Splash Damage Blog
Currently Hurling Controllers/Mice At... Space Marines, Footballers, and Bats
Here's the latest edition of Currently Hurling, our semi-regular look at what games we're playing here at Splash Damage. The Beatles: Rock Band, Left 4 Dead, and FIFA continue to be regular fixtures in our gaming area at the office, cunningly mixing the zombie apocalypse with sliding tackles and four-player harmonies. In more forward-looking matters, we're now ankle-deep in October, which is set to bury us in a considerable pile of great new titles, like Brütal Legend, Uncharted 2, Forza 3, Borderlands and so many more. It's definitely a good time to be a gamer.
But clumsily circling back to the here and now, let's have a peek at what we've been playing. Incidentally, we've got two new faces in this update, with Production Testers Aidan 'UdP' Price and Philip 'pipster' Barnell contributing words for the first time. Hello and welcome, chaps! And now, games:
Neil 'Exedore' Alphonso (Lead Level Designer):
The first one is easy, the long awaited FIFA 10! It’s no surprise that it’s currently the highest rated sports game ever, it’s just polished everywhere. Also had a good amount of fun with WET... I found myself enjoying it even more as time went on and I grew more accustomed to the mechanics. Rubi is a great character and the game oozes style. I hope A2M gets the chance to make a sequel. Oh, and it has lots of monkeys, always a plus!
I’ve also been playing through Red Faction: Guerrilla, and have had some old school Robotron-style fun with Zombie Apocalypse on Xbox Live Arcade… it just makes me wish I could really play it in an arcade, with 3 other people standing around the machine and the stacks of quarters!
Paul 'Locki' Wedgwood (CEO/Game Director):
Lagging a little behind the rest of the team here, I completed Batman: Arkham Asylum (360) this past weekend. It's smart, well-written, adult in feel with dark twists and turns, showcases fantastically flexible combat and great art, contains enjoyable, challenging, but not overly frustrating boss encounters, is clearly the result of incredible passion for Batman, and easily the best licensed game that I have ever played. Don't rent this, borrow it, or wait for a cheap copy in the bargain bin. Buy it now.
We can confirm there's at least one football in FIFA '10.
Ed 'BongoBoy' Stern (Senior Game Designer):
Props to Digs for recommending Windosill, an amazing little game. It was made by Patrick Smith, the genius behind the similarly hornswoggling Feed The Head. Both games take me somewhere I’ve never quite been to in a game before. At no point did I know what to do. At no point could I predict what would happen next. Having played other puzzle games was no real help: it’s such a profoundly odd perfectly conceived and thoroughly implemented surreal dream world, only surreal dream logic works. I got stuck loads and still loved it. Very, very highly recommended.
Paul 'MoP' Greveson (Technical Artist):
I’ve been getting some time in with the new Left 4 Dead campaign, Crash Course. It’s only two maps, but they’re long and pretty fun so far. It’s a little weird when the end cutscene plays with only one incapacitated survivor in the van, though…
Philip 'pipster' Barnell (Production Tester):
Recently I’ve been enjoying Trackmania Nations Forever and Trials 2: Second Edition, both very similar and yet very different games. Both require intricate tactical planning, nerves of steel and a head made of diamond, as it’ll be getting smashed around a lot. I’d recommend these two gems whole-heartedly.
Richard 'Fluffy_gIMp' Jolly (Media Director):
It's strictly mobile devices for me this time around, firstly with Professor Layton & Pandora's Box. An adventure/puzzler that looks beautiful and doesn't play too bad either, definitely recommended for all you wannabe sleuths.
On the iPhone, there's a cute little platformer called Rolando. Those of you who have played LocoRoco will feel right at home as this is a similar affair. It's a great time killer for those long journeys and definitely well worth the 99p :)
As for what’s on the horizon, there's of course the latest GTA 4 DLC, The Ballad of Gay Tony, which will undoubtedly scratch that open world-adventure itch. Also, one can't forget the awesomeness that'll be Brütal Legend (Tim Schafer, we love you).
Section 8 features gunfights and explosions. In space.
Ed 'MrEd' Reid (Online Services Programmer):
This week I’ve been playing Section 8. The actual gameplay is pretty incredible - the combat is intense and dynamic, there’s some really nice cat and mouse shooty-ducky-sprinty-jetpacky things going on in the middle of pitched battles offering massive ordinance and if it’s not going your way just drop a tank or heavy mech-suit from orbit to turn the battle. I’ve not managed many FIFA converts yet but with UDP and myself hooked, surely it can only be a matter of time before the SD offices succumb and see the light as they all did with Dawn of War II.
Aidan 'UdP' Price (Production Tester):
This week I’ve been prowling the streets of Kamurocho, roughing up thugs in the awesome Yakuza 2. The combat and exploration are really satisfying and the side missions, such as running and decorating your own club, really involving! Graphically it holds up really well for a PS2 game - I urge everyone to out and buy it (so hopefully Sega will release 3 and 4 over here!).
I’ve also been playing the (imo) underrated Section 8. A solid sci-fi shooter – a definite must see for any Tribes / Planetside fans out there.
Steve 'badman' Hessel (Community Relations Manager):
In anticipation of its Rocktober launch, I axed, headbanged and guitarred my way through the demo of Brütal Legend. The setting and writing are absolutely hilarious and I can't wait to pick up the full game when it drops next week.
I also wrapped up Wolfenstein's single player the other day and am getting close to the very last finish line in DiRT 2. Call of Juarez, Halo ODST, and Batman: Arkham Asylum have already formed an orderly queue in front of my Xbox and there's a slew of new releases just over the horizon - idle thumbs are looking to be a rare commodity this quarter.
What have you been playing lately? Let us know in the comments!