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. Just found my first Skyrim bug after 56 hours or so- my PS3 just reset and started to check the hdd.
    It’s looking for corruption and might have to format.
    FML, that’s a bad bug…

    • wow that sucks. does that mean you lose all your saves? D=

      i held out on buying it because of all the bugs, but i borrowed it from a friend and i’m only like 1hr in…

      • No, I got lucky, it just had to check.
        (Cue frantic uploading of all my saves to the cloud.)

        Bit worrying when it has to do that, though.

  2. Only Assassins Creed : Revelations. Just finished it today. Havnt played anything else for a long time, the odd game of FIFA and Skyrim about 3 weeks ago.

    Been watching movies a bit though. The Kings Speech is captivating, Harry Potter DH2 and Senna being notable others. All in all a decent week for home entertainment.

    Now ive just gotta figure out wtf im doing tomorrow night. Looks like im sat alone crying into a tinny at this rate :/

  3. Just got Space Marine on Xmas Eve (in the er, post-Xmas sales, go figure…) for £12.49. Top game, only an hour into the Campaign (pretty ho-hum) but the MP is seriously good fun. Oh and I suck at Exterminatus mode (ask Yogdog).

    • £12 really? I really want to the full game was really fun when I had it for Onlive rent.

  4. Juggling my time between MarioKart7, Saints Row The Third and LEGO Harry Potter 5-7 depending on whos company I’m currently in lol.

  5. I bought White Knight Chronicles II before Christmas and finally got some time to play it. It might not be on par with Final Fantasy but it is kind of growing on me. Cheesy story and dialogs, dated graphics, some weird game design choices (your personal character is completely unnecessary in the story mode and only has a real use when playing online) but I’m quite enjoying it so far. I like the fact that you get the first game for free with WKCII because I never got around buying the first one. So basically I got two decent RPGs to keep me busy until FF XIII-2 comes out.

    • what do you think about the online?

      i like online coop games and i thought about getting it a few months back.

      • Sorry haven’t played it online yet. I was too lazy to enter the online pass but from what I’ve heard it seems to be similar to Phantasy Star Online, which is one of my all time favourite online games.

    • I bought the first one really cheap not long ago, I haven’t played much but I was really impressed by the in-game graphics, yes the cut-scenes are a thousand arses glued together but in-game I thought was really good. It compares very well to other JRPG’s like Star Ocean:The Last Hope and Resonance of Fate.

      But maybe I was just wowed by the awesome water, seriously the water is amazing.

      • I don’t know… I’m really not impressed by the ingame graphics. They aren’t exactly bad but definitely not on par with FFXIII. I haven’t paid much attention to the water yet but after a few hours of gameplay I reached a full scale CGI cut scene which was really cool. I’m not too bothered by graphics as long as a game is fun and I’m really enjoying WKC at the moment.

  6. I’ve been pretty much just playing Saints Row 3 since christmas day.

  7. My bro ended up with 2 copies of Battlefield 3, so I scored one of those about a week ago. I’ve never really been into competitive multiplayer FPS’s but this is really good, I’m a Sergeant first class after about 20 hours and my overall Kill/Death ratio probably hasn’t risen above one but it’s still massive fun.

    Also tried and failed to get into Dark Souls, maybe I’ll have better luck when the Battlefield 3 shaped monkey finally gets off my back.

    • I should also probably mention that I bought heaps of stuff in the Steam sale (eyeing alternately my wallet and the Civ V GOTY right now) and played some Mount & Blade Warband.

      And I bought the Borderlands GOTY Bundle and Hydrophobia Prophecy off the PSN.

  8. I’ve been on Move Fitness (awesome), Cabela’s Adventure Camp (far too easy – nearly platinum’d in 2 hours) and Jurassic Park which I really didn’t like so I’ve gone back to finish BTTF and will do Sam N Max before I hit the dinos. I bought myself a PSP so when that arrives hopefully tomorrow I’ve stocked up on games to go nuts on :) Cant wait!

  9. A hell of alot this week.
    MW3 – Good couple of hours and it’s more of the same but imo thats not a bad thing.
    Skyrim – about 3 hours in and by god it’s bloody good.
    Batman – only bout an hour in but seems good.
    AC – same as Batman really.
    Saints Row 3 – hour in total but one epic hour that was.
    BF3 – 2 missions on sp which i aint enjoying. 20 minutes on mp as its froze twice.

    Thats it for PS3 but ive also put an unhealthy amount of time on Mario Kart 7. With little bouts of Rayman, Resi and Mario Land

  10. i finally finished Skyrim.
    well the main quest anyway, and i think i found a big bug.
    the ending seems to be missing. o_O

    anyway, throughout my adventure, became Thane of Whiterun, though i still don’t know exactly what that means.
    i looted enough stuff to fill one of those container ships, got married, got my smithing up to 100, made some dragonscale armour and then saved the world.

    and there was still tons of suff to do, there was a whole city in the west that i can’t remember the name of that i never even visited.

    also i got Saints Row for christmas, and i’ve been playing that, as you’d expect, i mean, i tried just looking at the box, but that got boring after a while.
    still, there have been worse ways i’ve spent six or seven hours. ^_^

    anyway, the game is just fantastic, i’d say it’s improved upon the earlier games in almost every way.

    the only thing i’m disappointed in is the soundtrack.
    not that it’s bad as such, but it’s a little limited and there not much there i like.
    and on ps3 it doesn’t support custom soundtracks.

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