It’s Thursday so that means it’s time to hit our Week Spot!
Graham – OlliOlli (PS Vita)
I am now officially console-less as both my PS3 and PS4 are now in storage until the end of Feb when I finally get to move into my new house. That means the only gaming outlets I have at my disposal are my PS Vita and Galaxy SIII mobile phone. Neither have had much action over the last couple of weeks, in fact I was absent from the last Week Spot as I had not actually played anything at all!
I did manage a quick blast on Olli Olli, the new 2D simple skateboarding platform from Roll7, it intrigued me more than anything as it didn’t look fantastic so I presumed the gameplay would be out of this world and keep me playing for hours at a time. Not sure if it is me or the game but after 10 minutes of swearing loudly I turned it off. The control method is not intuitive and I am struggling, it does have that ‘come on I bet you can do better this time’ lure so I am intending to master it at some point. I do have a Vita pile of shame to work through including Uncharted Golden Abyss and Rayman Origins so that should keep me busy over the next couple of weeks and hopefully keep me sane until I can unpack the PS4 once again.
On a slightly retro note I have now purchased a Sinclair Spectrum 128k +2 for £25. My hope is that is becomes a classic and rises in price, I doubt it will reach the heights of an Apple I though.
Highlight – I dusted my PS4 for the first time.
Lowlight – No consoles for 2 weeks.
It looks like I’ve played a lot this week but appearances can be deceiving. LEGO Marvel sucked up my free time at the weekend, I finished the main story then obsessively/compulsively started hunting minikits, gold bricks and Deapool bricks. It’s amazing how time quickly passes when you’re replaying levels with an open choice of character, the additional areas you can reach opens up the exploration quite a lot even though these areas can be small. There’s also the satisfaction of seeing your studs rack up when you activate the multipliers (480x at the moment until I get the last one open), I’m working my way to that billion mark pretty rapidly. What sucks though is the racing, particularly the flying. The circuits are designed to be fun but the navigation is atrocious. I can only liken it to driving whilst someone else controls the direction you look in, what your hands do, where your feet are, and if you’re even in a car at all. It’s very poor and blemishes what could otherwise be a perfect game.
Don’t Starve and Resogun both featured this week in remote play as I tried to figure out why my Vita was losing connection with the PS4 whilst in the same room on a direct link. LEGO Marvel is the type of game that works perfectly and you don’t have to worry about accidentally hitting the rear touchpad and screwing things up, I’d really like the option to turn that off. Turns out I’d missed the setting on the Vita that reduces power to Wi-Fi (remove the “Use Wi-Fi in Power Save Mode” tick in the settings), and suddenly things improved. Both Don’t Starve and Resogun had streaming issues before so I thought I’d put them through their paces and was nicely surprised at how they worked. There’s still not a full HD type image on the Vita screen, some resolution is lost so the fine detail on Resogun suffers, and Don’t Starve in-game menu text is tough to read, but they’re buttery smooth in most cases. I had a couple of drop outs, but switching the connection to the network instead of directly to the PS4 seemed to fix it (and being more than 15 m away through walls and other Wi-Fi devices might not have helped intially).
I also got back to Battlefield for couple of games with Cev this week, both us managing to categorically prove we are terrible at it. Sorry to the people we were playing with for not paying full attention, as we ambled through the map countryside chatting and totally ignoring the full scale war going on around us. I can at least recommend Galmund Railway for a pleasant stroll after a meal, just mute the sound of gunfire, grenades and tanks. There’s a Battlefield appreciation month coming up for February where all players will get bonuses and double XP events, so we may see you there. We’ll be the ones getting kicked for inactivity…
Highlight – Fixing the remote play and playing LEGO Marvel in bed.
Lowlight – Getting an absolute hammering 3 games in a row in Conquest on Battlefield.
Andy – Don’t Starve (PS4)
I was conspicuous in my absence from last week’s Week Spot due to other commitments, which meant that I also didn’t have any time for gaming. Sadly this week hasn’t been any better and the only game I’ve really played has been the I-Spy Book of European Airports; I have ticked off Manchester, Frankfurt, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Amsterdam, Zurich (I know, technically not European) and I’ll be rounding it off with a trip to Gatwick at the Weekend.
I did manage to get an hour of Don’t Starve in midweek and it was a delightful experience. The game is witty and stylish and has more depth than the diving pool in Splash. Nothing is gifted to you through hand holding tutorials, making it more satisfying when you start figuring out the skills and techniques you must master in order to survive. Then I got eaten by something with tenticles on Day 3 and went to bed.
Highlight: Realising I could bait traps with carrots to catch tasty rabbits and cook them in my fire pit.
Lowlight: “Hey, what’s that?” Dead.
Roger – Tomb Raider Definitive Edition (PS4), Dark Souls (PS3).
It seems like time is progressing faster the older I get, but this week really flew by. I was, however able to get some gaming time in. This week I embarked on a glorious quest to track down a copy of Tomb Raider. No matter where I looked, no local store that I could possible think of had Tomb Raider in stock and no one was expecting to get any in any time soon. I spent a good hour Monday night calling stores since our street date had been lifted and no one except for GameStop had practically heard of it. Best Buy told me it was coming out Feb 5th. It seemed a like a massive conspiracy was afoot with the one and only intention of preventing me from playing Tomb Raider. I told a good pal of my vain attempts, and he assured me that the quest would be continued the next morning. So the next day, Tuesday, the game should have actually released, so we went to a few stores and still we were denied at every turn. Feeling downtrodden we mustered up some remaining strength and went out to have some breakfast to help console us. Whatever possessed me next I will never know, but I found myself dialing the GameStop store in the next town that I had also tried the night before just to see if magically the game fairy had flown in a copy for me and my pal. The response I got ” Yes, we have some copies” was really surprising. Sure enough they had received some copies I was able to experience Lara Croft in prettier HD. I will be releasing a comparative review soon so stay tuned.
Next on the weekly agenda was Dark Souls. Myself and two other friends all got together on Skype and teamed up in Dark Souls to defeat some beasts. The more play the more it grows on me. Such a rewarding experience unlike any other game that I have played. A Friend had told me about the Dark Souls 2 Collector’s Edition and it sounded amazing. I found out that only a few days before Namco Bandai had announced that they had sold out of their stock. I was able to find a online store that still had some of their shipments left so I put down my order just in the nick of time. Well, that is all for this week, till next time.
Lowlights: Asking the Wallmart operator to transfer my call to electronics over and over again because apparently they only had one person working and he couldn’t take any calls.
Highlights: Defeating the Gaping Dragon in Dark Souls alongside two of my good friends.
Cev – Battlefield 4 (PS4), Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix (PS3), Asura’s Wrath (PS3)
With my PS4 stagnating due to lack of things to do with it, at least for the next few days until Outlast hits the store courtesy of PlayStation Plus, I final caved and grabbed a copy of Battlefield 4. Being that it’s the first time I’ve played Battlefield properly since Battlefield 2, and that there have been a considerable amount of changes to the game since then, it should come as no surprise that I have been playing extremely poorly.
That’s not to say that I haven’t been having a whale of a time, but orientation is a real bitch for us noobs while we figure out what the various pips and icons on the map mean. Just last night I got a few games in with Matt but it didn’t take long to realise that we were kind of using the game as a really detailed interactive wallpaper for party chat. Despite not only losing every game we played but being trounced in every possible way. We had a lot of fun none the less. As per the actual game and what I think of it, as yet all I can really say is that I enjoy it but there’s no way I can put that into words until I learn what the fudge I’m doing.
While out buying Battlefield I also picked up a copy of Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix. A series very dear to my inner child and sense of nostalgia, but also one which reminds me how irritating the gameplay can be when I indulge in said nostalgia… also that f*&%ing gummi ship drives me up the wall. I’ve only made it so far as the arena but hit a wall as I, quite stupidly, decided to play the game on the proud difficulty setting and now Cerberus is mushing that pride into a fine paste, repeatedly.
I’ve also played through Asura’s Wrath and you can read all about that here.
Highlight: Picking up a copy of Dying Earth by Jack Vance.
Lowlight: Making it too far into Kingdom Hearts on the hardest difficulty setting to start over on a easier one.
We’ll be back next week with more of our gaming adventures. If you’d like to tell us what you’ve been playing then hit us up using firstname.lastname@example.org.