Fear not, tiny mortals, for I have returned to you, to bestow upon you all my glorious, infinite wisdom in the form of a post on the Internet, where all true wisdom is served up. How’re you all doing? Keeping well? Playing anything good? Drop me a comment below, let me know! And in the meanwhile, this week I’m going to ramble on about Hitman 3, Vicarious Visions being bought over, Playstation 1 cases and other assorted nonsense.
Some bad news within the gaming industry landed this week. Vicarious Visions, the people behind the amazing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 which was the 19th best selling game of 2020, has officially been gobbled up by the sludgy entity known as Activision Blizzard. Specifically, they’ve been merged into the Blizzard side of things and will be “fully dedicated to existing Blizzard games and initiatives.” According to a report from Bloomberg, Vicarious Visions have been working directly with Blizzard since 2020 on a remake of Diablo 2. Personally, I’m disappointed. I was hoping we’d seen a Pro Skater 3+4 or maybe even a proper new Pro Skater game from Vicarious Visions, but that seems like it’s out of the window giving the wording of the press release from Activision.
Speaking of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, I found something awesome. In one of those weird 2am and high on sugar moments I ended up looking up whether there was such a thing as custom empty game cases. There are games I adore that I only have digitally, and the idea of having a case for them on my shelf sounds nice, if pointless. And that’s when I stumbled across this:
That beautiful PS1-inspired case comes from a seller by the name of JinnMedia on Etsy. They cost about £20 each which I thought was a bit pricey, but when I investigated further I realised it’s because they use proper PS1 cases which aren’t too easy to track down these days. I’m genuinely thinking of getting myself one for Pro Skater 1+2 just because the game is already my childhood brought back to life, and having a PS1-style case to celebrate that would be awesome.
I did run into a couple of problems this week. The first problem is yet another bloody Ubisoft game I can’t play. Like just about everyone else I eagerly bought Scott Pilgrim vs the World: The Video Game, more than happy to see it return to digital storefronts after its ten-year exile following licensing disputes. Anyway, all was good and I was pummelling bad guys until they turn into coins and I was fully preparing to do a review. But then I hit Leo’s Place and battled Todd, and as soon as I won the game crashed. I thought it was a one-off issue, but I’ve gone back and smacked Todd around a few more times and each time it crashes again. Other people are encountering this, too, and it seems it might be related to collecting the coins from Todd’s lifeless corpse, so I’ll have to try again and avoid picking any money up. It’s still bloody annoying, though.
The second problem I’ve run into is a little more serious. My Playstation 5 Dualsense controller has developed a case of stick drift. I hadn’t really noticed it earlier, just writing it off as a weird game issue, but it became too obvious to ignore when playing Hitman 3 and I found myself staring up at the ceiling. I’d be stalking a guard and just about to strangle them and just as I’d go in for the kill…hey, look at this pretty ceiling! I’ve factory reset the controller, made sure its updated and even disconnected the blue tooth for a while. It seems to have helped, but every now and then the drift comes back. After a bit of research it seems like there’s quite a lot of other PS5 owners with the same issue, although not enough to call it truly widespread. According to some of the other people out there though, the repair time if you send it to Sony can be weeks, so you either have to treat your console as dead for a while or you have to go buy a second controller.
But nothing has stopped me from enjoy the absolutely crap out of Hitman 3 and its masterful levels packed with fun opportunities to murder people. IO Interactive have perfected their brand of clock-work levels where you are free to go in and act like a giant wrench thrown in the gears. It’s so stupidly fun to go in and just see how you can manipulate everything, how events can be twisted to your warped murderous desires and what sort of daft assassinations the developers have woven into the levels for your to discover and enjoy. At this point, I think I’ve decided that the best part of the Hitman games is how it’s basically a massive comedy play. At first glance it would seem so serious, a game about murdering people, but then you start drowning people in toilets, knocking out drug dealers by smacking them with a brick of cocaine and bonking somebody on the head with a hammer while dressed as a clown. Then there’s the amazing way everybody seems to ignore the tall, pale man with the tattoo on the back of his head. You can lure an idiot away from his buddy, knock him out, shove him in a cupboard and steal his clothes, and at no point will his buddy comment on how his mate has grown a foot, looks completely different and is now walking like he has poles stuffed inside his clothes. In other games this could be considered a flaw, but it’s part of the Hitman charm. It’s bloody hilarious, really.
I’ll be doing a full review for Hitman 3 soon but first I want to properly dive into each level a couple of times, like it’s meant to be played.
I’ll wrap up with a little bit of random news that intrigued me, mostly because it’s a glimpse into the power of freebies and the size of the Epic Game Store. Recently, you could snag Star Wars: Battlefront 2 for free on the Epic store, an offer I took advantage of before I even remembered that I already own the game on Origin. That’s what the allure of something being free can do, I suppose, and it seemed to have worked on a lot of other people, too, because EA have reported an influx of 19-million new players due to the Epic Store giveaway. That’s some seriously insane numbers, and gives an indication of how big the Epic Store is, although doubtless a bunch of those downloads came from people who signed up solely for Star Wars: Battlefront 2, or people like me who barely fire the store up unless it’s to download the latest freebie. Still, I has made want to get back into some Battlefront 2. I haven’t had a competitive multiplayer game in my life in ages, an I kind of miss it. Well, I’ll miss it for about 5 matches until I inevitably get angry at how much better everyone else is.
Right, that’ll do it for this week. Take care everyone. Work hard, play hard, live hard.