Gaming this Week: Now with Thumbsticks

This is the new (hopefully permanent) form that my blog news, blogroll, and gaming news/my gaming posts will take. Basically anything that isn’t of an article/feature-type format will go here. I’ve decided that in the long-term 3 posts per week won’t work for me (I didn’t even manage it this last week, as you may have noticed!). It was fun for the first week though! Onwards and upwards as they say.

My Gaming

So I got my old Xbox 360 gamepad working last week! I found this brilliant tutorial which helped me to get my dodgy old Chinese knock-off receiver working.

Xbox 360 Controller

I had my controller for the last couple of hours of Psychonauts (mentioned last week), which I was glad of as the game got pretty brutal at the end. It was really pushing my limited platforming skills to the edge, and I dread to think what it would have been like on keyboard and mouse!

About finishing Psychonauts I will say one thing: the ending was definitely satisfying, if a bit predictable!

Other than finishing Psychonauts I took my new thumbstick-enabled self back over to The Witcher 2 for another try. That game is completely different when played with a controller, let me tell you. It just doesn’t seem like the same game. If you tried The Witcher 2 without a gamepad and you ever get a gamepad, I strongly suggest going back and trying it again. The inventory menu and pause menu interfaces are still annoying to navigate, but navigating the world, fighting, and looting is a whirl by comparison.

The Cave Title Screen

I purchased The Cave this week after I learnt it was by Double Fine, and involved Tim Schafer. They were involved in the production of Psychonauts, you see. Also Don Gilbert, who did Day of the Tentacle (great game!). It seemed like poetic justice to follow on from my Psychonauts playthrough with a modern Double Fine release, especially as I noticed a few interesting parallels. There’s just one problem: I suck at puzzle games like this. Or so I thought. Thus far I have found The Cave surprisingly playable, and compelling. I only went on YouTube for help for a few minutes of my first 4 hours or so! This either means that the game is very easy, or more tuned to my puzzle failing brain than these games usually are.

Last but not least, I’ve been playing a bit of the Proteus beta. It’s releasing on Steam today, and I’ve been impressed with this little game so far, so I think I shall make a blog post about it on Saturday.

Geesh, I’m going all Indie, aren’t I. Anyway, enough about me, on to the nooz.

Gaming News & Blogroll

Money

So it seems we’ve had yet more bleak financial news this week, with THQ explodifying and taking the much-loved Darksiders franchise down with it, potentially. On that note, the last thing that I heard was that there is hope. I actually find the loss of THQ a bit shocking – I thought THQ was a triple-A company churning out some great titles. I’ve enjoyed more than a few myself. ‘Tis a shame!

Other than that, it seems Bowser will be making it into the Guinness World Records 2013 Gamer’s Edition as the most villainous video game villain ever. I’m not sure I agree (I mean, he beat Sephiroth, Ganon, AND GladOS?!) but gamers have spoken. Well. A random ballet of about 6,000 gamers, which apparently represents all of us.

Anyway! I also found this really cool feature on a live recording of the Final Fantasy X Besaid theme by a Japanese acoustic band called Meine Meinung. I love that track, even in its original form. 1UP covered the shameful eating habits of video game characters – I mean really it’s true, can gamers really be blamed for having a fetish for junk food when we’ve grown up with such role models? It’s a good excuse at least! There was a slue of new game title announcements for the WiiU during the last week, including Wind Waker, more Mario stuff, virtual console blah blah blah. What really surprised me was that Bayonetta 2 will be on the platform. Admittedly that’s been known since last year apparently, but hey… it was news to me. It seems Nintendo is really trying to get some interesting titles onto their thus-far under-appreciated console.

There was a lot more that happened this last week, but those were the stand-out bits for me!

Anyway, here are a few blogs that I’ve found interesting:

  • TESO Should Focus on PvE by Keen at Keen and Graev’s Gaming Blog – because yes, they should. They probably won’t, but they should.
  • The consequences of games as a service by Tobold Stoutfoot at Tobold’s Blog – an interesting article about using digital distribution platforms like Steam and how they’re changing ownership of games.
  • State of my game: GW2 by j3w3l at Healing the Masses – yes I know it’s GW2 again, but this is a good article about how (I suspect many) players feel about the title at the moment.
  • Saturday Soapbox: Buy-to-let gaming by Rich Stanton at Eurogamer.net – all about the rather embarassing state that microtransactions are getting to with some titles, emphasis on Dead Space 3 and FF: All the Bravest.

I hope to have a post of some sort up this Saturday, preferably on a subject that is interesting, most likely Proteus as mentioned earlier in the post! So stay tuned.

Click here to see my other posts!

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5 thoughts on “Gaming this Week: Now with Thumbsticks

      • I think in general terms it has great value, particularly as a children’s learning tool. You can find a few posts from a guy who’s used it for just such a purpose if you look for the Proteus tag on the WP reader. It’s like a pre-Minecraft thing to introduce your kids to.

        When it comes to actual gameplay, I found it very immersive and atmospheric, and the procedural/responsive music works very well. But it is pure randomly generated exploration, nothing else. No peril, no overt objectives, though it can be completed. Completing one island takes about 30 minutes max.

        So yeah, 30 mins gameplay for $10 isn’t great. Not sure it has all that much replay value, not for adults anyway. But at the same time, I’d say it’s worth experiencing. Maybe pick it up in a Steam sale, or Humble Bundle!

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