What We Played #88: Sing Party!, Final Fantasy XIII, NBA 2K13

There seems to be a good deal of excitement in the UK at the moment as everyone here speculates on just how much snow will fall where today.  With the inevitable closure of schools and workplaces and the advice being to avoid non-essential travel I wonder how many of you will get an extra day’s gaming in?

What We Played

Peter popped his video game karaoke cherry this week with Sing Party! on the Wii U. Having strictly avoided the genre at all costs with the mere thought of karaoke games enough to make him “a little queasy” it was with some trepidation that he dipped his toe in those murky waters:


It’s okay. I mean, it’s hideous because it’s essentially graded karaoke, but as far as that limitation extends, it’s bearable. There isn’t much to it – limited play modes and a track list of modern hits and sing-a-long classics that could do with more songs on it. It’s probably fun though, if you like that kind of thing.

I have a sneaky suspicion that he had more fun when he used the USB microphone to dictate the review than he did actually playing the game!  Hands up all those who think that in the name of cross-platform fairness he should write SingStar and Lips comparisons over the next couple of weeks?

*raises hand*

[drop2]One of PlayStation Plus’ recent freebies, Guardians of Middle Earth, caught Jim’s attention this week. The earlier demo of the “Tolkein-inspired MOBA from the folks behind F.E.A.R and Gotham City Impostors” had left him interested so how did he find the full game?

Unfortunately he says that it “leaves a lot to be desired”. “A month after release and I’m already struggling to find matches online”, he continues before adding “and when I do they are often riddled with rage-quitting players and AFK team-mates”.

Perhaps affected by that disappointment he uncharacteristically bought a pre-owned copy of Final Fantasy XIII. Despite having been a huge fan of the series he says that something about that particular iteration had “really turned me off”.

Having finally taken the plunge he reports that he is “having a mostly pleasant time with it”. He appreciates the streamlined turn-based combat and that “it still looks gorgeous [even though it] launched almost three years to the day”.

His patience is beginning to be worn thin by the story and characters however. While the voice actors’ work to deliver a strong performance he says that they are constantly fighting against the “convoluted plot and cheesy script”. Isn’t that the norm for a Final Fantasy title?

Aran’s limiting his psychotic outbursts in Far Cry 3, not because of any mellowing but simply because there are no outposts left on the island full of charity workers and wounded animals to slaughter.  One of the game’s missions tickled his fancy though:

Flamethrower, fields and a great song selection. If you’ve played it then you’ll know what I’m talking about. So much fun resulting in an escape on a jet ski with explosions happening in the background like an action movie.

His basketball adventures aren’t proving so successful or satisfying at the moment with his NBA 2K13 team having failed to get into the playoffs which resulted in the coach getting sacked. “I’m thinking of asking to be traded to another team because I want success”, he says in character before pointing out that yes, his player is a glory hunter.

Rounding things off this week is Tuffcub who would like you to know that he has signed a new album deal which has led to him “being all excited”.  Somewhere along the way he did find time to temper his excitement with a little Big Sky Infinity.

Assuming the UK’s snow hasn’t caused your keyboard to malfunction as much as the transport network likely will, why don’t you tell us what you’ve been playing?



  1. Been going back over Bioshock 2 thanks for my PS+ sub on the PS3, and pottering ourund with Blue Dragon on the xbox and getting lost quite a bit as it’s been an lengthy spell between games. Out and about ive been on Little Big Planet on the Vita. Not a huge fan of the front touch controls during fight scenes though still great fun!

    • I loved Blue Dragon, very childish but a great game to just relax and playthrough. Iths the only 360 game ive ever played. What do you mean about the fight scenes on LBP Vita?

      • Found the train fight fiddly, launching rockets and guiding them on the first or second world. Anything that gets in the way of the screen I find it difficult to play the game.

      • Blue Dragon is easily one of my fave games this gen :)

  2. *raises hand too* haha, that would be an awesome article!

    Thisa week Ive started Hitman Absolution which i really didn’t get on with at first but a bit of patience has led to me understanding the mechanics a bit more and ultimately enjoying it quite a bit.

    Monday saw Youles and I play a bit of AC3 Wolfpack again to get the latest DLC trophies and Wednesday we fired up some Blops 2 Zombies and had a rather fun time of it getting the majority of the zombie trophies only leaving 3 left which are the Tower Of Babble, the one where you have to open all the doors without getting touched by fire and killing “Him” should hopefully get them done next monday.

    Tonight is Youles’ extra Dirt Showdown meat which I’m joining in on for the first time and am going up to his place so with any luck we’ll be snowed in for the weekend and get loads of gaming done. He’s also gonna teach me the core gameplay for Uncharted: Fifght For Fortune too as the tutorials such huge testes (and I’m rather dense) so i couldn’t understand it.

    • ^ see above!

      Just co-op gaming this week with McProley, (and a little bit of Uncharted Fight of Fortune solo on Vita). We worked on getting all the multiplayer AC3 DLC, DiRT Showdown, Hitman and Blops 2 Zombies this week.

      Am looking forward to the meet tonight, we’ve almost got a full house too!!

  3. Stop the press, I actually played a fair bit this week! :O

    – Picked up a copy of Anarchy Reigns last Friday and proceeded to play it most of the weekend. It has it’s problems (visuals are a bit naff, combat can feel a bit barebones at times, only 6 hours long) but I had a lot of fun playing it nonetheless. At £40 I would have felt a bit cheated but its a steal at £20.

    – Despite trying my hardest to resist, I found myself picking up a copy of DmC on Tuesday (the awesome demo swayed me). Love everything about this game at the moment. Story seems interesting, gameplay is rock solid and it features some of the best level designs I’ve ever seen. Wasn’t a huge fan of the original DMC games but Ninja Theory have done a great job at making the series much more aproachable.

    – As usual I racked up a few hours on BLOPS2 in between levels of DmC. Still really enjoying it and cannot wait for the new DLC next week :)

  4. Completed Dishonored, and have my high chaos playthrough to do. Does it change much in the city?

    Also played a bit of hitman. Just completed the level that was on all the previews with the library and helicopter. Awful level. There has only been 3 or 4 before it and they are all ten times better. Why they chose that as the main preview is beyond me.

    • The ending is quite different. As in the last level but the rest of it is quite similar I seem to recall.

  5. Still haven’t played anything in a while. I don’t see that changing until Ni No Kuni finally comes out.

  6. More on Infamous 2 which is still quite awesome. Contemplating which game to start on next, its a toss up between Bioshock 1 (followed by 2 on PS+) or Far Cry 3…hmmm

    Also tried to get into big sky infinity some more, realised it was’nt for me and deleted it. Also realised i cant through all my PS+ games no matter how much i might want to and deleted some of them from the hard drive too.

    • Oh and ditto on guardians of middle earth. Its a fantastic game, but the matchmaking on it is so dire its not worth touching, which is a shame.

    • Big Sky Infinity seems a bit difficult at first, but the upgrades actually help a lot and about half an hour into the game, things get much better. It’s some quick fun but not the best game of its genre, with Super Stardust Delta winning that one.

  7. G.O.M.E. is quite fun when it works, they really need to fix the connection issues with the game. When I’m on 20mbit fiber, I barely get disconnects/lags but when my speed drops to 3mbit, it’s an obligatory hello to offline play which also has some AI issues. I’m not done with this game though, just getting into it and I hope it gets better.

    Here’s my week in gaming:
    Finally got my hands on Jet Set Radio on the Vita, now for free thanks to Plus. It is a bit harder than the impression I got from the demo, but quite fun and nice to look at.

    Got Borderlands 2 off the new PSN sale, though I see myself putting it down pretty soon as I do with every shooter. Why do they have to be so frustrating? Yeah yeah some people actually like the thrill, whatever. Yet I can’t manage to turn down a good bargain.

    Aaand finally ordered Ni no Kuni (Euro version) from HK Offerhouse which shipped yesterday. Question mark? Unresolved issue facial expression? Asking yourself how a yet to be released game already got dispatched? Well, join the club – they have stock photos and confirmed that it wasn’t a preorder and actually already sent me a tracking code. Is this a Chinese wonder?

    • I can confirm the European version is now on sale in China early for some bizarre reason. I’ve seen it in the flesh.

  8. i got The Binding of Isaac the other day, Game were selling the Most Unholy edition for a fiver.

    good game, hard but fun.

    it’s basically a twin stick shooter but with randomised dungeons and some rpg elements.
    called a roguelike by many people, never played this Rogue game so i’ll take their word for it.

    i started watching Northernlion’s playthroughs on youtube and i thought, i have to give this a try.

    it’d be better with proper support for gamepads, but it does work with joytokey, though not that well with the pad i the right stick doesn’t seem to work all that well, i end up shooting left half the time when i try to shoot up or down, maybe if i extend the dead zone it might be less sensitive.
    the lead on my wired xbox pad is knackered or i’d use that.

    playing with keyboard isn’t ideal, but it’s still an enjoyable game.

    isn’t a console version of Isaac in the works?
    i’m sure i read something about that a while ago?
    i’d like to play that version.

    • I think I’ve also read something about a console version.
      I’d definitely buy it again if it came out on PSN.

  9. Hitman: Absolution for me. Which is exellent by the way :)

  10. Mainly Sacred 2 this week. Finished the Light campaign and I’m currently doing side quests and building my Seraphim character up to level 35.

    Apart from that I got 100% of the trophies for Jetpack Joyride (PS3) and some mucking about in Skate 3. Then of course there were the meet related games … Showdown, DOA5 and THPS HD.

    I also helped OnlineAssassin get his Far Cry 3 platinum by playing through the final co-op level with him.

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