A recently turned 30 going on 13 year old just trying to make my way in an increasingly confusing world.
I'm a massive geek - film nut; retro gamer; board gamer; video gamer; Lego fan; Sci-fi enthusiast; theatre goer; comedian lover; health nut; avid walker; whiskey drinker; chilli eater and an obsessive collector of many things.
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I bought the Crimson Shroud on a whim, having played some Level 5 stuff before and because it was on offer (and still is at time of writing) on the Nintendo 3DS e-shop.
I'm a fan of the RPG genre, but have never really delved into the world of tabletop gaming before, apart from a little flurry with Munchin Quest. The Crimson Shroud is a return to the very traditional idea of turn based, dice rolling role playing games in the style of a video game. And I feel it does rather well.
The game plonks your character figurines, Giauque, Lippi and Frea in a gorgeous palace ruin. The first few battles serve as tutorials, showing the turn based basics and how actual dice rolls, which are done with the stylus, have effects throughout the battle.
Furthermore, rather than characters levelling up, the game focusses on improving your existing gear, which you pick up from defeated enemies and then can meld together to improve further. The only downside to this I can see is that if you struggle on a particular enemy in the game, grinding doesn't guarantee you improve, as you can only meld weapons of the same type together to improve them. You could be waiting a long time to pick up an item that you need.
That being said, this wasn't a massive issue, and I actually quite enjoyed going back to some earlier battles to collect things.
The presentation of the game is flawless, and has been compared to playing through a graphic novel. The environments, characters and enemies are stunning to behold, and I felt it refreshing to read through the story in such a way as I imagine you would playing Dungeons and Dragons. There is little animation, apart from the odd figurine wobble upon giving and receiving attacks, but this just adds to the tabletop aesthetic.
The story is intricately crafted as well, with genuinely tense moments and a surprising and inventive conclusion.
The play through wasn't massively long, my first play through has just clocked in at over 9 hours. For the money I think that's a good length really, though in my run I did have to backtrack for quite some time just picking up and melding gear.
It's refreshing to play a shorter RPG, as now I'm regrettably growing up and acquiring more responsibilities, it's definitely harder to find the time to invest in most RPGs, yet I still long for the style and story work that Crimson Shroud offers by the bucket load.
Crimson Shroud is quite a specialist game, so if you're not into RPG's and aren't averse to a bit of reading in your video games, then it's a hugely enjoyable experience that is worth the money.
SuperPlay issue 48 is a collaboration between members of the original SuperPlay writers to mark the arrival of the new Nintendo SNES mini, released with October's issue of Retro Gamer magazine.
Fittingly, the cover is adorned for Fox McCloud from the Star Fox games, as one of the SNES minis oddities that hype was building for is the inclusion of Star Fox 2, originally axed for release on the original hardware due to ongoing changes in the gaming industry as a whole at the time. It's a lovely cover by Will Overton who also did a lot of the original art for the magazine originally.
The magazine goes on to look at the hardware of the SNES mini, and give a review of every title included on the console. Rather than review the games as they're remembered, the writers have reviewed the games from today's benchmarks, for example looking at the original Star Fox now is definitely more jarring an experience than the jaw dropping one it would've been back in '93.
Coming up to the new year the internet is ripe with posts about the best releases from the year, but for ordinary humans like us you may only be playing, reading or watching stuff that may have been out for some time already. So, here's a brief collection of my favourites from 2017. Let me know what you think!
Board Game Handheld Game - Metroid: Samus Returns My favourite handheld game this year has definitely been on my trusty 3DS. Metroid: Samus Returns is a glorious homage to Metroid 2 on the game boy, utilising the same setting and story but with revamped graphics, sound and gameplay. New abilities and equipment keep the tried and tested Metroidvania gameplay fresh, and I found this really easy to dip in and out of after gaps away from playing. It's quite difficult in places especially with my big hands around the smaller form of the regular 3DS.
I also plumped for the collector’s edition with this game, which is an absolut…
Handheld Zelda games are better than console Zelda games. It's just true. The immense scale of a grand and epic adventure typical of a Zelda game, squashed down into just as an exciting jaunt that fits in your pocket (almost, looking at you DMG-01) for you to play whenever you damn well please - how could this not be better than the equivalent half an hour bursts of game play you get after the inevitable family argument for control of the TV...
Of course, the games are absolutely stellar quality too. And I don't mean 'for handheld games' but as video games in their own rights! Often, developers strip back the quality and features in a portable title due to a number of factors; maybe budget, hardware restrictions or simply time constraints during production. Nintendo never seem to do that, devoting just as sufficient resources to their mobile output as they do their home system catalog. Often, the fact that the games are releasing on a handheld give the developer a ch…