Thursday, 31 January 2013

Hyrule Historia is here

Yes, the fantastic looking Hyrule Historia arrived today and here are some pictures for your pleasure.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Round up of 2012 completed games

The full list of games that I completed in 2012 is as follows:

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow - DS
Goldeneye - Wii
Mario Kart - DS
Metroid Prime Hunters - DS
Soul Bubbles - DS
Super Mario Galaxy - Wii
Hotel Dusk: Room 215 - DS
Disaster: Day of Crisis - Wii
Astro Boy: Omega Factor - GBA
Last Window: The Secret of Cape West - DS
WarioWare, Inc: Mega Microgames! - GBA
Gears of War 2 - 360
The Last Story - Wii
Super Princess Peach - DS
The Conduit - Wii
Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 - 360
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock - Wii
Super Mario Galaxy 2 - Wii
Kirby: Power Paintbrush - DS
Kirby: Mass Attack - DS
Donkey Kong Country Returns - Wii
Lego Batman - 360
Another Code: Two Memories - DS
Gears of War 3 - 360
Another Code R: A Journey into Lost Memories - Wii
Kung-Fu Panda - 360
Red Faction: Guerrilla - 360
Lollipop Chainsaw - 360
Red Faction: Armageddon - 360

In 2011 I managed to complete 24 games, in 2012 I managed to complete a whopping 29 games with all of them being games that I had never played before.

2012 was still a Nintendo heavy year but a good eight 360 games did get finished so a light improvement on 2011 there.

Overall it was a very pleasing year as pretty much all of the games that I finished were absolutely magnificent and very enjoyable to play through.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Top ten games I completed in 2012 (Pt 2)

Welcome to part two of of my top ten games that I completed in 2012 and what a second part it is. I honestly found these next five games to be fantastic and fun in their own ways and absolutely struggled to put them in to any kind of order.

It's possible that by the time you've finished reading the list it could be completely different in my head but for the time being here's what my top five games that I completed in 2012 looks like.

Kirby: Mass Attack - (DS)

Another year and another Kirby game on the list which is funny as before Epic Yarn I had never played a Kirby game before. Though not number one this time round Mass Attack is still a fun and enjoyable game.

The basic premise of the plot is that Kirby has been split into ten individual Kirbies by an enemy and he must defeat the enemy utilising the strength and power of the other nine. It makes for an interesting concept as can affect the difficulty slightly (for example trying to kill an enemy with two Kirbys is harder than trying to kill it with ten Kirbys) and it also allows for replayability as areas cannot be accessed until you have enough Kirbys to move stones or pull things down from the ceiling.

Having enough Kirbys can also affect which level to play as each one can only be accessed via a certain amount which can mean having to go back and replay a level or playing the game in a non-linear fashion. As well as this there is added replay in the way of collecting medals which will open up mini-games and checklists. Add in fun levels and bosses and what you have here is a fantastic game that is definitely worth playing.

Lollipop Chainsaw - (360)

What to say about Lollipop Chainsaw... Well, It's from Suda 51 so if you have ever played any of his games before then you will know what you will be in for which is pure enjoyable mayhem. It's hard to really describe Lollipop Chainsaw due to how barmy it all is but I shall give it a good try.

You play as cheerleader Juliet who it turns out is a zombie hunter (which is also pretty much the entire basic plot) and who along with the head of her boyfriend must stop the zombie invasion. Expanding on the plot, there are three dimensions and a portal has been opened allowing for demons to enter our world in the guide of zombie lords. It does get a little more in depth than that which is surprising for what is essentially a standard hack and slash/action game and it does add that little bit extra to the game. The game play is fun and just when you think that it could get tiresome something comes along and makes it interesting like a level where you run over zombies in a combine harvester whilst You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) by Dead or Alive plays.

Moments like that as well as things like be able to add Nick's (the boyfriend) head to decapitated bodies to perform actions move it a level above a standard hack and slash game and into an enjoyable one. Like Kirby there is added replay in collecting medals for bonuses. The game has been criticised for it's level of sexuality (including an achievement for looking up Juliet's skirt) but if you can see past that then Lollipop Chainsaw is worth your time.

Donkey Kong Country Returns - (Wii)

I love the original Donkey Kong Country (and it's sequels) for the SNES so was rather excited when this Returns was announced for the Wii and thankfully I was not disappointed.

I'm going to start with the graphics as the Wii gets a kicking from people when it comes to this but DKCR really does look good. Retro Studios have really utilised the power of the Wii to make fantastic looking levels. This also links into the game play with levels featuring silhouettes for characters and environments as well as levels where you move between the fore and backgrounds. The game play blends itself with the original trilogy and with new ideas such as mine cart and barrel levels (and collecting the KONG letters) alongside the above mentioned silhouettes and using moves like the ground pound designed around the Wii remote. The boss fights are also really good with each one being different to the last. One major point is the difficulty which some people could have a problem with as some levels are not easy at all, though for me I like that.

If like me you grew up with the SNES trilogy or even played it later and enjoyed it then you will love DKCR as it contains just enough nostalgia to warrant playing but also contains a lot of new stuff to make it feel like a completely new game.

Super Mario Galaxy - (Wii)

Five years after release what could possibly be said about Super Mario Galaxy that has not been said before, especially for such an absolutely fantastic game. I suppose a lot really and a game like this certainly deserves the plaudits that it receives.

First of all the game looks stunning and really shows off what the Wii is capable off, this is also the same with the music which has wonderful tones that get inside your head. Most importantly for me though is the fact that it's a wonderfully fun and enjoyable game to play. Each galaxy gives you something different with different themes and objectives (though your overall objective is always to retrieve a star) that keep the game fresh for the duration that you play it.

This is a Mario game so it mixes the old with the new (like the ever present fire flower next to the new spring mushroom) and the storyline though slightly expanded on with Bowser wanting to create a new galaxy is still basically Bowser kidnapping Peach. Alongside that though is the introduction of Rosalina and the Lumas who help Mario thorough out the game. There is also a story book featuring the Lumas which is a nice touch to the game. Overall though adding all of this into the pot makes Super Mario Galaxy a fine game and one that is definitely worthy of the plaudits.

The Last Story - (Wii)

In a year where I completed the above mentioned games such as Donkey Kong and Mario Galaxy how does The Last Story make it to number one? It gets to number one by being a game where I didn't want to see the back of the characters.

Let me get some points out of the way first, graphically this game is pretty bad especially when coming so late into the life cycle of the Wii and story wise it's pretty much nothing new. though does offer some interesting elements when all mixed together. Saying that though the plot 'twist' could be seen coming halfway through the game which did lessen the impact that it should have had.

What really makes The Last Story my number one game for the year is the characters (even with slightly dodgy English accents) in that developers make you genuinely care for them and want them to succeed in their quest. Each character has their own unique personality and this makes you invested into the story and game. The game play is fairly simple on the surface but offers a lot once you take the time to master it with spells and weaponry that are set to each character. To be honest, there is so much that can be mastered I could probably write another paragraph. I'll sum it up with this though, despite not being the best game graphics wise and being fairly predictable in parts The Last Story is a game that made me want to play and play and play and that is why it is my number one game that I completed in 2012.

So there you have it, the top ten games that I completed in 2012. A bit Nintendo heavy again though I did up the amount of 360 games that I completed overall I just didn't find all of them as enjoyable as this top ten, maybe that will change for the 2013 list.

Like last year I hope that you have enjoyed reading the list and hope that you spot something that you may have been unsure of playing or may just enjoy.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Top ten games I completed in 2012 (Pt 1)

In January 2012 I created a list of the top ten games that I played and completed as, like explained then, I thought it would be interesting to do something slightly different to the normal top ten games of the year lists that are produced. I Also don't tend to buy that many new games so most likely wouldn't even be able to select ten games from 2012.

Like lasts years list (which can be found here and here) I've only gone for games that I played and completed for the first time.

10. Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 - (360)

Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 easily rates as one of my all-time favourite games so excited was an understatement when the third one was announced after around a decade.

Was it worth the wait? Well... It's a good game but just not as good as number two. The roster for fans of Marvel and/or Capcom is fantastic, featuring the likes of Rocket Raccoon and Phoenix Wright next to series hitters like Ryu and Spider-Man. Just a shame that they lost one of my personal favourites from the second game Cable.

Overall if you don't compare UMVC3 to MVC2 then what you have is a really good game. It has a great roster, nice graphics, staple cheap final boss, is as manic as ever and is fun with friends (especially those who have no idea what is going on). UMVC3 is definitely worth a play at least.

9. Another Code: Two Memories - (DS)

 I've been wanting to play Another Code for a couple of years now but could never find a copy out in the wild. Well finally I did and I'm pleased to say that it was worth the wait.

First thing I will say is that it is a short game, I completed it in around four hours, and a little of the backtracking for items can be annoying as you know that you will need them but the game won't allow for you to collect them until you do. Apart from that though what you have here is a fun and interesting game with some interesting puzzles to solve.

The graphics are lovely with a hand drawn look and the story is interesting. Alongside the story you also have characters that you become to care about in the short time that you are with them and like another game in the list it's a little sad when you come to the end of the adventure.

8. Super Princess Peach (DS)

I initially bought SPP due to spotting it in a shop for a very low price compared to what it costs online figuring that if it wasn't any good I could sell or trade it. Fortunately I massively enjoyed playing it so definitely won't be getting rid of the game. It's very easy, so easy that I don't actually recall dying at all, but it's also very fun. The graphics are lovely to look at and whilst the game play is hardly innovative it's still a very enjoyable platform game with lots to do and unlock.

Saying that though, regarding innovation there is an interesting element to the game in the emotion gauge. The gauge works by tapping on an emotion (joy, gloom, rage and calm) and each one will do something different. for example, joy will cover Peach with a cyclone which allows to help her fly whilst calm will form a protective bubble to refill health.

All I will say is don't judge a book by it's cover as whilst the box looks all kiddie and cute (and again the game is ridiculously easy), behind it all is a thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile game.

7. Last Window: The Secret of Cape West - (DS)

LW is the sequel to another game that I thoroughly enjoyed Hotel Dusk: Room 215 and features the same protagonist, the wonderfully grumpy Kyle Hyde (who sadly never made it to a third game).

The plot follows Hyde as he sets out to investigate a missing jewel in the apartment block that he lives in. The jewel has been missing for 25 years and the block is about to be demolished. Hyde must find the jewel and what happened to his father before the end date. It's an interesting plot and features twists and turns aplenty. This however results in rather a lot of text and reading (which is fine by me) as you question and strike up conversations with your peers and neighbours whilst working out the Secret of Cape West.

I can see why game like these can be an acquired taste but I thoroughly enjoyed them, LW more so due to the faster pace over HD. It was nice to see a sequel that brought back Kyle Hyde and a couple of other people from HD and like Another Code you end the game finding yourself caring for the characters and hoping that they would return again.

6. Astro Boy: Omega Factor - (GBA)

Before playing Omega Factor I was aware of the existence of Astro Boy but knew nothing else about the character and world that they inhabited beyond that. The only reason I was really aware of the game was due to a Retro Gamer article but when an opportunity arose shortly afterwards to purchase the game I took it based on what was said in the article.

I'm glad that I did purchase it though as it's a very enjoyable if confusing game. The game is split into two parts Birth and Rebirth and Rebirth is where the game really excels. The basic plot is that robots are too dangerous and should be destroyed which happens at the end of Birth. Rebirth sees the hero going back in time to stop the attack and keep the robots alive. It's here where you start traveling backwards and forwards through time and the game really picks up as you are trying to figure out which level you should complete to be able to travel through time.

Along the way you meet characters who provide points to be able to upgrade Astro Boy in various areas such as life, laser, shot and jets amongst others. It's a nice little touch which helps along the way. As I said at the beginning, I was aware of the character of Astro Boy and wasn't even aware of the game, well I'm glad that I am now.

Tune in tomorrow for numbers 5-1.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Completed Games December 2012

Red Faction: Guerrilla - 360
Lollipop Chainsaw - 360
Red Faction: Armageddon - 360

Final three games complete off 2012 and a bit of mixed bag I have to say.

Despite owning Red Faction II for the Cube Guerrilla is the first game in the series that I have played and it's a fairly enjoyable if not particularly remarkable game. The game is just basically mindless shooting and destruction intermixed with various missions, all of which can be quite fun but also rather forgettable.

The missions start off quite interesting but as more and more are added they can become quite repeititive though fortunately you can just pick and choose which ones you would like to complete and can at any time just continue on with the main game. Armageddon on the other hand seems to go the other way and instead of the open world of Guerrilla it becomes a linear shooter and not for the better. Keeping a few of the traits of Guerilla and adding new ones, like the ability to re-build structures, Armageddon is a game that once played pretty much gives no reason to go back to it.

As for Lollipop Chainsaw. Yes it's main character is a scantily clad cheerleader but beyond that is a manic and ridiculously fun game that is absolutely terrific to play. The game play is pretty basic but what it lacks in that it really makes up for in everything else. How many other games can you run over Zombies with a combined harvester whilst You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) is playing? I imagine none and that amongst other things is why Lollipop Chainsaw is definitely worth playing.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

December Purchases

Well, when I say purchases...

All of them were gifts for Christmas with the top three games being from the O/H and the bottom three being from my Secret Santa on the Retro Gamer forum themightymartin.

Some new and some old made it a very good Christmas.