Currently Hurling Mice/Controllers at… Anything and Everything

August 10, 2009

It’s been a relatively quiet period for new releases, but that doesn’t stop us from throwing a new edition of Currently Hurling out there. Lunch time gaming here at the office is still dominated by Left 4 Dead and Dawn of War II, with some Fight Night Round 4, FIFA ’10 and the ever-ubiquitous Rock Band thrown in for good measure. Outside the office, however, it’s been a smorgasboard of gaming, with nearly every platform and genre represented (though I did notice that there seems to be a distinct lack of PS3 gaming this week – where’s the love, guys?).

We also have a new face on the blog, with freshly hatched Programmer Mikkel ‘mig’ Gjoel throwing words our way for the very first time. Please make him feel welcome.

Anywho, on to what we’ve been playing:

Mikkel ‘mig’ Gjoel (Programmer):
Dawn of War 2… can’t… stop… watching… the awesome… explosions!! Coop-games are made of win!

iRacing has also been getting a fair amount of attention – anyone who pulls apart an actual 1979 Formula 1 car to reproduce it in-game deserve my time! Best online racing available. Ever.

Aubrey ‘Bezzy’ Hesselgren (Technical Game Designer):
Trine for lunch, Battlefield 1943 for dinner. Battlefield’s streamlining really highlights the higher level strategies of flag capping, and practically everything which was chopped, I’m not really missing at all! Spawning to squad mates, rather than just a squad leader means I can get straight into the game, so long as my squad is playing cleverly. Yesterday, I got three melee kills in quick succession after jumping out of a plane, taking out an entire squad without firing a shot. Great job!

Trine is just crazy fun with three people. You really need to try it.

Ed ‘BongoBoy’ Stern (Senior Game Designer):
Just back from a week’s hols so I’ve mainly been playing mobile stuff. I think I unwittingly persuaded three separate people to get an iPhone on the strength of BeBot alone (no, it’s not really a game, more of a synth and yes, of course, other mobile phones/electronic devices are available and are also very good). A brilliant example of a great fun app made pulsatingly splendid by lovely graphic design. Another life-enhancing music synth and commute-devourer, Brian Eno’s Bloom is just wonderful. I loves me some procedural music, me.

Other gems include the ever-wonderful Worms by the mighty Team 17, and Harbor Master. I’m very bad at mastering said harbors, but have yet to ragequit because it’s such a sweet game. I continue to shake my fist at Life-Thieves PopCap for Bejeweled 2 and Bookworm and now I’m back at my desk, I’ve immediately worn out the Demo of Bookworm Adventures 2.

Lastly, a gravelly basso profundo shout-out for iMEvil, featuring the splendily sinister vocal talents of the Mr. David Sobolov, who did great vocal work for Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars and is also generally an excellent chap.

Paul ‘Locki’ Wedgwood (CEO/Game Director):
I’m not a huge fan of fighting games, or boxing for that matter, so I was a little surprised to find myself requesting Fight Night Round 4 (360) from the Splash Damage games library. Having rounded out a two-week obsession, I’m glad I did too! It’s certainly a good looking game, with great physics – exactly what you’d expect when the game engine’s main task is to render two guys with as much detail as possible, but the combination of that presentation, visceral action, and frankly an odd RPG style persistence to your character, results in a level of realism and depth that I found shocking. Not only did I occasionally feel actual guilt about knocking out my computer opponent, and not only did I suck so badly at first that the trainer actually emailed me and recommended I retire! But, once I’d finally got the hang of the controls, I found it to be one of the most engaging, no… one of the most compelling, games of the year so far. Weird! I only stopped because I finally went online, and immediately got my arse wooped five times in a row. Negatives… Why are there no game credits? 🙂

Neil ‘exedore’ Alphonso (Lead Level Designer):
It’s been a busy gaming month for me, I’ve played quite a few different games since our last Hurling Edition. I got my first downloadable games for a console recently, could it be an historic step? I picked up Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers after seeing Rahdo online playing it a bunch, and I have to say it’s been money very well spent. It’s been about 14 years since I’ve played the actual card game, so it’s nice to have an automated version that just gives a taste of nostalgia, without that narcotic urge to buy more booster packs. Just the other day I bought Marvel vs Capcom 2 even though I’ve decided I just suck at fighting games in my old age, I just had too much fun with it on the Dreamcast. I’ve only had it for a few days but it’s a welcome blast from the past. Now give me some Jet Set Radio!

Other than that, I’ve been going through some of my older games, some of which I’m ashamed to say I’d never even put into the console! I finally tried out Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth 2, and have been giving another go at The Darkness. I never played through the whole thing originally, so I played the entirety of the single player Halo 3 campaign, and I’m about two-fifths through doing the same with Gears of War. As I said, a busy month, and I’ve still got quite a stack to get through!

Terry ‘Salteh’ Seidler (Occasional Honourary Intern Producer):
Badman found this Dawn of War 2 game a few weeks ago, and he decided I should get it too. So I did! We have played quite a few co-op campaign games since then – it’s great fun. Love the item drops and leveling aspects!

Tales of Vesperia is another game that has taken away much of my time lately. It is very much like the GameCube Tales game (Symphonia), but even better and just as much fun. There is a new story and new characters, real-time combat, awesome backgrounds and environments, and you can play it together with up to three friends!

Tim ‘Huntle’ Rose (Production Coordinator):
Fuelled with riboflavin, I have built a time machine and am currently living in the last century during the halcyon days of the graphic adventure. I have gone back in time to discover whether it is I who has changed or the graphic adventure. Because, you see, while modern adventures appear to fulfil the requirements of the genre they don’t grip me the way they once did. Have I moved on? Do I no longer possess the patience or mental faculties to enjoy graphic adventures or are modern graphic adventures mere shadows of their former selves? So far my research has taken me through Grim Fandango, Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade/the Fate of Atlantis, The Secret of Monkey Island SE (anachronistically – I’m time traveling :P), Loom, The Dig and yet there is still more to research. The resurgence of classic graphic adventures on Steam is fantastic and is great for supplementing my old floppy disc-based collection.

The question is, do I head to the stars next with the Sierra’s Space Quest series or to regal lands in King’s Quest? Perhaps a stop-in with Zak McKracken may help with my dilemma. One thing is for sure, I shan’t be going back to the future anytime soon! (Or maybe Purple Tentacle will have something to say about that.)

In my life outside of time travel I’ve been enjoying Wii Sports Resort. It’s great fun with friends and the Wii Motion Plus certainly adds a whole new layer of control. It will be exciting to see the support for it in future games. I’m looking forward to the new Wolfenstein game, particularly the multiplayer (which is going to be awesome), but until then I’ll be playing Team Fortress 2 with my favourite clan.

Richard ‘Fluffy_gIMp’ Jolly (Media Director):
Only one new one for me this time, and it’s Wii Sports Resort. As Tim mentions it’s one of the first lot of games to take advantage of the Motion Sensor plus and it’s an awesome amount of fun. There’s a good range of sports-like games including updates to many of your favourites from the original; everything (as it should) feels a lot more precise. Multiplayer as always is where it comes into its own (I only wish it was online) – trying to steer a four-man canoe with a paddle each ends up being enduring exercise as well as a great source of laughter at the offending oarsman’s expense. If your Wii is sitting in the corner gathering dust, this one is certainly worth digging it out for.

Steve ‘badman’ Hessel (Community Relations Manager):
I played through Red Faction: Guerilla, which I actually really, really enjoyed. It’s sort of a GTA-light on Mars with giant hammers that can be used to knock holes into anything. Unlike previous Red Factions, this one’s actually an open world game, so most of the time you get to pick and choose from a variety of different assignments – or just goof off and drive cars through a buildings (which according to my extensive research does not get old) or hunt down the now-obligatory collectibles.

I’ve also arrived at the final mission in Dawn of War II but I’ve been actively avoiding it since I don’t want the experience to end. Luckily it’ll just keep spawning side missions so I’m using those to amass a giant pile of awesome weapons and items. Expansion sets now please.

What have you been playing lately? Let us know in the comments!