LTTP: Grow Home (PS4)

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As I was writing up my thoughts on Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, another game I forgot to share thoughts on popped onto my head. Everyone should try Ubisoft’s Gone Home. You don’t need to finish it and I recommend playing it on the PC but everyone should give Grow Home a look. Ubisoft put the sense of peril and danger back into climbing with this game.

I always wanted to try Grow Home after seeing Brad check it out on but I kept passing on it until Sony just gave it out for free. Then I had no excuse not to try it. I don’t recommend the PlayStation 4 version because it’s not a pleasant experience with the performance issues. You could say it adds to the sense of dread when climbing up high among the clouds but I don’t believe it’s intentional. I thought a game with such a simplistic art style wouldn’t be bogged down by performance issues but I was wrong.

The climbing in titles like Assassin’s Creed stripped out the risk of falling — you simply pushed forward and Mr. Assassin-man would reach out the next ledge. In Grow Home, B.U.D, the robot’s ability to climb was a lot more involved. His hands gripped onto surfaces and could be independently controlled. He climbed with one hand at a time but I controlled where each hand was placed with the thumbstick and I controlled when each hand gripped the surface with the corresponding controller trigger. If I accidentally released L2 before gripping onto a surface with R2, B.U.D was tumbling down. If I had a giant flower stashed away, I could deploy it so save myself. If I didn’t, I would try to aim for water to avoid certain destruction.

Grow Home’s climbing mechanic reminded me of the Shadow of Colossus’ but instead of hanging on a bucking giant rock boar, I was given this open space to collect crystals and explore like all good 3D platformers. I wish the PlayStation 4 version performed better but the crippling performance issues in higher areas was very unpleasant. If you had no other means to try it, by all means, give that version a try. Otherwise, I would head over to the PC to check this unique game out.

I like it (but not this version)

Ratings Guide

Checkpoint: Black Friday 2015 Post-Mortem Edition

Black Friday is essentially done and dusted. The sales are out and while it’s conceivable that something may catch my eye on Cyber Monday, I believe I’m done shopping. So what did I buy? Not many games; actually more home appliances and other non-games than I imagine.

  • Nest Thermostat 3.0
  • Black & Decker Platinum BDH2000FL 20-Volt Max Lithium Ion Flex Vacuum
  • Logitech Harmony 650
  • Aveeno Hand Lotion
  • The Order: 1886
  • Axiom Verge
  • Pixelmator
  • Puma El Ace Core Shoes
  • Puma Gamechanger T-Shirt

An solid haul. I’m a little bit perturbed by’s last second inclusion of taxes & fees but it’s ultimately my fault for not paying attention to the final price. (I mistakenly believed it was USD to CAD conversion.)

I wanted to buy other little knick knacks here and there but with Boxing Day looming a month away, it was best to wait.

I finished Grow Home. I recommend it but not on the PlayStation 4, the framerate issues are nauseating.

I’m still playing Call of Duty: Black Ops III’s multiplayer and now that I found some GAF people play with, I can see myself continuing for quite some time. Objective games like Domination are just more pleasant to play with players who are committed in capturing objectives, covering flanks and move in numbers.

Checkpoint: GameDealsCanada Q4 2015 Edition

Black Friday is almost upon us and for most people it’s an opportunity to find discounted gifts for themselves or loved ones. For me? It’s that plus the gathering of deals to share with others. This year will be the first with GameDealsCanada’s website which means it should be a little easier to maintain but, at the same time, take a little longer to produce. Early leaks ultimately helps me for that big day. The more time I have to prep deals for both the site and the social media channels the better.

Last year’s debut of the website on Boxing Day was a huge boon. Folks found it helpful and I found it a bit easier to I always want to bring a little extra something and this year I wanted to improve the filtering component. I like to stay with the latest and greatest of things but this filtering plugin is so finicky from version to version, I’ve actually stuck by the old mantra of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” with it. And the crazy thing is that I actually paid for this thing and it’s so shoddily maintained.

I believe the next big thing I want to incorporate is search. The basic search is functional but it isn’t as robust or comprehensive as other product searches on other sites. To properly implement search, I will need to do a lot more data entry and I just don’t feel like going down that route.

It’s times like these when I wish I had employees or developers on staff.

I wrapped up Call of Duty: Black Ops 3’s campaign earlier this week and I strongly believe that it wouldn’t have been as enjoyable by my lonesome. I’m playing the multiplayer and enjoying my time with it despite the fact that I’m finding myself on the losing side more often than I would like. It’s a combination of matchmaking deficiencies, people not playing for objectives in objective modes and the weight of individual performances in a Call of Duty game.

I started Grow Home but it’s going to take some time before I wrap that one up. I’m enjoying it but the pull of Call of Duty is still too strong to ignore at the moment. That and the pull of Xenoblade Chronicles 3D.