Saturday, 12 January 2013

Backlog Busting: Gravity Rush (Part 1)

Spoiler Alert!

To try and describe what I've been playing, I may be using story references, some of which you may not have been through yet. Therefore, if you're sensitive to spoilers in the game, do not read ahead!

This post covers Gravity Rush (Vita) where I started at episode 5 up to the end of episode 6.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Completed games of 2012

Happy new year everyone!

As promised, here's the list of games I finished during 2012.

And Yet It Moves
Wallace & Gromit Grand Adventures
The Wonderful End of the World
Everybody's Golf (Vita) (all trophies)
Super Stardust Delta
Final Fantasy XIII-2
Elevator Action Deluxe
El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron
Puzzle Agent
Puzzle Agent 2
Sly Cooper
Escape Plan
Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack!!!
Rayman Origins
Sly 2: Band of Thieves
Sound Shapes
Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit
Dear Esther
Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves
Tokyo Jungle
Midnight Mysteries: The Edgar Allan Poe Conspiracy
Midnight Mysteries 2: Salem Witch Trials
When Vikings Attack
Midnight Mysteries 3: Devil on the Mississippi
Midnight Mysteries 4: Haunted Houdini
Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
Jak 2: Renegade

Friday, 28 December 2012

Backwards and forwards (the traditional review and look ahead post)

As this year draws to a close, many will look back and tell you what their game of the year is and also includes a very long explanation of why this is. If I look back at my year, I've played loads of different games, but there wasn't really one I liked over everything else unlike last year (which was Xenoblade).

I did think before I started writing that Tokyo Jungle was probably the best but was it really? This year was also the first time I had played the Sly series of games and I loved those. Rayman Origins was also great and Journey was also good (bearing in mind that I had completed it over 2 sessions, the best session split by dinner). Oh, and Elevator Action Deluxe was huge fun playing with my sister. I don't recall laughing so much while playing a game in ages.

All great games that I enjoyed this year for various reasons. Picking one of them would include loads of mathematical calculations and banging my head against the wall. I won't do that here because then we'll all argue why I'm wrong and so forth (hey, even this post will do cause an argument if I don't pick one).

Looking back to February, and the Vita's launch. The console has since struggled in all regions in it's first year but I'm getting plenty of mileage from it, whether that's from Everybody's Golf or Smart As sessions each day, or fantastic games like Rayman Origins and Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack. I've also managed to get to the top of a leaderboard for the first time ever, thanks to FuturLab's Surge (a new take on the Match-3 genre).

In terms of disappointments, the first 2 games of the Jak & Daxter Trilogy have been a let-down. The first game due to not explaining things and the second game for trying to be too much like a possible GTA with slight better platforming sections but horrific checkpoints (my opinion of course). I expected more from a series like this with so much accolade, and one of the few real stand-out characters in Sony's roster.

Finally, I did quite well to kill off parts of my backlog at the beginning of the year but with no real target in sight (and some event called the Olympics), I'm basically in the same situation as I was before. A full list of completed games will be posted within the first week of next year but you can see the current list on the right hand side of the page (unless you're on the mobile version).

Now what?

The most anticipated (announced) titles for me in 2013 include the following:

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
Ni No Kuni: The Wrath of the White Witch
Persona 4: The Golden
Ragnarok Odyssey
Soul Sacrifice
Monster Hunter 3 (whatever the Wii U version is)
Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns (morbid curiosity)
Final Fantasy XIV v2 (same)
DJ Max Technika Tune (import or not)

There may well be more than this but if I can remember them, I want to play them :).

This year, I'm also looking to start working on my backlog of games and I have a list of games I'm aiming to finish (or start and finish) in 2013:

Valkyria Chronicles (yes, you can shoot me - still in wrapping)
Trails in the Sky (started but not finished)
Uncharted: Golden Abyss (not started)
Aquaria (at the last section - desperate to finish)
One of the 2 Ys games (always wanted to play one)
Bastion (keep starting but can't get right settings)
Rainbow Moon (hoping the Vita version might help)
Sequence (near the end)
Gravity Rush (err, yes, haven't finished this either...)

It's highly likely that I'll get distracted along the way but what I'll try to do is pick a game and try to update you via the blog as I'm playing. Maybe that'll force me to play the game (or force me to be even quieter than I have been of late). So, whatever I try to finish off, these are the games I aim to finish this year at least. Let's see how well I get on!

So, that's all from me. I hope everyone else has a great 2013, whether that's playing games I've mentioned here or games that I'd never touch. Hopefully I can clear my way through the backlog and start to recover from buyer's remorse :)

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

My soft spot for Video Game music

If there's one thing I enjoy about gaming, it's the music I sometimes bump into. There's nothing quite like playing a game and then hear a tune that just makes you smile or bop your head to the beat. Whether that's One Winged Angel kicking in at the final section of Final Fantasy 7, or the boss theme from Xenoblade Chronicles. The very calm, soothing sounds from Journey's story sections, or the up-tempo beats from Child of Eden. I can get more into a game if the soundtrack is right. I also like collecting the ones I really love. It's one of the reasons that I will always look for a soundtrack of some kind when buying collector's editions of games. How did this all start though?

Quite predictably for me, it started with Final Fantasy 7. Some fantastic music just bringing a brilliant RPG to life. The physical soundtrack cost around £45 from Forbidden Planet back when I was young. A bit too much for me at the time. A while afterwards, I recall getting hold of the ending theme for Ico from the official Ico website (I think that was just pure luck!)

In fact, the PS2 in general was a great time for music in games (at least for me). I had great fun with Gitaroo Man. There's not much I can do when I have to fight off a musical UFO or a trio of skeletons doing a Mexican number on me. As well as Ico, there was Shadow of the Colossus's moving themes in each battle, building up to a climax as you start to get the better of your foe. I can't forget Okami in the mix either. A beautiful game matched with a fantastic soundtrack which gave the game a more Japanese feel. The final boss theme in particular was a particular highlight. The ending theme was enough to make me buy the artist's actual album (though I was heavily into finding Japanese music by that point)

Then there's Persona 3 and Persona 4. Similar but modern soundtracks that matched the game's background. Square-Enix deserve praise for putting Persona 4's main soundtrack in with the game (all dungeon and battle music). While we're on the subject of modern sounds, there's also The World Ends With You from the DS, which packed a very modern and great soundtrack at all stages of the game. Dissidia: Final Fantasy and it's sequel (both on PSP) obviously packed the classic Final Fantasy tunes from every single game except FFXIV. Lots to choose from - even if you only use it as a backdrop for a one minute fight...

Coming into the modern generation, Xenoblade Chronicles stands out as one of the best soundtracks I've heard. Battle themes, town themes, story themes, all easy to listen to and keeps you going as you explore the vast plains and swamps (amongst other areas). Then you have Flower and Journey. Both short games but making use of the music to set a mellow atmosphere to relax you into their worlds.

Finally, this brings me up to Child of Eden. The whole game is music based as you score points based on how well you can fire lasers to the beat of the music. Just as well that the music was good enough to make me hunt for a dedicated soundtrack for that as well. Except that there isn't one. I did persevere though and found that Genki Rockets created some of the pieces of the music in the game. I bought both of their albums recently and they've barely left me since!

In short, I love video game music...

(Oh and I did eventually get the FF7 soundtrack - thanks to the Distant Worlds concert in London...)


Final Fantasy 7 - One Winged Angel
Ico - You Were There
Gitaroo Man - Flyin' To Your Heart (English In-game version)
Okami - Rising Sun
Persona 3 - Mass Destruction (Battle music)
Persona 4 - Reach out to the Truth (Battle music)
The World Ends With You - Twister
Xenoblade Chronicles - Gaur Plains
Flower - Sailing on the Wind
Journey - Apotheosis
Genki Rockets - Fly! (sampled in the final stages of the first level in Child of Eden)

Monday, 9 April 2012

What I've been playing - Since the last time - number 2...

Here we go again...


Trine 2, Journey, The Sly Trilogy and Elevator Action Deluxe (or as someone said via PSN, what the hell is that?). Oh, and I won Trails in the Sky from Ghostlight (thanks guys!). I'm yet to play it but expect my views once I get to play it...

Elevator Action Deluxe

Probably counts as one of those retro games that no-one's heard of (I certainly hadn't heard of it until recently). The game revolves around trying to gather secret documents, hidden within the doors of each building while guards try to shoot you, blow you up or fire rocket launchers at you with no regard for their own safety. Part of the game involves stealthily hiding in doors and slamming them into your enemies faces and other parts involve jumping deftly to avoid gunshots while rocket shots are shot above your head.

The game really came into it's own when I played the game with my sister, trying to beat the game together. Hilarity ensued as our jumping ability (or lack of it) and various other failures (including getting squashed by the token elevator and rocket launching our partner in the back/face) resulted in the most laughs we'd had for a long time. If this has interested you, PSN Europe has this on sale for £4 until Wednesday. Have a go at the demo and decide for yourself. Be warned that there's no online multiplayer.


The final Sony exclusive game from thatgamecompany (who created fl0w and Flower) has been anticipated for ages and it certainly hasn't disappointed in the reviews department, with a metacritic score over 90 and becoming the fastest selling PSN title to date. The game is exceptionally short but an absolute beauty in terms of the environment and the ambient music in the background.

Going into the game fresh and completing it in one go is the best way to go about it. The reason for this is the unique multiplayer aspect of the game where you can find a partner in the game, but you won't know who it is. There's no way of communicating with each other and all you can do is either follow each other through the landscape or just go your separate ways.

Despite only playing the game once, the game was a fantastic experience and one that I'd recommend to everyone who asks. Probably the only regret I have is leaving the game right at the end when real-life took over. I lost sight of my playing partner and it's not a nice feeling to have when you played through the majority of the game with them...

Trine 2

Here's a fact. Trine was the first and only platinum trophy I achieved until I got my Everybody's Golf Vita trophy a few weeks ago. Trine was a fantastic puzzle platformer where you control 3 different characters through some great scenery to (obviously) save the world. I loved the original so much that the sequel had to be brilliant to beat it.

Sadly, something about Trine 2 just holds it back. Normally, I wouldn't (and really shouldn't) care much about trophies but when I look in the trophy list, my heart did sink a little bit. Where's the trophy for completing the game? Where's the trophy for finding all those green experience bottles? Essentially, gold trophies are handed out like sweets on Hallowe'en and you don't need to complete the game to achieve the platinum trophy. What incentive is there for me to do everything?

Still, I hunt on for the experience bottles and look around the worlds (I'm about half-way through now). I'm also finding the puzzles a lot harder to navigate through and I've been in levels for a long time trying to figure out where to go next. Trine 2 is still a good game and some of the levels are fantastic.

Cladun X2

It's the post-launch lull in Vita world so I started working on my PSP backlog. I managed to complete the story in this complex dungeon crawler (well, sort of) but I'm stopping short on conquering the 99 floor random dungeon because I just don't have enough time or patience to get there.

Other News
Too much to remember but there might be a bit of juicy gossip tomorrow after the embargo expires on Capcom's Captivate event. Also, the PS4/XBox 720 rumours are getting annoying. The latest rumour I heard was that both consoles will run hot enough to cook bacon in the disc tray (assuming they have a disc tray)

Sunday, 11 March 2012

What I've been playing - Since the last time...

Oops, I completely forgot to update the blog recently. Mainly because of other factors (like not actually playing many games recently) but here I am with an attempt to try and remember what has actually happened since my last post...

Quite a lot if all's said. With the Playstation Vita launch, I purchased Super Stardust Delta and Escape Plan. I also had to purchase Hustle Kings because I had a £5 pre-order voucher that I simply forgot to use for either of the other 2 games! I also bought Malicious amongst other PSN and Steam games.

Playstation Vita
In general, I've had a very good time with it over the past few weeks. Everybody's Golf has been my main game with the odd flirt with Frobisher Says and Super Stardust Delta. I'm close to hitting my first ever platinum trophy for a retail game in Everybody's Golf with only one trophy to go. I may review the Vita at some point in the next few days - but don't hold your breath based on past experience :)

Final Fantasy XIII-2
Started and completed the main game (though at double the time that other players have completed it in). Lots still to do before the next bit of story DLC arrives but in general, a massive improvement over Final Fantasy XIII with more side-quests and more stuff to do. I spent far too much time at the Chocobo Races and just fooling around in general.

Dissidia duodecim Final Fantasy
Finally completed everything that is reasonably possible in the game (ignoring the shop). I really hope it never ever comes back with another consecutive day system...

Other News
OK, I'll admit I didn't realise Gravity Rush wasn't going to arrive at the Vita launch but we do finally have a release date for the game. That date is Friday 15th June 2012. While the wait continues, you can grab a downloadable version of the promotional video (previously seen on 27th January 2012) and put it on the PS Vita to show off the screen :). Also worth looking at is Rainbow Moon. A PSN Strategy RPG which looks to have the grid-based gameplay of other great strategy RPG games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Disgaea. The game is set to launch in June 2012.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Promotional Video: Gravity Rush

You may have seen this already if you follow me on Twitter but I thought I'd leave it here - just in case you need to find it again. It's a great promotion of the game and I feel it should make a great advert for the game and Vita in general.

The video came in a package sent to certain press teams in Japan, along with an apple and the message "You will control gravity for the first time".

The game is due out on 9th February in Japan and believed to be released on the Playstation Vita launch date (22nd February) in Europe and US. Note that the European release is apparently PSN-only.

Source: 4Gamer via Andriasang

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Hands on: Playstation Vita

Having just returned from the Vita Rooms event in Manchester and I've put some of my impressions below. Apologies if it seems really brief but my talent for writing is RUBBISH ;).


The device itself is quite light but felt really sturdy in my hands. The analog sticks themselves were smaller than I had thought and did take some getting used to. Overall though, I liked the look of the device and throughout the 3 hours I spent at the venue. There weren't any problems with the touch screen, though I did at times accidentally hit the rear touch panel which sometimes caused some minor gameplay issues. The screen looked brilliant in all the games I played. Speaking of which, here's a few opinions of what I played:

Little Big Planet

I tried 2 levels of LittleBigPlanet, the first being a standard platform level (which you've probably seen around online), while the other was an Air Hockey level for 2 players. The main level was good to demonstrate how the screen and rear touch panel would work with the game and in general looked really good.

Everybody's Golf

Played 6, birdied 6 :). The game actually looked a bit low-res at times but ultimately, it's Everybody's Golf :). I did test out all the new camera options and enjoyed playing the game.

Escape Plan

This was one of my favourite games at the event and out of our group of 3, the most played as well. The demo we played put us in as Lil and using the touch and rear touch screen to help Lil escape. If you mess up, you return to the start of the current room. The game shows a lot of promise and left a great impression on all of us.

Gravity Rush

Another favourite from the event and has been regarded as one of the most interesting games of the launch. The demo was basically a tutorial and a run up to and including the first boss. I sadly didn't really see anyone else playing the game but it's certainly the one that I'd purchase without thinking - just for the visuals!

Other games I played:

WipeOut 2048
Top Darts
ModNation Racers
Reality Fighters
Uncharted: Golden Abyss
FIFA Football
Touch my Katamari
Michael Jackson: The Experience (a guilty pleasure at the show!)
Hustle Kings
Super Stardust Delta

Overall, a good day out and a great chance to see what to expect when the Vita launches on 22nd February 2012. I've added a couple of games to my list of wants, and confirmed a few games that I'll decided to leave.

If you want any other impressions on games I didn't cover above, let me know on the comments, or via my Twitter (@HiddenAway1).

Monday, 9 January 2012

What I've been playing - 31st December 2011 to 8th January 2012

A new year and a new aim (a bit cheap to call it a resolution I suppose). To reduce my backlog to manageable levels. If you haven't noticed, I've already started logging my games via Backloggery so feel free to have a peek at the list. Bear in mind that 90% of the Steam stuff was all from last year - stupid sales...

...and I didn't start off very well either. Steam-wise, I grabbed Puzzle Agent 1 and 2, as well as Gemini Rue (I'm a sucker for adventure games like this). On PSN's festive sale, I acquired the 2 Penny Arcade Adventures, Patapon 3, Metal Slug XX and a collection of 5 minis which I won't list here. Thank goodness the PSN sale was slightly disappointing aside from that.

Oh, and I finally pre-ordered the Playstation Vita. I went for the Wi-Fi version with a 16GB card (seriously, I would have grabbed the 32GB if you just let me Sony...) and Everybody's Golf - because I love the series. I can't help it, alright?! :)

After purchasing it last year, I finally got started on Carpe Fulgur's follow-up to smash hit Recettear. An old adventure game where you and your sister are fighting to try and reverse a curse that a witch has put on you, turning your sister into a fairy. The game itself was fairly easy to complete (without going overboard with the collectibles). It also had fishing! I love fishing mini-games. I still haven't seen one that competes with Dark Chronicle though. Fishing for food, fish breeding, fishing contests and fish racing. Overall, a decent game, but one for fans of the genre only.

And Yet It Moves

This seemed interesting from the word go. The aim is to rotate the world around you to navigate through the levels. For example, you see a platform above you and the only way to get to it is to turn the world upside down. Numerous deaths later, the game was complete, though i haven't delved into the additional content yet. That's for another time. Enjoyable game. Reminded me a bit of LocoRoco.

Wallace & Gromit Grand Adventures
Did I mention that I loved point-and-click games? Well, I do. Needless to say, every time I launched Steam and spotted the 3 unfinished episodes in my list, I was never happy with it. After AYIM was done, I started on Wallace & Gromit and finished the 3 episodes. Fans of the series will love it and it's about as close to the actual characters as it's going to get. Wasn't a fan of the last episode though...


Now here's something I missed last year (or was it the year before?). I had played through the demo of the game on the PS3 but I played through and finished it on Steam. Probably the best of the games I've finished so far. Your job is simple. Your sister is lost, and you have to find her. Out in the bleak world though, you find loads of unscrupulous monsters or obstacles in your way and practically anything will kill you. After dying 100 times via spikes, drowning and being speared by a spider leg, there's not much hope for me to finish the game with fewer than 5 deaths. So, I'll just leave it as completed :P.


DDR meets RPG-based battling? You bet. First of all, I must thank the developer and his exceptionally kind offer to give this game out on Steam over on the NeoGAF forums. It's a great concept and well written. I was close to finishing it last night until fatigue and a growing number of TV programmes stopped me short of finishing the last floor. The game is also available on the 360 - grab it!

Also playing
: Dissidia duodecim Final Fantasy and Fortune Summoners (demo)

Other news
We're all still floating into our offices I suppose so news is scarce - aside from the 360 account hacking that seems to be gaining traction. Also heading out to Manchester to check out the Vita prior to it's release next month. Let me know if you'll be there!

Friday, 30 December 2011

My gaming in 2011

Well, another year is about to fade away and of course the world supposedly ends in 2012. Let's hope it doesn't happen because I have a nasty backlog to get through now :P. It didn't start out like that. However, once I re-discovered Steam, their massive sales and the indie bundles, I went crazy - especially in July when I bought around 14 games in their Summer Camp sale. Some I haven't even started yet.

In a bit, I'll list some of games on my "to play" list and reasons why I haven't started or continued them. First of all, I better tackle the games I've been into this year...

Xenoblade Chronicles - Wii
Anyone following me on Twitter knows I absolutely fell in love with this game. After the mild disappointment of Final Fantasy XIII last year, I wasn't sure where the next JRPG masterpiece was going to come from. Then (thanks mainly to Operation Rainfall and NoA's refusal to discuss the game's localisation in US), I caught my first look at Xenoblade Chronicles. I pre-ordered it - ironically because I wanted to get a copy before it became one of those rare titles that I'd never find again.

(Note: There is a lot more than just running in this game ;). I'd show the full trailer but that alone is full of spoilers in it's own right. If you're just looking at the game and don't care for spoilers, you can find the full trailer here)

The game arrived and I was glued in from start to finish. So much to do, breathtaking scenery, loads of twists and turns and a fantastic soundtrack. I loved every second that I played of the game and I just want to be able to play it again when I forget what happened. That's unlikely though as it'll probably stick with me for some time. Essentially, this was my game of the year.

BONUS! A few links for some of my favourite songs from the game :)

Battle music
Unfinished Battle - used only once :(
Boss Music
Gaur Plains
The title theme (give it time :))

Portal 2 - PS3 (also on 360)
Portal - Cake - Puzzles. I loved Portal when I had a chance to play it on the PC and Portal 2 was just as good. Some great new mechanics and attempts to shake the game up. Loads of cracking dialogue in between some real head-scratchers. I'd buy the 3rd game if it ever came out but I think everyone else just wants Half-Life 3 now, right?

Ico/Shadow of the Colossus HD - PS3
The games were brilliant enough of the PS2 but when given the lick of paint for their HD remasters (or in the case of SotC - fix the frame rate), they looked stunning. Ico certainly benefited from the treatment. SotC was nice too, but something wasn't quite right with it. Regardless, it felt good to return to the games after so long. Let's just hope The Last Guardian can follow their colossal footsteps.

Stacking - PS3 (also on 360)
I didn't get to play this until near the end of the year but it was a fantastic game and certainly unique. The idea of using Russian dolls to solve puzzles gave the game charm and humour in spades. Just solving the puzzles in different ways was good fun - not to mention the amount of fun one can have by punching other dolls with a nice right hook.

Beat Hazard Ultra - PC/PS3
So good, I bought it twice. This twin-stick shooter uses your music (or music from online Radio - or it's own music) to generate waves of monsters primed to shoot you down. It's a great game and well worth looking at if you are a fan of the genre.

Other games worth mentioning:
  • Aquaria (PC/iPad) - a superb looking game set underwater and to some great music
  • Dissidia duodecim Final Fantasy (PSP) - well, I suppose if you liked the previous game...
  • LittleBigPlanet 2 (PS3) - A great sequel to the original game, now allowing you to create really complex levels - or even games.
  • OMG-Z (PSP/PS3) - A fantastic little game where you have limited bullets to fire at zombies to spark off a chain reaction of acid, explosions and friendly fire. Fantastic game, though a little on the short side.
  • Child of Eden (PS3/360) - A great looking game and a great experience.
So, that backlog...

Some of the notable games that are on my "to play" list - and my excuses...
  • Aquaria - I loved what I played but I got lost and haven't been back since
  • Valkyria Chronicles - There isn't one. I just can't get into the mood to play it for some unknown reason
  • Persona 3 Portable - Blame Dissidia duodecim and it's "consecutive days played" count for this...
  • Corpse Party - Err, the first ending scared me enough. Want to get back to it though!
  • Chantelise - I haven't got a clue why I've not started on this yet. It's supposed to be right up my alley!
  • Trails in the Sky - Gave it to my sister while I played Persona 2: Innocent Sin. Sadly, another 2 victims of the Dissidia duodecim curse.
  • The 3rd Birthday - See other PSP games...
  • Bastion - Had trouble on the first playthrough before failing to get past the title screen
  • All the Indie Bundle games - ARGH!
...and with that, I'll conclude that this year has been great in terms of finding new games. Not so great for my backlog. Looking forward to next year - and more games that I'll struggle to find time for. Have a great new year and see you in 2012!

What I've been playing - 19th to 30th December 2011

Christmas has been and gone and now I'm relaxed enough (finished work early \o/) to sort through what I've been up to since my last post.

I finally got to purchase Laughing Jackal's latest PSN mini, Orbit and their previous release, Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. The former has been played a lot (more below), the latter hasn't been touched at all.

The Steam sales have also arrived but mercifully, I've managed to stave off my cravings. Except to purchase The Binding of Isaac - which everyone has been harping on about.

Christmas arrived and left me with Child of Eden (another game I've been playing a lot this week) and Professor Layton's latest game (which won't be played until I start/finish the previous game).

Dissidia 012 duodecim Final Fantasy
Just a few more characters to max out. Here's a video of one of the recent battles I had against the computer. Enjoy (me being rubbish)!

A PSN mini from UK based developers, Laughing Jackal. This game sees you and your scientific colleague roam the planets of the solar system to explore every nook and cranny of the world. The aim is to fly around the planets (side-scroller style), in search of relics and money to upgrade your ship. Once you've flown around the planet once, you move on to the next planet and the game basically repeats this for each planet, getting larger as you go along.

Quite an addictive game and the characters do have some great lines (and the obvious Uranus jokes). Not as brilliant as OMG-Z (a chain-attack strategy game with zombies) but well worth a look and costs £2.49.

Child of Eden
This is a musical shooter where the aim is to save Project Lumi from a virus attack as the project nears completion - which would eventually reproduce a human in the world of Eden (where the much appreciated game, Rez takes place). The game uses either motion controls (i.e Kinect or in my case, PS Move) or the standard controller to give you 5 beautiful levels of on-rails shooting action. The way it works is that you lock on to enemies with your reticule and then unleash the bullets in quick succession. Firing the maximum number of bullets in time to the music nets you extra points and your score is tallied up at the end.

It's quite an experience with Move. After some fiddly calibration, the game plays brilliantly and in Trance mode (i.e. another controller in your hand - vibrating to the music) it's even better. I'd love to try this out with Kinect at some point, just to compare it with the PS3 version. I've completed the game but there's a lot to do (killing all the enemies, picking up every item or just achieving a perfect game) and it will take a few goes before I can start eating away at those trophies.

Other news
There's the cancellation of The Last Guardian that turned out to be a mistake (phew!) and Playstation Vita selling well in the first 2 days in Japan - before collapsing. A collapse that has led many a forum to cry "DOOM!"

Keep an eye out on the blog for my personal look at 2011.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

What I've been playing - 12th to 18th December 2011

It's nearly Christmas and as such, I usually rein in my spending on games and various other trinkets I might buy without hesitation.

I say usually. It didn't happen obviously...

It was bundle week this week - bad news for a backlog. I couldn't resist some Point-and-click fun so I grabbed the Blackwell trilogy as part of the Indie Royale and I also roped myself into buying Humble Indie Bundle because it had a few games I was looking into. Finally, I bought Corpse Party (more on that below)

Dissidia 012 duodecim Final Fantasy
Some background here. I'm trying to get the game completed 100% because I'm obsessed with this - and also with keeping the in-game day counter running. It was literally a few weeks after I retired the original Dissidia (a full year of playing the game) that they announced the sequel.

So, current state? Slowly getting the characters to SSS status. Just 10 to go...

LittleBigPlanet 2
Managed to finish the game with my sister and Celedin. Great fun playing all the levels together. Just missing that one extra player that we need to get the last few items in the game.

As for community levels, I've seen some mind-blowing creations. The most impressive one I've seen is Little Big Fantasy - Goddess War, which is basically, a JRPG in the LBP2 engine. Not much in the way of battling (the level was maxed out as it was) but it shows a lot of promise.

If you're after some speed, Kaleida's Maze is superb fun and you can always try to Ace it as the ultimate challenge.

Corpse Party
For the uninitiated (and for those not reading up on Japanese games, that means you :P), this is a horror game that just got released on PSN as a download exclusive for the PSP. The game's unique selling point is the audio, which simulates a surround effect for maximum scare potential (when wearing headphones). This means you can end up hearing whispers direct in one ear, or a ghostly sound flying around you, with it's wails circling from one ear to the other.

I've just encountered the first of the "incorrect" endings in the first chapter. It's certainly an unsettling game and one that horror fans should look into - if only for something different. Just be warned that you'll not see any zombies here!

Other news
Big week in Japan as the Playstation Vita finally went on sale, and it's not even been a year since it's unveiling back in January. Early indications are that the touch screen seems a bit poor in "textural" quality and the Wi-Fi cuts out when you're not using it. Uncharted doesn't seem to be as good as expected (in the graphics department) and in-game screenshots make the games look worse.

The other big news that struck me this week was the confirmation that Fumito Ueda (who's been the creator of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus) has left Sony, but will still work on the exceptionally late release of The Last Guardian.

Until next week, let me know what you think of the format. Too long? Too short? No pictures? (I know, I'll try and get some next week - promise!)

Saturday, 10 December 2011


So, as per my first post in over 2 years, here's what I'm looking to do.

More personalised - The fact that this was turning into something like a news blog just didn't sit well with me after a while. So from now on, I'll be giving more of my own opinions and sharing thoughts on games I've played every so often (eventually spanning to weekly posts - if I can). I'll try not to bore you with all the details - or worse, spoil something!

Shorter reviews - It's a sign of laziness creeping in that I can't write an essay any more. With that, the review style of old is out of here. Instead, it'll just be a quick list of likes, dislikes and whether I recommend a purchase. Depends on how much of the backlog I'm playing though...

More updates - Yes, I'll try my absolute best to get some more posts in each week. Though bear in mind that only personal opinions pieces (like "what I'm playing" or reviews) will be posted to my Twitter account (*shameless plug*: I'm @HiddenAway1)

Hopefully, you'll stick with me while I sort myself out and dust the cobwebs off. See you around!


Hello everyone! You might have noticed that the blog got "mothballed" for a few months (OK, years). Just so you know, I'll be looking to start posting stuff again, though I'll be looking to keep it a bit more personal rather than just chucking news at you (I'll still do that, but less of it :)).

Please be patient while I find time to start writing again in the next week or 2!

Oh, and yes, I'll clear up that sidebar before the new year :P

Friday, 13 February 2009

European release date confirmed for Persona 4

Square-Enix finally fixed their sights on a largely rumoured 13th March 2009 date for the European release of Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. The critically acclaimed RPG will come with a bonus 24 song CD and at the moment is holding a budget price of £17.99 on most online retailers.

The game centers around a small town where strange murders are happening. For some reason, these tend to correspond to the weather in the town. Just like in Persona 3, you have to balance your school life but with Persona 4, the pace will pick up as there is no telling when the weather will turn bad.

Official website

Source: Press release