What We Played #39

More alive than he was earlier in the year Peter has been reaffirming his existence by playing I Am Alive for our preview. While not a great looking game, he speaks highly of its “great tone” and “very atmospheric moments”. Also singled out for attention are some of the game’s “interesting and innovative gameplay mechanics like the stamina bar and the intimidation”. Seriously, go read the preview that soothed a lot of Peter’s fears for the game following its troubled gestation.

Kris has apparently been playing five games this week. “FIFA. Trainyard. Not sleeping. Reinstalling Ubuntu” and “AJAX”. FIFA I get. I’m going to assume that by Trainyard he means the track-laying, colour-mix-and-matching iOS game. He attributes the not sleeping to “reinstalling Ubuntu”. The only one to get a nugget review is AJAX which “is a bit rubbish”, though the jQuery mod simplifies the interface.  Not enough that you can get away with playing it using a gamepad though.

[drop2]Pikachu and his collectible brethren are apportioned the blame for Joseph’s recent gaming. He’s managed to “get addicted to Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2” and played that to the exclusion of all else. He takes the name of Pokémon in vain for starting him on his monster catching/collecting obsession.

Ironically, in this first week of my paid subscription to Star Wars: The Old Republic I’ve not played it at all. I just haven’t had a good chunk of time to dedicate to it. Given how many others were already running about the galaxy proudly displaying their “Founder” titles, which are given to those who pay a subscription within the first three months after release, I have no fear that there will be a shortage of fellow adventurers when I’m next online.

What I have been playing when I’ve had a few moments is Eufloria. It’s one of a significant number of PSN titles I’ve bought on release over the last year or so and never really got around to playing. Tasked with sowing your seed throughout the galaxy, stop sniggering at the back, you have to grow seedlings to colonise asteroids and combat the other horticulturalists.

It’s kind of like a top-down, 2D Mushroom Wars painted in ambient colours and sounds. I’ve been loving it until reaching one particular level that seems to have just a single solution. You have to play it at a particular tempo and level of aggression to stand any kind of chance. Suddenly losing that sense of being able to play and beat the game in your own way jars with what I’ve always considered a strength of the RTS genre that I’ve enjoyed throughout many years of playing games like Dune 2, Battle Isle 2, Starcraft 2 and Pikmin (not 2).

[drop]Toby teamed up with a few mates to pop some brain cases in Black Ops Zombies. He freely admits they were a bit out of practice and that the dogs are still more than capable of inducing panic. One your squad gels though “working tactically, it really is a joy to play”.

Bulletstorm has been restoring some of Aran’s faith in the FPS genre. It’s “colourful, loud, quite funny” and manages to offer “new challenges”. That leaves him bemoaning its relative lack of success in the face of the military shooter juggernauts. He’s also still working his way through the challenges in Saints Row: The Third.

Steelport is also still the location of much of Tuffcub’s playing. He played some more of the “horrendously dull” Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine before giving up. Need For Speed: The Run got taken out for a short jog and to top it all off he played Killzone 3. Who’da thunk it?

There’s been no word from Chris but I’ll pencil him in for some Starhawk Beta-ing as that’s normally a safe bet along with some movies on the side. Blair has been playing the “better than expected” Crysis 2 spiced up with a little more Zelda: Skyward Sword. Although the latter is “great” nearing the end is making him feel a little sad.

Hopefully the games you’ve been playing have been making you happy?  If so, please let Blair know about them.



  1. Yup, Nazi Zombies is a joy to play – and one of the few games I constantly revisit, such as this evening after some Gatling Gears.

    Apart from a little Gatling Gears I had a quick blast on Might & Magic Clash of Heroes before Ubisoft moved the servers. Then I’ve just played more Bioshock 2 multiplayer – and finally got the level 40 trophy!! 16 hours it took I think. I also completed and got all the trophies from the Protector Trials DLC and have started the Minerva’s Den DLC which is excellent so far!! I know, Bioshock 2, I’m about 2 years behind everyone in my gaming backlog – hence MGS HD Collection and FFXIII-2 have just been added to the pile.

    • And Trainyard is amazing, some of the later puzzles are ridiculously hard, and took me ages, occassionally wiping the layout completely and starting again!

      • Fancy teaming up sometime on Nazi zombies? I’m busy over the next few days gaming wise, but can crowbar in some zombie slaughter sometime next week?

      • Always! How are you fixed Monday evening?

      • Let’s see: I have Dungeon Defenders, Warhammer 40K, and Sins of a Solar Empire with friends tonight, again tomorrow, Shogun 2 and Warhammer on Sunday but I should be free Monday :)

      • You’re a busy boy! Great, I should be around from 7pm onwards. I’ve got a mate who could do with a few trophies, is it okay to bring-a-friend?

      • Are there many trophies for the zombie mode in black ops then?

      • There are a few zombie trophies required with the main game, then for the various DLCs there are a fair few. But it’s their awkwardness, not volume. YouTube “Time Travel Will Tell” – possible the most awkward trophy EVER, you need 4 people (alive), a lot of luck with the random box, and the level is bloody tight with no open spaces. To date my most proud trophy!

      • Ah yes, i see now (just looking at the trophy guide). So how is the difficulty of the non-dlc trophies?

      • Not too bad at all actually! Although I mention the difficulty, co-op zombies is some of the most fun I’ve had on PS3, the trophies are just a bonus!

      • Trophy hunting is fine by me, I have all the DLC minus Shang-ri-la. I’d prefer *not* to do ascension but not bothered if we do :)

      • Cool – perhaps Call of the Dead then, that’s a good one!

  2. Managed to finish the story mode of Driver SF (my first online meet for Driver SF tomorrow too!) and been mopping up trophies with CarBoyCam on F1 2011.

  3. Spent about 23 hours playing FFXIII-2 and enjoyed every second of it. Whenever I didn’t have enough time to justify booting up the PS3 to play even more FFXIII-2 I watched Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning live stream footage by Day[9]TV on Youtube.
    A few more hours and I’ll be back on Gran Pulse!

  4. Let’s see…. Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity Edition, Medieval 2: Total War, Shogun 2: Total War, Warhammer 40K: Space Marine and Dungeon Defenders pretty much sum it up for me. All have had a heavy amount of playtime (minus Dungeon Defenders, which I only bought yesterday) off me, don’t regret it for a second. It’ll be a similar report next time as well :)

    • Also, TC, you tried the co-op mode of Space Marine? I’m a big Warhammer fan so the game catered for me a lot more, but I’m quite surprised you didn’t like it.

      • Seconded. I wasn’t too taken with the Single-Player campaign,but MP is where it’s at.

  5. I’ve started playing Star Trek Online since it went F2P, and it’s pretty good. I’m about 10 hours in, it all looks nice enough, the UI looks almost a carbon-copy of World of Warcraft but that just makes it much easier to get into. The mix of ship-to-ship combat and on-foot “Away Team” sections allows for some variation in the missions which is nice. Also, starships are cooler than elves.

    • Yep, that they are.
      The only MMO I’d ever get into though is a Warhammer 40K one.

      • I’d forgotten about the Warhammer 40K MMO – Dark Millenium – is that still coming? I’d played Eve for the past few years for my internet spaceship fix, but the high turnover of players meant that in a game where teamwork is paramount, it was hard to get together and work with a stable group of players, so it was difficult to make any significant progress.

      • I started on Eve, but lost my ship within 3 weeks and it meant I pretty much had to start all over again which I was none too pleased about. I’d be willing to start it again with a dedicated group though.
        Oh, if you love Space games, try Sins of a Solar Empire on steam. Real-time strategy but it’s awesome commanding huge fleets of hundreds of ships across several galaxies.
        X3: Terran Conflict is pretty good as well, basically a singleplayer version of Eve (not exact, but similar) and some of the mods for it are awesome.
        On to Dark Millenium: Yep, it should still be coming as long as THQ can stay afloat, they’re currently looking around for more finances. Hope they do get some.

  6. Oh, that zombie picture, aren’t the zombies from Left 4 Dead, not Black Op’s Zombies? :D

    • *shrugs* Don’t know. Could be. It came up in an image search for “Black Ops Zombies”. It serves it’s purpose.

      • Yep, it does, just me being picky :)

  7. Uncharted 3 again. Oh and Game Dev Story has been flattening my phone battery faster than a fat boy eats cake. Very addictive mobile gaming.

    • It was addictive but now I’m at the point of every game is a hit, and I’ve made a console. All seems a bit bland now. Am I missing anything that makes it fun/challenging again?

  8. Well I went back to Dead Space 2. Still caused me to jump a few times even though Ive played through it before. Love the tension in the game. Also progressing slowly through Dark Souls, Castlevania, Deus Ex and Stranger’s Wrath (which is so bloody hard). Should complete them all pretty soon. Also now have MGS4 to play thanks to Youles :)

    • You are very welcome! ;)

      • Is it strategic like Deus Ex?

      • I couldn’t say for sure since I’ve not played Deux Ex, but I guess it is in it’s own way. You aren’t supposed to gun about shooting, you’re supposed to adopt a stealth approach, taking enemies out one-by-one, or not even killing them at all. Your gadgets are pretty cool, like the suit that alters depending on your surroundings. I hope you like stories as there are a lot of cutscenes etc!

      • I would actually say that Deus Ex is quite similar, but in first person & with more of an RPG slant to it.

        Oh & you can’t hide in a brown cardboard box on Deus Ex.

      • Sounds good. I took the stealth non lethal approach on Deus Ex as im into that way of playing. Should be fun then :D

  9. I’ve been playing naff all as i couldn’t bloody decide what game to play. O-o Also played the Darkness 2 demo.

    • I hate that feeling, listlessly looking at your games trying to decide or pluck up the arsedness to do Something, Anything and then…..oh look another hour slid by and I’m still doing nothing – arrrgh!

  10. Outside of the Dirt 3 and MSA meets I’ve pretty much only been playing Lego Star Wars 3, which I should hopefully platinum tonight. I also decided to treat myself to a 3DS yesterday, however I’m not sure how much playtime it’ll get in the next few days or so as my copy of Kingdoms of Amalur arrived this morning. I’m also looking forward to the Driver meet tomorrow as I’ve not touched the multiplayer at all yet.

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