In Cold Blood

Far Cry 3 • PlayStation 3

I love a trophy that shares its name with a Capote classic. This popped during a quick morning session on FC3 after completing my first ‘Wanted’ mission. Knifing in FC3 is just as satisfying as it is in Blood Dragon. I love the ‘Death from Above’ unlock, as well as chain-killing pirates with a well timed stab to the throat, and these wanted missions seem perfect for it – Large groups of baddies close together and itchin’ for a stabbin’ makes me a happy boy!

Also, why is it I have less time on the weekends to game than I do during the week? Notably, my Vita gaming has sustained my achievement-a-day challenge during the week, but I find it’s the quick 30-45 minutes in the morning on the console before I leave home for the day where I do my best work. Even this morning’s effort took a concentrated 20 minutes balancing a baby on one knee, a bowl of cereal on the other and a controller held tightly around both. Gaming Dads should get a medal I think, particularly ones trying to score just one more achievement.

Sequence 3

Assassins Creed 3 Liberation • PlayStation Vita

I thought this morning might be a challenge to even get a trophy (posting this entry certainly has been – I had some sensational text written out on my phone which seems to have disappeared into the ether!), knowing that I was fairly pressed for time today – so I started out with a bit of FarCry 3, moved onto Remember Me and then settled down for a quick session of AC3L later on this afternoon. I would have put down my trophy for completing ‘Chapter 0’ of Remember Me down, but time constraints mean that this entry is short and sweet.

Oh, yeah, and I finished Sequence 3 of AC3L!

Rebel with a Cause

Far Cry 3 • PlayStation 3

I was rudely assaulted at a major metropolitan train station yesterday, so there is probably a psychological basis for wanting to play something that lets me hack people with a machete before putting two .45 magnum rounds into their kneecaps and watching them ragdoll their way to the ground. Nonetheless, I had a bit of spare time this morning, so I knocked a radio tower on the head before heading to an enemy outpost – all before breakfast.

What I found most satisfying is that I only had to knife one dude before a large tiger came in and finished the other bad guys off! That’s my kind of game! Now, if only I could score a tiger for today’s train trip.

My 1st Dressing Chamber

Assassins Creed III Liberation • PlayStation Vita

I knew going in that AC3L had a female assassin, but scoring this for my first trophy is a little emasculating. I’ve sunk nearly an hour of gameplay into Aveline’s romp through New Orleans, and still, this is the trophy they give me!

The dressing rooms are a welcome change to the AC franchise, and work much better than the console’s ‘dye pouches.’ Aveline has, from what I can tell, three outfits or ‘personas’, including the ‘Lady’ (which most of the opening game is in), the ‘Slave’ and the ‘Assassin.’ A quick tap on the screen changes you into one of the three outfits, and you suddenly have a different set of skills!

This is a good addition to the AC franchise. The gameplay is much better than AC3 on the console and is reminiscent of the original journeys with Altair or Ezio. The soundtrack is great, and the story, so far, is one of the best in the series.

Obtaining a copy of AC3L was a pain though. Having visited my local EB Games (or Gamestop for the US), I found a lonely copy on the shelf at the rough price of $65! I have a real issue with Vita games being pricey, so I asked my friendly store clerk to check the price who confirmed that the RRP on the packet was correct, but they had a preowned version for around $25!

“Sold!” I said, and set the clerk to hunting the second hand copy. After scouring the drawers, she couldn’t find it, but she assured me that it was probably ‘out the back’. After a painstaking couple of minutes, she came back with the bad news that the computer and the ‘real world’ count didn’t match, and they didn’t have a copy! No discussion about a discounted new copy, no further assistance. Nothing. I left the store very cranky and giving serious consideration to cancelling my Watch_Dogs and Call of Duty pre-orders (I still might!).

Jumping onto the computer, I found a $20 copy on OzGameShop.com for a download code, so I locked that in and scored my code a few hours later. If bricks-and-mortar stores want to differentiate themselves with online retail by offering the greater customer service, then they need to start actually offering some! I always prefer a physical copy, particularly when it took me nearly three days to get the soft copy onto my Vita, but when I get a faster, cheaper and more friendly response from a computer, then I’m going to lock that in!

I’ll keep chipping away at AC3L with Aveline over the next few weeks. After all, it’s taken an eternity to get to her!

Bagged and Tagged

Far Cry 3 • PlayStation 3

If there was one thing I could change about the PlayStation Vita, it would be the horrible UI, but in this fantasy world where I get more than one wish, the next big change would be fixing the glitch which causes my Vita to inexplicably ‘pause’ downloading content for no rhyme or reason.

Today’s post was expecting to be related to Assassins Creed III: Liberation (a journey in itself to obtain – I’ll discuss this more with my first Liberation trophy), but overnight, my Vita downloaded the Liberation patch, and then a quarter of the game, and then stopped. I had no intention of playing FarCry 3 this morning in search of a trophy, but it was lucky I picked up the controller because it wasn’t until I was walking out the door that I discovered the Vita’s treachery.

The Bagged and Tagged trophy came after completing the first hunting quest. I was a bit familiar with these having played FC3 Blood Dragon, but I wasn’t sure if there was a trophy associated with it or not. Nonetheless, I have a deep-rooted urge to nail FC3 to 100% (a good gaming friend has this among one of his few Platinums, so there is some jealousy attached), so I figured I’d have to do these short missions sooner-or-later.

My first one took me to a cave to take-on two bears with a shotgun. The animals in FC3 are far-and-away more annoying than any other NPC, as I had discovered with a panther/cheater (read: cat-like predator) and the Komodo dragons, but the bears only took three blasts apiece and they were down. It would have been a more satisfying journey if I had room in my rucksack to collect skins, but the whole FC3 economy is still a bit fuzzy for me. I’ll keep making progress – here’s hoping that I’ll have some Assassins Creed goodness for tomorrow (gee, Ubisoft get a lot of love, don’t they?).

Hunter Hunted

Far Cry 3 • PlayStation 3

Not a lot of time for achievement hunting this morning, so I picked up FC3 with the hope that maybe I would be able to quickly score the ‘Rebel with a Cause’ trophy for liberating three outposts (I’ve already done one!), or the ‘Fearless or Stupid’ trophy for diving 60m (sounds easy enough, right?). Instead, I quickly thought I’d be able to knock a mission or two on the head, and I went off hunting for a woman and her lover somewhere just outside the starting village. Sure enough, her partner had been mauled to death by a Komodo dragon, and me with only a few bullets left, had to run to the nearby car to mow-down the dragons. Shortly after, this trophy popped, which was a pleasant surprise – and helped me meet quota for an otherwise flat-out Tuesday!

Apprentice Cashier

Crazy Market • PlayStation Vita

Other than the monthly free games you get with PlayStation Plus, I was a bit surprised to find this little arcade romp in the PlayStation Store for the princely sun of $0.

The idea? Take an item from the conveyer belt, scan it, place it back on the conveyer belt. It’s a fairly simple little game, and the first few levels are easy enough to obtain the ‘Perfect’ score.

If you paid more than a dollar for this game on your smart phone, you’d probably be OK with it, but to charge for this on something as powerful as the Vita would be offensive. Well done to Sony for pitching this at the right level, sucking it up, and giving us all a little something for nothing.

1st Division

Flick Kick Football • iOS

Take one ball, one finger, and half a soccer team, then there’s a strong likelihood that someone is gonna get lucky! The alternative, of course, is that you’re playing Flick Kick Football, which is what I did this morning. A great little mindless game, which probably wouldn’t work on a train ride, but on a lazy Sunday when you can keep fairly still, this is a treasure trove of quick-and-dirty achievements.

Certified Pilot

Flight Control Rocket • iOS

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I enjoyed the first Flight Control, it was a great little game that made me feel patriotic when you saw the Flying Doctor level, and it was good, mindless fun.

Flight Control Rocket kind of takes that theme, ramps it up a few notches and then throws you in the deep end, with a fresh sci-fi coat of paint. I have found it much harder to get into than the original, but I am sure that there are lovers of the concept who will be thankful this game doesn’t move in baby steps.

I also seemed to have picked up an achievement for inviting three Origin friends to play. I don’t think I’ve even got three Origin friends, so I have no idea how that works, but thankfully there are enough real achievements to keep you going for a little while.

 

Pro

Flow FreeiOS

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I did a hunt around my iPhone’s Game Centre last night, looking for a few quick-and-dirty games that I could play in the middle of the night or when it was socially inappropriate to whip-out the Vita. I found a few (which all had achievements), so you will probably see them pop-up on here over the next few weeks.

The first game I tackled was called Free Flow, and involves essentially connecting multiple sets of two dots together over a square grid, using all the spaces in the grid along the way. It’s a fun, mindless game, but it wasn’t until I hit the 7×7 boards that I hit some stumbling blocks, but none that couldn’t be quickly resolved by a few restarts.

Microtransactions aren’t as in-your-face as what, say, EA tends to do, but they appear to be an added option for extra gameplay levels. If the game was hard enough perhaps, then this would add some better depth, but considering I’ve finished 100 levels in about 20 minutes playing time, I think I’ll keep my money where it is, thanks.