The Codec Moments team share their (lack of) gaming prowess in our regular Week Spot. This time we’ve managed a full compliment with no absences for babies, work or scenic photographic moments; though you might question our choices of games to talk about.
After my stint out in the Vita realm, I’ve been resolutely back in PS4-ville this week doing two things: finishing games and trying out the PS Plus offerings. I have finished The Last Of Us (third time in reality, first on PS4), and I also finished Left Behind for the first time too. Was I as affected by the story this time round? Nope, but I still enjoyed it a lot. There are glitches and bad cases of pop in that just shouldn’t be there on this console, and I can look past these because it’s so pretty. Left Behind surprised me because I wasn’t expecting it to be as deep as it was, and it told a very interesting tale really well. However, it felt like it should have been in the main game for reasons that are apparent when you play it (avoiding spoilers).
Once I’d done with TLOU it was time to start on the Plus games for this month, one I’d never heard of and one I’d read a lot about and seen in Indie Game The Movie. First up: Road Less Taken. 4 word summary? Just. Don’t. F’ing. Bother. I know people put their heart and soul into game development, and this is charming and interesting during the opening cutscene, but someone left the brains out during the production process and it turns into a poor, awkward, unforgiving and uninteresting game in about 5 minutes. Deleted.
I then turned my attention to Fez thinking that I was interested in this even after taking a dislike to Phil Fish when I watched the film. Nope, he has tarnished my view and I must have been in the wrong frame of mind when I turned it on. I like the rotation and puzzle solving idea, it made me think of Echochrome, and there must be a payoff in the story considering the rave reviews it got, but the sound effects game me a headache within half an hour. I left NES/SNES games behind 25 years and 5 console generations ago, I don’t really care if it’s a lovingly crafted homage to childhood passions, it didn’t enthuse me with anything other than a need for paracetamol. Deleted.
So I played a bit of Battlefield to calm down and finished off with Pure Pool. They at least made me realise what the £350, cutting edge, socially connected piece of hardware under my TV is capable of. That, and it plays iOS games like Surgeon Simulator… you should spot some irony there.
Highlight: Surgeon Simulator is a laugh, even if the controls just do whatever they want.
Lowlight: Being put off Fez because of the creator, and not being able to detach that from the game experience.
Graham – Killzone Shadow Fall (PS4), Puppy Pop (Android – LG G3)
This week has flown by yet again, the sun is still shining just… …so much of my free time has been spent getting some exercise and fresh air with the family. Given the choice between gaming and trying to teach my son the laws of the road so he doesn’t get horribly killed, I would chose gaming – it’s a lot less stressful. But as we are going on holiday to the coast next week where there are cliffs and stuff (not the aged pop star), I felt I was duty bound to teach him how to stop.
No new purchases or freebies have come my way this week so I am still trudging through Killzone Shadow Fall, whilst I still love how it looks, I still find it incredibly hard. Not sure why, but my aim is always off and the dark colours often blend in with the bad guys too much. That’s my excuse anyway, but it’s probably more down to the fact I am a bit sh*t at it.
The other game I have been playing this week sounds like the type of game a 7 year old girl would be playing. In reality Puppy Pop is the first game that has been designed to work exclusively with the new Quick Circle case for the LG G3 smart phone. I got the phone this week and it’s great… OK the shortcut buttons made me take over 30 pictures of my pocket, but overall I like it… a lot. The Quick Circle case is a smart case, a little like the Samsung S5 case with a circular viewing window. Within the window you can look at messages, take photos and answer calls, and now you can also play a game. If you look past the cutesy name it is a hugely addictive game where you have to match the dogs that drop into the screen. The more you match the higher the score. Still with me? Great, I think this is the start of what I hope will see a number of quick games you can play in this way. I would have preferred a similar game. but based on a more grown up theme. BTW my top score is 67,000……
Highlight: new phone = battery that lasts for more than 10 minutes and 4G!
Lowlight: my name is Graham and I’m a Puppy Pop addict.
Cev – Diablo III (PS4), League Of Legends (PC)
As far as gaming goes, this week was pretty close to being a little hollow. For a while there, I thought my Week Spot was going to be me talking about how I’ve been catching up on the Sopranos, having finally started the Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb and playing League Of Legends… again.
Then suddenly, a wild Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition review copy approaches… and then word of the next review copy surfacing makes itself heard. So there’s the next week, at least, covered for my gaming habits. That being said, as I’m working on the review for the former and have no real way of even mentioning the latter (outside of the approximate hour and a half I spent with it a couple of weeks back *nudge nudge wink wink*) this is pretty much the limit what I really have to offer this week.
Next week ought to be a good’n though! See you then!
Highlight: The Guardian is… awesome!
Lowlight: PlayStation couldn’t read the disc a few times before it actually worked… scary.
Roger – Proteus (PS Vita)
Proteus. Such a cool name for game that is not exactly “Cool”. Walking around the world of Proteus is a combination of playing Journey, Flower and Minecraft. Basically your only goal is to explore a small island that is precedurally generated and as you discover stones you have the option to teleport through seasons. That’s right, if you stumble upon a Stonehenge like structure of standing stones at night you can whisk away the days. You start playing in the spring and as you progress through the months you also progress through the game. There is no objective or any guidance as what to do. Heck, even after I beat the game I didn’t know why or how. I think the designers were going for a very unique experience and tried to recreate some of the mystery that games such as Journey have. Sadly though for me, it was not very entertaining. Needless to say it was a fine way to pass away a few hours as I was riding in the back seat of a car while returning home from a week long vacation.
Travelling was definitely the highlight of my time this week. Being able to 4 wheel in a Jeep high in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, and being able to spend some time with family that I have not seen for years was wonderful. I am glad to be back and feel quite rested. I’d like to think the COMO team missed my in my absence, but maybe they will just be glad they don’t have to write as much now that I am back. Either way, I think it’s about time I got caught up on playing some video games. Sad truth: I’ve bought Diablo III 3 times and never beat it. Today, that changes…
Highlights: Jeeping on some dangerous logging roads, spending quality family time.
Lowlights: Long car rides through dry and arid parts of the country. Remembering back to the good times playing Battlefield 4 with the COMO Team.
Andy – CounterSpy (PS Vita)
All I’ve been able to play this week is CounterSpy on the Vita, but it’s great fun. The 2.5D stealth em up is a cross between Shadow Complex and Nickelodeon, the trouble is… It really just made me want to play Shadow Complex again although I no longer own my Xbox 360. Shadow Complex starred Nolan North as Jason, whose girlfriend disappears when exploring some caves she used to play in as a child; as he follows her down he finds an expansive secret underground base (why wouldn’t you), and sticks it to the man to rescue his girl (unless you pick the secret ending where he just drives off and leaves her). Then all the thought of Xbox exclusives made me want to play Splinter Cell Conviction… If I had the time I’d be on eBay looking for a 360!
Highlights: Beating Matt’s score on CounterSpy made me feel like a super badass ninja, even though I should have been working.
Lowlights: No Shadow Complex or Splinter Cell Conviction on PlayStation. Curses.
So that’s our Week Spot, we really need to get back on to the Battlefield as a team – bad as we are at it! What have you been up to in the last 7 days? Want to share it with us and the world? Drop us a line and let us know!
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