Saturday, 31 December 2011

Recent purchases

Well I say recent but these games have been bought/traded over the past three months. Due to moving house I've only just had a chance to open most of them and check them all out.

Even though they are not that great I've been wanting a Super Scope for years and now finally I have a complete one. I'm also really pleased to finally pick up Skies of Arcadia as it's one of the last few 'big' games that I need to pick up to complete my Cube collection. Also really pleased to have picked up the Zelda game. Finally from this batch I'm extremely pleased to have finally picked up Chip n' Dale for the NES as I've always loved playing that game ever since I first played it.

In this batch I'm pleased to have picked up Donkey Kong Country Returns as the SNES games are some of my favourite games. Also pleased to have picked up Muramas: The Demon Blade as it's getting a little hard to find over here and also happy to have picked up Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. Finaly I'm extremely happy to have picked up Ghost n' Goblins for the NES as it's rather difficult to find, shame it's cart only.

For this last batch of games a mention must go to the pleasing fact that I've finally managed to pick up the first Phoenix Wright game as it's tough to find it at a good price, only need two of the games now to complete the set. Must also mention how pleased I am to have finally picked up Mario Kart, Metroid Pinball and Kirby's Dream Land, three games that I have been after for a while now.

Well, that's the last of 2011's purchases/trades, hopefully 2012 will offer up just as many great games if not more.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Sale buys

So we ventured out to a couple of local towns (no big city for me during the sales) that had some gaming shops and despite only having a quick look around the shops I did manage to find some bargains that just had to be bought.

Dead Space 2 I was pleased with as I did really like the first game. Mirror's Edge was ridiculously cheap and I've heard decent things about it. Goldeneye* includes the golden controller and again I've heard decent things about it. The Skyward Sword guide looks great and is significant in that it's the first guide I've ever bought. Even in the days of pre-internet I never bought a guide but like I say, this looks great and who can turn down a bonus surface world cloth map.

*I cheated a little with this one as it was bought from the luxury of my sofa.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas presents

This year from my loving Girlfriend I received three games that I've been wanting for a while which are Epic Mickey, Kirby's Epic Yarn and Tomb Raider: Underworld.

I've only managed to play some of Kirby so far and I have to say that I absolutely love it. I'm about four worlds in and it's such an innocent game but packed with things to do. I know that Mickey may have problems with the camera but it's still a game that I would really like to play. As for TR, I only played my first TR game earlier this year but enjoyed it so much I wanted to continue onto another game.

Finally, I also took part in the Retro Gamer forum Secret Santa where I received a big chocolate coin and the 'Arcade Mania! The Turbo-Charged World of Japan's Game Centers' book. I haven't had a chance to read it yet but it certainly does look an interesting book.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Development pictures of Mario 3.

A Nintendo fan called Chris Covell has found and scanned a Japanese picture book that contains an early look at the development of Super Mario Bros. 3 which includes pictures of a very young looking Shigeru Miyamoto and Composer Koji Kondo.

The book also includes a look at Nintendo's headquarters and their distribution method.

Chris has taken the time to translate the book into English and has uploaded each and every page on his website which can be seen here:

Take a look at a piece of Nintendo history.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Book

I really want this book. I really do. The only problem is that at the moment it's only being released in Japan.

For people who haven't read up on what the book is, it's 274 pages of official material showcasing concept art and sketches for the Zelda games, Manga art, an origin story, a complete history of Hyrule and reports also suggest the inclusion of a timeline. Yes, Nintendo may finally be laying to rest the numerous theories that have risen over the years regarding the official timeline.

For more information and pictures visit here ( or the Japanese Nintendo site here (

I really do want this book.

Monday, 12 December 2011

NES-Bit Issue 2

After the success of Issue 1 of the NES-Bit magazine it brings me great pleasure to tell you that Issue 2 has been announced.

See the announcement here:

There has been a change in designer and at time of writing people can still submit ideas and volunteer to write articles. I again will be writing articles and my cheats section has returned for another issue.

So what are you waiting for, click on the link and see what you can do.

*Issue 1 has (un)fortunately sold out at print level but the PDF can still be purchased from the main site.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

What I've finished - November 2011

Nothing unfortunately.

Only the second time it's happened this year, a month without completing anything, but unfortunately life got in the way in November and gaming had to take a back seat. Hopefully normal service should be resumed in December.

Monday, 28 November 2011

What I've finished - October 2011

Ghost Trick - DS

Just the one game this month but a very good game. Ghost Trick is a very text heavy game but has an interesting and engaging plot and fantastic puzzles that can take some serious thought to figure out. Definitely one to recommend.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption review

Five years after Samus made her 3D debut in Metroid Prime she returns to complete the trilogy in Metroid Prime 3: Corruptions, this time on the Wii.

Due to the GameCube pretty much being dead and buried before the Prime trilogy could be completed, Corruption was released on it's successor the Wii which meant new graphics, new sound and a whole new control scheme.

Six months after the end of Echoes Samus is called to the Federation for a meeting with the other bounty hunters first encountered in Metroid Prime Hunters. Here they are given orders to clear a virus from super computers called Aurora units. Obviously with this being Metroid it's easier said then done and when the hunters land on the planet Norion they learn that a Phazon asteroid will soon be colliding with the planet. Before they can do anything about it they are attacked by Dark Samus and knocked unconscious, well, all but Samus who just manages to activate the security defenses before the asteroid hits.

Cut to one month later with Samus regaining consciousness and finding that after the Phazon based attack by Dark Samus she has now been corrupted with Phazon which makes for an important aspect of the game as you have to control the Phazon that has corrupted Samus.

Controlling the Phazon is key to the game but I'll come back to that later.

What I'm going to get out of the way first is the graphics and sound. As per usual the sound is great with remixed and revised music from the first Prime game and the graphics are great to look at. Though the graphics did at the time push the capabilities of the Wii, the console isn't that much more powerful than the GameCube so whilst the graphics do look great there isn't really a vast difference between the Cube Prime games and this game.

Next, the controls. With Corruption being released on the Wii the by now familiar feel of the Cube pad has been replaced with the Wii remote and nunchuk which adds new experiences to the trilogy. First of all is the ability to use Samus's ship to do more than just save in. You can now enter codes into a keypad and activate the thrusters to fly between planets. Whilst it would have been great to take full control of the ship to fly around it is still a nice touch. Sections of the game also require you to move door controls which you can do by using pulling, twisting and pushing motions to activate the doors.

One small niggly thing that I found with the controls was when changing between visors you have to hold down a button to bring up the visor select screen and then flick the remote to select which one you require. It is simple enough but it would have been better to keep it the same as the first two games and use the d-pad on the remote which is redundant bar pressing down to fire missiles. Apart from that the controls are fine and easy to use.

Quickly touching on the visors, there are no new visors this time round with there also only being three available which are the command visor, the scan visor and the return of the X-Ray visor from the first Prime game. The scan visor has the new option of scanning certain points that will call for your ship where it will either drop missiles to destroy stuff or pick up and move certain items.

There is also a change to the beams where as in the first two Prime games you could select from four beams, now the beams are stacked like back in Super Metroid. Finally, a change has been made with the loss of Samus's weapons at the beginning of the game where she in fact does not lose the weapons at all. This time round Samus starts off with basic weapons and has to collect upgrades through out the game to be strong enough to destroy each of the bosses.

Another use of Samus's ship is the ability to fly between not only different planets but also different sections of the planet that you are currently on. This eliminates a lot of walking and backtracking and makes reaching places a lot easier. That's not to say that walking and back tracking has completely disappeared, it just means that you won't have to walk through the same spot god knows how many times.

So, going back to the Phazon that has corrupted Samus. This is an integral part of the game as it's a function that you use to become temporaryily invincible and boosts your attack to allow Samus to easily take out tougher enemies. This unfortunately does come with a price in that first of all to activate the hypermode an energy tank has to be injected meaning that for the time you are in hypermode your energy is quickly falling. The second catch is that if you don't exit or fire the phazon quick enough Samus will become corrupted and will die instantly. Therefore, at the beginning of the game especially, you have to be wise as to when best use the hypermode and be quick enough to exit before death occurs.

Overall with all the new additions of hyper mode, summoning Samus's ship, the extra waves and waves of enemies and the use of the Wii remote and nunchuk, Corruption feels like a new game instead of just feeling like the third game in a series. Bar the difficulty level being a lot easier than the previous games, Corruption is a worthy game to close the Prime trilogy and like the frist two games should definitely be in your collection.

Final score 8.5/10

Monday, 17 October 2011

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes review

Just two years after the successful release of Metroid Prime, Retro Studios and Nintendo once again joined up to create a sequel, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.

And what a sequel it is.

Set after Metroid Prime Hunters for the DS Echoes follows on from a cut-scene that is shown after the credits of Metroid Prime if and when the player has completed all 100% of the game, a scene that I won't be revealing here for people who haven't seen it.

This is one of the major differences between Echoes and Prime with Echoes being a lot more plot heavy than the first game which feeds into the game play of the second. Where the plot of Prime was pretty much to collect twelve artifacts to open a path to a crater before the Space Pirates get there first, Echoes delves into the battle between the inhabitants of a world that has been split into two, the light world and the dark world. Again, this is a major difference between the two games and it's really where Echoes comes to life.

Starting off in the light world Samus receives a message from the Federation to investigate the disappearance of some Marines who had last been seen around the planet Aether. Once landed Samus finds the Marines dead but on closer inspection they rise to attack her. When the Marines are defeated Dark Samus makes her first, but not last, full appearance as she disappears through a portal to the dark world. Samus being Samus follows her through and is promptly attacked by the Ing who steal her weapons and upgrades and push her back through to the light world.

This is where the game really begins.

Yes, like the first game you have to hunt down and collect weapons and upgrades and yes once this is done you have to collect keys to access a temple to face the last boss but that's all that is the same between the two games as there is so much that is different and I'll start with the most obvious which is the two worlds.

As mentioned previously Echoes is set between two sides of the same world, light and dark. Both sides are different to each other and both sides have to be accessed to be able to progress, sometimes flicking between the two in quick succession to resolve obstacles that stop you from progressing. For example; you may come across an area which is seemingly blocked in the light world. To resolve this you jump through a portal to the dark world, progress past the previously blocked section and jump through another portal back to the light world to carry on. This can also apply to obstacles that need to be moved and the control that needs to be scanned is through a portal and in the other world.

There is one major problem with the dark world (apart from the enemies) which is the fact that as you walk around your energy is gradually being taken away. This is combated by the usual collecting of energy but also by standing in safe zones which are areas of light that replenish your health over time, but you have to be careful as some safe zones need to be shot to keep them going to obtain full health. It's this that adds a level of urgency to the game whilst in the dark world as if an enemy succeeds in knocking Samus out of a safe zone you start losing energy from both the enemy and the dark.

There are numerous differences in the weapons/upgrades department from the first Prime game which includes the return of the Screw Attack, first seen in Metroid II: The Return of Samus on the Game Boy. There are changes in the beams that Samus uses with only the charge beam being carried over from the first game, the other three being replaced with the light beam, dark beam and the annihilator beam. The three beams are reliant on having enough beam points to use them. Once ran out they cannot be used again until more points have been collected and the annihilator beam uses a lot of them with it being a light and dark beam combined.

Like the beams some of the visors and suits have been changed with the combat and scan visors remaining and the thermal imaging and X-ray visors being replaced with the dark and echo visors allowing for Samus to see better in the dark world and to be able to see and detect sonic waves and sound movements to be able to solve puzzles and open doors and to see the sound waves of moving enemies.

The beams and visors are selected exactly the same way on the Cube pad as the first game with all buttons being the same, in fact nothing has changed with the controls allowing for you to easily pick up where you left off with the first game.

Graphics wise Echoes is as gorgeous as Prime with Samus visiting desert wasteland, a swamp area containing a submerged hydrostation and the sanctuary fortress which looks great. The sound again is absolutely brilliant and it makes you want to keep the TV fully turned up to immerse yourself in both worlds.

Unfortunately there is one criticism that can be said of the game which is the difficulty level. Echoes in places is a lot harder than Prime with the constant jumping between portals and having to work your way through two worlds that are so similar yet so different. There are also a lot (and I mean a lot) more bosses than Prime and as mentioned previously if you are fighting them in the dark world and they push you out of the safe zone you can end up losing a lot of energy rather quickly.

Overall though Echoes, like Prime, is an excellent game and a worthy sequel and should definitely be be sitting in your collection alongside the first one.

Final score: 9.5/10

*Echoes introduced a multi-player section to the Prime trilogy which I've yet to play which is why it isn't mentioned in the review.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Metroid Prime review

Eight years. That's how long it took for Nintendo to release a new Metroid game on a home console after the release of Super Metroid on the Super Nintendo.

Was it worth the wait? A resounding yes.

Taking the template of Super Metroid, developers Retro Studios and Nintendo pulled Samus into the 21st Century and gave fans an excellent 3D first-person adventure that gives you impressive graphics, vast areas to explore and great game play.

The game starts with Samus landing and exploring a Space Station and it's the exploring that plays a huge part in Metroid Prime. One of the first things that you will notice when learning the controls is the option to select a different Visor for Samus, a Visor that was new to the series at the time but one that now plays a huge part in the series, the Scan Visor.

The Scan Visor does exactly as it says and allows for you to scan certain objects in nearly every room that you enter. They are items that are different colours with the Visor on with Green being items that have been previously scanned, Orange coloured items are ones that offer information and hints about the story and game. Red coloured items are the most important items to scan as the information from these are collected into the log book and count towards the 100% needed to complete the game and be awarded the special ending. Red coloured scans include the likes of enemies, bosses and collectable items such as missiles and energy. The scanning of bosses is particularly important as it provides information on how to destroy the enemy, especially helpful when the boss has multiple forms.

Once the first boss has been scanned and killed it's time a familiar sight to Metroid fans which is the countdown. Samus has seven minutes to return to her ship before the Station explodes killing everyone and everything aboard. It's here where everything starts to really kick in as the game play and the start of the plot is set-up as an explosion causes Samus's suit to malfunction leaving the player with everything unavailable except for the Power Beam. It's also the first time in the game that you get to see Meta Ridley in full 3D glory.

Once Samus has returned to her ship and has landed on Tallon IV you really start to realise and appreciate just how graphically wonderful Metroid Prime really is. From the forests and barren wastes of of Chozo Ruins to the lava pits of Magmoor Caverns and the snowy plains of Phendrana Drifts, every area and every room has so much details poured into it. Some areas/rooms you will find yourself just standing and looking, absorbing the detail. A special mention has to go to Samus's Visor which just looks amazing when hit by rain drops or when covered by steam, making it hard to see through, just superb. Another superb bit is the cut-scene that happens in the Phendrana Drifts when after stepping through door the shadow of Meta Ridley appears overhead as he flies across the Drifts.

The sound and music are another aspect of the game that are absolutely fantastic with a special mention going to Phendrana Drifts where the music is so serene, a complete contrast to the bombastic technoesque style of music when working your way through the almost claustrphobic tunnels of the Magmoor Caverns. The sound also deserves a mention as each and every noise is distinct and perfect, from the hissing of steam coming from pipes to the screeching of enemies as they come flying towards you.

Due to the design of viewing the game through Samus's visor this allows for changes to be made with four different versions of the visor being available. These are the standard and scanning visors that you start the game with and after collection the thermal imaging and X-Ray visors that allow for enemies, platforms and items to be spotted a lot easily. Like the visor there are also four beams that Samus collects through out the game with the charge beam being the standard at the beginning of the game with the wave, ice and plasma beams being collected later on. There is a fifth beam which is the phazon beam that is used very briefly near the end of the game but plays a major part later on in the trilogy.

Cycling between the visors and beams is simple enough with the c-stick and d-pad being used to toggle between them. In fact the entire lay-out of the controls is pretty much perfect and simple to use with every button being utilised and the Cube pad being easy to use.

Alongside the visors and beams there are the numerous amounts of upgrades to acquire including the obligatory missile expansions and energy tanks to collect and various different suits that are needed to progress through out the game. There are also upgrades such as the Spider Ball (first seen in Metroid II: Return of Samus but used slightly differently here), the power bomb and the grapple beam. All needed to progress.

So to sum up. Following on from Super Metroid was always going to be tough and with Prime Retro Studios and Nintendo produced an absolutely brilliant game that not only kept everything that made Super Metroid brilliant but also added lots of new layers and abilities to make this stand on it's own two feet. Simply put, Metroid Prime should be in your collection and with the ability to play it on both the GameCube and the Wii and with prices being so cheap to buy it, there really is no excuse why it's not in your collection.

Final score: 9/10

Sunday, 9 October 2011

What I've finished - September 2011

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes - GameCube
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption - Wii

Two games completed in September, the second and third parts of the Metroid Prime trilogy. Echoes I thought was an absolutely brilliant game and despite some frustrating sections is definitely worth a play. Corruption on the other hand I was quite disappointed with as the difficulty level had been turned right down which was a shame as it just wasn't quite the perfect ending to the trilogy, still worth playing though.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

NES-Bit Magazine

It's here.

After weeks and weeks of hard work from Lorfarius, Greyfox and the many volunteers (myself included) from the first! issue of the NES-Bit magazine has launched and is available to buy as a PDF for £2 (just over $3 at time of writing) and will be available for a limited print run next month.

The layout of the magazine is bright and vibrant and easy to read with a nice mixture of text and pictures. It also covers a wide variety of articles such as a brief history of Nintendo, box art comparisons, a look at all of the Simpsons games released for the NES, the current Homebrew scene and an entire page dedicated to the Mario. Bros movie from the early 90's.....

If you are a fan of the NES or have never played one and are intrigued about the history of it then you cannot go wrong with picking up a copy of the magazine and for the price of just £2 you cannot really complain. So please support (all proceeds from the sales go directly into the upkeep of the site) and purchase a copy, you won't regret it.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

What I've finished - August 2011

Metal Arms: Glitch in the System - GameCube
New Super Mario Bros. - NDS
Batman: Arkham Asylum - 360
Metroid Prime - GameCube

Four games finished this month, two I haven't finished previously and two that I have.

Metal Arms was a real surprise and a gem of a game. I didn't really know anything about it before playing and on the surface it looked like it would be an easy little game to get through, but after playing through the normal mode it turns out that it's quite a hard game but also a very enjoyable game. It's very varied in it's levels with a great array of weapons and definitely worth a play.

Mario Bros. is a game that I have completed previously and whilst in my opinion nowhere near on a par with earlier Mario games it certainly is a lot more entertaining and enjoyable than the game that was released for the Wii. This one is a fun game to play in short bursts.

The first time that I completed Arkham Asylum it easily became one of my all time favourite games and after going and seeing the Batman Live show I just really had the urge to play this again and completed it for the third time since purchase. This time round though I only did a quick run through on easy and didn't collect all of the Riddler trophies/riddles.

Finally, the last game that I completed was Metroid Prime, a game that I had started twice previously and seemed to stop playing around the same place both times. Inspired by the 25th Birthday of Metroid I finally sat down to properly play it and found it to be an absolutely brilliant game that I'm really glad I did sit down and dedicate time to finish.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

For my latest post I want to give a shout out to and heap some praise on it's owner/admin Lorfarius.

For those not in the know NES-Bit is a UK site dedicated to anything and everything related to the Nintendo Entertainment System and the PAL games and peripherials that were released for the system over the years.

Lorfarius has put a lot of love and care into the site and you can read here ( as to why he has a passion for the NES and why he set up the site.

Going through the site you will find the following:
  • Database
  • Articles
  • Reviews
  • Magazines
  • NES Maintenance
  • Forum
The maintenance section is good for beginners to the NES as it covers cartridge cleaning (which is a lot more technical than blowing into the cartridge) and how to replace 72 pin adaptor which is a very useful guide.

The magazine section is a particular favourite of mine as it covers a few magazines that I used to read when growing up all those years ago including the likes of Nintendo Magazine System, N-Force and coming soon one of my all time favourite magazines, Total! It also features the Nintendo Official Sticker Album which I had completely forgotten about until reminded by the site.

Finally NES-Bit is about to launch a magazine and is currently looking for writers. The previews look gorgeous and if you are interested in writing for them take a look here ( and drop them a line.

So let's here it for and three cheers for Lorfarius.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

What I've finished - July 2011

Peter Jackson's King Kong - GameCube
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga - DS

Just the two games completed this month, one of them never played before and the other played numerous times previously.

King Kong I picked up cheap on a whim from a charity shop and turns out that it's actually quite an enjoyable game. It's an FPS game and whilst on the surface you go around blasting dinosaurs you have to be very careful with your ammo as you can find it running out quite quickly, especially with the stronger weapons. As you go through the levels there are a lot of sticks/spears and bones that can be picked up and used as weapons and you spend a lot of the game deciding when would be best to use the spears and when would be best to use ammo.

As for Lego Star Wars, this is a game that I've now completed three or four times and each time I go for 100%. I just find it really enjoyable and it's a game that can be played in short bursts so you can dedicate as much or as little time you want to completing it.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

The end of celebrating

So yesterdays post was the last one to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Metroid series.

Hope you enjoyed.

Friday, 12 August 2011

The games of Metroid

Back in 1986 the world was first introduced to Samus Aran in the first Metroid game released on the NES. Along with Samus characters introduced that are still known and used today included Kraid, Ridley, Mother Brain and the Space Pirates with the game being set on the Planet Zebes.

Also introduced were the Morph Ball (allowing Samus to curl into a moving ball), the bomb attack and the screw attack, all still used in the series today.

The game was a 2D scroller but with a difference being that you could move either left or right to allow for backtracking to collect upgrades for weapons and the suit that Samus wore. This allowed for deep exploration for gamers who wanted to find everything but the game also allowed for people to run through and even encouraged this by giving different endings based on the speed in which the game was completed.

It would be another five years before a sequel was released and in 1991 Metroid II: Return of Samus was released for the Game Boy. Similar in style and plot as the first Metroid game the sequel was set on SR388 and introduced the Spazer Laser Beam and the Plasma Beam and also the Space Jump, again all still used to this day.

There was one slight change to the game play in that fact that to progress down through the planet you had a set number of Metroids that needed to be killed in each section. This allowed for lava levels to decrease allowing for Samus to proceed.

The ending of Metroid II continued into the storyline of Super Metroid which was released on the Super Nintendo in 1994. Again similar in game play to the first two games Super Metroid did introduce for the first time the ability to walk backwards whilst firing and also the ability to combine weapons.

Set again on the planet Zebes, Samus again encounters Ridley and Mother Brain in the search for the Metroid that was hatched at the end of the second game.

Despite being a critical success it was another eight years before the next Metroid game was released when not one but two games were released. In 2002 Metroid Fusion was released on the Game Boy Advance and Metroid Prime was released on the GameCube.

Metroid Fusion was slightly different to it's predecessors in that the game was more linear due to a concentration on story. The game was set on SR388 and introduced the X parasite which infects Samus's suit to transform into the SA-X that is a mimic of Samus.

Metroid Prime was the first game to appear in 3D and bar when in Morph Ball mode was entirely set in first-person mode. The view was through Samus's visor which could be changed to allow for scanning mode (a very important part of the game), thermal imaging mode and X-ray vision mode.

This time round the game was set on Tallon IV and involved and despite the change from 2D to 3D the style and game play remained the same with appearances from Ridley and the Space Pirates. New elements were introduced including the Phazon and the introduction of Dark Samus who would return in the second and third parts of the Prime trilogy.

Both games had extra features that could be unlocked if linked together via the Cube-GBA cable. In Fusion the original Metroid game could be unlocked to play and after completing Prime the suit from Fusion could be used.

Fusion and Zero Mission could also be linked to unlock a Fusion picture gallery.

Just two years later in 2004 the Game Boy Advance and the GameCube again both had games released for the systems, this time in the form of Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.

Metroid: Zero Mission was an enhanced remake of the very first game, this time adding a new story for the development for Samus and also adding new items, areas and bosses that were not included in the original. It was also the first Metroid game to introduce the ability to select a difficulty at the beginning of the game.

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes was the middle part of the Prime trilogy and completely overhauled the story and characters from previous games. This time round the game was set around two parallel dimensions, the Light Aether and the Dark Aether. The Dark Aether caused damage to Samus's suit requiring for the player to find safe zones for health to be regained.

The game was also the first and to introduce a multiplayer mode where up to four players to engage in combat.

Just a year later in 2005 the Nintendo DS received it's first Metroid game in the form on Metroid Prime Pinball which condensed the storyline of Metroid Prime into a pinball game. The game had six pinball tables inspired by areas from the original game and each table had a boss that needed to be defeated to be able to progress.

Like Echoes the game had a multiplayer mode where up to eight players to compete against each other in a race to reach a target score.

In 2006 the DS received it's second Metroid game in the form of Metroid Prime Hunters which like the GameCube games was set in the first-person mode. Again like Echoes the story was changed to introduced new areas and enemies and included six other Bounty Hunters that would team up with Samus near the end of the game.

These Bounty Hunters could also be controlled in the multiplayer mode with each one having unique weapons and forms.

In 2007 the final game in the Prime trilogy was released for the Wii. Titled Metroid Prime 3: Corruption the story continued from Echoes with the main protagonist again being Dark Samus who has corrupeted Samus with dark Phazon. This allows for Samus to enter into hypermode which allows for temprary invincibility and powerful attacks with the downside that health is very quickly drained with the end result being death if not switched off quickly enough.

In 2009 the Prime trilogy was released all on one disc for the Wii. This allowed for tweaks to be made for each game including loading times, upgraded textures, altered visual effects and for Echoes difficulty for bossed to be lowered allowing for beginners to enjoy the game.

One year later in 2010 the latest Metroid game to be released came out on the Wii. Metroid: Other M was the first game to involve Samus having speech and delved very deeply into her background with Adam Malkovich. Other M was also the first Metroid game where enemies do not drop ammo or health, the player has to shake the Wii remote or enter a navigation booth to replenish both items.

The game also features a switch from first-person mode to third-person mode by alternating the way the remote was held, both modes are required to be used to complete the game with some areas requring to switch between the two to be able to progress.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

The missing Metroid game

Throughout 2005 and 2006 there were announcements, rumours, release dates, denials and reports of cancellations regarding a new 2D side-scroller Metroid game released for the Nintendo DS titled Metroid Dread. A game still yet to appear, if it ever will.

That was all it was though, rumours. Magazines and websites would release announcements regarding the mysterious game with no substantial evidence to back up the fact that the game even existed in any shape or form. The game allegedly was to be shown at E3 2005, 2006 and 2007 but obviously never appeared at any of the events.

After the game failed to materialise yet again at E3 2007 the game seemed dead and buried, that was until Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was released on the Wii. When in scan mode a terminal could be scanned that brought up the message; Experiment status report update. Metroid Project "Dread" is nearing the final stages of completion.

Due to this Nintendo denied that the game was in existence in any shape or form and that they were not making a 2D Metroid game at that time.

Since then Yoshio Sakamoto (one of the original games character designers and Director of all internally produced Metroid games) has been asked numerous times about information regarding the game and has always said that there were no plans to release the game soon, giving small indications that Metroid Dread did indeed exist.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

A great moment from the Metroid series

Normally I would go for game play when selecting great moments but this time round I've gone for a cut scene and a recent one at that.

The moment is the Other M version of the ending of Super Metroid as it took a great battle and pulled it stunningly into this generation of consoles.

Even though the pictures don't really do it justice you can get the gist of the differences.

Seeing the ending of one of my all time favourite games re-done sixteen years later, three generations of consoles later was absolutley briliant which is why it was chosen as a great moment.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Why I love the Metroid series

Atmosphere, a key word when people talk about the Metroid series, but the game offer so much more than that.

My first experience with the Metroid series was my favourite game Super Metroid and what a great experience it was. It had the aforementioned atmosphere, great graphics and sound and the most important thing, great game play. The really great thing about the game was the fact that anyone could pick up and play it, not really a gamer and just want to run through it? Fair enough. An experience gamer who wants to hunt down everything? Go for it. The backtracking to collect items to upgrade your missiles and suit was absolutely brilliant and instead of feeling boring and repetitive really added depth to the game and the bosses, the bosses were just great and each one was so different to the other.

But enough about Super Metroid, although it did get me into the series one game doesn't make a franchise and luckily the rest of the games that I have managed to sit down and finish have been just as enjoyable. The two GBA games Zero Mission and Fusion are brilliant additions to the series and are held in high esteem by fans and non-fans alike. If you can find copies at cheap/reasonable prices they are definitely worth buying. One really good thing about them is that though the basic formula is the same as Super Metroid the games are quite different and a lot easier in difficulty which is good for when you just want to play the handheld for short bursts.

Like the Zelda series the move into 3D added whole new layers to the Metroid games with the Prime trilogy and Other M adding new depths to the games with scanning your environment and a new control scheme to allow swapping between 2D and 3D. Other M even added speech for Samus and a background to the hardened Bounty Hunter.

Like the Zelda series the main reason that I love the Metroid series so much is because I just want to go back and play the games over and over, that and the atmosphere.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Why you should play....

So, Metroid Other M, a bit of an odd choice for why you should play, what with it only being released last year. I suppose really I should have gone for Zero Mission or Fuison or Prime but I feel that Other M gets a bit of an unfair kicking which is why I selected it for this post.

Yes, by all means Other M is not a perfect game and it does has its faults but it's far from the bad game that people make it out to be.

I'll get what I would consider the faults out of the way first which for me are not that many. I'll start with what tends to get the biggest criticism which is the story. The graphics are gorgeous for the cut scenes but unfortunately the majority of the back story in which the cut scenes are based around are to put to it bluntly a bit ridiculous. It's one thing to give Samus a back story but to give her one that basically turns her into a petulant whiny love struck teenager is a step too far. This is the mysterious, lonesome, hard-hitting bounty hunter that we have known for nine games previously. It's like if someone made a back story to Darth Vader that showed hime to be a whiny, petulant love struck teenager.......

Another 'fault' for me is also related to the story which is that Samus switches off all of her weapons at the beginning of the game as one of the characters deems them to be too dangerous and will only allow her to activate them if she obeys every command. Again it just seems to go against everything that Samus is and unlike Prime which had an explosion to knock out her suit and weapons just seems like a very lame way to go about it.

The final thing I have to say about the 'faults' and this one will be on more of a personal level is that the game is a bit too easy for my liking, partly due to the fact that there are a lot more save points then previous games and also you don't need to kill enemies to collect missiles and energy as shaking the Wii remote will refill both. This however is rectified if you collect all 100% of the missiles etc as you open up a harder version of the game which is a lot harder as the collectables are removed meaning that you pretty much play the entire game with what you started with, fine by me.

But enough about that, the post is called why you should play, not why you shouldn't play and the main reason is because once you look past all of the above Other M is actually a really good game and is definitely worth playing.

Lots of people criticise the game for the control scheme as to switch between first-person and third-person mode you need to swap the way that you hold the Wii remote and also in first-person mode Samus does not move meaning that you are more vunerable to being hit. Well in all honesty this didn't cause any problem at all for me and for people to criticise and talk negatively about the game because of it is just absolutely ridiculous in my opinion. It's defnitely not a reason to not play the game.

If you can handle the control scheme what you will find is a fast paced, enjoyable and fun game that is worth taking the time to play. The graphics in both the game play and cut scenes are brilliant, the sound is great, the melee attacks add a new element to the series as does the switching between first and third-person mode which is great when fighting the bosses (which as per usual are interesting and great to fight.

Metroid: Other M whilst not the best game in the series is definitely a worthy entry so ignore the criticisms, pick it up for cheap and be prepared for a thoroughly enjoyable game. Any game that recreates the ending of Super Metroid is definitely worth a play.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

My favourite Metroid game

Super Metroid

The Metroid games are great, but for me Super Metroid has just never been beaten. There is no single reason why it's a superb game, it's atmospheric, has great music and graphics and most importantly excellent game play. It just has everything that adds up to make it a great gaming experience.

Monday, 25 July 2011

What I've finished - June 2011

Gunblade NY and LA Machineguns Arcade Hits Pack - Wii
Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker - GameCube
Tomb Raider: Legend - GameCube
Klonoa - Wii

Four games completed this time and four good games they were. I remember playing Gunblade NY in the arcades and with not having to pump in 50p's I found the game to be a little bit easier when it came to using continues. Never played LA Machineguns but it wasn't that different from NY though just as fun.

I've started Wind Waker two or three times previously but for some reason have never been able to get into it, this time round I stuck with it and what a brilliant game it is. It just really drew me in and I spent god knows how much time just sailing around exploring islands.

Tomb Raider: Legend was the first TR game that I sat and properly played and what a great game it is. Very smooth with interesting puzzles and good action but unfortunately just a little on the short side, definitely worth playing though.

Finally onto Klonoa which was good but after a while I just found it to be a little repetitive which was a shame as I did start off really enjoying it, still worth a play through though.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

What I've finished - May 2011

No More Heroes - Wii
P.N.0.3 - GameCube
Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon - Wii

Three games finished in May and three that unfortunately I was rather disappointed with as I was expecting a lot more from them. No More Heroes just didn't grab me like I thought it would, it had it's moments but overall I just found most of it to be a bit of a chore. P.N.0.3 was both an interesting game and a repetitive game, interesting in the fact that it relied more on stealth and skill than just straight shooting but repetitive in that every single level was pretty much exactly the same. Finally Fragile Dreams was the biggest disappointment this month as I was expecting/hoping that it would be a really good game and what I found it to be was very repetitive with too much running around trying to find people/objects and way too many long ladders/corridors/stairs that just started to grate after a while.

Friday, 13 May 2011

What I've finished - April 2011

Goldeneye: Rogue Agent - GameCube
Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap - GBA
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - Wii

Only the one GameCube game this month and a poor one at that. I do actually like the Bond games on the Cube but Rogue Agent was terrible, very long and very repetitive. Followers of my blog will already know about my love of the Zelda franchise and after writing a post about Minish Cap I had to play it again and Twilight Princess after an eleven month break finally got finished and whilst not as strong as some of the earlier games is still a worthwhile addition to the series.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Wii time

So today on the Retro Gamer forum in the Wii Collecting Thread people started listing the amount of time that they have spent playing Wii games according to the records collected and stored on the console.

Of course I had to have a look at mine and I was rather surprised by what I saw. What I saw was this (correct on 11/05/2011):

Guitar Hero III - 88 hours 16 minutes
Twilight Princess - 56 hours 59 minutes
Guitar Hero World Tour: 33 hours 47 minutes
Metroid: Other M - 30 hours 37 minutes
Guitar Hero: Metallica - 27 hours 15 minutes
Super Smash Bros. Brawl - 25 hours 25 minutes
Mario Kart Wii - 24 hours 38 minutes
Red Steel - 22 hours 54 minutes
de Blob - 20 hours 5 minutes
Tatsunoko Vs Capcom - 19 hours 34 minutes
No More Heroes - 19 hours 11 minutes
Super Paper Mario - 16 hours 15 minutes
Metroid Prime 3 15 hours 15 minutes
New Super Mario Bros. - 11 hours 34 minutes
Wii Play - 10 hours 25 minutes
House of the Dead: Overkill - 8 hours 29 minutes
Zack and Wiki - 7 hours 21 minutes
Raving Rabbids TV Party - 6 hours 15 minutes
Wii Sports - 4 hours 56 minutes
Boom Blox: Bash Party - 4 hours 25 minutes
Madworld - 2 hours 29 minutes
Sega Superstars Tennis - 2 hours 24 minutes
Super Mario All Stars - 2 hours 16 minutes
Okami - 1 hour 54 minutes
Punch-Out - 46 minutes
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games - 36 minutes
Sonic and the Secret Rings - 34 minutes
Mario Party 8 - 18 minutes
Link's Crossbow Training - 3 minutes

Nearly 90 hours on Guitar Hero III. Now this pretty much was the first game that I ever got for the Wii (I picked it up along with the console, Mario Kart, Sega Superstar Tennis and Wii Play), so it would have a few hours racked up on it and the girlfriend also plays on it but I was still very surprised to see the amount of hours racked up on the game.

Twilight Princess is probably the only one I'm not surprised at as it is/was a very long game and I knew that I had put the hours in but the rest, well all I can think is that I must leave the console on quite a lot when I should be turning it off as there is no way on this earth that I played Red Steel for over 22 hours and still never completed it.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Carboot bargain

So, Saturday gone I was nearing the end of wondering round my local car boot, yet again wondering where all of the retro games had gone, when as I passed one seller I notice under his table a box with the words Commodore Amiga 500 written across it.

Ooooooh, I think, a boxed Commodore Amiga 500, wonder how much he wants for that. Now I've been wanting one of these for years, ever since a friend of mine growing up had one and I thought that this was going to be out of my price range. So I stop for a few minutes to have a think and eventually I dare to head over to ask how much he's wanting for it thinking that he's probably going to ask for a fair bit. So I ask and he tells me that he's looking for £12 for it, I be cheeky and ask if he'll take a tenner and he answers yes as he just wants rid of it.

I pick up the machine and behind it is two boxes of games which the seller tells me is included in the price, sweet. So for £10 I walked away with the following boxes:

I then had to go out on Saturday so didn't actually get to test the machine until the next day and very happily I can report that it worked perfectly fine. After testing it I unpacked everything that was in the two boxes of games to find the following:

Everything is in great condition and all the ones I looked through contained the disks and the instructions and Street Fighter II worked fine, though it took some getting used to after only playing it on consoles all these years. I also gave Captain Planet a whirl just because it was Captain Planet (it wasn't that great a game).

So all in all I am now one very happy chappy, very pleased to finally pick up something I've been wanting for years and especially as it looks like I picked up a very good bargain and it certainly makes up for the last three/four weeks of wandering round the same car boot and picking up absolutely nothing in the way of retro gaming.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Games I've finished - March 2011

Wario World - GameCube
X-Men: Legends - GameCube

A couple more GameCube games completed in March and two games that pleasantly surprised me in how much I enjoyed them. Wario World was the first game in a long while that I completed all 100% on and X-Men: Legends I thought might get quite repetitive rather quickly but with it's mixture of characters and levels it really didn't.

Games I've finished - February 2011


Thought I had completed at least one game but apparently not.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Games I've finished - January 2011

Metroid: Other M - Wii
Gun - GameCube
Brutal Legend - 360

Bit of a mixed bag there but overall three games that I found to be very enjoyable and would certainly play again. Metroid Other M is a good addition to the series but for me was way too easy on the first difficulty.

Gun was a game that I found to be surprisingly very enjoyable and definitely worth a play, shame that the main game was too short, though the side stuff does make up for it. Brutal Legend I found to be very fun and had a brilliant soundtrack with some fun gaming.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Annoying things in games 4

A personal peeve of mine for this edition, fishing.

I don't like it in games full stop, it annoys and bores me and it's all the fault of Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast. You had the cool and fast levels with Sonic and Tails and then every now and then you had to break for the most annoying and frustrating levels with Big the Cat fishing for Froggy which was so pointless to the game.

I love the Legend of Zelda games but cannot stand the fishing sections, if they are optional at least I can leave them, but I'm currently playing Twilight Princess on the Wii and got completely stuck on the fishing section. I admit I just could not seem to grasp it and part of it is due to the fact that it bores me and therefore I just didn't have the patience to master it, my own fault I know but I still hate fishing in games.

Very annoying.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Annoying things in games 3

Following on from unskippable cutscenes I'm now going to go with unskippable tutorials or pretty much tutorials fullstop.

I know that control pads (for the 360 and PS3 at least) have quite a few buttons on them these days but not that many to warrant me being forced to sit through a god knows how long tutorial explaining what each and every button does. I just want to play the damn game and figure it all out for myself and I should be allowed to do so.

Very annoying.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Annoying things in games 2

Unskippable cutscenes, especially on a second play through.

I've already watched the twelve odd hours of Lord of the Rings thank you very much, therefore I don't need to watch it again when I go to play the game. In todays day and age of gaming would it kill developers to put in a skip option for people who just want to play the game.

Very annoying.


Do animals in RPG's carry money and potions?

What do they need it for?

Monday, 28 March 2011

Annoying things in games

Brutal Legend - 360

When you finally find the song you fancy listening to and you car gets blown up.

Very annoying.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

The end of celebrating

So that last post concludes my week long special posts to celebrate the 25th Birthday of the Legend of Zelda series.

Hope you have enjoyed it and apologies to anyone who is not a Zelda fan, I do promise that for the immediate future that is the end of posting about the series.

The games of Legend of Zelda

In 1986 the first Legend of Zelda game was released for the NES. The world was introduced to Link, Zelda, Ganon and the Triforce for the very first time.

Using an overhead view the player had to control Link to navigate their way through dungeons to collect pieces of the Triforce. The game introduced what was to become a staple of Zelda games which was items found in the dungeons which included the boomerang, bombs and the bow and arrow.

Just a year later in 1987 the sequel was released for the NES entitled: Zelda II - The Adventure of Link.

Changing the overhead view for the main levels to a side-scrolling view (overhead was still used for the map screen) was one of several changes for the sequel which also included bringing in experience points, magic and extra lives. The experience points were brought in to upgrade attack, stamina and the previously mentioned magic.

Like pretty much every Zelda game the plot is to collect the Triforce and to awaken Zelda but this time the final boss was Shadow Link, a dark version of Link.

The one and only Legend of Zelda game to appear on the SNES was A Link to the Past which was released in 1991.

The game returned to the overhead view of the first game but expanded on the first game quite immensely.

Also returning was Ganon as the final boss but the game also introduced new elements which feature to this day including the legendary Master Sword and also parallel worlds to travel between.

Again playing through dungeons Link has to find and rescue the seven descendants of the seven sages before facing the evil wizard Agahnim. Once Agahnim is defeated Ganon rises up for the final battle.

Several items are retained from the first game, again the boomerang and bombs but a lot of new additions are added like the hookshot, pegasus boots and a flute. Magic is also retained from the second game.

Two years later in 1993 Link's Awakening appeared on the Gameboy to become the first handheld version of Zelda.

It was also the first version to change the plot and not have Link having to find the Triforce to awaken Princess Zelda. It instead had Link wake up on a strange island where he had to find the eight instuments of the sirens which must be played to awakend Wind Fish.

The game also did not have Ganon as the main bad guy but a character called Nightmare and a second character called Dethl. The game also introduced the trading system which was also found in later games and an element where Link could steal items, tut tut.

In 1998, five years after the last Zelda game was released Ocarina of Time was finally unleashed on the Nintendo64.

Considered by many to be the best Zelda game released, (though some do prefer Link to the Past), Zelda and Link returned in full 3D glory in an epic game.

Taking the basic premise of past games with dungeons, items, heart pieces etc Ocarina of Time also brought back the storyline of Ganondorf and the Triforce. This time round however Princess Zelda was not asleep or unconcious but infact was awake to help you. First as Zelda when you play as young Link and again as Sheik when playing as Adult Link.

Also introduced for the first time is Epona, your trusty horse who would go on to appear in later games. Along with Epona is the Ocarina of the title which you can play songs on to help you in your quest.

In 2000, two years after Ocarina of Time was released the N64 got it's second Zelda game in the form of Majora's Mask.

A lot darker then Ocarina of Time and a lot shorter with only four dungeons Majora's Mask is considered by people to fall short of the greatness of Ocarina.

Changing the plot, Link now has to stop the moon crashing into Termina and only has three days to complete the task. The first part of the game focuses on having to retrieve the Ocarina from the Skull Kid to be able to play a song to transport you back to the beginning of the first day. This will happen a few times throughout the game until completion.

Another concept heavily utilised is the collecion and usage of masks to progress through the game. These masks include character masks like the Gorons and Zoras. Each mask you wear gives Link a different power to use throughout the game.

In 2001 not one but two Zelda games were released for the Gameboy Colour. Development was handed over to Capcaom who created Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages.

The games were unique in the fact that they could be linked together to enter passwords to transfer items across the two games.

Originally three games were to be created but trying to co-ordinate three together proved to demanding which resulted in one getting cancelled.

The main item in Seasons is the Rod of Seasons which allows Link to change the seaons therefore affecting the the surroundings. In Ages the main item is the Harp of Ages which replaces the Ocarina to travel through time.

Yet just another year later in 2002 The Wind Waker was released for the GameCube. Causing controversy when first seen due to the cel-shading graphics the game turned out to be classic Zelda through and through.

The plot changes slightly in the fact that Link is searching for his kidnapped sister instead of Zelda, though Zelda does appear this time as Tetra, a pirate of the seas. Ganondorf is again the main enemy.

One criticism of the game is the amount of time spent sailing the seas which people thought slowed the game down.

In 2004 Four Swords Adventure was released for the GameCube and was similar to the version released with the re-release of Link to the Past.

Up to four players could take control of a version of link and could be played using a controller or a GBA. If only one player is playing then the Cube would control the extra Link's. The main enemys were Shadow Link and Ganondorf.

The game also included a second game entitled Shadow Battle where players could battle each other using different versions of Link.

Again in 2004 another Zelda game was released, this time for the Gameboy Advance. Development was again handed over to Capcom who created Minish Cap.

Leaving Ganondorf out of the game the main enemy became Vaati who had transformed Ezlo into the Cap mentioned in the title.

After Vaati turns Zelda into a statue Link finds Ezlo and ends up wearing the cap throughout the entire game.

Capcom introduced a couple of new items which included the Gust Jar and the Mole Mitts allowing for Link to burrown through some walls. Also introduced were Kinstones which when fused with pieces that certain characters had would unveil hidden secrets.

In 2006 the final Zelda game was released for the Cube and also for the Wii which was Twilight Princess.

The game included parallel worlds but this time in the Twilight Realm Link would transform into a wolf who would be helped by a character called Midna. Midna would give hints and tips and would help Wolf Link with jumping, teleporting and attacking enemies.

Again Ganodorf is the main enemy and this time round the game now includes nine dungeons and the return of Epona.

Unfortunately Twilight Princess was released just as the Cube was dying off. Due to this not as many copies of the Cube version are in existence resulting in high prices for the game.

Just one year later in 2007 Link and Tetra made their debut on the DS in Phantom Hourglass. Continuing on from Wind Waker a new antagonist was introduced in the form of Bellum and a helper in the shape of Linebeck. Like Wind Waker the game had cel-shaded graphics and involved travelling the seas on a boat.

On release the game was criticised for being too easy but due to this the game did attract more casual gamers who may have not experienced a Zelda game before. The game also uses the abilities of the DS to create puzzles that require blowing into the mic, using the stylus and in one case closing the DS to reveal the answer.

In 2009 Link and Zelda returned to the DS in Spirit Tracks which saw Link swapping the boat as the mode of transport to a train. Set years after but following on from Phantom Hourglass the game again includes cel-shaded graphics and requires different aspects of the DS to solve puzzles, especially the mic to use the Spirit Flute.

One major change from Phantom Hourglass is the use of a second character in the form of a Phantom being inhabited by the spirit of Zelda. This aspect allows for control of the Phantom to solve puzzles, to destroy enemies and to carry Link over dangerous areas. Like Phantom Hourglass the game introduces another new enemy in the guise of Malladus, making it two games out of two on the DS with no appearance from Ganon.

At time of writing a new Zelda game is due for release on the Wii at some point in 2011. Titled Skyward Sword not much is yet known about the game. A piece of concept art and a teaser trailer have been released but nothing much was revealed about the game.

It is supposed to be a prequel to Ocarina of Time and the Master Sword will be making an appearance but beyond that anything is just a guess.

Numerous Zelda games have been re-released on different formats over the years which have included the Collector's Edition on the Cube which consisted of the two games from the NES and the two games from the N64. Also for the Cube was a version consisting of Ocarina of Time and Ocarina of Time: Master Quest.

Link's Awakening was re-released on the Gameboy Colour as DX and featured a new dungeon which utilised the colours of the handheld.

Released on the Gameboy Advance was the two games for the NES under the Classics series and also a Link to the Past which featured Four Swords which was a new multiplayer adventure where upto four players could play together.

*Please note that I have only included the games that are considered to be the core/canon games released on Nintendo consoles. This means that the CD-I games have not been included and also games like Link's Crossbow Training Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, though I may do a post in the future about these games.