December 8: Gaming Respawn Plays

Find out what the team has been up to this week at Gaming Respawn.

Alec Hawley – Writer

Apart from squeezing in games of Blossom Blast Saga on my way into work, and occasionally remembering to complete my Peak Brain Training daily workout, I’ve mostly been focusing on exploring the highways, dirt tracks and sheer cliffs of Medici, the despotic Mediterranean archipelago that forms the backdrop for Just Cause 3. Already, I’ve fallen into the classic open world trap of overlooking actual missions in favour of all the stuff that really doesn’t matter, like tracking down vintage cars and driving them to unlocked garages to make them available for airdrops, wingsuit challenges, races, ramapages and, of course, blowing things up for no reason whatsoever. My full review will be up soon, but if you want a sneak preview, JC3 is good, really good and anyone on the fence should just take the plunge.

Over the last few days, Madden NFL 16 has also been competing for my gaming attention, an unexpected early Christmas present from my father of all people, who I’ve recently been educating on the sport. My American Football education is being furthered considerably by the game, its extensive training mode answering those tricky questions like what does a linebacker actually do and just what is a slants route? It’s the perfect easing in to a game of intimidating complexity, and has already taught me enough to win my first proper game on easy, a beautifully snowy showdown between the Seattle Seahawks and the Houston Texans. While I’ve barely scratched the surface of this sprawling simulation, Madden is already extremely impressive, with beautifully smooth character animations, occasionally astonishing graphical fidelity and the kind of slick presentation for which the game is famous (and which could teach FIFA a thing or two).

Daniel Garcia-Montes – Writer

Well, I’ve finished the first Infamous and Infamous 2, as well as the standalone DLC Infamous: Festival of Blood, which I hadn’t played since it was first released back in 2011 or 2012. You play as Cole who has been turned into a vampire and he goes around killing other vampires with his electric powers and his new vampire abilities. It’s actually not as “out there” as it sounds, and when it comes to story-based DLCs, Infamous: Festival of Blood is one of my favorites and is just plain fun. I’m currently on the third game, Infamous: Second Son. It’s another fun game that gives you access to lots of different powers that are enjoyable to use, but in some ways Second Son is still the weakest of the three games, and definitely the shortest. I should be able to finish it in no more than two more days, and that’s going at a relaxed rate. Expect my update on my completion of the Infamous series by next week, as well as an update on the next batch of games I plan on playing: Spider-Man.

Jorge Godinez – Writer

This week has been an excellent time of gaming for me. My highly anticipated title of the year released this weekend, Xenoblade Chonicles X. The original Xenoblade Chronicles, which released for the Wii (and later the 3DS, is one if not my favorite game of all time so I was ecstatic to learn that another game in the series was being made when it was announced at an E3 a few years ago. I just picked the game up yesterday evening and I already have 10 hours logged into the game. This is nothing compared to the potential 300 hours the game can gift you. So far I am loving the game and if possible, I will try to write a review for the game.
Another game that I have been playing is Steamworld Heist. I was given a review copy so that I can review the game before it launches on December 10th. Be sure to find it in the next few days. I am in love with the game so far so you can expect it to be a positive review. That is all I will say for now, you will just have to wait for the review.

Michael Fitzgerald – Writer

I’ve been mostly playing SNES games this week, due to this weeks feature game being on that platform. After playing that game I decided to play some others that I hadn’t played in a while, starting with Super Punch Out!

I’m not the world’s most amazing gamer but I found it supremely satisfying that I could still whip Gabby Jay in a mere 8 seconds. Indeed, I made the entire Minor Circuit my bish with great ease. It doesn’t matter how lousy a day I’m having sometimes so long as I can punch Bear Hugger into next week. I personally think Super is the best Punch Out title out there. Yes, the third circuit is mostly reskins of guys you’ve already fought before putting you against a ludicrously difficult Super Macho Man, but I still love this game. Aran Ryan is probably the guy I’m most loathe to fight actually, as due to him always grabbing you after a Super Punch, it becomes a meticulous race against the clock to beat him with normal punches. I’d recommend this game to anyone who has a Super Nintendo though, as it’s a bonafide classic.

I also took a chance to look back at Daffy Duck: The Marvin Missions. This is a game that I played a lot during my childhood and remembered it being quite good. I was wrong. This game is atrociously bad, thanks mostly to the terrible way Daffy himself controls. The controls are so ridiculously oversensitive that even so much as breathing on the d-pad will cause Daffy to dart erratically from one part of the screen to the other. As you can imagine, this makes navigating platforms incredibly difficult and, seeing as this game is a platformer set in space on a number of different planets, this makes the game a frustrating experience. It’s a shame, as the Warner Brothers humour is certainly here and Daffy himself has an impressive collection of weapons at his disposal. However, the game did not hold up to the memories of my childhood and I wouldn’t recommend it.

I did look at another game that I’d never actually played before, which I liked so much that I decided to do a feature on it for the 15th December Retro Respawn, so keep an eye out for that. This weeks Retro feature is also based on a SNES game and I normally try to avoid doing back to back features on the same console, but I felt compelled to write about this other game as well. Hopefully you all enjoy it when you read next week.

I finished with a couple of matches on International Superstar Soccer: Deluxe, one of my favourite football games. Ah, back when Konami weren’t a horrid bunch of rancid bellwiffs and I could actually enjoy playing their games. As Fat Tony would say, this game is “supoib”

It’s immensely playable, got great music and is exceedingly pretty to look at. Konami realised they couldn’t create fully realistic looking players, so they turned up the colour palate and gave everything a bright and pleasant look. The goalkeepers can be outrageously hard to beat, but overall the game is a lot of fun and built upon all the great work of the previous ISS game. This would eventually lead to Konami creating ISS Pro ’98 for the PlayStation, possibly my favourite game of all time. Shame that Konami are jerks these days, but that doesn’t take away from this game being an all-time classic.

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