We Play Games – First of All

Once a year, the Ready Up staff trek to London for our annual team meeting. It’s great to see everyone. As we’re dotted all around the UK, with a Danny in Japan, getting together is a rare and special time for us.

Most of the team will make a weekend of it and pop out for a quiet drink on the Friday night, then a loud drink on the Saturday night, which is usually followed by a hungover Sunday breakfast, soppy, huggy goodbyes, and a good few hours travelling home.

On the Saturday day, however, it’s super serious team meeting time, when we’ll gather to discuss how we feel things are going and what we can do to make it even better.

One of the biggest changes we made last year was to introduce mini-brands. Each of the team was given the chance to come up with an idea for regular blogs based round a specific theme. If I recall correctly, Susan was the first to reply with an enthusiastic email that was quickly finalised as Cute Chronicles, Fran put her mad drawing skills to work to bring us the Broken Frandroid webcomic, and to say Simon chose to make lists would be selling him short as he is genuinely one of the funniest people on the entire internet.

The response was overwhelmingly positive with each member of the team throwing themselves into the new ideas. And now, almost a year later, they’re still going strong. Dean’s still Pixelhunting, Duncan’s still Pipe Dreaming, and Zoey’s, well, see for yourself. NSFW. Need I say more?

But as well as wanting to entertain and inform, Ready Up is a creative outlet for a huge team of passionate gamers with extremely varied tastes and opinions.  So I thought I’d create a series of blogs to make a place for the team to just ramble, and babble, pulling out small threads of thought that aren’t big enough for a full blog, (or are too long for twitter) hoping that the resulting pile would be an interesting read for you, our community. Because if there’s one group I love more than my team, it’s you guys. But don’t tell them that, eh?

Team Mental

In this first installment of We Play Games, Paul’s been loving DmC: Devil May Cry, Charlotte’s waiting for her turn on Facebook, and Anthony’s finally gotten around to Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. ‘Bout time!

Paul Rooney – Staff Writer

Paul: I held off getting DmC: Devil May Cry for a few weeks. Not just to delay gratification but to take advantage of the timely PC version. It’s kinda rare a game gets a PC port so close to the console’s initial release date so it really was a no-brainer. It performs so well on PC. The frame-rate is constantly high, there is no screen tearing, load times are fast, etc. so it really is the best version to get.

After my Super Arts article on the Art design shown in the demo it’s fair to say I was really looking forward to the full game and Ninja Theory came through for me. On the whole the art style is deliberate and direct with a bunch of visually stunning stand-out levels that keep you from getting acclimated to DmC’s unique brand of punky grime.

One level is flipped with the lashing rain running up buildings creating a real sense of other-worldly visual dissonance whereas another has you fighting a massive digitised cranium with static and electronic interference layered in such a way to be incredibly disorientating and visually unlike anything in any game ever.

DmC is the first must-play of 2013; whether it’s PS3/360 or PC you owe it to yourself to experience this wonderfully deranged visual paradox.
Charlotte Willis – Staff Writer

Charlotte: I’ve always been drawn to Facebook games out of boredom and convenience.  When I don’t have much time for console/PC gaming, but need to play something inbetween work and university, I desperately mine for gaming gold in the cesspool of Facebook apps. Now, when I say gaming gold, I’m not talking about the next big thing in gaming, I mean something I can easily plop myself down in front of and mindlessly click at just so I can spend 10 less minutes doing anything else. We’re talking your Puzzle Bobble clones e.g. Bubble Witch Saga, numerous Sims free-to-plays, Words with Friends, Angry Birds… the list goes on and on.

I desperately mine for gaming gold in the cesspool of Facebook apps…

I can easily sink a good few hours of my day into this rubbish without ever spending a penny, no matter how much they goad me. But then, I stumbled upon perfection: a Facebook version of You Don’t Know Jack. If you don’t know Jack about You Don’t Know Jack, it’s a great (and HILARIOUS) quiz game that’s been going for donkey’s years but the new edition for Xbox 360/PS3/PC is North America and Canada only so I’ve just had to stare at YouTubers play it and wish upon an international release star – until now! Raring to go, I was given my introductory credits that come with almost every Facebook game and went through a few episodes of goodness until I ran out. Fair enough, I’ll come back and play more tomorrow.

Cut to 24 hours later and I play my free daily game – that lasts about five minutes, max. This happened day after day until the cravings got too much and the only options were to wait for other players to happen upon an episode I’d played so I’d earn a measly few credits or to actually… pay money. Needless to say, I waited days at a time just to have a day where I could play more than a few minutes. As an impatient Facebook gamer who can play eight free rounds of plain old Bubble Witch Saga without laying down some moolah, it’s a pain in the Jack that I can only play one round a day. I’ll just go back to staring blankly at a screen now – then maybe I’ll play some more Facebook games.

Anthony Pounds-Cornish – Chief Sub-editor

Anthony: Those games left untouched since purchase, my stack of shame, have been brought back into the light in the last month. I made the decision to organise my collection by replacing the Tesco wire DVD racks; a visit to IKEA and an hour’s flatpack work saw me flicking through my games to carefully place them on show. Consequently, I’ve got through Mass Effect 2 and I’ve recently started Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, both now at least two years old. I’d previously been devoting my game time to Battlefield 3 so I’d forgotten what it was like to lose oneself in a single player universe.

What I’m enjoying most about Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is the ability to choose exactly how you achieve the set objectives without it affecting the story. In Mass Effect 2, if you go in blazing, your Renegade score goes up and if you seek a more amiable approach, your Paragon score increases, both of which affect the rest of the game. With Brotherhood, I can quietly sneak around avoiding guards then finally pick off my target or I can lay waste to an entire area and beat the Captain to death with a two handed axe without having to consider the wider ramifications – it’s a refreshing change. 







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