• UPlay Rubbish

    Hey and welcome to my first blogged rant!
    So I’ve been playing Assassins Creed 4 for the last 2 days (great game so far, I’ll do a separate  writeup another time) but what is really starting to annoy me is UPlay. It’s a Ubisoft thing and in AC4 it prompts you to sign in. Twice. EVERY TIME YOU START THE GAME! Just bleep off and let me enjoy the game. Nobody wants it so just take the hint and stop bothering me.

    UPDATE: So I finally caved in and registered a UPlay account and Passport.  To Ubisoft’s credit, this is now free (despite the text still saying to purchase it), but frankly, I shouldn’t have to just to avoid 2 annoying prompts.

  • Game Completed: Killzone 2

    So I finally played through Killzone 2, figured I should have some background before embarking on Killzone Shadowfall.

    On the whole quite enjoyed it, playing through on standard difficulty, except for the end boss. Despite reading tactics I ended up wussing out and completing the last fight on easy.  Which is weird – everybody said -getting- to him was the difficult bit, actually taking him out isn’t that bad. For me it was the other way around, getting through his minions was doable, but one-on-one (Rico is worse than useless) proved impossible for me. Just have no idea how one is supposed to take down an invisible teleporting dude with a super machinegun and one-hit-kill if he gets too close to you, which he keeps doing because he teleports behind you.  On easy it was tough but doable – requiring significantly fewer hits.

    An FPS-maniac I, clearly, am not.

  • Hobbit : Part 2

    Watched the second part of the Hobbit tonight.  On the whole quite good I thought, especially the addition of Gandalf’s quest, but not sure why it deviated from the book in certain respects (no details as I don’t want to spoil it).

    Doesn’t really add to the story,  just got the feeling it was different for differences sake.

    The people in our group who had not read the book thought it was quite good.

  • Game Overview – Tearaway

    I’ve been playing Tearaway over the last few days, another great little game from the studio which brought us LittleBigPlanet.

    The style is definitely recognisably Media Molecule and the game takes full advantage of the PSVita’s various controls and input mechanisms, including the front and rear touchpads, the cameras, and the tilt sensors.  At times this can be a little overwhelming, having to balance the PSVita on your fingers while trying to move the character using the thumbsticks – so certain levels are not really playable on a moving bus.

    There are a few other niggles which detract from this otherwise fantastic title.


    One of the worst is the fact that while there is a bookmarks and restore point system, there is no way to save custom bookmarks or to return to a given restore point in a level. Coupled with the fact that some restore points are “invisible”, and that sometimes there are points of no return which aren’t clearly marked it makes 100% collecting a bit of a chore as it’s not always possible to return to an earlier part of a level.  So levels have to be replayed several times in order to explore the entire level.


    Another issue is the camera – usually it is free allowing the gamer to rotate it about, but in certain areas or sequences it is locked down making exploring a bit annoying.  It also has a nasty habit of moving during some sequences which results in badly angled jumps.

    Luckily there’s a way to switch to a first-person view through the in-game camera (once collected), which allows free viewing of the world.

    Content Creation

    At various points in the game it’s necessary to create some simple custom content to progress. The idea is great and on the whole works well, but the lack of precision in the input mechanism left me disappointed with some of my creations. Not sure there’s any way to improve on this given the platform, possibly by adding more drawing tools, but that would be at the danger of taking away from the immediacy of the game.


    I only came across a single issue where the dialogue did not continue in a cut-scene, and had to restart the level.  Apart from that one time the game seemed pretty solid.


    • Lovely innovative paper-based graphics
    • Good use of the entire PSVita featureset
    • Fun 3rd person platformer with unique content-creation elements


    • At times the controls are fiddly
    • Camera is locked at times or moves unexpectedly
    • Points of no-return in levels are not obvious and make 100% collecting a chore


    If you like platformers or titles which are a little bit different you’ll love Tearaway. It’s a great addition to the PSVita catalogue.

  • Game Overview – Need for Speed : Rivals

    The only vehicle game available on the PS4 at launch due to the delay of Driveclub, but a good one! Certainly not regretting buying it and I’ve enjoyed it a lot although it does have a few tiny bugs.

    Overall the game strongly reminded me of Burnout Paradise although with the theme of Cops vs Racers.  The game world is open with various activities and missions dotted throughout.  Unlike Burnout Paradise though you’re never quite free to just enjoy the world, especially when playing as a Racer as cops will almost always try to take you down.

    Presentation is great with lovely graphics and constantly changing weather effects including day and night.  Night-time, while very nice visually, can be frustrating when trying to complete a mission as visibility is hugely reduced.  It would be nice to have this as a setting. The world has all basic terrain types, from city to desert to alpine mountains and even redwood forests which ensures good variety.

    The online component is great fun and works well, either working together as Cops to take down Racers, or racing each other.  The matchmaking facilities are quite limited though and there’s no good way to play with friends while also allowing strangers to join in.  Game sessions allow people to join and leave anytime, and the single-player missions can be played even while in multi-player mode.


    • Great racing game in the vein of Burnout Paradise, but with a theme and better graphics.
    • Open-world gameplay.
    • Good online play.


    • A few bugs.
    • Limited matchmaking.
    • Cannot turn off Cops vs Racers theme to just enjoy the world.
    • Weather effects can get in the way of missions.


    • Jumps sometimes not registered.
    • After being taken down, car is not always oriented properly on road.
    • Very occasional crashes.

    Personal Score: 8 / 10