Things I’ve been playing recently

A lot of things, it seems. I’ve had a glut of new games over the last month and I’ve been playing each for a short time. I’ve yet to settle down and just work on one or two, so I’ve not made much progress in each. So here’s a list, in no particular order:

Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition (Vita)

tumblr_nhtwabelmc1svmpf2o1_1280My subscription to PS+ was autorenewed before I could cancel it (the whole service got DDOS’d and I couldn’t log in), so I thought I might as well make use of it. This is one of the rentals.

It’s Duke Nukem. A bit easier to control than the 360 version that appeared on XBLA, and with a nice (but often broken) rewind feature if you die. It’s the same game that it ever was, so great. Half way through the first episode so far.

Hohokum (Vita)

tumblr_nhzgjbfpdm1svmpf2o1_1280At least, I was playing this until my family hijacked my save game. I’ve no idea what’s going on. You’re a snake which flies around bizarre levels bumping into things which sometimes react, solving puzzles that aren’t really puzzles, in an attempt to reunite with other snakes. I think. You’re just dropped into the game with no explanation and just expected to get on with it. It’s good, but I’m confused and lost. No idea why I bought it, although it was on offer.

Super Smash Bros U (Wii U)

Oh.I’m sure the Gamecube version of this was easier to control. I’m still sticking mostly to Mega Man, and I’m trying, but it does seem very vague as to whether I actually pull off moves or not. And I can never remember in the heat of the moment how to do the special moves that try to carry you back onto a platform when you’ve been punched off. It’s utter chaos, but then I suppose that’s the appeal.

Whoa Dave! (Vita)

tumblr_nhttyfer181svmpf2o1_1280Another PS+ rental. It’s an 8bit (or lower, perhaps – it’s more like an Atari 2600 title) looking single screen arcade platformer. Eggs drop from the top of the screen, and after a while they hatch. Baddies pop out and when they hit the lava at the bottom of the screen they “level up” and become more dangerous, and then level up again each time they hit the lava. You have to beat them by chucking eggs at them, or by destroying the eggs by throwing exploding skulls at them. Then UFOs appear and it all gets really hard. Really like this game, so much so I’ll probably buy it when it hits the 3DS. My high score is $1.76, in case you want a target (an easy target) to aim for.

Peggle (Mac)

tumblr_nhtn2lm76a1svmpf2o1_1280I happened to be using my old MacBook, and Peggle was on it, and I couldn’t remember playing it on there before so wasn’t sure it would work and then I ran it to see and it did work and then an hour passed magically. It’s Peggle, and that’s what happens with Peggle. No idea how far I got.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (Demo) (3DS)

I didn’t want to like this because I really wanted a Wii U version instead. Sadly, that doesn’t look likely to happen. It’s Monster Hunter, but made a bit easier to play (on the 3DS) as I’ve a shiny new New 3DS with extra buttons and a prodnipple, so it’s essentially got the same controls as the Wii U version of MH3U anyway.

I chose the Great Jaggi hunt as I know where I am with that, and picked a hunter with twin blades, not a class I’d used before. I don’t know if it’s the different weapons, or the different game, but the combat was so much swifter than I ever had on the previous game. Mind you, that was with a Great Sword and so slow and ponderous came with it. I like how you can now jump on the back of the Great Jaggi and slash at his (her?) neck, and it’s nice to have some new maps to hunt on. Do I want this now? Yes. Yes I do.

SteamWorld Dig (Wii U)

Toot_Toot_Sonic_WarriorIt’s the same as the 3DS game that I completed last year (or the year before?), but that doesn’t matter. It’s just as good, but all in HD and on the tellybox. I bought it as it was on offer and I was trying to spend enough in the Wii U eShop before the end of 2014 to get another £5 credit before they stopped running the scheme. Don’t know why I started this before the other games that I’d bought but haven’t played before – that’d make more sense, surely?

I’ve reached The Old World, and have a couple of upgrades from there. I’m pretty sure by this point in the 3DS game I had the ability to punch by now, so I’m wondering if I’ve missed something…

Rock Boshers DX: Director’s Cut (Vita)

tumblr_ninhulrwnN1svmpf2o1_1280Stumbled across this, and as soon as I noticed it was basically a brand new Spectrum game, I had to buy it. Turns out it’s a twin stick shooter, with Spectrum graphics and sound, and even had a two minute long load (which you can skip – I didn’t). The plot is incredible – you appear to be Queen Victoria, dressed as a man, who decides to go to Mars in a giant bullet shaped space ship that’s shot out of a huge cannon, and, when you arrive, you have to shoot guards and zombies and collect keys and avoid massive centipedes while looking for tea and jammy scones. YES. It’s the best thing ever.

Picross e5 (3DS)

tumblr_nip7ql5orv1svmpf2o1_400I was having a look at the eShop the other day and realised Picross e5 was out and I hadn’t bought it. So I bought it, and started playing it. It’s Picross, and I like Picross, so I like this. Aside from different puzzles (obviously), it seems to be no different to Picross e4. That’s not a problem, as Picross e4 was lovely.

Minecraft (360)

Oh, remember my 360? Never before has a console so frequently used in the past been dropped so quickly. Mine barely gets touched these days. In fact, the only reason I turned it on was because I finally decided to get Minecraft, mainly for my daughter. I’d a pile of free credit, and since the 360 is the only machine I have that 1) plays Minecraft and 2) I have two controllers for (for co-op), it had to be that version.

Created a “creative mode” map, which was far too vertical to navigate, so after a while we binned it and created a flat world – which we forgot to make “creative”. So cue all the baddies in the world appearing when it got dark and we hadn’t built any shelter because all I had were a couple of oak tree seeds and some dirt. Then we explored a lot and it seems everything wasn’t just flat, as we found a monastery (I think) and I fell in a well and couldn’t get out and drowned. Yay?

Skylanders Giants (360)

While the 360 controllers were out, and we’d just taken delivery of a cheap Skylanders Swap Force starter kit (for the Wii U – to hell with the 360 now!), I thought we shoudl probably finish off Giants.

So we worked through two more levels – Kaos’ castle, and a Ghost Ship. I’m sure the game it waaaay harder than the original Spyro’s Adventure, you know. We’ve about 30 Skylanders and ploughed through pretty much all of them on both levels.

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know! (Wii U)

Prison_breakThis was on sale and even though I know it’s not supposed to be very good, we are big fans of the cartoon and it was very cheap. And it’s multiplayer co-op.

It’s not too bad, actually. For the most part it plays like Gauntlet, complete with food and baddie generators and smart-bomb magic, but there’s also a Rogue Legacy style shop system. You can quit the dungeon after every 5 levels, and then spend your money to get better stats, but any money you have left is lost when you return to the game. The best bit is how the Gamepad becomes a giant Beemo face, who comments on your action with such gems as “food is where the hearts are!”. Excellent.

OlliOlli (Vita)

tumblr_ningobQfD61svmpf2o1_1280With various deals and cheap credit, I got this for less than £2. I’ve wanted it for a while, but keep being put of by people who say it’s rubbish. At that price I thought I’d risk it. And I’m glad I did as it’s pretty good.

It’s no Tony Hawk’s, obviously, but is instead an endless runner with things to grind on and ollie off. It’s all about timing, and the tricks are more like the Skate games in how you flick the stick to pull them off.  Was getting well into it, and then it crashed. Bah.

The Starship Damrey (3DS): COMPLETED!

tumblr_niligxz4vg1svmpf2o1_1280Some games can’t be described in great detail otherwise you’d give away plot spoilers. I can’t really mention anything about The Starship Damrey at all for the same reason.

Even in its opening dialogue, it tells you that you’re going in blind. Nothing is explained. Not even the controls, let alone what you’re supposed to do. So I don’t want to ruin anything.

What I will say, is that this is a good story, with some light game-y sections, and a great twist at the end. And the whole game is only a couple of hours long.

And it’s a bit scary.

Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure (Wii U): COMPLETED!

So_Maxwell_made_a_time_machine_to_prevent_Batgirl_getting_shotThe game’s title is a bit verbose, isn’t it? I’ll be referring to it as Scribblenauts Batman instead, because that’s what it is. Sure, the rest of the Justice League are in it, but then Lego Batman 2 and 3 have them as well. Batman’s the headline act.

In fact, virtually every DC character you could ever imagine, including every variant (Earth Two, Red Son, Bizzaro, New 52, etc.) are also in it. And costumes to dress up other characters as DC characters. And all the stuff you’d expect from a Scribblenauts game usually. Lots.

Green_vs_YellowThe story (yes, there’s a story) involves Maxwell and his sister Lily being transported to the DC Universe (or one of the DC Universes, at least), and losing a load of Starites en-route. Somewhere along the way, Maxwell’s evil clone – created by Maxwell – appears and teams up with all the DC villains. Each level is a set of traditional Scribblenauts puzzles (much like in Scribblenauts Unlimited) often with DC related characters, and a “boss battle” where you and a DC hero take on Doppleganger and a DC villain. So Batman vs The Joker, Green Lantern vs Sinestro, etc. These battles are really just more puzzles, but it breaks up the game and adds something a bit different.

Thank_you_Mari-uh__Maxwell__but_our_princess_is_etc.Scribblenauts Batman, then, isn’t any sort of reinvention of the series, but if you’re a DC fan there’s some joy to be had creating an enormous airborne undead radioactive pensive spotty exploding evil Aquaman (New 52) riding a yellow glowing sentient gigantic carrot with a jetpack. Or something.

This_better_work_Like the previous game, it’s pretty short if you just rush through the main puzzles and battles, earning just enough points to spend on unlocking new locations (like Metropolis and Oa) and progress the plot to completion. There’s a load of replay value through, as each location has different puzzles each time you revisit them, and sometimes Mr Mxyzptlk pops up to challenge you to complete them all without using adjectives, or only using DC Heroes, or only with female characters, all for bonus points. You’re also penalised if you repeat words in a single level, so you can’t solve similar puzzles in the same way if you want maximum points.

Day_of_the_TentacleI’ve finished the story and unlocked, and completed, the Batman origin story (each of the main heroes has one as a sort of bonus) and quite a few of the non-story puzzles, so there’s still quite a lot to do. It seems there’s no checklist like with Unlimited though, so I’m not sure how you determine everything is properly 100% done. Unless I’m missing something.

Oh, and how am I playing this on the Wii U when it never came out in the UK on the Wii U? Because I imported it from Australia, of course! For some reason it was released there but not here, and although the Wii U is region locked, Australia is the same region so the game works fine. Phew, eh?

Fantasy Life (3DS)

tumblr_nhzgnw9waj1svmpf2o1_400I may have completed the story in this, but that was at around the 27 hour mark. Which, considering I’ve just scurried past 42 hours, was some time ago. As I’ve mentioned before, there are loads of side quests, but I’ve still hardly touched them. Instead, I’ve been changing Life and choosing different careers to master.

After playing the story as a Paladin, which, as I suspected, worked out well in terms of fighting things, I decided on a complete change of pace with Tailor. It’s entirely different. You have to collect wool and flowers, and buy some other materials like buttons and string, and then in a series of simple mini-games create clothes. It wasn’t hard, and I was a Master of that life in just three hours. The hardest part was finding shops that sold the necessary materials! Tailoring was a great way to make money though, as selling what you make nets a substantial profit.

HNI_0090After Tailor, I went with Hunter. Like Paladin it’s combat based, but with a bow. This actually makes defeating some of the harder enemies – like the virtually indestructible dragons – easier to take down as you can do so from a distance. It’s a very slow process though.

With Hunter done, I changed to Blacksmith. Like Tailor, it was all about picking up the raw materials – most of which I had to buy, unfortunately. I realised later that if I’d been a Miner first I’d be able to collect them as part of that career, then use them as a smithy. Still, the mini-game weapon and armour creation process yielded some pretty nice kit (most of which would have been useful as a Paladin, so a bit pointless now) which could be sold for a mountain of Dosh.

HNI_0089Realising how I’d done Blacksmith and Miner backwards, I then decided to do Woodcutter before Carpenter, and quickly mastered that life. Unlike the other lives (since Paladin, anyway), Woodcutter was a good source of XP, perhaps making up for not making a lot of money.

Then it was on to Miner, which was much like Woodcutter only with trees instead of rocks, and also good for levelling up, before my most recent Mastery – Alchemist. I decided to go for that so I’d be able to create the materials I expect will be useful as a Magician. Which is handy, as that’s what I chose next! I’ve only spent a few minutes in this life, though.

tumblr_nif5ka2een1svmpf2o1_400Still lots to do. I suspect Mercenary will be the most interesting of the remaining careers, so I’m going to leave that to last. Hopefully I’ll be up to Level 50 by then (I’m 42 at the moment) so should be able to slay pretty much everything. Then I might even make a start on some of the side quests that I’ve ignored. I have completed some, but only because I happened to have the items or killed the beasties as I wandered round everywhere, rather than because I went out of my way to do so.

Duck Hunt (Wii U)

Perfect.It’s Duck Hunt. What more do you need to know?

I bought it on Christmas Day, when it was released on the Wii U Virtual Console, but only got round to playing it today. It plays pretty well, but it’s harder than I recall. I’m going to blame that on the Wii remote though, rather than my faded skills.

Once nice touch is how the speaker in the Wii remote makes the clicking and echo-y spring crunchy clangy noises of the original Zapper. Totally unnecessary, but pleasing to the ear. Sadly missed, though, is the lack of flashing screen when you pull the trigger. Yes, I know it’s because that’s how lightguns needed to work on a CRT screen, but it still feels like it should have been there.

Fantasy Life (3DS): COMPLETED!

Erm._Does_the_bread_look_like_this_intentionally__t__3DS_httpt.coTVtoMUQaJjAnd so it came to pass that my first completed game in the grand old year of 2015, was Fantasy Life. Do not be of the mind that just because I got it for Christmas, it’s somewhat short. No, somehow in just over a week I’ve crammed more than 27 hours into it. In fact, since my last post about it just 5 days have passed and 25 hours of game have been played. And that’s just on one of the many lives available to play.

First_life_mastered___t__3DS_httpt.coXwNgr0LAlUThat’s the story complete, then. The world saved, every region of the planet united, and The Power of Wishes realised. Thankfully, you can still continue playing after the end, so I did for a bit in order to become a Master Paladin and level my character up to 31. Clearly there is a lot more levelling still to do, as most of the dragons roaming the map would appear to still be indestructible. With two able fighters as companions, I barely managed to scratch the blue one on the snowy mountain before my healing items were severely depleted and I had to run away with my tail between my legs.

Clash_of_titans__t__3DS_httpt.coGOSwRmOgO5On I went then, picking a new role for myself – a tailor. It could not be more different to being a Paladin. Instead of wandering round finding monsters to smack and performing deeds of derring do for a tall man with a ridiculous moustache and the shiniest of armour, you pick flowers and buy material to sew together and make clothes in a Cooking Mama style mini-game. It isn’t as fun as being a soldier, but then, how exciting could they have made tailoring, realistically? It’s impressive how totally distinct two game styles have been used in the same game, though. I wonder how the other lives fare?

10 Gaming Years

10years10 years ago today, on the 1st January 2005, I posted my very first Gaming Diary post. Back then, I was using Blogger and it uploaded posts via FTP to my own server when I published. After a few years, Google decided to discontinue this ability, leaving me with three options: give my domain name to Google and continue with Blogger, change to a Blogger or Blogspot URL and continue with Blogger, or cut the  cord and import the lot into a shiny new blogging platform called WordPress, which I had installed on my own server.

I chose the latter, pressed the import button, and crossed my fingers.

It worked! After a very long and somewhat scary few minutes, my Gaming Diary was copied over to WordPress. Then I realised I’d made a mistake in the configuration and the post formats or something were not correct, so I deleted it and tried again, this time with the correct settings. Then it was all working how I want it, and, some wonky upgrades notwithstanding, it has remained that way ever since.

Unfortunately, my very first two posts on the old Blogger were lost to the internet aetherial plane during testing (I accidentally told it to move, not copy or something) before the import, but I do remember they were both about Anarchy Online. Remember that? It was my first – and only – foray into that sort of MMORPG, and signalled pretty much the end of my time playing any sort of PC games. Still, my third ever post still exists here, about the lovely Pikmin 2 on the Gamecube. Back when Pikmin 2 was a current title. That’s two whole generations ago! How time flies.

Over the years I’ve blogged about so many games. Hundreds of them. Just taking into account those I’ve completed takes the number up to 474. That’s over 47 games a year! There are countless more I never completed, including Anarchy Online, and so many demos. I’d be surprised if I hadn’t covered over 1000 titles, probably much more than 1000.

In recent years I’ve posted less frequently, and included more “roundup” posts. Perhaps this was due to lack of time, but I’ve tried to make up for it by writing in more detail about games in the “completed” posts. So quantity of posts may have dropped, but quality and length have hopefully increased. F’nar.

Thanks for reading, and, if you managed to do so for the full ten years, blimey. What the hell is wrong with you? Here’s to another ten!

Pop’n TwinBee: Rainbow Bell Adventures (Wii U): COMPLETED!

What_do_these_3_Deadmau5_heads_actually_doIn a (very) late entry into completed games in the year 2014, I give you Pop’n TwinBee: Rainbow Bell Adventures! It’s not a shoot ‘em up like the other Pop’n TwinBee games – instead being a platformer with some elements borrowed from the likes of Castle of Illusion, Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario World, but somehow totally different from all of them.

RistarWhereas in the shooter games in the series you pilot a cute spacecraft and take down other cute spacecraft (like a chibi-1941), you pilot a cute spacecraft who runs and jumps around levels punching things and hitting foes with a big hammer. No, really.

I have played it before, a long time ago in an incomprehensible Japanese form, but something made me want to buy the Wii U English eShop version a couple of days ago. I never got very far previously, but made an effort to complete it this time.

ReznorAnd it was great! I did find it pretty easy, most of the bosses especially so, but there were a couple of levels I was stuck on for ages. They were both maze-like and I just couldn’t find the right exit. One of them involved lots of pipes, none of which seemed to take me to the exit which I’d clearly seen but was unable to reach. Another was made up almost entirely of destructible blocks, and although I could locate the exit without much issue, the key on that stage (which you can use to open doors to bonus areas on other stages) was apparently inaccessible. After 20 minutes I gave up looking for a way in.

Death_Egg_ZoneWhich means I finished without collecting all the keys. I don’t think they’re necessary for anything special, though, so I’m not too bothered.

In all, it’s a strange but enjoyable (and very Japanese) game, with varied levels, and it’s a shame I missed it first time round and never paid it much attention until now. Perhaps it’s the way it’s a spin-off, as they often don’t fare too well, but in TwinBee’s case, it’s well worth a look.

Things I’ve been playing recently

Fantasy Life (3DS)

I_m_a_pretty_boy__t_httpt.coZ9NL1XkMp4It’s like 8 RPGs in one! I chose my first life to be a Paladin, applying the logic that any combat required in the other lives may benefit from my skills as a trained killer. Or something. I’m not very far in, only a couple of hours, but I’m already engrossed in the seemingly endless number of sidequests (which, unlike most RPGs, actually affect your progression in the game in a big way), and the game is both charming and interesting. I think I’ve guessed the real identity of Flutter the butterfly already, though, but then perhaps I’m meant to.

A “doom stone” has just smashed into the roof of my house, which can’t be a good thing. Now I have to go off and find another one.

Persona 4 Golden (Vita)

tumblr_ngyez0p4no1svmpf2o1_1280It took a lot of attempts, but I finally managed to defeat the boss at the top of Yukiko’s castle. Having done so, I asked around about it and it seems that having all your characters on around level 15 (the same level Yukiko is when she joins your party afterwards) is recommended.

All mine were on 10 or 11. Yeah, that’ll be why it was hard.

Once_you_pop___t_httpt.cof7YNA00Kv7I’m a bit concerned about the inability to grind and the forced time limit on defeating each boss before the fog claims the next victim, but I’ve been assured that you can still grind as much as you want (until you run low on SP) by revisiting completed dungeons and never leaving. So, after rescuing Yukiko I spent some time redoing her castle to level up. Reached a new boss at the end of it, which can wipe out my entire party in a single hit. Methinks I should probably avoid him for a bit…

Super Smash Bros U (Wii U)

WIN (1)I’ve barely touched it so far, but have played through some of the single player modes a bit, and had a few fights online (which, sadly, were so badly lagged they were impossible to play), but I can already see that the huge amount of content and collectables will keep me coming back. Hopefully it’ll be a return to the greatness of the Gamecube game, as the Wii one wasn’t great (although I put that mainly down to the controls).

Scribble Shooter (Vita)

tumblr_ngwlhdv8j01svmpf2o1_1280This may be a demo, but it’s hard to tell. It’s a Playstation Home Arcade game, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to purchase the full version so I don’t know if it’s just very, very short or what. It was quite good fun but over very quickly.

Wipeout 2D (Vita)

tumblr_ngwk8xmxnc1svmpf2o1_1280Another Playstation Home Arcade game. It’s exactly what it suggests – Wipeout in 2D. It plays like Super Sprint, but the handling feels terrible and I didn’t really enjoy it. Motorstorm RC is a billion times better, and the similar F-Zero themed minigame in Nintendoland is what Wipeout 2D wishes it was.

Hyrule Warriors (Wii U)

One_left_to_open__Probably_6__of_the_game_complete_overall.Of course. This just keeps on giving! I’ve a single square in Adventure Mode left to open now, and it’s proving pretty difficult. I’m having to level up some rarely used characters to build up to another attempt, but I keep getting sidetracked and hunt for better weapons and stuff instead.

I’ve bought my first Amiibo this week, and, which Hyrule Warriors in mind, it had to be Link. He unlocked the Spinner weapon which is awesome to use. Sadly, it’s only a Level 1 weapon so only does 80 damage. It’s kind of made up for with Link himself being on Level 112, but a 420 damage Spinner would be nice!

Apparently I can use the Amiibo once a day to unlock more stuff, so I’ll be giving that a go.

Hello Kitty Happy Happy Family (Demo) (3DS)

tumblr_ngoy7mbxfj1svmpf2o1_1280Sadly, not a return to form for Kitty. I was hoping for something more like the fantastic (truthfully) Hello Kitty Roller Rescue, or even the GBA Happy Party Pals game, but no – it’s a sub-Cooking Mama set of rubbish minigames. What a shame, although I did expect this was how it was going to be.

Weapon Shop de Omasse (3DS)

tumblr_nh7nfs6h1d1svmpf2o1_400All the Level 5 Guild 01/02 games have been on offer recently, so I picked this up cheap along with The Starship Damrey. I haven’t played it a great deal yet, only through the tutorial and as far as the french bloke and the two girls returning from their quests. Seems quite good so far though – a sort of rhythm action game where you make the weapons and level them up by sending them out with adventurers. It’s pretty funny too, especially the almost Twitter-like Grindcast, which updates you on the quests your customers go on.

Mega Man 6 (Wii U): COMPLETED!

MASTER_OF_TOMAHAWKAfter the slight drop in quality that Mega Man 5 brought to the series, I was glad to see that things improved for the final NES Mega Man outing.

As I’ve mentioned before, each game so far has added some new move, add-on or feature to the series. Mega Man 6 sort of brings two, as Rush is removed as a rocket/trampoline and becomes a sort of exoskeleton for Mega Man, giving him two new powers – a jetpack (which works for a very short amount of time) and a power suit which allows you to break cracked blocks (much like Guts Man’s power from the original Mega Man) and destroy some otherwise invincible enemies.

Roided_Up_Mega_Man_in_Secret_Room_WorldMost of the levels also include branching paths, including two different locations for the final bosses in each of the first 8 stages. Finding the alternative location results in an extra item in addition to the power that the boss normally leaves behind. Four of these items are the letters BEAT, which provides you with, obviously, Beat from Mega Man 5. I had to redo one of the levels to get the B as I’d missed it, but it wasn’t worth doing as Beat has absolutely no use anywhere in the entire game.

Impossible (3)Once more, the difficulty of the game has been reduced, meaning that apart from Mega Man 5, the games did get progressively easier as the series went on. In 6, this was in part because of the abundance of E-Tanks, but also because of the ridiculously simple to beat final boss(es) and some of the alternate routes in the levels (almost all of which I took) seemingly miss out large sections of the game.

And that’s it. All the NES Mega Man games done. End of an era, or something. Thankfully, there are plenty more SNES titles to work through next! Final best-o-meter: 6>4>5>3>2>1.

Titan Attacks! (Vita): COMPLETED!

tumblr_ngabss4udu1svmpf2o1_1280Perhaps I was a little hard on this. I gave it another go, and found I really started to enjoy it. Yes, it’s still a Super Space Invaders clone, but the levels are more varied and the power-ups you can collect add something to the game. In fact, I not only completed Titan Attacks!, I looped the entire game twice, picking up all the trophies in the process.

Which makes it my first Playstation title where I’ve got all the trophies. Or even tried for all the trophies. It wasn’t difficult, and only took a few hours to blast through the 100 stages three times, but it was fun. First impressions can be wrong, it seems!

Things I’ve been playing recently

Roundup time!

Hyrule Warriors (Wii U)

Chain_Chomp_GET_With over 80 hours racked up now, this became my most played Wii U title some time ago. No matter how repetitive it seems to be, even playing exactly the same mission over and over with the same character, it never gets boring. I have now at least started the Master Quest from the first set of DLC, albeit to just play about four missions to see what they were like. Since then, there’s been another set of DLC which included another new character and a slightly smaller Adventure Mode map (which I’ve barely even looked at), but no Legend Mode additions, sadly.

I’ve still not finished Adventure Mode. In fact, I’ve still not even cleared the full map, let alone collected all the weapons, hearts and skulltulas littering the place. I have made some headway in ticking the lot off, but I estimate at least another 30 hours before I’ve done the whole thing. I have at least picked up some decent weapons for most of the characters now, although the likes of Wizzro and Midna are still woefully underpowered through lack of use. Link’s Lv3 Power Gauntlets, complete with Chain Chomp wrecking ball are a sight to behold though, and his apparently naked giant Great Fairy is ludicrous. In all: Best Game.

Persona 4 Golden (Vita)

tumblr_ngc51blbfz1svmpf2o1_1280Everyone seems to rate this as one of the best games ever. It’s one of the few games I wanted a Vita for, so when it was reduced to a silly price (on the same day as Akiba’s Trip) I snapped it up.

Even though I’d heard a lot of good things about it, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, aside from “an unusual RPG”. I thought this meant something along the lines of Contact or Earthbound, and as I’d been cautioned to avoid anything describing the actual game or plot as it’s apparently best to dive in blind, I wasn’t prepared for what I got.

The fantastic yellow submarine/katamari hybrid opening sequence segued into Shenmue before becoming something somewhere between Phoenix Wright and Eternal Sonata, via a Japanese dating sim and The Ring. Confusing and compelling, although (so far) mostly non-interactive, I’m just past the second murder (yes, it’s a bit grim in places) and, from what I’ve been told, have only about 78 hours left before I complete it. Erm.

Luftrausers (Vita)

tumblr_ngaaqfyfrv1svmpf2o1_1280Or Love Trousers, obviously. I have the PC version, but I don’t play PC games. This is a free-for-a-few-weeks PS+ rental, and it’s a lot of fun. I’m terrible at it, but it has some addictive progression and that ever important “just one more go” factor. It’s like Time Pilot, only distanced from that title in a similar way to how, say, Pac-Man CE is from Pac-Man. And in sepia.

Mega Man 6 (Wii U)

Yamato_Man_I finished Mega Man 5, so started Mega Man 6. It’s just more of the same, which isn’t really a complaint, but even when they add new stuff to the formula it still doesn’t actually change the basic game. As the last NES Mega Man it’s a little sad to be nearing the end of the series, but I do have the SNES Mega Man 7 and Mega Man X2 lined up for the future, so it’s not really close to being over.

Instant Hero (iOS)

tumblr_nfyz6ge3o81svmpf2o1_1280What’s that? An iOS game that isn’t Slay? Well, the team behind this asked for beta testers, so I volunteered. And I’m pleased to say, that they’ve really responded to feedback from myself and the other testers, and quickly moved this from a  far too simple, slightly rough and seemingly pointless title to a polished, perfect for mobile play game. It plays a little like Peggle but with Super Kick Off style aftertouch. And your little man is the ball. And he can only beat the baddies (uh, like the pegs in peggle) if he (or she) runs into two of the smaller sized baddies first. Or you die. And there are bosses.

Look, I can’t explain it. It’s out soon, and is free with IAPs to buy continues (and remove ads) and it’s definitely worth a look. Not least to see me in the credits.

Titan Attacks (Vita)

tumblr_ngabs8h2x71svmpf2o1_1280Another PS+ rental. It’s OK, but really it’s just a relatively normal Space Invaders game with a few bells and whistles. Not that there’s anything really wrong with that, but come on – we’ve have Space Invaders games for years now, and some (like Space Invaders Extreme) are far better than this. Still, it was free.

Need For Speed Most Wanted (Vita)

tumblr_ngbsjgmamj1svmpf2o1_1280EA game this away for free. And it’s not even “PS+ Free” either – it’s actually really free. It’s also the same game, albeit smaller, lower resolution, and not quite as nice generally, as the Wii U version I’ve already played to death. It is still pretty and fun and everything, but I don’t know if I can be bothered to complete it again.

Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric Demo (Wii U)

This_is_stupidNo. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

No.

Mega Man 5 (Wii U): COMPLETED!

Tedious_boss_rush.Yes, this did take a while longer than previous Mega Mans (Men?). Not in terms of actual play time, as this came in at a little over 4 hours, so slightly shorter than Mega Man 4 (bucking the trend of Mega Man games getting longer in sequence!), but in terms of number of weeks over which I played it.

Charge_kick_doesn_t_do_anything_My excuse is HYRULE WARRIORS, which has eaten most of any game time I have. I’ll turn the Wii U on, intending to play Mega Man or UnEpic or Mario Kart 8, but ending up with Hyrule Warriors instead. Occasionally, sometimes, eventually, my finger has managed to successfully prod Mega Man 5 and I’ll play for a few levels.

This game’s “new thing”, as each game has so far added something, is Beat. A semi intelligent homing attack bird robot. Obviously. So pointless is Beat, that I didn’t even consider using it until the final boss battle.

1337As for the rest of the game, it was more of the same. You can see they were really struggling with robot bosses and powers at this point, as many were retreads of previous ones. One of the levels tried to be a bit different with a sort of jetski section, but it was frustratingly hard and, ultimately, crap. Still, at least there was nothing as rubbish as Top Man’s awful flying spin-kick power, although the Charge Kick neared it. The final boss was similar to a previous boss (in Mega Man 3, I think – at this point they’re all starting to blur into one), but somehow even easier. Especially with Beat. Disappointing, in a way.

Overall I’d have to say it wasn’t as good as Mega Man 4, but better than 3, even though this breaks my until-now perfect run of sequentially better Mega Man titles. 4>5>3>2>1. I suppose it also breaks the run of getting bigger each time too, since it’s slightly shorter than 4. 6 next? Aye, go on then.

Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed (Vita): COMPLETED!

tumblr_ng2y5gnkwp1svmpf2o1_1280What? Two Vita games completed? What will the neighbours say? I mainly bought this game as a bit of a joke. I didn’t think I’d get drawn in and certainly didn’t expect to complete it. I just thought it was a silly game with a silly premise and wouldn’t really be very good.

I was wrong.

tumblr_nfxdffrphm1svmpf2o1_1280For the first few hours, I had issues with the controls and the camera. I wasn’t enjoying the combat, and there was a massive difficulty spike with the first “boss”, who took many attempts to beat. Then I realised that different weapons attacked in different ways, much like in games like Monster Hunter. Then I figured out the clothing and weapon modifying options, improving my attack and defence. Finally, I realised you could press R to centre the camera. Suddenly, most of my complaints disappeared, and although still a silly, sexy game, I was really enjoying it. The combat clicked, and I actively went picking fights to collect more items to improve my kit.

tumblr_ng2y77ekq11svmpf2o1_1280As the story progressed, I realised I was actually really rather close to the final battle, and sort of fell into the last hour of the game and completed it rather sooner than expected. I was slightly disappointed it wasn’t longer, but there’s a New Game + mode and a million untouched side missions should I want to return.

At its original price of £32.99 on PSN (I don’t think the western version even got a physical release), I’d struggle to recommend Akiba’s Trip, but it is surprisingly deep, fun, and has the sort of Japanese quirkiness and game in-jokes I like. At under a tenner, it’s definitely worth a shot. Just try to see past the, er, stripping.

Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed (Vita)

tumblr_nfswvjig0q1svmpf2o1_1280Let me tell you all about this game and I will tell you all about this game now:

You’re a boy who goes for a job interview then wakes up strapped to a table before being told he’s going to be a vampire or something then a girl in a negligee carrying a parasol rescues you and you fight and flee but are mortally injured and all that can save you is this girl’s blood so she bites her lip and you drink her blood by kissing her and then you become a different sort of vampire and take this girl back to a bar where your friends hang out and your tumblr_nfv3b7xudm1svmpf2o1_1280sister lives for no readily apparent reason and all your friends are members of an underground vigilante group and they’re looking into strange goings on in Akihabara like people going missing and stuff so you go out on patrol and find more people who are sorts of vampires and you fight them and beat them by ripping all their clothes off and exposing them to the sun so they melt or explode only sometimes the people you fight tumblr_nfsww1tjf41svmpf2o1_1280aren’t vampires but you strip them naked anyway and they run off and after you’ve beaten someone they drop equipment and clothes which you can equip (even their underpants) or sell or get your little sister to combine to improve other equipment and as all this is going on you have access to an in-game version of Twitter which is hilarious and there’s also a cosplay competition going on into which the female members of your gang are entered and the whole game feels just like Yakuza only with stripping teenagers instead of Yakuza and more boobs.

Rogue Legacy (Vita): COMPLETED!

tumblr_nefn2sh6zb1svmpf2o1_1280My first completed Vita game! And probably my last, seeing as I don’t see myself ever playing on it again. Rather like my PSP, actually.

But the game, though, was fun. The just one more go factor was extremely high, and the need for greed too strong to just go for the win too early. So many attempts at finding a new boss to beat ended up becoming treasure runs, and once I’d unlocked Spelunker as a character class, I chose them whenever possible.

tumblr_nev5ge1rom1svmpf2o1_1280Eventually, I thought I’d best have a pop at the final boss. It dawned on me that the further I progress, the harder he’s likely to be. I don’t know how the game levels up with you, but I was guessing that fighting him at a low-ish level, then levelling up (and trying again), would be better than fighting him at a higher level after levelling up. I’ve no idea if I was right, but having failed a lot of times to defeat “The Fountain”, and then improving my stats a big chunk and trying again, I found him much easier.

With him gone, the credits rolled and the castle reset for a New Game +. I had a quick go, and found that all the harder baddies you came across deeper in the castle in the “normal” game were now front and centre, and my incredible (or so I thought) stats were barely enough to make it through half a dozen rooms. I don’t think I’ll try to complete it, but should the Vita somehow turn itself on in the future, I’m sure I’ll poke at it again for a while.

Things I’ve been playing recently

It’s a been a little while since I posted, so a round-up of recent gaming adventures…

Hyrule Warriors (Wii U)

Best_Almost 50 hours have been spent on this now. It’s such an addictive game, and considering how few level maps there are (maybe 10?) there’s so much actual game content and variety. With loads of weapons still to unlock, and several characters still mostly unused, never mind a yet-to-be-started Master Quest mode, there’s a lot left to do.

Most recently, I’ve been trying to rank up Zelda, as there’s a mission in the bottom left corner of the map that I need her to A-rank in order to both get a new weapon, and to open up another section of map with another new weapon in. I’ve managed AAC and ABB a few times, but even though she’s level 42 now, she is still too weak to deal with some of the harder captains quickly enough.

StreetPass Garden (3DS)

These few remaining plants are proving to be somewhat elusive. Even when I’ve had a seed with an 80% chance of growing into a new species, I’ve ended up with something I’m already drowning in. Still, at least I’m making  a lot of money selling useless plants and seeds. Not that there’s anything left to spend it all on!

Ratchet & Clank (Vita)

tumblr_ne865ae88u1svmpf2o1_1280Lets just ignore that V word there shall we? I made a mistake and want to move on without much comment or fuss.

Well, someone noticed I’d acquired said handheld, and generously sent me a download code for the Ratchet & Clank Trilogy for it (and the PS3 – it seems to be cross-buy). I’ve put about an hour into the first game, and… it’s rubbish.

Sorry, but it is. Yes, I know it’s a PS2 game so is a platformer from a different time when this sort of thing was common and acceptable, but it’s dire. Graphically, it’s improved over the PS2 (or, at least, it seems to be), but the camera controls are terrible and the characters soulless and forced. Yet another anthropomorphic animal? Didn’t we tire of those in the late 90s? (Answer: yes, we did).

The platforming itself is rubbish, with jumps requiring guesswork and an unreliable double-jump. There doesn’t appear to be a character shadow to see where you’re going to land, either. Your ranged weapon targeting system is broken, as it automatically locks onto who it decided you want to kill, not necessarily who is in front of you or nearest. Didn’t Zelda teach the devs anything about how lock-on should work? (Answer: clearly not).

I’ve spent more time fighting the game than fighting the baddies, and that’s not a good thing at all. Maybe the sequels are better?

Tearaway (Demo) (Vita)

Apparently the saviour of the Vita. I fail to see how. It’s a dull platformer (sort of) with Daddy Pig chatting all over it. A lovely graphical style with unnecessary and nonsensical rear-touchpad bodgery, many seemingly optional tasks which are devoid of fun or purpose (throw the boxes into the hoops? Joy.), and worst of all frequent appearances of my actual disapproving face in the sun, like I’m the baby in Tellytubbies.

I’m really not surprised, as I very much disliked Media Molecule’s previous efforts with Little Big Planet, and although this beats it in style and form, matches it in tedium and disappointment.

Lumines (Vita)

tumblr_ne5q0nx3kr1svmpf2o1_1280It’s Lumines. Apart from the little face in the bottom left corner which does… something when you poke it, and some different colour combinations and music, it’s the same as the 360 Arcade game from many years ago. Which is fine, actually.

I’ve not played it a lot, but it plays well and the music is nice and I’m not very good at it. So much like the other version then, really.

Rogue Legacy (Vita)

tumblr_nea43b9cbk1svmpf2o1_1280Oh so good!

I’d heard this was eventually probably coming to the Wii U, so would have waited for that, but instead bought it from PSN for the Vita (and PS3, I then found out – needn’t have bothered with this Vita after all…). It plays like a Castlevania Roguelike, where you’re a knight who infiltrates a castle for treasure and, er, probably something else. When you die, you’re dead, but you get to try again as one of your children who inherits your stats and money.

Unfortunately, in order to enter the castle again, you have to pay a toll equal to your entire stash of gold. Boo! Thankfully, you’re able to spend your inheritance before then on stat and equipment boosts, as well as unlocking new abilities and character classes.

It’s very “just one more go”, and never frustrating despite the number of deaths (30+ now for me) and having to start over every time. I’ve just unlocked the ability to boost my loot gathering and also reduce how much I have to pay for another go, but haven’t managed to buy anything in each ability slot yet. I’ve also faced at least three different bosses, some more than once, who have all been completely overwhelming. I suspect I need to play a bit longer and boost my skills and stuff before trying again.

Batman: Arkham Origins: Blackgate (3DS): COMPLETED!

tumblr_ndjhn4svpf1svmpf2o1_400On the one hand, this is a perfectly serviceable Metroidvania style game with meaty Batman Arkham type combat and a story to follow on from the Arkham Origins game. On the other hand, it’s a 2D game that tries to fit into a 3D space, with the plane you’re on frequently changing and disorientating you, and a map that serves to confuse as much as direct.

Detective Mode returns, but is rarely sufficient to show where to go or what items are “suspicious” enough to blow up or hit with a batarang. No, you have to hold a “soft” button on the touch screen and scan the area for things. The entire game turned into move along a screen, scan the entire screen, repeat, with puzzles or fights taking a back seat.

tumblr_ndplntadjb1svmpf2o1_400Sometimes even scanning stuff isn’t enough. A rusty hatch is described as “may break off its hinges with enough force”. Which do you use? Your batclaw to pull it down? Your explosive gel to blow it off? No – your batarang. Obviously. Later, another similarly described hatch needs gel instead. Another time, the claw. Or a fan, which is “possible to stop with explosive”, only you actually need the second gel upgrade. It makes you wonder if you’re doing it wrong, or if you just don’t have the right tool yet.

tumblr_ndploeotfz1svmpf2o1_400Overall, though, it was fun. The actual game bits proper, and some of the boss fights, are excellent. The hacking sections and complicated level layouts were not. Oh, and the bit you have to do after beating the last of the three main foes? Meaning you have to run round pretty much the whole map again? That wasn’t great. Perhaps if a bit more time had been spent trimming the fat, even if it meant cutting the length of the (already pretty short) game down a bit, that may have helped. As it is, it was well worth the reduced entry fee, but with hindsight I’m glad I didn’t pay full price.

Blok Drop U (Wii U): COMPLETED!

Well_that_was_easy.__blokdropuI was able to get hold of a free copy of this from someone, and felt a little guilty I hadn’t spent the feeble 89p or whatever it usually costs. Having played it, though, I’m not any more.

It isn’t a bad game at all, but it suffers from two problems: It’s too random, and it’s too short.

The idea is to tap on grey blocks, making all of them disappear, leaving a single red block balanced somewhere without it falling of the bottom of the screen. For the first few levels, it’s mostly puzzle based – remove the blocks in a specific order to make the red one fall as you need it to. After that though, there’s a clear idea of how you’re supposed to finish the level, but the sliding and falling and bouncing is too random. You can do almost the exact same sequence of taps several times in a row and get completely different outcomes. By the end, it just becomes luck or perseverance as to whether you win or not.

And the end comes far too quickly. There are only 30 levels, with each taking less than a minute to complete, even if you have to try multiple times. The game isn’t even long enough to allow you to review it on the eShop – you have to hit an hour’s play to do that! There’s zero replayability too, so little chance of me reaching an hour. How hard could it have been to double or triple the number of levels?

StreetPass Battle (3DS): COMPLETED!

Finally! After $hlmun attempts at beating the Emperor in the final country, I won! Why did it take so many attempts? Because it’s entirely down to luck whether you win or not.

You see, unlike the previous battles where you can choose how many of each type of army to use, and the order to send them out (and the ability to spy on the enemy to find out what they’re going to send out), the final battle is five random Rock, Paper, Scissors fights. You’ve no way of knowing what the Emperor is going to choose, and each time either of you wins a fight, the other person loses half their entire army. Since the Emperor starts with more than twice as many soldiers as you, you’re already essentially two fights down.

And when you lose overall, so many of your soldiers run away that you have to spend several days racking up StreetPass hits again to replenish your soldiers enough to try again.

Having only managed to win, at most, one of the five fights on every single attempt, my final battle was four wins and a draw, easily besting him. Phew!

No. I won’t be playing the “after game” content. And once I’ve got all 80 plants in StreetPass Garden (I’m up to 75) I can put StreetPass Plaza to rest for a bit and actually play some “real” 3DS games again!

Hyrule Warriors (Wii U): COMPLETED!

Link__He_go_to_town__He_go_to_save__The_Princess_Zelda_I hope my B, and to a slightly lesser extent, Y buttons are OK. In my twelve hours running through the main Legend Mode campaign, I’ve pressed them rather a lot. I don’t think they’re worn out, but not since I played one of those “shooting watch” games have I hit a button so many times. Mash mash mash mash mash.

BBY. BBBY. BBBBY. Other variations, peppered with ZR (bombs, usually) and the odd X to pull off a special attack or (rarely) A to dodge. And block? Blocking is for girls. In fact, I didn’t even realise there was a block until I’d nearly finished the game. Once more, “There’s a block button?” returns. Apparently, pressing R triggers your magic and makes you do fancier attacks for a bit. I used it once, I think.

That_s_no_moonSounds repetitive, doesn’t it? But it isn’t. Well, it is, obviously, but it never feels like you’re doing the same thing over and over. You keep being pulled away to rescue or defend elsewhere on the map, or you have to swap secondary weapon to deal with a different foe, or you might need to run away for a bit and find some hearts. Or escort a bombchu. Or take down a massive boss who requires more skill than random button bashing achieves. And sure, you revisit the same locations several times, but the situation is different. Sometimes you’re a different character (and they all perform differently), or you have new tasks, so it never feels like a rehash.

WhatImportantly, it is a lot of fun. Swording/hammering/harping (really) your way through massive swathes of foes, knocking out 10, 20, 50 – even 100 – in one combo will never, ever get old or tiring.

Add to that the collection addiction where you collect weapons and materials that baddies drop to better your defences and attacks, adding new combo moves and perks, and even replaying missions isn’t a chore.

YES_I did spend a little while on the NES Zelda-inspired Adventure mode, both between missions on the main mode and after completing the game, and it too is pretty fantastic. And huge. You’re given smaller missions where you have to defeat only certain enemies, take down a certain number in a time limit, and assorted other challenges, but there are loads of them. How well you do determines which areas of the map you open up too, so you need to perform well rather than just win if you want to open up everything.

Now I’ll work my way through that, while I wait for the DLC, all four pieces of which I’ve already pre-ordered…

Assassin’s Creed: Liberation HD (PS3): COMPLETED!

It seemed very hurried towards the end. Years were skipped. Very little story exposition happened. Events just occurred in quick succession, and I realised how linear this Assassin’s Creed game actually was.

I’d started to suspect a twist at the end, and by the end of Sequence 7-ish I’d realised what it was. The ending threw me, until (spoiler), and the Citizen E thing happened.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad game, but it’s probably the worst Assassin’s Creed title in a long while. Even without the boats. It’s just a shame that it was so short, so linear, and so disjointed, as the actual assassining was enjoyable. The PS3 pad didn’t help either, I suppose.

Hyrule Warriors (Wii U)

Um (1)For many years I’ve lamented how the the 3D Zelda games (that is to say, those that aren’t top down rather than those you play with glasses) are, well, pants. Over my time as a gamer, I’ve never got into the Samurai/Dynasty Warriors series. I’ve played a few, and even bought the 3DS one, but stopped there.

So why did I have a moment of weakness and buy a download code for Hyrule Warriors, a combination of all that is bad about Zelda games and a game series I couldn’t be more meh about? I don’t know. But I’m glad I did because it’s bloody awesome.

Fans of games known as “Musou” (at least, known as that to nerds who propagate the idea the series is niche and, well, non-Japanophile gamers wouldn’t like it) will see this is little more than a Zelda skinned example of the genre. Battlefields filled with forts, allies, and more enemies than a feeble little Nintendo console should really be able to cope with – let alone with no slowdown, and generals to defeat.

To_smack_or_not_to_smack_a_CuccoOnly with Zelda clothes on, these battlefields are areas like Hyrule Field and Death Mountain. The allies are Impa and Sheik. The enemies are ripped straight from Zelda games, and the generals, instead of being historical samurai warriors, are bosses Link has previously defeated in “normal” Zelda titles. Massive bosses, in some cases. And cuccos. Yay!

Gameplay is just like in Warriors, where you take ground by capturing forts and regions, lose ground by not paying attention to what’s going on elsewhere in the map, and your allies run round doing the same with not the best AI in their heads. Ultimately, you can’t rely on them to do anything, so sometimes you need to abandon your current objective to save their hide – again – before returning to the task at hand.

A Zelda twist is that you can pick up secondary weapons from treasure chests (complete with obligatory DA DA DA DAAAAH). These are instantly recognisable: Bombs, Boomerang, Bow, Hookshot, and so on. You can probably guess the rest. You can also play as any of your allies instead of just Link, and you recruit more warriors as you progress in the game. Additionally, there’s a crafting part to the game where you can upgrade and enhance your weapons, and choose new perks and abilities, for the price of some materials that enemies drop and a bag of rupees.

Somehow, it manages to feel just like Zelda without actually playing anything like any Zelda game before it. Which is A Good Thing, as far as I’m concerned.

Of course, I’m only about 4 or 5 hours in at the moment, so there’s still time for everything to head south, but what would appear to be a repetitive button masher is actually an addictive and surprisingly varied action title. More of this sort of thing with your game serieses, please Nintendo.

Assassin’s Creed: Liberation HD (PS3)

On the PS3, you say? Am I mad, you ask? Yes, and possibly yes. In my defence, I had a load of PSN credit and it was on sale. And I’d been playing and enjoying Assassin’s Creed IV. So it made a bit of sense.

Currently, I’m about half way through the game (just returned from Mexico, for those in the know), and I’ve noticed that the game seems about half finished. No, those are two different things. What I mean is, it’s ugly and broken and they forgot to include a load of stuff. Missions are disjointed, with little reason or backstory (bar the odd loading screen info box). There are so many bugs where events don’t trigger or targets vanish completely, making progression impossible and a reload necessary. The graphics are muddy and blurry, like this is a Wii version of an Xbox 360 game.

Yes, I know it’s a port of a Vita game, but it’s supposedly an enhanced port with HD graphics. What they seem to have done is upscaled everything and applied a blur filter. Aveline’s three personas are unnecessary and stupid, and making one of her first missions literally a trip to buy a dress from a shop? Team AC don’t like women, do they?

Still, there aren’t any boat bits (well, no driving boats anyway, unless a canoe counts) and I love the modified return of the rope darts. I can’t really cope with the PS3 pad though, especially QTEs (this is not a new issue for me, though) and holding up on the stick for more than three seconds physically hurts. I’ll be glad when it’s all over, frankly.

Mega Man 4 (Wii U): COMPLETED!

Four_the_winAnd so the steamrollering of Mega Man games continues. Once again, eight evil robots stood between Mega Man and Dr… wait – Cossack? Not Dr Wily? That can’t be right?!

Spoilers: No, it isn’t right. Turns out rubbish Russian stereotype Dr Cossack was merely Dr Wily’s pawn, working for him as Wily had kidnapped Cossack’s Ushanka-wearing daughter (more stereotyping). Tch.

Impossible (12)Robot ideas are running low now. Toad Man? Pharoah Man? Dust Man?! Rubbish. Oho! That’s a joke by the way. Dust Man is literally a vacuum cleaner who shoots rubbish at you. Pharoah Man is the easiest baddie of any kind (minion or boss or otherwise) in any game ever created ever, once you use Bright Man’s weapon, which freezes him allowing you to just keep hammering shoot. Also: “Bright Man”? Terrible name.

Sigh.Mega Man 4 follows three Mega Man trends that I’ve noticed. The first is “add more stuff”. In 4, Mega Man’s Mega Buster has a charge shot. Something I thought he’d always had, until I started this adventure into playing all of the NES titles.

Secondly, Mega Man 4 is even bigger than the previous game. Again. As well as the main robot levels, you then have Dr Cossack’s castle, followed by Dr Wily’s castle.

WinrarFinally, once more the game has become significantly easier. Specifically, in the bosses. Ring Man was hard, but every other boss was waaay easier than those in the earlier games. The final bosses were a laugh to beat too. I don’t even think it’s just that I’m getting better either.

Onto 5 then. Scores so far: 4 > 3 > 2 > 1. Nice to see constant improvement, Capcom!

Tracking my gaming. For great victoly!