The Richie Report – The 360 + One = 4 Formulation

“I continued to hoover”
Oh hi there, readers. Richie here with another report on the world of gaming. It’s been a little while since our last report and an odd thing has happened. I’ve made the transition from my Xbox 360, which apart from the occasional co-op session on Diablo III is getting about as much action as Susan Boyle on a speed-dating night, to gaming primarily on the PlayStation 4. Now I’ve actually owned said PS4 for ages now but it had been a bit-part player while I continued to hoover up achievements.

Things are different now as it has become my main console and I’m playing basically everything I can get my hands on. Thankfully, the summer drought is over and everyone is rushing out their games before Call of Duty comes out, so we’ve got lots to talk about.

FIFA 15 came out a month ago and, well of course, it’s just FIFA. Nothing more, nothing less. Still, it does look particularly swish on the PS4. At times it looks as though you’re watching football on television, although it plays much like it ever did, and this is a ‘slow’ year so don’t expect to Theo Walcott your opponents to death. Still, it’s good.

"My my, Mr Rooney, what big hands you have!"... "All the better for grabbing your huge granny tits, my love"

“like ice hockey we’ve got our eyes”
Konami have literally no idea what they are doing when it comes to marketing PES 2015, and the fact that they’ve given FIFA a two-month head start is a worry but, surprisingly, the demo of PES 2015 is excellent, with everything having a nice realistic approach and the physics feeling weightier than FIFA, which makes it all feel a lot more like football and a little less like ice hockey. We’ve got our eyes on that one.

Sigourney. Every. Time.

More importantly, Alien Isolation finally fell clumsily out of the air vent and bit us right in the skull. We had high hopes for this one, but also the kind of cynicism that comes from watching every Alien-branded product in fifteen years suck. On the plus side, Alien Isolation takes all its inspiration from Alien rather than Aliens so it’s very different from the usual pulse-rifle packed baby elephant slaughter-disco that these games usually end up being. Instead it’s all beige and future-’70s tech. It looks great. Is duller than pisswater to play though. Good lord. Duke Nukem level design, BioShock fetch-questing and more walking around than even The Proclaimers could be arsed with.

Now, I love Alien and I hate Lord of the Rings. So Alien sucking and Shadow of Mordor being fantastic is a bit of a surprise. It’s true though. Sure, this is just Assassin’s Creed in Middle-earth, but it works. The combat is satisfying and always just a few bad choices away from ending up as a mass brawl, but the running and climbing feels right and the story has a lot more depth than the usual roaming fighting effort.

“literally going to kill everyone”
Aside from that we’ve also had The Evil Within (not played it but it’s by the Resident Evil guy so it’s got a fifty-fifty chance of being good), DriveClub (or DRIVECLUB as they insist on writing it) which is a racing game with lots of online functions that don’t really work, a remake of Sleeping Dogs (the previous-gen triad-maiming sandboxer that easily wins the battle of the dogs against Watch_Dogs), some new Sherlock Holmes joint (these are never any good) and a couple of budget physical releases in Flockers (sheep-based Lemmings action from Team 17) and inFAMOUS First Light (standalone DLC for the best PS4 game so far).

Jedward had it fucking coming to them.

Oh. There was Destiny as well since the last Richie Report. Yeah, that was fantastic for about two hours. Bungee can do gunfights brilliantly, but they appear to struggle with compelling loot systems and story missions that you care about in the slightest.

Of course cats like Felix like Felix, and indie games, and, as ever, that’s where most of the fun is. There’s been plenty of new stuff out and some of the best stuff has been free on PS+. Pix the Cat was one of them. A curious neo-retro mix of Pac-Man: Championship Edition, Chu Chu Rocket, and Snake, it’s gloriously addictive. I’m literally going to kill everyone in the world if I don’t get a million points on the Starter grid though. ARGH! It’s also quite fancy on the PS Vita too.

Get the writer in your sights... and... FIRE!

“cat is easy to get into”
Velocity 2X was another freebie which, like Pix the Cat, is easy to get into and fiendish to master. A mix of vertically-scrolling shoot ‘em up and run and gun style platforming, it’s also pretty fabulous.

Then you’ve got Futuridium EP Deluxe (a 3D remake of Uridium) which is great, Rogue Legacy (harrowingly addictive platforming RPG thing that literally does not let go), Crimsonland (super-average twin-stick shooter from a few months back that I can’t stop playing), Anomaly 2 (clever tower offense game that works better than you’d think). The list goes on.

Less excitingly we’ve also had In Space We Brawl, which is a four-player twin-stick shooter that is local multiplayer only. Right. This has to stop. It’s all well and good going on about the good old days of ‘couch multiplayer’ but fuck off. Controllers cost £50 each. Don’t get all hipster on me just because you don’t know how to do netcode you dev pricks.

“be any fun at all surgeon”
Also in the ‘not that good’ pile are KickBeat Special Edition (kung fu rhythm action that’s too visually confusing to be any fun at all), Surgeon Simulator (which could do more for ALS awareness than any ice bucket challenge ever) and a bunch of J-RPGs including Akiba’s Trip which combines tactical fighting with sexual deviancy in true Japanese fashion.

So it’s been pretty good being back in the PlayStation eco-system again. I’ve also been playing the PS1 twin-behemoths of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain (best top-down viewed game ever made), Parappa the Rapper (which is as brilliant as ever) and Tenchu (unequalled stealth greatness) as well. PlayStation slag!

All that remains is to shame the rest of the gaming world with the latest UK charts.

1 – FIFA 15 – Did the cat get your tongue? Did you string come undone?
2 – ALIEN: ISOLATION – I’m ashamed of the things I’ve been put through. I’m ashamed of the person I am.
3 – MIDDLE EARTH: SHADOW OF MORDOR – when they met it was Mordor
4 – FORZA HORIZON 2 – I feel safest of all.
5 – DRIVECLUB – I can lock all my doors.
6 – DESTINY – The kind of love that’s built on lies that you both deny.
7 – SKYLANDERS TRAP TEAM – If only Cheep could fly.
8 – NBA 2K15 – Her boyfriend’s tall and he plays ball so how am I gonna compete with that?
9 – SUPER SMASH BROS. – I don’t even care if I look a mess. Don’t wanna be a sucker like all the rest
10 – MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION EDITION – I’m not feeling like myself since the baby. Are we gonna even make it? Ooh.

Beware the moon, lads. Beware the moon.

Last five articles by Richie


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