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What We Played #48

The one where Aran turns on his ally.

With Kris’ known proclivity for dancing few would be surprised to find him doing the timewarp. The time warping he’s been doing this week though is to go back to those heady days of 2007 when it seemed the year-on-year growth of the video gaming market might continue ad infinitum.

He’s busy driving up hill and down dale in the Mako as he tries to get his Commander Shepard recruited into the storied ranks of the Spectres in the original Mass Effect. “I’m quite enjoying it”, he says despite the tribulations of trying to second-guess decision. His one criticism is that “it’s very poor at highlighting you taking damage”.

With his review of EA’s latest adultery simulator, Tiger 13, out of the way Peter turned his incisive attentions towards every ‘real’ Star Wars fans’ third most popular hate target, with Jar-Jar and that Christmas Special being the top two.

Indeed Star Wars Kinect has seen many fans, at least those over the age of seven, producing more venom than even the deadly spider-like kinrath that inhabit Dantooine and Kashyyyk. Peter truncated the original text of his review by about 60% to remove the galaxy-spanning tangents “that were half Star Wars fanboy geekery and half ranting irrelevance”.

I didn’t think that would be fair to the game, which actually has one or two decent points buried beneath the very dodgy controls and the odd choice to include a Dance Central clone. I’m glad I don’t have to keep playing, although I will go back to the Rancor Rampage mode, that was lots of fun.

When not leaping around in front of his TV like a seven year old he’s been spending his time in a more grown-up manner by finger-painting on his iDevices. Singled out this week is Saturday Morning RPG, a “delightfully self-aware, classic RPG which offers a tribute to Saturday morning cartoons from our childhood“.

Stick! Oh KB, where are you now?
Of course depending on your age saturday morning cartoons may not have been a feature of your childhood. These days Saturday mornings on BBC One aren’t the home of multi-coloured swap shops showcasing spectacular jumpers, beards and cartoons. Instead it’s a mix of news and cookery shows and as all true PlayStation fans know if you go back to your gran’s Saturday mornings all she had for entertainment was pushing a hoop with a stick. With a stick!

Dan’s been lucky enough to be spending time with various forthcoming games. He can’t tell us about Dragon’s Dogma yet, you’ve hopefully already read his impressions of the much-anticipated Sorcery and he’s not allowed to tell us how amazing the new minis title Velocity is until its embargo is up.

Aside from those he’s also found room in his gaming schedule to start playing Inazuma Eleven 2 which he calls “the most insane game I’ve ever come across”. It’s an RPG for Nintendo’s DS that “looks very similar to Pokemon, has cutscenes in the style of Professor Layton, and has you taking on aliens who are threatening Earth, and defeating them by winning games of football against them”. Only in Japan.

Since the excitement/emotional engagement/despair/disappointment (he doesn’t specify which) of playing through Mass Effect 3 Blair hasn’t found a game that really grabs him. This week his dabbling has been confined to MotorStorm RC, some Rock Band and a little mod-trying in Skyrim.

Tuffcub spent Easter trying to catch up on some games.

I played Hydrophobia: Prophecy from start to finish. Neat little game but the inclusion of mystical water powers five minutes before the end of the game seems rather rushed. Also for a game about water it doesn’t do much with it apart from making you wade through it. Could of done with more water based puzzles.

Apart from that he invested another 40 hours into Skyrim, which probably equates to a short quest or two following by some smithing and then trying to find a merchant how could afford the freshly-made shiny goods. He also tried to finish Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time “but really couldn’t be arsed” which sounds like my own last attempt at the same thing.

Finally there was some time spent with a borrowed copy of Soul Calibur IV. “I had no idea what was going on but I fought about ten different characters then the credits rolled. Is that it? Did I finish the game? Confuzzlement.”

Halfway through BioShock 2’s main storyline we find Aran who’s been revelling in the chaos that can ensue when stray shots from a Big Sister attempting to recover a recently liberated Little Sister get a Big Daddy all riled up. With the whirlwind of combat spiralling past a hacked security camera resulting in the summoning of security bots too Big Sis’ didn’t stand a chance. Scenting blood Aran then descended on the wounded Big Daddy like one of the ocean’s oldest, rough-skinned, pointy-toothed denizens.

As for myself I fired up Skyrim for the first time this year to make the most of the improvements brought by patch 1.05/2.04 (delete as appropriate for your region). I was enjoying the reduction in ‘rim-lag before three hard-reset-requiring, water-inspired crashes had me heading enraged towards the forums. Of course there was also the regular couple of hours of Gran Turismo 5.

My 3DS hasn’t seen much action lately but does get flipped open at least once a week so I can watch the latest episode of Shaun the Sheep as I’m a big Aardman fan. It’s a cunning strategy of Nintendo’s to load transient weekly content to keep you returning to the console.

Sony’s recent attempt to copy that strategy on the PS Vita with its weekly firmware updates isn’t so welcome. Another new unwelcome ‘game’ I’m having to play with my PS Vita is memory card pruning. To download the patch and expansion for Escape Plan I had to cull some existing content.

Fortunately the three free AR games were still on there so they’ve now been deleted. Played once, now deleted never to be installed again. I’m still looking for my first compelling AR game or experience. Perhaps Microsoft’s version of Google’s AR glasses could be it?

Or perhaps not. What have you been playing this week?

  1. hazelam
    Since: Feb 2009

    am i the only person who liked the Mako sections of the original Mass Effect?

    they were a hell of a lot more fun then the bloody planet scanning.

    speaking of Kris and his love of dance, i discovered something recently, i don’t know if he’s aware of it yet.

    i think it will interest him.


    i’ve started Xenoblade again.
    i never got round to finishing it first time, i was about 70 hours or so in when i borrowed skyrim, then i didn’t pick it up again for a while, jumping back in that far advanced in the story and with all those skills unlucked was a bit daunting after the time away playing skyrim.
    but i didn’t want to start from scratch while it was still kinda fresh.

    so i just restarted about a week or so ago.
    i’m now like 25 hours in.i think i’m going a bit faster than last time because there some familiarity, but it’s not like if i’d started again straight away.

    i going to try doing all the sidequests this time though.
    i’m trying to do the colony 6 stuff, i won’t say what because it might spoil it, but i don’t know where to find steel silk. :(

    Comment posted on 13/04/2012 at 14:44.
    • Watchful
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Oct 2008

      No, you’re not the only one. I much preferred the Mako sections to the lack of any free-roaming environments in the sequels. And as for the hovertank-platforming sections in ME2…

      Comment posted on 13/04/2012 at 14:57.
  2. hazelam
    Since: Feb 2009

    i just realised, i’m on the internet, why don’t i just bloody google it?
    turns out you get it from Tephra cave.

    Comment posted on 13/04/2012 at 14:46.
  3. element666
    Since: Mar 2012

    This week i managed to get my platinum on motorstorm RC, something i thought impossible at one point! Also been playing wipeout 2048, unit 13 and trying to get the last couple of trophies on plants vs zombies. Been at my girlfriends so its been a vita week :)

    Comment posted on 13/04/2012 at 15:48.
  4. MICKY17
    Since: Dec 2008

    A little bit of Battlefield 3 once again for me this week. Not had a lot of time this week due to work commitments unfortunately.

    Comment posted on 13/04/2012 at 16:28.
  5. Sympozium
    Since: Aug 2009

    I was playing Armored Core V again… daily, god its amazing.

    Comment posted on 13/04/2012 at 16:42.
  6. MadJunkBoy
    Since: Aug 2010

    been playing alot of Soul Calibur 5 the last couple of days… in fact, i think thats the only game i have been playing lately… just the DiRT3 meets and very briefly a little bit of WipEout HD with a friend… =D

    Comment posted on 13/04/2012 at 17:04.
  7. Origami Killer
    Since: May 2010

    Trying to think back!
    Played Sly 1 which is great fun if not a little unresponsive at times for me. Also Keeping with Plus freebies I’ve had a go at Shift 2 which handles awfully in my opinion so don’t see me playing a lot of that.
    I’ve also had about 2 hours on Dark Souls. It was 2 straight hours of me repeatedly getting my ass handed to me. Made no progress at all and rage quit.
    On the Vita i find myself addicted to Treasures Of Montezuma blitz, its a wonderful little puzzle game!

    Comment posted on 13/04/2012 at 19:54.
  8. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    This week, i’ve been playing ME3. I got fed up with playing as an Adept as it didn’t feel that powerful despite me being high level and putting points into every power. So i started a new playthrough as an infiltrator, it adds a challenge to the game. Got most assets so far and the chances are still low. :O Resolved conflicts or tensions between certain races peacefully.

    I love the Javelin sniper rifle, it is probably the best weapon for a infiltrator so far although, it is slow and takes longer to fire but i’m glad it’s not a gamebreaking weapon. Continued the romace with Tali and am a bit disappointed by the reveal of her face. Thought Quarians would like like aliens. I plan to get every war asset and do every quest. :)

    I only use the ME1/2 squadmates for the main quests and the side quests as i want to see how they would react to it. EDI and Vega, i use for N7 missions. Think i’m nearing the half way point so i’ll probably complete this by next friday. :)

    Comment posted on 13/04/2012 at 20:49.
    • The Lone Steven
      Never heard of him.
      Since: May 2010

      Oh, and i’ve just taken a close look at Tali’s photo via google, IT’S A BLOODY PHOTOSHOPPED IMAGE! I am not pleased. Ever since ME1, people have been wanting to see her face and we get a half arsed attempted by Bioware. Not happy. The in game photo is a bit hard to see which is why i had to fecking google it to get a closer look at it.

      Why couldn’t they have allowed us to take a close look at it then decide when we want to stop looking at it? Oh yeah, then we would call them out on their half arsed image.

      I would love it if bioware corrected this via a patch.

      Comment posted on 13/04/2012 at 21:03.
      • yogdog
        Since: Feb 2010

        In regards to the photo: so what?

        Comment posted on 13/04/2012 at 22:52.
  9. TSBonyman
    Since: Dec 2009

    Not a lot this week , my daily TOMBlitz and i’ve started playing Escape Plan, which i’m finding a bit fiddly and i’ll probably ’tilt-to-steer’ away from this sort of game in future..
    Also picked up SSX and Binary Domain cheap so i’ve played a little of each. I like the story in BD but the gameplay feels a bit repetitive so far. SSX… well, it’s not the game it used to be but i can see myself dipping into it now and then for a diversion.
    Apart from that i caught up with some shows – Community, Fringe and GOT.
    Also, bleddy RTE Player on my PS3 seems to be on the blink so i couldn’t watch this weeks The Savage Eye.. i’m hoping the fault is with RTE and not the precursor of an imminent hdd error.. :s

    Comment posted on 13/04/2012 at 22:33.