Demo: Batman: Arkham Asylum

August 8, 2009

The arrival of this demo yesterday was a nice surprise.  It’s on Xbox Live (and can be downloaded by going here), PC (download from Fileshack here) and the PlayStation Store (which I can’t directly link to).  I played the PS3 version.

Batman01

I was interested in the demo because the game has been built up into a Big Thing, which seemed to take everybody by surprise (including its publisher, who delayed the game seemingly to make sure it could live up to the hype).  It has potential to not just be a big, AAA release, but the game that finally does the Batman character justice in all his aspects (his refusal to kill, his intelligence and detective skills, his combat prowess, his gadgets and stealth), as well as telling a good story.  Some of the pre-release hype has even compared it to Bioshock in terms of its atmosphere, which is a lot of praise/pressure to place upon a game ahead of release.

So, based upon the hype and personal expectations I was hoping to find that this game is an atmospheric fighting game with smooth, satisfying combat, decent stealth gameplay that isn’t too punishing for failure, and does justice to the potential of the Batman character.  Can it live up to those expectations? Read the rest of this entry »


Saturday’s Play – Dear Esther

June 15, 2009

I don’t play many games on my PC these days.  It’s not a particularly good gaming machine by current standards, with the only upgrades it has had in a long time being purely to get it to run World of Warcraft better, which wasn’t really a technical powerhouse.  When I lost interest in WoW and got back into gaming, it was consoles that got my attention, not the PC.  As such the only games I’ve played on it in a long time are The Sims 2, the first two Hitman games (which I went back to recently for a while) and pretty much anything by Valve (except Left 4 Dead, which I have on 360).

Though I think Valve are a great developer and I have a lot of respect for what they’ve done for digital distribution, I’m not actually keen on Steam itself.  Half-Life 2 was an awkward introduction to it, a game that needed online activation through a clunky service to play the game, without offering any benefit for doing so.

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Today’s Play: LittleBig Sim Kart Wheels

May 31, 2009

I haven’t played anything for a few days (which is why there were no Today’s Play entries).  Nothing in my collection particularly excites me at the moment, mostly because I’m tempted to buy something new.  Today, however, I did put some time into Mario Kart Wii, LittleBigPlanet and The Sims 2.

Mario Kart Wii

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Being somebody who doesn’t generally like racing or enjoy driving, I’m fairly easy to please with the Mario Kart games.  As long as there are the familiar characters (especially Wario, my personal default choice), a healthy selection of tracks and the ability to race in the cups with friends/family then I’m happy, so Mario Kart Wii is exactly what I wanted from it.

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Dead Space

April 24, 2009

DeadSpace03

About:

Released on: Xbox 360 (version reviewed), PlayStation 3, PC

Developed By: EA Redwood Shores (now Visceral Games)

Who Also Developed: The Godfather Series, the Simpsons Game

Published By: Electronic Arts

Players: One.

Demo Available: Yes (360 & PS3)

Demo a Good Example of Game: No – the game is better than the demo implies.

Additional Content: Improved armour and weapons (essentially ‘cheats’ to make the game easier) for PS3 and 360, but not PC.

Ben’s Progress: Game completed on the normal difficulty. 39 of 48 achievements earned.

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Mirror’s Edge

April 16, 2009

Mirror'sEdge02

About:

Released on: Xbox 360 (version reviewed), PlayStation 3, PC

Developed By: DICE

Who Also Developed: The Battlefield Series

Published By: Electronic Arts

Players: One.

Demo Available: Yes (360 & PS3)

Demo a Good Example of Game: Yes – Shows the game at its best and hints at the worst parts.

Additional Content: Additional ‘challenge’ levels for all versions, one of which is exclusive to the PS3.

Ben’s Progress: Game completed on the normal difficulty, time trials attempted. 17 of 50 achievements earned.

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Fallout 3

April 10, 2009

Fallout301

About:

Released on: Xbox 360 (version reviewed), PlayStation 3, PC

Developed By: Bethesda Softworks

Who Also Developed: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, etc.

Published By: Bethesda Softworks

Players: One.

Additional Content: Additional areas/quests and raised level cap for 360 and PC, and soon for the PS3.

Ben’s Progress: Game completed on hard difficulty with bad karma, second playthrough in progress with neutral karma. 49 of 50 achievements earned in base game (non-DLC).

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Prince of Persia

April 10, 2009

PrinceofPersia01

About:

Released on: PlayStation 3 (version reviewed), Xbox 360, PC

Developed By: Ubisoft Montreal

Who Also Developed: Previous Prince of Persia games, Splinter Cell, Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry 2.

Published By: Ubisoft

Players: One

Demo Available: No

Additional Content: Additional area for PS3 and 360, not for PC.

Ben’s Progress: Game completed. 37 of 51 trophies earned in the base game (non-DLC).

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