My Gaming Landscape [April 21, 2014]

Peace and Love, gamers and players! Colorwind here for My Gaming Landscape for Monday, April 21st, 2014. This is going to be a short one because I actually didn’t end up playing any games for very long and therefore, have little to say about them. Because I can’t keep focused on one game I played 11 different games this past week but only played four of them long enough to say something.

Poker Night 2

I got this game from PlayStation Plus a while ago but never loaded it up until now and…man this game has problems, key of which is performance. Despite only being a poker game, namely Texas Hold’Em and Omaha Hold’Em (which I haven’t tried yet), this game runs like ass! It’s constantly stuttering and freezing, lip syncs are always off, and the frame rate takes a dive for no reason sometimes. It’s a shame because the poker is fun and playing against Sam from Sam and Max, Ash from Heart of Darkness, Brock from Venture Bros and Claptrap from Borderlands is fun. Oh and Glados from Portal is the dealer. Yup. It’s nothing spectacular but it could’ve been a fun game if it would’ve just run better.

Ratchet & Clank

I was looking in my PlayStation 3 trophies and noticed that I only needed one more trophy in Ratchet & Clank to get the platinum. So I loaded it up and started working towards it. The trophy in question is the “Get 1,000,000 bolts” trophy but holy crap, this is going to take forever. I’m at around 235,000 right now but there’s nowhere in this game where you can get a lot of bolts quickly. Oh and I know about the glitch in Blackwater City that gets you to the race track without being in the race but when I get there, the stack of boxes on the hovering platform is gone. So I can’t do that. I don’t know how I’m going to get all these bolts without it being super monotonous.

Lego Batman 2

I bought Lego Batman 2 on my 360 and have played some of it since then. The Lego games are a fun time if a bit monotonous and kind of cryptic actually. I think the suit concept with Lego Batman 2 doesn’t really make sense. However, I’m still enjoying it but I’m just kinda popping it in when I feel like it rather than focusing on completing it.

Batman Arkham Origins

I started playing this game when I bought it this past week and I haven’t been able to give it the time I’ve wanted to since I’m a big fan of the Arkham series. However, I’ve enjoyed what I have played, especially the Deathstroke boss fight. However, the story isn’t as strong as before and Gotham isn’t that much of an exciting place to explore. Arkham City kinda had the same problem to be fair but since this is a bigger map, it seems more obvious. I’ve heard this game is notorious for its glitches but I haven’t run into any yet. I’m still fairly early in the game (right after the Deathstroke fight) so maybe that’ll change but in terms of quality compared to the first two Arkham games, it’s probably the weakest of the three but its still close. I’m having a great time and if the first two Arkham games are 5 out of 5s, this is a 4.5 so far.

Finally, a quick rundown of the other games I passingly played:

  • Crash Bandicoot Warped – Bought it during the Flash Sale on PSN. Still fun after all these years!
  • Castle of Illusion Classic – Got it from PS Plus. I never knew they ported the original Genesis game to consoles! Super cool and looks great.
  • Batman Arkham Asylum and City – I played a both a bit to remind myself of stuff for my upcoming Batman Arkham City review as well as for an upcoming lets play series for my YouTube channel.
  • Lego Marvel Super Heroes – Picked it up on Steam. It’s a fun game and I hope to have one Lego game for each of my consoles.
  • Tekken 2 – Played some of this for a lets play series on my YouTube channel but the footage was unusable.
  • Final Fantasy IV – Played more FF4 for my YouTube channel. Check it out here!

Alright. That’s all I played this week! What did you play?

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I Bought Lego Batman 2 and Marvel, Gears of War 2 and 3, Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy VIII, and Batman Arkham Origins!

I probably shouldn’t be buying as many games as I am but there as so many deals right now! This is going to be short because although I bought Chrono Cross, FInal Fantasy VIII, Gears of War 2 and Gears of War 3, I haven’t loaded them up yet. Yeah, I know, I probably shouldn’t have bought them but oh well. So yeah, I bought seven more games since last Tuesday or so. I got Chrono Cross on the PS3 via PSN, Final Fantasy VIII, Batman Arkham Origins and Lego Marvel Super Heroes on PC via Steam and Green Man Gaming, and Lego Batman 2, Gears of War 2 and Gears of War 3 on the 360 via the Games Store.

I’ve popped in Lego Batman 2 and Lego Marvel Super Heroes at bit and had a good time. I’ve been wanting a Lego game for awhile since I don’t own any of them though I have played several. I got what I’ve heard are two of the better ones, though I would’ve liked to have gotten Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga. I went through the first stage in Lego Marvel and the first two stages in Lego Batman 2 and I’m liking Lego Batman 2 a bit more. The fight with the Joker in the sea was pretty fun.

However, the game I’ve kinda been focusing on among my purchases has been Batman Arkham Origins. I’m a big fan of the Arkham series and I just went through Arkham City not too long ago. Playing Origins, I can say that it’s a lesser game than the first two but it’s a good game none the less so far. It looks good, the combat is great, the story is less creative but solid and the voice acting is still great. I just finished my encounter with the Penguin and the Deathstroke boss fight was amazing! It’s a variation of the Ra’s Al Ghul fight from City but its super cool and more up close and personal than that was. Overall, I love it and it may not be as good but its not that far off.

So that’s what I’ve bought recently. Have you picked up any new games recently?

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Steam, The Bringer of Dreams

Steam, Steam

the bringer of dreams

titles upon titles

of games that seem

good enough to buy

at least for the price

but now, they sit

unplayed, cold as ice

I'll play it someday

you say to yourself

Best to buy now

while you have the wealth

Though Lego Batman

is good at $4.99

you'll never play it

because there's no time

You own now more games

than you ever did before

Your collection of twelve

became a hundred and twenty-four

Steam, Steam

the game of the dime

you now own enough games

to last the end of time

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My Gaming Landscape [April 14, 2014]

It’s back! My Gaming Landscape has returned onto my blog and in a more polished way. I’ll actually use bullet points and different headings to separate each game instead of this just being plain paragraphs of text! In case you don’t know, My Gaming Landscape is a weekly blog post where I talk about all the games I’ve been playing over the past week. Since I’m just bringing this back, the idea is I do this every Monday so be sure to check back here to see what I’ve been playing so you can comment below and tell me what you’ve been playing. So enough with the introductions! Lets get started!

  • Guacamelee

This is the main game I’ve been playing ever since Thursday. I’ve had it sitting on my PS3’s hard drive since I bought it on sale sometime around Thanksgiving or Christmas, I forget which. I loaded it up for no real reason but I quickly fell in love with it. The combat is a lot of fun, while also being challenging, and takes a lot of skill to do things properly. The Metroid-style level structure is well done and lends itself well to secrets. I get addicted quick to wanting to uncover ever single portion of the map. I finished (not 100% completed) the game on Saturday so I’ll be writing a professional review on it soon but needless to say, I enjoyed my time with Guacamelee.

  • Tekken

I bought the original Tekken on my PS3 two weeks ago and only bothered completing the game with one character. So I decided to get them all now. I had this game back in the day on my original PS1 and I really liked the game. Nowadays, it definitely shows its age but I still enjoy it. I got all the characters (except for Devil Kazuya, which I’ll probably never get) and then looked up some videos on playing Kazuya and beat the game on the hardest difficulty. I think I’m done with that game for now.

  • Katamari Damacy

I bought this game around the same time I got Tekken. I’ve never finish this game and I’m currently on the fourth or fifth star. I tend to play this game in spurts and I remember being pretty bad at it but now I’m doing just fine and I’m really enjoying myself. Katamari Damacy is a weird game and it defies categorization. However, rolling stuff up in a ball is still crazy fun. I’ll be continuing to play this game this week, I’m sure!

  • Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee HD

Okay, so I have this game thanks to PlayStation Plus. I’m somewhat familiar with the Oddworld series, as I’ve played somewhat briefly the first game and have completed Stranger’s Wrath on the Xbox. I played a demo of the original Munch’s Oddysee in one of those kiosk things at Walmart. So I’ve played this game up to the point where Munch and Abe finally find each other and I have to say that the controls are terrible for this. The camera moves slowly, there’s a lack of control to when someone is running or swimming and this kind of delay when you want to interact. The game also feels unpolished with characters needing to align themselves with switches in order to activate them and a bunch of other issues like that. I’m going to continue playing for now because the premise of the game thus far seems intriguing but I don’t know for how long because I hate the controls!

  • Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

I tried twice to get into this game but quite frankly, it bores me. I’ve heard such great things about this game, include YouTuber Total Biscuit proclaiming it to be one of his favorite games ever. However, I don’t see it. The controls are confusing to use and I haven’t gotten used to them yet, the plot isn’t pulling me in and some of the interactions I feel work against the more serious parts of the plot. I think I’m going to put this down for now and play something else.

Finally, here’s a quick rundown of some other games I played either briefly or without much for me to say about them.

  • Goat Simulator: I’m a goat. I go around doing silly things, and glitching the game.
  • Tekken 2: Pretty much the same thing as the original one. Got all the characters, still like the game. I like Tekken 2 more but I didn’t spend as much time on T2 because it’s easier.
  • F-Zero: I played through a course on my Wii U while listening to a podcast. Fun but tough.
  • Assassin’s Creed II: Again while listening to a podcast. I’m basically just going around looking for feathers.
  • Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3: Popped it in for a bit for a fighting game fix on my 360 and that game is still insane and I still don’t understand it.
  • Jet Moto and FInal Fantasy IV: Played these two games for my YouTube channel. Go check them out!

That’s about everything. So what did you play this past week!?

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Titanfall Poem

Despite my experience, I'm at a lost concerning what to do

I've held a controller in my hands since 1992

But I can't get a frag, not even an assist kill at all

There's no way I'll be good at Titanfall

The game is so fast, with no chance to get my bearings

I accidentally shoot my own teammates, causing their glarings

I really am no better than one of the A.I. grunts

and I'm often the prey with those with smart pistols, the cunts

There's no real means for me to be able to practice in the game

as there's no training or single player and so I play the same

Perhaps I could look up some videos with tips on how to play

but I shouldn't have to go on YouTube to prevent being called gay

My only means of playing would be through Origin

which I have only to play Alice Madness Returns again

I know the game is popular but I don't really like Titanfall

and if the game won't help me think otherwise, why should I care at all?

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I Got Jet Moto, Tekken, Katamari Damacy, Capcom vs SNK 2 and Puppeteer!

I’ve been in a retro mood recently and one of the most tempting stores out there is the PlayStation Store. The original PlayStation is my favorite console ever but I don’t get to play or talk a lot about those games because for whatever reason, people don’t give any attention to the original PlayStation now. Even all the HD remakes are of PS2 games. However, I wanted to get my pssss on so I bought the original Jet Moto and Tekken.

I already own Tekken 2 on the PSN and PlayStation 1 but I have fond memories of the original too. I popped it in and MY GOD IS IT HARD! I think I used to play this game on Easy because man is this game impossible! I’ve already gotten all the secret characters except for Devil Kazuya but I had to put it on Easy with 1 round and 20 round time to do it. I’m going to keep on playing to get better at the game. My characters tend to be Paul, Kazuya and King.

Jet Moto is also pretty hard, especially when you’re trying to unlock the other tracks. I know I could just put in the cheats but I DON’T WANNA! I think I’m a pretty good Jet Moto player and on Intermediate difficulty I can get in the top five pretty easily. However, I haven’t been able to unlock the other stages yet because I’m rusty. However, it’s still a lot of fun and I like having to adjust my bike to remain straight on the course. Sounds strange, I know, but it’s cool.

After getting those games, my itch drifted towards the PS2. This is strange since I actually don’t like the PS2 that much. A lot of the games I got for the PS2 were collections during the day such as the Sonic Mega Collection, Namco Museum and the Midway Arcade Treasures series. However, there are a few games I enjoyed and Katamari Damacy and Capcom vs SNK 2.

Capcom vs SNK 2 was THE SHIT when I was in high school. My friends would always sit down and play this game like crazy, seeing who was better. Looking back at it now, the character sprites look absolutely terrible but the gameplay is still fun, although the PS3 controller’s d-pad doesn’t feel as loose as the PS2s. It makes pulling off some of the moves more difficult.

Katamari Damacy is insane. I love this game for its weirdness and unique premise. Rolling stuff around on a sticky ball and turning the collected stuff into stars is just crazy enough to work! I never completed the original because, I don’t know, but now I have this digital version and I can finally complete it while humming the theme song. NAAAAA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NAAA-NAAAA-NAAAA-NA-NAAAA-NAAAA-NA-NAAAA-NAAAAAAAA!

Finally, I noticed Puppeteer was on sale at Gamefly so I got it because I’m a human being with a heart and I know that this game is FUCKING AMAZING! I rented and reviewed this game back in October and I loved it! I gave it a 4.5/5 but I didn’t buy it then because I was broke and then forgot to. However, I now have a copy and all is right in the world now. This is such a creative game with a cool scissor mechanic, and inventive levels and characters. AND NO ONE FUCKING BOUGHT IT! YOU! GO BUY THIS GAME RIGHT NOW!

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Metal Gear Solid 3 Impressions

I'm a part of a weekly podcast, The Gaming Precision Podcast, for the site I work for, Gaming Precision. On this past episode, the conversation turned towards the Metal Gear franchise. I've never played a Metal Gear game aside from Revengeance, which isn't really a Metal Gear game. I was finally convinced to give one a try, despite the fact that I don't like too many stealth games, and I'm not good at them. There was talk about me getting the first game or the fourth game first, due to it being the first in the Solid series for the former and the database files in the latter. However, I ended up getting the third game in the franchise because chronologically, it's the first game. I bought Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater HD off of the PlayStation Network for $15 and dove in.

I've played for roughly four hours and I've stopped at the part where Snake falls into a dark cave after the boss fight with Ocelot. So far, I'm enjoying it. As far as stealth games go, it's not too hard on the fail state when you're detected, which I like. Shooting your gun is clunky but it's not as bad as I've experience in the past. I like the use of camouflage in the game and how you can switch between outfits and face makeup on the fly. You could crawl across the floor, not in any bushes and not be seen if you use your camo correctly. I got lost in the beginning of the game and actually went in a circle before I figured out where I needed to go but then I figured out that I have multiple sonars to help me out. Going into the menu to look at the map is kind of annoying though.

The camouflage is pretty cool. I can barely see him here!

Some other things that kind of bother me is kinda my fault but playing the game on Very Easy and having never played a Metal Gear game is way too easy. Maybe I shouldn't have picked that difficulty but it was true. When it asked if I liked MGS1 or 2 or if I had never played one, I answered truthfully: I HAD NEVER PLAYED ONE! Very easy difficulty was listed as "for beginners" which is again me so I picked that as well. I don't want to start the game over so I'm just going to run with it.

Another grip is the button mapping. I don't really understand the face buttons in this game. There's essentially two attack buttons (square and circle) and two action buttons (cross and triangle). Triangle I though just interacts with stuff and cross changes your stance but cross also sometimes interacts with stuff and it also dives. Square and circle both attack the same with the knife for the most part and I thought with a gun, square would shoot and circle would be some knife melee since Snake keeps talking about using his knife in close combat instead of his gun but nope. That's weird to me. One last grip is about the HD remake itself rather than the game. The textures in this game are FUGLY! Clearly no work was done with that and the game can look pretty ugly as a result.

However, what I like most about this game so far is the story. It's following kind of a plot that I've heard of before so far but it's doing it really well. Backstabbing, an off-the-hinges bad guy, a sexy operative helping me, it's a James Bond story. However, I like how they're incorporating real life events in a believable, if somewhat convoluted, way with their story and it assumes a certain amount of intelligence from the player. Not that you need or I need to be a genius in some field but it assumes you paid attention in school and know about major events and some smaller ones to some degree of detail. This game doesn't treat me like an idiot. At the same time, having kinda goofy moments like Ocelot constantly twirling his guns and EVA having her cleavage out for really no reason is action schlock that makes me giggle. I mean there's a button so you can look at her boobs during cutscenes! Although EVA is too pale and has too much of a soft filter to look like a human being to me. At least she doesn't have breasts the size of her own head like most women from Japanese developers. Kudos!

Overall, I'm liking the game although right now, being in this cave is a pet peeve of mine in games. I hate it when I can't see where I'm going. I get why they do it sometimes but I still don't like it. I usually end up getting lost and frustrated. It's not fun but we'll see. I haven't actually gone through the cave yet, I'm just kinda dreading having to do it. So have you played MGS3? Do you like it? Let me know in the comments below. Peace and Love, Brothers and Sisters. Colorwind out!

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Man, it has been some time since I did just a blog!

I just wanted to write something though. No plans, no long winded editorial on Nintendo or my favorite game at the moment, no sharing links or videos, just me blabbering. The only guideline I have is to talk about video games only. Well, after my two posts about the Wii U caused a lot of people to call me dumb, stupid, Satan (yeah, someone called me Satan) and accused me of trolling and click bating, I actually bought a Wii U this Christmas after getting a big holiday bonus I wasn't expecting. I mean, I was expecting something but not as much as I got. I picked up Sonic Lost World, and the Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. The bundle I got also came with New Super Mario Bros U and New Super Luigi U. Later on, I bought Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, and I also picked up Edge, Mega Man X, Super Metroid, Super Mario World, Earthbound, and F-Zero on the Virtual Console.

I've tried all of the games out and although none of them are bad per se, I'm not impressed. I'm most disappointed in the Wii U console itself, as the UI sucks. I never expected any company to screw up just navigating the menus! Wind Waker HD is the best game I own on the Wii U now and I'm playing through that now, though sporadically and New Super Mario Bros U is the worst. That game really is just the same thing we've been getting for years now. If you told me that game was just an HD remake of New Super Mario Bros Wii, I would completely believe you. As a Sonic fan, I've played through Sonic Lost World and evenwrote a review for Gaming Precision. I liked it but felt it was lacking after Sonic 4 Ep.II and Sonic Generations. It's not even as good as the 3DS version, if only barely. Oddly enough though, I'm glad I have a Wii U just because I get to try out these games. Once I finally just decide to take the plunge, I'm excited to just lose myself in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. I tried it but have been avoid diving into it completely because I know I'll be in it for the long haul.

I've decided to not buy that many games this year since I found out I have over 500 games and I haven't completed most of them. So I played and finished Spider-Man: Web of Shadows and am currently working on completing it 100%, achievements included. It's a monotonous game but the combat stuff is fun. Also, swinging around New York is still great. Right now, my playing it is slow as I'm at the boring part of trying to find all of the Spider pickups. There's 2,000 of them and I have 1,100 or so. I find myself wanting to replay a couple of big games that came out last year that I finished, namely BioShock Infinite and Tomb Raider. Tomb Raider is the more surprising one to me because I completed it 100%. It's just a good game I guess and I'm even going to write an editorial about Lara Croft for Gaming Precision soon.

I'm super pumped for the Sly Cooper movie we just got screenshots for today! I love Sly Cooper and I've played all of the games in the franchise. In fact, I've 100% all of them except the recent one. I think Murphy looks a little strange though. I feel like his head is too small or maybe he should be fatter all around; I'm not sure. If there's one thing I'm excited about, it's that I bought a model 1 Sega Genesis from eBay, complete in the box with the manuals, plastic sleeves and foam, in excellent condition with all of the cords, original 3-button controller with the red accents, and a copy of the first Sonic the Hedgehog which has its box and manual as well. Now, it's not sealed or anything so I am going to use it but I never splurge on something like that. Normally, I would've just bought a Genesis used, no box, okay condition with the cables but no game for $30 or so. I've wanted one ever since the one I have now died on my a year and a half ago. I love the Sega Genesis - It's my 2nd favorite console after the first Sony PlayStation - and I'm excited to play all my old Sega Genesis games again on the original hardware.

That's about everything. I'm been busy with Gaming Precision so far this year, preparing new content and changes for the site and whatnot, so I've you are so inclined, head on over there. The site is gamingprecision.com and we have news, features like my GP Picks weekly article on Fridays, editorials, reviews and even a podcast. Peace and Love, brothers and sisters. Colorwind out.

Oh yeah! I wear glasses now. I can't see far anymore so I wear glasses now. Getting older lol.

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My 13 3DS Games of 2013

This year was the year I finally bought a Nintendo 3DS. Back in April, I went to my local Walmart and bought a blue 3DS XL with three games. Now the year is coming to an end and while at first I didn’t use my 3DS that much, I’m now in love with my 3DS. The games I’ve played has made me hopeful for the handheld’s library. I played exactly 13 games this year, some to completion and some not. So I thought I would talk about them.

Super Mario 3D Land

One of the games I bought with the 3DS and the first game I played on my 3DS. I blame this game for why I didn’t use my 3DS that much when I first got it because I find this game to be incredibly bland. There’s really nothing wrong with it; it’s you basic Mario game that plays more like a 2D game instead of a 3D one, despite the title and aesthetics. However, the worlds, the levels, everything about the game feels like I’ve been here before. The game does get hard in the second world but the worlds don’t feel any less familiar, meaning that the game just gets more frustrating than fun. If you want a Mario game for the 3DS though, this is the one to get, for better or worse.

Fire Emblem Awakening

One of the other games I bought with the 3DS and the only game I own that I haven’t spent that much time with. I didn’t get around to trying Awakening until June and I’ve only logged in about an hour and a half. Of what little I have played, I can say that it’s a traditional strategy RPG in the vein of Shining Force on the Genesis and while I enjoyed it, there’s nothing that wows me about it. I want to jump back into the game but right now the next game is keeping me occupied.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

Ocarina of Time was the game that finally made me take notice of the Zelda franchise when I played it on an emulator. Before, I had tried the game out but never got into it. Now it’s my favorite Zelda game (although it might not be anymore…more on that later). So this was a no brainer. I’m currently playing this at the moment though I started back in October but that was dumb because I bought it right before the next game came out. Nonetheless, the game looks great on the 3DS, it controls better than ever and it doesn’t hold your hand the way newer Zelda games do.

Pokémon X

This is my first Pokémon game since LeafGreen. I love the various ways you can take care of your Pokémon and the means the developers took to make the game much less of a grind and making it more enjoyable. I’ve often avoided the Pokémon games because they were essentially the same game over and over again. However, while this is just another Pokémon game, it’s the best it can be without a radical change in the formula. I recommend it but I still need to complete it because I got caught up petting my Pokémon.

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D

This was the first 3DS game I rented from Gamefly. I had tried the game on the Wii but was turned off by the motion controls. On the 3DS, it feels like a better game, despite the lower quality graphics and lower framerate. The extra levels are nice and the challenge is definitely there. Although my hand gets cramped after playing for a long time because the 3DS XL doesn’t play well for long periods, I would call this the definitive version of the game.

New Super Mario Bros 2

My little nephew has this game and let me try it. I tried it for maybe 15 minutes. I stopped because I’ve already played that game when it didn’t have a 2 at the end of the title. I know I said that 3D Land feels like the same game but New Mario 2 REALLY feels like the same thing. Maybe I’ll get it later because, I don’t know why, but I’m in no hurry to get this game.

Project X Zone

This game had bad timing for me. I got the game from Gamefly while I was trying to play another game and just couldn’t give my full attention to it. I returned it after not playing it for very long. That said, I thought what I played was okay. It seems like a weird mix of turn based strategy with a weird combination of characters that shouldn’t work and potentially don’t but it’s definitely worth a look.

Mario Kart 7

The final game I bought with my 3DS and the one I spent the most time with when I bought my 3DS. I’m a sucker for Mario Kart games. Even though they’re all the same, I always find them fun. That said, I could NOT get into Mario Kart Wii. The new courses were just not very good. Mario Kart 7, on the other hand, is good. Admittedly, it’s just another Mario Kart game and there’s nothing special about it (the water and flying stuff doesn’t change much), but they manage to have fun courses and just feeling better overall.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

I don’t get the appeal of Animal Crossing. My little nephew lent me the game because he loves it. I played it for an hour and I still don’t get it. Nothing about the game is fun to me. Moving on.

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon

The last game my nephew lent me and the first game I played with him via local play. I did not like the original Luigi’s Mansion but I really liked this game. A lot of the control quirks from the first game aren’t here, it’s condensed and more focused, and the graphics looks great. That just really fixed a lot about it that I didn’t like and it’s a good example of a developer listening to the feedback of the fans and incorporating it, albeit 12 years after the last game.

Sonic Lost World

I decided to rent this game because I wasn’t going to be able to play the Wii U version (since I don’t own a Wii U). I’ve heard some bad things about the 3DS version as well as the Wii U version so I wasn’t holding my breath. However, as a hardcore Sonic fan, I have to say that the 3DS game wasn’t bad. It wasn’t amazing but I had a good time with it and enjoyed it. I even completed it all the way through and wrote a review for Gaming Precision on it.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate

Not counting the games I didn’t sit down and play and give a fair shot to (Project X Zone, Fire Emblem Awakening, etc.), this is the worst 3DS game I’ve played. To be fair, it wasn’t an abomination. However, it was drab, dull and so uninspired in its graphical aesthetics, level design, combat mechanics and just about everything else. I also wrote a review for Gaming Precision on this game and even finished it at 100% because I could.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

I got this game from Gamefly because I kept hearing about how good it was. I didn’t want to play it because I’ve never completed or even played very much of A Link to the Past. However, after playing it for a few hours, I was hooked and I bought it from Gamefly. The game isn’t very epic, unlike recent Zelda games and some may not like that because of it. However, the focus is completely on the gameplay and on freedom. You can go practically anywhere in Hyrule and it feels bigger than even a game like Ocarina of Time. The dungeons are so well designed and fun, the mechanics are inventive, and there’s little hand holding, allowing you to explore and experiment. My vote for best 3DS game of the year and you can expect a detailed review from me on Gaming Precision soon.

Those are all the 3DS games I’ve played this year. What 3DS game did you play?

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Is The Wii U A Niche Console?

Yesterday, I posted a blog where I discussed the Wii U and whether it was a failure. I landed on the thought that Nintendo itself would be fine but the Wii U itself would be a failure. However, I pointed out that I wanted a Wii U. Most of the comments disagreed with me but one brought up the game X that’s being developed by the same studio that made Xenoblade Chronicles. That made me think about the reasons why I want the Wii U and the consoles strengths. So in this post, I’m going to talk about what kind of console the Wii U could be. There are three points I would like to make, same as last time.

  • Nintendo Games

This first point could actually be a negative thing but I have hope because of one game and it’s not even on the Wii U: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. On the last blog, I mentioned how Nintendo games are essentially the same thing over and over now. We’ve heard from a lot of people of how they’re disappointed with the recent Zelda games, how Nintendo is just making the same Mario game over and over, and how franchises like Metroid, Star Fox, and F-Zero are being ignored. Nintendo games aren’t necessarily bad but they’re creatively bankrupt. However, A Link Between Worlds is seriously a wonderful game and while its not an epic game, gameplay is front and center and it’s the most fun I’ve had with a Zelda game since Ocarina of Time.

This makes me hopeful that Nintendo is ready to do something different with their franchises. Maybe the Legend of Zelda game that comes to the Wii U will reflect the lessons learned from ALBW. Maybe the fact that the next Smash Bros is being made by Namco Bandai will make it change for the better. I would love to see a brand new Paper Mario for the Wii U, managing my badges on the touch screen. Ever since New Super Mario Bros Wii, I haven’t been excited for most releases from Nintendo. The only one that comes to mind is Pikmin 3 (which I still want to play). However, ALBW gives me hope that Nintendo is finally ready to change aspects of their franchises and get out of its comfortable rut its been in. And of course, those games will only be on the Wii U.

  • 1080p, 60 FPS

One of the big issues right now with games is whether or not the game is in 1920 by 1080 progressive resolution and whether it runs at 60 frames per second. Several games were not able to do this on the Xbox One where the PS4 was and some were not able to do this on either. Meanwhile, the Wii U does this consistently. I know the graphical quality is nowhere near the quality of the Xbox One and PS4 but what this does show is that games that do run on the Wii U run like a charm and its nice to know that you will at least have a reliable experience when playing a game. You rarely hear about bugs or required patches from Wii U games either.

  • Japanese Titles

This is the biggest strength Nintendo could have. It’s the most potential I see in the console. Coming to the console are games like the aforementioned X, and Bayonetta 2. Nintendo also has a good relationship with Sega, which just acquired Atlus. Even on the 3DS, we have games like Braverly Default coming and the Shin Megami Tensei series has found a nice home on the 3DS. If Nintendo plays their cards right, they could be the console you can get your small, relatively unknown Japanese games on. A drastic change from the N64 days but we could see some weird Japanese games and a bunch of JRPGs.

Last night, I couldn’t get the idea of Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, a sequel to that game or a similar game being on the Wii U. Managing your familiars on the touch screen like Pokemon, that beautiful game running at 1080p at 60 FPS, easier switching of your familiars in battle using the touch screen; there are so many improvements. I’ve heard good things about Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the Wii U as well. All these games are not something mainstream audiences or a lot of hardcore players will be attracted to. However, if they were to focus on this and bring in that niche audience, I think it could make the Wii U profitable, if not competitive with the PS4 and Xbone.

For a long time, people say that you buy Nintendo consoles for Nintendo games, not third party games. However, the Wii U has proven that is not enough. The Wii U is not going to compete with the PS4 and Xbone. The most it can hope for is third place that doesn’t include discontinuation. However, if Nintendo mixes it up with their franchises, showcase how well their games run and dip into the niche Japanese games audience, they can save the Wii U, make it profitable and live comfortably in third place. At that point, it would be like another GameCube, although with a different stable of games. Hell, even like the GameCube, it can still have multiplatform games like Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty, so even those who only have a Wii U can still play the biggest mainstream games. I think Nintendo needs to do something like this sooner rather than later or else risk the Wii U truly failing but there is a chance for the Wii U if it accepts that it’s not going to be a major player in the console wars and satisfy its small but loyal audience with niche, Wii U only titles.

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