What We Have Been Playing This Week
E3 is done and dusted. If you want a re-cap of all conferences then head to our Joypads Forum, which Owen Chapman ran a live blog feed of all conferences.
Week 2 in our ‘What We Have Been Playing This Week’ feature. Lets see what the team have been playing this week.
Alex Duffy – With it being possibly the most relaxed part of college ever, I’ve stepped up the number of games I’ve been playing. The one game I’ll talk about now however is Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance for the Gamecube. It’s the ninth game in the series, and the third to be released outside of Japan. It’s also the first English console Fire Emblem as well as the first 3D Fire Emblem. It’s the first game in the Tellius saga and follows a mercenary named Ike as he begins work with the Greil Mercenaries, run by his father, Greil. However, the region of Tellius is thrown into turmoil as one country, Daein, invades another, Crimea, killing the whole royal family as well as killing many citizens, ruining the towns and cities and claiming the capital as its own. On a mission, Ike finds a girl who turns out to be the long-hidden Princess of Crimea. Daein are after her, and Ike must now ensure her safety while defeating Daein and saving Crimea. However, his journey is not easy: relations between the beorc (humans) and laguz (people who can transform into animals) are decreasing; the massacre of the Heron tribe, a tribe of angel-like creatures, is surfacing again years after it happened; and a mysterious enemy called the Black Knight is repeatedly surfacing near Ike due to a personal vendetta. The game has an excellent story, with deep characters and great twists, and the gameplay is similar to that of other Fire Emblem games but with added features such as the base, where Ike can talk to members of the mercenary group, give bonus EXP to units, and purchase items; and the laguz, units who can transform into powerful animals. Fire Emblem is a majorly underrated series, and it needs a popularity boost as it’s truly amazing. This game leads into Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, which steps up and story and introduces new characters such as Micaiah and gives us more insight into older characters such as Sothe. You should definetely get this game, but the only problem is getting the game: it took me a year to get a copy of this game, and I got it for £30. However, it’s a good game, so it may be worth it.
Ben Stewart – I’ve been most recently playing through the Xbox 360 versions of Mass Effect 1 and 2, I mention the 360 version because I own them on PC but want to play Mass Effect 3 on Xbox due to my PC being a bit laggy. I’ve borrowed the 360 version from a friend.
Currently, I’m on Mass Effect 2 and making good progress! One of the fairly large flaws on Mass Effect 1 was the faffy inventory system, random items just kept building up as you progress and it felt quite clusterf**ky. Luckily, that system was launched out of the nearest airlock in time for ME2 and everything’s much nicer as a result. You only find a few new weapons along the way, and all you have to worry about is the few upgrades to the weapon class overall. Basically, that’s getting rid of all the ammo types and other bullshit. Keeping it short, it’s a superb game! Well balanced combat, superb in-depth story with that awesome, awesome conversation system. A massive improvement to the way the KOTOR conversation system was set out. Beautiful scenery and character detail, although I wish they’d do something to improve the quality of the hair (but that game engine of theirs can’t do everything, right?). Also amazing how you can customise the look of your character, and the voice still fits the image perfectly! If you haven’t played these games, it’s very well worth taking a look at. Highly recommended.
Cory Lee Dunn – Not much gaming this week, exams and all that jazz were still happening. I’m free from exams now though, so massive gaming events are planned for the next week, or month(s). Anyway, what have I been playing this week? 2 games, Red Dead Redemption and Super Mario Galaxy 2. I won’t say much about Red Dead Redemption, if you want to know what I’m doing on it check out last week’s feature, it hasn’t changed much. In short: I’m aiming for 100%, and I’m currently around 87%. Let us speak about Super Mario Galaxy 2! What an excellent game this is, I was never that hyped about it as I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first game. I decided to buy Galaxy 2 on release after hearing it’s apparently better than the first, which I really have to agree with. I can’t recall how many stars there are in the game, but I’m currently around 63 stars and on the 6th world. I don’t know what to say about it really, the graphics and music are just as good as the original, the gameplay is slightly better but the best improvement has to be difficulty, there are actually difficult parts on it now! I recommend Galaxy 2 to every Mario fan, Wii owner and basically everyone.
Ian Windram – This week I have been playing Mass Effect 2. I might have completed the game 2 times but I’ve been doing the new DLC that was recently released. The addition of the Hammerhead Hovercraft allows people to replicate those days of the MAKO only better and hovery. One of the tasks was to disable a shield to gain entry to a specific location while dodging the mother of huge ass guns. The Overlord DLC that was added on Wednesday brought with it a 4-5 hour expansion set of missions with a new storyline. The DLC overall was worth the 560 points I spent on it as It had a lot of wow moments and shocking cutscenes. I recommend everyone get Mass Effect 2 and get the DLC thats included with the Cerberus Network and the two PDLC mission packs.
Scott Widdowson – Well during this week. Been watching E3, definitely want a 3DS & Wii again because of the games which are coming out. So, I finished Mass Effect 2. What a finale! A lot of depth into the characters and it was so much better than Mass Effect 1. Better visuals, better combat. Bioware improved in all areas and I applaud them. I have been playing Blur since friday. Loved the Blur beta, and a few of you would of known that. The singleplayer is very addictive. Only downside is that its remarkably easy. Even though its easy, the game does set a challenge. The fan targets, fan gate run and etc. The multiplayer I knew what I was getting into. Chaos, carnage and a lot of ramming (Keep you’re dirty thoughts to yourselfs. I know who you are). Currently rank 8 or 7, I know I’m one of the two. I can see myself playing Blur for a long time. I hope Bizarre Creations do some DLC for this outstanding game.