Welcome to the fifth installment of the Games-Log. We’ve just had a superb week in gaming and another one hot on it’s heels, so I’m here to talk about what I have been playing.
There’s nowhere else to start this week except for talking about the exceptional first episode of Big Bad Wolf’s The Council. This game had been on my radar since it was first announced and man has it delivered. It’s taken the adventure game genre and turned it on it’s head with choices that really seem to matter as well as cool investigative options, a brilliant narrative and RPG mechanics that take the whole experience to another level. I’m not going to talk too much about this excellent title here, as I wrote a separate review for the game on the site over the weekend, which you can check out here.
Regular readers will know that last week I got the platinum in Origins. My initial plan was to put the game away for a while before returning and starting the DLC, but I just couldn’t stay away. So last night I started The Hidden Ones DLC. I’m only about an hour in but so far it’s excellent and a worthy addition to the main game. A new smaller map, with the same quality of world building awaits you in The Hidden Ones, but you will need to be level 40 before attempting this, or the enemies will scorch you in seconds. I’ll report back once I have played more, but I fully expect it to be an almost seamless extension of the main game, which is all any fan of the series is looking for.
The big release of the week came straight out of 2008 and instantly became my favourite racing game again. Burnout Paradise Remastered has been just that, remastered. It has been given a few average review scores for not being upgraded enough, but really that’s just peoples expectations getting out of control. It’s had a new coat of paint and almost everything else remains the same. As I said it’s a remaster, this is what happens. If you loved the original game a decade ago, then this is a better way to relive it. Plus, I’d strongly guess this is EA’s way of gearing fans of the Burnout franchise ready for an E3 announcement of an all new game. This release also comes with all the DLC, which means you have legendary cars available from the get-go. This does take away some of the challenge, but if you take issue with that, then just don’t use them. I’ll report back with a review score once I have put more hours into the game (I’m currently at about 6-8) but I’d definitely recommend it to all arcade racing fans.
When the Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy released last year I instantly blasted through the original game. It was so great to have Crash back in such a high quality remake. I even got about half way through Cortex Strikes Back before being sidetracked by other new releases. Last week out of the blue though, my three year old son asked if we could play it again. He loves the colourful Bandicoot and while his hands aren’t quite big enough for the PS4 controller yet, he can sometimes get a fair chunk into a few of the earlier levels (sometimes by fluke admittedly). So for about three nights in a row we have stuck it on before his bedtime and he will start a level until he dies a few times and then he asks me to do it and watches on in amazement.
Even putting aside the fact that all three games in the N Sane Trilogy are excellent, just seeing games make his little face light up is a joy to watch. It takes me back to my childhood and how blown away I was by the original Mario/Duck Hunt combo cartridge on the NES. There’s a lot of nonsense in the media these days about blu-ray games disks physically picking up guns and murdering every man, woman and child it can find. But people need to remember the magic that games can provide.
I should probably mention that it’s mainly Crash Bandicoot Warped we have been playing. I still haven’t finished Cortex Strikes Back, but we had gotten far enough that the wee man didn’t stand a chance in any of the levels, so we started the third entry so he could play more. While I haven’t finished all three yet, I did as a kid and I have now played enough of all three to give a verdict. This is honestly one of the best remakes I have seen to date. The time, care and love that’s went into this is there for all to see. There’s talk of a new Crash game being announced, as well as a possible Crash Team Racing remake at E3. Here’s hoping!
I dabbled in Jak II. This is the PS2 classic that’s on PS4. I say dabbled because I didn’t actually play it, I just loaded it up to check out a hack that basically unlocks all the trophies automatically. A cheap platinum no doubt, but it’s one that’s there for you if you want. The hack unlocks the debug menu, which in turn allows you to just load up the last level and watch as the trophies unlock. I believe there’s a similar hack for The Precursor Legacy and Jak III, but it unlocks less of the trophies. Anyway, if you are looking to boost your trophies, you can pick the game up for about £6. If you are new to the Jak & Daxter games though I highly recommend just playing through it normally. I remember loving all three games back in the day, and none of them are overly difficult.
Lastly this week I have, as ever, been playing the amazing Pro Evolution Soccer 2018. If you haven’t already, check out my new ongoing Arsenal Master League series on the site. The first three episodes are live now with the fourth coming very soon. Episode one was a bit of an experiment and it has evolved in the later two episodes with video highlights for each game. If you would like to see more, or make any changes to this series please let me know.
Now onto the week ahead. We have two big releases in Playstation land, those being A Way Out and Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom. I’ll definitely be picking A Way Out up on Friday and have committed to playing it locally with my girl and via the wonders of the internet with one of my pals, so I should be able to report back on all aspects of the game next week. As for Ni no Kuni, it intrigues me. I have never sat through more than three hours of a JRPG, but the first game really looked great. If my interest is peaked enough, and I somehow find the time, I’ll maybe pick up the original and see how I get on.
Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered also drops on Tuesday. Initially I thought this was going to be a day one purchase for me. It’s the only Assassin’s Creed game I haven’t played and I was excited to finally give it a go. But as time drew closer I really began to worry about how hard it will be going back to the pre Origins style of game. It’s definitely something I will play in time, but I think I’m going to take a rain check on it for now with so much else to play.
Finally it’s another good week for PSVR. We have Ark Park, Audio Beats, Floor Plan and Lunar Stone: Origin of Blood releasing. I can’t confess to knowing much about any of these titles, but Ark Park is a tie in with Ark: Survival Evolved and contains dinosaurs, so it has to be worth a look!
Happy gaming this week guys! Hit me up in the comments or on Twitter @VizualDze and let me know what you have been playing and are planning to pick up over the next seven days.