85% done now. With the story, at least. It would appear that only equates to about 30% of the overall game, which presumably includes all the side missions, Riddler trophies and after-game fun. Of which there is clearly a lot for the maths to work.
Having beaten up Mr Freeze and found his wife for him, lost the cure for Batman’s poisoning, and punched the Joker a lot – too much, I’d say, given his weak and spindly frame, yet still he walks – I set off to rearrange Strange’s face. Which was all too easy, and I did wonder what exactly he was playing at to make it so easy and then… SPOILER! I genuinely didn’t see that twist coming. I was expecting something, but not involving that particular character. Clever girl.
Er, by which I mean the game, not the character.
What next? Well, off to punch the Joker again it seems. For a painted twig, he’s remarkably resilient.
Yep. Another one of those. You love them really. So, here are things I’ve been playing recently:
Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (360)
I’m now, I dunno, half way into the first of the two year 7 films? I have no idea. Things seem to have hit the fan though, as the beardyman has died and the moon has turned into a Lego skull and everything was on fire.
Literally no idea.
My daughter is able to play this really well now, so we play in co-op and she pretty much manages by herself without me needing to control her or anything. She even goes and collects keys and things, and knows to hang back when there’s a load of baddies to dispatch. Awesome. We’ve done a few more levels, and redone some earlier ones again, but I’m not sure how far from the end we are now.
Batman: Arkham City (Wii U)
It’s fantastic. I’m now almost 9 hours in, and have just completed the Demon Trials bit, which is how far I got on the PC version before giving the PC version up because it’s the PC version and who plays PC games? Eh? I’m surprised I’d played it for that long on the PC though. In fact, I probably played it a lot longer, as I recall a lot of aimless wandering, side quests, and Riddler Trophy hunting – none of which I’ve really done in the Wii U version yet.
The Wii U Game Pad makes it a lot easier to manage gadgets and stuff too, and it doesn’t look any worse than the PC version did on my machine, so it’s better overall. Nice.
The Cave (Wii U)
Still on my first runthrough. I don’t know how long the game is, but I’m now doing the third “individual” puzzle section – for the Time Traveller – having already done the Hillbilly and the Twins bits. The Twins one was hilarious. And dark. The controls have clicked now too, which is great. It’s a shame there’s no Game Pad Only mode, though.
Zen Pinball 2 (Wii U)
I still only have the Marvel Infinity Pack of tables (I think that’s what it’s called, anyway – Avengers, Infinity Gauntlet, World War Hulk and Fear Itself), but they’re all great. I’m at the top of my friends list on all the high score tables now, and have broken the top 50 in the world on a couple of them – and 5th in the UK on one!
F-Zero (Wii U)
The SNES game for 30p. I’m not a fan of F-Zero (and never really have been, actually), but at that price, you can’t say no. So I didn’t say no.
It’s as good (or “average”) as I remember it. Quite good fun, but the tracks with the 90 degree “square” corners are too hard, the “cars” are too floaty, and the collision detection, particularly with walls, too ropey, to really enjoy properly. At least it’s in 60Hz. Miiverse would explode if it wasn’t…
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Demo) (Wii U)
It’s Monster Hunter Tri, only in HD. And with more bits. But basically, that. It looks utterly fantastic, plays well, and I really want it, but… the controls! Oh my!
They were terrible on the Wii, but you’dathunk on the Wii U, with more buttons and a touch screen for easy item access, they’re be easier? Right? Wrong. You still have to hold L and press Y and A to cycle through your inventory. Why?! Madness.
Tank! Tank! Tank! (Wii U)
This is now free. At least, being able to play one of the multiplayer game modes up to three times a day is free. Rude not to download it, really.
It plays like EDF 2017, only with big happy cartoon graphics, Japanese photobooth style silly photo avatars, and tanks. It’s fun, but it’s Story Mode I think I’d get most out of, and that’s not free. Sure, it’s only £7.99, but I’ve a lot of other games on at the moment and it’s likely the disc version will be nearer that price (with all the other content included) soon. I’ve seen it for £15 so it’s only a matter of time.
2 Fast 4 Gnomz (Demo) (3DS)
I played another game in this series on the Wii U. It was terrible. This, however, is… good? It’s a simple autorunning platformer, but it was fun. Fun enough to buy when there are a billion similar cheaper-or-free alternatives? Not so sure.
Fractured Soul (Demo) (3DS)
Erm. I’m pretty sure I’ve played an almost identical game to this before. Maybe on the Wii. It’s a “two planes” game, where you swap from one to the other (one on each screen) to progress – as enemies, switches, platforms and lasers only appear on one or the other. It’s a bit like Mighty Switch Force, but not even one tenth as good. I won’t be buying this.
Another few levels into this. Still great.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate: Demo of Game: Sub of Title (3DS)
It’s a 2.5D Castlevania, that looks like the 360 “reboot” graphically, plays a bit like it in terms of combat, but have the classic Metroidvania blue-map-filling thing going on. I hated the 360 game (it just wasn’t Castlevania), but this… this is awesome. It’s now on the list!
Despite the hassle it is to set up (all those cables and adapters and begging Windows to let audio go out the HDMI port please), and the fact it’s a PC game, I’m still enjoying it. It feels like driving a car when you know one of the wheels is going to fall off at some point. You enjoy the ride, but are on edge that at some point you could well end up in a ditch on your roof.
I’m also finding that, even though the world is clearly much more open than in Arkham Asylum, and obviously massively bigger, the game feels much more linear and is apparently just a set of fetch quests. There’s no real Metroidvania-ness like in the original either. That said, it is still utterly compelling to play, and I’m really enjoying it. I just feel that if it was on the 360 I’d be enjoying it even more!
In terms of progress, I’ve just completed the terrible, terrible trials bit given to me by Ra’s al Ghul (the only bad bit of the game so far, really).
The Sims 3 (3DS)
Look. It was £8 in Sainsburys. We shall say no more.
Except that it’s still fun setting fire to your house, calling the fireman, waiting for him to enter the house, then getting rid of all the doors.
Super Pokémon Rumble (3DS)
Still shallow. Still fun. Getting a little bit hard now, too. Especially since I was defeated by a boss, and thought – no way can I beat him. Only to find that you’re not supposed to yet and it’s all part of the story.
Motorstorm RC (PS3)
Pretty much the only thing I play on my PS3. It’s awesome. Not done all the tracks yet, but every now and then I sit down and clear a few. It’s getting pretty difficult now though, with a good half an hour on one of the tracks spent not even clearing bronze, let alone anything better!
Zen Pinball (3DS)
I haven’t played this in a while, but have got back into it this week. I’ve purposefully avoided the Shamen table (which was my favourite) to try and improve my scores elsewhere, and have focussed mainly on Excalibur. I think I may have passed a point where I know how to actually play the table now, so I expect great things. Or not.
The Legend of Zelda (3DS)
DAH DAH DAH DAAAAAAH!!
I have no idea why I picked this up last night, but I did. And got as far as the first piece of triforce. It’s lovely.
Rhythm Thief (Demo) (3DS)
I think I may actually use up the number-of-plays limit on this demo. It’s utterly fantastic. It’s like a mix of Space Channel 5, Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! and Rhythm Heaven, with a sort of Moonwalker/Smooth Criminal vibe. Really, really want the full game. And it’s by Sega?! Hell has frozen over.
No, that isn’t a mistake up there. Nor an April Fool, despite the date. I really did say “PC”. Technically, it’s a Mac, but under Windows. Anyhoo.
With a machine capable of playing it, and an offer of Arkham City for £11.60 (when the 360 version is still £20+), and a promise that you can just use a 360 controller and plug it into a TV, I was tempted enough to get it. And yes, all those things work.
I’ll get onto the game in a minute, but even with all the 360-fication of this PC game (controller, “Xbox” Live, TV), it still feels wrong. It doesn’t feel like I’m playing it on a console. I’m not even sure that, graphically, I’m far ahead of the 360 version either. And let us not forget the journey getting here.
Thankfully, the game is great. I wouldn’t say worth it, as I get the nagging feeling I’d rather be playing it on the Xbox, but yes – it’s great. It took a while to click, as I was still in Assassin’s Creed mode, and so took three hours to stop pressing RT to run (it just makes Batman crouch) and pressing the wrong buttons to bring up the weapon (or rather, gadget) selector.
But I’m mostly over that, and swinging round a room, taking out baddies one by one, scaring the bejesus out of those who remain. Lovely. Less lovely are the Catwoman sections, but they’re not too bad as to ruin it. They may yet though – I’m only up as far as finding Mr Freeze.
With Mass Effect bagged on Monday, my next game to tackle was this. And what an absolutely outstanding game it was!
I didn’t really enjoy the demo when I played that a while back, but now having played the full game I can see why – you miss some of the first part of the game out, and are chucked into a later bit too early. This means you need to use some slightly more advanced techniques too soon. It also doesn’t give you long enough to get used to the basics before you’re ready.
Another thing that concerned me was the fact it was a licenced game, and they’re generally rubbish. Since this is not actually based on a specific Batman comic or film (as far as I’m aware), I think that helps.
Somehow, Batman manages to blend together several games – Tomb Raider, Watchmen, Gears of War, Splinter Cell and even Metroid without losing it’s own identity, even if a few sections (the clambering round near the sewers and caves, and the Botanical Gardens boss in particular) did make me think I’d swapped games for a minute.
Just two things annoyed me: 1) there’s an achievement you can miss if you don’t fight the goons just before the final boss (they don’t attack you, so I didn’t attack them – oops!), and 2) the entire Killer Croc section was utter pants. Thankfully, the former is just an annoyance and the latter didn’t last too long, so all is forgiven.
And replay value? Well, I’ve only got about 65% of The Riddler’s riddles completed, and I haven’t even started the Challenges yet, so there’s plenty still left to do!
This week I’ve been pecking at the remaining minikits, which for some reason were mostly on the Penguin levels – both hero and villain. The last minikit I got was by far the most difficult in the game. Harder than the whole of the rest of the game put together (erm, even though the rest of the game was very, very easy…). You have to slide down an icy slope, through 5 gates. Only you can’t jump, and you can barely veer to either side, making it virtually impossible.
I realised that swapping character after the first two gates made it easier, but that still relied on your CPU controlled partner crashing into a stalegmite or three before you pass the second gate (otherwise they overtake you, missing gates).
I’ve got all the power bricks from all the Hero missions, most of those from the Villain missions, all bar about 3 of the minikit pieces from the Hero missions, and about half of those from the Villain missions.
I’ve also got a few people to rescue on various levels, and I just know I’m going to get frustrated on the ice-slide section of one of The Penguin’s levels.
I’ve now played through all the Hero missions again, bar three (I think) and got all of the Power Bricks and Minikit bits in them all. Pretty much, anyway.
I’m still to work through the rest of the Villain missions though, and I’ve also got 200 achievement points yet to unlock too. I think I’ll get most of them all at the same time, though, once I’ve 100%ed the game. Currently I’m at around 85% done!
Of course, I haven’t yet completed it 100%, but I’ve done all the story missions (and got Super Hero/Super Villain on them all) and the two bonus levels.
It really is a great game, and so much bigger than Lego Indiana Jones. I do get the feeling some of the suits for Batman and Robin are a bit of a contrived device, and swapping characters and suits in Free Play mode is a bit of a chore as there are so many to cycle through, but overall it really is very good. Better than Lego Indiana Jones? I think, perhaps, maybe it is. Perhaps.
Yesterday morning, I turned on my 360 and bought some Microsoft Points so I had enough to buy the GTA IV expansion “The Lost and Damned”. I then bought the expansion. Then set about downloading the 1.8GB it takes up. At about 70% through the download, I had to go out to the shops.
While I was out, I saw Lego Batman cheap in the shop and bought it. And that’s all I played all weekend. Lost and Damned be damned!
So how is it? Well, it’s the same game as Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones, only with Batman and Robin in. There are other differences, of course: you get different suits to allow you to do things like glide and walk up walls. The vehicle levels from Lego Star Wars that were (thankfully) missing from Indiana Jones are back, although they’re better than in Star Wars.
Once you complete each episode, you also unlock extra “villain” levels, although I’ve not yet played any of them.
So far, I’ve been enjoying it a lot. It isn’t quite as good as Indiana Jones, but it’s still lovely. And, naturally, there’s the OCD-factor which is keeping me going!