What We Have Been Playing – April 2014
Each month of the year our regular staff members come together to tell you what each of them have been playing over the past few weeks, we like to call this our Monster Month. Read on to find out what each of us have been playing over the month, as well as give an insight in the games we are looking forward to playing in the coming month.
April – a month of plants, zombies, sports and hobbits
April was a cracking month to sit down (or stand up in some cases) to play some games.
My month started with Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, a title which I described as “a great introduction to multiplayer shooters” in the Console Monster review.
Next up was Kinect Sports Rivals, the first Xbox One release to fully utilise Kinect. Having had a very mixed experience with Kinect titles in the past, I was pleasantly surprised by Rare’s latest outing, though it did come with its problems.
Finally, the last week of April saw LEGO The Hobbit receiving significant playtime. I’m a big fan of the LEGO titles and The Hobbit hasn’t let me down so far. Fingers crossed it stays that way. You can read my thoughts in full in my review.
Looking ahead to May and Watch Dogs is the only title that is tickling my fancy. However, I am sceptical about the title and will probably wait until the reviews are out before parting with any money. Elsewhere, I’ll probably tackle that pile of shame that is growing taller and taller by the month.
Nearing Exams, Nearing Extinction
Sadly, the gaming life has been forced to take somewhat of a backseat this month. Finally academic commitments have let off a stinker and blown a great big hole in the side of HMS Joypad. It was time to swap out the pad for a pen and really get to grips with how much damage the all night gaming sessions have been doing to my wrists.
Needless to say, in amongst the academia there was still a little time to hit the games – what better relief could there be?
Returning to PC for a little jaunt through some classics, a friend and I rolled out beautifully aged castle/siege simulator, Stronghold. The nostalgia caused a cascade of retrospective evenings in front of the keyboard, bowling through the original adventures of Mr G. Freeman in the first Half-Life, dated but not fading in greatness as the years pass it by. Following this up with indie-smash Papers, Please!and failing countless times at penetrating the oddly rewarding monotony of policing the borders of totalitarian states, I was due a return to the comfort of the console, and the sofa which sits before it.
Luckily I was just in time to tool up with my latest bit of hardware, theTurtle Beach Ear Force Atlasheadset. Following on from the Titanfall release – something you probably heard of – this bit of kit proved solid in my tests, but definitely one for the fanboys. You can check out my review here.
The second DLC pack forCall Of Duty: Ghosts got shoved in the barrel as well and Devastation infused my housemates and I with a surge of renewed interest in Extinction. See the review here for details and impressions.
Exams are just around the corner, everyone in my house is addicted to Xbox and beers.TrialsFusionis awaiting my attention, so be sure to catch my review for this one!
Nearly 1.5 kill/death rate
If you remember last month I set myself a few gaming goals. Firstly I wanted to win the Division 1 title in FIFA 14 on the Xbox 360. Safe to say that that didn’t happen however not through the lack of skill, but more through the lack of playing FIFA 14. Instead I’ve been playing a lot of Call of Duty (again) and I’m ever closer to hitting my kill/death ratio target of 1.5. That was my second goal.
Asides from that the month has flown by. I’ve been playing Trials Frontier on the iPhone which is ‘ok’ but no substitute to the real thing. That will hopefully be May’s purchase after my hair has grown back since Trials 2. On the review front you can read my Pac-Man thoughts by clicking here. But that’s about it for April. I’m just looking forward to another month’s gaming in May!
Onward, into the backlog!
This month was yet another expedition into the jungle of discs that is my gaming backlog. I tackled re-playing some of my favorite titles now that I’ve switched to the PlayStation 3 and 4 for my main consoles. Dead Space and Bayonetta were the first two on the table. After finally getting that glorious platinum trophy in Bayonetta, I moved on to helping Mr. Clarke escape the hellish spaceship. Re-playing Dead Space 2 just saddens me when I think of how lackluster I found the third installment of the series. After loving the first two, I just wish they had ‘ended’ the trilogy with a bit more polish.
Octodad and Trials Fusion were the only new titles that graced my Ps4 this month. The octopus in disguise turned out to be the wacky, humor-filled breath of fresh air I was hoping for. While the game itself is a bit short, I must say I’ve not laughed at a game that much in a long, long time. Trials Fusion on the other hand, was a bit of a let down. While it wasn’t a bad game by any means, I can’t help but feel it lacked something of its predecessors; seeming a bit too easy and a bit too short, it just isn’t my favorite in the series.
Next month bringsWolfensteinand Watch_Dogs which are the only new titles that I am somewhat interested in. Now whether or not they turn out to be something worthwhile is yet to be seen.
Clash of Development
April has been a funny old month in gaming for me. Most of the month it has been more about making games, instead of playing them.
Thanks to the success of my mobile game, Tiny Goalie, I’ve been back in the developing chair, creating two more games for that bundle of tech that nests in your pocket. Tiny Touchdown was my next release on iOS and Android. Aimed at the NFL fans out there, Tiny Touchdown has you stopping offensive players before they reach the touchline.
The third in the Tiny sports series is Tiny Tennis, which is now available on both iOS and Android devices. Tiny Tennis has you returning tennis balls and avoiding those menacing red water bottles once again. This latest Tiny title is a lot more feature-rich, with leaderboards, achievements and the ability to play on up to nine different tennis courts. Be sure to check all these three Tiny games out and let me know what you think.
Other than my own games, I’ve been sucked into Clash of Clans on iOS. I’ve just reached level 6 town hall now and I am trying my hardest not to spend any real money on those damn Gem packs!
At the end of the month my first next-gen console casualty has surfaced, with my PlayStation 4 deciding not to boot up any more. So it looks like no more inFAMOUS: Second Son for me, and my Xbox One will now become the default console for new games next month, that’s until Sony pull their finger out and ship my a replacement…*taps fingers*
So that wraps up our Monster Month for April. Why not let us know what YOU have been playing this past month, leave us your gaming antics in the comments below! Until next month, happy gaming to all our fellow Monsters!