If you’ve ever been to the British Isles you’ll know how much we Brits love to talk about the weather. We like it even more if we can talk about the “extreme” weather we’re experiencing. But if you live anywhere that has real extreme weather you’ll probably just laugh at us.
After a week of the news telling us how cold it is I’ve just about had enough. I wish they’d get over the fact it gets a bit chilly in winter. It’s not properly cold. The -41°C they had in Minnesota this week, that’s proper cold. Anyway, rant over, time to get down to business.
Tuffcub is busy questing to reduce his huge pile of unplayed or unfinished games. First up this week was 007 Bloodstone. Having played all the way through it he say “the drivey bits were fab, the shooty bits got a bit boring”.
Metal Gear Solid 2 on his PS Vita has got “veh annoying” as he’s managed to get stuck trying to locate some explosives. Apparently not annoying enough though as he’s picked up Batman Arkham City with a view to finishing it. If you’ve been reading WWP regularly you’ll know how much he loves that game.
Needing more shooty stuff having completed Vanquish, which he liked “an awful lot”, he went bargain bin dipping and picked up RAGE for a fiver. Initial impressions, “I see that despite a couple of patches the pop in textures are still very annoying”. So he’s not short of annoyances this week.
A few more hours into Final Fantasy XIII and Jim is finding that it “is really starting to grow on me”. While initially overwhelming he’s finding that as the pieces come together that “there’s a tight albeit less taxing JRPG experience to be had”. He’s found the best approach is to know when to take a break from it instead of just hammering through.[drop2]In those breaks he’s dusted off his PS Move and is now waving his glowing balls around while playing Sports Champions 2 and Move Fitness which he says “have both been surprisingly good”. He praises the accuracy but is finding that Move Fitness “is somewhat hampered in that it requires a big play area to work well”.
Peter’s been partaking in demos this week. Not the union-led ones that involve standing on a picket line warming your hands over a flaming barrel. More action-oriented than its predecessors Dead Space 3 “seemed like a lot of fun”:
The co-op was a nice addition and the way it altered things from the single-player run through was quite clever, although possibly not enough to warrant two playthroughs.
The Metal Gear Rising demo was significantly less enjoyed. The “awkward and inconvenient” controls didn’t win him over to a style of game he’s not a huge fan of to begin with. “It just seems like another over-the-top Platinum hack-and-slash that’s plundered Kojipro’s wardrobe.”
Josh must be snowed in somewhere trying to stave off boredom as he’s played lots and provided an epic account of his gaming that’s probably longer than some WWP posts have been. So here’s some pure unedited Josh:
I’ve been good this week and actually played stuff! I finally finished up my run-through of GTAIV, nabbing the “Liberty City Minute” trophy for completing the game in a limited amount of time, and then got through the main story path of The Lost and Damned DLC too! Now I’m on to the Ballad of Gay Tony content.
I actually thought I’d like TLAD the least owing to its kind of moody nature, plus the constant presence of motorbikes – which handled like crippled elephants in the main game – but it was actually fantastic. Really great atmosphere and characters, and just plays really well, with none of the crappy filler missions in the original game. The last couple of missions in particular were highlights.
Elsewhere, I’ve been playing through the New Game Plus mode in Plants vs Zombies Vita, and jumping in and out of Jet Set Radio and Retro City Rampage on that same platform. I have no particular allegiance to Jet Set Radio, having never played it before, but I’m enjoying it in small chunks of playtime (the controls and camera are janky, but gotta love those Sega Blue Skies ™!).
Retro City Rampage is similar – far from perfect (as I expected from reviews), but I’m having a blast with it, and find myself churning through just to get to get to the next pop culture reference. I’m reasonably sure I was working with Solid Snake on a mission given by Doc Brown from Back to the Future earlier.
Oh, and the indie-themed mini-games in the arcade are great – I suck at the Epic Meal Time game, but I’m loving the retro de-makes of Super Meat Boy and Bit.Trip Runner. In fact, I’ve probably spent more time playing those than the main game.
I also found some time to sit down with a couple of matches of StarCraft 2 this week, and find it just as enjoyable as ever. I still suck, but it’s fun, especially in 2v2, when I can concentrate on my aerial fleet while my unlucky companion defends us both! If you want to be that unlucky companion, feel free to add me on Battle.net, as I don’t have all that many SC2-owning friends.
I also dabbled a bit with the Heart of the Swarm beta, but the combination of only small changes to the Protoss (my race of choice) and the significantly lower numbers of players meant it wasn’t long before I headed back to Wings of Liberty.
Finally, although it’s not really playing, I had great fun laughing at my girlfriend’s sweary attempts to make her way through Uncharted 2 this week, fighting more with Drake’s desire to roll of a cliff rather than take cover, than with the game’s actual enemies.
That just leaves Aran to wrap things up this week. He’s still playing his way through Mass Effect but has still to be grabbed by it. I can’t help but wonder if maybe the first game isn’t as strong if you’ve played both sequels?
He’s finally finished Metro 2033 and highly recommends it. The game’s “fantastic atmosphere” was “creepy in the right places purely because of great level and sound design”. If nothing else it has acted as a great advert for Metro Last Light which is now firmly on Aran’s radar.
Lastly, he’s played “a mental game with the sole objective of hunting people down and dispatching them”. That’s right, he’s discovered Crackdown. He’s been enjoying playing a game “where you can just go a bit crazy”, although he does think a Robocop or Judge Dredd skin for your character would fit in perfectly.
What are those of you not huddled around your
Xbox 360s fan heaters trying to stave of frostbite in your fingers playing?