What We Have Been Playing – May 2013

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.

Enjoy!

David B

Where have all the good games gone?

Amidst all of the high title cinema titles we have seen released this month, the games marketplace has gone a bit stale. Sure, there was a lot of chatter around Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon but when an XBLA title is the most talked about release of the month then you know it’s probably a dry one.

I however found myself venturing back to Zombie slaying with Dead Island: Riptide for our site review. It’s an enjoyable game but stays very close in all terms to the original with no real progression in gameplay, graphics or storytelling.

I also found myself playing the XBLA title Sacred Citadel, a side scrolling adventure that was good for a bit of co-op action, but not worth the 1,200 MSP price tag that it was given on release. Lasting about 5 hours there is an element of replayability for those completionists but the game didn’t capture me enough to go through multiple playthrough.

Other than that I have been doing some gaming on my new Galaxy S4, exploring what the Android marketplace has to offer with a discounted GTA Vice City and free copy of Carmageddon being some highlights to have on my new phone.


Steven B

From a conference to space!

This month has truly been something for me. My highlight has to be at the GameHorizonconference where I got to meet people from all over the industry and also talk to Ubisoft about Watch_Dogs. Games I have been playing this month is nothing to be happy about, Star Trek was not what I expected and I thought it could of been better but was not. I have also been playing Call of Juarez Gunslinger on XBLA and that was a great game. With E3 around the corner I can not wait to find out what new games will be announced. And talking of conferences, Microsoft finally showed the new Xbox and all I can say is that it was not that great, clearly they wanted you all to buy a set-top box.

Two new games I will be playing next month are; Grid 2 and also Remember Me, so look out for those soon.


Craig A

Why only now? FIFA Ultimate Team!

I love FIFA, yet for some reason I’ve never really played the Ultimate Team aspect of the game, until now. And now that I have, I can’t remember why I didn’t much earlier. It’s addictive, enjoyable and there are so many options to how you create your team.

I’m currently working my way through the divisions and building my team of superstars, which is progressing nicely. If I don’t say so myself, I’m also pretty good at FIFA, so if you feel like you can beat me, either at FIFA online or within the Ultimate Team, hit me up on LIVE.

In other news, the new Xbox has been announced…Yay! Although so far I’m swaying towards the PlayStation 4, due to it being more focused on games. Maybe E3 will sway me back…??


David W

Xbox One? I’m still playing the Xbox 360

Now that my time at university is over and the hype for the next generation of consoles has picked up, my gaming time has seen a significant increase.

First up was Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon which, in the Console Monster review, I described as a “must purchase”. It’s been a while since I’ve fallen in love with an Xbox Live Arcade title, but Blood Dragon has restored my faith in downloadable titles.

Staying with the Xbox Live Arcade, I can’t resist anything that’s free and this month saw Doritos Crash Course 2 become available on the Xbox Live Arcade for the very cheap price of 0 Microsoft Points. While the gameplay and the concept are certainly an improvement on its predecessor, the game heavily relies on the pay-to-play method, something I tend to shy away from.

Moving to retail titles, having been a massive fan of the game when it first launched, I’ve always struggled to pick up Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim once again. Fortunately, May saw the return of the title to my console and I once again emerged myself in Skyrim goodness. If you find me in a dark room while the sun’s shining this “summer”, you can probably guess why.

With the football season coming to a close, FIFA 13 and Football Manager have both received significant playtime this month. It won’t be long before the latest editions of the games are relegated to the gathering dust pile, so I’m making the most of them.

Looking ahead to June, it looks like my Nintendo 3DS is about to receive a significant amount of playtime with the release of Animal Crossing 3DS. If I can find my 3DS after all this time…


Tim L

A quiet couple of months…

Gaming for me has taken a step back over the last two months, which is why I didn’t contribute to last month’s Monster Month.
The Xbox 360 has been gathering dust in the corner of my room while I’ve been working hard at some other things such as photography and video editing. The only gaming I’ve managed to play on is my 3DS.

I have been helping Luigi out in his latest outing through haunted mansions which is a lot of fun. The graphics are fantastic for the handheld device and the controls are spot on. I’ve yet to complete the game but the comedy so far has actually made me laugh out loud and I expect this to continue to the end.

I have also been playing some Fire Emblem: Awakening which is a must have for any tactical game fans. This game is very complex and the battles can take some serious thought to win without losing any of your party members. I’ve only scratched the surface of this game but I can already tell it will be one of my favourite 3DS games.

The game I’ve spent most time on is Zelda: OoT for 3DS. I never owned a N64 so I never had a chance to play this game, but after being mocked by far too many people I felt it was time to finally get on with it and see what all the fuss was about. I have to admit it’s a brilliant game with a lot to do, but I do find myself getting lost a lot and generally beingoverwhelmedwith the sheer amount of side quests to do. I can see why this is rated so highly by gamers and I’m looking forward to completing and not be bullied for not playing it!


Anthony B

Held at Gunpoint

Amongst tweaking with the new Console Monster site, the little game time in May has been mostly spent over the last few days. It has been a mixed bag of iOS, Indie, PC and Console.

On iOS I have been playing the free-to-play action role-playing game – Battlestone – from Zinga. I was curious how a casual developer/publisher would put together a game in this genre and I have been pretty impressed. It is a good looking, no frills mobile game, but it works. I’ve yet to hit the paywall in this game, so fingers crossed my enjoyment doesn’t end abruptly with the call for an in-app payment!

The other iOS title that has had me coming back for more is a free Wario Ware-esk title called Dumb Ways to Die. The art in this game is super cute and it is just good fun to play through all the little mini-games as each one becomes more and more frantic.

Gunpoint (PC only) releases on 3rd June and the free demo was released just a week ago, so it was time to finally play a game I have had my eye on since last year. It is a stealth puzzle game where you have to hack terminals and avoid security guards – a little like the other Indie titles Monaco and Stealth Bastard. Containing some great humour, well crated pixel artwork and intriguing puzzles, if you are into your Indie games, I recommend you check it out.

Finally GRID 2 has been my console game this past week, and it will no doubt remain that way for some weeks to come. GRID is the type of racer I love – real edge of seat racing. I have just entered the second season and I am loving it. Look out for me online, ill be the one causing the first corner pileups!

E3 month is our busiest time of the year on Console Monster. So look out for our new site and all our E3 2013 coverage over the coming weeks! I am sure I am not alone by saying that I cannot wait!


Marty G

Divisive Restrictive Monopoly

I’ve had a chance to check out a few indie games this month, most notably Thomas was Alone. This at its base is a simple platform game (and something we talked about on the last podcast), but there is a charm about it with its fantastic commentary and music as Thomas progresses through the various levels. It’s well worth checking out.

It’s clever design and I’m finding it likely that I’ll be supporting independent games next gen. This is because I don’t like where, particularly Microsoft, seem to be heading with their ideologies for their next systems. Many of the decisions reveals or rumoured so far seem to be particularly anti-consumer. Locking down your consoles so hard that it potentially impacts on the very people that buy your games doesn’t seem like a good idea to me. Draconian DRM doesn’t benefit you or me – after over thirty years of gaming, it depresses me to see gaming headed in this direction 🙁

We’ll see what happens at E3, I hope the news is more positive.


So that wraps up our Monster Month for May. 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!

You can keep up to date with all the latest gaming news, reviews, previews, media and more by following us on Twitter @ConsoleMonster or Like us on Facebook and have us in your news feed.

Anthony Barker

Anthony is the designer, developer and owner of Console Monster. In his spare time, Anthony is a keen gamer who enjoys playing mostly First-Person Shooters and Racing games. When he is not developing games or tweaking this site, Anthony likes to be on the slopes snowboarding or hurtling down off-road tracks on his mountain bike.

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