We just can’t wait for the weekend to begin, but whilst we do, find out what the Codec Moments team have been playing this week! It’s our Week Spot.
Andy: WATCH_DOGS (PS4), Destiny (PS4), Ruzzle Adventure (iOS), Stickman RPG (iOS) and Battlefield Hardline (PS4)
Wowsers, what a week… a whole 5 games! Most of the time has been taken up with WATCH_DOGS and I’ve actually made some progress with the plot this week. The game is awesome and I have only one problem with it, one that I first raised during our fabulous WATCH_DOGS podcast, Aiden Pearce is such a tool; to the extent that when I heard the wild speculation that there might be a sequel and he might not be the protagonist, I had a pants party. Still that aside, I’m still loving the game and the variety of ways you can approach any given situation; take the criminal convoys for example… you can use surgical precision in the form of a sniper rifle from a bridge to take out your target, or as below, you can ram them with an armoured truck at an intersection and finish up with grenades and buckshot!
What can I say about the PS4 Destiny alpha? Well you can see exactly what I said about it here and I’ll move swiftly along.
On iOS whilst out and about I’ve been playing the word game Ruzzle Adventure, which is so addictive that it has now displaced Candy Crush Saga as my wife’s favourite game… nothing more needs to be said. So inspired was I by the Prof and Brian discussing Gesture Ninja and Cev’s review of One Finger Death Punch this week, that I decided to check out what other games Bathroom Sign Guy has starred in; I came across Stickman RPG on iOS. If you are looking for a game that combines the mechanic of Final Fantasy with the deconstructed elegance of framework figures… this isn’t it. It’s a by the numbers turn based fighting RPG but there’s no real skill required as you can buff your stats far too quickly for it to pose any challenge. Please, if anybody knows a good RPG for iOS that I can play on the move, let me know in the comments. I should just go back to P4G on the Vita, but I’m expecting a child in July and I’m not sure I can afford to miss the birth “because I was stuck inside the TV world trying to save my friends from a murderer who seems to exist on another ethereal plane”.
Finally I played a few rounds of Battlefield Hardline this week. The game is a reskin of BF4 but the action was frenetic, if not a little unfocussed; partly because of the more compact maps and objective based gameplay, but more likely because I was added to a team that were a bunch of chumps who couldn’t play an objective to save their lives. In fact it soon became apparent that my sole random squad mate was teaching his son (who sounded young, like around 6-7 years old) how to play; the worst part was how irate he was getting with his child for “f***ing up” his stats. Lovely parenting there and all captured on an open mic… the joys of the PS4 camera maybe? The upside was I got quite protective of poor Junior and acted as his bodyguard for much of the game!
Highlights: Watching baddies drop by my hand (well assault rifle) as Junior spun wildy in circles and took turns to fire at the ground and sky. I felt like Leon, just without the dark and inappropriate undertones.
Lowlights: I might have to check into rehab to get over my Ruzzle Puzzle addiction.
Like Andy I’ve managed to get a massive 5 games in this week, three of which I wasn’t expecting to play just yet, so I’ll trim it down by not mentioning anything on GRID Autosport because the review will be up early next week and there’s a lot to cover. I could just direct you to our Destiny article like Andy did for the first impressions on that, but I’m going to add one thing – it’s got more grind than a casual sex app. So that leaves Hardline on the new game front (well, beta anyway), and I quite like it. It’s fast and frantic, and whilst it looks like it’s just a Battlefield 4 reskin, there’s a feeling of potential for a good time. In contradiction to a usual Battlefield game, I managed to get through 4 rounds in half an hour, and relished the change of pace. It doesn’t look very pretty, there’s a lot of work needs doing on the textures, but the aim of the beta isn’t for that. However, based on what I’ve played so far, I can’t see myself paying full price for it because it’s too close to what I’ve already got (and paid double for the Premium service).
WATCH_DOGS has taken the lions share of the PS4 time this week, and once again it’s been all about side missions instead of the main story. I have now finished all the investigations, the bonus content, the invasions and all the hot spots, several of the side games and a good chunk of the fixer, convoy and gang hideout missions. Still to get to going with Act IV though. What’s surprised me though is how much I’ve enjoyed the online excursions. I like the way the races are majority skill with an element of luck and the tailing is great fun as long as you don’t cock up and get spotted. I’ve not been successful particularly with the hacking, mainly because each time I’ve jumped into another world my target has been holed up on a roof with only one point of access that they’re covering. It’s a pain and a shame there’s no clever way to counter it.
My honorable mention goes with Hitman GO again, it’s so good looking, simple and different. Seriously, spend the £3 on it instead of a tea or coffee, it’s worth it.
Highlights: Grenade launcher to the face for someone who invaded my city.
Lowlights: That damn spiderbot thing in the Destiny strike mission, I really can’t believe that’s how the game will play.
Roger: Luftrausers (Vita) and Metro: Last Light (PS3)
Luftrausers. You may have heard of this title. The name alone is addicting to say, not to mention the gameplay. I remember years ago, I “borrowed” for extended periods of time my friend’s Palm Pilot so I could play some Sub Hunt. The wonderful time of bombing enemy subs and avoiding depth charges was an excellent combination of strategy and pure arcade fun. Luftrausers takes place in the air. You control a fighter plane that is tasked with taking out enemy planes, all while avoiding enemy fire and attempting to take out nautical vessels. The experience is exhilarating and I found it to be surprisingly reminiscent of Sub Hunt, except obviously reversed. An hour or so of game time on Vita was all that I could muster as other items on my agenda took control.
On my day off I was able to spend a bit of time back in Metro Last Light. I am so excited for its PS4 port that I am trying to finish it completely before I fully leave last-gen behind. Sadly, other things demanded my attention, primarily Netflix and gaming seems to have taken a back seat. I never followed the US version of The Office as it was released, and have been slowly catching up. I have recently found myself on an Office binge and have been plowing through episodes. Another item which has been demanding much time is walking. That’s right. Walking. I’ll be the first to admit that a desk job has not been very beneficial to my health. Thankfully my work has offered a promo limited to only 3000 employees. The first 3000 to sign up became new owners of a Fit Bit Flex; a $100 pedometer that tracks steps, distance and sleep. Two teams of 1500 people then compete for the next 90 days to see if they can average no less than 6000 steps a day with a daily goal of 10000 steps a day, which equals around 5 miles. Winning team with the most steps, each person gets 150 dollars and the second team gets $75. You mean I get rewarded for doing something that is healthy and will help get me into shape? Yes please! Needless to say I have been walking like crazy and I love it. I have so much more energy and actually anticipate my daily walks. So the great outdoors has once again taken me from gaming. I hope this does not become a trend…
Highlights: Luftrausers is wonderful nostalgic fun that brings back great memories. Walking!
Lowlights: Not being able to do my daily walk due to incomprehensible amounts of rain. Mother nature won and I ended up walking in the rain for over an hour. Oh well.
I thought I would have to duck out of this week’s Week Spot, due to the amount of football being watched in my house at the moment. Every 4 years my wife seems to forget she hates the beautiful game and allows it on pretty much constantly during the World Cup. Whilst the consoles in my life have been somewhat overlooked, I have still had a few precious moments with a couple of apps.
I have been playing the WATCH_DOGS companion app for a few weeks already and providing you play it sparingly, it is still good. I have played more of this game from the hunted’s perspective last week on the PS4 and it spurs you on as you learn from others players tactics. For example Steam Pipes are a must!
Following my great idea for a BF4 commander app they made one! OK it was already available and I am just stupid, but now I’ve found it I like it a lot. Firstly it allows you to gain XP without having to dedicate an evening to the game, good for me as my time is always split 300 different ways. Last night I was sending up UAV’s and arranging a supply drop whilst stirring a curry, who said men can’t multitask? Secondly it does make you feel a part of the battle and it is satisfying, you finish a level and feel either pissed off or elated depending on how your team have performed.
I did also play a number of LEGO games as I stayed at the LEGOland resort at the weekend. All on the Xbox as they have a sponsorship deal going on, and I’ve not played much on the Xbox 360 but first impressions are graphically not as good as the PS3.
Highlights: Enjoying being a Commander.
Lowlights: Don’t play BF4 Commander app at work, as people look at you strangely when your iPad announces it cannot comply with that order in a Russian accent.
My original intent was simply to post a video in this space of my playing One Finger Death Punch and call it a day at that but, given that I feel the game deserves a little more effort than that I went ahead and did a late review of it instead… a retroview, if you will.
That being said, I bought it on Friday and it has pretty much taken up the vast majority of my gaming time ever since… I did get into a beta, of which I’m not entirely certain I can discuss (Not Hardline or Destiny) but suffice it to say that when the beta goes open, I’m going to be most assuredly talking about it because it’s fantastic. Memory of other things played in the past week is hazy as they were mostly for 10 minute stints but the list is far from what it has been for the past few weeks. Bioshock Infinite is definitely in there, as is Gunpoint, Team Fortress 2, Dynasty Warriors 8 Extreme Legends Edition, Bloodrayne Betrayal and Dustforce. But honestly, not enough to sort of enter into any form of immersion and experience much of what any of them have to offer.
So… life is the subject, I guess. Last Game Of Thrones was awesome. A room in my house has been freed up which means that I’m going to be claiming it as my own putting a flag on the door that says “Cevynia” (Expect a petition to make that room a legitimate country to start doing the rounds) and I started developing a new series of books that… kind of scares me due to its multiple ending format.
I also discovered that youtube will only allow limitless video duration uploading on verified accounts… wish they’d in some way have let me know before I spent three hours uploading a video that turned out to be too long but hey ho. Live and learn.
Until next time!
Highlights: One Finger Death Punch.
Lowlights: Too many games, not enough time.
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