What We Played #33

I hope you all had a great Christmas/Yule/Dies Natalis Solis Invicti/Winter-een-mas/Other*. For a number of us gaming has taken something of a backseat as we’ve focused on other hobbies, activities or simply spending most of our time with friends and family.

Dan has taken a break from gaming to catch up with some reading. He first set about consuming The Boys’ Volume 9, “which is just as good as ever”, before turning to The Hunger Games to further satiate his appetite. The latter is apparently “amazeballs” and left Dan wondering “how the Hell did I miss it when it was released in 2009”.

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As for myself, I think I’ve managed about an hour of Skyrim as I’ve been spinning up on various Blu-ray movies instead of games on my PS3. I started with the extended versions of The Two Towers and Return Of The King having watched Fellowship a few weeks back. I prefer the second and third books as things seen to get more interesting once the fellowship has been broken and Eowyn’s always been a favourite character of mine so I enjoy the corresponding films more too.

[drop2]Then there was Ghost In The Shell 2.0 which isn’t to be confused with the sequel but is instead a re-mastered version of the original. The re-done soundtrack is great but I’m really not convinced by the new visuals. Finally, I’m working my way through Star Wars: The Clone Wars Seasons 1-3. Aside from those episodes with Jar-Jar in them and despite George Lucas’ involvement as Executive Director they’re actually pretty good and with each episode being around 20 minutes long they’re great for filling a few spare moments.

A little late, but still welcome, to the Plant Vs. Zombies party is Toby. As a pick-up-and-play game that can be played for just a few minutes here and there he’s found that it has really suited the festive period. “I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t yet played it to pick it up”, he says, “either as an App or PSN [or XBLA or PC] title, though I’ve got the former because the PSN can prove to be very expensive”.

Tuffcub has unsurprisingly been playing Killzone 3. When not shooting Higgs/ISA scum in the face he is still persevering with the “tiresome and boring” Batman: Arkham City and has also managed to find the time for some Final Fantasy XIII, God Of War III, Magic Orbz, some multiplayer Blur and…

Jurassic Park. I got a free copy thanks to PS+ and it’s utterly brilliant. And completely terrible. It’s a series of quick time events with the odd pause to do some basic investigation so barely registers as a game; the acting is awful, it judders and jerks and freezes like pensioner without a winter fuel allowance and the music cuts all over the shop.

Despite all that I ploughed through all four episodes and when it’s good, it could rival Uncharted for set pieces, most notably the final scene in which you character is relentlessly pursued through a maze of shipping containers by a T-Rex. It’s just begging for 3D for when the T-rex bursts out of the screen.

Another scene in the first episode has the battle we all want to see – T-Rex vs Triceratops and your character is right in the middle and episode four adds something new to the franchise, namely aquatic dinosaurs.

It is the most shoddy game I have played in a very long time, but it was free and I really did enjoy it.

Playing through a couple of the year’s three-quels was Aran. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception gets the thumbs up for continuing the series’ cinematic quality, humour and action while adding more Sully, Aran’s preferred sidekick. Saints Row The Third is apparently “complete madness” but in a good way. “The opening missions are so ridiculous it’s awesome”, Aran tells us, “I’ve had a ton of fun so far”.

Still working his way through the pre-Crimbo backlog is Jim. First up he decided to help Mary Poppins out with the Space Orkz problem in Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. Having spent three days wading through dead Orkz he found that “despite being a slow-starter” the game “really picked up towards the second half”.

I also managed to beat Resistance 3; I thoroughly enjoyed the gameplay, especially the weapon upgrade system. The online is head and shoulders above previous titles in the series too, though when it came to the plot it seemed as if Insomniac were ditching the franchise altogether. The ending itself is pretty mediocre despite ending on a nice set piece with plenty of questions left unanswered.

He has the courage to call Portal 2 “a fun little game” having found like me that the game inevitably falls short of the hype. “The fanboy madness and the Portal quotations that litter the Internet make the game sound better than it is”. Lastly Jim managed to also tick Killzone 3 off his list. While he “really didn’t connect with the online multiplayer” in contrast “the gritty campaign offered plenty of thrills”.

How was your Christmas? Have you been playing your way through a pile of new games?

*Delete as appropriate.

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36 Comments

  1. Was so busy playing Starhawk I didn’t have time to respond… Oh, and FIFA12

  2. Up to 55 hours in Skyrim- only got it at Christmas.
    Help. :P

    • That’s unhealthy.

    • It’s hilarious how that happens isn’t it.. It’s the first game I’ve got in ages that I’ll happily sit down at for 6 hours or more. Mostly I bash away for 2 or 3, but skyrim just doesn’t get boring. If Fallout 4 is anything similar I will not leave it alone.

  3. I’ve been playing Tiny Tower..

  4. Godfather 2 mostly, and loving it.

  5. Skyrim and MW3 :) 13 hours into Skyrim and I feel I have barely touched the surface, great game. MW3 not so, boring to play.

  6. I’ve been playing The Elder Scrolls Oblivion. The oblivion gates are repetitive bar the main quest ones. And the leveling system is a bit flawed at times. Also, trying to put an item on a book shelf is very annoying in game as it seems that the game is working against you. :(

    I also played F:NV but have gotten stuck into Oblivion. And currently waiting for the price to go down on a certain game. :)

  7. Been playing AC Revelations since Xmas. Great game so far.

  8. Bit of FFxiii & TR Underworld, both of which i’ve had for a while.
    Picked up Hot Pursuit in the Game sale & loving it, best arcade racer i’ve played. A bit of Skyrim in there too, a quest or two at a time.

    (ordered MW3 Standard Ed on boxing day from Game, only to see Hardened, which was out of stock online, sitting in the local store, a few days later for £60. Prev trying to find a decent price for Hardened was a nightmare. Will be exchanging, if Standard ever arrives, as ideally, would like access to founder league & competitions.)

  9. Honestly haven’t really felt the compulsion to really play any PS3 games for almost 4 months now. (If not actually much, much longer…)

    Resistance 3 I had to force myself to play to the end of the campaign one weekend.
    I still haven’t finished Batman AC.
    F1 I literally only play online.
    I stopped playing UC3 for a fortnight half way through, and then again after the plane crash, only finishing it just before Christmas.
    I actually found myself playing BF3’s SP quite solidly until I finished it. I wasn’t really enjoying it, but wanted to finish it. Then haven’t really sunk all that much time into the online.

    Apathy rocks.

    • My situation is extremely similar to yours. Still to finish BF3 and UC3 after I kept stopping and then not returning for weeks.

      However I got MW3 for Xmas and I’m quite enjoying that campaign so that is breaking the PS3 apathy for me a bit.

    • I’m getting a bit annoyed with batman, I like it, but there’s now so many different types of enemies in the brawls that i have to do very specific moves to get each of them, it seems to detract from the flow a lot. And makes it slightly too hard, for no good reason at certain points.

  10. I’ve also been watching LOTR extended blurays last few nights, only getting through one disc per night though as it’s always midnight before i start watching!
    Other than that, i took a break from PS3 for a few days but have been playing Bulletstorm and Shadows of the Damned, enjoying both of them so far.

    • LOTR, essential viewing over the holiday season.
      So far i’ve only seen the fellowship extended, would love to own the set in time.

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