WHAT I’VE BEEN PLAYING 10/24/2014

I’ve got some games in the pipeline I want to talk about in more details over the coming weeks, but in the meantime, I’d like to share with you all a few titles I’ve been playing over the past little while.

THE WALKING DEAD: GAME OF THE YEAR EDITION (PS4)

the walking dead GOTY ps4

I feel in love with this series once I picked up the first collected edition in early 2013 on Xbox 360, but after playing this year’s, in my opinion, lackluster sophomore effort from Telltale, I wondered whether or not I got caught up in the “Game of the Year” hype train everyone was getting on in 2012. Those fears were put to rest immediately when I played through the opening episode of The Walking Dead Season One on my PS4 earlier this week.

I only played through the first season of The Walking Dead once, and I’m kinda glad I did because experiencing it from the start after finishing up season two not too long ago, it’s amazing to see exactly how far along the characters have come, in particular Clementine and another who I won’t mention for fear of spoiling the follow-up season for those who haven’t played it.

It’s also nice to be able to stretch my legs and do much more exploring as well as interacting with items here than in almost all of season two, something I hope Telltale really fixes with their games going forward. Having only gone through the game the once and with a vague memory of how all the puzzles pieces fit, I actually was a loss of what I had to do a few times (it was also pretty late at night in my defense,) which never happened once in any episode in the second season.

This game doesn’t really benefit in any significant why by being on the PlayStation 4, none at least my casual eye caught, but I’m assuming moving forward all Telltale games will be on the PS4/Xbox one, so I actively looked for this to carry over my decisions into season three. I can’t speak on whether or not it’s an issue either in other parts of the country or the US, but I had a lot of trouble finding this game last week. No retailer seemed to carry it and EB Games doesn’t even have it listed on their website.

SPIDER-MAN: SHATTERED DIMENSIONS (XBOX 360)

shattered dimensions cover

If you follow the ongoing Amazing Spider-Man series from Dan Slott, you’ll probably know why I’ve had this in my Xbox 360 disc tray and when you can expect to see a formal review of it come up. Even if I didn’t plan to give an opinion on this game, it’s probably something I would replay anyway as this really is my favorite Spider-Man game of all time. I can see why people may not like it, especially if they’re a fan of the open world Spider-Man games, but it’s such an awesome celebration of all things Spider-Man contained in one package that truly makes it special.

It makes me sad that the sequel was rushed out to market so fast and that Beenox has only worked on The Amazing Spider-Man movie games since. Given today’s climate with games like Batman: Arkham Knight, Shadows of Mordor and Alien: Isolation, Activision really needs to learn that these things need time to gestate to be good. Of course telling that to the conglomerate whose revenue stream is dependant on annual franchises is like chipping away at a mountain with a slingshot.

TUROK: DINOSAUR HUNTER

turok dinosaur hunter cover

I own a PS4, it’s the start of the new game season, and I’m playing an N64 game. A LAUNCH window Nintendo 64 game. I sought this out around the time I published my article about enjoying games you already own after reading an excellent article about someone reminiscing about working retail around the time the N64 came out. That got me thinking about this forgotten series of comic book games that took Acclaim off of life support, albeit for a short period of time.

I played all of the Turok games on the N64, only ever owning one of them (part 2 that I got as a Christmas gift) but I never finished one, though I came extremely close with part 3. I never played many PC games and had very little experience with FPS (or “Doom Clones” as they were once called) so I could never quite wrap my head around both moving AND shooting, especially in 3-D space. It didn’t help that Turok: Dinosaur Hunter had some pretty strange controls that took some getting used to; Moving with the C-buttons and aiming inverted only with the analog stick.

It’s interesting revisiting this today as both its controls and graphics, once considered state of the art, are now hilariously dated, but yet it’s still fun to play, especially in the era of games we’re in now. Modern FPS titles are content with funneling you down a corridor from one action set piece to the next, but Turok throws you into massive levels that really require your attention if you’re going to hope to make any progress. Missing that one nook or climbable vine means the difference in having to play a level over again to find a key, or a weapon that will make a boss a walk in the park or live-eating difficult.

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