Thomas was alone - I am a shape

I spent some time Sunday morning sorting some of my steam collection into two categories Ignore & Play.

The ignore included games I had already completed on the consoles like Bastion & Walking Dead. It also had a large collection of games that I had no interest in playing like Amnesia, The Ball & many more bundle games.

The play obviously had less games but these were titles that I was keen to enjoy like Hotline Miami, Kings Bounty, Dear Esther & Thomas was alone.

I did not really know what to expect having only seen a few screenshots & read some posts on UGVM about the game.

It's a puzzle game, which if you do not enjoy I suggest you go back to playing your generic shooter.

Mr Maker on Cbeebies has a section about shapes. Singing along to the annoying "I am a shape" (Youtube it). Your nightmares have come true, you are indeed a shape, a rectangle to be precise named Thomas.

Thomas sets off on an adventure meeting various shapes helping them reach the level portal to advance.

The game takes a leaf out of Bastion & has a narrator explaining each new character. Their thoughts on the surroundings & other shapes. Each shape has it's own unique skill in they can jump higher, go through small gaps or float. Claire is my favourite shape so far, she is a big blue square that can float on water. I'm enjoying the puzzles & the narration.

I tried initially with keyboard control but soon ended up plugging in a 360 controller which thankfully after a few button configs works perfectly.

I'm playing a Steam game, hopefully unlike my previous effort (Penny Arcade Adventures) it looks like I won't get bored & give up.


Gears of War Co-Op - Judgement

It's been a quiet couple of years for local co-op gaming. Gears 3 last year & Halo 4 earlier this year is all that was on the platter. It's a shame that 99.9 % of all local co-op games are shooters, after a while they begin to become a bore.

Which probably explains the long gaps in between each co-op game played. 

Anyhow time for the fist pumping chest thumping macho men to return in Gears Judgement.

No Marcus or Dom in this story it's all about Baird & Cole Train, along with two new recruits in Sofia & Paduk. The game is a prequel to the Gears Trilogy.

It starts with a typical military court marshall & gives the player a chance to visit each characters flashback of events.Not much has changed on the gameplay front apart from a few tweaks to throwing a grenade & quick swap of weapons.

Each mission also gives you a declassified challenge to accomplish for experience & braggin points. So cue the action.. Shoot, reload, collect ammo, shoot, chainsaw melee attack, throw grenade, reload, revive, shoot and I think you get the picture by now.

The only advantage local co-op offers you is the quick communication to your partner. "I'm down, revive me" "Tickers incoming!!" & the obvious gloating opportunity at the end with mission stats to see who got the most kills.

Some of the missions take a cue straight out of horde mode & have you defending a location from waves of enemies. After completing Baird's flashback we had enough adrenaline injected action for the day. Sofia's story will have to wait for another evening. I've got a pretty good idea of what to expect. It starts with shoot...


Uncharted 3 - Shukran

I have certainly enjoyed the third game in the Uncharted series compared to the previous two, possibly because I know what to expect with the scripted sequences, button press action (although there seems to be less in this game then the previous)

Naughty Dog seemed to have perfected the hollywoodesque (deep storyline with action sequences) style of gaming & it was definitely an enjoyable movie to watch, sorry game to play. Even though you did not have much to do in the destruction of the brass vessel but got to sit back and enjoy a cut scene.

If I go back to the first game I was very frustrated by the style of gameplay but was impressed by the animation, presentation & dialogue of the game which is why I persisted  with the series & Naughty Dog have been refining the experience with every game but I still feel they have a bit more to go to get rid of the cut scenes & give the control of the character fully to the player. It will certainly be interesting to play their next game The Last of Us to see what they have learn in the development process.

For now though it was an enjoyable experience playing the adventures of Nate & Sully. Shukran.


Uncharted 3 - Return of the Drake

Initially I had planned to play the last two Fallout New Vegas dlc's but instead looking at the long list of PS+ titles I've downloaded I opted to play Uncharted 3.

It's Nate & Sully off on another whirlwind adventure. I'm currently up to chapter 8 & have already experienced a bar brawl fight, a trip down memory lane with young Nate, an abandon London Underground lair & visited a ruined chalet in France.

I can't quite put my finger on why but I'm enjoying this game more than the previous two adventures. I don't enjoy button press gaming but I can understand the reasoning behind the process.

Naughty Dog does not disappoint in its cinema style of gaming with some great set pieces so far. My favourite so far the swarm of spiders chasing you on your escape out of the chalet. I'm now off to Syria to find another half to an artifact & also to ensure that Cutter & Chloe are safe.


Red Dead Redemption - The Unexpected

Aeris dying in Final Fantasy 7 was probably the greatest unexpected gaming event I've experienced. The sheer shock that a character you had developed over many hours was no more.

I thoroughly enjoyed playing John Marston but truth be told in could have been any character because it is the western setting that made the game. I'm a big fan of western movies and a chance to play that setting in a video game was an amazing experience. I only regret that it has taken me this long to finally getting round to play the game.

The scenery, the sunsets !! Oh my the sunsets, the duels, the swagger of cowboys with their no nonsense attitude. John Marston ticked all the western cowboy boxes. 

With the story events unfolding the way they were it should have come as no surprise when the law decided to attack the family ranch. Edgar Ross wanted to finish off the last surviving member of Duke's gang. Having used John to do his dirty work he arrived with an army of soldiers to kill one man.

Surely John must have known something like this was likely to happen? Why not uproot & move to Mexico under the watchful eye of Reyes. But John is a stubborn character & stayed put at the ranch.

Edgar & the army promptly attacked the ranch killing Uncle in the process. John fearing for his son & wife sent them off on horseback to safety.

In an alternative ending I now would have John riding out of the barn being chased by the law all the way to Mexico where Reyes men who are patrolling the crossing come to his rescue to kill the soldiers. Then with another set of missions John sets out to finish off the loose ends by killing Edgar, Archer & all who wanted him dead.

But alas that was not the story of John Marston. Instead he walks out of the barn shooting & taking out as many soldiers & lawmen before he is gunned down to his death. John Marston is dead.

This was always going to be the way he would die. The blaze of glory achieved in a gunfight except this time there was no crowning moment. Jack & Abigail return to the ranch to find John lying in a pool of blood. The story then moves on to Jack Marston looking over his parents grave & his thirst for revenge begins.

What follows is a disappointment, Jack should have been given a new set of missions which takes him all over the map meeting all of John's acquaintances & informing them of the death of John. The men involved in the attack on John should have been scattered all over & Jack follows clues before a showdown. 

Instead the game focuses on just Edgar Ross & you follow the clues to Mexico. Here you meet up with Edgar who is now retired & on a hunting holiday. You are then challenged to a duel & after Edgar is dead or in my case pumped full of lead that his body ends up floating down the river. The credits roll ...

No ending sequence or dialogue from Jack. Not even an epic monologue of John Marston to a wind rustling tune.

Maybe that is how it was in the Wild West the roar of a buffalo stampede followed by silence.


Red Dead Redemption - The Duke is DEAD

Managed quite a bit of play time this weekend, completing all the misson's in Mexico. Both Escuella & Bill Williamson are dead & I helped Reyes start off the Mexcian revolution. Then you venture back up north to the town of Blackwater & help the Law enforcement officers take down the Duke.

There is a lovely sequence after you have killed the Duke & you are set free to return home a song plays on your journey called "Compass"

I was expecting a credits sequence to follow but luckily no I have more missions to do around my ranch :)


New Game - Scurvy Scallywags

Not really s new game I have been playing for a few weeks, sucked into yet another match three iOS game.

It's quite enjoyable with the pirate theme, treasure hunting & boat building.

There is a trick to get lots of gold I found out when you are on the boss fight of an island. The rock monster in the screenshot does not move around the screen like other monsters instead at regular intervals he turns all power tiles to stone.

So keep him away from you and just concentrate on collecting the gold.

You obviously need gold to purchase ship parts, weapons, new skills & an extra life heart if needed.


Red Dead Redemption - Horse in the ground

A glitch I came across whilst some bandits attacked me.

I give you the Horse in the ground

Really enjoying the game, I have spent some time on the main story & I've attacked Fort Mercer now but Bill Williamson has escaped to Mexico.

Arriving at Mexico I am greeted by some friendly locals & Landon Ricketts, an old time gunslinger teaches me some more dead eye skills.


Walking Dead 400 Days - Completed

I thoroughly enjoyed the Walking Dead Season 1 (So much so that it went into my Top32), 400 days gives you 5 short stories, you can play in any order. I started with Vince who after committing a murder is on his way to prison when the outbreak occurs. You have to make a choice on which prisoner you want to sacrifice so you can escape. 

Next I went for Bonnie who is a recovering drug addict, she is chased through a cornfield & ends up killing one of the people who has helped her. Next I chose Wyatt’s story, he & his friend Eddie are being chased by someone when they hit someone, they stop to investigate but Wyatt has to leave Eddie behind because the mad man who was chasing them has caught up. 

Russell’s story starts with him walking the side of the road & is picked up by Nate, they arrive at a truck stop & are shot by the inhabitant. You then work your way around & have the choice to kill the shooter or not? The last story is that of Shel & her sister Becca who are in a group that live in the Truck stop from Russell’s story. You are forced to make a couple of deciding decisions on the fate of two people. 

The story then breaks to Tavia who is out on the road looking for survivors, it is her who is looking at the notice board at the start of the game. She follows some nearby smoke to a campsite where all of the previous characters are stationed. Following conversations some decide to leave with her & some don’t.

Firstly disappointed that the ending of season 1 where Clementine is looking at a field and notices some people (walkers) does not get mentioned, maybe that will link somehow to the people who stayed behind at the camp?

400 days is very short easily finished in an hour but I’m hungry for more so come on Season 2 !!

Bastion - Completed

Yes the narration of the story is the games unique point, otherwise its like every other action game you have played.

You first have to collect cores & then shards at the end of each stage. There are spin off training sections for you to try & hone your skills with a particular weapon but otherwise it’s a 5/6 hour plod along with a choice at the end to decide the fate of the Bastion.

If you feel so inclined you can replay for the alternative ending but instead I moved on very swiftly to 400 Days.


Xbox 360 - Digital Games

Following on from my previous post I thought I would take a list at what is on my 360 digital games to play list. There are quite a few 45 titles !!

Thankfully I have spent all remaining microsoft points so will not be buying any more digital games. Looking back at the list Braid & Castlevania SOTN were purchased in 2008 !!

Currently I am playing Bastion after that I think I will play Walking Dead 400 days & then Fez.

Steam - Play Them !!

I really REALLY need to start looking at my Steam library of games, currently I am going through the Xbox 360 digital games. I have setup my spare 360 console (faulty disc drive) to my PC monitor & currently I am playing Bastion once I have completed all the 360 games I have either PS+ or Steam library to start playing.


Disc Drivin - Flip Out


I made a video to show the final move on Flip Out vs Luffers. Really hate the flippers on this track but a great final move from me.


Red Dead Redemption - Challenges

Dueling is a bit hit & miss I don't really know what I am doing & have been lucky so far, equally using the rope also needs some more practice. The random events sometimes it is difficult to know who is the law & who is the criminal & I have ended up shooting the law by mistake. Which I then have to reload the game, I think I am just going to ignore these now & I still have not managed to shoot off a hanging victim in these random events.

Spent most of my time over the past few days on the challenges & side 
quests. I enjoy the treasure hunting challenge & sharpshooter but collecting the flowers is just boring. Making quite a bit of money from hunting animals I came across a pack of 15 wolves whilst treasure hunting & after skinning them made quite a bit of cash. I hate that there is no option to turn off the skinning animation with all the blood splats.

I have not done any of the horse rustling side quests but have completed a few others you get from traveling the area. Really enjoyed the sharpshooter challenge of shooting 5 birds on top of the train. I have a big W on my map which I keep ignoring but I think I am at the point where I need to go back to the main storyline.

Reading the above back it seems quite negative but actually far from it, the game is great fun & I love the setting & gorgeous scenery.