As we rapidly approach one of the best times of the year (an enforced 4 day weekend, yes!), the Codec Moments team of Easter bunnies unveil their Week Spot gaming secrets from the last week, unlike the real Easter bunny that hides all his goods and makes you hunt them out… We’ll be back on Tuesday after gorging ourselves on chocolate, coffee, beer and games. Have a great Easter break all of you.
Roger – Angry Birds (Wii), Mercenary Kings (PS4), Dead Nation (PS4 & Vita), The Last of Us (PS3)
Guess what guys? I didn’t play Dark Souls this week! Although I make that statement with enthusiasm, I am actually sad I was not able to give it any attention, but other things occupied my time. Most gaming this week was spent on my PS4, shooting through hordes of the undead with a friend in Dead Nation. After playing through back in 2010, I felt the draw of its addicting gameplay suck me back in for another go. Still enjoying my recent game time with Dead Nation on PS4, I was not able to stop myself from picking it up again on the Vita. The game on Vita looks and runs well and the game as a whole is unchanged, but the biggest gripe I had was with the controls. Smashing R button becomes very common as it is the only way to fire your gun and I tend to jerk the Vita in just such a way as to make the aiming difficult. Having completed the first level with a random and very rushed person online, I decided to move onto greater things.
Hearing the news of The Last of Us Remastered coming to the PS4, I grew with anticipation to once again return to the wonder world of TLOU and re-embark on my journey with Joel and Ellie. Although I never thought I would use the worlds TLOU and inferior in the same sentence, I really wanted to Platinum TLOU on PS3 before playing the PS4 version. I’m afraid that going back to slightly inferior graphics will be somewhat disappointing.
Mercenary Kings garnered some of my attention and having only completed the first training area, retired my time with the game after failing the first mission. A friend and I gave coop a try, and while I love what they are trying to do with the game, I feel that it could use some improvements. Being timed on missions is an extra level of stress that gamers do not need, and not being able to know where your online coop partner is in the same level makes for difficult cooperation. Once the game is updated, assuming it is, I want to go back and give it another try, but for now better games are on my plate.
Speaking of better games, I played a fair amount of Angry Birds this week. I know, I’m joking. Angry Birds is not better than Mercenary Kings, but I sure as hell love it. After polishing off an unknown amount of vodka at a friend’s house, I took control of his Nintendo Wii and began to 3 star every level of the original game. With three other friends in the same room, and a good atmosphere of alcohol and comradery, I proceeded with getting 3 stars on the first 20 or so levels. Having never played it on a console before, I really enjoyed using the Wii controller as a motion sensitive aiming device. I found the controls to be sensitive and precise and they enabled me to get accurate aim over each projectile. Angry Birds was fun until my friend decided to beat Contra in one sitting. After a quick button sequence of up, up, down, down , left, right, left, right, B and A and what seemed like only a few minutes later, my friend had completed Contra. Having been the first time I have seen that happen, I ceded the victory to my friend. Such a good evening. Well, that about sums it all up. Peace!
Highlights: Playing TLOU on Survivor difficulty – the challenge is steep, but the reward is great.
Lowlights: Not buying a Wii sooner – waiting until 2013 was too long, but hey, I have a second chance with the Wii U. Maybe this time I’ll buy one in 2016.
Graham – Battlefield 4 (PS4), Moto GP 13 (PS Vita), Pixel Junk Monsters HD (PS Vita)
This week I played BF4 like I do most weeks, but this week I mostly played waiting for the game to load to the menu screen (update issue?). Then once I had played this for a while I then played let’s find a server that works, which was nice for a while. When I got bored of this I then mostly played hanging at the game launch screen. Reports are BF4 is having server issues that DICE are working on, but at the moment it’s a little frustrating.
After using Moto GP 13 as an example of not a great looking game on the Vita just a couple of days ago I have spent most of my time since playing it. OK, it doesn’t look polished, but it is fun to play. I like the way you need to be offered a contract and that you can see what your fans say about you on social media. It is a little easy and I don’t like being offered other rides mid-season, but apart from that I like it. Well done Vita!
My companion in a quest to get my youngest to sleep is Pixel Junk Monsters and as the levels take so long to complete I think it will be good to last the course. Still entertaining and still a challenge, all good.
Highlight: My Vita piece divided the world it would seem.
Lowlight: Realised I am getting fat, time to hit the gym again… after one more game…
Cev – Battlefield 4 (PS4), Game of Thrones (Show)
Wow, it’s dry times, isn’t it? For me, at least. There’s nothing new that sparks my intrigue and I’m not entirely energetic towards anything I own, but haven’t really gotten around to. It’s not like I’m short on options. As I look up to my catalogue of games I can see at least nine that could do with a little more attention, but I’m just not excited to do so right now. I guess this can be equated to the fact that I finally caved and decided to dive into Game of Thrones. Suffice it to say, the show has the typical crack-like morishness that it’s die hard fanbase seem to be under the thumb of, and over the course of a couple of days I was caught up from start to well, this past weeks events.
Another effect the show has had on me is that of a shot of pure adrenaline right into the bloodstream of my reading habits. Not having any of George R. R. Martin’s famous saga in book form (and not particularly wanting to dive straight back into a story I’m still mulling over from it’s beginning), I’ve decided to delve into an equally lengthy book series, Robert Jordan’s The Wheel Of Time, and see how long it can hold me… but I can’t talk about books here!
Yes, I have played games this week. Only one of which could be brought up in more than a few words and that wasn’t so much what it was rather than the fact that it was with fellow Codec Moments compadre, Matt. We ventured once more into the Battlefield (4) to test our mettle against the ever growing community of perfectionists and completionists who, during our forays into other games, remained sternly on the battlefield, mastering their soldierly skills and hungrily awaiting our return. And they found us, helmet’s resting tilted on our heads, legs aching before having left the base and trigger fingers numb and ineffective within minutes. We then proceeded to get mutilated in a way they would make Theon Greyjoy cringe but, oddly, never stopped having fun. Funny old game that, even when losing, is fulfilling in some deep seeded “It’s only a game” kind of way. If only the draglag could be dealt with.
Highlights: Season 4 Episode 2.
Lowlights: Only being able to play BF4 for about an hour before the rubber-banding becomes too annoying.
I cannot put any better than Cev has about my experience with Battlefield 4 this week, so I won’t. On to Thief then. I’m really starting to get bored of this game. I like stealth, I like puzzle elements of how to work your way through an environment, I really don’t like having to start checkpoints again because one thing goes wrong and you’ve no option to recover the situation other than get stabbed by 3 guards at once. I also like engaging and captivating story, which this sadly lacks. I’ve not the foggiest what’s going on, and the game seems happy for me to stay in that state as it throws another enclosed space at me with some candles to blow out and some glass to walk over. Sorry developers, I’m not feeling it. However, occasionally there’s boobs, so it redeems itself in a deeply misogynistic way. Note, this is sarcasm, that’s no way to make a game. Unless it’s God of War where the gameplay is spot on, or Heavy Rain where it tries something new, or Metro: Last Light where there’s a tragic future tale to tell, or Fallout: New Vegas which is just very good. Wait… seeing a pattern now.
Highlights: A storming tank run across the Golmund Railway with Cev as my gunner.
Lowlights: No marker in Thief’s city to say whether you are opening a window for a shortcut, or a massive loading screen. And the absolutely awful audio.
Andy – Interviewing Sparpweed Devs (Skype), Herding Cats (Real Life), Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate (PS Vita)
Unfortunately we’ve had Andy locked up this week speaking to people and editing audio, so we’ve not allowed him to play many games (except a bit of Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate because we forgot to frisk him before we threw him in the studio). You can check out his skills at stitching voices together from the last seven days with the Survival School (and learn about our other team members too!), Cost of a Coffee, and the Richard Boeser interview. We’ll let him back next week once he’s un-stuffed all his cats from their travel cases and made sure he hasn’t neglected his pregnant wife too much.