This is certainly an upside to working for a school. Half term. The workload drops, leaving in its wake a glorious time for respite (code for getting drunk) and recovery from the traditional October man flu (code for hangover). This for me, means getting in some well deserved gaming sessions. Well, why not? A week after being back, here’s what I played over half term…
Dragons Dogma - PS3 
A glorious Monster Hunter-esque game from Capcom. RPG with lots of mythical creatures to slay, and an interesting online character share function. Being able to latch on to larger creatures to continue the onslaught is especially good fun.
Super Mario 3D Land - 3DS 
Typical Mario 3D outing for our plumber friend, with glorious visuals and interesting use of the 3D. More Mario 64 than Mario Galaxy, which is a good thing for a handheld game. Another solid platformer.
Legend of Zelda: OOT - 3DS 
Great remake that I didn’t really give the time it deserved through half term. A game I have played many times on the N64, it’s great to see the old girl with this fantastic graphical overhaul on the 3DS. Intrinsic to the genre, OOT is a long game, with long, albeit amazing dungeons - especially with the new look. As such I feel the 3DSXL isn’t really the best platform for it, as my hands aren’t up to the long gaming sessions OOT deserves using the XL. I doubt people playing on a regular 3DS have the same issue, and it is still an amazing game and one that I will of course keep going back to. Much like the original. 
Dead Or Alive: Dimensions - 3DS 
A really satisfying beat-em-up and an absolute bargain. Less than a £10a from ShopTo DOA:D has some really good examples of the 3D effect and it’s got enough modes to keep you interested far beyond what the price tag suggests! It’s easy enough to string together some good looking combos, but challenging enough when pulling off some of the more tactical and animated moves. Easy to pick up, difficult to master, and perfect for handheld gaming. 
Counter Strike - Steam
I’ve always been one to keep my gaming console based, and like to keep my computer as a computer. Having been persuaded to give Steam a go by a buddy, I grabbed counterstrike in a legendary Steam sale. I like the fps genre, but I’m not one to play the latest COD for 48 hours straight on release either. I enjoy counterstrike as it’s great to play with mates, and drops or the gumpf that you just don’t need. Everyone knows in this generation, the FPS is all about the multiplayer. Which is pretty much all counterstrike is. Start a game with a few mates and it’ll easily suck away an entire evening. Good stuff. 
Star Wars, Knights of the old republic - Steam
Yay yay yay yay yay! A good Star Wars game! And it’s an RPG! And it’s by Bioware! And I can play it on my mac! All of these things make me a very happy bunny. It’s a great game, and reminds me in no small part of Dragon Age Origins, which I have also recently played and is also awesome. The battle system is ace, the equipment is ace, it looks fantastic - especially as it was originally released in 2003, and the locations, characters and languages are truly excellent. Less of a review and more me gushing about a Star Wars game, go and play this if you haven’t. Now. 
Pokemon White 2 - DS
The first direct sequel in the Pokemon series. A polished formulaic Pokemon adventure (or at least so far, i’m about 3 badges in) which looks fantastic and has a few new features to keep it fresh. I’m not really a fan of these features but no doubt they’ll appear to younger fans, such as the movie studio, where we can make our Pokemon and trainer star in short themed movies; and the avenue, a nifty networked row of shops that I haven’t quite fathomed yet - but it seems that networked trainers can be invited to view or setup stalls in your avenue. This might get an edit once i’ve played further - though the rest of the game seems the usual Pokemon affair. Pick a starter, work through gyms to collect badges, bump into some diabolical team, elite four, collect em all. And I like it. It looks much the same as Black/White - stunning. And there seems to be a much lesser feeling of pressure to progress from town to town, and gym to gym, encouraging the player to explore more and take their time. This is a good thing, and hopefully grinding will take more of a back seat as this naturally occurs through exploration of various areas. Anyone who fails to play this, purely because they see it as a kids game, is only losing out on an extremely polished collect-em-up rpg adventure. Shame on them. 
Thanks for reading! abbott_56 (originally posted November 12 2012)

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