Gaming Playlist - June 2012 (2)

Spotlight:

Far Cry 2

Got it finished up this weekend. Though it isn't completely successful in its open world aspirations, the way it is set up means that you will continue visiting new locations that are varied in design, whilst also getting to know the gameworld whilst driving along the roads. I picked up a sniper rifle and silenced pistol as I got towards the end which made combat situations more fun, and it increases in difficulty but never to a frustrating amount - I imagine playing on medium or hard would be really frustrating though. So, deceptive in its structure but still a unique experience worth your time.

Hitman: Blood Money

The remaining achievements on Blood Money have always taunted me, beckoning me back into wrapping up more than 2 full playthroughs and requiring Silent Assassin rankings on the Professional difficulty, which doesn't allow saving. I got some guidance from Andy who I had lent it to in May, but also spent the time figuring out new SA strategies. Once I'd finished that up, all I needed was to finish Rookie mode which was a little less stressful and allowed me to be more creative. In the wait for Hitman: Absolution, I'd recommend everyone get their hands on a cheap copy of this and give it a playthrough - the near perfect Hitman experience.

Max Payne 3

Does 16 hours of multiplayer in just over a week sound like a lot? Well for me it isn't enough! I have not had this much fun being pretty damn good at a multiplayer game since 2007 before first moving to Madrid. Would love to get some new recruits for our 2-man Crew, and also to see what maps are included in the first DLC pack coming before this month's end.

Space Marine

Another single player experience I never dedicated the time to, whilst playing this one I decided I'll only be buying new games when I know I'll love them. Let's see how long that lasts, eh! Space Marine is solid and entertaining, though if you asked me at any given time to tell you what the story so far was, whereabouts I was, or the names of my team, I'd have difficulty. The weapons system is strange and poorly explained but the variety keeps things fresh and makes you want to experiment. Enemy types get a shake up in the back third of the game, and it gets significantly more challenging.

Also Played:

Motorstorm Apocalypse, Mutant Blobs Attack!

New Purchases:

Sonic CD

1 Comments

Gaming Playlist - June 2012 (1)

Spotlight:

DiRT Showdown

I wrapped up the initial playthrough of the main mode at the end of May, but wanted more. The game encourages you to get Silver, and then Gold medals in all events, and also has the Battersea playground mode from DiRT 3, but this time with an additional location - Japanese Dockside. The mode tasks you with collecting hidden packages and completing skill challenges - a drift on this particular corner, a jump between those two locations. Its good fun, and was the perfect accompaniment to listening to E3 discussions. Getting Gold on all events is pretty hard, but if you're playing DiRT Showdown then you're in deep with the series.

Red Faction: Armageddon

The first of a set of games I started but didn't finish that I planned to go back to. Nothing to shout about, the gameplay is interesting and playing about with different weapons is fun - you'll find your own favourites. It was challenging in parts but not frustrating. The problem is that its just unambitious in every way, which upset those that enjoyed the originality of Guerrilla. The story feels weak and disjointed, but for the price you can pick it up for these days, I'd recommend it. I had a go at the Ruin mode which is a wave based defense mode, and it isn't bad. Go pick it up and invite me to a multiplayer session!

Motorstorm: Apocalypse

Thanks Playstation Plus! Planned to pick this up just to see what's up, so getting it for free is great. There are loads of car classes to keep it fresh, which is a good thing as the driving model and collision detection isn't ideal. The scripted changes to the tracks per event keep things interesting and keep you on your toes, and coupled with the boost/overheat mechanic its exciting.

Far Cry 2

I got an hour into it 3 years ago and left it alone, as it just didn't grab me like it did for others. Guess I was looking for a more guided experience, and as I'm looking for more open challenges these days, this jumped out at me from my shelf. I love the little touches I've seen, such as colouring the signs to guide you on your way, and the controls that let you jump into the turret of your jeep. There are a few scripting issues which are normal given its ambitions, but nothing game breaking so far. It feels open, and lets you go straight for the main missions or pick up side objectives and hunt for diamonds. Not spent any yet, so I'll have to visit the gun shop next time I play. The buddy mechanic that gives you a helping hand is interesting, and the map/GPS is well designed. I'm only playing on easy as it pissed me off on medium with the constant firefights.

Also Played:

Everybody's Golf, Max Payne 3 (multiplayer), Ghost Recon Future Soldier, Mutant Blobs Attack!, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown.

New Purchases:

Everybody's Golf, DiRT Showdown, Ghost Recon Future Soldier, Humble Bundle V (Amnesia: Dark Descent, Psychonauts)

1 Comments

Gaming Playlist - May 2012

GAME OF THE MONTH

Max Payne 3

Exactly what I wanted from the game. So many cool moments, and the gameplay is rock solid. Music is great. Looks brilliant, lengthy campaign (for it's type), I instantly feel like going through again. Multiplayer, from what I've played, is great too so I may invest in the Season Pass.

MOST PLAYED

Max Payne 3

Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition

Jet Set Radio Future

FEATURED

The Witcher 2

The Darkness 2

Sly Raccoon

Jet Set Radio Future

Uncharted Golden Abyss

Hitman Blood Money

Minecraft X360

Killzone 3

Dear Esther

Diablo 3

TrackMania 2

DiRT Showdown

ALSO PLAYED

The Walking Dead, Worms, Ridge Racer Unbounded, Asura's Wrath, Future Soldier Beta, Trials Evolution, ICO, Homefront, Sly 2, Assassin's Creed Revelations, Dante's Inferno, Max Payne, Everybody's Golf, Ghost Recon Future Soldier, Trine 2, Mass Effect 3

COMPLETED

The Walking Dead Episode 1 [2012] (4)

Asura's Wrath [2012] (4)

The Witcher 2 [2012] (5)

The Darkness 2 [2012] (4)

Homefront [2011] (3)

Sly Cooper HD [2011] (4)

Uncharted Golden Abyss [2012] (4)

Dear Esther [2012] (4)

Killzone 3 [2011] (4)

Max Payne 3 [2012] (5)

THIS YEAR SO FAR

Binary Domain, FEZ, Trials Evolution, Ridge Racer Unbounded, The Witcher 2, Mass Effect 3, Syndicate, SSX, Journey, Max Payne 3

1 Comments

Gaming Playlist - April 2012

FEATURED

Binary Domain

Binary Domain does so much that makes me happy and wishes for more. Once you get to upgrade your weapon, the combat becomes much more enjoyable, and the way in which enemies will come apart as you attack them is really cool. After certain sections, you'll get time to chat with your team members and your responses to them, as well as performance of certain skilful actions in combat will raise their trust in you, improving their effectiveness. I thought the story was interesting, and some of the cutscenes were very well done. The larger enemies you encounter are very entertaining to fight, though a few sections became slightly arduous and gruelling. Also, the voice commands feature is really bad and doesn't work for the most part. I want to give the multiplayer a go, but more than anything I'm looking forward to discussing some of the crazier moments of the game with someone else. Recommended.

Ridge Racer Unbounded

Unbounded doesn't make it easy for you, as Eurogamer highlighted in their review of the game, as its not clear from any in-game information just how to use the drift button. I wouldn't say its as necessary as they make it seem, but as it is so different to other, similar titles, it should have been explained. The game is also light on additional features within the single player mode, which leaves you to just get on with racing, which is difficult throughout but satisfying when you're in the moment. You're forced to repeat events you've already won, making sure to cause more damage and bust through more of the environment in order to bag more points and unlock more events. It looks stunning, especially in the neon/strip-light filled areas, though due to the fact that the levels are built from template blocks, no track has its own identify that I would find myself loving in Burnout, and to a lesser extent, Split/Second (which suffered the same issue but at least had unique 'set-pieces'. It takes elements of both those games but stands up on its own two feet if you're into combat racing as much as I'd say I am (which is a whole damn lot, by the way).

Metal Gear Solid 3

Got such nostalgic thrills from playing this again, though I decided to do things differently this time. The main change was that I didn't cheat myself around The End boss battle by changing my system clock like on the PS2. This time I started by sniping and ended up chasing him around, shotgun in hand. This is a quality experience that I originally was close to ignoring; That first area of the game was tough to love if you didn't know what to expect, and I hear it has turned others away. To those people I say pick up the HD Collection and power through, because it is one of the best games ever released and if you love MGS, you won't regret it and possibly find your new series favourite.

Mass Effect 3 (Multiplayer)

I had a couple of long evenings in multiplayer with friends, and despite the combat not having that responsive feel to it, I had lots of fun. Changing up your weapons and equipment, gambling on waiting for the bigger packs, and going for completion of a silver tier map are all key elements of the experience, though I recommend only playing it with people you know, headsetted up. Nothing more frustrating than playing with randoms.

FEZ

I played FEZ in 3 long-ass day-long sessions before completing all content save for the Monolith (which I later went back to do). The aftermath consisted of scrawlings of notes, open discussion threads on X360A in my browser, and a wide-eyed gaze given to people once I stepped out into the real world after a day's worth of geometry-rotating, platforming and puzzle-solving. Playing this on release week, within the zeitgeist where everyone is working together to solve the toughest bits, was awesome and not something that happens very often. Its a solitary experience that I shared with strangers.

Trials Evolution

A far better game that Trials HD, with more variety, modes and a better difficulty curve, which ultimately goes to then fuck you over with its cruelly designed Extreme tracks and platinum medals. Local multiplayer is hit and miss as the scoring system for Motorcross events doesn't leave you feeling like justice was served. Will keeping plugging way on occasion but I feel I'm reaching the limits of my abilities in some areas.

The Witcher 2

This is the best time I've every had with an RPG, I've never felt more invested and got more enjoyment from any such game. The setting and story are top notch and I'm happy it came out on a platform I could play it on hassle-free. Just reached the end of the game, part way into May and it loses steam for sure, but it is still a 5-Star experience for what it delivers. I will be going back in on a harder difficulty to really get the most out of it.

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (MP Beta)

This is looking really promising. I was ready to write it off despite my love of the series, but it is bringing back memories of clan matches. Hopefully there will be friends interested in playing too as I'm not sure what kind of mileage I'm gonna get out of playing multiplayer with randoms forever.

The Walking Dead (Episode 1)

Good start, better than recent TellTale stuff and the visual design is strikingly comic book-like, though the effect your decisions have doesn't seem to be too strong just yet. Looking forward to the release of Episode 2, would welcome more bitesize experiences like this, I'm a fan of the business/release model.

ALSO PLAYED

VidRhythm, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (Lantern Run), Space Channel 5 Part 2, Warp, Xenoblade Chronicles, Civilization V, Rock Band 3, The Darkness II, Devil May Cry HD, Asura's Wrath, NeverDead, Hitman: Blood Money, Uncharted Golden Abyss.

COMPLETED

Binary Domain [2012] (5)

Metal Gear Solid 3 HD [2012] (5)

FEZ [2012] (5)

Trials Evolution [2012] (5)

Ridge Racer Unbounded [2012] (4)

THIS YEAR SO FAR

Games of the Year:

Binary Domain, FEZ, Trials Evolution, Ridge Racer Unbounded, The Witcher 2, Mass Effect 3, Syndicate, SSX, Journey, Alan Wake's American Nightmare

MOST PLAYED

The Witcher 2

GAME OF THE MONTH

The Witcher 2

1 Comments

Gaming Playlist - March 2012

FEATURED

Mass Effect 3

Had my ME2 'perfect save' ready to import, and really enjoyed playing through this. On occasion I'd be stuck without the option to make Paragon choices in conversations which bummed me out, but I decided to push forward rather than attempt to remedy it by loading an earlier save. Not the biggest fan of the ending simply because it doesn't feel fleshed out in a way that feels rewarding, though the experience of playing the game itself should be reward itself. I'll be onboard to play DLC, and depending on what it is I might wait until its all released and then do another playthrough.

Syndicate

The single player is nothing special, though the hacking powers are fun to use. I'd say its comparable in quality to the Battlefield 3 campaign. Co-op is awesome though, and the reason you should be playing. Three difficulty levels across nine maps with plenty of weapon and ability upgrades to invest in. The shooting feels really solid and makes it worth your time.

SSX

Only played the World Tour mode for any real length of time, but I need to play more. The 'autolog' stuff makes it so easy to jump into new events.

Wipeout 2048

Looks really slick, didn't have any problems with the lack of speed that Jeff mentioned.

Borderlands - Multiple DLCs

Got the last 2 DLCs for the game done, had a tough time early on due to being underlevelled, and then it took some real effort to take out the final claptrap boss. Looking forward to Borderlands 2.

Draw Something

My experience with this game could count as a suitable definition for the term 'flash in the pan'. Had one day of playing it non-stop amongst a group of about 6 others, and now I have no desire to play it again. Still, it w

as funny to rekindle my drawing skills and see how good - or bad - my friends are at explaining themselves through doodles.

Saints Row: The Third - The Trouble With Clones

Shorter than the others, got some laughs out of me but we all hoped that after the first pack that the others would be much better with more story. Recommended only for hardcore SR3 fans (like myself).

Journey

Played it through in one as has been recommended by others and loved it. Had Lorena play through it as well and she had a similarly positive experience. Just play it, read as little as possible as you can about it.

ALSO PLAYED

Motorstorm RC, Uncharted GA, TrackMania 2: Canyon, Touch My Katamari, Persona, S&S EP, Yakuza Dead Souls, ITSP (Lantern Run), Rhythm Thief (Demo), Burnout Revenge, Sly Racoon HD

Favourite Moments of the Month:

- Lantern Running with friends.

- Destroying everyone on the Burnout Revenge TNT.

- Trying to keep up with the oddball stylings of Yakuza Dead Souls.

- Playing Wipeout on the metro like its no thing.

- Syndicate co-op.

- Journey.

COMPLETED

SSX [2012] (5)

Wipeout 2048 [2012] (4)

Journey [2012] (5)

The Trouble With Clones [DLC] (3)

Mass Effect 3 [2012] (5)

Syndicate [2012] (4)

The Secret Armory of General Knoxx [DLC] (2010)

Claptrap's New Robot Revolution [DLC] (2010)

MOST PLAYED

Mass Effect 3

GAME OF THE MONTH

Journey

1 Comments

Gaming Playlist - February 2012

I had a lot of fun playing games this month, each of my Featured games below are quality gaming experiences that I'm glad I spent time having. Top news is of course the PS Vita, my story being slightly unorthodox - I bought the Wi-Fi version, freaked out a little over the OLED black screen issue and decided to go for a 3G version and sell the first console. Turns out that OLED issue is widespread and my second console actually suffers slightly more from it! However, after several days more playing with it, it really isn't anything to worry about and I'm just so happy with the console so far.

FEATURED

Iron Brigade

I finally decided to dive into Iron Brigade and have so far only played on my own. I had purchased the Martian Bear DLC and was ready to join in on the TNT but never got my invite. Not yet completed the game as the Volcano level gave me trouble so I may have to team up with someone to get that done, or replay previous missions to level up my equipment.

Metal Gear Solid 2

The HD Collection hit Europe this month and I played through MGS2 in a couple of days. Still love it and this time was much better at maintaining my incognito status and only raised an alert phase a couple of times. Well worth that nostalgic playthrough.

Rayman Origins

Another few sessions and we reached the end of the 'story'. Looking forward to getting more done, and also thinking about getting it on Vita when the price is right. We had some trouble on the final level which was reaching Super Meat Boy levels of difficulty with the precision and timing required to succeed.

Darksiders

Had this gem sitting in my collection for ages, so happy I got around to playing through it properly. I can forgive how much it takes from other games because the way it is put together is masterful. Despite suffering some technical issues I enjoyed every time I played it and will be jumping onto the sequel on day one.

Deus Ex HR: The Missing Link

This went on sale a few weeks back for half price so I got it and sat on it for a while. One of its Achievements was to finish it without using any weapons, explosives or upgrade points and due to the enclosed, seperate experience it was offering (ala Minerva's Den) I thought I'd give it a go and had great fun doing it. I recommend this DLC for anyone who wants more of Deus Ex.

Saints Row: The Third - Gangstas in Space

Better than the first DLC but actually shorter in length. It was certainly funnier but I was definitely hoping for more than 3 missions, regardless of how long they actually were. For Saints Row nuts only, which I certainly am having re-obtained my S-Rank for it (1200/1200!)

Super Mario 3D Land

Finished the game 'for the first time' which opened up a whole 'nother game in the Special World, picked up some minor tourettes syndrome trying to get through some of those levels and I anticipate a rough road ahead.

Alan Wake's American Nightmare

I loved playing American Nightmare, and I plan to play through all of Arcade Mode. The combat is satisfying and unique, and I thought the premise of this game was very cool. Also, Poets of the Fall.

Skylanders

Poured a bit more money into the Skylanders bucket this month and picked up Empire of Ice. Then proceeded later on to re-attempt the final level and had a much better time, eventually finishing the game.

Motorstorm RC

This one reveals the addictive potential of friends leaderboards that the Vita would do well to push for all its games. For the low price tag you get the PS3 and Vita versions and its a tight little experience.

ALSO PLAYED

Assassin's Creed: Revelations, World of Goo, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Metal Gear Solid 3, Zelda: Four Swords, Mario Kart 7, EDGE, Sonic Generations, Space Marine, Beat Sneak Bandit, Alpha Protocol, WWE All Stars, Mutant Blobs Attack!, Persona, GTA Chinatown Wars, Skylanders 3DS, MGS Peace Walker, Uncharted Golden Abyss, Wipeout 2048, Syndicate

Favourite Moments of the Month:

- Using the Vita for the first time.

- Playing American Nightmare.

- Getting my sneak on in The Missing Link.

- Running around the environment with Stu to defeat the final armoured enemy in a Syndicate co-op game.

COMPLETED

Metal Gear Solid 2 HD [2012] (5)

Rayman Origins [2011] (5)

Darksiders [2010] (5)

The Missing Link [DLC] (5)

Gangstas in Space [DLC] (4)

Super Mario 3D Land [2011] (4)

Alan Wake's American Nightmare [2012] (5)

Skylanders [2011] (4)

MOST PLAYED

Darksiders

GAME OF THE MONTH

Alan Wake's American Nightmare

1 Comments

Gaming Playlist - January 2012

Hello all, welcome to another year of buying more games than you can possibly play. I'm now fully platformed up having acquired an iPhone and a mid-high range PC at the start of the month (huge thanks to John for the latter!). This of course opens me up to attacks from Steam and their mischievous sales so I better go kiss my money goodbye before its gone.

I'm going to do my best to improve this monthly blog post and find a good way of summarising my games playing. I think its nice to comment on games I have played significantly during a month, even if I didn't 'complete' them in the traditional sense (which last year was reaching the credits screen, not something that's possible in all types of games).

So here we go with a different format, let me know what you think and share your activity with me if you feel so inclined.

Rob.

FEATURED

Rayman Origins

We were playing through this believing we were reaching the end, and then the level selection map exploded open, revealing twice as many locations as were present before. The challenge is really ramping up this point, and is putting pressure on our co-operative co-ordination. If both of us have to time a platforming sequence perfectly and one of us miss-steps, it can frustrate. I'm sure it'll make us better players by the end, but fingers crossed I'll live to see that point with my throat intact.

TrackMania 2: Canyon

Getting a home PC has been one of my objectives since first playing TM2. Now it's happened, I have no excuse and got a few late night sessions in before them month's end. Being able to play on Jeff's server at the same time as everyone else instead of squeezing 20 minutes in during lunch is much better and I've been jumping ranks by the thousands.

Forza Motorsport 4

For January, Forza became that game that I can play semi-competently whilst doing other things such as listening to/watching Giant Bomb or any other podcasts. There are of course plenty of those to see/hear and so this was my most played game of the month. It's a solid racing experience, and I got to the end of the career mode, which barely makes a dent in the actual total amount of events to be entered in the game, not even thinking about Autovista, car design or online multiplayer/leaderboards play. It doesn't grip me enough to go through it all and its not varied enough either, but I'd recommend it for racing game enthusiasts.

Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty

Earl and I were discussing the PC, and I mentioned I was planning to install this one. A breathless discussion of the possibilities of co-op play later, and there I was in front of the keyboard and mouse, unable to remember any of the controls or game mechanics. With each 2vAI match we learned a few more things and eventually managed to take down easy opponents. Earl delved a bit deeper down the hole in search of beginner tips and tricks and we're now planning to get better and better until we can take down the hardest AI. Looking forward to it, its such a different game to what I'm used to it and it was exciting learning new skills.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

My first MMO experience was EVE and I learned very little from that, the guided experience that it was at the time. This time, I plan to learn bit by bit and see if the genre is for me. So far, I've already lost several hours in it without meaning to, which is of course to be expected. Up to Level 9 so far, needed advice from Stu and Pedro but I'm slowly getting there. Treating it as a single player experience until I've got enough understanding to go play with others in the 'Certified' guild. Oh, and I got a new mouse and mousepad as investments in my PC gaming (Razer DeathAdder Black Edition and a Goliathus Control Edition mat, FYI!)

Super Mario 3D Land

Last Mario experience was Galaxy, of which I only played 2 hours. Already, I'm intent on playing through the whole of 3D Land, its definitely the most engrossing 3DS experience yet. Recommended for any 3DS owner.

Genki Bowl VII (Saints Row: The Third DLC)

Pretty damn light piece of content, I rinsed it of its activities and achievements in a couple of sessions. Really hoping for more story in the next packs which I have already paid for with the Season Pass. I'll hold my faith for now as it was of course my GOTY, but I doubt anyone out there can feel satisfied with this one unless they're yet to complete the game and will play the activities mixed in with the rest of the experience (which is a dilemma for lots of DLC, had the issue with L.A. Noire last year myself).

ALSO PLAYED

Mortal Kombat - Playing war of attrition style through the story mode.

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine - Solid shooter that is currently holding my interest.

Army of Two - Title we certified not long after moving to Madrid, decided it was time to get it done on my own profile.

Gears of War 3 - Playing Horde and Beast modes with Jay, stuck at Wave 20 (?), feeling outnumbered.

Iron Brigade - Picked it up after watching the Martian Bear QL, having fun on my lonesome.

And:

Bastion, Renegade Ops, Skyrim, Rock Band 3, Superbrothers SSEP Mini, Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD, Skylanders, Sonic 3, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon, WWE All-Stars, Mario Kart 7, The Godfather 2, Halo Wars, From Dust, Dustforce, Pullblox, Darksiders, Assassin's Creed: Revelations

COMPLETED

Army of Two [2008] (3)

Forza Motorsport 4 [2011] (5)

Genki Bowl VII [DLC] (3)

MOST PLAYED

Forza Motorsport 4

GAME OF THE MONTH

Super Mario 3D Land

1 Comments

Monthly Summary - December 2011

COMPLETED

Uncharted 3 (4x)

- I don't care what anyone says about it suffering on account of its scripting, but holy crap is this an awesome ride. I love the combat and the difficulty, and it was always exciting and interesting.

Toy Soldiers Cold War (3x)

- We had great co-op fun, it was consistently entertaining and engaging, highly recommended for couch co-op as a unique base defense style game.

Rage (7x)

- Fantastic combat and interesting universe, there doesn't end up being much too it but I still enjoyed it. Can't compete on a narrative and story level but again the combat makes it worth recommending.

Vanquish (4x)

- Fast-paced and exciting in its own way, like Bayonetta in the future with guns, looking forward to MGR:R!

ALSO PLAYED

Saints Row 3 (28x)

- Played for hours on end in co-op with Stu, picking up collectibles, finishing activities and getting achievements. After 37 hours and spending most of my time off, I got all the achievements.

Forza Motorsport 4 (10x)

- This has become my current game to play whilst listening to podcasts, its really well designed and a solid racing career experience.

Pullblox (8x)

- Best 3DS game so far, if you have the console go charge it up and get this. Then go find some QR codes for amazing user created levels. Challenging but addictive, like any great puzzler

Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes (4x)

- Great fun and a real challenge, I'm having trouble progressing as it takes some skill. Looks great and is very original. Picked it up in an Xbox LIVE Ubisoft sale.

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (4x)

- Another difficult puzzle game, I'm having problems working it out but I want to push forward as its intriguing and amusing.

Xenoblade Chronicles (4x)

- After reading about this one I took the plunge and am not regretting it. Something about the music, voice acting and overall theme is pulling me in. Tough decisions on my next main game are ahead.

Sonic Generations (3x)

- Not yet gelling with me, I don't like getting slowed down and its attempt to tug at my nostalgia strings isn't working. To be continued...

Gears of War 3 (3x)

- Joined Lorena's Dad to play co-op in his Campaign mode, then a bit of Horde mode. Want to play more.

Mortal Kombat (2x)

- Fucking difficult, feels like when I win its cos the game is giving me a free pass after failing so much.

Modern Warfare 3 (2x)

- Played some of the campaign and split-screen co-op. Had more fun that I did with Battlefield's story and co-op but its lost the magic that I loved from Call of Duty 2. Miss that game.

Rayman Origins (2x)

- Graphics and music a firing on all cylinders, loving the platforming.

Rock Band 3 (2x)

- Got the keyboard for super-cheap new from GAME, still enjoy going back to knock out some tunes.

Skylanders 3DS (1x)

- Played for a bit and it'll become my place to upgrade those last Skylanders before tackling the final 360 version level again.

Shoot 1UP (1x)

- Fun shooter mechanic where all of your 'lives' are in use at the same time and you use the triggers to contract and expand your ships.

Skylanders (1x)

- Need more projectile Skylanders for the final level. Lost all my lives after a 20 minute, so THANKS for THAT.

Halo Reach (1x)

- Played online in a 3 player free-for-all. Good stuff.

Doritos Crash Course (1x)

- Played online with Lorena.

BEST OF 2011

Check out my Best of 2011 List for my Games of the Year.

SCORES SUMMARY

Uncharted 3 [2011] (5)

Toy Soldiers: Cold War [2011] (4)

Rage [2011] (5)

Vanquish [2010] (4)

MOST PLAYED

1 - Saints Row: The Third

2 - Forza Motorsport 4

3 - Pullblox

GAME OF THE MONTH

Forza Motorsport 4

1 Comments

Monthly Summary - November 2011

COMPLETED

Batman Arkham City (9x)

- Fantastically scripted and atmospheric, with a large variety of villains and gadgets, and combat scenarios that increased in complexity but always left me feeling in control. At least as good as Arkham Asylum but I was never compelled to do any side activities or riddler challenges.

Splinter Cell Chaos Theory (10x)

- Still a fantastic game and such a step up in visual quality, animation, sound design. Much easier to go back to several years after release and highly recommended for anyone unfamiliar with the series.

Dead Island (7x)

- Finally got to the jungle and powered through to the finale in a few long sessions with Jay. A title update released just as we went back to it messed up my weapon pickups and I ended up losing at least 4 of my favourites due to a stupid glitch. After looking to tool up and finish as many sidequests as possible, we got fed up of finding items and went for the final section. This is definitely a case of good premise with potential under the right developer but ended up a buggy, ridiculous mess that still managed to be entertaining.

Need For Speed: The Run (5x)

- Excellent tracks and feeling of speed, but suffers from a protracted development time. Very short single player mode where the story is so loose fitting and underdeveloped, great ideas but not enough gameplay. Challenge Series is good fun and offers a few more hours of racing. Strange driving model that kind of fits the gameplay and track design but frustrates, and the off-track reset is frustratingly inconsistent.

Saints Row: The Third (11x)

- Stupid, crazy awesome game. They cut out the filler and concentrated on making each mission make as little sense as possible was being as entertaining as they could. Highly recommended for anyone who ever loved a sandbox game. I want to got everything I can out of this game.

Halo Anniversary (12x)

- Great remake with awesome visuals, I love the terminal videos and will have to go back to find the ones I missed. Had some audio corruption occasion where a dead body or piece of scenery would 'vibrate' against the gameworld and make a noise, but apart from this it was fascinating to see how closely Anniversary sticks to the original title. There aren't many titles I'd play through twice in the same year.

ALSO PLAYED

Skyrim (11x)

- Daunting is the word I'd use to describe Skyrim. I've been put of by the complexity and lack of guidance in so many RPGs but I really want to get through this one. The hours I've played have been great, although being forced to improve my stealth and combat skills before continuing the main quest was disappointing.

Uncharted 3 (8x)

- Holy crap it looks good. Enjoying the ride so far, similar to Uncharted 2 but somehow more exciting and involving. Enjoying the story much more in this one.

Skylanders (7x)

- Levelling up each character, I have slowed down my progress through to savour my time with my 'investment'. Failing a level in the boss fight is disheartening as you're forced to restart 30-40 minutes of gameplay.

Battlefield 3 (7x)

- Played several hours online and a bit of the (rubbish) co-op mode. Great fun with a group of friends.

Rage (5x)

- 60 FPS rocks! Combat is good fun, weapons pack a punch, but it has started off slow. Wondering when the fetch quests will grow in complexity.

Just Cause 2 (5x)

- Enjoyable short sessions, a nice break from the newer titles I'm going through. Never hooks me in for longer than an hour and a half.

Test Drive Unlimited 2 (5x)

- Enjoyable progression through licenses and tournaments, want to play some more and is my current main racing game.

Dark Souls (3x)

- Thanks to Giant Bomb and Ryan, I got over the initial hump. Now to choose a time to get more into it, but again the thought of getting into it puts me off.

Homefront (2x)

- Slowly progressing through the campaign, its not keeping me engaged enough for me to play it for long stretches but the solid gameplay makes me want to jump in to play another level every now and then.

Blur (2x)

- Cleaned up a few events and unlocked the final set. Difficult but solid racing game.

Child of Eden (1x)

- Thought I'd try and set up the Kinect in my room. Results were sketchy, but I battled through one level of Eden.

The Gunstringer (1x)

- I then moved over to Gunstringer and it's pretty damn oddball. Gotta get me some more of this one.

Red Faction Armageddon (1x)

- Not very interesting, only played one level attempting to charge through. Will have to go back.

Trackmania 2 (1x)

- I suck! Played for a couple of lunch breaks and got chewed up by the french and german players. Should have got my dubstep fill in Jeff's server.

Eternal Darkness (1x)

- Still effective at producing scares. Started again from the beginning, I aim to get through this so-called modern classic and the only good original Silicon Knights IP.

Harm's Way (1x)

- Cleaned up on the achievements to S-Rank it. Stupid concept for a game, but its free.

Jet Set Radio Future (1x)

- Played through the first 30 minutes to show Lorena why its my favourite game ever. We then played a split screen multiplayer race.

Toy Soldiers: Cold War (1x)

- Playing in co-op, I picked this up in summer. Its great fun and change of pace.

Splinter Cell Double Agent (1x)

- Less exciting than Chaos Theory but still good.

From Dust (1x)

- Finally got through a level I was stuck on.

HOTLY ANTICIPATED

Rayman Origins

- After reading some reviews and playing the demo, I'm now very excited about playing this with Lorena. It's graphically vibrant and great fun to play, so I will be camping my Amazon shopping basket until it gets a bit cheaper. Something about paying full price for a 2D platformer in this day and age doesn't gel with me.

SCORES SUMMARY

Batman: Arkham City [2011] (5)

Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory [2005] (5)

Dead Island [2011] (3)

Need For Speed: The Run [2011] (3)

Saints Row: The Third [2011] (5)

Halo: Anniversary [2011] (5)

MOST PLAYED

1 - Halo Anniversary (12x)

2 - Saints Row: The Third (11x)

3 - Skyrim (11x)

GAME OF THE MONTH

Saints Row: The Third

1 Comments

Monthly Summary - October 2011

COMPLETED THIS MONTH:

FEAR 3

I played through the single player in a few short sessions, including one in local co-op. Fear's game engine is fantastic, the feel of shooting difficult to match. I don't mind that the series has become a shooter instead of a horror game as it was always its strength - as long as they do a Condemned 3 and make it fucking terrifying! The co-op is interesting but not particularly enjoyable for player 2, forced to play as a psychic without a weapon for long stretches of time. The game was designed with co-op in mind, given away by scoring mechanics running throughout that pits the players against each other to get the award of 'favourite son' each level. I didn't try the competitive multiplayer modes but they do look like fun, I'm just not sure I feel like jumping in with strangers on this one. I recommend a playthrough if you can grab it at a low price.

Gears of War 3

I played through the single player campaign on Hardcore difficulty, including playing the first Act in local co-op. I also played a few versus matches, and some Horde matches with other people. The campaign mode felt tightly scripted and a little lean in terms of events that occur and overall length. I had a blast with the final act and enjoyed the changes of scenery throughout. It's not much of an improvement over the GoW 2 in this area, however the online is greatly expanded. I must find some time to run through an entire Horde session and Beast mode too. Recommended for series fans and shooter fans alike, without reservation.

Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow

I always had fond memories of moments in Pandora Tomorrow, and some of them still held up in this playthrough. I also enjoyed playing it much more skilfully then I originally did, but did overuse the quick-save again. Chaos Theroy will be the same, and then I'll feel handicapped for Double Agent! It's a shame they didn't HD-ify the multiplayer too as it was incredibly fun and original. The graphics aren't up to much either, but I'm having a good time playing through the series in sequence. Preferred my Halo run, though.

El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron

Quirky visual style that remains entertaining by constantly changing up for each level. The combat mechanics are simple but challenging to stay on top of. The game throws its bosses at you mid-level and gives you the opportunity to defeat them earlier, but you rarely stand a chance. I recommend El Shaddai to anyone looking for a unique platform/action title. It's not crazy like Bayonetta, but it has its moments.

Project Overlord (Mass Effect 2 DLC)

This was my last story-based DLC to get done before I could retake the final mission and get that better completion save done. It's good fun and mixes vehicular exploration with combat nicely. Recommended for Mass Effect 2 players.

Battlefield 3

I played through the single player campaign in a single session, and I've played several hours online with more to come. It's disappointing that DICE chose to mirror CoD's campaign formula so closely. Graphically it is several steps ahead and the engine is fantastic, but the single player is poorly paced, badly scripted and predictable. Luckily, the multiplayer is the best there is and I love playing online with friends. The title will be supported heavily just as BF2 and BFBC2 were so I'll likely keep coming back for me. Recommened for the multiplayer, but don't expect the campaign to excite or engage.

ALSO PLAYED:

FIFA 12 - One short match, unlikely to go back to it much as there are too many other games.

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet - Single player progress made.

DiRT 3 - Made some more progress towards that S rank.

Dark Souls - Got through the tutorial, then kept it in the stack to stare at me whilst I play less daunting games.

Forza Motorsport 3 - Went back to it after watching Forza 4 coverage, kept my sim-racer needs satiated for a while.

Fallout: New Vegas - Took it out the shrink wrap and launched the title. That's it!

Bastion - Played a fairly decent session and made some good progress. Interesting stuff.

Ace Combat 6 - Played the first level as my progress save has disappeared. Finished it then felt quite dizzy.

Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory - This game looks miles better than 1 and 2. Currently playing a mission every couple of days.

Batman: Arkham City - Played through about half of the story this month, skipping past most of the side stuff. Loving it.

Mass Effect 2 - I mopped up the rest of the DLC and then embarked on the final mission following a 'how to keep everyone alive' guide. Got it done and also got lucky with Tali for a couple more achievements. I am officially ready to import into Mass Effect 3 when the time comes.

Skylanders (360) - Played half-way through the single player, Trigger Happy is at level 8. Also juggling character packs in my Amazon basket until they lower in price.

PixelJunk Sidescroller - Finished the first level, with a pretty shitty score to be fair. Not liking it as much as Shooter/2, but I'll sit down with it for an extended session in November.

Homefront - Played another level and I like the combat. It doesn't look like much and the scripting can be a little loose but its good.

Skylanders (3DS) - Double-dipped into Skylands and am having good fun with the portable platformer too.

SCORES SUMMARY

FULL GAMES:

FEAR 3 [2011] (4)

Gears of War 3 [2011] (5)

Splinter Cell: PT [2004] (4)

El Shaddai [2011] (4)

Battlefield 3 [2011] (4)

DLC:

Project Overlord [Mass Effect 2] (4)

GAME OF THE MONTH:

Best 'Completed This Month' - Gears of War 3

Best 'Played This Month' - Batman: Arkham City

1 Comments