Monday, 6 January 2014

Round up of 2013 completed games.

The full list of games that I completed in 2013 is as follows:

Batman: Arkham City - 360
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance - 360
Mirror's Edge - 360
Stranglehold - 360
The Conduit 2 - Wii
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time - GameCube
Darksiders - 360
The Hardy Boys Treasure on the Tracks - DS
Warioware: Touched - DS
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - DS
Tomb Raider - 360
TMNT -Arcade
Big Bang Mini - DS
Prey - 360
From Russia With Love - GameCube
Sunset Riders - Arcade
Dragon Quest: Chapters of the Chosen - DS

A drop from the last couple of years with just 17 games completed though all of them have never been completed before. A lot more 360 games completed this year though and even a couple of classic arcade machines which was very pleasing.

Overall it was disappointing to complete so few games and I didn't think that the line-up was as strong as last year but there were still some gems in there.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Completed Games December 2013

Dragon Quest: Chapters of the Chosen - DS

Unlike Dragon Quest IX where I've taken a break from constantly losing to the final boss I did manage to complete Chapters of the Chosen and an enjoyable game it was.

There are five chapters and a prologue with the prologue and final chapter being for the hero and the other four being for characters who will eventually join the hero for the final battle. It's an interesting concept as you really get to know and enjoy the characters before they all meet.

The game is shorter and easier than DQIX but that is not off putting in the slightest and whilst there are hardly any side quests in this one it's still a fun and enjoyable game.

Top ten games I completed in 2013 (Pt 2)

Welcome to part two of the top ten games that I completed in 2013.

Let's move straight onto number five.

5. Big Bang Mini - (DS)

I picked up BBM on the recommendation of a friend who knew that I liked to play the more obscure games that are out there and I'm pleased that I did as it's a simple but fantastically enjoyable game.

The premise is that using the stylus you shoot fireworks from the bottom screen to the top one to hit and destroy enemies. That's it but like a lot of simple games it can be very addictive and fun. The levels are split across real life cities such as Hong Kong and New York (though designed slightly differently as per the graphics) and each city consists of nine levels and then a boss. Each city also includes different abilities that are used to kill the enemies.

There are around one hundred levels in the game (split across four modes) and levels can be completed quite quickly depending on how well you do (you need to collect stars to be able to proceed to the next level) which means that the games doesn't outstay it's welcome. Not that it could as once you get into the game it's rather addictive and fun

4. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - (DS)

Despite being the first game in the series AA is actually the second one that I've finished (the first being Justice for All). Just as I enjoyed JFA I also massively enjoyed AA.

The funny thing is that due to playing this one second it almost feels like a prequel due to characters being introduced that you are already familiar with and storylines starting that continue on through the games. Aside from that the actual game is just superb as one would expect from the Phoenix Wright series.

The graphics are vibrant and bright and the characters are interesting and likeable which is good when you spend so long with them. For me this is one of the key things about the series, the characters, as the more time that you spend with them the more you become absorbed in the world that they live in, especially as you spend a lot of time investigating it as well as time spent in the courtroom. The main purpose of the game is to successfully defend your client(s) and you do this by picking apart testimonies by objecting via using things that you have picked up from what people have said or by using objects that you have found at crime scenes. This all adds up to being a very enjoyable and enthralling games and series.

3. Dragon Quest: Chapters of the Chosen - (DS)

COTC is the second DQ game that I've played and the first that I've completed. The other one that I've played is nine and I have to say that I enjoyed this one that little bit more.

One of the main reasons being the difficulty between the two games, whilst I did enjoy nine at times it (especially with grinding) it felt like a slog to get through but with this one it didn't feel like that at all. This was especially evident when you could fight an enemy that awarded you around 10,000 XP points if you managed to defeat it. This as well as the shortened time span that it took to complete made COTC a far more enjoyable game.

The things that made me really enjoy this game were the likes of the simplicity of the game compared to a lot of other RPG type games, the characters introduced though out the chapters, that fact that there were two optional side quests that were not that difficult to complete. It makes me sound like I don't enjoy RPG's but that is far from the truth as they are possibly my favourite genre but it was just nice to be able pick the game up and play through it without worrying about spells and whether I'm leveled up enough and what not and that is why COTC is number three on the list.

2. Tomb Raider - (360)

The second Tomb Raider game to appear in a top ten list since I began doing them and it's no wonder why when they keep releasing games as good as this. I'll be honest and say that it took me a couple of hours to really get into the new Tomb Raider and it was only the persuasion of someone I know that kept me going through that beginning section as I really wasn't getting on with it. As you can see from it's place in the list once I did...

I've only completed once previous Tomb Raider game so it didn't bother me either way when it was announced that the franchise was being re-booted/relaunched/re-something, which also meant that I didn't really have anything to compare this new version to. Due to that it meant that I could just (hopefully) enjoy the game on it's own merit. At first this didn't happen as I found it to be incredibly boring for the first couple of hours and as mentioned nearly gave up on it. I'm glad that I didn't though as despite it's flaws by the time I had finished it I didn't want it to end.

Yes, to me it does have it's flaws but only minor ones such as decisions within cut scenes and the final 'fight' being rather disappointing but overall I found the new Tomb Raider game to be very absorbing with lots to do and see and I'm definitely glad that I persevered through those first couple of hours as if I hadn't, well, it would be a different game in the number two position.

1. Mirror's Edge - (360)

The number one game for me this time round is the rather excellent, and some would say underrated, Mirror's Edge a game that I bought on a whim due to it being ridiculously cheap. As you can see from it's place at the top spot I'm very glad that I did.

Mirror's Edge is billed a s being a 'first person action-adventure' game but it's a lot more than that, it's a game that once you get going really immerses you in it's world. Once you get up and running (no pun intended) you will not want to put the game down, even during a couple of frustrating bits near the end when a level or two has a lot of climbing to get through. That is the thing though, even when things can and do get a little frustrating you still want to clear that jump or reach that bar or get past that enemy and it's kind of games that make you want to play games and enjoy them.

Graphics wise the game is bright and colourful with nicely done animated cut scenes which advance the plot, though the plot sadly is one of the weak points in the game though it does have an interesting sub-text. The basic premise of the plot is that you take on the role of Faith a runner/courier and a person who rebels against the totalitarian government and who must try and prove her police officer sister's innocence in a murder. It's not the best plot in the world but it does the trick I suppose. One other criticism is that the game is too short which is a massive shame but all good things have to end. The important thing though is the game play and Mirror's Edge has absolutely fantastic game play which is why it takes the number one spot.

So there we have it, another year done. A bit more of a mix of format this year and some absolutely cracking games in the list.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Top ten games I completed in 2013 (Pt 1)

It's that time of year again where I count down the top ten games that I completed in the previous year.

Here is part one with numbers ten to five.

10. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance - (360)

Another year and another Marvel game just scraping in at number ten on the list. I enjoyed the X-Men Legends games so knew that I would like this but for some reason I didn't enjoy it as much. I don't know whether it was the repetition of the game play setting in or niggly little changes like not being able to store energy capsules but something just didn't quite click like it did with the Legends games.

Overall though it is a good game with a good roster of characters ranging from street level of Daredevil and Luke Cage to big hitters like Captain America and Iron Man alongside X-Men Storm and Colossus and off course Deadpool.

Like I say, it's a game worth playing as the line-up is good (including the bad guys). The plot is decent enough with it allowing for you to travel to places such as the SHIELD Helicarrier and Mephisto's Realm and it can be fun building up your team(s) but if you've played the Legends games then you should enjoy it.

9. Darksiders - (360)

At first I wasn't sure whether I would enjoy Darksiders or not as I thought that the game play may become repetitive but due to it's inclusion on this list it's safe to say that I did. Though to be honest there was a chance that it would have made the list purely due to having possibly the first underwater section that I've ever liked in a video game.

In Darksiders you control one of the four horsemen War who has been charged with bringing about the apocalypse early. You must then proceed to prove his innocence by killing your way through angels and demons whilst solving puzzles and powering up (due to War losing his powers) weapons and abilities.

The game play is hack and slash but due to the puzzles that are included throughout the game it doesn't become repetitive, this is also helped by the variation of areas and enemies that you face as you progress, especially with some of the bosses that you face. Overall Darksiders is a game that is definitely worth playing through at least once.

8. The Conduit 2 - (Wii)

I really enjoyed the first Conduit game so it was a pleasant surprise to see that a sequel was released and as the norm with sequels this game is a little bit bigger than the first one. The game is a first person shooter and that's pretty much all you need to know regarding the actual game play but for the actual game it's a bit more in depth. There are improvements over the first game such as upping the number of alien types by nearly double and increasing the amount of alien and human weapons whilst which weapon you and/or the enemy is using results in the enemy acting differently. The game takes you round different places such as Siberia, China and the UK as well as alien places.

If you haven't played either of the games I'll just give a quick rundown of the plot as the second one continues on from the first. In the game you play as Agent Michael Ford who awakens just after an alien invasion and with the help of an alien being must try and stop an invasion of Earth. That's the plot in a nutshell as there are a few twists and turns throughout the two games that would take a bit more typing to explain.

If you own a Wii and haven't played either of the games then I would definitely recommend them as whilst the graphics are obviously not as good as if they were on the 360/PS3 the game play is fun and the weapons and enemies are interesting.

7. TMNT - (Arcade)

The first arcade game to appear on the list since I began doing them and one that I've been looking to complete for years.

One good thing about playing arcade machines at events is the free play as to be honest I don't think that I would ever complete this without it. It also helped having three friends to complete it with because as you can imagine for an arcade from the late 80's it was designed to eat up every kids pocket money.

Taking control of my favourite turtle (Donatello) we progressed through the side-scrolling levels defeating the attacks of the Foot Soldiers and big bosses like Bebop and Rocksteady, Baxter Stockman and of course the big bad of Shredder (a fight which is insane due to multiple Shredders). It felt good after all these years to finally complete a beloved game from my childhood and to not have to put a lot of money into it.

6. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time - (GameCube)

 I've seen The Sands of Time raved about for a few years now but for some reason I've never fancied playing it until now. Was it worth the wait? Yes, yes it was.

I will admit though that it did take me a couple of hours to become fully immersed in the game but when I finally did I could see why it is held in such high esteem as the game play is superb and smooth and the story really draws you in.

I imagine that by now, unlike myself, most people would have completed this on one of the formats that it was released on so I'm not going to waffle on about it. All I will say is that this game definitely deserves the plaudits that it receives and it definitely worth playing. Oh, the reason that it only makes it to number six on the list though is because there were five more games that captured my imagination more than this one unfortunately.

Tune in tomorrow for part two covering those five games.

December 2013 Purchases

Three buys and a present in December. 

Resident Evil 5 and Tom Clancy: Vegas were picked up in the Game sale and after picking up Resident Evil 6 in November 5 completes my main series collection. Again, I know it gets slated, especially against the fantastic number 4 but I still would like to play it. I own the Tom Clancy games for the Cube and thought I would give this a shot for the price that I paid.

Shadows of the Damned is a game that I've been after for a while and I nearly bought it just days before I did. Luckily I waited as I ended up buying it for half the price that I nearly paid.

Finally, Bloody Roar is one of the games on my Cube list and my friend Megamixer kindly sent it to me over the Christmas period as a present, thanks for that.