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Showing posts from May, 2015

Squid and Demos

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The weekend before last, I took part in the final round of the Splatoon, Global Testfire demo. It was a last minute decision, and it turned out to be a wise one. Within the space of half an hour, I went from being hardly interested to completely sold on Nintendo's newest IP. I loved the simple premise, the colourful art style and cheerful presentation; the silly shooty-fun-fun made me think of Timesplitters, and you know how I feel about that series.Within half an hour of finishing the demo, I had pre-ordered a copy of Splatoon and then spent the rest of the evening googling Timesplitters 4.

I can’t remember the last time a demo sold me on a game. I thought Splatoon looked like fun, but it struck me as being a little too childish and it also had the misfortune of being on the Wii U, the first console to be unplugged when I need to free up sockets behind the TV. Regardless, the demo convinced me that it is worth my time and that the Wii U should remain plugged in for the foresee…

Blue Skies and False Nostalgia

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When I think of classic SEGA, Out Run is the first game that comes to mind. It was one of the biggest arcade hits of the 80s and it was ported to every home console under the sun. Sega had other arcade smashes in that decade, most notably Space Harrier, Hang On and After Burner, but Out Run is the one that I'm most fond of.
I didn't spend my childhood hanging out in arcades. I was a toddler when Out Run cabinets first appeared, and the initial wave of home console ports were also before my time. I received my first console, a Master System, in 1991 and I don't think I played Out Run before picking it up on the Saturn in the mid-2000s. Yet I revere and own multiple copies of it, on retro and current hardware. So why am I drawn to Sega's iconic racer?
I'll start by stating the obvious: Out Run is excellent. It has stood the test of time, and the 3DS update is wonderful. It was created by an industry icon, Yu Suzuki, the man behind some of Sega's most iconic g…

Bloodborne - Good and Bad Nights

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Most nights, I couldn't wait to fire up my PS4 and get lost in Bloodborne's world of rot and misery. I'd play well past my intended bedtime, stifling yawns while I carved up ghouls in my pyjamas. However, there were also evenings where I was far less eager, nights where I made little to no progress and questioned whether Bloodborne was worth losing an hour of sleep.
On the good nights, I struggled to put Bloodborne down. There was always one more area to explore or another boss that I wanted to have a stab at. Across fifty hours, my blood splattered hunter and I covered every last inch of Yharnam, successfully taking down every boss, some more successfully than others, and mingling with the locals.
I enjoyed the shift in combat from Dark and Demon Souls’ more deliberate and defensive style, to a speedier and more aggressive approach. The ability to regain health by quickly attacking after taking damage rewards aggression and (calculated) risk taking, though spamming butto…

Monthly Round-up: April 2015

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In Case You Missed It:Finding Fault with Bloodborne / Tuned Out / Guitars & Wiimotes / Buy My DLC
My new NBA blog:  Holding Court
April Playlist
1. Bloodborne: April was all about Bloodborne, fifty one hours of it to be exact. I exhausted every area and boss, with the exception of the Chalice Dungeons which I thought were dull in comparison to the rest of the game. I got the squid baby ending and even tried a bit of NG+, just enough to convince myself that I'm not up for a second playthrough just yet. A week removed from my final visit to Yharnam, and I’m still thinking about Bloodborne and all the things it did so well.
2. Valiant Hearts: Valiant Hearts makes great use of an otherwise underutilised setting - World War One. The art style is beautiful and it softens some of the more unpleasant scenes without lessening their impact. VH does a good job of highlighting the history within its fiction, and I enjoyed learning a little about the settings and events that are depicted. Ga…