Bayonetta

The other game I got myself on Christmas day was actually two games, in the form of Bayonetta 1 and 2. Since I’d never fully completed the first one (back on the PS3), I decided to start by playing that, and oh boy am I getting a kick out of playing her with the Link costume – and it’s great that she keeps wearing it during the cut scenes too. I don’t know if it’s the effect of the costume or what, but I’m also finding myself having more fun that I remember having when I last played it, and although I’m mostly playing with the regular controls, it is neat what they’ve done with the touch controls, letting you play using the stylus. Already getting excited to finish this so I can play my copy of Bayonetta 2.

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

I’m a bit surprised considering I’m not big into fighting games, and that I know this game didn’t do well in general, but I’m actually having a really fun time with it (it’s currently free for Playstation Plus members). I’ve only been playing on Vita so far, but I took Ratchet and just loved going through stages with him, with the wacky shooting moves (with typical Ratchet weaponry), and the stages are cool too. I think it’ll be fun playing this when I have friends over, although I now wish I had 4 PS3 controllers for it. Sure, I’m really looking forward to Smash Bros., but it is pretty fun battling with all of these PlayStation-related characters. 

Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus

I really love the Ratchet & Clank series, and although I don’t go back to play PS3 games much – mostly because my PS3 is noisy as fuck due to the fan – but I did really want to play Into the Nexus, and since it was on sale for $8 this week, I jumped on it. I’ve put in a couple of hours so far, and yet again, it’s just a joy to play. I love the characters, the worlds, the action, and of course the weapons. I really want to play a new one on PS4, even if it will be in the form a remake of the first one.

Trine 2

Of the new PS4 offerings through PS+ last week, this is the one I’ve played the least, but I was curious to see how it looked, and unsurprisingly, it looks great. I played the original Trine – on PS3 I think – and it’s a game I had fun with. I like platformers, and I like the fantasy setting here, and the switching you do between warrior, archer, and wizard. As with the original, it is sometimes a bit awkward to use some of the powers with a controller – like drawing blocks to materialize for the wizard – but it’s not deal-breaking. I’ll probably wait until I’m done with PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate before I fully jump into this.

Heroes Within

As I’ve mentioned quite a few times, I really love all of the Star Wars tables that have been released for Zen Pinball 2 – especially to play on PS4, where they look amazing – and so I was pretty excited to get a new set of 4 tables, Heroes Within. What can I say, it’s another bunch of great tables that are fun as fuck, and as I’ve said before, I think these are the best Star Wars games getting released these days – there’s nothing else out there that reminds me how much I used to love this franchise. I especially love the Han Solo table – it has the Cantina music playing the whole time! And just a reminder that even though these are cross-buy, you need to buy them first on PS3 or Vita, and then import them to PS4 (if you just buy on PS4, you won’t have access to the PS3/Vita versions).

Castle of Illusion

The HD remake of this game was a recent offering on PS+ – I’m not sure if it’s still available – and I’m sure glad I gave it a whirl. Although I’m well aware of the original, I don’t think I had ever played it, and so never had any particular attachment to this. The first thing that really surprised me is how gorgeous this game really is, even on PS3. I was expecting something like the recent Ducktales remake, which looks fine if rather basic and flat, but here we have something that is quite lush, with a painted look and great use of shadows. The gameplay is nothing special, but I’ve always had a soft spot for platformers, and so I’ve had fun playing this, mostly to see what all of the levels look like. 

Harmony of Despair

I remember when this first came out a few years ago, and that I wasn’t too excited about it. I eventually picked it up during a sale, and even then, it took a while before I finally really played it with a friend over, and that’s when this game truly shines. Last night I played some more with a friend over, and was reminded of how much fun this game can be. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve been playing Castlevania: Symphony of the Night lately on my Vita, and this basically offers up the same graphics and gameplay, but in a multiplayer context. Sure, sometimes it can be slightly frustrating when you’re lost in the giant level and aren’t sure where to go next, but you still have fun zooming in and out, trying to figure out a way to get to the final boss. 

Far Cry 3

I picked this up back in January on one of those big PSN sales, but just now am I finally getting around to playing it. I’ve put in about 4 hours, and gotta say that I’ve been having a blast running around this island, driving around in old jeeps, swooping around in hang gliders, and hunting to give me upgrades (although this is taking a bit longer than I’d like – being stuck with just one weapon that quickly runs out of ammo is no fun). As much as I appreciated a lot of Far Cry 2, I never did finish it, but I’m still feeling the urge to jump into this and liberate more bases and the like, so I’d say it’s an improvement over the last one. And I’m also excited at the prospect of a Far Cry 4 set in the Himalayas (as current rumors suggest), traversing snow-capped mountain tops like a mad man.

Luftrausers

A dogfighting game with minimal 8-bit graphics didn’t sound like something I’d be really into playing, but it’s gotten to a point where I’ll buy anything by Vlambeer on day 1, and so that’s what I did with this. I got the Vita/PS3 (cross-play) version, and so far have only played on Vita, which is how I really wanted to play it anyway. This game is incredibly addictive, and the way that you just start up a new game so quickly (flick up) after you die makes it so that it’s hard to stop. I really dig the controls – it’s not a twin-stick shooter, you’re giving your plane a boost by pushing up on the analog stick, and steering by pushing left or right. Stop shooting and you can heal yourself automatically. I was having a blast going in controlled stalls to get in a better position to shoot down my enemies, and the upgrade system – you unlock new parts for your plane – gives a nice variety to the gameplay. 

Doctor Strange

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Zen Pinball 2 continues to be one of my most played games on PS4, and I was happy to get two new tables recently. First up is the Doctor Strange one, and although I thought it looked a bit plain when I first saw it, I am now digging the sort of psychedelic colors, and I’ve managed to rack up close to 30 million so far – on a match in which I did the full “Nightmare” mission. Again, as a reminder, you should buy these tables on PS3 or Vita, and then import it to PS4 (if you buy on PS4, you can’t play them on the other consoles).