22nd September, 2023
Hello! Welcome back to our regular feature where we write a little bit about some of the games we’ve found ourselves playing over the last few days. This time: turtles, RPGs and getting back to basics.
If you fancy catching up on some of the older editions of What We’ve Been Playing, here’s our archive.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, PS5
I’ve been wanting to play this for ages. It’s the new side-scrolling Turtles beat-’em-up that’s inspired by, and made to look a lot like, the Turtles arcade games of old. And I’ve such a soft spot for those games, and for Turtles, to be fair.
Shredder’s Revenge hits every rose-tinted memory perfectly. It beams character and energy from every pixelated screen, and I can play it in local co-op with up to five others if I want to (I don’t have that many pads or friends). What I really love, though, is the extra layer of skill it seems to encourage.
What bothers me in beat-’em-up games – even in the recent Streets of Rage 4 actually – is how there are only so many moves you seem to be able to do in the game, and once you learn them, that’s it. Those are your options. And for me, this leads to a feeling that in certain situations, like boss encounters, there’s not a lot else I can do but soak up the hits and try to win by attrition. It feels a bit – and I mean this endearingly – dumb.
But Shredder’s Revenge has moves – a lot more moves than usual. There’s a whole move-list, a bit like in a fighting game. There’s a charge and a dodge, for example, and attacks you can combo from them. There are multiple jump attacks, multiple special moves, and there are even tag-team attacks you can perform if you’re both near an enemy. In other words, the usual few moves expand to become something like three-times more. The knock-on effect being that in Shredder’s Revenge, I feel far more in control of the outcome of battles. I’m turtley hooked.
(Incidentally, Shredder’s Revenge is on both Game Pass and PlayStation Plus Extra, in case you’re subbed to either.)
Baldur’s Gate 3, PS5
For the past two weeks, I have been playing Baldur’s Gate 3, and I have to say that I am in love with this game, from the waifus in your party to the infinite shenanigans you can get up to in the world. These include but are not limited to: licking spider corpses to aggravate Gale; blowing up a monastery; and throwing an owlbear around like a bomb.
These are just some of the things sidelining me from finishing up the story, but I think that’s the charm of BG3. It really does feel like a weekend D&D campaign with your best mates.
My daughter’s love affair with Fortnite has been rekindled, which means that I’m playing a bit as well.
This week I dropped into a world that had changed so much I had no bearings, and as a result I did something I haven’t done for ages – I just played Battle Royale.
I always play Battle Royale, of course, but generally I get distracted and end up playing the missions – doing five of this and seven of those. Actually playing to be the last person standing generally takes a backseat.
But this week, I just PLAYED the game the way it was originally meant to be played. And I had a bunch of really beautiful nail-biter games filled with plot twists and sudden disasters. Sometimes it’s nice to cut away all the clutter that grows up around a game over time – particularly with a game with as quick a turnover as Fortnite. Sometimes it’s nice to get back to the start, as it were, and see how beautiful the basics are.