What We Played #15

It’s not unusual for several of us to have played very little.  On top of working for a living, studying, etc., much of our ‘gaming time’ is given over to TSA.  What we have left can be impinged upon by many other factors.  We’ll get to mine later but first here’s an Old Spicy ePostcard from Tuffcub:

Look at me.  Now look at the other TSA staff.  Now look at me.  I’m in Hawaii!!  Now look behind me.  It’s a hotel complex owned by the U.S. Military where they send all their heroic soldiers.  Now look in my hand.  It’s a refreshing Mojito.

Now look behind me again, it’s a squad of Marines playing beach volleyball.  Now look at me again.  I’m on a volcano!  Now look in my other hand.  There is no games controller in my hand and it’s staying that way for two weeks.  I’m on Waikiki beach.

For some reason he wanted me to pass on that message to you all. I’m sure it wasn’t designed to encourage jealousy amongst those of us stuck here in rainy sunny rainy Old Blighty, much like the fact he’s played through Deus Ex: Human Revolution a couple of times already..

[videoyoutube]Now Dan has been playing games.  First on his list is the hard to buy Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii.  Says Dan, “I’m only 7hrs in but already it’s one of my favourite games of 2011”, which means he’s putting it up there with the likes of Bastion and Solatorobo: Red the Hunter and further showing that those who have written off the Wii as a casual-party-games-only console are really missing out.


Xenoblade Chronicles has been picking up rave reviews all over; IGN have said it “is the best Japanese RPG of this generation” and Edge called it “a glowing comeback for the Japanese RPG”.  Both gave it a 9/10 in their respective reviews.  During the rest of his week Dan has been playing the “most enjoyable” SkullGirls and El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron “which has one of the craziest levels I’ve ever seen.  I would describe it, but you wouldn’t believe me…”

Lack of motivation is Toby’s excuse for eschewing ‘proper’ gaming this week having spent the majority of his gaming time playing Angry Birds.  “It’s fun, but can be frustratingly inconsistent”, he says.  “Sometimes two birds that land in the exactly same place can cause completely different levels of damage, forcing you to ponder whether it really is skill and not luck that is gaining you the rewarding stars.”

LittleBigPlanet 2 is providing “lots of fun” for Blair who is eagerly anticipating the release of the Move pack for it.  He’s finding Toy Soldiers: Cold War to be an entertaining twist on the regular tower defense genre “since you can actually control the turrets”.  Other than that Child of Eden has consumed some of his time.  “I need to find a good game to sink my teeth into,” he says, “ my gaming has been a bit here and there recently.”

Just as well this Friday sees a big AAA-title released that heralds the start of the games avalanche that accompanies the holiday season.  Might I suggest you give that one a try Blair?

You’ll already know that Alex has had an early look at ICO & Shadow of the Colossus HD.  What you may not appreciate is how much he suffered to bring you that preview, playing those two great games on their native PS2:

That’s journalism, bitches, having to fire up a game running at what feels like about 160 x 100 just to try to get a sense of comparison between Ico and Ico HD.  If nothing else, the Team Ico collection demonstrates what difference a better resolution and smoother framerate can do to exactly the same game.  This must be how PC gamers feel about, well, everything.

[drop]The thing that has stopped myself from enjoying much gaming this week is, ironically, a game; The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.  Oblivion is also where it consigned the contents of my PS3’s HDD.  I managed just five hours of sporadic play amongst six crashes, two of which corrupted the game’s installed data, requiring it to be deleted.  The sixth crash trashed the partition on the HDD, leaving the PS3 unable to recover it.

I only back up my HDD monthly now as it takes so damned long, even though it’s only about 200GBs of data and of course it would have been this weekend I took my next backup, so I’m restoring a backup from almost a month ago.  I’m about to find out how well PlayStation Plus’ ‘cloud’ game saves have worked.

Oh, and when I say I am restoring a backup, I mean I am still restoring a backup.  It’s taken over 24 hours so far, which is on a par with a restore I tried earlier this year to test how well it worked.  (Work in IT or computing long enough and you learn to test your backups from time to time.)  Seriously Sony, backup and restore is a great feature to have on the PS3 but its implementation is badly flawed given how long it takes.

How about you lot then, what have you been playing or what has been stopping you play?



  1. I’ve been trying to get my platinums on Monopoly Streets and Winter Sports 2010. Aside from that Arkdeo Jump, Gatling Gears, Malicious and MS Apoc have been top of the tree. I would have said EA active 2 but Ive just receieved my THIRD broken copy. Truely awful

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