December 14: Gaming Respawn Plays…

Here is what some of the guys at Gaming Respawn have been playing this past week.

Daniel Garcia-Montes

I’ve finished replaying the Infamous series in its entirety, and an enjoyable playthrough it was. The last game, Infamous: Second Son, was a very good game, though still clearly the weakest of the three given its brevity and limited enemy variety. The standalone DLC, First Light, was better in some ways. It had a better story and more variety with its missions. But no need to get into a whole spiel here, eventually I will discuss the Infamous games in more detail in my weekly “D.G.M.’s Gaming Life Before Gaming Respawn” feature. Keep an eye out for it, perhaps it will convince one of you to get those games if you haven’t already.

I also spent a little time playing two of the newest story-based DLCs for Batman: Arkham Knight. Those who don’t already know this about me should be aware that when it comes to story-based DLCs for games I enjoy, I HAVE to get them, there’s no helping it. It’s a chemical thing really (I suspect I have a couple of wires up there that shouldn’t be touching). In any case, with the exception of the Batgirl: A Matter of Family DLC, which I reviewed on this site, the other story DLCs are these little bite-sized, half hour mini-games where you play as other characters dealing with Batman’s rogues gallery, very much like the ones Harley Quinn and Red Hood DLCs (which I also briefly discussed in my Arkham Knight review). A while back I played the Nightwing DLC called GCPD Lockdown, which actually proved somewhat challenging at the end with Nightwing battling a large group of tougher enemies. This week, I played Catwoman’s Revenge, where Catwoman decides to get back at the Riddler for the hard time he gave her in Arkham Knight, and right after that I played A Flip of a Coin, where Robin deals with Two-Face and puts a stop to some money-laundering ring he’s set up.

None of these DLCs offer much of anything new other than the opportunity to play as characters other than Batman, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they outright suck. It’s more fun in the Arkham universe, and that’s just fine with me. These DLCs might not be worth it for those who simply loathe DLC in general (which would be most of you). However, those looking for a real challenge might want to try out Catwoman’s Revenge. The combat encounter in the end was definitely one of the most challenging and downright infuriating gameplay sessions I’ve ever experienced in the entire Batman Arkham series. Catwoman finds herself fighting an almost endless wave of Riddler robots, with the added challenge of the floor around her becoming electrified so that eventually there are only four square tiles in the center that she has to stand on so she doesn’t get fried. Oh, and did I forget to mention the two laser beams constantly moving along the floor and straight towards Catwoman at the worst possible moments? After finally (and barely) beating that damn combat encounter after multiple attempts, I felt a sense of accomplishment that mostly made it all worthwhile. I almost want to try it again to see if I could do a better job at it, but I’ll save that for another day…maybe.

I’d like to take this time to warn those of you who might still be on the fence about the Season Pass for Batman: Arkham Knight. If you’re like me and are only interested in the story DLC, then DO NOT get the Season Pass. With Batgirl: A Matter of Family, GCPD Lockdown, Catwoman’s Revenge, and A Flip of a Coin, I’ve spent a total of $12 to $13, no joke. The Season Pass is $40, so that means the other $25 or so that I didn’t waste on the Season Pass would have gone towards skins, race tracks, and challenge maps, which I honestly couldn’t care less about. If you also don’t care for such things, then I’d say the Season Pass is not worth it, though many of you have probably already figured that out. There’s only one more story DLC due to be released called Season of Infamy, which is an expansion to the Most Wanted side-missions for the main game where Batman deals with more of his rogues gallery. This expansion will include villains like Mr. Freeze, Killer Croc, Ra’s al Ghul, and more, so I’m actually looking forward to that one. And if it costs the same as the Batgirl DLC ($6.99), then I’d say it was definitely worth getting the story DLCs separately rather than getting that outrageously overpriced Season Pass. You’re welcome, fellow gamers.

Michael Fitzgerald – Writer

I’ve been having a football themed week, mostly because due to decorating I’ve not had much time to commit to anything more substantial. Part of the decorating has involved certain consoles getting moved to other areas of the house. These bouts of console hot potato have seen the X-Box 360 moved into my bedroom and I’ve been sinking about an hour a night into PES 2009, as the wireless controller means I can play it in while listening to podcasts.

PES 2009 is hardly one of the strongest games in the series, and 2009 actually marked the last year that I went solely to Konami for my football fix, but it’s playable enough and it’s always fun to go back and take a look at my Everton Master League team from that time period. It’s amazing sometimes to think that Everton made the Cup Final in 2009. The first XI was decent enough, with Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta being two of the stand outs, but the bench really was sorely lacking. I’m sure names like Kissock and Molyneaux probably don’t ring any bells for anyone reading this who wasn’t a dedicated Evertonian from that period. Looking at who I’d signed, I really hadn’t done much to the first XI at all. I’d mostly filled out the bench with journeymen and lesser named players just to give everything some depth, with 30 year old Nigel Quashie being a signing I’d had no recollection of making whatsoever. I had splurged on Charles Puyol at centre back, but he’s actually pretty rubbish on the game despite having high stats. Everton that.

I’ve also been playing some more FIFA 16 on the PS4 and have tried something new with the English Premier League. I’ve gone in and given every single team in the League at least one highly rated player, in the hopes of making every team a genuine chance of beating the others. So Cristiano Ronaldo has gone to Man United, Gareth Bale has returned to Spurs, Lionel Messi has been transferred to Man City, Hulk has set up residence at Aston Villa, Luis Suarez is now plying his trade at Arsenal etc.

Surprisingly though, this hasn’t led to a dead even chase for the title that I was expecting. At the moment, the chase for the title has come down to my Everton team, avec Wayne Rooney, battling it out at the top of the table with a Zlatan Ibrahimovich inspired Swansea City. Meanwhile, everyone else is pretty much where they would normally be. Amazingly, when I played Man City they didn’t even start either Joe Hart or Messi!

I’m sure that as the first season ends, players will be picked off by other European clubs and there’ll be “gimme” fixtures once again. I can’t deny though, going into every game knowing there’s a genuine chance the other teams star player can push them on to victory has certainly made things more tense and exciting. I’d recommend everyone whose tired of the standard career path in manager mode give this a go. Plus, it’s quite funny seeing big name stars like Neymar rock onto the pitch wearing a Watford shirt. It’s worth it for that if nothing else!


James Haxell – Writer

Luckily this week I was able to find some free time, I checked down the side of the sofa. I decided continue my play through of Mass Effect 3, not that it was a particularly hard choice. During a sale couple of weeks back I bought the Citadel DLC at half price and I can safely say it is one of the best bits of extra content I have ever got. This is a big add on, which is part of the reason that justifies its hefty price, but this is not there to add to the story. Sure there are missions but the main focus of this is to have fun. There are multiple parts to this and the main thing is you meet all of your teammates over the three games, well those still alive. It’s just filled to the brim with jokes and quirky moments. All the tough and sad moments in this game, this creates a wonderful break and change of tone. If you are yet to play the series or just haven’t got this DLC I fully recommend it as I couldn’t imagine Mass Effect 3 without it.

Other than that I also played the new 3ds free to play Pokemon Picross, another free game I’ve downloaded and as a student it was still a serious major consideration on my budget. Picross is a puzzle game, with Sudoku being the closest resemblance to it. You have to fill in the correct squares of a grid using the number hints on the side, and the finished product is a picture of a Pokemon. The link to Pokemon is that they have abilities to make solving the puzzles easier. This uses micro-transactions which means if you want to play constantly then you’re going to have to cough up, or wait a couple of hours.

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