Lego Jurassic World (PS4)

_t__PS4share_httpst.copS3N483GWlAnd still we continue with this! Almost 70% complete now, with most of the red bricks and amber bricks collected, and all bar about 6 characters to be unlocked. We came across both the Aviary and the Mosasaurus tank recently, when we’d somehow totally missed them before. That meant we then has to go and find some actual pterosaurs and a Mosasaurus to make use of them, though.

Much of what is left is now redoing all the levels and picking up what we couldn’t before as we didn’t have the necessary character or dinosaur. Hopefully we’ve enough of them now so we don’t need to keep re-redoing levels!

Grim Fandango Remastered (PS4)

_t__PS4share_httpst.cokFBsL5Np0lHmm. Look, I’m really, really trying to like the game. I do, I think. But it keeps doing things that are awkward or unintuitive or just rubbish and I’m wondering if the story and the humour are the only reasons I’m still playing.

Good things from today’s session were the pigeon and teeth puzzles. Not too obvious, but both made sense and I managed them without help. With that I was able to leave the town and ended up in the forest.

There was a terrible puzzle in the forest, which involved moving a sign. The main problem with this puzzle being, well, this:

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Can you see what is going on? Or where I’ve put the sign? Or even where I am? No, I’m not the car. The sign is literally invisible. Once you put it down, you can’t see it any more and you have to remember where it is as you have to repeatedly put it down in different places.

After that, there’s a puzzle on a bony bridge which was a little vague (you have to extinguish flaming beavers – no really – but often your extinguisher does nothing to them, squirting through them) and now I’m in some sort of port town. Onward!

Grim Fandango Remastered (PS4)

Grim Fandango Remastered
Manny isn’t allowed to drive.

I never played Grim Fandango back in the day. I’m pretty sure I’d have enjoyed it then, as I liked Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion and those sorts of things, but for some reason it passed me by. It was, however, recently on PS+ so I’ve given it a go.

At least, I’ve tried to give it a go. I’m not sure if I’ve lost my touch or something, but I quickly got very lost. I had no idea what to do, or, once I’d figured out my goal, how to do it. The receptionist told me to get in my car, but the only car I could find (in front of the building) was not able to be used. There were a handful of locations I could explore, but I couldn’t find anything much to do in any of them.

Grim Fandango Remastered
The Land of the Living is a strange place indeed.

I did enjoy all the dialogue, and I love the setting and the characters, but I’m already concerned I’m going to keep getting stuck like this. Thankfully, I found a door I’d missed that led me into a new area and I managed to progress the story a bit more before I rhetorically threw the game in the bin. I did get stuck a bit more after that, but a couple of people on Twitter assisted when I moaned I was unable to figure out what to do next.

Grim Fandango Remastered
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

For now, I’m going to persevere with Grim Fandango. There is a lot to like here, and hopefully that will continue and will be enough to keep obtuse puzzle solving agony at bay.

Fallout 4 (PS4): COMPLETED!

Crawl out through the fallout, baby
When they drop that bomb
Crawl out through the fallout, baby
With the greatest of aplomb

Crawl out through the Fallout back to me! Oh yes. Fallout is BACK and I’ve bloody loved it. Fallout 3 and New Vegas were two of my favourite games from the last generation of consoles, and two of the most played. As soon as Fallout 4 was announced, I bought a PS4 so I’d have something to play it on. I was so excited I posted about it on Twitter every single day from announcement to release. Oh god, Fallout 4.

Fallout_4_20160108224324

 

But first, some bad stuff. And spoilers – definitely read no further if you don’t want spoilers. Stopped reading? Excellent.

I didn’t like the ending. I know there are several endings, and I’ve some earlier saves ready to return to when I decide to try for the others, but I felt that the Railroad ending was looking like the “good” ending. It wasn’t. Not unless you think slaughtering dozens of innocent scientists and destroying 200 years of scientific progress (not to mention re-radiating a large chunk of the Wasteland) in order to save the “lives” of some synthetic humans is a “good” ending. Here’s a video, spoilers abound:

What I wanted, really, was for the Institute to see sense and either hide away completely (they supposedly could with their reactor) or share their advances with everyone for the good of the world. But no, that doesn’t seem to be an option.

That aside, the game itself is excellent. I’ve posted about the bugs, of which there are a lot, but they’re mostly minor. Two major ones happened (the next quest didn’t trigger), but they resolved themselves eventually after doing some sidequests for a while. There’s some annoyance with the dialogue choices, as the options on screen just give you an idea of what you’ll say rather then the exact words and intonation meaning you can end up with a totally different conversation to that you expected. These make up a small part of the game though, and the rest more than makes up for it.

I love the setting. I love the exploration. I love the 40s, 50s and 60s songs on the radio. I love the characters, especially Nick Valentine who, since meeting him about 12 hours in, has become my only companion. He’s awesome:

He has great one-liners, keeps me on the straight and narrow (he’s not a fan of stealing or being nasty to folk) and looks fantastic with his private dick outfit and half his face torn off. One day I’ll actually go and find Eddies tape for him. One day, Nick. One day.

I even love the base building, which is new to Fallout 4. It’s clunky, it’s buggy, and is a completely pointless time-sink, but for some reason I keep getting addicted to it. I’ve built towers and castles in the sky and a warehouse full of beds with a disco ball, and it’s incredible.

Besides that though, and the massively improved graphics (and palette – there are blue skies now!), it’s all still pretty much Fallout 3 again, in a new location with new things to do. In a way, you’d think that’s a little disappointing, but it’s actually exactly what I wanted. There are tweaks to improve things, like being able to tag required parts so junk items show up as needed when looting, and being able to see and take what is in a container without “opening” it, but they just improve the experience rather than vastly change it.

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I just wish there was a better ending. Maybe one of the others will surprise me. Or maybe I missed some dialogue options somewhere. I’m sure I’ll find out, as I’m going to play some more. A lot more. After all, I’ve only put 65 hours into it so far, so I’ve barely scratched the surface.

Lego Jurassic World (PS4): COMPLETED!

LEGO® Jurassic World™_20151223143105My daughter loves Lego games and loves dinosaurs, so it was an obvious choice to get Lego Jurassic World at some point. Even if I do keep calling it Lego Jurassic Park.

LEGO® Jurassic World™_20151223152302She’d not seen the films, but the game did mean she could watch the films without being too scared, and we have watched the first one now. One thing I hadn’t realised until we played this is how the T-Rex, rather than being the frightening terror she appears to be, is actually the hero of all four stories. In Jurassic Park, she provides an escape from the gallimimus stampede and rescues Alan, Ellie and the kids from the velociraptors at the end. In The Lost World, she’s only trying to save her baby and goes at great lengths to do so. In Jurassic Park III she sees off the spinosaurus helping everyone get away, and in Jurassic World she defeats the Indominus Rex. Uh, that might be a spoiler.

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As for the game itself, it’s more of the same sort of thing you get in any Lego game. No surprises there, but you can be actual dinosaurs! Ace. Obviously, we’ve only finished the main game (albeit all four films), but we’re working through the extra gold bricks and so on. It’s more fun than Lego The Hobbit, so we’ll probably stick at Jurassic World a bit longer.

Things I’ve been playing recently

Lazy round-up time!

Puzzle & Dragons Z (3DS)

I think this might be in my top three most played 3DS games now, and I’ve not even touched the Mario themed option. I got stuck on a boss, then powered through a few more levels, then got stuck on the previous boss again when she cropped up later with another monster at her side. Too hard. I’ve been trying lots of dragon combinations and came close once to besting them, but then one of the two baddies almost completely healed both of them and that was it. Maybe some grinding is in order. Or some different dragons again.

Lego The Hobbit (Wii U)

We completed it, but since then we’ve been mopping up stuff. It’s pretty slow going though, and we haven’t even revisited any of the levels yet. Daddy Pig seems to voice half the characters in this, which is slightly absurd. Especially the blacksmith’s wife. With her beard. Hmm.

Ninja Usagimaru: The Gem of Blessings Demo (3DS)

A not very good puzzle game. I got bored before the demo even finished, to be honest.

Fairune Demo (3DS)

There’s a game called Witch & Hero on the 3DS which is the most ridiculous concept ever. You walk into baddies to kill them, but when you do, you take damage – meaning you’re inevitably going to die. It was rubbish.

Fairune seems to be by the same people and has the same mechanic, only instead of protecting a static character on a single screen, it’s a flip-screen RPG of sorts. And somehow, I’ve gotten a bit hooked on it. I’ve finished the demo and now will almost certainly buy the full game. This surprised me.

Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash Demo (3DS)

Everyone loves Chibi-Robo, right? And taking pictures of real things to include in the game and collecting junk just to tidy up because he’s a cute robot that does that? Awesome, right? Then why is this a slightly crap platformer instead of any of that? How disappointing.

The Legend of Zelda: Tri-Force Heroes Demo (3DS)

Well, I tried to play it. But it said no. I was in some sort of lobby and there were a couple of people to talk to and I found if I ran into a wall a ball fell from the sky and I could play keepy-uppies with it for a while but then that was it. I assume I needed some friends online to play with.

tumblr_nxtmcz0iec1svmpf2o1_400Badge Arcade (3DS)

No way am I giving money to this, but so far, I’ve not needed to. I’ve done well enough in the practise crane games to rack up a few free plays, and so far I’ve bagged about 12 badges. Not that I can use the badges because I’ve barely any space left on my home screen. I was hoping it would expand again, as it does when you hit about 80% full, but not this time. Boo.

Fallout 4 (PS4)

Oh yeah, this arrived.

Broken Age (PS4): COMPLETED!

Broken Age_20151026162213I like point and click adventure games, and it was only a matter of time before I went and bought Broken Age anyway. Then, of course, it appeared on PS+ so I didn’t need to. I sort of feel like I should do anyway, because I enjoyed it a lot and PS+ always feels like renting and renting is Bad. Probably.

Without giving too much away, Broken Age is a game of two halves played out as two seemingly separate stories. On one side, there’s Vella – a young girl chosen to be sacrificed to the monster Mog Chothra in order to protect her village in a ceremony that happens in every village every 14 years. On the other side, there’s Shay – a young boy who lives apparently alone on a spaceship and does nothing but terrible and childish “simulations” where he rescues woollen creatures from fake harm every day.

Broken Age_20151104204202Naturally, their two stories are not only linked, but become one later on. That’s not really a spoiler as it’s pretty obvious; otherwise why not just have two separate games, eh?

I assumed that you had to play one story then the other, but it became apparent that you can actually flit between both at will. In fact, in Act 2, you have to do this in order to solve some puzzles (and it’s at this point I realised you could). Near the start of the game I guessed what the end of Act 2 twist (and the reveal about Shay’s spaceship) would be, although maybe I got lucky.

Broken Age_20151107220309As far as the gameplay goes, it’s a streamlined point and click game. Streamlined in that gone are the days of choosing “give”, “go”, “use” etc., instead everything is context sensitive and this reduces annoyance greatly. I know Broken Age isn’t the first to do this, but it’s appreciated anyway. The puzzles are mostly straightforward, with actual simple logic to them, meaning they’re generally not frustrating as they can often be in these games. However, in the final half an hour or so of the game (or almost two hours as I played it…) there are some real head scratchers: It was too easy to seemingly get things right but them not actually work. Also, the less said about the hexapal wiring puzzles the better. Oh god did they annoy me.

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Broken Age was funny just as you’d expect from Tim Schafer, had a wonderful story and a cast of great characters (almost all with some excellent voice acting too). It was pretty long for a game of this type too, not accounting for my lack of skill in the latter part, it was well over 8 hours. I can definitely recommend it to fans of the genre too.

Here’s my entire playthrough. If you’ve the stamina!

Pix the Cat (PS4): COMPLETED!

Pix the Cat_20151004143154

Well, completed one of the modes anyway. The main mode, Arcade, seems to be just a score attack and as a result, can’t be completed. However, there’s a pretty large (70 level!) mode called Nostalgia, which certainly is completable. I know this, because I did it.

Unlike Arcade mode, Nostalgia Mode in Pix the Cat is more a set of puzzle and reaction based challenges. In each level, presented in awesome black and white old-timey animation visuals, you have to collect a number of eggs without trapping yourself in a corner or hitting spikes or a baddie. Sometimes you have 90+ chicks all following you, so route planning is important!

Pix the Cat_20151004141202

There are a few gimmicks to help or hinder you – owls that collect up then spit out your chicks essentially resetting your tail, mushrooms that reverse your chain so you’re warped to the back, and so on. Some levels have multiple cats, adding to the confusion. It’s a lot of fun, and I actually prefer it to Arcade Mode.

After struggling with a level around the 50-odd mark for aaaaaages, I managed to beat it today, and then went on to complete the rest of the 70 missions. Woo! I’d recommend Pix the Cat just for this one mode, actually. It’s the best of all of them.

Oh, and here’s a video of me finishing the impossible level (at the start) then mopping up the rest:

Life is Strange: Episode 5 (PS4): COMPLETED!

It is impossible to talk about this. As well as spoilers, not least the MASSIVE CHOICE necessary at the end, there’s also the fact that the choices I’ve made throughout the series slightly change how Life is Strange: Episode 5 panned out for me. So I won’t talk about the story any more than to say this: I was not disappointed, the decision at the end was hard to make, and although I saw some of it coming, it played out totally differently to how I expected. The chapter’s title is “Polarised” (sorry, “Polarized”, urgh), and the “what everyone else did” stats at the end could not agree more.

What I will talk about is how fantastic the series has been as a whole. The twists and turns, the excellent story that draws on themes from the likes of The X-Files, The Butterfly Effect, Final Destination, and Donnie Darko. The amazing voice acting. The dreamy soundtrack. The fantastic graphics and gorgeous sunsets. Some fantastic characters – Victoria and Samuel especially, in my opinion. Everything comes together to produce a game experience unlike any other I’ve played.

Since finished Episode 4, I’ve found it difficult to wait it out until Episode 5. Hype built over that time, with so many thoughts and theories in my head. I was so worried that Dontnod would do something to mess it up. I was also worried that someone would leak a spoiler, and as soon as it was on PSN this morning I went internet blind in case anyone finished it before I had a chance to. I went in pensive and completed it in a single, almost three hour, sitting. I had to – spoilers tomorrow would abound, I was sure. And what an experience.

Even though Fallout 4 is still to come next month, it’d take something pretty special from Bethesda to beat Life is Strange as my Game of the Year. Who’d have thought that having bought it mainly on a whim? Excellent stuff, and I’m sad it’s over.

If you want to see my playthrough of the finale – I’ve a video here. Be warned though: there are spoilers. If you’ve already finished the game, then you might want to watch it (or at least the final bit) if you made the

Spoiler Inside SelectShow
choice – I did the opposite.

Things I’ve been playing recently

Been a while since I did a roundup, so this covers several weeks…

Stan_Lee_is_a_bloody_liabilityLego Marvel Super Heroes (Wii U)

My daughter and I completed this some time ago, but the post game mop-up is huuuuge. Not only is there the usual Free Play of levels, but there are loads of other smaller levels you unlock, and hundreds of events around the world map. We’ve 230/250 gold bricks now, so the end is in sight.

LEGO® Jurassic World™ Demo_20151003154452Lego Jurassic World Demo (PS4)

Oh god I think we need to get this. We’ll probably get the Wii U version though, because co-op screen-each play is the way to go on Lego games. I know the PS4 version looks better, but screen-each!

WVW69iYicg80ANCGpGPuzzle & Dragons Z (3DS)

Slow going on this. I only do a single level every now and again, so although I’m getting there, it’s taking a while. I am enjoying it, though!

_t__PS4share_httpt.coZ6fVvHoVayThe Pinball Arcade (PS4)

Picked this up when it was on sale. It’s not something you can complete, but it’s pretty good. I got the first two “seasons” cheap, and although some are recycled from Gottleib Pinball on the Wii, it’s enjoyable. Some more than others, of course. One thing which is annoying, however, is that your users on your PS4 can’t share leaderboards, making the leaderboards essentially useless.

Pix the Cat_20151004141202Pix the Cat (PS4)

Saw this described as Chu Chu Rocket x Pac Man Championship Edition, but it’s not quite that close. In fact, the main arcade mode isn’t really interesting me and I was pretty disappointed… but Nostalgia Mode? Bloody awesome. It’s more puzzle based, and a lot of fun. So mainly I’ve been playing that.

Uncrowded (PC)

Some sort of Minecraft looking but more survival based game. Which appears to literally be a reskin of some Unity asset pack demo game released as a “new” title. Cheeky. And utter tripe.

Batman: Arkham Knight: Harley Quinn Story Pack (PS4): COMPLETED!

_t__PS4share_httpt.cok0DVWyGVjiThat’s a mouthful, innit? In fact, it almost takes longer to say the title of this post than it does to complete this story DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight.

You play as Harley Quinn, who is ordered by The Penguin to infiltrate Blüdhaven Police Department and rescue Poison Ivy. Why, isn’t clear: Penguin says it’s what Scarecrow wants. Since Ivy is instrumental in taking down Scarecrow in the main story (oh, spoilers, sorry) this doesn’t really make sense. Whatever.

Harley obviously has no Batsuit and her gadgets are limited to an exploding jack-in-the-box and a snare. The former is used twice to blow up walls like Batman’s gel, and the latter is completely unnecessary. She’s also got laughing gas that replaces the smoke bomb. And a baseball bat, for some eye-watering takedowns.

_t__PS4share_httpt.coaVfYdjUp5jUnlike Batman’s quiet approach, picking off foes one at a time, Harley seems to make as much noise as possible. Thankfully, for her, the police officers she has to take down are idiots and don’t pose a threat. She can’t grapple to vantage points, but she can jump around like a cat, to much the same effect. All the while talking smack and sometimes chatting to her original “Harleen Quinzel” psyche, which still lurks within and tries to tell her to Do The Right Thing. She doesn’t.

Sadly, this schizophrenia is never explored enough because after a handful of fights, a few Predator-style rooms, and a Nightwing smackdown, that’s it. It’s the end. Half an hour is your lot. If I’d paid money for this, I’d be annoyed. It could have been so much more, but instead teases a new game mode and then ends. Bah.

Batman: Arkham Knight (PS4): COMPLETED!

BATMAN™: ARKHAM KNIGHT_20150927215726Just a few hours into Batman: Arkham Knight, you’re tasked with taking the Batmobile up onto a roof and effectively making it jump from roof to roof to reach an electrical panel or something. It’s utterly ridiculous, and is not what you’d expect the Batmobile, what with it being a car and everything, is for. This did not bode well for the rest of the game.

Thankfully for all concerned, that was it. Sure, there were a few car-based acrobatics later on, but those – such as lowering it down the wall of a giant fan shaft – seemed to fit. By that point in the story, a lot of things had happened that just made you accept the things the Goddamn Batmobile does. That, and it’s a tank that scurries around like a spider. Oh yes.

BATMAN™: ARKHAM KNIGHT_20150914223231Gritty and weighty like previous Arkham games, but bigger in scope than the rest put together, going into Arkham Knight was a torn experience. As great as Arkham City was, it was too big, too dispersed and less focussed than Arkham Asylum. The core was the same, but fragmented over a wide area. More Batman, on a current gen console especially, was something to look forward to. The nagging doubt it would be spread even more thinly was a worry. Do you remember how many times you visited the same damn steelworks before, despite having a massive city to play in? Aside from Riddler trophies, much of Arkham City was empty. Not so here, which was a relief.

In common with past Bat-outings, the story progresses through set pieces: detective sections, brawls, predator takedowns, boss ba…oh wait. No boss battles? Perhaps Rocksteady realised those in City were almost universally rubbish and ditched them. You still have to confront and defeat major foes, but by other means instead. It actually works well and you don’t miss them.

BATMAN™: ARKHAM KNIGHT_20150919212246

As you work towards taking down the Arkham Knight himself (finding his true identity along the way – I’d guessed very early, but there is a massive signpost if you hadn’t before I did) and Scarecrow, the usual Batman events I’ve mentioned pop up. In addition there are now tank battles. The Batmobile, impossibly, is used to take out the Knight’s army of drones, rocket launchers, cannons, helicopters and what appear to be mechs. Of course it is. Surprisingly, these battles are actually a lot of fun, and there’s an entire side quest devoted solely to them. In fact, almost every one-off task in the main game has a side quest full of that sort of event. Take down a watchtower (Assassin’s Creed Borgia style), and there’s a load more if you want. Like detective work? Why not find out why a load of bodies are literally hanging around Gotham. And so on.

BATMAN™: ARKHAM KNIGHT_20150912211226These seemingly optional side quests, however, are not. In all, there are 14 or so of them, with many terminating in the capture of a major Batman foe (Penguin, Two-Face, etc.). Once you’ve finished the main story in the game, it turns out you haven’t actually finished the main story at all – you have to complete at least 7 of these “optional” questlines to do that. It felt a bit of a cop-out, frankly. They’re mostly fun to do of course, some more than others, but it was disappointing to finally overcome Scarecrow only to be unable to finish the game because some lesser crimes haven’t been resolved.

That’s the structure of the game, but how does it actually play? Gloriously. The combat is meaty. The driving is a welcome addition. Wiping out an entire room of armed guards without a single one spotting you is a fantastic as it ever was. Soaring over the city is never less than stunning. Batman’s array of gadgets are a joy to wield and integrating his car into some of the combat is a masterstroke. Gotham feels so much more alive than in previous Arkham titles, with something happening on every corner and car chases going on all the time – which you can assist in, should you choose.

It must also be said that the voice acting is fantastic, especially Mark Hamill as The Joker: Yes, that’s a spoiler. No, Joker is still dead. Yes, that is confusing. There’s a scene where Mr J does his karaoke routine which is hilarious and grim in a way only Mr J can be. The game is so, so, Batman. Even with Alfred’s “Gordon’s alive?!” quote.

Being so, so Batman in every way does mean that Batman’s allies are pretty sidelined. Robin is constantly told to stay out of it and Batman reluctantly lets Nightwing actually do something as long as it’s nothing to do with the main story. Oracle is central to the plot, but Catwoman is now tucked away in a Riddler sub-story. Scarecrow is playing on Batman’s only fear – that revealing his identity will hurt his “family”, but in trying to protect his friends Bruce is only getting them in more trouble. Silly Bruce. Much of the game would have been avoided if he’d accepted help when offered. Still, that’s Batman for you.

With the story complete and enough side quests mopped up to see the ending, there was a little sadness. Rocksteady have already said this is their last Batman game, and as the end credit roll the montage of moments from all three Arkham games (Rocksteady don’t consider Origins or Blackgate canon it seems) retell the trilogy. It’s been a long road, but that’s it. No more Batman to look forward to from that corner, and it’s hard to see how any other Batman game can be as Goddamn Batman as Arkham Knight was. Arkham Asylum was purer, but Knight was truly an epic sendoff.

Xeodrifter (PS4): COMPLETED!

Mutant_Mudds_reference__t__PS4share_httpt.copnYlVFN4rPYou can clearly see Mutant Mudds’ DNA in Xeodrifter. Similar chunky pixel graphics, the same feel in terms of physics, plane shifting, 8-bit music and similar looking baddies. But it’s not a sequel, ditching fantasy mud monsters and platforming for Metroid inspired planet exploration with Metroidvania style progression through ability unlocks.

_t__PS4share_httpt.coryA6YTdcJ0As you flit to and from four different planets in search of your damaged ship’s warp core, you pick up health and weapon boosts, improving your stats and making progress easier. You can reach deeper into the planets’ caverns by beating bosses, which provide you with new abilities – running across lava, turning into a submersible, swapping between the fore- and background planes, and so on.

_t__PS4share_httpt.coW88dty5bMLIt’s excellent and fun, and like many of these sorts of games, becoming a walking tank later on and taking down what used to be virtually impossible baddies with just a couple of shots is always enjoyable. It’s compact, and even though there’s a lot of backtracking, it’s never a chore; in part due to unlocked powers granting shortcuts. I’d read in many places that Xeodrifter was really tricky, but I didn’t find that at all. A couple of bosses were hard, but since they were all virtually the same with an extra move each time you met them, even the toughest was a walkover once I’d learned the patterns.

In fact, the only real downer of the game is the cloned bosses. They are literally just palette changes with one extra move each. Since you become more and more powerful as you progress, they generally get easier too – not harder – with the final few taking one or two attempts, whereas earlier ones took 10+ tries. Despite this, Xeodrifter comes highly recommended for anyone who fancies a short but great looking pixelly Metroid type explorey game. Nice.

Warning: video shows game played from start to finish, so contains spoilers!

Grow Home (PS4): COMPLETED!

Green_Hill_X_Mushroom_Hill_Zone__t_httpt.covHQuSQaYWtSo many people were excited for this game, and voted it way ahead of two other potential PS+ titles this month as a result, but the majority of views of people after they’ve actually played it seem negative. Apparently, it’s “ruined” by screen tearing. It’s boring. The controls (specifically the climbing) are terrible, and so on.

I’d like to suggest, that those people are idiots.

Grow Home_20150901191542Yes, there is screen tearing. But I only noticed it when it was pointed out to me via a screenshot. I genuinely can’t see it when playing. The controls are awkward at first, but soon you find that L2 (left hand grab) and R2 (right arm grab) are intuitive, and by pushing up and alternating L2 and R2 you can climb quickly. As you progress, you unlock a jet pack, what amounts to a parachute, and finally a glider, and from then on, you climb less anyway. You don’t fall off the plant you’re growing so much, and the game becomes fun.

Grow Home_20150905144840I found it fun anyway. Riding flower sprouts from the main giant star plant to glowing islands in the sky (the main task in the game) is fun. Grabbing objects just to see what they do is fun. Getting all the crystals is Crackdown-like, and fun. It’s all FUN.

The most fun, however, is grabbing a sheep, then dragging him into the sea. Always hilarious, especially watching his little sheepy face as you do it. Or, when two sheep are playing football with a pumpkin (no, really), you grab it, and chuck it in the sea. The sheep just look at you in disappointment. Leaves me in stitches. Being chased by a bull. MOM’s comments. Growing a giant phallus. It’s a great game, and those joyless inhumans who don’t think so are wrong.

Sheep based fun here:

Octodad: Dadliest Catch (PS4): COMPLETED!

Octodad: Dadliest Catch_20150904200449Firstly, I should point out that the lyrics to this game’s theme song have been wedged in my head for the last few days. Specifically “Octodad – nobody suspects a thing”. It’s so catchy.

As for the game, it’s frustrating, looks a lot like that original Xbox Leisure Suit Larry game in graphics quality and style, is impossible to control, had a terrible camera, and is awesome. You’re an octopus trying to live his life, implausibly with his family who are not octopi, as a human. You can’t speak, you can barely control your flailing tentacles, and – well – you look like a damn octopus.

Octodad: Dadliest Catch_20150903220648Your analogue triggers control moving the tentacles designated as your legs up and down, with R1 activating your hand-tentacle. The analogue sticks vaguely direct whichever fake limb you’re currently trying to control, and that’s pretty much your lot. Spill and flop your way around your house, try to make coffee with your flappy bits, clean up the garden, go shopping, and visit Octodad’s most hated of places – the aquarium. All while trying to be as human as possible else people begin to suspect you might be a cephalopod and not a slightly salty man after all.

Octodad: Dadliest Catch_20150904221829It’s a pretty short game, and aside from a bit near the end where you have to navigate on some planks of wood, it’s also pretty easy. It is a lot of fun, though, and throwing everything you can find all over the place never gets old. Not least in the bonus extra level where you and your wife go for a romantic meal and you can chuck the food, crockery and cutlery at the waiters.

Oh, and bonus marks for having toilets in the game. Any game with toilets in now gets an extra recommendation from me, and I’ve set up a Tumblr to record them.

Here’s a video of the final 40 minutes or so of the main story. Spoilers!