First Wonder Coming to Consoles

Indie developer Rogue Rocket Games have announced a partnership with independent console developer and publisher GRIP Digital to bring their upcoming First Wonder to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

First Wonder - Monstro


Q.U.B.E: Director’s Cut Launches for Consoles

Grip Games, publisher of shooter smash hit Tower of Guns, have finalised the console release dates for the much-anticipated ultimate edition of the physics puzzler connoisseur’s favourite: Q.U.B.E: Director’s Cut.


A Day on the Couch: ZombiU and Hotlinking

Yesterday was all planned out.. I wanted to get on with some Minion Master, get slapped about some more in Dark Souls, and follow that up with these Blender tutorials.  However, my PC had other ideas: hanging on the GRUB loader, giving Error 22 and pretending to have a failed HDD.  I say pretending, because it turned out later that the drive was fine.. the PC was just trying to boot from the wrong drive.

So, off to the couch.. and another few hours of trying to survive in ZombiU! (more…)

Our Wii U and Nintendo Land

Tim brought home our Wii U last night, and as he’d done the tedious hour-long update at work, it was just a matter of setting up our user accounts.. individual accounts linked to the new Nintendo Network this time.

I decided not to bother importing my old Mii yet.. the transfer from the Wii is easy enough but both consoles have to be connected to the internet to do it.. and besides, there was a new Mii Maker to play with!


Valve Developing “Steam Box”?

A rumour is circulating that Valve may be developing their own console!

This console would play PC games, use Steam and perhaps even competing services.. and would use The Big Picture, which offers easy-to-read and simple navigation designed for the TV, controlled by either a gamepad or mouse and keyboard.  Game developers wouldn’t have to pay for a license to develop for the platform, unlike for other consoles.

In an interview with Penny Arcade earlier this month, Gabe Newell made mention of Valve building their own hardware to make use of their own innovations.. which may include biometric measurements and augmented reality games.

Is there room for another box under the telly?  We have a PS3, Xbox 360, Wii and a media PC already.  I think I could make room for something that brought interesting augmented reality games along.. games that react to how you are feeling, or allow players to see the state of other players in multiplayer, like in the special build of Left 4 Dead.  Though.. I think I’ll stop short of the skull implants 😉

Diablo III on Consoles Too?

Diablo III is confirmed as being developed for consoles as well as the PC and Mac, according to this tweet from Blizzard’s Community Manager, Bashiok.

Although a console version has been mentioned in the past, it had not been confirmed until now.  Director Jay Wilson has previously said that if they were to build a console version, it would be from the ground up rather than a port.

“We don’t want to port it,” said Wilson, Diablo III’s director. “We want to build it for console. There’s a key difference. Certainly, a lot of things get brought over, but a port is trying to take a PC game and graft it onto a console.

“Our goal, is to make a game that feels like it’s natively made made for a console. If we make it, we want it to feel like a Blizzard game and that we built it for that platform from the ground up.”

From VG247, via Game Informer‘s magazine.

Update: Bashiok has now said that the earlier tweet wasn’t meant to be an announcement: “We’re still exploring a console version, but more importantly working on the PC/Mac version.”

ScampLAN 2

The weekend just passed was ScampLAN 2, with a couple of friends bringing their PCs round to our house for gaming and silliness 🙂

We played a lot of Dungeon Defenders.. which I had a look at last week.  This game has really grown on me over the week..

I’ve now tried out all the characters, but the one I’ve played most has been the Huntress, who specialises in traps and ranged weapons.  I felt she was slow to get off the ground with.. the traps start off with only a few charges and are soon used up.. but after gaining many levels and improving both the traps and the character’s stats, she now feels quite powerful 🙂

When you level up, you can spend your points on stats for the character or for your towers.. I’ve spread my points out between the Huntress and her traps, but another friend has put most of his points into his Monk, making him fantastic in combat but with rather weak auras.  For the characters the three of us developed over the weekend, this worked very well, as it meant the mana could be spent on building and upgrading stronger towers and traps, without getting too close to the defense unit cap.  We got as far as the Servant’s Quarters during the weekend!

Another game we had a turn at was Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising.
We tried to play this previously, but thought we might do better if we were in the same room and able to communicate a little better.  However, as in our previous attempts to play, we found barely-visible enemies were able to take us out with ease.. the game is supposed to be about realism and tactics, but if I’m approaching on my belly through trees and bushes, I don’t think it’s realistic to be shot down so quickly by people I can’t even see yet.

I also suffered from a rather random bug, which had my character float up into the air before being thrown back down again.. and of course, taking realistic fall damage.  This happened a few times, but settled down enough to complete the mission.  However, the fun was lacking for most of us, so we didn’t go back for a second mission.

In between the gaming I had a bit more of a poke around with VoxelSniper on Minecraft.
I had a failed attempt to add Zombe’s flying mod.. not quite sure what went wrong, but the game wouldn’t launch.. before I installed VoxelAir, which allows me to jump high into the air and land without damage, or hover above the ground.

You can jump rather a long way up.. and when I came down, I was surprised by the crazy number of mobs which had spawned!

I found an interesting bug with VoxelAir too.. after being killed while hovering, courtesy of a few Skeleton Archers and a lack of care, I respawned still hovering.. floating upwards in fact!  Using the “/give” command simply dropped a new feather at my feet, out of reach.. a friend also tried to give me a feather but it also landed out of reach.  In the end I used “/kill” a number of times and eventually spawned close enough to a feather for it to pick up.

Next up will be forming a nice piece of flat land for a huge project.. more later 🙂

With four people and a reasonably couch to take advantage of, there was also some console gaming.. though we found a distinct lack of co-op games allow four people on one console.  So many games boast “2-4 player co-op”, but don’t specify that this means two people on one console, and two on a second console.. annoying.  We tried Call of Duty: Black Ops.. we wanted the Nazi zombies, but only the arcade mode allowed all four of us to play.  We had a couple of runs on that, with me claiming the top spot for one run!  Red Faction: Armageddon failed us, as did Rainbow Six Vegas.. so we ended up shooting each other in Halo 3 which entertained us for a while!

Hunted: Demon’s Forge was picked up at the start of the weekend too, and we attempted some co-op in pairs.  We all found the game surprisingly hard, though Tim and Jason attempted to play without going through a tutorial first.. masochists!  I think the game would be a lot easier if you were able to carry more than one health vial each.. we also found the game punished deaths by sending us a long way back each time.  I’m looking forward to playing the game by myself at some point soon, too.

Another game which made an appearance over the weekend was Gears of War 3!
I hadn’t yet finished Gears of War 2, but the copy of #3 will be going home with Jason at the end of the week, and Tim wanted to start some co-op, so we’ve been playing through it anyway.. on hard!

So far, I’m loving it.. though noticing a few changes! The world has been destroyed by the Hammer of Dawn, and the enemies now include mutated Lambent creatures.. I’m noticing a huge change from the graphics of the original Gears of War as well, with the character models all being far more refined.  Good changes all round.. and still a great game, as far through as we’ve gotten this far! 🙂

The Eagle and The Apple – 1191

I’ve spent most of the last two weeks laying on the couch being ill, but even so, there’s only so much daytime TV that anyone can tolerate.. Console time!

Assassin’s Creed was glaring at me from the pile of unfinished games, so I swapped TV remote for 360 controller..  Looking at the achievements, I started playing this game before they were storing the date when you earned them.  The earliest dated achieve is from the 5th December 2007.. quite some time back.. and about time to finish it then 😉

When I originally started on the game, I absolutely loved the free-running, climbing around on buildings, then up to the highest point and leaping off again.  Picking off enemy guards one by one very quickly replaced this as my favourite thing to do, especially when I was able to pounce with the hidden blade and feel oh so powerful! 🙂

One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard against the game is about the repetitiveness of the missions.  This was something I hadn’t really minded until this week, when I returned to the cities for new targets, and found myself faced with pretty much all the same missions types to do again..

I never got bored of the quick assassinations with the hidden blade.. and the joy of running and jumping across rooftops only lessened a little with time.. but I did get fed up of the rescue civilian, sword fight, blend and walk away routine.. or more specifically, the annoying sword fights where I really didn’t do well.  Block?  Counter?  Maybe if you’re facing the right attacker, and time it just so..  No.  I preferred picking people off with the throwing knives, or y’know.. assassinating them all sneaky-like with the hidden blade.

The beggars and drunks in the various cities, which I found a different challenge earlier, quickly began to annoy me.. the beggars for their whiny voices coupled with the fact they kept on getting in my way, and the drunks for randomly punching me, one time sending me flying into a guard and getting me killed.  Following this, I barged the drunks over where I could, and either threw beggars into walls or punched them to make them leave me alone.  I stopped short of killing them, annoying as they were, because killing ‘innocents’ leads to a loss of synchronisation and therefore a bar of health.  Strange values this game teaches.. 😉

Now.. I mentioned that I didn’t do so well in the sword fights.. this meant that I avoided them where I could.  So what do we have for our final bosses?  Sword fights, with nowhere to run and get some height or even just a breather, nobody to pickpocket for extra throwing knives..

I found myself raging at the game while I got killed over and over and over by Robert de Sable’s grunts, especially when multiple attackers would be able to make me stumble between strikes, taking half my health in one flurry, and when counters just threw the guy uselessly to the ground without causing any damage.  I realised later that I could have gotten rid of the floored guys right then by switching to the hidden blade, but being tired, ill and then angry on top of that, does not make for thinking..  I’d got to this point of the game by 3am, and guessing that I was nearly done I decided to finish off.  Of course, once angry, I wasn’t going to leave it as I wouldn’t want to come back.. and I’m stubborn!  Instead I found myself hoping to be grabbed and thrown, as this would let me regenerate a bar of health, and then deliberately avoiding the last two grunts while my health regenerated enough to face the boss afterwards.

When it came to Al Mualim, the game-breaker was this time running round and round the yard while my health regenerated, though during an angry flail at the buttons I switched to the hidden blade and got shut of one guy.  Realising this trick made the whole thing easier.. now, if only I’d had to actually learn that earlier in the game I would have had it down for the grunt fight.. but I thought a game about assassination should be about sneaking and picking targets off rather than running at guards yelling “I’m here!” and taking on as many as possible.  Ah well..

Game completed, anyhow.. it’s only taken three years! 😉

Need more time..

I made a little more progress in Final Fantasy VII the other night.. I will complete it eventually. 😉

While sitting by the pile of console games I realised how very few I’ve spent time on..  of these, I have completed less than 10.

Sure, some of these are duplicates of PC games, and some are yearly versions of games we are given through work.. but others are here because we they were wanted, and I’ve just not put the time in.

We’re probably going to end up swapping consoles around so I can still talk to friends via the PC while playing.  Yay for dual monitors 😉

We’ve also yet to pick up Fable III and Fallout: New Vegas.  These two will get played, no question.. Fable II was finished pretty quickly, and as for Fallout.. well, it’s Fallout, and has a special place. 🙂

I think I need more time in the day..

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