TWTGTW #1: Uncharted Fortunes

I used to regularly blog about the games I’d been playing and also on my Gamerscore progress. However, as my last update was on July 13th last year it’s obvious I’ve not exactly been keeping up with things. I’ve even failed to record significant personal gaming events… such as passing the 40,000 Gamerscore mark and the purchase of a PS3!

In an effort to get a regular weekly-ish “what I’ve been playing” gaming post established again I’m going to briefly discuss some of the titles that have been in my consoles this past fortnight. I don’t expect that these posts will be of much interest to general visitors to this blog but they are quite nice for me to look back on.

Without anything really meaty to play on the 360, my regular late night gaming sessions have been spent on the PS3. Unable to drum up any enthusiasm to play Prince of Persia (a title I’ve had on rental from LOVEFiLM for ages) I decided to take a look at Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. It’s been sitting on my shelf, unopened, ever since I bought my PS3 back in the autumn.

I’m a big Tomb Raider fan and, in many ways, Uncharted is just Tomb Raider with more shooting. Okay, a lot more shooting. It’s quite funny really that many people expressed the opinion that they wished the combat had been removed completely from the recent Tomb Raider Underworld game. Uncharted proves that you can go to the other extreme, bunging in absolutely tons of shooting, and still have a satisfying, fun experience. The problem, I think, with the current batch of Tomb Raider titles is that the gunplay is pretty wishy-washy, middle of the road stuff. They should either drop the combat completely or do it properly.

Uncharted features good, strong, fun characters. Yes, they’re your typical, stereo typical adventure film trio but that’s not a bad thing. I definitely found myself warming pretty quickly to Nathan Drake and I’m now looking forward to the sequel.

I did find the game environments and enemies in Uncharted a little samey. I know a lot of that this dictated by the plot of the game, I’m just used to the way Ms Croft jet-sets between very different locations.

I also got a little bit tired of solving tricky puzzles, to gain access to hidden areas, only to find that somehow a whole group of mercenaries had got into the place before me. They must’ve either used some super-secret backdoor or have cheated by watching walkthroughs on You Tube.

Scene It? Box Office Smash got popped back in the 360 this week mainly due to the release of a new, “awards season”-inspired question pack.

One thing that disappointed me about the second Scene It? game was how quickly my wife and I exhausted the supply of questions. The bonus DLC doesn’t really add much to the title in terms of longevity. I had a couple of run throughs using the “DLC only” mode to try out the new content and already I think I know all of the answers.

The DLC also adds a new round type, Pop Quiz, which presents you with a famous film personality and a list of ten films. It’s a case of quickly selecting either true or false as you decide which of the films they worked on. This is a nice addition to the game and makes the pack a little better value for money.

The appearance of Feeding Frenzy on my gamercard didn’t go unnoticed by several of my followers on Twitter. In my defence I was looking for something to play on the 360 and came across the CD that came free with my arcade SKU. I’d originally put the disc away, as I already owned most of the content, but as I was really bored I thought I’d give Feeding Frenzy a try. It’s a nice, fun little game that doesn’t require much thought to play. I wouldn’t necessarily have paid points for it, although I have bought much worse in the past (Bliss Island!), but it provided enough entertainment to fill a couple of gaming sessions.

I haven’t mentioned how much I’ve been playing Microsoft’s answer to the Singstar series. Lips is a great game, packaged with a particularly impressive and weighty set of wireless microphones. It may not yet have a huge library of songs but it is a lot of fun to play, both on your own or with a partner.

I’ve been taking part in a lot of challenges with the guys on the Cranky Gamers UK forums. Although the system could do with a few adjustments, it’s quite cool the way you can compete offline to achieve the highest score on a particular song.

I’ve just three achievements left to get in Lips. One for winning twenty challenges (I’m one win away from this), another for obtaining 100,000 stars (still a way to go) and the final one which will involve me importing almost 300 tracks into the game (it’ll be the deleting that’ll be more time consuming).

The past week or so also saw yet another attempt to play Half-Life 2 from The Orange Box. I keep coming back to this game, every few months, in an effort to make further progress and find out just why almost everyone seems to rave about it. It’s still not clicked for me.

There’s not much to say about 3 on 3 NHL Arcade, EA’s casual-friendly take on their ice hockey series of games. I downloaded it, played it, enjoyed it and completed all the achievements. All within the space of a few hours. It’s not something I’d go back to but it was a fun little diversion. It would be nice to see EA produce similar introductory titles based on their other sporting franchises. I’d certainly give a golf or gridiron game a go.

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3 Responses to “TWTGTW #1: Uncharted Fortunes”

  1. I’m glad to see someone else who Half Life 2 just doesn’t click for. Everything about it I should enjoy, but it just doesn’t quite work for me.

  2. I too have just found myself playing through Uncharted i think as a gap fill game untill Killzone 2 comes out. I agree with you on the combat side of things, it is a big part of the game , its done very well and the camera during the combat really is something that i think needs a mention. There was a lot of complaints that the camera in Underworld occasionally got ‘lost’ close to Lara’s backside, but the camera in Uncharted remains strong be it hanging from a ledge whilst shooting, great dynamic camera angles whilst perform ‘Brutal combos’ or general gameply and gun fights.

    Great read Strident, looking forward to more TWTGTW’s 🙂

  3. Thanks LLL. 🙂

    I agree about the camera in Uncharted. I like the fact that when you’re hanging off ledges it tends to be helpfully pointing in the direction that you need to go.

    Lara is an awful lot more acrobatic than Drake, especially in combat, which does cause a lot of additional issues when it comes to camera control. Tomb Raider fans are pretty used to it… I suppose close encounters with Lara’s geometry are almost an essential part of the whole experience. 🙂

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