30 Days Of, 30 Days Of: Gaming

30 Days Of: Gaming, Day 22

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Day 22: A game sequel that disappointed you

So, I really, really loved GTA IV, and I genuinely don’t think I’d be as into gaming as I am now if I hadn’t have played it.

I was so excited for GTA V back when it came out on PS3, and my excitement carried me through a good couple of weeks after it initially released and I played it solidly. The excitement wore off pretty quickly, and I just couldn’t get as into it as I had with its predecessor. Eventually, I stopped playing altogether and still haven’t been back to it, some four years later.

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30 Days Of, 30 Days Of: Gaming

30 Days Of: Gaming, Day 21

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Day 21: Game with the best story

I’ll keep this brief as I have already given this game as an answer to another question.

The game, which in my opinion, has the best story is The Last Of Us. There’s so much going on and the story has so many layers to it and is so compelling, it’s really hard to put down (unless you’re me, and then you get majorly sidetracked by the multiplayer).

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30 Days Of, 30 Days Of: Gaming

30 Days Of: Gaming, Day 12

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Day 12: A game everyone should play

I’m usually really bad with game recommendations, as I get so carried away with the games that I love, I forget what the other person’s interests are or what genre of games they like playing. This has lead to some disasters in the past, but my answer for this game is pretty simple.

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I think everyone should play The Last of Us. Naughty Dog’s game is simply, a masterpiece, and I’ve never met anyone who didn’t enjoy playing it. Even if action adventure games aren’t your usual sort of thing, the story is so compelling and gripping that you simply must play it. It has so much going on, from the raw emotion of the storyline to some genuinely terrifying parts, and so much more.

The Last of Us multiplayer was also the first multiplayer that I delved into, and subsequently got completely addicted to, so there’s always that too.

Games, Gaming News

News: The killer is revealed for Murdered: Soul Suspect

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A new trailer has been released for Square Enix and Airtight Games’ murder mystery game, Murdered: Soul Suspect revealing details of the killer and their crimes.

Playing as detective Ronan O’Connor, you investigate a series of brutal murders, including your own. Set in the eerie city of Salem, the ghostly figure of O’Connor must work to apprehend the murderer before they claim too many victims.

Read my full news story at Filmoria.

Games, Gaming News

News: The Last of Us is coming to PS4

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Sony have confirmed that their hit PlayStation exclusive, The Last of Us, will be coming to PS4 this summer.

Following on from last month’s rumors that Naughty Dog’s latest critically acclaimed game would be coming to next-gen consoles, Arne Meyer, Community Strategist for Naughty Dog has taken to the PlayStation Blog to advise that the PS4 version of the game will include “an exclusive director’s commentary for all in-game cinematics.”

Read the full news story at Filmoria.

Game Reviews, Games

Review: The Wolf Among Us – The Crooked Mile

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Telltale Games has released the latest episode of The Wolf Among Us across Europe, subtitled The Crooked Mile. With the success of The Walking Dead, Telltale have high expectations to reach with The Wolf Among Us, but episodes 1 and 2 proved that they were up to the challenge.

Readers of Culture Shack will know how much I love this series, you can read my full review over at Filmoria.

Games, Gaming News

News: The Wolf Among Us episode 3 releases today in Europe

Today sees the release of the eagerly anticipated third episode of The Wolf Among Us, titled The Crooked Mile.

Brought to us by Telltale Games, creators of the hugely popular The Walking Dead games, The Wolf Among Us is a noir murder mystery following similar game mechanics to The Walking Dead.

My full article can be read at Filmoria.

Games, Platinum Review

Platinum Review: The Testament of Sherlock Holmes

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Point-and-click games are the holy grail of platinum trophies. Posing no real threat, there are no difficult platforming levels, and often no collectibles to concern yourself with. The Testament of Sherlock Holmes is really no different to the Back to The Future game in this respect, with it’s most difficult moments lying in puzzles.

As the name suggests, The Testament of Sherlock Holmes is based on a Sherlock Holmes adventure. The whole game is one story with smaller mysteries building up to a much larger case, though all are linked and as you solve the mysteries the pieces of the larger puzzle will begin to fit together.

The positives of The Testament of Sherlock Holmes are far outnumbered by the negatives. To try and remain on a positive note for a while longer, the puzzles are challenging without being infuriating, and there are comprehensive guides available online. Though the backgrounds and scenes seem authentic to the Victorian England setting of the game, a below average level of graphics means you’ll never get to enjoy it. The game also suffers from some truly awful voice acting, with the actors playing the children some of the worst I’ve ever heard.

Throughout the course of the game you will control Sherlock Holmes, John Watson and Toby, Holmes’ dog. Each character feels more difficult to control than the last, and at times it feels impossible to get the characters to even look in the direction you want them to. Luckily, the bulk of the game centres around solving puzzles, but the searching for clues often feels very labourious due to the sub-par controls.

Players must be aware that there are a number of missable trophies for this game – six in total. With no chapter select available (the game makes you save your progress manually, I would advise creating multiple save files as a precaution), if you miss one trophy then you’ll have to play right through from the beginning.

Playstation Trophies list the game as a 2/10 difficulty and estimate the game with take around 10 hours to complete. Though I’d agree on difficulty, I’d add that with a guide you can probably complete the game in around 8 hours. Be warned, if you aim to get the platinum on this game, you’ll spend a lot of your time feeling very frustrated!

Games

Release day quandry

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Alongside my PlayStation and television there is an ever-growing pile of games I refer to as my “to-complete pile.” Each time a new title is released, the pile grows and I feel a little worse about myself.

As pictured below, the games that I’m so heavily avoiding are some of the best games to be released lately, and LEGO Marvel (which I’ve since obtained the platinum in).

Currently, my pile sits in the order I want to complete the games in; of how annoyed I’ll be if the plots I’ve so carefully been avoiding are suddenly spoiled for me. Not playing these games is exhausting. Constantly on the alert for spoilers from podcasts, articles and loose-lipped friends, these are games I am going to go back to, games that I loved playing. That I will love playing again.

“I’m not going to buy any more games until I’ve finished the ones I’ve got” has become a catchphrase of mine, but as release day for a new game rolls around, I get caught up in the hype and want to be instantly involved. I don’t want to work through the pile just to get the new game, I want it now.

I’ve recently managed to restrain myself from buying both Thief and South Park: Stick of Truth on their own release days, and have made an internal promise that I’ll be caught up with my gaming pile by the time Watch Dogs rolls around.

Using new releases as an incentive brings about it’s own issues. If I really do want to make it through these games before I buy anything new, I have to add new titles to my ever-increasing list of spoiler-blocking.

With game developers bringing out so many worthy games in recent months, the urge to buy new games gets stronger and stronger. With each new release that I deprive myself of, I feel like I’m learning a valuable lesson about the perils of spreading myself too thinly across too many games.

Games, Platinum Review

Platinum Review: The Smurfs 2

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Sometimes, I sit down and think, “Time to get serious with this gaming. Time to play GTA V.” Sometimes I’ll think, “Oh sweet! A new LEGO game! I love LEGO games!” And just sometimes the little voice in the back of my head will say, “This LEGO game sure is taking a long time. I want a platinum trophy NOW.” As I sat down to play The Smurfs 2, it’s pretty clear which thought was running through my head.

To add context into my shame, the LEGO Marvel map is huge, and a real effort to do all of the side-quests and is just taking too long for my platinum craving. I am also playing Sound Shapes on PS3, PS4 and Vita, but I need something to break up the mind-altering frustration caused by Death Mode. The lure of the triple platinum is just too much for me to ignore completely.

I’d like to be able to talk about the plot of The Smurfs 2, but the cutscenes are skipable for the most part and I only really took in the non-skippable ones. As a very brief synopsis, Smurfette is kidnapped by Gargamel and the rest of the Smurfs have to save her. I’m sure there’s more too it than that, but I’ve never been a fan of The Smurfs, and frankly, don’t care about the danger they are in now.

Gameplay is divided up into five levels and a boss in six different worlds, with each level taking less than five minutes to complete. No exaggeration. Levels are linear, with no opportunity to stray from the path. In order to complete your first playthrough as quickly as possible, you should look to do a speed-run and play as Clumsy who can tumble forwards, much more quickly than the other Smurfs. Don’t worry about collectables as you’ll be playing through again once you’ve unlocked Smurfs with different abilities anyway.

As far as games go, The Smurfs 2, is probably about as easy as they come. The Playstation Trophies website lists the game as being 1.5 out of 10 difficulty, with a platinum obtainable within 5 to 8 hours, I would agree with this and perhaps go so far as to suggest the game is even easier. There are no troubling trophies, and the only thing that will take some time is collecting the 100 Smurf coins, which can be done without a guide though there is a comprehensive one online.