What We Played #85: Far Cry 3, Nintendo Land, Wonderbook: Book of Spells

What We PlayedI hope you all had a good Christmas and that Santa / St Nicholas / Sinterklaas / Pere Noel / Christindl / Grandfather Frost / Shengdan Laoren* was very generous and brought you all that you wanted. Or at the very least some of what you wanted.

Aran decided to get into the Christmas spirit by indulging in a spot of zombie-dodging courtesy of Telltale’s Walking Dead Episode 1 which he picked up for free. As a result, he’s discovered what we’ve all know for a while:

It’s a brilliant game that throws tough decisions at you, deeper choices than good or bad. I’m getting the rest of the episodes because I’m a fan of the style and story. I also think more games should look at the episodic approach.

He’s also been enjoying Far Cry 3, finding it is better than 2. He is especially glad that there is “no silly malaria or regenerating outposts”. Indeed, he goes as far as calling the game’s Rook Island “a dangerous gaming paradise.”


The fact that you don’t start off as a super soldier from the start appeals greatly to him and he’s spent a lot of time exploring and hunting to gather crafting items to improve his equipment. The random encounters and the situations that develop as a result are also singled out for praise:

I was staking out an outpost and watched as a pack of rabid dogs ran in making the pirates panic. Eventually the dogs had taken out most of the pirates allowing me to clear up and take control of the outpost. These random occurrences make this game.

Far Cry 3

Free time over Christmas has given Tuffcub the opportunity to make a dent in his gaming backlog. Transformers: Dark Of The Moon gets an “Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear”. While Starhawk’s single player campaign fairs better as he says he’s “liking it lots”.

Far Cry 3 gets a “great game but they horribly misjudged the story”:

Apparently what happens in the game is a fantastical version of events, hence the Alice In Wonderland quote at the start. White jock dude who is thick as pigshit becomes killing machine and saves the black tribespeople! Haha!! Course that would never happen! Except it doesn’t play like that, it just plays like thick white kid is being worshipped by the natives and it’s really quite offensive. Such a shame.

He’s tried playing some more Batman: Arkham City but only managed half an hour before giving up as he found it “still dull as dishwater”. Having accidentally practised some finish gate dodging in Need For Speed: The Run he found the end of the road and then “spent ten minutes racing all over the landscape to see how far I could go”.

And he’s still not reached level 50 in Skyrim. *snigger*

Nintendo Land continues to entertain Peter and his nephews, though it’s Minecraft Pocket Edition that is proving a particularly popular hit with his 3-year-old nephew. “He thinks it’s hilarious to push you in the water and then take your phone so you drown” says Peter trying not to sound to put out by the shenanigans.

[drop2]The multiplayer aspect of the game and just how well it works is what is impressing Peter himself. “You can join any active game that’s visible on the same wifi network”, he says and adds “it works across iOS and Android.” Something that I wish was more common.

Family feuds are not uncommon over Christmas and in the Chapman family this year it’s taken the form of a leader board battle going on between a couple of his nephews and his wife on Fruit Ninja. He’s not gotten himself “involved in that just yet…”

Chris is another who has been been playing Far Cry 3. While he has been “really enjoying it” he’s found that he suffers from “really bad motion sickness whilst playing it” and as a result he resigned himself to trading it in.

Watching his daughter play Wonderbook: Book Of Spells proved not to be the spellbinding experience that he had hoped for as “she found it really boring after about 15 minutes” but to her credit stuck with it “until it just became too repetitive”. Chris doubts she’ll return to it.

It seems to me like yet another PS Move tech demo stretched out into a full game and its wafer thin concept doesn’t really do enough to keep anyone interested beyond a tutorial. It also carries the Pottermore licence which disappoints those wanting a Harry, Ron or Hermione experience. Book Of Spells uncomfortably handles this as JK Rowling looks to line her pockets beyond her main Warner Bros deal.

He concludes that like his copy of Far Cry 3, “Book Of Spells will also be getting traded” so it has not been a great gaming Christmas for him.

Dan is slowly having his soul stolen by Jetpack Joyride on his PS Vita as he tries to get every trophy. The addition of PlayStation Plus to PS Vita has seen Dan’s Sony handheld getting a lot more love than it’s seen of late. “Mortal Kombat looks and plays great, but I’m not sure about Knytt Stories yet…”

Lastly this week we get to Blair who took some encouragement to put down his Wii U Gamepad long enough to let me know what he’s been playing on it before distractions on other consoles like Black Ops 2 online and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale diverted his attention.

He thinks that ZombiU “is really great” being a proper survival horror game. He doesn’t find the GamePad features to be gimmicks, “in fact they’re really well implemented” he says. Nintendo Land is also proving “really good fun too”, especially when his family and friends have joined in.

But so far his favourite Wii U ‘game’ has been the Rayman Legends demo. “It plays brilliantly, better than Origins” he tells me before adding that “the co-op is really fun”. Somewhat enthusiastically he says it’s already in the running for his GOTY 2013 and that “Castle Rock is one of the best platforming levels ever”.

So what have you played in between bouts of mince pie eating and refereeing, or even instigating, family fueds?

*Other regional variations are available.



  1. It’s been Mass Effect 3 and Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed for me this week. They’re both games that have a genuine advantage on the Wii U – particularly when you can carry on playing on the gamepad when Coronation Street and Downton Abbey are on the box.

    I’ve also been playing Borderlands Legends on my iPad, which I’m not convinced is entirely a compelling game, but I keep finding myself playing it so there must be something there.

    Beyond that Christmas deliveries have held up Darksiders 2 from arriving so I’m waiting to plunge into that when it does turn up.

  2. My gf bought me wonder book I don’t know what possessed her to get it must be vodermont dark magic lol it’s just sitting there waiting to be returned.

    Been playing a bit of K1, dishonored & bought a mini game on vita called burn the rope, I highly recommend it, it’s addictive & fun my gf won’t give the vita back lol

  3. Another week where I’ve primarily been back on Skate 3, but I have also played quite a bit of Under Defeat HD, Knytt Underground and Crazy Taxi. I’ve also made a start on DOA 5. I’ve only played through about 1/3 of the story mode, but I have finished off the ‘Command Training’ with approximately half of the roster.

    • Just a small addition … I have just platinumed Under Defeat HD. Platinum number 77, and number 36 for this year.

      • thats more than 1 platinum every 2 weeks! DAAAAMNNNN!!! :P

  4. As always I’ve been playing some Ecolibrium, even better now they’ve added some extra challenges.

    LBP Vita is back in Vita now I own a copy and not just renting it. Super Monkey Ball has also been in my Vita which isn’t bad for a £13 game.

    Been back to Epic Mickey 2 as I’ve had that rented for nearly a month so need to sent it back. It’s very average and nowhere near enough Disney especially for someone like me that’s seen about 45 of the 50 animated classics and been to the parks in excess of 20 times.

    Still finding some time to work through the trophies on Motorstorm RC which still frustrates me at times as I’m not good enough at it.

    If I had more room on my vita card I might have played the plus games this month, but i don’t so I haven’t

  5. Picked up Hitman on Saturday and it is excellent. Although i completed it on Christmas eve, i’m still playing it. I rushed the last two levels as i didn’t want to miss merlin and couldn’t justify turning off the PS3 for an hour just for a show only to turn it on afterward.

    Turns out i’m quite good at it. Achieved Silent Assassain on King of Chinatown by using the fiber wire. As well as achieving it on Hunted and the hunter(yesterday), Death Factory(two days ago) and there was another level i had got it on. May have been Shaving Lenny. Turns out that it doesn’t punish you for subduing enemies as i originally thought silent assassain meant not taking out patrols to make it easier for yourself. :O There is nothing like causing your targets to die in accidents. I caused a target to get killed by an officer, one target regretted going for a leak. And one target had an extra hot bbq.

    Been playing a bit of DAO but couldn’t make up my mind which origin and race i wanted to play. Am a female two handed Aeducan Dwarf. Again, i ragequit 2 days ago due to me disabling autosave and forgetting to save thus when i was wiped out, i had lost an entire hour’s worth of progress. May pick up Dark Souls:PTD tomorrow or Demon Souls although i really want to get Demon Souls brand new to support the studio that developed it. Oh and it turns out that the DAO:UE is very rare. I suspect EA did this on purpose to force us to buy the DLC. :-/

  6. I got Far Cry 3 for Christmas and I must say I haven’t enjoyed a game this much in a very long time. Looks beautiful and the mix of stealth, hunting and gunfights just works perfectly, love the characters too.

    Unfortunately I have to disagree with the overly racist/offensive vibe Tuffcub got from it. For me the protagonist is shown as weak and he relies on Dennis for information and training to teach him how to defeat the pirates, he’s hardly a knight in shining armour that comes in and saves the primitive tribesmen with ease. I think it’s too easy to play the race card, I just didn’t get that offensive undertone from the game, I think it’s irrelevant if the main character is white or black, he’s just an outsider to the tribe.

    • It is incredibly fun and I have to agree with you. I don’t have a problem with the whole race thing, its not like the game is outright racist, my problems with the characters. Everyone’s pretty one dimensional, the tribe have very little to do but point you in the right direction and the main character and his friends are just loud annoying stereotypical young people.
      The villains are by far the best characters in the game by a long shot. Truly memorable adversaries. If only the same level of thought had been put into the people on your side.

  7. I was really lucky this Christmas: Hitman Absolution, Far Cry 3 and Lego LOTR. Far Cry 3 is a fantastic game.

  8. I’ve taken steps to ignore the dumb story of FarCry 3 by pretty much disregarding Jason’s horribly irritating personality and instead replacing it with the ‘silent protagonist’ idea. Makes the game a lot more enjoyable.
    Before I got FarCry 3 I had time to burn through Bioshock 1 & 2; both stunningly good games IMO and whilst Bioshock 2 wasn’t as good as the first I still regard them as equals simply because of the storyline and universe. Can’t wait for infinite now…

  9. Far Cry 3 doesn’t have an offensive story. It’s exaggerated for a reason. Tuffcub hasn’t got it yet, but he will (I hope) as he plays it some more.

    It’s the best game of the year in my opinion.

    • No I got it, it’s meant to be the douchebags version of events, which is why he is so heroic and saves the tribes people. It’s a good idea but its very poorly executed because the clues that this is douchebags version are so very very weak – an Alice in Wonderland quote and apperently we’re meant to have guessed as its Rook Island. Rook! Geddit? No. No one else did.

      The point is, even if it’s douchebags version of events that still doesnt excuse the fact that its pretty much “Me white boy save the pathetic black people” . Just because it’s his version it doesnt excuse it being rather racist.

      The thing is games are fantastical – we’re very used to going up against a bear or a shark and living to tell the tale. I fought a bear in Skyrim, if it was real life then one swipe of its paw and I’m dead, of course that doesnt happen..

      I fight a bear in Far Cry 3 and win I dont die because its douchebags version of events, not because it’s game.

      Very, very badly thought out. Clever idea, poorly executed.

      Oh and it’s also stupid. A dog takes a few bullets from am automatic weapon to take down but a tiger takes a couple of dozen. Because tigers in Far Cry are armour plated.

      Oh no wait, it’s because douchebag recalls it that way.


      • …and without warning, in the very first line, you managed to spoil something I really didn’t want to know as I’ve only just started the game (and am thoroughly enjoying it too)



      • Sorry but to be honest you would have never of guessed anyway.

  10. I’m playing two games right now: Vanquish and R&C:All4One.
    The first one I got from my wife this Christmas and I like it very much. The action is great, graphics kick ass and the gameplay rocks. I’m right now in Act 3 and it’s pure fun :D
    The second one is obviously from PS+, but I’m thinking about buying a boxed version of it – I love it. The humor is damn funny !!! I’m playing it with my wife in 2 player co-op or more (with a friend online) and it’s great. I don’t know why but If I recall it correctly the game didn’t score big in review, what is a shame, because it’s a very good fun game. Crash Bandicoot times are back :P

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