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27th December 2019: Bring Out Your Dead... Pool

Hot on the heels of a Marvel 3rd person action game comes another Marvel 3rd person action game. This time it was the Deadpool PS3 game's time to take the spotlight, but could I get the same kind of enjoyment out it that I did from the Spider-Man PS4 game?
Well, no. Not really.

I picked this up on my recent ebay console game shopping spree, and in the process contradicted my original assumption that The Last Of Us would be the final PS3 game I'd ever buy. Part of me wishes I'd left the whole game well alone, as I found there were more things wrong with it than right. But even with its flaws, it was not bad enough to stop me playing through it, so I guess that's something, right?

The main problem here was the gameplay itself, which kind of sucks for what is essentially a 3rd person brawler. The characters, the Marvel universe, the humour and the bat-shit crazy fourth wall breaking things that go on were all enjoyable. But when the fighting itself proves to be the annoying part, then the game has a problem.

True, some of these issues I think were down to the console itself. The frame rate, which at its highest and most stable was only 30fps, kept tanking at many points, especially when lots of enemies were on screen. This made the already sluggish combat seem even more so. It didn't help that the only melee weapons in the game which seemed to do any decent damage were the hammers, which were the slowest weapons to swing and made the fighting seem even more dull and boring.

There was also an issue with the counter attack mechanic. This is because both counter and dodge were bound to the same button, so many times I'd be attempting to dodge away but Deadpool would instead counter attack a villain that was about to attack him. Well fair enough, you might think, but when this refusal to dodge out of the way leaves the character open to an attack from another villain nearby then it starts to get annoying. And it's even worse than that as the counter attack animation is in slow motion, making the combat seem even slower and less responsive.
It annoyed me. Let's put it that way.

Another frustrating thing about the combat, which to be fair was a problem I also had with Spider-Man, was that the game seemed to think it knew where you wanted the camera to point. As soon as a fight would break out, the camera would start rotating all around like it was under the control of some tiny director living inside the console, trying to get the right angle for his next action movie. Well, it's not exactly easy to keep control of the camera when the thumb needed to operate the right stick is trying to press the action buttons.

The X-Men Legends PS2 games were also included in my shopping spree, after Scoob informed me he no longer owns them. When I borrowed them from him back in the day, I finished the first one but never went all the way through the second. My original plan was to continue the Marvel console love and plough into that sequel, but that can definitely wait for now. When I look back at the games I've finished this year, all but one have been games I've played with a controller. And the other one was a simple point-and-click. I think I just want to get away from that input device for a while. It's really starting to grate on me.

Well you never know unless you try

Well you never know unless you try

Purile humour incoming

Purile humour incoming

Making a clone Sinister dance

Making a clone Sinister dance

Tacos!

Tacos!

Rogue has a little too much Deadpool in her

Rogue has a little too much Deadpool in her

Literally dancing with Death

Literally dancing with Death

23rd December 2019: Stebloke-Man, Stebloke-Man, Does Whatever A Stebloke Can

So just got done swinging, punching and zipping my way through my first ever PS4 game, in the shape of Spider-Man. I was pretty sure I was going to get at least some enjoyment from this game, considering how much inspiration it takes from the Batman Arkham series, and how much I liked the first two of those games.

For the most part, this turned out to be true, though my early tactics spoiled the game for me a little bit and I found my attention waining towards the end. See, my initial intention was to 100% the game, and do every little thing all over the map. So every time I saw something new on the map I would go and do it before moving on with the story. This quickly became old, and I got fed up with hunting for bags, or doing research challenges and the like.
So I then changed tactics and decided to only do things on the map if they were on the way to my next story mission. This was ok for a time, but at one point in the story, just like in Arkham Origins, a load of people populate the map with guns and sniper rifles, all waiting to shoot your ass out of the sky as you swing by. This pissed me off back then, and pissed me off this time.
So in the end, I ignored the many, many things on the map that I hadn't done yet, and just straight lined the campaign, and I've got to say, this was the way to go. I just wish I'd done that from the start.

Flash kicking the Kingpin

Flash kicking the Kingpin

Yep, that dude's dead

Yep, that dude's dead

The game is not without its physics bugs

The game is not without its physics bugs

Shut yo mouth!

Shut yo mouth!

The Ste'n'Ste suit was the one I wore the most

The Ste'n'Ste suit was the one I wore the most

Spidey's still not figured out how to stuff someone into a trunk

Spidey's still not figured out how to stuff someone into a trunk

As mentioned before, the combat is definitely influenced by the Arkham games, but with some big differences that took me a little while to get used to. For starters, I kept pressing triangle to counter like in the Batman games, whereas in this one you have to press circle to dodge instead. My muscle memory, even these years later, just kept kicking in. Took me a while to shake that behaviour for some reason.
Also, the timing of the dodges was key. At first, I would try and dodge as soon as I got the warning, but I quickly found out that dodging too early just gives the attacker time to change the direction of their attack and they end up smacking you anyway. To get the best out of the combat in this game, dodging at the last second is required. Once I got used to it, and opened up a few more skills, I really quite enjoyed dropping into a big group of goons and beating the snot out of them.

Some things that annoyed me about the Arkham games also popped up here, like stealth missions, silly little puzzles, and missions where Spidey has been poisoned and you have to trudge through hallucinations. Thankfully, these elements were greatly reduced in this game, and took a lot less time to get through.

The story was pretty good, but there was nothing ground-breaking here, especially if you know anything about Spider-Man and his rogues' gallery. There was just one thing that happened at the end that I was a little surprised by.

Overall, well worth the play through, though I wish I'd not spent so much time swinging around the city trying to do all the pointless little stuff before just getting on with it.

Spidey falls through the world to his death

Spidey falls through the world to his death

The puzzles were very hit and miss

The puzzles were very hit and miss

Two cops diligently guard two very unconscious criminals

Two cops diligently guard two very unconscious criminals

No foreshadowing here or anything

No foreshadowing here or anything

Hallucination missions. Sigh.

Hallucination missions. Sigh.

Finishing off Mr. Negative

Finishing off Mr. Negative

21st September 2016: Marvel Heroes Update

Though I may play LoL again at some point, it's doubtful I'll be going back to Marvel Heroes. As expected, Scoob didn't want to carry on, but I tried to continue and finished chapter 2. I quickly got tired by the frequent and huge updates, as with my net speed it meant it often took twenty minutes or so to log in. I don't have that kind of patience. Shame, as despite its flaws it has some good things going on, especially for free.

Taking out The Hood

Taking out The Hood

25th July 2016: Marvel Heroes

Though I've been working on finishing a couple of other games these last few weeks, the vast majority of my time has been spent playing games that don't really have an end. Up first, I dived into Marvel Heroes for the first time along with Scoob, as we're both fans of Marvel and it seemed wrong that we hadn't tried it before.
You're allowed to pick your first hero without paying, so I unlocked Psylocke as she's one of my favourite X-Men. Still pissed off they made her a villain in the last movie, but oh well. Alongside Scoob's Wolverine I got chopping and slashing villains left and right, and we went through the first chapter and started the second.

Still a little bit unsure of my thoughts on this game. It's a pretty standard isometric button masher like Torchlight or Diablo, but I think I'd rather play this than those other games because of the theme and characters. I also like how you can try all the heroes up to level 10 before deciding which ones to buy. However, as its only servers are in the U.S. the performance is a little laggy, and the fact that loads of other players are running around make it a bit chaotic at times, adding to the button mashy mayhem. It's a shame they don't make European servers, or even better have developed it as a standalone type game with online and LAN options.

I don't think Scoob is really bothered about carrying on. But I might come back to it at another time. Maybe.

Getting ready to chop

Getting ready to chop

Kicking some villain butt

Kicking some villain butt

Arrgh, bright light!

Arrgh, bright light!

Scrappin with some Venom symbiotes

Scrappin with some Venom symbiotes

16th December 2014: Not So Marvel-ous

Getting on for a decade ago now, Scoob bought the two X-Men Legends games on the PS2. After borrowing it from him, the first one became one of the few games I ever completed on that console (well, I do only own eight). We played most of the second one co-op, but never got around to finishing it for whatever reason. Nevertheless, we both remember those games fondly, and the chance came to re-visit that era when I picked up Marvel: Ultimate Alliance for the PC cheap from eBay.

I'd recently bought a 360 controller to finally get around to Witcher 2, so we started off with Scoob using that and me on keyboard. Unfortunately, aiming ranged attacks while using keyboard is almost impossible, so I was forced into using close combat champs. We formed The Skumsplattaz superhero team with Scoob using Wolverine and Thor, while I went with Deadpool and The Thing. When using the keyboard had got on my nerves enough, I looked at other options. Luckily I found out there was a new, better way of installing PS3 controllers on Windows, as I was not a fan of the software that I used for Resident Evil 3 a couple of years ago. Of course, this means I didn't need a 360 controller after all, as I could have just used both my PS3 controllers. But whatever.
With joypad in hand, I replaced The Thing with Iron Man, to get some long range energy blasts in there.

So what's the game like? Unfortunately, we found the whole experience very underwhelming. Maybe it's because we're older now and button mashing brawlers just don't suit us anymore. Or it might be that the game just isn't as good as the X-Men games were. Without a doubt, the way that levelling up is handled in this game is inferior to those X-Men games. Rather than spend your experience points on increasing your hero's stats, you instead have to find stupid little drops throughout the game that do this job. Meh.

In terms of gameplay it's pretty much exactly what you would expect. You just run around clobbering bad guys and jumping around like a lunatic.
There were definitely a few things that really annoyed me. Firstly, there were way too many little cutscenes that took control away from us. Sometimes these were used for dialogue exchanges between bad guys, but usually it was just so the camera could spin around and show us something in the world that we needed to see. The thing is, if that thing it was showing us was necessary to continue, we would have found it anyway, quite easily, without the need to lose control.
There were also no real interesting boss fights. In pretty much every one, the fight was just a series of quicktime events, which was really disappointing as we really wanted to have a proper down and dirty scrap with these characters but couldn't.
Most of the time the camera was free to move, but some times it was strangely locked to a certain viewpoint. Very frustrating in some situations where we were fighting right on the limit of one fixed camera angle and another, meaning every second or two the camera angle would flick back and forth.

But still, it's another one down, so can't complain.

Thor and a bad guy do some synchronised dancing

Thor and a bad guy do some synchronised dancing

Two Mysterio copies do some synchronised dancing

Two Mysterio copies do some synchronised dancing

Seeing into Wolverine's brain

Seeing into Wolverine's brain

The Thing plays an old ZX Spectrum game

The Thing plays an old ZX Spectrum game

Wolverine's new wheels

Wolverine's new wheels

Deathbird dings the dong

Deathbird dings the dong

Let me go, bub

Let me go, bub

All Silver Surfer can do is annoy Galactus

All Silver Surfer can do is annoy Galactus

Evil Spider-Man copy being a twat

Evil Spider-Man copy being a twat

Wolverine wins the game with QTEs

Wolverine wins the game with QTEs