Again? Yeah sorry. A very quick week off full of friends, fun, fermented drink and of course, fames... Err games rather. Here's what I played and what I thought during the May 2013 half term.
Alien: Colonial Marines
Sure, it's nothing like we were promised. And even then, it's far from perfect. But £8 preowned and a mate in your living room (or even in theirs with the withcraft that is online play) and it all comes together in a good co-operative romp through an averageish yet somehow compelling story in an Alien universe. Co-op is definitely the best bit of this game. Buy it cheap, find a mate; enjoy.
I dislike paying for a download, especially on Nintendo's E-Shop as they're normally far too overpriced, and I like having the physical copy. Lately though, they've nailed it a few times. Crimson Shroud was on for less than a £5a and is a brilliant traditional spin on a modern video game RPG. You can see my blog for a more detailed look, but if you like RPG's, gorgeous artwork and don't mind reading an intricately written story, go buy Crimson Shroud. Go, go!!!
Okay, I haven't played this much yet, but what I have has been awesome. The opening is a superb animation video where the newly elected president of New Japan suits up in a mech military weapons suit to go out and defeat the enemy. Or something like that. Controls take some getting used to and at first were uncomfortable - the circle pad moves, the L button enables strafing and the stylus is used for all aiming and firing. Link targets together for score multipliers etc. Beautifuly presented and innovative (I think I've used the stylus on like 2 games on the 3DS where it wasn't just for the menu) and very Japanese. A fun shooter I look forward to getting stuck into.
This demo has made me want to preorder this game, and if they announce a nice collectors edition I probably will. A strategy game in the same vein as Fire Emblem but with more colourful looks, including characters spanning universes from Namco Bandai, Capcom and Sega.
The battle scenes look stunning, akin to old Street Fighter 2 graphics with crazy animations and attacks. If the story is decent, this will be one to beat this year.
Pain, is completely and utterly mad, looks fairly dated and it seemed everything was downloadable content when I played it with my buddy, Matt. You select a character, then, using a giant catapult, proceed to fling your character at anything and everything in the colourful, cartoony and humorous environments. This then translates into points, which go through the roof the more you destory and when you get combos. I can't imagine playing this on my own, but with multiplayer modes which feel a bit reminiscent of classic Tony Hawk games, this ludicrous game is perfect for some local Vs matches. Picked up for a £5a too.
Mario Kart Wii seems to get a bad rap compared to other MK games, but I love it. It's the Nintendo secret recepie of easy to learn, hard to master, meaning anyone at your party can play. It's also something that makes all racing exciting - unpredictable. The sheer amount of back to front weapons means that even not so good players have a chance of winning surprising the veterans. You can also stick a classic controller in if you like.
Bought towards the end of the half term break, I've only had chance to play through a couple of tournaments. I'm impressed so far though. It looks ace and plays really well, including the drift controls. I find Ridge Racer to be just the right mix of realism and arcade to make for a fun portable experience. The lack of online features is a shocking oversight, though not a deal breaker. Another one to try and pick up cheap.
Ashamed to say I've been playing not the Game Boy Color version, but the recently released E-Shop download. I've never played this game, or it's sister game Oracle Of Ages before, and as a big Zelda fan I'm looking forward to getting stuck in with this. It looks like Link's Awakening DX which I loved, so I have high hopes for this one.
What a game! A PS1 gem, the perfect ratio of Mario Kart to Diddy Kong Racing, but with Crash Bandicoot characters. I'm amazed to see how well visually this game holds up - even on a 42inch HD screen (via the ps3) it looks pretty damn good. Still plays incredibly well and was an absolute bargain at a car boot sale.
Marvel Vs Capcom 3
Quick, colourful, and with Marvel AND Capcom characters! Genius! Plus, I got a shiny collectors tin via eBay which is beautiful. Strange tag team mechanics with outlandish attacks which plays really well. Plus you can be Hulk. Yeah!
So, even in the big bad world of work, I'm still getting my half terms to play through some awesome games. And I know some of these are not 'technically' good, but as long as they give enough fun for the outlay, then I think they've all been a success. Just 7 weeks til the next holidays now...