What I’m Playing – CounterSpy

Stealth Action Goodness.

I should preface this by saying I love stealth games. There have been some great additions to the list of 2-D stealth games in particular. Mark of the Ninja, Stealth Inc., and Gunpoint were some of my favorites in recent memory. When I saw that CounterSpy was a Playstation Plus freebie, I downloaded it right away. Little did I know that it was one of the slickest games I’ve seen in a while.

CounterSpy PS4

The game looks really nice from a distance. Good news: a lot of the game is played from a distance. It’s a side-scrolling 2-D stealth game, and it looks the part. The guards smoothly patrol from side to side, and when they spot you, they quickly find cover and start firing and lobbing grenades. It all looks very slick…until it zooms in. The angles of the polygons don’t work as well up close. A good portion of the game is spent behind cover, so you’ll be zooming in quite often. To be fair there were only a few moments that looked flat-out ugly (the guards faces just look… wrong), but it took a little something away from the cool vibe this game has.

CounterSpy PS4

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What I’m Playing – Knack

Knack is underrated.

Knack is NOT an amazing game. Some of the criticism it has received about its simplistic and repetitive combat is warranted (if not over-emphasized). Despite its flaws, Knack holds up as a solid action-adventure title.

Knack - PS4
“Say something about my simple combat again. To my face.”

 Visuals

From the opening scene, it’s evident that this game couldn’t run on a last-gen system. It looks like a Pixar or Dreamworks movie brought to life, and it maintains a steady frame rate throughout. On more than one occasion I found myself pausing to enjoy the use of vibrant colors and creative character design.

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Playstation Plus vs Xbox Live Games With Gold – April, 2015

I’m always looking for a deal

So when games are FREE??? Oh, I’m the first in line. I watch the Playstation blog like a hawk to see when they update the upcoming PS Plus deals. I keep my eyes on the headlines about Microsoft’s Games with Gold lineup, so I’m ready to start downloading. Could you say that I’m cheap? A tightwad? Frugal? Poor?

Yes, yes, yes, and kinda.

Well, Microsoft and Sony are offering some great deals for subscribers to their online services. While I’m not usually a participant in the “Console Wars” (I love everyone, you guys), it’s interesting to me to see how the perks compare.

Playstation Plus vs Xbox Live
I’d pay to see that PPV match.

Let’s get to it then: How do the services stack up for April, 2015?

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What I’m Playing – Valiant Hearts: The Great War

Valiant Hearts 1

A real war story

A young husband is a new dad, and he living in peace on a farm owned by his father-in-law. That imagery is instantly shattered by the arrival of German soldiers who forcefully enlist him into service. His wife screams and reaches for him as he is pulled away – the cries of his newborn son echo as he disappears from view. The father-in-law does his best to comfort his daughter and grandson, but he receives word that he has also been called to serve in the war… Continue reading “What I’m Playing – Valiant Hearts: The Great War”

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My PS4 Is Stealing My Sleep

My battle against sleep

That is a tad misleading: I don’t actually battle sleep. I simply avoid it in the name of entertainment. Therein lies the issue: I become a lesser version of myself when I am tired.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfd4dhQN5is&w=420&h=315]

Jerry Seinfeld knows what I’m talking about.

I’m cranky when I’m tired. For example, my 4-yr-old son was singing the first line of The Itsy-Bitsy Spider over and over and over and over… at the top of his lungs.

Cheerful, well-rested Tim’s response: laugh heartily and capture it on video to share with the world.

Cranky, tired Tim’s response: Demand silence and crush his joyful spirit. (Okay, I’m not THAT cruel, but you get the point)

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What I’m Playing – OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood

A sublime skateboarding game

When you first play a new game, you’re waiting for that moment – almost like a hook in a song. So many games fail to deliver a valid reason to stick with it early in the experience.

Oh... that's nice.
Oh… that’s nice.

Right from the start, OlliOlli2 just feels right. During the very first tutorial, I was already hooked. My little skater dude took off running with his board, and then smoothly dropped it and hopped on. Continue reading “What I’m Playing – OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood”

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Why I Bought A Playstation 4

It’s time for a new gaming console

For a family as big as ours, tax season means a return is coming our way.

And for a gamer like me: that means it’s time to pull the trigger on a new gaming console. Here were the options before me:

Nintendo Wii U. Xbox One. Playstation 4. Gaming PC. Playstation Vita.

Before looking to the future, I had to evaluate my current console collection. Let’s set the stage with the systems I currently own:

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