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Video Games #27

XBox 360
Battleblock Theatre: Games with Gold freebie and, like the previous creations by the Behemoth (Castle Crashers, Alien Hominid), it is pretty much bonkers co-operative chaos. All the happy little block heads were on a boat which was upended by a storm, their leader Hatty was turned evil by a glowing red top hat, and they were all imprisoned. This prison is within a disused theatre run by humanoid cats who make their prisoners run through increasingly dangerous stages for their amusement. I have no idea how this game works in single player mode because a lot of it relies on co-op play. Yes you can be an ass and bounce off your friend's head to get to the higher level and refuse to help them up but about 30 seconds further down the line you'll have to go slinking back and ass for their help. It's brilliant and I love it.
Will I complete it? Yes.

Grand Theft Auto V: This is my partner's game really and so far I've been putting off playing it because I have enough of my own games without adding hers to the list to...but it is GTA and I only have so much restraint. I avoided reading too much in the build up to it's release in case it didn't live up to the hype and maybe that makes me biased but I am having so much fun and I think this is the best game Rockstar have put out so far (or at least tied with Bully which holds a special place in my heart). I haven't met the third playable character yet but being able to switch between the two characters and carry out individual missions and then ones that bisect is a welcome new feature, the playable and NP characters are typical Rockstar OTT personalities and there is so much to do. I got distracted from my missions on more than one occasion, running around to explore shiny and interesting things that caught my eye. Side missions, side characters, random street events and so on. Then there are the brilliantly unpredictable physics glitches that appear just occasionally enough that they are entertaining when they happen. Case in point - I was chasing a yacht that was being stolen down the highway in my car and just as I got in close enough to save the person on the yacht, another person fell off in front of my car. Somehow that translated to my car flying 40 feet in the air, doing three forward flips off the edge of the highway and landing upside down on another car. Fantastic.
Will I complete it? Oh yeah.

Still no new ones - continue to play God of War. Still bald and still grumpy. Need to get a wiggle on though because my partner bought me Uncharted 3 which means I have to play the second one!

Ether Vapor Remaster: A top down, plane based, shoot-em-up with baddies and multicoloured bullets and ridiculous difficulty curve. Oh I give up, it's awful, I hate it more than I usually hate shoot-em-ups and even though I persevered for about 15 minutes I decided that I would rather not waste any more time to it.
Will I complete it? Not unless I am 100 years old and this is the only game I have in my collection that I never completed. Even then I might not bother.

Data Jammers: FastForward: I have no idea what I'm doing in this game. I might be a little piece of data in a computer sliding around on wires and destroying viruses but that is just a guess. I accumulate bombs and blow up the red viruses and collect points on green slip streams. I don't really know what else to say about it really but it's mildly entertaining - even if only for the confusion value.
Will I complete it? Eeeh...probably just because it doesn't seem that hard.

Sam & Max 301: The Penal Zone: I had heard of Sam and Max before and knew they were a dog and rabbit in a point and click game but that is where my knowledge ceases. Maybe not having played the previous games affects the backstory - which would certainly go to explaining why the rabbit can gain psychic and other worldly powers from everyday children's toys - but nevertheless I plowed in. Or at least I would have if the sound hadn't cut out after completing the prologue scene and in a point and click that's a pretty important feature. The bits that I did play were fun and bizarre and all sorts of good, so I will isolate the problem and boot it back up later this week.
Will I complete it? Once I've sorted the sound, yes because there are 4 other episodes to play.

Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines: This was a nostalgia purchase. I used to play the second Commandos game with my brother and dad (not that it was multiplayer - more we played for 10 minutes then swapped around) and the whole collection was being sold for about £2 in the Steam sale (that's how they get you!). So liking to do things in order I started with the first game - now either they dropped the difficulty for the second installment or I forgot how hard this game series was. I struggled with the tutorials for each of the commandos - let alone the first mission. In the first mission I died about 8 times, although to be fair I got a little further each time and each time it was because I failed to scan around for enemies. There's plenty of variety in the commandos abilities and you have to use them well alone and with each other to complete missions. The camera sectioning is vital to get used to and it allows you to train one section of the screen on an area of say enemies whilst controlling your character on the other side. It is rock hard though.
Will I complete it? If I am capable of doing so, I will.

Scribblenauts Unlimited: My internet has gone all sorts of slow - particularly on my computer and I have been waiting for 4 days for this game to download. So it's a good job I was not disappointed when I finally played it. Background is two treasure hunters meet, fall in love and have 42 children. Maxwell and Lily are the offspring of one of these 42 children and one day they go off on an adventure with their magic globe, which can send them anywhere in the world, and their magic notepad, which brings to life anything they write in it. Along the way Maxwell is a little git and gives a rotten apple to an old man who turns out to be a wizard. The wizard then completely overreacts and casts a spell that slowly turns Lily to stone (I know! WTF?! These are children!). Anyway - Maxwell must run off and do good things to help people in order to save Lily from becoming a statue. Use your notepad to create things to solve problems and dilemmas in any number of way, remembering to make use of adjectives for more specific needs. I loved both games on the DS - I love this. It is wonderful.
Will I complete it? Yep, yep, yep.

Steam Games played: 127/252 (50.4%)
XBox 360 Games played: 333/415 (80.2%)
PS3 Games played: 2/14 (14.3%)

MT untitled

Haven't updated the Primeval/MT fic for a while - hit a road block - but this popped into my head a wee while back and I decided I would write it down.

UntitledCollapse )

Video Games #26

XBox 360
Burnout Paradise:
One of (I think) 4 driving games I own - it came in a bundle with Trivial Pursuit and I thought I might as well try it. It's basically open world driving. I start with a crappy car - do some racing/destruction/chasing/etc. missions and get a slightly better car. Keep doing missions and side missions - cars keep getting better! The car handles just fine and can take a decent amount of damage before you need to repair it; the motorbikes however, true to real life, cannot take much in the way of a battering and are much harder to control which is a shame. Overall it's pretty fun for a racing game.
Will I complete it? Maybe...I'll go back to it in dribs and drabs and might get there eventually.

Deadpool: So I'll admit that my knowledge of Deadpool is fairly basic - but this game was cheap and general concensus was that it was fun. It is not a serious game - it doesn't even seem to have any sort of strong story line and the way it breaks the fourth wall can be a bit jarring and overused at times; but it is fun. The AI enemies are (shockingly) quite good at strategy and are constantly trying to flank Deadpool which makes combat a challenge. There is a good mix of platforming and combatting sections and there are enough parts that are genuinely funny to make me laugh. It's not going to win any awards for brilliance but in the world of superhero videogames it's pretty damn solid.
Will I complete it? Yes - I like these sorts of games.

Gotham City Imposters: An online team multiplayer shooter where you play as men and women dressed up as either Batman or the Joker in costumes that are laughably terrible. It's easy to play, easy to get at least a decent numbers of kills within a game and has enough variety of unlockables and weapons to customise your character to your hearts content as long as you keep levelling up. Of course the quality of the matches depends on team-mates and opponents but in the 10 matches I have played so far I have never had a game where I was completely shut out of the game for not knowing the maps or not being a high enough level to have unlocked a better gun. I had way more fun with this than with any CoD or Battlefield multiplayer.
Will I complete it? Well, it can't really be completed; but if the 100% achievements are possible then I may go for that.

No new ones - continue to play God of War. Still chasing down Ares and being bald and grumpy like.

I got my PC back up and running! Steam ahoy!
I play as a Dog-Knight in a level that doesn't change all that much and I have to continuously protect the Cursed Kitty who seems to be a magnet for all kinds of psychotic chickens and goblins. You use things like electric towers, throwing knives, golden poo and Ice blocks to complete challenges to level up and unlock more things to use to beat away bad guys until the Cursed Kitty is inevitably doomed to fall down a well. It is maddeningly addictive and can be very tricky depending on the missions and the spawing pattern. I sunk way more time into it than originally intended!
Will I complete it? Yes, if it doesn't get too difficult.

Knights of Pen and Paper +1: This is a game about people playing a pen and paper Dungeons and Dragons-esque game. Instead of having a storyline as such it has an old man reading as if he were reading in a real-life D&D game. Asides from that and the humour which is a bit odd in places it's similar to your basic RPG style game. I'm not really sure what I'm doing but I do keep killing rats and collecting apples and the games keeps telling me I've levelled up so I guess I'm sort of going in the right direction! It's entertaining but not especially deep.
Will I complete it? Another maybe, I'll dip into it now and again.

Fortix: How a game that involves using your mouse to draw lines for your little Knight to run over and collect parcels of land became so addictive that I spent nearly 2 hours this weekend playing to complete Easy difficulty I do not know. It sounds silly - there are dragons and towers firing at you, you draw squares to capture land and win when all the towers and castles have been captured, but there is a hidden level of stategy within it. Every time you draw lines to capture land and move the Knight from the baseline he is vulnerable to attacks from dragons and cannons - so you have to weigh up risk against threat against payoff. And obviously, as the map becomes increasingly smaller it becomes more difficult to avoid attacks - this is where your own collectible power ups come in handy. I also got Fortix 2 in a Humble Bundle so I'm hoping that is more of the same.
Will I complete it? Hopefully yes.

(This may change again - I'm still not convinced these numbers are right...ah well)
Steam Games played: 122/252
XBox 360 Games played: 331/413

PS3 Games played: 2/13

Video Games #25

XBox 360
Charlie Murder:
A freebie from Games with Gold. I seem to be a member of a heavy metal band who is going on some weird journey that involves killing zombies and other creepy things including a giant hamburger with arms and legs. It's along the same lines as Castle Crashers and Scott Pilgrim - and it's co-op goodness which is always a plus point. I seem to be leveling up very quickly so I am a little dubious as to how long this game is but so far it's good, smash baddies up fun.
Will I complete it? Yes, if only because my partner and I are slowly running out of co-op games to play.

From Dust: I have a little army of men and woman with smiling toast mask faces who are in need of a benevolent god to guide them to a new land. That would be me! Shifting land and water, rebuilding villages, magically repelling the sea, using lava to build walls to stop them being washed away - general god-like duties, you know. I'm not too sure where my little toast-minions are going but they're oh so eager to go wherever I click. The only issue I have with this game is the fiddliness of placing land in order to block off water - I have lost many a toastie to the cruel sea as a result of this.
Will I complete it? Assuming I can get over the fiddliness, yes.

No new ones - continue to play God of War. I have just come across Ares for the first time and now - despite the fact he is a god about 100x my size - I am chasing him down to kill him. Ah Kratos...more rage than common sense unfortunately.

With my partner being obsessed with CoD: Ghosts this weekend I decided to see which, if any of the Steam games I owned would run on my laptop (I was not optimistic).
Hexcells Plus:
This is basically a more advanced version of Minesweeper - but in addition to "There are x around this space", as things get harder you have to take into consideration "There are x in this column" and "There are x within this two block radius". It's maddeningly addictive - and you have to do pretty well to keep advancing through the levels - which forces you to go back and retry the levels you didn't do so well on.
Will I complete it? I hope so!

Angvik: This is Ghouls and Ghosts type gameplay and my god, did it kick my ass. You choose off the bat what your father was (King, Lancer, Mage, Peasant, etc.) and that affects the starting equipment you have. Then you toddle off through the level and...well I'm not sure really, because in half an hour of playing I jumped on the heads of a few monkeys and plants and then died within about 4 minutes of the starting line - including one embarrassing run when I died in the first 10 seconds. It's so difficult! I am going to attempt to play it using the plug-in XBox controller (I am a shame to PC gamers yes) and see if that is any easier.
Will I complete it? I don't think I have the required skills!

(This may change again - I'm still not convinced these numbers are right...ah well)
Steam Games played: 119/249
XBox 360 Games played: 328/410

PS3 Games played: 2/13

Jun. 22nd, 2014

Previous installments here:
1           6         11
2           7         12
3           8         13
4           9        14
5         10

Primeval/Malory Towers

Sally took her time making coffee. As hard as it was, she kept her back to Darrell, knowing that if she turned around her resolve would waver. Try as she might though, she couldn't stop her hand from trembling as she stirred the coffee. It was the silence that bothered Sally the most. Darrell was not usually what anyone would describe as quiet or sedate, and even though there were times Sally had wished that she would tone back the enthusiasm just a bit, if this was the alternative she would take the exuberance any day.

Her hands tightened around the handles and she braced herself; she was doing the right thing, she wasn't being unfair after all. Her resolve nearly failed her after all as she turned to set the cups down on the table. Darrell had her eyes closed, hands clasped together and tapping her forefingers to her lips. Sally's heart sank. She had hoped she was over-reacting, but she had only ever seen Darrell do that when she was keeping something from her. Darrell looked up at the sound of the cups being put down and approached the chair opposite Sally.

“Who was that woman?”, it was better to just ask, to not allow Darrell a chance to speak first.

“She was married to someone who worked with Alicia”, and Sally was relieved that Darrell was being honest, even if it wasn't an informative answer.

“Why are you scared of her?”, and Darrell's shoulders hunched at her words. She played with the coffee cup for a few moments and Sally waited. The seconds passed and eventually Darrell cleared her throat,

“She's not a stable woman.” Sally sighed at another foggy answer and took a drink to give herself a moment to think. She decided to try a different approach,

“How did you get hurt a few weeks back?”, Darrell's eyes widened at the question, she obviously thought she had done a good enough job of hiding it. Sally supposed that she really had no way of knowing just how transparent she was.


“That, and the late nights and the drinking. You think I don't notice when you replace the bottles? That you've been having to shorten your belts and that all your clothes practically fall off you? You think I...”, and she trailed off. She had been about to ask if Darrell didn't think she would feel the difference but that would have been a lie. Physical contact between them had fallen away to nothing more than the occasional touch of hands. Some nights Darrell didn't even come to bed, choosing to sleep on the sofa instead.

Sally raised her eyes in time to see Darrell's hand drift to her shoulder, and she swallowed heavily before asking her last question,

“...and you truly believe that I don't know you have a scar right where your hand is that you can't explain away”, and the look of anguish that passed across Darrell's face in that moment brought tears to Sally's eyes. The response from her partner was almost enough to make her want to back off, to go back to pretending that she didn't know these things.

“What is going on Darrell? I need to know”, and Sally reached out to grab Darrell's hand, for both the contact and to keep Darrell from leaving, “Please”. Darrell mumbled something, her voice thick with tears and Sally had to ask her to repeat it. Darrell lifted her head,

“I signed the official secrets act Sally”, and even though it sounded ridiculous, there were none of the tell-tale signs that Darrell was lying, “And it's bad, and I can't tell you but I'm in trouble, Sal”. Sally moved to crouch beside Darrell, grabbed both of Darrell's hands in hers and squeezed them.

“It's making you ill Darrell – do you really think I would tell anyone? They can only punish you if they find out you told someone else”, and Darrell was shaking her head before Sally had even finished talking, “Then what?”

“If I tell you the'll think I've lost my mind”

“Just try me, okay? Just try?”. Darrell nodded, just a little, and closed her eyes for a moment. The conflict remained on her features until she breathed out slowly and nodded again,

“Okay...there...are...dinosaurs coming through rips in time.”, and Sally nearly lost her balance. She stared up at Darrell, who in the moment looked so vulnerable and scared, and pushed the little voice in her head that had already started saying that this was impossible to one side. She pulled her chair over towards them and sat in it,

“Go on.”

Video Games #24

XBox 360
I am Alive:
Okay, right off the bat - for an XBLA game this looks fantastic. It's post-apocalyptic survival, which may be becoming a little oversaturated but so far this game doesn't have zombies or mutants or anything. You don't tend to encounter many humans but the ones you do encounter react to you differently and you can engage them in different ways for different outcomes. It really leans on the survival part - there's no resorting to your weapon at any given moment; and if you're not snappy making the climbs then you lose a chunk of your stamina which makes the successive climbs that much harder.
Will I complete it? Yes, I like the look of this one.

Man did I enjoy this game - okay the graphics look dated now but everything else is good. It's not overly complicated in terms of weapon and combat but there's plenty of thought into approaching each new area, getting through the platforming sections and finding all the treasure. The reason I know I liked this game is because I got Nathan Drake killed a lot and I still kept reloading to play, and in a "Oh man, I really wanna get to the next bit" kind of way and not a " game won't defeat me" kind of way. Sometimes the shooting scenes did get a bit much - falling into the CoD problem of enemies spamming grenades at you endlessly, and I am dubious about attempting the game in hard mode. But, I completed the game and immediately went back to start looking for treasure I had missed.
Will I complete it? I already did! In terms of 100%...well I will attempt to but I don't know that my abilities will match my enthusiasm.

God of War: Kratos is one pissed-off dude - which is good because you need that sort of anger to stab people multiple times and tear them in half with your bare hands. The game isn't anything to light the world on fire in terms of original game play and does strongly utilise QuickTime Events - but the whole package is solid and enjoyable and hell yes I love killing demon skeleton things and cutting off Medusa's head. Combat is a slow builder, they don't chuck too much at you to remember which is always a good thing, and you get a good handle on how to approach different combat scenes. The end level bosses are huge and highly entertaining (using a ships mast to impale a sea Hydra?) and I can't think of anything else to say.

None - desktop remains boxed up as there is no space for it and my laptop is not high-spec enough to run any sort of game without having a wee paddy.

(Numbers rejiggled due to PS3 purchase and my inability to count/remember correctly)
Steam Games played: 117/242
XBox 360 Games played: 327/408

PS3 Games played: 2/13

Video Games #23

Zumba Fitness Rush: Maybe it's just unfair to compare any of the other Kinect fitness/sports/exercise games to the main successes (Dance Central/YourShape) but this was not as fun an experience. It scored reasonably well in reviews (70+) but it's the things that it didn't do right that just slow the whole thing down. Like learning the moves required for each lesson requires clicking on each move individually from a menu, going in and learning said single move, coming out to the menu and clicking the next one. Now maneuvering menus is one thing Kinect hasn't got down to a tee yet. Your only other option is to go into the routine blind and try and copy the person on screen who (as I'm guessing is part of the trademark speediness of Zumba) goes from move to move like an excited puppy, leaving you flailing away trying to keep up. Maybe that's what Zumba is like...but it's not my thing. I'll stick to the other games and since this isn't mine I'm not too bothered by that.

Trivial Pursuit: I have been looking for this game for ages, and finally found it for £4 in CEX bundled with Burnout Paradise. I really like the board game, but it's not the sort of game people are usually up for playing - hence the digital version. I've only played 2 games so far - my success rate for questions pretty much matches real life: doing fine on Science and Nature and History, being hit and miss on Entertainment and Sports and Leisure, doing okay if it's the Literature side of Lit and Art (failing miserably if it's Art) and blindly guessing when it comes to Geography. There's not much more to say about it but it's good fun if you like the board game.

Dr Kawashima's Body and Brain: My Kinect got lots of attention this week, it will be happy. Regardless of how effective Dr Kawashima's games are at "Keeping your brain young" (and we can go reading Journal articles to determine that) the fact is using your brain and body combined to complete tasks is good for your brain in one way or another. And it's fun if you enjoy these sorts of games...which I do. I like a lot of games. There seem to be quite a range of activities in the game and they all have difficulty levels (I have not progressed off of easy yet, and apparently my brain is 39 years old. Very sad). Fun enough - but not a game designed for long playing sessions.

DuckTales: Remastered: Who doesn't like 'Unca Scrooge' - the duck has to be in his 60s or 70s and he's running around cracking goons over the head with his walking stick. I have vague, fond memories of watching the DuckTale Movie as a kid and so this game was brought pretty much on a vague nostalgia moment. My first indication that it was a good game (and it is - decent platforming fun) was that my partner also started playing the game and got further than I did in her game session. It's not completely revamped or anything, the play style hasn't been played with much and that's a good thing. I will complete this.

My partner has also just ordered a PS3 so I get the feeling I will have to expand my Video Games posts to include that.

Steam Games played: 109/217
XBox 360 Games played: 327/406

May. 24th, 2014

Previous installments here:
1           6         11
2           7         12
3           8         13
4           9
5         10

Primeval/Malory Towers
Part 14Collapse )

May. 9th, 2014

Previous installments here:
1           6         11
2           7        12
3           8
4           9
5         10

Primeval/Malory Towers
Part 13Collapse )