Archive for the ‘Preview’ Category

Dipped on Hearthfire last night (400 MSP), the latest bit of DLC coming to 360 (and who knows, PS3 if Bethesda sort their Sony related DLC issues out anytime soon).  If anything can further hinder my attempts at saving the world, an add-on enabling me to build a house, adopt children and create the perfect high fantasy based idyll of perfect life is definitely in the top 3.

As part of my Year of Shame challenge  (in true ‘arse about face’ fashion’, will explain in a later post) I’ll be spending a lot of time in Skyrim this December and part of that will be spent creating my new home.  Will post images up as I go, perhaps pimp it big time and then try to flog it on Tamriel’s number 1 TV show ‘ Homes under the WarHammer’)…Doo, Doo, Do0-Do-Do-Do…I don’t really watch it…it’s the wife…honest.


Skyrim is here…

Posted: November 14, 2011 in Preview

Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes!

Skyrim arrived on our shores last Friday (a really crap time as that was just before a busy time for me meaning no game time) and is already selling by the bucketload.

So, what does someone who got dragged into this current generation of consoles by Oblivion think?

2 feeble hours in and already feeling the world drawing me close into a loving embrace.  Effectively, it plays in a v similar manner to Oblivion with a few elements that worked in the recent Fallout games making an appearance.  V stylish presentation, graphics on XBOX (thanks to a day one patch) are settling down to ‘wow’ level.

Music just as soaring as ever and also impressed by the background SFX, not sure if I’m reading too much into this but my footfalls and armour sounds whilst walking / running seem to match what I’m wearing.

Already started my OCD-like searching of every barrel and burial urn.  Found not 1,2,3 but FOUR cabbages in one barrel.  Snag a rodent whilst practising with my newfound bow and…bang…I’ll have a casserole!

You owe it to yourself to have a vacation in Tamriel, even if you don’t usual play these types of games.  Can’t wait to get back…

Trust me to end up with the psycho…

Posted: September 12, 2011 in Preview

During the forthcoming winter games release schedule, as many gamers prepare to speak in the tongues of dragons or engage in Modern Warfare, a few will pull up the collars of their coats and walk the
other way.  These gamers are interested in a darker and definitely more quirky experience – a few nights in the company of Catherine.

From the minds of Atlus (think Persona, Digital Devil Saga and Trauma Center amongst many others) comes a tale and a game unlike any you have played on the current generation of consoles.

Catherine is unique.

How do I know?
Because I’ve already met her…

Describing any Atlus game experience is rarely straightforward.  Catherine is one part anime cut-scene, one part interactive anime and one significant part tower puzzle (and an occasionally fiendishly difficult one at that).

You play Vincent, a 32 year old who is busy avoiding the responsibilities that come with a steady relationship whilst regularly drowning
his concerns with friends at the game’s main hub, the Stray Sheep.  It’s a bar full of character and characters.  Many are men who all have a
strange tale to tell of nightmares involving sheep and tower climbing…

Before the tale can further unfold, you too experience your own bovid based night terrors.  Armed only with a pair of boxer shorts, a pillow and a hefty pair of horns (I kid you not) you are forced to climb a set of structures quickly enough to avoid an unknown evil pursuing you from beneath.  The evil takes many forms throughout the game but if it catches up with you, it’s all over (depending on the difficulty setting played, you’ll get a limited number of ‘retry’ credits).

Each tower is made up of mysterious blocks which can be dragged and pushed to create bridges or steps to aid your ascendance.  Some paths are easy to spot, others not so,
but make it to the top and you survive one more night and a chance to speak with some rather familiar sounding sheep.

Cut-scenes move the story along and create additional problems for your weary character before a return to the Stray Sheep and a chance to drink, mingle with the clientele, and play the jukebox or a retro arcade machine.

You can check your phone to find out what your girlfriend, Katherine, is asking or to check your statistics and save your progress before returning to the real world.

It’ll also be where a young lady called Catherine will start contacting you once you meet her after a late one in the bar early in the game.  Who is she? Where did she come from?  And how has your character apparently ended up sleeping with her even though you can’t remember what happened?

Vincent’s story and that of a tale involving a witch’s curse are unravelled day by day leaving you the job of staying alive at night.

So what makes a suitable closing comment for a game like Catherine? Flawed brilliance and extremely playable in short or longer bursts, it’ll undoubtedly lose the prime shelf spaces to the AAA titles coming out at the same time and pass many gamers by.

But…should you find yourself drawn to Catherine (your interest piqued by the need to play something a little different this Winter) the game is scheduled for release on XBOX 360 and PS3 at the end of
October…just make sure you keep climbing and don’t look down…