final level of Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony. The racing mission where you race a boat and then a car really took me back to the old PS2 era GTAs. While that is fun, it felt out of place with the grown up narrative (which is excellent throughout), likewise in a mission where you have to explode police cars from a tank. Enjoyable, yes, but GTA has matured quite a bit thanks to GTA IV.

Also had a few friends round to play SingStar, which never fails to get a party started. I cannot wait for the latest online play patch that is coming soon. Of course, I have also watched the entirety of the latest issue of FirstPlay and played a little more of God of War 3.

Lastly, I fired up DJ Hero and Guitar Hero 5 for the first time in too long. Always fun and I have lots of tracks imported from other Guitar Hero titles to make a giant playlist. What’s not so fun is I have a friend who can play everything on Expert with her eyes closed. A little humbling to say the least!


Had a few quick games on the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 DLC this week. The new maps seem good enough but haven’t made me want to play MW2 again which was the whole point in the purchase. Played a little Spec Ops with a friend, still the best part of the game for me.

Most of my week has been spent on Battlefield: 1943 as I’ve been trying to get the Play 100 matches trophy. A really enjoyable game, shame the voice chat still doesn’t work.

I’ve not really been having fun playing games recently with everything I play becoming boring quickly. That was until I started playing FUEL during the week. I’m really loving this game, the races and challenges are brilliant fun and the huge map is a joy to explore. One problem I did have is the scenery not loading quick enough which caused me to end up driving into a stationary tractor that did not appear until a second before impact. Good chance I’ll buy this if I come across it cheap enough.

Played some offline multiplayer with a friend this weekend which is always superb fun. We started off with Street Fighter IV and I was completely destroyed. Then we moved onto Tekken 6 and I was completely destroyed again. In an attempt to regain some pride I picked FIFA 09 next and won two matches in a row with the second ending 8-0. Funny how games become more fun when you are winning.

Got through a few demos this week. First up was UFC Undisputed 2010. The fighting doesn’t feel much different from last years version but that was brilliant anyway. I was very impressed by this and it has overtaken Modnation Racers on my To Buy list. Next I gave Split/Second: Velocity a bash. I had high expectations of this and I’m extremely happy that they seem to have been met. No two races have been the same but I’m still unsure how long a lifespan the full game will have.

Just Cause 2, Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess and WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2010 wrap it up for me.


I am struggling to drum up the enthusiasm to get into another game since finishing Uncharted 2 a few weeks back.  I have played some online co-op games of Resistance 2 and Borderlands and having been given a copy of Dragon Age: Origins on PC I have played a few hours of that.  Just to see how it compares with the PS3 version of course.

Still trying to grind my way through the Peggle challenges on PS3 and find some way to reach 20 flags on Survival: Endless in Plants vs. Zombies on the PC.  Finally making progress on Vector TD and can survive the first easy level with all lives intact!

After going through my PSN games looking for something to play I fired up flOw for a quick go.  That led to a fairly blissful two and a half hours of messing about in the water column eating plankton.  It didn’t start too well though, as I found out that the angular rate sensors on one of my DS3s aren’t working any more which is a problem when trying to play a game that relies on them for almost all its control.

My PSP goes to work with me most days as I use it as my media player and this week lunchtimes have seen short stints of Rock Band: Unplugged and the Telegraph Crosswords mini.


This week I blitzed through the first few levels of a ton of PSN games and Minis: Polar Panic, Groovin’ Blocks, Anarchy: Rush Hour, Monkey Island, Puzzle Chronicles and Afterburner Climax. I also caved and finally bought Wakeboarding HD. On the minis side I used the spare change in my UK account to pick up Vector TD, Stand O’Food, Cubixx, Freekscape and Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess. No, I don’t normally binge like that but I got a nice fat £630 refund cheque for medical expenses so stocking up on games was a must!

Such good fortune also led to a shopping trip, so on the Blu-ray side my time has mostly been sucked up by FIFA 10 World Cup – epicly failing to qualify Norway – and the obligatory weekly session of Rock Band 2, getting close to unlocking the dreaded Endless Setlist 2. I picked up DiRT 2 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine from the bargain bin (among others) and those were both very entertaining. I also enjoyed the quirky nature of the first few hours of Nier.

The Split/Second demo was excellent, but still undecided on Lost Planet2. Oh hell, who are we kidding, of course I’m going to buy it.


Uncharted 2 has been completed, sorrowful requiems to the passing of a gaming giant heard throughout the joyless streets. I’ve consoled myself with trying out the multiplayer offering. It’s great fun, though it did take a while for me to twig how to actually get boosters. I’m not the smartest of people at times.

Other than putting Drake to bed, I’ve chosen to rekindle my interest in another forgotten, dusty gem from my back catalogue. This time it’s Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction. Yes, that one. No, not that one. Yes, the other one. I’ve played through a few R&C games on the PS2, and after a mere ten minutes with Tools of Destruction the ole magic came rushing back. As a series, Ratchet & Clank is a wonderful marriage of vibrant visuals, fun gameplay and deft comedy. I’m enjoying it, even if sometimes the screen flares up like a tidal wave of bolts, smashed boxes and exploding robots. I’m not complaining (much), but sometimes overloading the senses with such a visual assault on the irises can cause a kind of gaming vertigo, where all you want to do is look away before the pixels convert your mind into mush.

I’ve topped off the week with some Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing with my four year old nephew (it’s interesting to see how he immediately equates X with accelerate, a remnant of old control layouts before the advent of shoulder buttons where “go” is now usually assigned – a trait I’ve never really warmed to), Lead & Gold: Gangs of the Wild West and NIER. Those fish aren’t gonna catch themselves. Unfortunately.