What We Played #40

“Nothing at all” was the answer I got back from a couple of the team this week as real life has left neither Chris or Toby with the time for any gaming. Chris expects that to change over the forthcoming weeks as he’s eagerly awaiting both SSX and Journey. Toby offers no excuse while admitting to having the latest Uncharted, Batman and Modern Warfare games still in his “yet to play” pile!

Our PS Vita owning comrades having been putting their super oval handhelds through their paces. With his PS3 having died Alex is now dependent upon his PS Vita for his PlayStation fix, at least until he buys a new PS3.  He’s not missing it to much though as the “wicked” and “addictive” Unit 13 has been keeping him entertained for the most part. When that’s failed a spell of Wii-powered Zelda has stepped up to the task.


For Peter it’s been WipEout 2048 that’s done enough to earn the title of being his favourite from amongst the PS Vita’s launch lineup though Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Everybody’s Golf both gain the much-coveted “great fun” accolade.

[drop2]When he can bring himself to put down his PS Vita he’s been 2D-brawling his way across the screen as ex-mob hitman Shank in the eponymous sequel Shank 2. While similar to the first game it has “just enough new elements to keep it fresh” and its “fast, smooth combat” and “wonderful presentation” making it a real stand-out title.

Jim is still blasting his way through Mass Effect 2 on Insanity and “absolutely loving it”. Yet not loving it enough to stop the majority of his time being spent exploring the Kingdoms of Amalur so he can deliver his reckoning in a review. “It’s a strange beast”, he says, “a concoction of MMO, RPG, and hack n’ slash” that while being “certainly enjoyable” and managing to “amaze in some parts, falls flat in others”.

Avid readers will be aware that he’s also still enjoying Uncharted 3’s multiplayer despite the odd moan that the collectibles that are clearly there to encourage you to spend time in the different modes require you to spend too much time paying modes you may not want to. On his PC he’s been playing the classic RTS Dawn of War which despite looking a little dated these days gets a hearty recommendation as a “must-have for PC gamers”.

The mixed bag that is the Sega Mega Drive: Ultimate Collection has been doing its bit to keep Tuffcub entertained when he needs a break from his other regular games, Killzone 3, Saints Row: The Third and Skyrim. Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time got a rent but he’s found it “tired” compared to the series’ outing on PS2.

Gran Turismo 5 still retains its more-or-less permanent place in my weekly gaming, though playing online with friends we found that for some reason they couldn’t race on the DLC tracks I’ve bought, something that’s not been a problem before. Anyone else found that since installing the 2.04 patch?

I also spent some quality time with my favourite red-haired smuggler in Star Wars: The Old Republic running through a number of flashpoints, SWTOR’s equivalent of World of Warcraft’s raids, rather than progressing her single-player story for a change. Despite not enjoying Eufloria as much as I had been I’ve persevered with it on the PS3 out of a stubborn refusal to be beaten.

[drop]The promise of eliminated, or at least substantially reduced, lag drew Aran back to Skyrim but the latest patch has not left him all smiles. The problems will be familiar to anyone who’s played the game; he’s still left with a broken quest that cannot be completed and the “considerably cut down” lag is still especially bad, to the point of being almost game-breaking, when he finds himself in combat with a dragon and multiple other enemies.

On the flip side he’s still coming across oodles of new quests which is “brilliant” and were it not for other gaming commitments he could easily see Skyrim monopolising his free time at weekends.

Sadly it seems that despite the latest patch, if you’ve yet to pick up Skyrim yourself your best bet is still to get it on Xbox 360 or PC if you can. The game engine’s need to keep track of the huge number of in-game objects just does not seem to be a good fit with the PS3’s split-memory architecture. It’s still a great game on PS3, but it is better played elsewhere.

What have you been playing this week?



  1. I haven’t touched Skyrim for a while so can’t comment on any lag issues since the patch. This week I have returned to both Killzone 3 and Dead Space 2 and I am gradually working my way to the plats for both. I also thought I would put MW3 into my PS3, played it for 20mins tops and got bored and went back to Dead Space. Need to get back into Dark Souls this week, being cursed has put me off a lot as I still have no idea how to be cured and Im currently in the lower reaches of the depths which is a horrible place.

    • I’ve done a lot of hours on Skyrim on my PS3, I’ve played little else the last three months (level 48 now, main, civil war and mage quests finished, done LOTS of side quests & wandering around), but haven’t had any major problems.

      • I had a lot of crashes before hand, but if your up to level 48 now and had none, I will be optimistic when I get back on it

  2. Been playing Call of Juarez – the Cartel, which I feel recieved a lot of undue critsism because its, at worst, “alright”, also Uncharted 3 and Sam & Max Beyond time and space.

    • Oh and Skylanders, lots of Skylanders. Im gay for Skylanders.

  3. Was so busy playing stuff I forgot to actually reply. This week has been FF XIII-2, wipEout 2048, The Last Story and Asphalt on the Vita. Just about to fire up Syndicate too, and there’s a debug copy of MUD to preview. Then I might have a nap o_O

  4. The Skyrim patch has worked wonders for my game personally. Everything seems to load faster than it used to, and I’m getting a small amount of lag but nowhere near what it was pre-patch. Have finally platted it now so not sure how much more playtime it will get though.

  5. I’ve read on CVG, that the lag on the PS3 version is not down to file size but the order you do things in. WTF!? It’s an open world RPG! People will do it in a different styles and order thus it shouldn’t cause it to lag. rant over.

    Anyway, i’ve played a bit of DAO and too much Final Fantasy 8. I’ve been grinding a lot(running around in a circle and battling the same enemies to get the AP which is required for Guardian forces to learn abitlies which are needed if you want to become powerful as leveling up doesn’t really matter). I’ve spent 20 hours so far on the current save and i think 3 quarters of it have been spent grinding.

    Also, i’m currently trying to get the Two Brothers(is a GF) and the bloody tomb of the unknown king is confusing as hell. The map is bloody useless for the sole reason there is not a you are here marker, the world map has that marker, so why not the tomb map. But i’ve spent 2-3 hours last night inadvertly grinding. :O Squall is now level 30 and the rest of the party varies from level 12-24. Meaning, the monseters are now getting more powerful, which results in more EXP but makes it diffcult to draw a hundred of each magic type, which is a tedious task. But i’ve put the battle speed up to full speed so on average takes me 5-10 minutes to get a decent amount per battle and if i’m willing to risk it, 20 minutes to get 100 of a certain amount. You need to draw magic in order to get more powerful. The greater the amount, the more effective it is but it means, you can’t use the magic if you want to remain powerful. :-/

    Oh and once a GF has learned the Boost ability, then you can press button mash square to make the GF’s attack more powerful. Luckily, i have a turbo controller so it saves me energy. :)

    I suspect the FF nut will reply to this comment, some say that he has a real Moogle, and that he can play any FF game with his eyes shut, all we know, he’s called the Roy.

    • For in depth analysis on rimlag look here http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-vs-ps3-skyrim-lag
      and since the patch

      Not sure I’d trust CVG on it over other sources out there.

    • I can’t wait to get the Vita so I can stick FF8 on it and play it to death. I miss the GFs. Love trying to get Ifrit at the start. He totally pawns!!

      • I think Sony have said that the vita won’t be able to play PS1 games for some reason. :-/

        @CCstar i think it was todd howard who told them it, not 100% sure.

      • Had trouble finding the link but managed to find it. http://www.computerandvideogames.com/336131/skyrim-ps3-problems-not-tied-large-save-files/ :) And it turns out that Bethesade knew about the problems before release. http://uk.ps3.ign.com/articles/121/1218881p1.html I know Beth has a history with bugs but come on, you don’t release a game that has crippling bugs that seem to be the most common on a certain platform. I hate this generation of gaming sometimes.

      • And they thought they had fixed the problems before launch:

      • And that should make the people who can’t play the game because of this bug feel any better? “Sorry your game runs a 5 FPS but hey, atleas we tried to fix it derp a herp.” :P

      • No, but consider the difficulty of testing an open world game that’s non-linear and offers lots of player choice.

        If Skyrim only offered the player the chance to make 32 yes/no (or left/right path or kill/don’t kill) decisions there would be over 4 billion ways to finish the game (2^32 = 4,294,967,296).

        Now multiply those decisions 100-fold and allow the player to do them in pretty much any order they fancy. How many testers can you afford to employ and for how long? That Skyrim is at all playable is something of a marvel.

        But I’m not above poking fun at them for the bugs that evaded them or justifiably pointing out that, as much as I might wish it wasn’t the case, that the game is more playable on 360 and PC than it is on PS3.

  6. Been busy playing mass effect 2, metal gear collection & drake’s fortune, trying plat uncharted to complete the trilogy. ME2 fell in love with it again now that I understand RPG games lol

  7. Spent all my time playing FFXIII-2 and finally completed the story with 149/160 fragments in my pocket. I’m going to collect the last few fragments and unlock the rest of the trophies before I start playing Kingdoms of Amalur, which I’m really looking forward to.

  8. I’ve been back on Skyrim this week, and yes there are lag problems but fingers-crossed it hasn’t caused me any major problems. I keep 3 rolling saves going so if I do encounter any trouble I can roll back to one of my back-up points.

  9. MW3…….

    • Well knock me down with a feather! ;p

      Mainly Bioshock 2 this week – should have it 100%’d over the weekend – just need to get 7000 ADAM online to reach level 50, and about 1/3 way through my Hard campaign playthrough. Forgot how enjoyable the campaign is actually!

      Also played some Black Ops nazi zombies and a bit of FIFA 12.

      This time next week I hope to be mentioning some Vita games that I’ve played!! :)

  10. Kingdoms of Amalur for me. Loving it. Look forward to the review, but it won’t change my opinion of it: specifically, that it’s a hell of a lot better than Skyrim as far as RPG-ness is concerned.

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