Whether you’re after some recommendations for the weekend, or you just really want to know what makes our staff tick, here’s what we’ve been playing this week at Power Up Gaming.
After my tribe of Germanic barbarians got absolutely slaughtered by everyone BUT Rome in Total War: Rome II, I decided to give Dragon Age: Inquisition another go. But this time’s a blitz play; no fannying about with fetch quests and collectibles, which should save me about 70 hours if my previous run is any indication.
Also, I found myself in 1st class on the nostalgia train as I discovered my Xbox 360 still has enough life left for one more run of Red Dead Redemption. Like Skyrim, this is a game that I play more to feel like I’m in the world than to actually complete missions. And when I am doing the missions, I always have to be wearing the outfit and carrying the guns that I feel fit best with whoever I’m working for. It’s cinematic!
This week I have been mostly assuming the role a of a space trucker in Rebel Galaxy. The game came out earlier this year for the PS4, and I’ve been delighted to find a controller-friendly space sim that I can play on the couch. Earning credits by blowing up capital ships and selling any pilfered cargo has proven to be rather compelling, and I’m pleased to announce the purchase of my new dreadnought, the charmingly titled S.S. SUCKITDOWN. The way in which fighters are automatically popped by my turrets like flies on a bug zapper is very satisfying.
Other than that, I’ve been trying to clear some smaller games off of my backlog before Dark Souls III sucks up a significant chunk of time. During this endeavour, I have stumbled across Ether One, an adventure game where you enter an old woman’s mind to begin curing her dementia. I’ve only got an hour in, but so far the environments seem a bit dull and the story hasn’t picked up yet. I’ll push on and provide a more rounded opinion next week.
It’s been a bit slow for me lately but I’m plodding through Heavy Rain on Ps4 before moving onto the other game in the collection; Beyond Two Souls, which I personally preferred on PS3. Though much like other remastered games like Tomb Raider, Last of Us and Shadow of the Colossus, I’m just not feeling it as much now as I did with the original versions, all games that I loved in their original incarnation.
Other than that I’ve also been getting back into Fifa 16 since it’s been gathering a bit of dust over the last 6 months. Working through my online season which is going pretty strong with back-to-back promotions and also doing a co-op season with fellow PUG founder Chris Mawson where we’ve also just got promoted.
I recently had a bit of a clear out of the games I will no longer play but kept the likes of Metal Gear Solid V and the Uncharted Collection with the idea of eventually finishing them to 100% but they’re continuing to gather dust too. Not sure what’s wrong with me but no games are grabbing my attention for long periods of time at the moment but hopefully this will change when Uncharted 4 comes out.
I have kept my thumbs busy this past week or so as I’ve played through The Stanley Parable, Emily is Away, and the Final Fantasy XV Demo, as well as delved into Devil Daggers, Wolf Among Us, and One Finger Death Punch.
Almost immediately upon playing it, I realized One Finger Death Punch is a game I’ve unknowingly wanted to play for a long time. Although its two-button, 2D gameplay may seem theoretically restrictive (you simply attack left and right), it proves to be more than enough as the difficulty quickly ramps up and several in-game variables keep things interesting. It’s been one of the biggest surprises for me recently and although it’s perfect for quick, 10-minute gaming sessions, I’ve had a hard time putting the game down once I get started.
Speaking of difficult, simplistic games in brief sessions, Devil Daggers takes this concept and turns it up to eleven. Although I’ve been lucky to live for more than sixty seconds per life in the arcade FPS, the reductive Doom/Quake-inspired gameplay has sunk its teeth into my nostalgia and won’t let go. Each round starts in exactly the same manner, yet it’s frantic pace provides plenty of variety as I find myself strategizing to get further with each subsequent round.
As a last comment on my recent gaming, Emily is Away is a text based game that won’t blow anyone’s mind, but is certainly worth playing through. It’s a brief experience that will leave you deep in thought, especially if you’ve experienced a similar relationship in the past. Plus, it’s free! I’ll certainly be paying attention to see what developer Kyle Seeley offers in the future.
This week has been full of failure.
I had been excited for République (a Metal Gear Solid-inspired stealth game) for quite some time, but after playing its first four episodes, I am struggling to contain my disappointment. Of course, the Watch_Dogs-esque camera control is pretty neat, and episodes one to three have a certain cold aesthetic that fluctuates nicely between tints of Shadow Moses and Big Shell.
Most of the world-building in République is done through audio diaries disguised as collectibles. While these are well written and acted, they starkly incite a detachment between the speaking character and world they apparently inhabit. The disembodied voices never feel part of République’s totalitarian facility.
As well as this, the main story goes nowhere. By the third episode, I wasn’t actually sure what my protagonist was supposed to be doing and, at certain points, even lacked certainty with regards to her name. What is more perplexing, however, is what happens when you reach episode four. I won’t spoil any specific details here, but an odd and unnecessary genre change from stealth to survival horror occurs.
Why would this happen? I can’t be sure; it is truly bizarre. But I can offer a suggestion: episodic games seem to become more convoluted as their development progresses. Just check out the recent addition of three more Telltale Minecraft: Story Mode episodes to a series that should have accumulated to five.
Opinion: episodic videogames should take a break. Videogames aren’t television; they aren’t comic books; they’re part of a medium that requires developmental cohesion and constancy, which cannot happen when they aren’t finished at a defined moment. Please, videogame makers, stop this episodic nonsense.
I haven’t been dabbling in a lot of newer titles lately, as I’m still polishing off games that were recently reviewed, as well as ones that are my ‘bread-and-butter’ games. On the co-operative side of things, The Division’s Hard and Daily missions are still keeping me occupied. I have long since reach the maximum level and my first High-End LMG isn’t that far away – prepping my character for the Incursion update on April 12th. Also, all of the collectibles have been taken care of, so there’ll be no more aimless wandering for random phones and out-of-place laptops for me!
Also, there’s always room for World of Tanks, even if it’s just a few rounds at a time. It’s going to be one hell of a grind, but I’m only 100,000 EXP away from my first Tier XI tank. Hopefully some Tankers out there will understand how difficult it is to get stacks of kills with how slowly the T28 Prototype moves.
Finally, I’m looking forward to getting my hands on Quantum Break in the not-too-distant future and playing through an old game for the first time – Dead Space.
I’m determined to get good at a fighting game, and, since Street Fighter V’s high price scared me away, Guilty Gear Xrd Sign is what I’ve reached for to scratch that itch. Its beautiful anime aesthetic, intense rock sock soundtrack, bizarre cast of characters, and wild fights attracted me to the title, and it also had a nice little price tag due to the Easter Sale on the PS Store.
So, I’ve been training my way up with its helpful tutorials and challenges, and working my way through the arcade mode. I started to feel good; confident in fact. I knew I could take on the world with my crazy, unpredictable Chipp Zanuff skills. Of course, then I got my hard work thrown piteously back at me through the form of an online ass-whupping. Never have I felt as helpless as when I was getting thrown around by the beefy bully, Sol Badguy.
So, maybe I’m just going whimper away, with my decimated ego, and try and play some of The Last of Us: Remastered; a game I’ve foolishly neglected to play. Next week I’ll bring back the fight to Sol Badguy; I just need a good training montage.
Unfortunately, I’ve been travelling for the past month-and-a-half and playing anything has been practically impossible, but as luck would have it I’ve come to stay at a friend’s house right when Hyper Light Drifter released. Lucky me and lucky you!
This game is honestly something else. I could praise it for the music, sound effects, creatively comfy combat, visuals dripping with neon colours or bittersweet brevity in its storyline all day. All I’ll say for now is that as soon as I picked it up, I put about six to eight hours in daily until it was nearly 100% complete. When I finished it, I had to have more. When I’m done writing this I will play more. It’s $20 on Steam and if this doesn’t convince you, my review will be up on the site in the next couple days bursting at the seams with positive bravado.
Besides that, I played a few rounds of Tetris DS (my ritual) against the computer and have been watching tournaments and wanting to play Sm4sh (my addiction). Alas, I will be off traveling Myanmar and have no time for that. Maybe I’ll pick up Pokemon Red for my 3DS and put some time into that before I leave.
If you take anything away from me this week, it should be that you absolutely need to get your hands on Hyper Light Drifter. It’s $20 for a game that has a high likelihood of blowing you away. Please check it out.