gaming

Yakuza Kiwami (2016)

So this is the third time I’ve played this game. It’s not the same as the game I played the first two times – this is a remake of that game, and I haven’t had to fire up the PS2 to give this a whirl – but it’s so close to the original that it still counts. So what’s it all about?

Honour.
Betrayal.
Revenge.
Beatdowns.
Babysitting. (more…)

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Jetpack outta Hell

Just a quick entry, as I’m aware I’ve not written about anything for a while. I wanted to just assure people that I’m a) alive and b) not a fan of the terrible God of War clone that is Dante’s Inferno. You can probably glean all you need to know from that terrible trailer above.

The upshot of the game is that Dante’s Inferno is the be-ringed skeleton upon which a dire knockoff game was hung. I think I scored this free on the PSN one month, so I hadn’t had much investment in it anyway, but upon playing a couple of hours of it – ecccch. It’s derivative, features a psychopathic lead who has stitched his garment into his skin, and is trying to get his girlfriend back from the clutches of Hell because he boned someone while on the Crusades, once.

Well, something like that. (more…)

Prince of Arse?

My sporadic attempt to play through the Prince of Persia games continues apace with a whip through 2008’s Prince of Persia. Fancy a trailer?

There you go.

Firstly, wow. I know that I’ve most recently been playing fancified versions of the original console trilogy, but this game is very pretty – almost pretty enough to counteract a few of its glaring flaws. In this episode, you’re wandering around and stumble into a battle between a couple of gods who’re somehow involved in a family matter.Maybe.  (more…)

Portal 2 (2011)


When I recently wrote up my experience of playing through a number of Valve games, I mentioned that I had thought Portal 2 had overdone it and wasn’t as good as its predecessor, the clean and slim Portal.

Having just completed Portal 2 on a second playthrough – commenced, weirdly, a year to the day that I first played it – I have to say that past me is a dick. Or, maybe I just needed to play it close on the sprung heels of the first to figure out how great it is. (more…)

L.A. Noire (2011)

Otherwise known as James Ellroy: The Game.

Ah, I kid. Sorta. L.A. Noire is pretty indebted to Ellroy’s canon. It’s a mostly historically-accurate presentation of downtown LA in the 1940s, with some not-so-accurate versions of famous faces attached. It’s dark, long, a bit convoluted and full of wonkiness – but it’s as compulsive and endearing as any crime novel, largely because you’re made to feel that you’re in one.

We’re talking Los Angeles at the time of the Elizabeth Short killing. Corrupt cops, the birth of the freeway system, returned soldiers and streets awash with drugs and booze. There’s detailed clothing, excellent cars and bystanders who jump out of the way of your terrible driving with a spirited “Holy Toledo!”, while the movie plays on film noir tropes like there’s no tomorrow. (more…)

Driver: San Francisco (2011)

I’ve just finished the main story mode of Driver: San Francisco on the PS3. I’d originally bought it as part of a Playstation Plus discount deal – I think it cost me about six bucks? – and it had sat on my hard drive for months, unplayed. Which, given how stupidly great it turned out to be, was something of a mistake.

If you imagine any cop buddy movie, then change the setting to San Francisco, while adding in car-swapping superpowers resulting from a coma then you’re getting close. There’s prison breaks, terrorism, tourism and an ungodly amount of film tributes all fleshed out through the undeniably enjoyable experience of pushing a range of expensive cars to their limits with no regard for pedestrian safety. (more…)

The Last of Us (2013)

I’ve just finished a 20-odd hour playthrough of PlayStation-exclusive The Last of Us, the survival horror game. I suppose I’m a little slow on the uptake – I’m surprised that it’s over a year since it was launched – but it’s a pretty great game. Though I must admit I’d expect nothing less from Naughty Dog, a development team whose pawprints are over a load of great games (The Uncharted series, the stupidly great Jak & Daxter games) and who have a good eye for the cinematic.

First, the game looks beautiful. Odd to say about something set in a gone-to-shit world where forehead fungi are turning people into zombies – er, sorry, the infected – but there it is. (more…)

Feel the Payne

So this afternoon saw me finish the third Max Payne game, the startlingly originally-titled Max Payne 3. Despite my being hamstrung by some weird sinus/skull thing, I really enjoyed the ending; Rockstar (who most non-gamers would probably know as the publishers of the Grand Theft Auto series) took the cinematic roots of the series, whacked it full of booze and sent it on holiday to Brazil.

(more…)

Croft and Creed

I’ve just finished playing last year’s reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise, called – funnily enough – Tomb Raider.

And it was good. I mean, Uncharted 2 levels of good, if widescreen, epic-setpiece and press-x-not-to-die QTEs are your bag. I mean, check it out:

It’s a gorgeous game. I must qualify: it’s largely muddy browns and greys, all snow and storm – but it is certainly the best-looking game I’ve played on the PS3 thus far.  (more…)

Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut (2013)

I’ve just completed the PS3 version of Deadly Premonition. It’s as uniquely addictive as everybody says.

It’s a game I’ve followed ever since this trailer was released. Originally, it was called Rainy Woods, was due for release for PS2/Xbox and was swiftly thrown into the doldrums because of the obvious rips from Twin Peaks. I mean, watch the trailer: midgets, a red room, a sheriff who looks like Michael Ontkean with a dye-job… the thing was hardly subtle. I suppose that’s why the game was almost cancelled four times.

Maybe we need a Chipmunk-cheeked Woman here instead? What do you think, guys?

Nope, no David Lynch stuff going on here.

The game finally dragged itself onto the X360 with its current title, and later to the PS3. The set-up is basic: you’re an FBI agent (Mr Francis York Morgan, but call him York, everyone does) who visits a town called Greenvale (presumably in the Pacific Northwest) in order to solve a murder. It’s the sort of game people love or loathe – but as someone who has a big thing for Twin Peaks, I’m in the former camp. It’s amazing, sort of like technological Twin Peaks fanfic, written by a Japanese teenager. (more…)