What We Played #51

The one featuring an Everton manager.

Busy times here at TSA lead to few of us playing (or at least admitting to playing) much at all.

Peter’s managed a few iOS games like Triple Town and Football Manager Handheld while he’s been out and about. He would have indulged in some proper mobile gaming but he has a bit of a blind spot when it comes to remembering his PS Vita. A bit like Sony’s software teams then.

Tuffcub has many been playing around in Cubase, which if you’re not familiar with it is a music editing tool. How is that game related? It’s game related because he’s busy finishing off his remix of minis title Velocity’s soundtrack. (As if you didn’t know from all the mentions he’s been giving it in the comments.)

In addition he’s played a soupçon of Treasures of Montezuma Blitz, a smidgen of Skyrim and a portion of Floating Cloud God.

Cursing the latest convulsive bout of PS(SE?)N maintenance for delaying his purchase of Journey, at least when I asked him, is Aran. Presumably that situation has resolved itself by the time you read this. Gaming-wise he’s for some unknown reason, which will no doubt remain unfathomable to most of the country except for a small suburb of Liverpool, decided to try and manage Everton in Football Manager 2012.

It was only after I signed that I noticed that my transfer budget was a big fat £0, so I’m trying to loan amazing players, which is hard. At least I’ve won my first 3 pre season matches, even if one of those was against my reserves. Still, beat Sporting Lisbon.

Elsewhere, Alex has been messing around with iPad DJing software and had a quick shufty on Velocity to see what all the fuss was about. He says it’s wonderful, and reminds him of the Amiga glory days. Or something.

Quite a long way from reality then. My own gaming has been similar to TC, but without the Cubase-ing. I’m also thoroughly enjoying Velocity. Dan’s review was spot on. The well-judged learning curve soon has you teleporting around the levels at a pace you wouldn’t have thought possible ten minutes earlier.

[drop2]It’s ludicrously good fun and certainly the best shmup I’ve played in a good while. It also looks and sounds great on my PS Vita with a good set of headphones. Some of the gold medal times on the levels I’ve played through remain tantalisingly just out of reach at the moment, but those medals shall be mine.

ToM Blitz is proving handy for filling in the odd few minutes during the day with time to play rarely exceeding ‘goes’ remaining so like TC said last week I can’t see myself indulging in any micro-transacting.

The bulk of my gaming when I get a quiet couple of hours at home is still spent in Tamriel’s northernmost territory. Since Skyrim’s release me and my avatar have spent somewhere over 250 hours picking flowers, inadvisably nibbling on random mushrooms to see what effect they have, crafting weapons that merchants can’t afford unless you spend a few thousand gold with them first and of course slaying the odd dragon when I trip over one.

Having spent so long wandering the countryside I thought I’d seen pretty much all the variety the game had to offer and was used to everywhere new being more or less the same as somewhere I’d already been. At the weekend though I was proved very wrong and even after all this time Skyrim managed to surprise, astound and impress.

I won’t say anything about exactly what it was but it has served to rekindle my, admittedly waning, enthusiasm for the game and remind me of one of the reasons I game; to enjoy and revel in the imaginations of others. With gaming, at least on consoles, becoming ever more about this year’s sequel to last year’s sequel, to be truly surprised by a game has become a rare and therefore ever more welcome experience.

When was the last time a game surprised you? Played much this week?

53 Comments

  1. I too have been indulging in a bit of “Cubase-ing” aswell as Final Fantasy 4 The After Years helping me through the working day on the Vita. As far as the PS3 goes, ive not toucked it in well over a week. I’ve also been working on a few masterpieces for Youles and OK in Paint Park

    • Rub it in, Vita at work! :p

      Oh, I shall look forward to those. It’s not been uncommon for me to be compared to Kandinsky, you know! Art for mathematicians and people with OCD.

  2. Lol, not surprised Everton’s budget is £0, but at least you can upgrade Goodison. Oh, wait..! Aran should sell Cahill, he’s too injury prone.

    Mainly working through my backlog. Last night was the last time a game surprised me actually – I played DiRT 3 after it’s been practically unplayed since I purchased it nearly a year ago. The point-to-point racing works so well in multiplayer compared to the typical circuit racing, I guess I never thought about that. I really enjoyed it! I also enjoyed the DiRT Showdown demo too, although given my use of DiRT 3 I doubt it will get purchased for the moment.

    Then I platinumed Saw (finally); I completed the first episode of The Walking Dead (which is brilliant); I completed my Hard playthrough of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and mopped up all the other trophies, do I just need to finish my Crushing playthrough for the platinum. I did the first 4 chapters on Crushing last night.

    On Vita it’s just been spells of WipEout 2048, which has been sadly marred by constant connection problems “error with server”, although they are investigating the issue! :)

    • Nice work making it through Drakes Fortune on Hard. Definitely the hardest of the bunch.

      • Thanks, alot of people have said that although I didn’t actually find it too hard. Perhaps I’ll pay for that comment on Crushing though ;)

      • Oh you will ;) lol! Nah, most of it is ok but the part where you climb out of the plane in the tree is insane, as is the church section towards the end

      • I did the plane bit last night without too much trouble! I’ve been told there is a way to combat the “blue (water filled) room” in chapter 5, so I suspect the Church section will be the most awkward part now!

      • lol the church is where i’m stuck in crushing mode.

      • I got so fed up with the plane-in-a-tree bit on my crushing playthrough I just gave up. I ought to go back and try again at some point.

      • @Nick – can’t advise on the Church as I’m not there yet. Somtimes entering the checkpoint with the wrong weapons can cause you problems.

        @Greg – if it helps I used the AK-47 to take out the shotgun guys who sprint at you (takes 6 bullets maybe), then used the pistol on the other guys. I also positioned myself so that the pillars blocked some enemies’ gunfire, so I only had a couple to deal with at a time!

      • Entering the checkpoint with the wrong weapons was what caused me my problems. I had the shotgun and pistol and not very much ammo for either.

      • Considering I must have died over 10 times on Normal at that church bit I knew Crushing was going to be a pain lol :P I’d forgotten about that water room. Damn that bit was tricky. And the jet-ski sections. *painful memories returning!*

  3. Wow, quiet week for you guys then (in terms of actually playing games anyway lol). No variety at all for me this week, spending all of my gaming time playing through Dead Island co-op. Not a bad little game; nice visuals and brutal (if simplistic) combat. Have to say I’m very BORED with it now however. My mate is a completionist so we are doing every side-quest and un-earthing every collectable. I think we clocked over 20 hours in the first act alone! Nice little game overall but would have gladly stopped playing after the conclusion of act1 lol.

    • I actually found Dead Island boring at the start, and then it became addictive half way through – not sure why, I think it’s cos I stopped getting my arsed kicked by zombies as I had cash and better weapons. It is certainly better co-op though, otherwise it gets boring, or in your case even more boring! ;)

      • Lol yeah the beginning was a pain. As you say, limited weapons and sod all health = lots of deaths. Once I found a couple of decent weapons (machette + shock mod!) I started having fun, slicing and dicing.

        I’m playing through the city/sewer missions at the moment and just feeling a bit burned out over it really. So many fetch quests! Plus the gun-play feels loose and nasty.

      • The sewers is definitely the worst part of the game. I loved the rest of it but the sewers are loathsome. If you can stick with it, it gets much better after that

      • Ok, fingers crossed! :) Planning a system link session over the weekend so hopefully it grabs my attention again.

  4. Re-started Ratchet and Clank (The Crack game), after leaving it on the to-complete-in-the-future pile about a year or so ago, and am thoroughly enjoying it. Completed the story, but have a lot of mopping up to do…tbh I’m just flying around in space atm not knowing wtf I’m doing, I just attack anything that I come across and land on any planets en-route and run around lol :/
    Other than that, the GT academy started, and it’s for anyone to play as a standalone game that does not require the GT5 disc, so got a few times in on that!!

  5. This week i finished off green lantern, which had some intresting parts, but got a bit boring.But for 8 quid new you cant complain :)
    I’m going for 100% on new vegas but is proving to be a pain with the glitches :(
    Been rattling through unit 13 on the vita,which im struggling to 5 star the missions to unlock the HVT missions. Good game though,and we have the wipeout meet tonight,, providing there are no connection issues arghhh

    • Thats the reason i never bothered going for 100% on NV, F3 just really put me off

      • I managed to platinum it no real trouble, its the dlc causing me grief, i can play for an hour at a time before it stutters that bad its unplayable.

      • Thats exactly what is was like for F3. I might go back and pklat uit one day, but its just a question of time!

      • In that case, i’m glad i didn’t bother with any of the DLC for it! Aside from a few freezes here & there, i managed nearly 2 playthroughs, 180 hours gametime & the plat for Fallout 3.

    • Yeah, I haven’t gone back to Fallout 3 DLC since the save files gets bigger (I think) and causes epic crashing, which I think Greg mentioned in a “What We Played” a few weeks ago too. Shame to hear about NV since I ordered the Ultimate Edition last week…I thought the Fallout-3-type glitches would be sorted.

      WipEout Meet FTW!! :D (btw – I messaged them on facebook and they asked for my PSN ID and are going to look into the connection problem!)

      • I did indeed. Most of my gaming this year has been in Fallout 3 and Skyrim so while I have F:NV UE to play it’ll probably not get touched for a while. Can’t face a third game filled with the same glitches in quick succession.

      • Same with me – I thought I’d buy it, but it’ll gather dust until I do (eventually) get round to doing the Fallout 3 DLC.

        Sounds like you enjoy an RPG then! :)

      • Wow thats great they messaged you back :)
        Hopefully they will get it sorted

      • Yeah, they were really nice about it. Fingers crossed!

  6. Finally managed some variation in my gaming this week, bringing in, and completing, the Darkness 2, which I found superb, if a little short, and Dante’s Inferno, which despite being a rip-off of GoW is rather fun. In the violence circle at this moment in time. I also have FIFA’s Euro 2012 pack which i’ve dabbled in, but I’ll wait ’til the competition actually comes around before wearing it out.

  7. Played some FMH2012. Currently in the year 2020, Swansea sit firmly atop of the premier league and have won everything they can. Got a full squad of talented youngsters worth at least £25 million a piece and my transfer record is £5million for a young midfielder.
    What I find funny is that the board always comment on a signing I make, saying it’s a piss poor decision, then the lil bugger turns out to be my star player!
    Gonna start a new game and take charge of Wrexham next. Need a new challenge!

    Aran….May I suggest Hernan Crespo, he’s old but lethal. Worth it for a season! and, if you can, Neil Taylor from Swansea. He is the only original one remaining in my squad, 8 seasons later.

    Also played some MW3, getting royally f**ked off with the French.

    Started Mafia 2 yesterday, and plan to blow the dust off my vita to play Mortal Kombat later!

    • I got really upset with the penultimate mission on Mafia II, I really ought to go back to it at some time but I think I might hurt somebody if I do.

      • Why? I take it that it was frustrating from the fact that someone might get ‘whacked’?

        I can’t seem to recall anything particularly taxing off of the top of my head apart from the collectibles (in particular), but it could be that i have blocked it out if it was frustrating!

        Don’t get me started on those wanted posters though! XO

      • I’m only on chapter 5 so i have no idea……

      • Oh god… the wanted posters. Those were, apparently, the death of my old phat PS3. Got the last poster (and the Mafia II platinum), and within minutes the console YLOD’d. I’ve never platinumed another game since, just to be on the safe side (and not because I’m a bit rubbish).

    • @SpikeyMikey

      Jack Cork and Jay Rodriguez both english players turn into stars on FM2012 the new Scholes and Rooney!

  8. Worked through a hand full of my pile of shame. Resistance 3, Saints Row the third, A bit of Silent Hill but the graphics are really showing their age now and its not as scary as I remember it.
    Back on my Vita, Disgea 3 and Ben 10 Galactic Racing (which I find to be better than Modnation Roadtrip as a kart racer).

  9. I’ve still been skyrimming and have yet to encounter any rimlag. I’m going to start a new character today as i was starting to rush through the main quest. :) Probably with be another pure mage. And i may just stick to the Whiterun area and explore it. Well, most of the area as i don’t plan on exploring Volruund due to the boss in there at a low level as he can kill a low level mage within a few hits.

  10. I’ve jumped back into Dead Space 2 to play through the new game+ and unlock the evil 3 saves mode. Though at the moment, it seems a whole lot easier to play through on Zealot than it did on Survivalist, mainly because the rig and weapons are now maxed out. At least tha t bodes well for the health of my TV when I graduate to Hardcore.

    I went a bit bonkers on Treasures of Montezuma Blitz last night while the wife was watching “The Voice”, had I realised how quickly your lives refresh on it though I could’ve saved myself about 7 quid.

    • For Hardcore, the Force Gun is your friend. When anything gets close, blast them! And don’t carry 4 weapons as the random ammo drops will give you other ammo types, and you only need the Force Gun :) (Well, maybe carry the Contact Beam as you can sell the ammo, as it’s worth the most! 1,000 Credits I think.

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