What We Played #5


This week, we’ve slowly been getting back to normal after E3. Having put in a frankly ridiculous number of hours during that busy week Kris’ mind is only now adjusting back to have time for things like sleep. The upshot being that he has let his gaming slide again. Slacker. Only joking Kris.

A return to the battlefields of Eucadia did not go well for our Warhawk fanatic Chris. Apparently capture the flag became more like wave the flag so the Chernovans can see where to shot more clearly. The field hospital reports that they are still mopping the floor.

The enforced feet-up time during his convalescence did give him an excuse to return PES 2011’s Master League, “which quite frankly is awesome and I can see it keeping me going until 2012 comes out”. Hopefully by then the doctors will have removed that last piece of swarm missile shrapnel.

[drop]Another soldier returning to the frontline was Tuffcub who has been running around Helgan violently pointing out to the higs that glowing eyes are not ideal if you are creeping around in the dark trying not to get noticed. Even when not playing Killzone 3 it has been on his mind as he ponders when we will see the zombie Helghast Horde-like mode as DLC.

Those zombie daydreams are likely inspired by the time he is spending doing his bit for the U.K.’s ranking in Dead Nation. When not shooting Helghast and zombies he has been trying to run over as many ground squirrels as possible while flinging himself around the scenery riding on the back of an ATV in Pure.

We have yet to find out whether his new kitteh is called Garfield but as it is developing a taste for bolognese we are beginning to think that might be the case. Apparently it also has a penchant for pain au chocolat and it can haz Wotsits.

If someone close to you buys you a game do you ever feel obliged to play, regardless of how bad it might be, just to look grateful? Luckily for Josh the last game his girlfriend bought him was ModNation Racers “which is a whole load of fun”. It seems that like LBP before it it is appealing to his kleptomaniac side as he is rushing about collecting everything before getting creative.

Someone pointed out to him that he always seems to be playing games that he has completed multiple times so he ran his finger over his game shelf until feeling the satisfying crinkle of a still-wrapped game. The lucky winner was Singularity, which he says he is enjoying and adds “…it’s a very similar game to BioShock, but that’s no bad thing. I’m looking forward to getting to the whole time-manipulation bit.”

Drunk behind the Wii-el

Blair has also had time on his mind this past week, a certain Ocarina of Time. He and a couple of friends have been playing through The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess in anticipation of the arrival of the earlier game’s 3D remake.  They have also been enjoying the party game possibilities provided by Mario Kart Wii having unlocked “Beerio Kart” mode. I didn’t want to know, but feel free to ask him yourselves…

This week Matt has been a strictly one-game guy, demonstrating a religious dedication to inFamous 2. He has helped his halo-toting Cole finish the campaign and all the side missions as well as find all the dead drops and every last one of those “addictive” blast shards. On that note he is full of praise for the folks at Sucker Punch:

Other developers should take note of how Sucker Punch handles small hidden collectibles because they do it better than anyone. Not only does finding all 305 of the shards give you something beyond a sense of accomplishment but they also implemented a mechanic within the game to help you find them. No more going to the net to find a guide and looking for items based on someone elses crappy description.

When Dan told me what he had been playing, I thought for a minute he had been looking over my shoulder and enjoying the games vicariously. First up was the “disappointingly average” Duke Nukem Forever. You may have read his review. The other game was Excitebike on the 3DS which he says is “…much tougher than I remember! Either that or my skills have become disgustingly flabby.”

Personally I found that while Duke occasionally evoked a sense of nostalgia for the way shooters used to be and is sometimes even fun, there is just too much to dislike about it. Duke always wanted to appeal to teenage boys as an outlier on the misogynist and bad taste scale but in Forever 3D Realms just seem to have wanted to outdo themselves on those aspects of the previous games by as much as possible.

Fortunately for the world and video gaming we have moved on from those days. Unfortunately for Duke he has not. The one aspect of modern shooters that Forever has adopted is probably the worst one it could have; linear levels. I had much more choice in my route through the levels in the original Doom.

Apart from also struggling with Excitebike I have been playing Hunted: The Demon’s Forge, which is fun but has yet to really grab me. I cannot put my finger on exactly what it is that it lacks that is stopping my fully engaging with it but the problem may be I have yet to play it in co-op.

[drop2]A game I am late to and absolutely loving though is Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. A truly beautiful take on the post-apocalyptic world, it seems to have found a perfect middle-ground between the adventures of Ico and Yorda and those sections of the Uncharted games where Nate is helping Elena around.

Ninja Theory’s previous game Heavenly Sword still stands out as a shining example of characterisation and performance capture in a game and that is something Enslaved really builds on. There is a cut scene early in the game where Trip convincingly conveys a complex mix of emotions with a degree of success I never expected to see in this generation’s games. MyView: Buy it.

Over to you; what have you been playing recently that you have really enjoyed, or not?

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20 Comments

  1. Hey Blair. What on earth is a Beerio Kart???

    I really should get enslaved. It seems universally loved here on TSA and I have been meaning to pick it up. I will do soon. I promise…….

    • It involves downing drinks before finishing the race…

  2. On my PS3 I’ve been playing LA Noire which so far has been very good, also the InFamous 2 demo which was also great. I’ve been playing more on my PC, PES 2011 which I’ve warmed to massively, Resident Evil I picked up again half price off Steam and also Half Life 2 I’ve recently started.

  3. Kitteh approves of this post and has the following message, typed but her own paws.

    rrrrrrrrrrrrrp04q2333333333333333333333333333kk pwert[w[ wp45okksd

  4. ive been playing a lot of LA Noire, just got 100% game completion this morn and only a few more trophies left for plat :) also i have also been playing a lot of Enslaved, i bought it ages ago just after its release but hated the first 4 chapters, now ive got back into it and it has been really good :D up to chapter 11 now, there are 2 things i hate about it though, pigsy and the camera angles

    • No way Pigsy is such a lovable loser! He’ll win you around!

      • ive laughed at some of the stuff he says but hes so clumsy and annoying

  5. Just started playing Splatterhouse after reading an article about it on here. Seems okay, bit of a button masher so far though!

  6. I’ve 100%ed Joe Danger (in terms of stars), and I have now moved on to WipEout HD, which has the best graphics of any game I have ever played. All that talk about how good 1080p 60fps is? It’s true.

    • Have you tried FF13 graphics wise I think it’s leagues ahead. Same with GOW3.

      • I don’t play “violent” games, so Final Fantasy and God of War are both crossed off my personal list. I am comparing WipEout to my other games – LittleBigPlanet 2, F1 2010, etc.

  7. I was playing Littlebigplanet 2 lately then watched Gundam Wing for 8 hours through the night.

  8. I’ve had a mad one lately. COD MW2 then Resistance 1 and 2 as I had missed all of these earlier and got them cheap. Loads of PSN downloads thanks to plus and 4 Welcome Back packs and I started FF13 again after getting it back from my mate. Playing through with different characters this time.

  9. This week i have mostly been alternating between enjoying the rally in Dirt 3, and moaning about the rest of it.

  10. I’ve been playing inFamous 2 and Dead Nation this week (both great), have just started Zelda on 3DS a couple of hours ago (amazing, so many memories but… better…) and then I also picked up the original Mass Effect on PC this afternoon for £3.49, so I’ll be playing that soon too :) Also hoping to finish L.A. Noire tonight… Busy time for me!

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