Goldeneye 007 (Wii): COMPLETED!

Goldeneye 007 (it’s important to add the 007, apparently) was another of those games I picked up cheap from Morrisons just after Christmas. I’m not sure why I chose to play it, but I did. And it was surprisingly good. Was? Yes, because I completed it. It was quite easy and short.

Bad points first, then. The default controls (with the remote and nunchuck) are rubbish. Thankfully, I have a swanky black Classic Controller Pro, and that works much better. Secondly, Pierce Brosnan has been replaced with cardboard actor and presence-less tool Daniel Craig. He’s so useless I found myself siding with Trevelyan, and was actually a bit disappointed that I had to kill him. Oh well. Finally, the use of the smart phone to hack and photograph was woefully underutilised and could have added so much more to the game.

Thankfully, none of that was really very important, and I enjoyed pretty much the whole game despite them. Even the took-me-by-surprise QTE bits, which I really had no idea were in the game. The action was fast, I didn’t get any slowdown, and some of the levels looked utterly fantastic. Juggling soldiers with the rocket launcher on one of the final levels was amusing too. I completely forgot it was “only” a Wii game. Definitely worth the fiver I paid for it, and probably worth several times that, in fact.

I haven’t played multiplayer (partly as I know it’ll be full of cheats – all Wii games are online), but I expect it would be ACE, simply so you can shoot Daniel Craig.

escapeVektor (Wii): COMPLETED!

LOOK AT IT. JUST. LOOK.

Now, explain to me why Nnooo hasn’t sold eleventybrazillian copies. Why? Because nobody knows how to access WiiWare stuff on the Wii. Or even that WiiWare stuff exists. Or that their Wii can even connect to the internet. Or even that their Wii can play games that are not Wii Sports and Mario Kart.

Which is a huge shame, because games like escapeVektor exist and are AWESOME, yet only seven people know about them. Of this I tell you: Go and connect your Wii up to the internet, open up the Wii Shop, and buy escapeVektor with just 500 Wii points. JUST 500. That’s what, £3.60 or something. You’ve probably lost more than that down the back of the sofa or swallowed it as a child.

And why should you do this thing? I already told you – because it is AWESOME.

I got it. And completed it. And it was (I think I may have mentioned) AWESOME. It plays a bit like Painter, only with switches and different sorts of baddies (ones that follow a set path, others that hunt you down). Filling in “cells” (rectangles where you’ve covered all the lines that make it up) gives you bombs that can wipe out baddies that comes close to you, and filling in lines gives you a speed boost. Simple controls, simple concept, excellently designed levels, and really, really good.

I’ve still a few levels left (there’s a set of bonus levels you can unlock for owning other Nnooo titles – I’ve got Pop), some of which were skipped as I found alternative routes through the “map”, so there’s a bit more for me to do yet.

AWESOME.

Kirby’s Fun Pak (Wii): COMPLETED!

Well yeah y’see I actually completed this a while ago, and not today. Because today I played it to complete what I thought was the final game mode I’d unlocked, only to find that I’d not just played that mode already, but completed it as well.

So it was a somewhat short play session consisting of a quick load of each mode just to make sure I’d done them all, and I had. So, er, hurrah!

Then I played Kirby 64 for a bit instead. It’s not that good.

Stuff wot I are bin playing

I’ve not posted in a while, aside from to mention Yakuza 3 and Old World Blues, but I have still been playing games. Here’s a round-up of what’s been going down over the last few weeks:

Professor Layton and the Lost Future (DS)

I actually completed this at the start of the year, but as I did with the previous two games once the story was done I left the remaining puzzles until near the release of the following game. So, with that due in November, I went back to Lost Future. I’ve already mopped up all the story puzzles, the sticker book, the parrot delivery puzzles, and the toy car, and have done most of the bonus extra puzzles too.

As usual, the puzzles I struggle with are the slide-a-block-through-other-blocks ones, one of which (having checked online afterwards to see how poorly I did) can be completed in just 9 moves. Took me almost 3500. Yes.

Urban Champion 3D (3DS)

It’s a weak title, sure. It’s certainly not a “NES classic”, but somehow, it’s addictive. I’ve made it up to (I think) Area Champion, but then died. You don’t seem to lose your rank when you die though – you just have to start from the first round again.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (3DS)

The only 2D Zelda game I’ve not completed. In fact, I’ve barely played it. But I put some time in and once you forget it’s a Zelda game and look at it as a Metroidvania game with an overworld and semi-random, realtime battles, it makes a lot more sense. It’s brutally hard though!

Metroid (3DS)

Another one of the NES games us 3DS “ambassadors” got for free. It’s hard. Like, really hard. And there’s no map. I sort of like it, but the difficulty is really putting me off.

Balloon Fight / Mario & Yoshi / NES Open / Wrecking Crew (3DS)

Other NES games that I’ve played for an hour or so each, but not really invested too much time in yet. Wrecking Crew is ace, and NES Open is still a pretty competent golf game.

Let’s Golf 3D (3DS)

Enjoying this. The 3D is pointless (as in, it barely has any effect at all), but it doesn’t really matter. I’m about 35% through Career Mode now, and am starting to get used to the courses. The arctic and aztec ones are particularly difficult! I like the different game modes too, like Closest To The Pin and such.

10 Second Run (3DS)

It’s actually DSiWare, but I don’t have a DSi so it falls under 3DS. So there. Loved it at first, with its super-quick runny-jumpiness, but sadly – just like other games of its ilk (N+, Super Meat Boy) – it became far too hard to be enjoyable. I’ve completed about 38 of the 50 levels, and although I know there are 5 or 6 more I could probably manage with perseverance, some just seem completely beyond me. Boo!

Bomberman Live! (360)

I was online this evening at the same time as some ugvm/BETEO people who were playing this, and I thought I’d join in hoping my useless “broadband” connection could take the pace. It held up for the first few rounds, but by the end of the first tournament the lag was causing me to blow myself up far too frequently, and by the end of the second tournament I was been told over the headset that I’d died before I actually noticed on-screen. Rubbish.

And I’d have beaten all-comers if it wasn’t for Sky! *shakes fist*

Kirby’s Fun Pak (Wii)

The SNES game on the Wii, to be more accurate. Mainly played because my daughter sometimes tells me to play Kirby games, and so this appeases her, but it is good anyway. Only one game mode left to complete, I think, though.

Is that everything I’ve played recently? Probably. Except for stuff I’ve played briefly. Like, but not limited to: Outrun Online Arcade (360), Sonic the Hedgehog (360), Super Mario All-Stars (Wii), Muscle March (Wii), and various iPad “room escape” games. And the usual Words With Friends, Hanging With Friends and Carcassonne matches too, of course.

Kirby’s Adventure (Wii): COMPLETED!

This was pretty much forced upon me. I mean, I like Kirby. Especially Kirby’s Adventure for the NES. But playing it wasn’t really my choice. I was made to by my two year old daughter. “Daddy, play Kirby” she said. She likes it when I play Kirby because she likes to point out all the doors you have to go through, and find the ‘martoes for me.

I played some last weekend, and the rest this weekend, completing it today. Again.

I then had to buy more Kirby games from the Wii shop (I got Kirby 64 and Kirby’s Fun Pak, of which I’ve played the latter a bit already) to play next time she asks.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn (Wii): COMPLETED!

The is the game I’ve been playing most since completing InFamous, and today I completed it.

It wasn’t especially short, but it was very easy. I don’t think it’s even possible to die – I certainly didn’t, and even falling off the bottom of the screen or losing all your beads doesn’t kill you, so I doubt you can.

That doesn’t mean it was bad though. I loved it! The art style is amazing, the levels bright and varied with more great ideas per level than most games have in total. There’s also still a lot to do – more levels to unlock, levels to 100%, hidden things to find, but for now, it’s complete.

Sonic Colours (Wii): COMPLETED!

Look. I wasn’t going to buy this at all. I hate recent Sonic games. I don’t want to play them. Somehow, however, I end up doing so anyway. And here I am having completed another one.

Firstly, I was pleasantly surprised because I didn’t instantly hate it. I didn’t love it either, mind, but it wasn’t completely offensive to my senses. In fact, some bits were quite good. There were some great proper platforming sections, some nice 2D superfast Sonic running and looping bits, and, most impressively, some utterly gorgeous graphics. Really. One of the best looking Wii games, and, perhaps, one of the best looking games this generation.

Sadly, it’s not all lovely. There’s not enough good to offset the bad, however spiffing the graphics are. As with other Sonic titles, the game is ruined by overuse of Sonic’s homing attack. In the Sonic Adventure games, it was a means of making 3D work for Sonic. Now, it just turns large parts of levels into QTE button pressing – made worse by all the timing needed for on-rails jumping, skidding under things, and so on. It’s not platforming – it’s rhythm action with no rhythm.

And the bosses! Far too easy, and repeated across levels! Lazy. And the wisps? Annoying. And why does a Sonic game need 5 different buttons to press? One. That’s all. Two at a push. And the cut scenes with Sonic’s smack-talk and the awful conversations needed to go. Rubbish.

If the game was better to play, I’d be all over the red ring hunting in each level (there are five to collect in each, and, Lego game style, you can only reach some once you’ve progressed further into the game and returned to earlier levels) as it’s an OCD dream. But I wouldn’t find it fun – just annoying. Shame.

Maybe Sonic Generations will be better? Of course it won’t be.

Games I’ve Played In The Last Week Or Two

Haven’t had an update post in a while, and I’ve been trying out lots of different games over the last couple of weeks and not made mention of them here, so here’s a roundup:

Say What You See (iOS)
A series of pictures with hidden clues to game titles, films, etc. Like a cross between Where’s Wally? and a cryptic crossword. There are number of “canvases”, and I’ve been playing the Arcade Games one. Completed it, but some of them were a complete pig. Like, which arcade game is denoted by a picture of a goat’s head on a piece of paper? No idea? Exactly.

Super Mario All-Stars (Wii)
I got this for my birthday. Yeah, it’s a bit cheeky being nothing more than the SNES Mario All-Stars cartridge on a Wii disc, but it is a collection of some of the best platformers ever. So there.

Little Big Planet (PS3)
One of the free “Sorry our security was crap, everyone – here, have some old games for free ‘cos everyone has stopped buying them now anyway” games from Sony. It took three thousand years to download, and I’ve played the tutorial level and a couple of other levels. Thoughts: it looks nice, but controls horribly. The into and out-of the screen moving (especially when jumping up) is rubbish. Sackboy’s physics feel wrong. The pop-up menu to access stickers and stuff is annoying, particularly when the camera zooms into your face meaning you can’t see where on the playfield you’re putting your stickers. I might get used to it all, but, y’know, I still have the woeful PS3 controller to contend with.

James Pond 2: Robocod (PS1 on PS3)
Free for the duration of my free month’s worth of PS+. And an utterly horrible, bastardised version of one of my favourite platformers ever – it’s even worse than the DS version. I never want to play it again.

Street Gangs (NES on Wii)
It’s like playing a retro version of Scott Pilgrim! 🙂 Lovely game. Not far in though.

Muscle March (Wii)
Why didn’t I get this not-gay, manly game for manly men a long time ago? It’s like Hole in the Wall, only less camp! Amazing.

Lasercat (360)
The ugvm people recommended this Indie game as a sort of Jet Set Willy-alike. I can see what they mean, but the sparseness of the rooms (many of which are completely devoid of, well, anything) and the lack of things to collect (only 20 keys), in addition to the silly trivia questions, put me off a bit. I think I’d have enjoyed it more if JSW hadn’t been mentioned. It’s not bad, but not what I wanted.

Contra (360)
This XBLA game was on offer at 200 Microsoft Moon Points a few weeks ago, so I bought it. Never really was a fan of Contra (or “Probotector”, as I always knew it), but it’s fun, if totally impossible. Managed to get to the boss of level 3 before I ran out of credits.

Lego Pirates of the Caribbean (360): COMPLETED!

My, that was a lot shorter than Harry Potter. Probably, oooh, 8 or 9 hours? And remember that I was stuck on the very first level for almost two hours.

There were some long levels, but overall it was certainly shorter than Harry Potter. That’s probably mainly due to no between-level story and lesson bits.

In terms of the “whole game cleanup”, I’ve already got half of the Red Hats, including the 2x, 8x and a second 2x multipliers, meaning studs are now in abundance so I can buy up characters and other red hats as and when they become available. I’ve also gone back and done the two levels I missed True Pirate on, and have done everything in the hub (which, as I expected, is very small indeed) I can for the time being.

I’ve had the game “bug out” a few more times too. The boss fight with Barbosa, I got stuck at twice as he didn’t move when he was supposed to, got stuck FIVE TIMES on the boss fight with Davy Jones for the same reason, and the game has completely frozen my Xbox at least three times now. Still, it’s no huge hassle providing nothing permanently broken comes along.

Now for the 100%!

Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Wii): COMPLETED!

Muramasa: The Demon BladeI’m on a bit of a roll these last couple of weeks, yes? Another game completed today – Muramasa.

The first thing to say about this game is: it is beautiful. I’ve not seen another game with such impressive, detailed, smoothly animated graphics in a long, long time. The animation, particularly with respect to back- and foregrounds is outstanding. Corn sways in the breeze, blossom falls from the trees… detailed and lovely.

The game itself isn’t quite so special, but is fun to play. The controls are a little unorthadox (and I’m playing on the classic controller, not the remote and nunchuk, so lord knows how that works) in that most attacks with your sword are pulled off by holding attack and pressing a direction. Unless you want a sweeping low blow, in which case you hold the direction and press attack. You do get used to it though, and you can perform some quite acrobatic aerial attacks – useful on the boss battles for certain!

Your swords (you swap between three) also all have a “secret art” special move, which varies from spin attacks to summons to vortex creation. These drain a soul bar when you use them, but (again) are handy on bosses.

Throughout the game you level up as you gain XP, and higher levels let you forge better swords. This seems great at first, but you soon realise that all the enemies seem to level up to match – so ninja that seem to have 100HP when you’re dishing out 20HP of damage per-blow later in the game seem to have 1000HP when you’re dealing 200HP a time. It makes it all seem a bit pointless.

Another slight complaint is that there is a lot of repetition. You fight the same baddies over and over and over and over, with little variation. Many of the areas you pass though are the same to look at as well, albeit perhaps differently lit or with different types of baddie.

In all though, it’s a lot of fun. I’ve completed it with the girl (Momohime) and I’ve started again with the boy (Kisuke) which will supposedly unlock a different ending once I’ve forged a new blade only possible when both stories are complete.

Magician Lord (Wii): COMPLETED!

Rubbish. Worst game ever? At this moment, it feels like it. I know it isn’t, because I’ve played worse, but it must be close.

Magician Lord is a terrible excuse for a platform shooter, where your poorly animated wizard blindly stumbles around badly designed mazey levels looking for the end boss (who is usually in the last place left to look in), whilst trying to shoot or avoid rubbish looking baddies with three frames of animation each, but failing to because it is usually impossible.

Sometimes you’ll pick up a power-up that turns you into a dragon or a ninja or some other creature drawn by a four-year old, but after two hits you lose it again, and lose it you will for the reasons given above. And I’ve not even mentioned the unavoidable deaths when you’re climbing a ladder, or when things materialise out of nowhere, with no warning, and kill you.

The best worst thing about the game is the section on the final level where you have to cross a chasm using moving platforms, only floating above you are ball monsters (I can’t tell what they actually are because of how badly drawn they are) that swoop in and knock or shoot you off the platforms or out of the sky as you try to jump across or just jump to kill them. Which you invariably can’t do because you’re too slow and the game has a stupid jump arc which seems to change randomly, so you usually miss your shot or your landing platform. Or both. Or don’t miss, but get knocked off. Even though I had infinite continues, I swear I was close to using them all up.

Actually, the best worst bit is even worse that that, and comes soon afterwards at the end boss. Yes – this is a spoiler for the end of the game, but frankly, if you can be bothered to play to the end after this slating and get past the Moving Platforms Of Hideous Gameplay, you really deserve to have the ending ruined for you.

Not only does the game suffer from the SuckySuck(TM) Bit (which you should know by now is a Boss Rush), but it also suffers from that other Irritating and Unnecessary Gaming Cliché: when the boss dies, and is dead, and you think you’ve won, but he then transforms into something else. Sigh.

And I’ve not even mentioned the terrible, terrible speech and dialogue sections: “You are great guy! You must die soon.”. No, really.

If this game were a person, I’d both punch and kick it in the face.

Burning Fight (Wii): COMPLETED!

SNK’s not-a-clone-of-Final-Fight is, amazingly, a clone of Final Fight. Perhaps Streets of Rage instead. Or maybe both. Sadly, it’s not as good as either of these, despite the lovely big sprites.

There’s nothing specifically wrong with it, and I suspect that most of the issues are just down to “that’s how things used to be” with regards to side scrolling beat-em-ups, but it did suffer from the SuckySuck(TM) Bit From Hell where all the bosses were not only lined up at the end of the game, but several times, often in pairs. Urgh.

I’m sure Final Fight and Streets of Rage suffer from this too, but – well – they’re not crap 🙂

Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers (Wii): COMPLETED!

This was another game I bought today, and (it would appear) played a lot. So much so, that I completed it.

It wasn’t hard, and it was somewhat repetitive. And the waggle-to-fight controls ruined my wrists. And there weren’t many types of zombie. And it felt a lot like the fighting bits of No More Heroes, and only those bits.

But! It was fun. Somehow. I’m sure it wasn’t entirely down to the main character’s skimpy bikini, feather boa and cowboy hat ensemble. Certainly worth the ten quid I paid for it, anyway. I might even return and complete it with one of the other characters too. You never know.

Metal Slug (Wii): COMPLETED!

I had a bit of a spending spree in town today, and bought 6 Wii games. One of which was SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1, and on that (amongst other things) was Metal Slug. Lovely, lovely Metal Slug.

Being the original, of course, it’s nowhere near as funny (or outright silly) as the later games – no aliens or zombies here. It was also a lot easier than I remember the series being too, because although I used a few continues, I’m pretty sure I used to need zwelventybazillion of them.

So yeah, I completed it. Yay!

Cave Story (Wii)

Oh how long I have waited for you! Yes yes, I know the PC version (and others) have been out – and free – for aaaaaages, but there hasn’t been a version yet for anything I own and use for games. Announced for WiiWare back in, what, 412AD?, Cave Story was hit by delay after delay, finally coming out in the UK on Friday. And oh is it lovely.

Retro graphics, slightly broken translated dialogue, bizarre plot about bunnies and robots and deadly red flowers, and simply spiffing platforming and puzzley almost RPG-y goodness. Such greatness means I’ve reached almost the end of the game already, but am struggling with the end boss. At least, I think it’s the end boss.

Hurrah for ace indie quirky old-style games!