Gaming this Week: Psychonauts, Reboots, and Financial Collapses

Welcome to the first of my weekly gaming feature posts! I’ll be aiming to do one of these “my gaming life” type posts every Monday, to say what I’ve been playing in the previous week and talk about recent gaming news that I’ve seen. This week, I’ve been playing Psychonauts, and watching as a couple of much loved retail stores meet their end.

My Gaming

Razputin, Psychonauts' main character

I’ll admit I haven’t got much gaming done this week as I’ve been busy setting up the blog, but I have been playing Psychonauts on and off. I picked it up on Steam in the Christmas sales for cheap, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well it plays. I always heard it was a cult classic, but I wondered if despite that status it would suck, like Ico (ooo controversial!).

It actually doesn’t suck. Most notable about the game is the quality of the character dialogue and acting, and everything is voice acted, including when you talk to squirrels for larks! It’s also a pretty good PC port: I’ve been able to play it with my keyboard and mouse with minimal issue, it doesn’t lag, and it runs at a decent resolution (well, 1440×900). Some of the cutscenes are a bit fuzzy (good old 640×480 FMV style stuff going on there) but other than that it feels like it would pass for a really good indie game these days. And there are so many collectibles! It feels like a nostalgic trip back to my days of playing Banjo Kazooie and Super Mario 64… sadly I suck at platformers, but I do try. You can probably expect a blog post about Psychonauts at some point as I have plenty of material on it.

Highlight of the week:

I died about 6 times fighting a tumourous mutated lungfish called Linda. How was I supposed to know I needed to trap her antenna in a clam?

Linda the Lungfish from Psychonauts

What’s her name? Liiiindaaaa.

In the Gaming News

2013-01-21-DMC-dante-rebootSo the new Devil May Cry – er, sorry, DmC – happened I guess! The first thing I thought when I saw this game was, “wait, didn’t we already try the whole youth reboot thing in DMC3?” Apparently it needed doing again! I’ve read and watched some stuff that’s pretty damning, but I’ve also heard that the rebooting of Dante’s character isn’t quite as awful as Capcom and some games journalists make it look. Regardless of the characterisation, the sheer amount of cutscenes sounds off-putting, and what I’ve seen of them isn’t good (not that DMC cutscenes have ever been that good). I do hear that it gets better as the game progresses though. Other than that the combat looks much like what I played already in the last three games – though much easier on Normal, which I’m actually glad about, as I was often relegated to the Easy setting on previous titles after I sucked pavement a few too many times. I’m still on the fence on this one – I suppose in the interest of my gaming blog and being “current” I should give it a play, eh? Nonetheless I suspect that I’ll be picking up this game in a Steam sale later in the year.

On the subject of reboots, I am fairly excited for the new Tomb Raider reboot coming soon. I know there’s been some controversy over one of the promo videos, but it doesn’t really sound like there’s going to be any of that sort of thing happening in the game. I do wish they’d got rid of that cheesy mock-British accent of hers, but alas they didn’t. Sigh.

Other than that it seems to be a week for financial collapses, with HMV and Blockbuster imploding under financial pressure, and Gas Powered Games looks like it’s headed that way too. Depressing!

Here’s some other stuff that’s interested me in gaming news this week:

So that’s all for this week’s Weekly Gaming. I will hopefully have Part 2 of the Guild Wars 2/TERA: Rising versus thing up later in the week – by Thursday if I stick to my writing schedule!

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