Splash Damage Blog
Currently Hurling Controllers / Mice At ... Rocktober, Baby
Make way for the latest installment of Currently Hurling, our semi-regular look at what games we're playing here at Splash Damage. October's always a great time for new games and this one so far hasn't disappointed in the slightest. The hilarious Brütal Legend and the superb Uncharted 2: Among Thieves just finished falling into our collective laps and with Forza Motorsport 3 and Borderlands, the next batch of concentrated fun is already waiting. More hours in the day or, failing that, five day weekends are clearly required.
In this installment, Richard Ham Wii-zaps, Jamie makes a horrible pun, and Ronald uses the Rube Goldberg approach to take out enemies in Batman. All the gory details can be found below:
Richard 'Rahdo' Ham (Creative Director):
Dead Space Extraction for the Wii is FAN FREAKING TASTIC! Best light gun game... well, ever, hands down. So many clever gameplay touches and combination (tons more depth than you would ever expect to see in a light gun game), genuinely decent writing and acting, great atmosphere, freaking intense gameplay (playing on hard), and as a prequel to last year’s 360/PS3 game, it expands the universe quite a bit as well and really makes use of that IP's strong suits (nothing beats having to physically tilt your gun sideways to fire it sideways in game to chop off horizontal limbs with the plasma cutter -- sweet).
Also, the WiiZapper is great, and well worth the ten pounds I spent to buy one new. And it comes with an extra game (Legend of Zelda Crossbow Mini-games), so that's nice. But I haven't even fired that up yet, since Dead Space has been all I need so far. I highly recommend picking this up plus a WiiZapper, even if you don't like light gun games. It's a fairly good survival horror game in its own right.
Aubrey 'Bezzy' Hesselgren (Technical Game Designer):
More Street Fighter 4. I can’t seem to put it down. I think I might even have a rotator cuff injury from trying to do focus attack dash cancels into ultras with Ken. Anticipating great things from Super Street Fighter 4. Fingers crossed for local demo recording (normally, only high ranking championship finals will record).
Burned through Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and enjoyed it thoroughly. They’ve clearly gotten used to their tools, and mastered them to boot. Plus, the style of Drake’s animation is so hap-hazard and fumbley – it’s a wonderful counterpoint to so many games with perfectly posed superhero moves, and gives the game a lot of charm. I’m pretty impressed that Naughty Dog has also managed to keep character controls pretty tight, regardless of the high fidelity animation (normally these are in conflict).
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is undeniably one of the best gaming experiences of the year
Jeremy 'Pinflux' Hay (Illustrator/Media Artist):
The adventure/puzzle game Machinarium carries on in the vein of indie developer Aminita Design’s previous Samorost games. I haven’t had the chance to play through a great deal of it yet, but so far it oozes atmosphere and style. The hand-drawn aesthetic of the visuals are complimented with striking and oftentimes hilarious characters and animation, and the soundtrack (included as MP3s with the game) is beautiful - already one of my favourite OSTs ever!
Mikkel 'mig' Gjoel (Graphics Programmer):
Enjoying every immersive moment of Need for Speed: Shift – the fierce roar of the engines – the astoundingly realistic graphics and almost tactile feel of crashing the car (*ahem*, yes, on purpose of course). Kudos to Slightly Mad Studios!
Ronald 'Conine' Koppers (Programmer):
Yes, I know that some weeks ago I promised to be back from World of Warcraft's Ulduar raiding in time for Batman: Arkham Asylum. Fear not, I’ve played it and it’s the gaming highlight of the year so far for me. The combat is engaging, the pacing is near-perfect and scaring bad guys has never been so much fun. There is something incredibly rewarding about doing a reverse takedown and throwing a batarang to drop a thug from the other side of the room, scaring his partners into a well placed bat-exploding wall and a bat-exploding floor. The only thing this game was short of was shark repellent bat-spray.
Lunch time has been filled by the old classic Diablo II. Years back I bought the expansion with the intention of leveling a druid and since the new Battle.net made it easy to download it I thought I'd give it a few lunches for old time sake. However after Gordon pointed me to an unofficial patch to play it in higher resolutions, I found all my lunch time of late being consumed by the Lord of Terror.
Now for a hard decision: Brutal Legend, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves or finding that last chatter box in Batman: Arkham Asylum?
Neil 'Exedore' Alphonso (Lead Level Designer):
Two Words: Brütal Legend! It is impossible not to bow before its Metal, as replete as it is with metallic metalliciousness. Just roaming the environment in your hotrod convertible hasn’t been this good since GTA: Vice City. One more word: DECAPITATION!
Richard 'Fluffy_gIMp' Jolly (Media Director):
Darn postal strikes meant that my pre-order of Brütal Legend didn’t arrive last Friday, so instead picked up a PlayStation 3 along with a copy of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. What can I say, wowwaaaweewa, what an amazing game. I was a big fan of the first game already, but the sequel is simply jaw-dropping. There are so many cool elements that I could chirp on about but they’d end up being spoilers - just wait till you get to the train level… wow!
I’ve also had a chance to play through the co-op levels with Ben and Pierre, which was a load of fun (even when I wasn’t accidentally rocket launcher-ing Pierre as he continually strafed into my crosshairs).
Given the opportunity I'd gladly fly over to Naughty Dog and shake the hand of every person there for doing such an awesome job. If you haven't got a PS3 yet, this game is worth the hardware purchase alone. They truly succeeded in making it awesome! :)
Brütal Legend: Literally melts people's faces.
Jamie 'Fishbus' Manson (Level Designer):
Being the Splash Damage rabid Rock Band resident, I’ve had a Rocktober to remember (so far!). I’ve made my way through Rock Band: The Beatles, which is amazing to say the least. The dreamscapes are well put together and psychedelic and are a joy to watch – once you get back the note highway!
Also made my way through Brütal Legend on the weekend, which was so very awesome. Almost too much metal for one mortal to take! The driving feels solid, and is improved tenfold by having beastly metal pumping out the MOUTH OF THE DEVIL (radio). The RTS element was a surprise to me – I’m not one to read reviews and previews – but I certainly found it enjoyable. The art style was fresh and historically accurate. Another fine, nay… DOUBLE fine production from Mr Schafer.
I’m also getting through the Brutal Legend Triple pack in Rock Band too. There’s still plenty left to go. Oh, before I bore you to tears with awesomeness; Queen 10 pack is now out. It’s super duper fantastical magical awesome. Get it.
Philip 'pipster' Barnell (Production Tester):
For some unbeknown reason I reunited myself with Soul Calibur 2 this week, which was a University favourite of mine. Whilst the graphics now look archaic, the gameplay is still really entertaining and quicker than a greased ferret. The cheesiness of it all is hysterical and its brilliant for entertaining a group of friends, a big thumbs (or random overly large sword) up from me!
Steve 'badman' Hessel (Community Relations Manager):
So Batman: Arkham Asylum. There's nothing to say that hasn't been said already. If you haven't yet, get this game immediately. One of my favourite gaming experiences of all time.
In other, somewhat less upside-down news, I orbital-drop-shocked-troopered my way through Halo 3: ODST over the weekend. The later flashback missions were definitely the high point of the experience for me, as they took the best of previous Halo games and tightened it up even more. Also had a brief go at Firefight which seems like awesome fun.
Royal Mail willing, Forza 3 shall be mine just in time for the weekend and I've still got to rock my way through Brütal Legend as well. On the opposite side of the console pond, Uncharted 2 looks absolutely amazing and I might have a go on the office PS3 while my Gamerscore's looking the other way. Don't tell.
What have you been playing and what are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!