Catching Up

It’s been a while – a little bit of writer’s block and a lack of new things to play has stopped me from writing anything for the past few weeks, but I have been keeping some notes aside to help me put something together today. As far as The Gamepad goes, the domain is mine and can be live but I’m just trying to make sure things look good.

At the beginning of the month was Play Expo Manchester, held at EventCity near the Trafford Centre. Tickets were fairly cheap for the day only, so we grabbed a pair for Saturday – doors open at 10, but we’re fashionable and cool, so we arrived for 11.

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The anonymity of using my character name on this website is now completely lost. Oh well.

It was a pretty interesting day, although I don’t think I have the patience to stick around for too long – however, we did get to have a look at a couple of cool indie games that I’d like to share with you.

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Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

I’ve tried to write this review several times over the past two weeks with, as you can probably tell, little to no success. It’s difficult for me to properly express my experience with Uncharted 2, especially in a balanced and thoughtful manner.

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Naughty Dog have done a brilliant job in getting the most out of the consoles, although I’ve been playing the Remastered version so I can’t really say that it looked great on the PS3. They did a great job with their environments and scenery, which has been the major selling point of Uncharted since day 1 – everything will look great, you’ll climb over some of it and shoot most of the rest. Away from the lush, open forests of faraway islands, Uncharted 2 is more focussed on cities and towns and you’ll find yourself on top of buildings to gaze upon the world more often than not.

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Batman: Arkham Asylum

In 2009, Rocksteady gave fans around the world the chance to don the mask of the world’s favourite billionaire superman with Batman: Arkham Asylum. Having captured the Joker in unknown circumstances, you bring the Clown Prince of Crime to the ‘best’ institute for the criminally insane; the titular Arkham Asylum. In one night, things rapidly spiral out of control and you’ll need to use your skills and gadgets to set things straight.

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This should have sold you already.

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Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune

A few weeks ago I decided to do a bit of ‘spring cleaning’ and ended up selling about half of my old 360 games collection. With the proceeds, I bought the Nathan Drake Collection and have now completed at least 1 of them – the first one, on easy.

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ZWAME \ youtube.com

Uncharted was a series that flew past me, again because of my past with Nintendo and then my fling with Xbox. From what I could gather, it was Tomb Raider in proper 3D with a dude. I assumed there were intricate puzzles, cunningly laid out by ancient civilisations that had somehow managed to remain in complete working order for thousands of years just to screw around with future archaeologists, with some platforming and combat thrown in there too.

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Super Meat Boy

In lieu of an excuse of “weekend shenanigans”, I did actually manage to play some games! One of them, as you can see from the title, was Super Meat Boy. Designed by Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes, developed by Team Meat, Super Meat Boy is a bloody take on the platforming genre.

super meat boy

You are Meat Boy and you must save your girlfriend, Bandage Girl, from the evil Dr Fetus (it doesn’t need to make sense, dammit). To accomplish this, you will enter a Dark Souls-esque repetition of smashing your gooey, fleshy body into various sharp objects until you win. Run, jump, slide… The basics are all there.

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Risk of Rain

Risk of Rain was recommended to me by a friend who has been known to torture me in the past with Dark Souls. For some reason I decided to trust him and exactly the same experience happened.

Character Selection
Man, man, man, robot, bigger man…

Risk of Rain is a 2D shooter with platform and rogue-like elements, and I’d just like you to know that was a particularly difficult sentence to construct. You are an adventurer on a strange planet, tasked with finding a ‘teleporter’ – whilst slaughtering or hoarding everything you come across along the way. It also operates on a timed system, where the longer you spend faffing around in a level, the more difficult enemies will be to kill and they’ll also spawn more across the zone.

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