The longest of the new batch of StreetPass games, and the one most based on luck, StreetPass Chef becomes the last one for me to complete.
Like most of the other titles in the range, it’s pretty simple. Every colour of StreetPass visitor brings a different ingredient, and you cook meals to order using those ingredients. Initially, you’ve no recipe to work from, so your real-life cooking knowledge (or guesswork) comes into play. The closer to the ideal combination you cook, the more strength your diners are given as they set off to rescue the royal family from the evil monsters.
That’s right – it’s the StreetPass Quest game, only from the point of view of a local cook. I can continue to play and find the remaining dishes for my recipe list if I want, but I’m not sure I’m that bothered. Maybe another time.
Perhaps the weakest of the five new StreetPass games, and certainly the most preposterous. The plot in-game is some nonsense about defeating warlords by being naked, shot out of a cannon, and grabbing kites flown by your StreetPass chums en-route to landing on the baddies’ faces.
The game comes from lining the kites up so they match your trajectory, and the more you collect (and how accurately you do so), the more powerful your attack and defence are once you hit. Different levels mix things up by adding things like wind or clouds which make lining up the kites harder, but it remains very easy to progress and ultimately win. Like I did.
Completing it unlocks Hard Mode, which I don’t think I’m going to bother with. The other games so far have made me want to keep playing past the credits, but not StreetPass Ninja.
See, I said I thought I’d nearly completed another one, and verily it came to (street) pass that I did. StreetPass Explorers uses the distance your collected chums have walked, rather than their favourite colours, to determine how far you can explore a map.
Dotted around the map are bags with items in, wild animals who want to eat you, rocks to break through, snowballs to jump over and magic treasure to collect and piece together. It’s pretty good, although maddeningly frustrating when you run out of steps just before reaching your goal and on your next turn, complete with a full compliment of 10 explorer helpers, travel three pixels and waste all their steps. As happened lots of times to me.
Like the other new StreetPass games, play is swift and the game overall isn’t too long. There’s also more to do, again like the other titles, once it’s complete.
That’s two of five down already! These new StreetPass games seem quite a bit shorter than the previous ones, so far anyway.
StreetPass Slot Racer is basically Scalextric. You play by holding down A to go, and letting go of A to slow down – and you need to time doing this on corners and jumps correctly in order to get the best speed boosts. There are a fair few courses to work up through as you rank up, and the final “boss” is a head to head race with Iceman, the world champion slot car race driver.
This final race was actually really easy, but unlocking him was hard as one of the challenges before him needs you to finish in under 46 seconds. THREE TIMES I managed 46.07. So frustrating!
There’s more to do now though, and some new ranks have opened up, so like Trader I’ll keep playing. It’s looking like the next one to be completed might be Explorers, so watch this space.
I have been playing other stuff as well as No Man’s Sky, you know. Including all five new StreetPass games, and the best one, Trader, I completed today.
It’s pretty simple: You buy stocks when the market is low, and sell when the prices are high. People you have StreetPassed help predict the trends, and different companies have different stock prices. The more times you trade in a certain company, the more expensive their shares become, and so the more you can profit (or lose!). That’s pretty much all there is to it.
It might be the simplest of all the StreetPass titles, but it’s the one out of the new batch of them I’m finding most fun, even though it is the most boring on paper.
Anyway, I’ve completed it by making 100 Million G, but there’s a further goal of 10 Billion G (I’m assuming US Billion otherwise it’ll take forever) which I’m aiming for next.
I’ve been on and off with StreetPass Fishing ever since it came out, usually forgetting to play until I realise I have 300 coins to spend, then splurge them all on anglers at once, then forget again until I’ve another 300.
Today, though, with my last batch of cats (those who chose dogs are idiots), I caught the final legendary fish, and won the game! Then it told me there were actually another three legendary fish they’d neglected to tell me about should I want to go for them too. I probably will, since I’ve nothing else to spend my play coins on now – all the Streetpass games are complete!
There’s not a great deal to say about this, aside from that a couple of the final levels were pretty tricky, and even though the end boss appeared both indestructible and virtually impossible to dodge I still managed to off him on my first attempt.
The Wii remote is the best weapon by far, incidentally, except on the final boss where I found the pillow invaluable with it’s rapid fire.
Fun, and I’ll probably play it a bit longer, but time needs to be spent on StreetPass Fishing now!
It’s been a few months since I started Mega Man 7. I think, after ploughing through Mega Mans 1-6 I may have had a bit of Mega Man burnout, and I was a bit disappointed with 7 anyway as it didn’t feel right. Anyway, I’m back on it now and have taken down the first lot of four Robot Masters. I’m enjoying it, and it does feel more like the NES games than it did a few months ago. Perhaps I just needed to give it some time?
StreetPass Zombies (3DS)
Nintendo released two more StreetPass games! In this one, your passes equate to weapons that you use to see off the (cute, Nintendofied, egg-headed) zombie hordes. It’s a lot of fun, and actually quite difficult.
StreetPass Fishing (3DS)
And this is the other game. Passes translate as different bait types which you use to catch different fish. There’s a sort of RPG element as you can level up and improve your rod (and get other rods), and a lot of “gotta catch ’em all” with the fish. Really enjoyable.
Pokémon Rumble World (3DS)
Another Free-to-Play Pokeymuns game from Nintendo, this time based on (read: almost exactly the same as) the Pokémon Rumble series, which despite being repetitive, I’ve had fun with in the past. This one has a real money mechanic where you can only attempt so many levels before your hot air balloon mode of transport deflates, and you have to wait or use jewels to re-inflate it. And jewels cost money. I’m open minded though – Pokémon Shuffle had jewels too and gave away so many for free it was unnecessary to buy any.
Yakuza 4 (PS3)
I’ve progressed a little further, moving onto Kiryu’s part of the story. Another incredibly unlikely coincidence occurs (another character washes up on Kiryu’s doorstep) and then another (Kiryu goes to the police station and happens to bump into “Lily”), and then some fighting. I’ll just say this: that head prison officer bloke from Saejima’s prison is pretty much immortal, isn’t he? No mere man can be smashed to pieces that many times and not only survive, but actually come back stronger!
Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know! (Wii U)
A few more levels finished on this in co-op. It’s a bit shallow, but is essentially Gauntlet, so I’ll let it go. The only real annoyance that I have, is that you can only quit the dungeon and save the game every five levels, meaning you really don’t want to die in that time or you have to do it all again.
Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)
The new tracks that were available this week are fantastic. Ribbon Road, in particular, goes way above a simple reimagining of the original GBA track by being probably the best looking part of any game ever made ever. Ever. I’ve not unlocked the new 200cc mode yet, so had to put in a bit of work to do that by improving my scores on some of single player mode. Never a chore, mind.
Technically, I’ve completed this. I’m not recording it as completed though, as there’s no real goal – you just explore a purposefully low-res alien city, see the sights and hear the sounds, and that’s it. There’s not even all that much to see, and I took the lot in in well under an hour. There’s no interaction, nothing to collect, no items to collect or anything like that. Still, it was funny and absolutely well worth a wander around. Download it for free here.
It’s a been a little while since I posted, so a round-up of recent gaming adventures…
Hyrule Warriors (Wii U)
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)
Lets 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.
It’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)
Oh 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.
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!
With my Windbag of Woe +2 almost maxed out (I got it to level 28 of 29), I didn’t see much point in pursuing more treasure chests. Not least because I can kill anything in a single hit and they can’t damage me more than 1HP (I have about 160) at a time. Assuming they manage to get a hit in. Which they rarely do.
As a result, I didn’t bother too much getting matching blocks, and just tore through floors 25 to 30, before meeting up with the boss and promptly dying. Not because he could do much damage, as even his flurry attack only dented me about 8HP, but because he can generate a mirror shield which does half the damage you do to him back to yourself. I didn’t realise this, hit him for 300HP, and that did me in. Oops.
My second attempt went much better, and I soon saw him off. I still had to use a health potion mid-fight as he used his shield again (but I didn’t hit him as hard that time), and that heralded the first and last time I’d used any items at all in the entire game. Yeah, it was a bit easy.
There was a sale on recently where Abyss was a stupidly low price of just 44p, but you needed to own UnEpic in order to get it for that price. So I bought UnEpic, and got Abyss. I had no idea what Abyss was, but it was 44p. Plus the £8 or whatever UnEpic was. Erm.
Turns out, it’s a gravity physics cave navigating arcade game. Sort of like the old Spectrum game Thrust, but without having to drag collected cargo around – you just pick it up. It’s pretty good too, but I’ve not played it a great deal yet. The level select screen suggests it has 12 levels but I’m half way through that already, so I hope something else is unlocked afterwards otherwise it’s going to be very short. But then, it was only 44p.
StreetPass Games (3DS)
Although I’ve completed Garden now, I’m still playing it and have grown almost half of the 80 known breeds in the game.
I’m still working through StreetPass Battle, which is very, very slow going. My army is up to almost 300,000 people, but each full set of 10 streetpasses still only gets me about 12,000 at the most, and usually it’s far less than that. I’ve beaten 9 other nations, and the next one was about 350,000 people in its army, so I’m a way off attempting that yet.
In Mansion, I’ve stopped trying to progress as quickly as possible, and am instead attempting to completely fill every floor. I’m on 16 at the moment (of 20, I think?) and apart from the already laid rooms of different colours, I’ve almost filled the floor entirely blue. I’m getting a lot of nice treasure as a result. Only thing is, my weapon kills even bosses in one or two hits and I’m virtually indestructible, so even other weapon types are pointless and substantially less powerful than my Windbag of Woe +2.
Zen Pinball 2 (Wii U)
Just a few games of the Wolverine table, which I’ve barely played before for some reason. I always seem to gravitate towards World War Hulk and Iron Man. I’m second on my friends leaderboard now, although I’m pretty sure the scores must have been reset at some point as the leaderboards seem a bit empty.
Hitman Absolution (PC)
Oh my is this terrible. It doesn’t help that it’s completely uncontrollable with a keyboard and mouse, not least because it seems to need every single key on the keyboard when just a single “use” or “action” button for most actions would suffice.
Add that to the fact that Agent 47 keeps vanishing – literally becoming invisible to me, but crucially not anyone else. See the screenshot for my Guard vs Hollow Man fight.
It’s no Assassin’s Creed, that’s for sure.
Batman: Arkham Origins: Blackgate (3DS)
I started this right after finishing the Wii U Batman Arkham Origins game, mainly because it was a continuation of the story. It looks fantastic, and plays pretty good too even though it’s all in Shadow Complex style 2D rather than 3D like the other games. This does limit your takedown options a bit, but that’s not really a problem.
What I am finding an issue is the controls. For reasons I don’t understand some things that ZR was used for on the Wii U has been mapped to L on the 3DS, which is proving tricky to get used to. Bataranging works differently too, and the map is a from-above floorplan, but the action is from the side with fixed points where it rotates 90 degrees to move into and out of corridors and doors – which makes navigation via the map almost impossible. I’m not far in yet (my SD card died and I couldn’t use my 3DS for a week while I got a new one), so I don’t know if the expected Metroidvania-type backtracking and exploration will be hindered by this or not.
Another one of the Streetpass games completed! In that I became a Master Gardener (by growing 20 different breeds of plant), which enabled the end of game sequence and credits.
After which I was given a new, larger, gardening journal with space for another 60 breeds. And a bigger seed box. And some other stuff.
It seems like there’s still plenty to do. Unfortunately, I don’t think that my garden(s) will house that many plants, even if I buy the extra gardens to make some more storage space. I’m not sure I can cope with having to sell any – I already hate giving them away as part of the job requests!
A while back I bought all the additional Streetpass games, as they were in a sale and I’d done everything Streetpass Quest I & II, and the puzzle thing, had to offer. I’m glad I did too, as they’re all pretty good.
Mii Force (or rather, Streetpass Squad, as it’s called in the UK) is a shoot-’em-up where people you Streetpass become your weapons. Although it’s very short (which is why I’ve completed it, but am nowhere near completion with the other three games), it is very playable and each level is different – some clever gimmicks, some almost puzzle sections (if you want to reach all the areas of the level for treasure), and plenty of bosses.
I did find it very easy, so it’s not exactly Cave level of shootering difficulty, but that doesn’t really matter.
My first ever Steam Sale purchase! Sadly, it isn’t as great as I thought it was going to be. The graphics are flatter and drabber than videos had led me to believe, the roads are samey and short, and you’ve little choice in the routes you have to take.
Still, driving all the cars off the road on the way to Belgium, then running down all the Belgians when you get there, never gets old.
Picross e4 (3DS)
Having completed Picross e3 recently, it was obvious e4 needed to be bought. It is, as you’d expect, just more of the same. More Picross. It has the Mega Picross puzzles from e3, and the Micross puzzles from e2 though, and certainly seems a much longer game than e3. So far the Mega Picross puzzles have been completely doable without resorting to educated guesses, so in all it’s a better game.
And you get 5 bonus puzzles for each of e, e2 and e3 that you already own too. I suspect they’re Mega Picross versions of “normal” Picross puzzles found in those games, as some seem familiar.
I’ve been jumping around the various modes so I can’t really say how much I’ve done so far, but perhaps a quarter overall?
Pullblox World (Wii U)
It’s just like the 3DS version, only with different puzzles. Which is fine. It loses a little from not being in 3D, but gains a bit from a bigger screen. I’m almost certain that the 3DS game didn’t have an unlimited rewind too – it “ran out” – but here you can rewind all the way back to the start of your attempt regardless of how long you’ve spent on it.
It also appears that some of the levels are much bigger than in the original. Some are seemingly too big – as even zooming out doesn’t show half of it.
Apparently Pullblox World has something like 240 puzzles to get through. I’m on the final “page” of puzzles (with 10 on each page) right now, and completing them will total 120, so I’m not sure where the other 120 are…
StreetPass games (3DS)
The four additional StreetPass games are currently on offer (£8.99 for the lot, instead of about £15), so I bought them. I’ve exhaused Quest and Quest II, and apart from the occasional new picture, the puzzle game was finished long ago (and is quickly completed when there is a new one).
I’ve not spent ages on each so far, but some thoughts:
StreetPass Squad is a more than slightly enjoyable side-on shoot ’em up. StreetPass’d Miis provide different weapons for your not-at-all Opa-Opa cloned ship, and the levels are varied and fun.
StreetPass Garden is a surprisingly deep gardening simulator, where Miis help you grow flowers and harvest seeds from them, with new breeds and hybrids and stuff to collect. There are tasks to perform by growing certain types of flower, and all sorts of garden paraphernalia to collect. I hated it at first but it soon opens up into a more enjoyable game.
StreetPass Battle is like a cross between Janken and Risk, where you build up your troops (bolstered by StreetPass hits) and then take on other nations. How well you do is defined by how many troops and what sort of attack they use (in a Janken rock/paper/scissors type way). It’s very slow going though, building up your army to be big enough to defeat the next nation. Unless I’m missing something obvious.
StreetPass Mansion is part puzzle, part RPG where Miis you meet give you pieces of floor which you arrange in the mansion to create rooms. Put multiple pieces of the same colour together to make bigger rooms with better treasures, and put non-matching colours together to trigger battles where you fight ghosts. Your weapons can level up and be upgraded Fallout New Vegas style too. Lay enough floor tiles to reveal the stairs to the next floor. It’s really pretty good.
Nintendo Pocket Football Club (3DS)
Not doing too well in this at the moment. All my players are getting old and I’m unable to train up new players to replace them quickly enough. Also I’ve lost any chance of promotion from “The football icon” league, although I’m almost certain to end up in second place at, so I’m not too worried.
I’ve played a lot of online matches recently, mainly to farm cards, but I’ve been doing surprisingly well. Not enough to rise up the ranks much, but I’m certainly not dropping like I had been previously. Mind you, I’m picking my battles.
Chibi-Robo: Let’s Go Photo! Demo (3DS)
I took a photo of my watch and it turned it into a badge. Then I cleaned up a kitchen with a sort of hoover thing, and chucked a load of rubbish in a robot bin blender thing. I had a conversation with a talking smartphone, and then wandered round a very small part of a very empty museum.
Which was all great. But I’m somewhat confused as to what all the cleaning up is for. One to wait for in a sale, I think. I’ll give it a miss at full price, not least due to having a trillion other games on the go at the moment.
Theme Park (Mac)
Bought as part of the GOG sale, in a Bullfrog games pack. It’s as janky as I recall (although I mostly played the Amiga 1200 version, back in the day), slightly more so due to running under Dosbox.
I couldn’t remember how to research new things for ages, so only had the same few rides and shops for several game years. Then I remembered, but by then half my rides had exploded, everyone was too hungry and thirsty to stay, and nobody liked Vomit Park any more.
Then I screwed up salary negotiations and all my staff went on strike, during which the rest of my rides blew up.