For any of you that watched the Microsoft Conference today you might be feeling some mixed emotions when it comes to the new Xbox. For any of you that didn’t allow me to feel you in. The new generation of the system is called the “Xbox One” a rather strange name when you think of it given that this is the third Xbox in the series rather than the first. Although the PS4’s design has yet to be unveiled the Xbox One’s certainly was and here is a picture of it below.
Looks rather like an old VCR doesn’t it? They certainly haven’t gone for the stylish sleek look it seems, although having a massive fan and claiming that the console is pretty much silent. Is it just me or does the Kinect sensor look a lot bulkier as well? Both console and sensor have gone for the “rough-edged” approach rather than having nice curved edges, so the Xbox One certainly doesn’t score any points for looks … but looks aren’t really what we’re interested in are they?
Microsoft has tried to go for an all-in-one home entertainment system, and they should certainly be commended for trying. However is this really what people want? Sony have added a few social features to the PlayStation 4 but at the heart of it are the games. We are talking about a video games console after all not a everything in one box show. I think Microsoft have tried a little too hard trying to incorporate literally everything into the console forgetting that there main target audience is of course the gamers that are probably far more likely to want to play their games rather than control what films they want to watch and what TV to see, after all, don’t we already have DVD players and Sky/Freeview etc for that?
I wish I could say things get better but to me it doesn’t really seem like it does. The Kinect Sensor has now upgraded from an optional extra to a mandatory add-on. So basically what this means is that if you’ve got a fully functional Xbox One console but your Kinect Sensor breaks you’re in for a pretty rough ride. If you want to carry on playing you’ll have to go out and buy a new sensor. Considering currently these are anything over £100 (and you can probably expect the new improved version to be a lot more) this doesn’t look very appealing to me. Rather than keeping one thing from breaking you’re now going to have to contend with two separate items and let’s face it, the sensor looks a lot more flimsy than the console itself does.
What also may be worrying to some is that the console and Kinect are “always on” and “always listening”. While it may be handy and pretty cool to begin with to simply walk in and say “Xbox On” and have your console turn itself on this doesn’t bode well for privacy concerns. If the system is always on and always listening who knows what data it could be gathering – anyone seen the film or read the book 1984? With the Kinect supposedly being accurate enough to “read your heartbeat while you’re exercising” and able to distinguish your voice from others it must at least record some information to be able to do this.
Some good and bad news when it comes to games themselves, especially with regards to pre-owned games. There was a rumour going around that Microsoft and Sony might have implemented a strategy to effectively ban any pre-owned games from running on their systems. Sony thankfully did no such and thing, and Microsoft haven’t either … well not entirely anyway. It seems like all games must be installed to the HD and linked to a Live account. However if someone wants to install the same disc onto say another account then you have to pay a fee. This is exactly the same case for if you bought a pre-owned game as such game would already be linked elsewhere to the previous owners account. So what really everyone is asking is how much is the fee? This is going to be a horrendous mistake if you are charged loads extra to play a game your brother/sister own just so you can have it on your account or for any games that are pre-owned. Make the fee too high and you could effectively have pre-owned games that are more expensive than the new editions and that could kill of any pre-owned Xbox One games for Microsoft.
Of course Microsoft have yet to release the price for the Xbox One or even an expected release date so stay tuned!
If you get frustrated when you can’t figure out the answer, walkthroughs are a great way to find out where you’re going wrong. So for any of you who are stuck on a rather puzzling app known as Endless Escape below is a complete walkthrough for all levels complete with pictures when required.
Stage 1 – Simply click on the door to open it, then again to go through it. Stage 2 – Touch the pot to move it to the side and pick up the key that was underneath it so it’s now in your inventory. Click it again and then click the door to open it. Stage 3 – Pick up the rock, and touch it inside your inventory before clicking the glass cabinet to smash it. The key will fall out. Stage 4 – Spell out the word “Africa” with the letters, and the map will move up revealing the key. Stage 5 – Click on the first box until it turns yellow, then the second box until it turns blue, and finally the third until it turns red. The key will appear in the flowerpot. Stage 6 – Rotate the boxes until the pieces of wires are all connected and the safe is open, revealing the key.
Stage 7 – Tilt your device to the left until the ball flicks on the left light switch, then tilt to the right until it switches on the right light switch, allowing you to click on the door to open it. Stage 8 – Pick up the paintbrush and the pot of paint, and combine them in your inventory. Click on the combination, then rub inbetween the two doors to reveal a third door which you can enter through.
Stage 9 – Click on the question marks until they reveal the number 16. Stage 10 – There are 6 differences – the harp has been flipped, the panther has an extra paw on display, the drawer handle is a different colour, the plate (above the door) has changed colours, the book on the shelf is missing and the door handle is further away from the keyhole. Once all of these are clicked, the images will slide to reveal the door that you can go through.
Stage 11 – Touch the plant to move it, revealing a packet of cat food. Then, touch the painting, which will release a pair of scissors. Combine these, then touch the food bowl to pour the food into it, revealing the key. Stage 12 – Do not touch the screen or move your device until the timer has finished and the red light has turned green, then the door will unlock. Stage 13 – If you turn your device on its side, you will see that the coloured grids spell out “1245″, so touch the question marks until they read out this number. Stage 14 – Pick up the pair of scissors from behind the desk and use these to cut down the painting from the wall. Then, tap the door four times and it will open. Stage 15 – Click on the options menu in the bottom right corner of the screen, and the key will be waiting for you. Stage 16 – Rest your device on a flat surface until the meter is full and the door is unlocked. Stage 17 – Touch the chair and a piece of cloth will fall. Collect this, and use it to rub the genie’s lamp until blue smoke appears, along with the key. Stage 18 – Click “Endless Escape” in the bottom left corner, and a man with a glass of wine will appear. The key is inside his wine glass. Stage 19 – Shake your device until an apple falls, and pick it up. Do this for all four apples on the tree and then set them all on the scales until they outweigh the rock. Stage 20 – Scroll to the right, going past six more doors with the troll face above them and the blank wall until you reach this door, which will allow you to enter.
Stage 21 – Pick up the saw, nails, hammer, bulb and watering can. Add the bulb to the pot and use the watering can on it so that it turns into a tree. Use the saw to cut down this tree, and collect the wood. Combine the nails and the wood, then the hammer and you will have built a desk. Place this desk on the floor beneath the key so that you can reach it. Stage 22 – Pick up the screwdriver from under the drawers and the pliers from the plant pot. Use the screwdriver to open the power box and cut the wires with the pliers. Then, insert the number “0812″ and the key will appear.
Stage 23 – Click on the first two semi circles until they are red and yellow. Do the same for the next two until they are yellow and blue, and again for the last pair until they are blue and red, and collect the key. Stage 24 – Touch the face of the cube that’s to the left until the squares have the pattern “green, blue, orange, purple”. Next, click the face of the cube pointing upwards until it is “blue, red, green, yellow”, and finally, touch the remaining face until it is “red, blue, green, purple”.
Stage 25 – Touch the squares until they are this sequence (from left to right): yellow, blue, green, red, gold, brown, black, white, orange.
Stage 26 – Select the sections shown in the picture below until it makes a shape of a star.
Stage 27 – Touch the arrows in this sequence: east, north east, south, north, west.
Stage 28 – Make a shape of a key in the yellow blocks, as shown in the image below.
Stage 29 – Click the x in “Endless Excape” in the bottom left corner, and then select it from your inventory and place it in the remaining black space in the noughts and crosses board. Stage 30 – Change the top left square to a diamond, the top right to a spade, the bottom right to a club and keep the bottom left as a heart.
Stage 31 – Shake your device until the glass cabinet breaks, and pick up the stethoscope. Click this in your inventory, then click the safe and after a second, it will open, revealing the key. Stage 32 – Touch the machine and pick up the coin released from it. Click the coin in your inventory, and rub the three blank boxes below it, revealing 2 crosses and a key.
Stage 33 – Change the boxes to this colour sequence – blue, red, yellow, blue, green, red; the key will appear above the triangle to the left.
Stage 34 – The best way to explain this is with coordinates and pictures. Imagine the squares along the columns from left to right are labelled A to E and the rows from top to bottom are labelled 1 to 5. Therefore the top left square is A1, the centre C3 etc. First of all move C1 to D4.
Next move D2 along to C5.
Finally, move B2 to B4 therefore completing the fish shape.
Stage 35 – Shake your device until the glass completely smashes, and pick up the key. Stage 36 – Change the four black animals to a mouse, a rabbit, a bear and a wolf (in any order).
Stage 37 – Click on the four quarters of the box to the right until you have formed a medium sized circle with no lines coming from it.
Stage 38 – Change the time until it reads “12:45″. Stage 39 – Turn your device so that the screen is facing the ground and the lid of the drain will open, and a key will jump out and land near the door. Stage 40 – Type the answers to the first two sums as 37 and 90 respectively, then click on the number “40″ at the bottom right corner, and place it next to the last sum.
Stage 41 – The image below shows how the final room should look. To get to this we need to change the 4th picture in the lower right hand corner. To do this click the top section of the picture 8 times, the right section 7 times, the bottom section twice and finally the left section 5 times. Phew!
Stage 42 – Pinch the screen until you have zoomed out enough to see another door with a key in front of it. Stage 43 – Change the number inside the big brown triangle to 55. Stage 44 – Pick up the axe head from behind the tree trunk, the axe handle from the top of the tree and the other axe part from the left of the screen. Combine these and you have an axe. Highlight the axe and shake your device until the tree falls down, leaving the key on the trunk. Stage 45 – Change five of the ten blank teardrop shapes purple, in alternation, in order that you are left with the shape of a purple flower.
Stage 46 – Click on options, then level select and go back to level 1. Pick up the key, and go back to level 46 and use this key to unlock the door. Stage 47 – Touch the questions marks until the number “891″ is displayed. Stage 48 – Touch the diagram to the top right of the screen twice so that the parallelograms are both short and blue. Then, touch the fourth black drawing so that there is a cross through it. Do the same to the blue and white tie on the left of the screen. Finally, touch the small blank triangle five times until the outline of a red arrow pointing upwards appears.
Stage 49 – Leave the top left corner of the box blue, but click the top right until it turns pink, the bottom left until it turns yellow and the bottom right until it turns red. The room will light up and the key will be lying on the floor.
Stage 50 – Click on the two squares with dashes through them until both read the number 7.
Stage 51 – Click on the light switches at either side of the door to read parts of the numbers. Click on the zeros until they read “8579″. Stage 52 – Press the start button and press stop where you think falls between 4 and 5 seconds, and when you get it correct, repeat this for between 7 and 8, and 11 and 12. Note: when I compared the timing to a real stopwatch, the game’s timing seems to be slightly slower, so for between 4 and 5 seconds, I stop at around 5.5 seconds on a stopwatch, for between 7 and 8 I stop just after 8, and for 11 and 12, I stop at approximately 13 seconds. Stage 53 – Pick up the metal detector from behind the plant and the drill from the branch. Use the metal detector at the bottom left corner of the wall and a red cross will appear. Touch this cross with the drill and inside the hole it makes is the key.
Stage 54 – There is no way to beat this level except with good luck. The aim is to win three games of rock, paper, scissors in a row against the three people, but they change whether they are playing paper, scissors or rock each game, so there is no way to calculate what will be played. Stage 55 – Click on the dashes underneath the boys to change their numbers. Change the top left to number 3, top right to number 4, bottom left to number 1 and bottom right to number 2.
Stage 56 – Change the number to the left of the screen to “1961″ and the number to the right of the screen to “1502″. Stage 57 – Change the letters to the left of the screen so that they spell out “FIR”. Stage 58 – Touch the needle hanging off a piece of thread at the top right of the screen and the needle will fall into the haystack. You will find the needle in the bottom right of the hay. Click on the needle in your inventory and then the chest to open it and reveal the key. Stage 59 – Firstly, touch all of the nine squares until they are blank without question marks, then touch the top centre and the bottom centre squares until both are red.
Stage 60 – Touch the door and you will be greeted by a brick wall that says “JUMP”. Shake your device upwards (as if it is jumping) until the hole that you have created is big enough to jump down. This will take you to a link to download the sequel to the game, “Endless Escape Underground” and you have officially completed the game! Congratulations!
Amazing news for any Star Wars fans out there! Well hopefully it’s good news anyway! Electronic Arts have just acquired the rights for exclusivity to produce Star Wars games for Disney. Now a lot of people shudder when they hear those words, EA aren’t always the best when it comes to games and they have a nasty habit of rushing things which is never the best thing to do. But, and it is a big but, when you look at the actual developers things get a lot lot better.
First of all we have DICE. Pretty well known, they’ve created games such as Mirror’s Edge and of course the whole of the Battlefield Series. Now Call of Duty and Battlefield are probably the top two series when it comes to FPS games and the incredible destructible environments used in Battlefield 3 would be absolutely perfect for Star Wars. Imagine Star Wars: Battlefront III, extremely long overdue and already developed partly by LucasArts it doesn’t take a genius to get DICE to start expanding on what was already there and bring out one of the most anticipated and best FPS games to date!
Next we have Visceral Games, although you might think you might not have heard of them before you’ve probably almost definitely played one of their many games. They’re responsible for Dante’s Inferno and the whole of the brilliant Dead Space series. When it comes to horror and third person shooter games Visceral are certainly a very good choice! So hopefully it looks likely that Star Wars: 1313 might finally be allowed to continue creation and get released. This was one of the newest games being worked on by LucasArts and is set around the time between Episode III and Episode IV, with no mention of lightsabers and mainly blasters being used this would make a brilliant third person shooter.
So, we’ve got a first person and a third person shooter hopefully in the works, so what does that leave? Well the name BioWare should give you some indication as what is hopefully to come. BioWare along with Bethesda are two of my favourite developers in the video game industry so I’m extremely excited about this news. Their recent MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic might not have been brilliant, but there is a very good reason for this: BioWare aren’t MMO developers! Each developer is recognised for their ‘trademark’ as it were, and with BioWare that has to be the incredible stories they make, just think of how amazing the Mass Effect series was! With The Old Republic the story was great, but a story isn’t what you need with an MMO, it’s action more than anything. Does anyone remember Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 1 & 2? Some of the best Star Wars games in existence in my opinion and despite being over a decade old they’re still really great fun to play even now! Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 3 was rumoured to be in development years ago, with a story thought out before it was unfortunately scrapped. So could now be the time? I certainly hope so.
Although EA have declared that it’s unlikely any Star Wars games will come out in the next fiscal year, so don’t expect any until March 2014. But with the possibility of finally having Star Wars: Battlefront III, Star Wars: 1313 and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic to look forward to 2014 should be an amazing year!
Okay, so you might not immediately associate the Kindle with gaming and you’d be forgiven for thinking so. You are indeed correct if talking about the majority of the kindles such as the Kindle, Kindle 2, Kindle DX, Kindle Touch and Kindle Paperwhite. However for the Kindle Fire (as well as the HD version) it’s not all about reading books. Although this review was done for the Kindle Fire HD the exact same can be said for the normal definition version, there are only a few minor differences such as the quality of the screen, the size of the screen and the battery life among other things.
Of course we can’t forget that the main function of the Kindle is indeed as an e-reader. For quite a lot of people, including myself in the past, it takes quite a while to try and get around this idea. A lot of people who enjoy reading books enjoy it because … well a book is a book, and having the essence of a book taken away from you and put into a mini computer as it were isn’t popular by some. I, myself was very against the idea for several years.
How mistaken I was.
The Kindle Fire is an absolute must if you enjoy reading and playing apps! I won’t go much into the reading part of the system as I’m sure it’s the gaming part that you’re the most interested in, but I will say that it’s the best e-reader that I’ve ever used and using a Kindle rather than proper books can give you so much more space for other things. Remember also that anything that’s text can be put on your Kindle indefinitely. Got any strategy guides on your computer? It’s more than easy to transfer them and I’ll be doing a walkthrough later on in the week to show you how you can get pretty much anything on your kindle no matter what file type they are. For any Kindle users reading this and find themselves annoyed by how any documents you don’t buy from Amazon seem to appear in the Documents section of the kindle rather than the Books section, also don’t despair as I’ll be showing you how to get everything into the books section later on too. Of course as well as books and games you can think of the Kindle as rather similar to the iPad and other tablets, you can go on skype you can surf the internet, you can even play flash! (with the help of a handy application).
Anyway, let’s talk about the Amazon Appstore where the majority of your games will come from. There are indeed ways around to get apps from the Google Play Store (as the kindle is indeed an Android-based system) and even some games from other places, however the simplest and easiest way is to download them from the Amazon Appstore, if of course they exist there.
So what’s the appstore like? Well not bad, although it is true that you’re likely to find a much larger availability of games elsewhere it’s not all about the disadvantages. With so many free games (and of course other apps) it’s not likely you’re going to need to spend any more of your money unless you come across something really amazing, and even then you might decide it would be best waiting. You see Amazon have added a rather genius special feature to their games: Free App of the Day. Every 24 hours, starting from midnight a new game will be highlighted on the main page, and for just one day only it’s completely free (usually these games can be anywhere from around 66p to a couple of pounds), so unless you can see extremely bad reviews it’s probably worth downloading just to try out at a later time.
These apps can keep you entertained for days on end with favourites such as Temple Run 1 & 2, Doodle jump and many many more. So if you enjoy reading and love gaming I would very recommend you give the Kindle Fire a try. See down below for links from Amazon about how to purchase!
“Enjoy one of the best addicting jump game.
Jump on the center of the platform!!
A failure means you fall in to the abyss….”
The description of the game Mr AahH!! makes it sound a bit, well, like it won’t be a very good game. However, I enjoy purchasing games that do not seem as if they will be enjoyable to test them out, and every once in a while I discover a game which is contradictory to its bland description and is actually addictive and entertaining.
Meet Mr AahH. A poor stickman who must jump from one platform to another, trying his best to land in the centre of each one where he achieves the most points. The wind dramatically changes on him in an instant and he can only fail to land on a platform three times before he falls to his death.
There is something about this game that I can’t quite put my finger on that makes it very difficult to stop playing. It has the same factor of games like Temple Run or Candy Crush, where you can become rather addicted to getting as far as possible, despite its simplicity in idea. One of my favourite parts of the application is actually the background music: a very old-school tune that takes you back to the days of Space Invaders.
The simple graphics have been somewhat a complaint within some players of the game, as they are very basic. Mr AahH is at best an advanced stickman, and he swings from a rope which is literally a straight line. Personally, I am glad that the graphics are so undetailed. With games like Temple Run, I have in the past gotten confused and ended up losing my life because the game has so many complex graphics that you can not tell that an obstacle is coming. The use of black pillars with blue, green, yellow and red tops (which colour you land on tells you how many points you have achieves for that landing), with a background of white, lilac and pastel blue means that everything is clear and it is impossible to get lost in complicated visuals.
Although the graphics themselves may be very basic this game does offer some new integrated tilt-screen technology. As mentioned before the object of the game is to jump from one platform to another, where landing in the centre will get you the highest score and missing the platform will make you lose a life. In addition to this you can tilt the screen of your device which acts as a ‘third force’ as it were on top of gravity and wind. This can be extremely useful for when you have miscalculated a jump and need to move quickly over to the left or for any completionists out there who love to get the highest score on every jump possible.
For 99p on Android (on iOS, there is a free lite version and the full version is 69p), you are receiving a game which will have you hooked for hours, and if you have friends who have also downloaded this app, it can become a very competitive sport as you aim to demolish each other’s high score. If you don’t have friends who have this game, force them to try it, as they will not regret the fun this application will give them.
With so many variations of the traditional Hangman game in the app stores, and also having played an intricate version that a friend programmed, I am always on the lookout for new, innovative Hangman games with a twist. When I saw “Ultimate Hangman HD” on the Apple appstore, I couldn’t resist, especially with the bargainous 69p price tag (available on iOS and Android).
The application loaded with a funny doodle on a yellow screen and a rather jolly tune playing, but when you select your category and begin, it is clear that this is no “ultimate” Hangman, but merely your basic game of Hangman with the option of changing whether you will be “hanging” a snowman or a flower.
I was initially rather excited by the description stating that there are “73 word categories”, but this is rather deceiving, as the majority of these are not English categories. If you are fluent in Portuguese, German, French, Spanish and Dutch as well as English, you will get the use out of every category, but for the vast majority of people, less than a third of these categories will actually be understood. I suppose, as a French student, I should appreciate the multiple languages, but most of the categories are so random that I find the game very difficult in French without randomly clicking letters, as it is mainly vocabulary that I have never had a need to learn.
There are some positive points though: one of which being the 2 player mode. I have played 2 player Hangman numerous times and am more often than not incredibly underwhelmed, but the mode in this particular game is very clever, as one person types in a word and then passes it over for the next person to guess. The only flaw with this is the exclusion of an option to type or choose a category, as without knowing a category, it is very difficult to guess the correct word. As well as this the original theme for the game is an animated hangman which can be rather amusing to watch at times, almost making you want to lose to see what happens.
Perhaps I have simply been too harsh on this game, but with so many free games of Hangman out there, the expectation is that the paid versions are more than adequate. It is far from a terrible application, but it just did not meet the standard I had hoped for. However, for 69p, I do not feel ripped off.
The Sims is the best selling game franchise of all time, and they have adapted as times have changed, and delved into the world of Smartphone applications in December 2011. In October 2012, their app “The Sims FreePlay” was finally released on the Kindle Fire: the format that I play this game on.
The application is free to download, as hinted by in its name, on iOS, Android and Googleplay, as well as the Amazon appstore. It is similar to the computer games in the fact that you create Sims (the game’s version of humans), design houses and live the lives of your Sims, controlling their every move. You can form relationships between Sims, get married, have children and pets and live from a newborn baby to a grown adult.
However, this app has some major differences to the paid for computer games. The most predominate difference is how quickly time passes in-game. On the computer games, each minute of gameplay is equivalent to an hour of in-game time, so to pass a day, you only have to play for 24 minutes. The Sims FreePlay application, on the other hand, is in real time, so to pass a day in-game takes 24 hours in real life. Time also passes when you are not playing the app, unlike the computer games, which freeze at the time saved when you exit the game.
The main objective of this version of The Sims is to complete missions, such as “Bake a birthday cake” or “Have a pre-teen sim nap on a park bench”. The missions get more difficult as you go throughout the game, and you can earn XP or lifepoints through completing these. As your XP level increases, your level will increase, and every time you go up a level, you unlock new items and other things. Lifepoints are used to buy certain items and also to skip missions that are either too difficult or will take too much time.
Of course, the application is much more basic than The Sims 3 computer game, which still retails for around £20, despite the fact that it will celebrate its fourth birthday in June. Nevertheless, when you consider that this app does not cost a penny, it isn’t long until you forget the differences between this and the costly games.
The optimum difference for the avid gamer is the addition of objective missions into the application. This inclusion makes it very difficult to put the game away, as once one mission is completed, you are instantly eager to complete another, all whilst ensuring that your Sims are content. Beware, however, of the fury when a mission will take a long time to complete – I was actively playing one Thursday and received the objective to watch TV on a Wednesday evening: furious is not the word! Also, it is most definitely not a game for the occasional player: the real-time element makes it necessary to regularly check up on your Sims, and the application can be set to give push notifications to inform the player when a Sim wakes up or when a plant has harvested, so you will never miss a minute of Sim action. As you can play with up to 65 different Sims, this can become a very predominate part of your life!
There are a few small things that I wish I had been told before downloading the game. Firstly, some of the times it can take to complete some in-game actions is quite frankly ridiculous. 24 hours to bake a birthday cake which is necessary to age your babies, toddlers and pre-teens? It is understandable that some tasks will take longer than others, for example, when you spend longer gardening, your plant will be worth more money, but actions that are necessary to progress through the game should not take an infuriatingly long time.
Also, despite the application taking an average time to download from the app store, when you first load it, you are greeted with a 300mb+ extra download. Necessary for a game so complex, but it was not stated anywhere in the description that such a large extra download would be required, and everytime a new update is required, you have to endure another 300mb download, which for someone with incredibly slow internet is torturous. It may be unavoidable for the developers, but prior warning would have been appreciated.
Perhaps a personal issue, but another small factor of the game which can be annoying is the necessity to be connected to the Internet to play. Indeed, to use the in-app purchases function within the game an internet connection is essential, but as a Kindle Fire player, I don’t get a 3G connection and when I am out all day, it would be nice to check up on my Sims during a lunchbreak, although Smartphone players will not be affected by this problem.
The Sims FreePlay is an application that I’d thoroughly recommend, and despite its small hiccups, it is incredibly addictive. It is, above all, free; so it’s indefinitely worth a try!
If you’ve already got a Wii U then there’s quite a high chance you have Nintendo Land, where both are frequently bundled together, however if you somehow missed out your copy or you want another reason why you should get a Wii U then read on.
You can think of Nintendo Land as a bit like the Wii Sports was to the Wii. It’s your ‘starter-pack’ game who’s main purpose is to show you all the unique and different things the Wii U can achieve. But, that’s where the comparisons should end because Nintendo Land features considerably more activities and hours of enjoyment than Wii Sports and even Wii Sports: Resort have to offer. Remember also one of the games main selling points, it’s one of the first games to ever offer 5 players playing at the same time on the same console on any of the new generation consoles.
So what do you exactly get with the game? Well although playing together and a party atmosphere are the main parts of the game there is certainly much more! There are 3 main sections to the game. To start with you have Team Attractions. Now these are pretty much how they sound, working together in teams against another team (which is sometimes the AI) to see who will get the most kills/points. The 3 mini-games featured in this section are: “The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest”, “Metroid Blast” and finally “Pikmin Adventure”. All of these offer an enjoyable gameplay experience however a note of warning should be given. If you’ve had your Wii for a while (assuming you have one of course) and have not upgraded your remotes to “Wii-Plus” remotes then you won’t be able to experience all 5 players on the first two of these mini-games. Zelda and Metroid require a lot more manoeuvrability and hence the need for Wii-Plus remotes so the maximum number of players you’ll be able to play with if you have none of these remotes is a grand total of 1 … not much of a team attraction anymore. The Pikmin mini-game and any others in Nintendo Land are free from this barricade you’ll be happy to hear.
So next up we have the Competitive Attractions. These are the best parts of the game in my opinion and can keep you playing for hours with friends and family. The mini-games in this section are “Mario Chase” , “Luigi’s Ghost Mansion” and “Animal Crossing: Sweet Day”. Mario Chase is probably the mini-game you’ve seen advertised the most. With up to four players on Wii remotes (normal or plus versions) your goal playing as your Mii is to chase Mario Mii (think of your Mii with a red cap on) who is controlled by another played using the unique GamePad. This is five player gameplay at its best, using the GamePad you can get a unique overview of the whole map including where all the other 4 players are: quite an edge, but considering you have four people chasing you it’s needed! Luigi’s Mansion needs little explaining if your familiar with the series of the same name. Up to four players with remotes control the ghost catchers: Mario, Luigi, Wario and Waluigi. Who are they catching? The fifth player who uses the GamePad, playing the ghost, and again, they get to utilise the GamePad’s different screen feature: While on the TV the four players see their characters only, the person holding the GamePad gets to see that as well as their character, the ghost, which is invisible to everyone else. These players get a flashlight and have to try and kill the ghost with their lights before the ghost catches all of them. Finally the Animal Crossing mini-game is where the players with Wii remotes try to collect sweets while the player with the GamePad tries to catch them. This player can actually control two people at once with the GamePad using the twin analogue sticks.
The final sections of the game are the Solo Attractions which as the name suggests are 1 player only. These feature “Takamaru’s Ninja Castle”, “Donkey Kong’s Crash Course”, “Captain Falcon’s Twister Race”, “Balloon Trip Breeze”, “Yoshi’s Fruit Cart” and “Octopus Dance”. These 6 mini-games can provide a lot of entertainment, keeping you occupied for a while. Briefly overviewing each mini-game the Ninja Castle mini-game has you using the GamePad to throw shuriken (throwing star) at enemy ninjas. The Crash Course mini-game involves you tilting the GamePad to tilt a trolley through an obstacle course which involves blowing into the microphone as well. Twister Race has you holding the GamePad vertically and twisting it left and right to steer while looking at both the TV and the GamePad (as both show a different angle of view). Balloon Trip Breeze involves using the stylus that comes with the GamePad to create gusts of wind that will move your player around obstacles whilst catching balloons. Fruit Cart is based very largely on hand-eye coordination. Players must collect fruit and reach the exit by drawing a line from the start, to each of the fruit, and then to the end. Sounds easy? Here’s the catch: You can only see the fruit on the TV and you have to draw the line on the GamePad, not so easy now! Finally the Octopus Dance involves using the twin analogue sticks and occasional movement of the whole GamePad to keep in rhythm with the AI who tells you what buttons to move (think of Wii Fit Boxing). Phew quite a lot there to keep you occupied for ages! And each mini-game in all sections have little achievements which when beaten unlocks something special!
Finally it should be noted that there is also a Party mode in the game. For up to 5 players you simply select the number of turns you want to take and the difficulty that the games will be. Then taking it in turns by passing the GamePad round the current player can select between 5 of the mini-games to play against their opponents to earn points and become the victor of the games.
Although Wii Sports was something which could keep everyone entertained for days this really tops it with variety and the level of enjoyment. So if you have a Wii U but find yourself without this game, and want to purchase a Wii U, I would really recommend this game to you, especially if you love party games!
Do you love zombie games? Then the chances are you’ve already heard of ZombiU, a new survival horror game from Ubisoft. Now when it comes to these types of games they’re usually not as great as you’d like then to be. Whether they’re full of glitches or simply so easy it makes them pretty pointless to play, developers have rarely seemed to get survival zombie games pretty spot on. Treyarch, the makers of Call of Duty: World At War managed to create the popular Nazi Zombies series which to begin with was simply a hidden extra that was never expected to get anywhere! Be warned however; don’t think ZombiU is like Nazi Zombies in anyway apart from the fact that there are lots and lots of zombies!
Now if you’re into action shooters and expect to go around spraying zombies everywhere with a vast array of weapons and ammo then think again. ZombiU is probably one of the best survival horror games in recent times: it will have you shouting in frustration occasionally, and you might end up taking necessary breaks to keep sane, but that’s what a real survival game should be. You shouldn’t be able to respawn and deaths should have a big impact on your game rather than no impact at all.
This is the kind of game that made me want to buy a whole new Wii U just so I could play it. To be convinced to get a new console just for a single game doesn’t happen very often and I’m happy to say I haven’t been disappointed. So if I haven’t convinced you here’s some information about the game.
For any of you who have seen the cover art it’s pretty clear the game is set in central London with a London Beefeater zombie gracing the cover. Think of the start of the game as rather similar to that of Dead Island, you start off right in the middle of the action and you’re forced to run, literally for your life, from hundreds of zombies awakening all around you. It`s certainly a brilliant start and if there’s something this game does often it’s that it gets your heart beating! You really could die and depending upon which game mode you selected it really could be the end full stop – more on that later.
Anyway the zombie apocalypse has begun and it’s up to you to try and survive, with the help of a mysterious man who can monitor your whereabouts with the use of security cameras. Your base of operations, or rather his although you never meet him, is set in the London Underground where the majority of your trekking will take place. Most of it is as you’d expect, very damp and dark, combine that with a limited rechargeable rather poor flashlight and you’ve got yourself a rather smashing scary game. Of course you do go up into the open to supermarkets, the Tower of London and even Buckingham Palace but expect the place to be swarming with zombies!
The combat for the game is pretty simple. Manual weapon such as bats and other blunt instruments make up the majority of your attacking strategy and luckily they don’t deteriorate with over usage which can be extremely frustrating. However they do not do a lot of damage: don’t expect for one hit kills here because it usually takes at least 5 very slow hits to finish them off. The time between each hit is agonising because you really do get scared for your life. Guns of course make an appearance but the ammo is extremely scarce and guns are usually rather loud – not good when you’re trying to stay under the radar. Guns do thankfully do much more damage but still, expect to be using blunt weapons for over 95% of your occurrences with zombies. There are also many “secondary” weapons such as Molotov Cocktails, Signal Flares and of course grenades which are again very very loud. You get to carry around a backpack which has a very limited amount of spaces in it so don’t expect to be able to carry everything with you.
Your best bet for completing the game in all honesty is trying to avoid as many zombies as possible. You see, as well as zombies being able to claw you and deplete your life, they have a rather nasty annoying habit of killing you instantly with one move. When you raise your bat to attack the zombie beware: if at this moment a zombie reaches forward to grab you then they will bite you and then you’re dead. Game over. Well … maybe. This is depending upon what mode you’ve selected, there are two: Normal and Survival. In Normal if you die then you start as a new character with nothing.
However, here’s the interesting bit, you can travel to the area where you died and battle your old zombified self to get back your backpack! Pretty cool right? If however you pick Survival then don’t expect to come back as someone new. You have one life and only one life. Die in the final mission? Too bad. There are no second chances, which in a game where it’s incredibly easy to die, is a very scary thing to do. If you manage to complete this then congratulations! You’re one of a very few!
And I haven’t even mentioned yet the part that makes this game so unique with any other game out there! The fact that it is on the Wii U. With the Wii U as you know you have the TV and a separate large GamePad (think of it a bit like a massive PSP). No Wii Remotes are used here you use the GamePad to move about on the TV and you keep looking down at the screen to make use of the extremely handy UAV which detects any moving zombies nearby. You also use the GamePad to sort out your inventory and entering codes into doors – which can be extremely nerve wracking if you have hundreds of zombies running towards you and your wracking your brains for the 4 digit code you were supposed to remember from a couple of minutes ago!
So all in all this is a magnificent unique game that really puts all other survival horror games to the bottom of the pile. Sure you may get frustrated and annoyed when you die (because the chances are you will) but that’s what this type of genre is all about so it just shows how well the game is doing. If you’ve got a Wii U or have a spare couple of hundred pounds I would really recommend getting this game as it’s sure to keep you entertained for a fair while!
Hey all, apologies for the non-activity recently but it’s been a busy few months! Today I’m going to be writing something a bit different to a review as you can probably tell from the title, what’s your favourite game of all time? Now it doesn’t have to be something that’s say available on the PlayStation or Xbox or Wii, it could be something from the grand NES days. Today I’m going to be writing about my favourite game of all time which is The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion!
Now for any of you that have played this before I would hope the majority of you would understand where I’m coming from, for those of you who have yet to experience the beauty of this game I would suggest you read this very carefully.
Now Oblivion actually came out in 2006 and was developed (and produced) by Bethesda Game Studios (they’ve made games like Skyrim and Fallout) which together with BioWare (Mass Effect) in my opinion are the two best developers out there at the moment. Its official genre is that of an action role-playing game, but in reality you could say it was so much more. Sure if the only games you enjoy are the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefront then this game indeed may not be for you, but for anyone else I would really suggest you give this game a try, and I’m going to explain exactly why.
Let’s start with the graphics. You’ve probably noticed the picture directly above right now, have another look at it. Of course you can begin to see that these are a little outdated currently but imagine how good they were seven whole years ago! These were the top of technologies limits back then and the fact that they still outperform a majority of new games released even now is a magnificent achievement. This is a game where you could spend hours just exploring the world and admiring the scenery, and if that’s how you want to spend your time playing it then please go ahead! Oblivion adjusts to your speed of playing so if you want to appreciate the scenery you won’t be interrupted (accept by the occasional wolf or bandit!).
For me the thing which turns Oblivion from a ‘great’ game to one of the best there is has to be the audio. The soundtrack for Oblivion may only be just under an hour in length, but it’s the type of music you want to here over and over again. Have a listen to the theme here and tell me you don’t like it, it’s a pretty hard thing to say. Unlike with Oblivion’s predecessor Morrowind which had a much shorter soundtrack you don’t feel like you’re listening to the same music over and over again.
Now when it comes to combat there’s quite a big question to be asked: Do you prefer guns or bows? If you prefer the former then you’ll probably enjoy the Fallout series more which is set in a post-apocalyptic world where there are a lot of guns. But if like me the medieval period holds a special place in your heart then I believe you’ll really love this game. Bows, arrows, swords, axes, daggers and shields are the majority of your inventory you’ll experience here. As well as of course any fancy clothes, armour, food, books and spells that you find or buy along the way of your journey. The amount of items in the game is really amazing and don’t be surprised if you end up finding lots of useless equipment such as quills, blank scrolls and baskets.
The actual combat system of the game is real-time and is not by any means a simple hack-‘n’-slash type. The AI are very sophisticated so expect to do a lot of blocking and counter attacks depending upon how far up your difficulty is set. Magic is also a key element of Oblivion should you choose to use it. The amount of spells you can learn are easily greater than a couple of hundred with each spell different to all others: some can harm opponents such as fireballs and lightning; some can help you out such as allowing you to carry extra items and healing yourself; and some can be pretty useless but are fun to try out (especially if you like Star Wars) such as telekinesis. The variety really is endless and you’re bound to find something you enjoy.
And when you think about it that’s really what games are about aren’t they? Enjoyment. You’re sure to find plenty of that here if you play Oblivion. And don’t expect it to go away too quickly either. This is the type of game which really doesn’t have an ending, the amount of quests and objective and side missions keep you occupied pretty much indefinitely. I’d say that I’ve poured perhaps around 1000 hours into this which is over 20 times what you can expect for a normal game so you are really getting your money’s worth! If you would like to find out a little more click here to read my review from a few years back about Oblivion.
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