This is the first entry in what I hope to make a weekly blog about what games I have been playing over the last week. I mainly game on PS4, although I do own an adequate PC rig and the PS Vita. In all honesty I really should game on PC more. The Steam library is incredible at this point and with the constant sales you would think it’s a no brainer… but then there’s trophies. Despite my large trophy count, I actually care less about trophies than you might think, but I do find it lets me get more out of my games. I’ll play for longer, push myself on harder modes or play in a different style than I’m used to. That’s the beauty of this system. I’d also be lying if I said the odd My Name is Mayo or Hannah Montana game didn’t sneak it’s way onto my system either…
Anyway, this week I have been pretty busy gaming wise. After putting fifty-five hours into completing Assassins Creed: Origins back in October when it released, I sat it down and started working through my ‘GOTY Consideration List’ in preparation for DayDreamer’s 2017 Game of the Year podcast. But now, three months later I got the urge to pick it back up and start working my way through all locations and a few other misc trophies for the platinum.
Going back has just reminded me what an incredible game Ubisoft put together here. I should probably mention that I am a big Assassin’s Creed fan. Not to the point of trying to make sense of the overarching story or anything crazy like that, but in the way that I thought Unity and Syndicate were actually really great games (Send your hate tweets here). So while I would have been happy with just another AC game, Ubisoft gave us so much more than that and the RPG-lite mechanics fit the world and gameplay perfectly.
I’m hoping to get the platinum before my next blog post, although as many others will know, finding every location on that gigantic map is NOT an easy task. Plus when you are constantly battling a PES 2018 addiction, getting anything completed is a struggle. That brings us to the second game I have been playing…
Pro Evolution Soccer 2018. What. A. Game. I know people have issues with it. Some people hate having to import the team names, club kits, club badges. Some people have issues with the player switching and others have yet to see the AI commit a foul. These are all issues, but in my mind it doesn’t even come close to stopping it being the best football game ever made. Coming back from FIFA last year it took a long time for all the little nuances of PES to click, but when they do it’s like seeing into the matrix.
It does probably help that I have maybe had player switching issues about three times in over 300+ hours of play time so far. I also seem to get more fouls than the average person, although I do think that has been addressed (to an extent) in the latest 4.0 gameplay update.
My go-to mode in PES is Master League. I couldn’t give a flying fuck about online play. Never have, likely never will. I want my football games to look and play like real football. Online that’s nearly impossible, because inevitably someone will find an exploit, or the game will descend into one big Gegenpress bonanza. My latest Master League save has me playing as Celtic (my team) in the Premier League. I slid them in and binned West Brom to the Championship since they have been an embarrassment to football this season and deserve some time on the naughty step.
I’m playing on the second highest difficulty so the first season is always a massive struggle while you are waiting for the team to gel, but with signings like Yussuf Poulsen, Steven Bergwijn, Dani Ceballos, Renato Sanches and Julian Weigl I think I’m on to a winner.
Final two things on PES. Data Pack 3 dropped last week bringing another bunch of face updates. Konami really excels at giving young players with high potential real face scans and it makes modes like Master League even better. If there’s a player you like that does have a generic face though, you have the base copy option in edit mode where you can assign the face of a scanned player onto a player with a generic face. I plan to do a feature on here showing some of the scans I have used, but I’ll leave an example here with Steven Bergwijn. While not perfect, it’s clearly a massive upgrade on the generic face and makes a huge difference aesthetically in game.
The most enjoyable thing I have played this week is actually a game released back in 2011; L.A. Noire. I had bought the re-release on PS4 the week it came out but had been caught up with other things and only got round to start it a few days ago. Don’t get me wrong, despite the updated assets, the game has aged. The city can feel very bare and lifeless at times. At one point I even drove three streets between locations without encountering one other car on the road. Other than that though, it’s still a joy.
I loved the game back when it first released and the charm it had then has carried through to today. It’s different than anything else on the market. It’s slow and deliberate. I’m not sure if I’m just older and wiser now, or whether it’s the graphics, but the tells on character models faces during interviews seem a lot more noticeable this time round. As with most of the games I play I will be looking to get the platinum, and to help me on that quest I have started a Notepad document listing all the different cars in the game that I have driven, to take the infamous ‘Auto Fanatic’ trophy that requires you to drive every car in the city. That may not sound too difficult, but some are a bitch to find and a lot of them look very similar.
I am currently eight missions into the game and loving every minute of it. It’s not a short experience though and as I’m going through so many games at the moment I reckon it will be getting a mention in this blog for a few weeks before I can finally mark it off the checklist. One last thing on L.A. Noire Remasted is that even if you are like me and platinumed/1000g’d the game on PS3/Xbox 360, this remaster includes all the DLC that many people didn’t play, and best of all they have interspersed the DLC cases throughout the game.
VR wise this week I picked up Drunken Bar Fight and Sprint Vector. Drunken Bar Fight has similar physics to Surgeon Simulator or Goat Simulator. You basically walk into a bar and begin lobbing everything that isn’t bolted down at the patrons inside. The aim is to KO each opponent once to advance. It’s not a game trying to take itself seriously, as any two second clip of the game will prove, but there’s something really satisfying about smashing a bottle over a guys head, picking up his lifeless body with one hand and using it to batter the shite out of his pal with.
Sprint Vector on the other hand is serious business. Don’t let the cartoon style animation fool you, this is a racing game that requires you to go ALL IN. The closest comparisons I can make here is if Mario Kart and SSX had a baby with a VR helmet on. It’s not as good as either of those titles, but it’s exceptionally well done and deserves your attention. A word of advice would be to take your time, do the tutorials and master the game mechanics. This is not a pick up and play game, there’s lots of skill and coordination involved and if you are a noob it’s easy to get stuck behind an obstacle while the race passes you by.
It’s definitely something I will continue to dabble in, as leaping off a ledge and flying through the air into first place is one of the best experiences I have had yet in virtual reality. There’s also the added bonus of the game being a serious workout. Even if you think of yourself as having a good level of fitness, I challenge you to not be out of breath after a single race. This is backed up by the fact that any time I have played the game my fitness watch automatically tracks it as a workout. Score!
Lastly, on the Vita I finished the platinum for Burly Men at Sea. It’s an interesting game and I did enjoy the beginning of my time with it. An OK, albeit weird story was dragged up by what I thought was an excellent art style. The problem is that the game can be completed in less than ten minutes. There are twelve different endings (all of which are required for the platinum) but I found the game less and less endearing each play through. By the end I was happy just to see the platinum trophy pop and delete the game from the system. Now that’s finished I have moved on to Lego: Jurassic World. I’m typically not a massive fan of the Lego games, but my love for the franchise made this a must play back on PS4 and so when it popped up at a discounted fee it was a no brainer for a second run through.
I do also have DEADBOLT downloaded. It releases today and is cross buy between Vita and PS4. I think I’ll try to keep it for down time at work on the Vita as the side scrolling Hotline Miami style gameplay is well suited for pick up and play scenarios. Anyway I will report back on that next week when I have had a chance to check it out. Past Cure releases this Friday so I should be live streaming that over on DayDreamer Gaming. Make sure to come say hi and subscribe to the channel for an amazing amount of great content.