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.
From University to Next-gen
If you have noticed that i have not been doing a monster month for a while is due to my course taking up my time at university. But rest a sured I am still gaming, but only when I have time, the last game I played on my Xbox 360 was Grand Theft Auto V which you can read the review on Console Monster. Not just having fun in Los Santos I also had the chance to be a true pirate and an assassin in Ubisoft’s latest game Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag which I really enjoyed.
Talking about Black Flag there will be an interview with the lead MP designer from Ubisoft Annacy to talk about the multiplayer and what’s next for the series, so all keep an eye on the website for that.
With next-gen now started, my gaming may pick up, but still university work stalls me, but this will be kept to a minimum.
Moving house and revisiting Gotham
November saw me move house so my Xbox 360 was slightly neglected this month. I did get some time to play and review Batman: Arkham Origins. The game is the third instalment in the franchise, and while enjoyable, it felt a bit repetitive with little to differentiate it from the previous two titles. This is a shame as I loved the demo I played at Eurogamer Expo. It was still good to revisit Gotham but I am hoping for more if we see another game in the series.
Aside from that, the battle of the next-gen consoles is still on-going and I have decided to go back and pick up a PS3 on the cheap instead to play games I haven’t had a chance before getting involved with a next-gen console this time next year. This means I am looking forward to Beyond: Two Souls, Heavy Rain, Last of Us, the Uncharted series and Ni No Kuni. That should keep me going well into the New Year right? I just have to wait until Father Christmas has been to start that PlayStation gaming.
The Nights Grow Longer
So as Winter really starts to dig in and the nights are set to kill, the green light of my 360 can’t help but cast a warming, soothing, tempting glow across the living room. With my console joining forces with the boiler (which fingers crossed will see out the season), evenings in front of the box, pad in hand, are becoming an increasingly common fixture in the unfolding of the day.
Sadly, I must watch with a green envy as friends and foes alike, either better-paid or simply better prepared, delve into the new,current,generation and get a cut at the first crop Sony and Microsoft’s respective beasts have to offer. Unusually though, this time around the upgrade seems far less a necessity. The step up visually has an undeniable allure, but from what I’ve experienced thus far, there is no sensation of really having arrived at the other end of the time vortex, leaving me deep in the twilight zone, anxiously picking at my thumbnails and waiting eagerly for the dawn.
So the envy dissipates, and the warm satisfaction returns when I go over to the dark side for a little dirty second hand shopping spree, plundering CEX for all the sub-£5 my penniless, patchwork receptacle for phantom cash I call a ‘wallet’ can handle. For anyone the wrong side of their next-gen upgrade – smile. The pickings are far from slim and there is a vast wealth of games out there, all depreciating in value by the minute to my rapturous joy.
And anyway…Christmas is around the corner. It won’t be long now.
Remember, remember the 22nd of November
November was never going to disappoint. With two shiny new consoles and a line-up of games to die for, the controller has been cemented firmly into my hands over the past month… for one console at least.
Upon opening and setting up the Xbox One, I opted not to use the controller and decided to test out Kinect’s voice capabilities. After a few minutes of working out the commands, it worked flawlessly, something I wasn’t expecting.
As I didn’t want to inflict any more damage on to my bank balance, I’ve only been able to test FIFA 14 and Killer Instinct, both of which have received sufficient playtime.
On the old generation (as it’s now called), I finally got round to finishing Batman: Arkham Asylum. It’s been in my “Pile of Shame” for far too long and I felt it was time to wipe the dust off it.
Also on the Xbox 360, Battlefield 4 has been spinning away in the disc tray. While the campaign was short-lived, I’m thoroughly enjoying the online. You can read my full thoughts in the Console Monster review.
Looking ahead to December, I’m looking to spend some time with LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, Assassin’s Creed III (another entry in the Pile of Shame) and to fully utilise the Xbox One. I feel the console has a lot to give and hopefully we’ll see more next month.
Next Gen Goodness
November has been quite a month, seeing the release of two new consoles and a sack of games. I decided to leave the Xbox One till next year and concentrate on the PS4 for the time being – spending over a £1,000 on consoles and games was clearly a daft thing to do when I have a stack almost as tall as myself of uncompleted and unplayed titles from the previous generation machines.
The PS4 hardware I’d not describe as sleek looking, but it isn’t ugly either. I’m still a little undecided on its looks, but as it sits in the TV cabinet it doesn’t matter too much. The OS, however, it’s solid and streamlined; you are quickly able to get where you need to be and I like it a lot.
The first title I tried on the PS4 was Resogun – given the greatness that was Super Stardust on PS3 I am a little disappointed with it, but I think it’s more because I haven’t clicked with its game mechanics yet. It looks great though so I will put some more time into it.
I ended up purchasing Killzone: Shadow Fall digitally (I did say I never would spend that much money digitally), mostly because I hadn’t ordered any games with the console. The download times seem a lot faster from PSN with the PS4, so perhaps Sony have put up a stack more servers to cope. It’s by far the most stunning looking of the release titles that I’ve played.
I also picked up Battlefield 4 which has lots of nice visual flair in it, but it does have some online issues which DiCE are currently trying to fix – this I purchased on PS3 cheaply and used the £10 upgrade path. Although this is a digital copy I think it’s a very good deal if you’re happy to live without a disk. After all this though, I’m already down to 270 GBs of space – that 500 GB drive is never going to last. Thankfully PS4 again allows for user upgrades.
Console Monster did a podcast last week on the console launches, so check it out if you haven’t listened to it yet and until next month, keep gaming.
The New Current-Gen is Here!
November was the best month. Not only was it my birthday, but we also saw both consoles step into the next-generation – It is going to take some time for me to call it current-gen. I’ve only had my hands on both for a few weeks now, since their launch here in the UK, yet both seem to be serving up the goods in their own ways.
With the Xbox One being the first next-gen console to enter my man cave, I had already started to play some of the third-party multiplatform titles (Assassins Creed IV, Need for Speed Rivals and Battlefield 4) on it before the PlayStation 4 arrived on the scene. So with those games and the three launch titles of Ryse, Forza 5 and Dead Rising, the Xbox One has been seeing most of my next-gen gameplay so far.
Ryse: The Son of Rome was a great playthrough, and the multiplayer surprised me how fun that was also to play. Graphically, Ryse is the game to show off what the Xbox One can do, and this is just a launch title. Look back to how Perfect Dark looks on the Xbox 360 and you’ll get an idea of what I am trying to say. Once developers push this system for what it’s got, I am sure we’ll start to see some magical stuff.
PlayStation 4’s launch line-up hasn’t been as glowing as the Xbox One’s. The killer duo currently is Resogun and Killzone: Shadow Fall, so these two have seen most of my time on the PS4. Resogun is great fun and worth picking up whilst you’re subscribed to PS+, I still need to work out why my little green men are dying inside their boxes before being released. Killzone has been barely touch, and to be honest I am not feeling it at the moment. Graphically it looks really nice though.
Both consoles need a little work on their home UI as well as their game line-up. Hopefully both of these areas get seen to sooner rather than later. With a bit of a gap between the next big wave of titles, this will allow me to catch up and finish some of this new pile of launch line-up games over the upcoming xmas period.
So that wraps up our Monster Month for November. 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!