Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Exciting and Engaging Entertainment at E3!

I was excited for this years E3 announcements mostly because of the new console battle between Sony and Microsoft and also for a look at what Nintendo has planned for the Wii U. 3DS games were also in my sights!

Microsoft disappointed me greatly, they seem to think gamers will put up with any old nonsense and buy into their console. A lot of people say 'Well Charlie, you use Steam isn't that the same thing?' Well not really I love to share my console game library with my nephew but I wouldn't let him within ten feet of my PC. Also Steam's sales means that PC gamers are more likely to buy a recommended game rather than borrow it. Their games were also a little on the boring side (opinion I know) I'm really not into sports or driving games. Sony had me excited! They showed a lot of great trailers. I think the PS4 is cert for me! (When I get the pennies.)

This moody pixelart game What Lies Below was the first to catch my attention. I'm hoping and praying that it pops up on Steam eventually.

Mirror's Edge 2 got a teaser. I loved the first game and the main character, Faith has always been one of my favourites. I found the movement in the first game to be a little bit nauseating but the game itself always drew me back in. The game is insanely stylish as usual and I love Faith's design.

Next up Dragon Age Inquisition! Yes, yes I'm a fan of the old IE games like Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale and I massively prefer Origins to DA2. I'm hoping that they have tried to take the good things from both games and combine them. I played DA2 but after finishing it decided it was kind of mediocre. Maybe a 6/10 while Dragon Age Origins is a 8/10 for me. I don't think the repeated use of environments and it's rather easily distracted storyline served it well. I heard that they looked at Skyrim for DA:I which both intrigues and terrifies me as Skyrim isn't a game I would compare with the Dragon Age series.

Transistor is a game that got me really excited, as well as a female protagonist 'Red', it's by Supergiant Games the same people who made Bastion which is one of my favourite games. It looks just as gorgeous and I'm really intrigued about some of the imagery in the trailer. I'm hoping they consider releasing this on Steam also as it will be a while before I can afford a PS4.

Here's one they revealed for the PS3 Beyond: Two Souls (weird name)! Some great action and a storyline that looks really interesting.  I think this is going to be a must buy for me. It reminds me a lot of the recent Tomb Raider. 

I'm a sucker for Steampunk and this next game doesn't disappoint! The Order 1866 showed an extremely impressive and creepy trailer set in Victorian London. 

The weapons and setting just look so amazing. Apparently this trailer is in engine and if that's true I'm pretty wowed by that. Just imagine hunting those beasts in that fog. Brrr. I'm hoping it has a supernatural bent as Steampunk and the supernatural go together so well. 

I just want to mention Star Wars: Battlefront. Okay I'm not one for military shooters but you have my attention DICE! Mixing it in with Star Wars is a great idea and means we can get some variety beyond hyper realistic military hardware. 

The Witness by Jonathan Blow has a Myst vibe to the trailer and since I absolutely adore the socks off Myst and Riven it has me really interested. It looks like brain power and puzzle solving is the name of the game. 
Seemingly the PS4 has a lot of support from some big indie names. 

Well that's it for this post I'll be back with some coverage of Nintendo's offerings for the WII U and 3DS.



Saturday, 8 June 2013

Luigi's Mansion 2 Review.

Let's have a look at Luigi's Mansion 2: Dark Moon for the Nintendo 3DS. Developed by Next Level games and published by Nintendo Luigi's Mansion has sold well across the world shifting 1.22 million copies as of March 31st 2013.

Having played the original game on the Nintendo Gamecube I was very excited to pick this game up. My first impression was that is has excellent and charming graphics making good use of the 3DS's capabilities. A few of the earlier games had seemed blurry to me at times such as Ocarina of Time but Luigi's Mansion 2 rarely has that problem. I'd recommend you use the 3D in this game even if you didn't like it in other games you have played.

The set up for the game involves King Boo stealing the Dark Moon and corrupting it, causing havoc in Evershade Valley once more, undoing all Luigi's work of the first game. To subdue the now naughty ghosts Professor E Gadd pulls an unwilling Luigi back into the breach to clean up the mess and recover the now splintered Dark Moon.

Once you recover the Poltergust 5000 (a ghostbusting vaccuum cleaner) and a strobulb (with which to stun the ghosts) you will get into the game proper. I found the exploration gameplay to be extremely charming and every room seems to have been given excellent attention, furnished to perfection with plenty of crafty secrets to discover. I enjoyed the exploration aspect of the game just as much as the actual ghostbusting and finding hidden treasure troves and the extra special hidden shiny gems was very satisfying. My only problem with the game is that you have to do this exploring within the structure of a somewhat scripted level rather than be able to explore the area freely.

The areas themselves are refreshingly different with their own themes and new enemies are provided for a change of pace throughout. The difficulty curve is also well done with no extreme changes but a noticable increase in number and toughness of ghosts and obscurity of puzzles. The game really wouldn't be that hard to finish for most seasoned gamers but there are plenty of extra challenges to go and look for. Each level boasts a sneaky hidden Boo as well as a collection of Mario themed gems specific to that level. I found one of the levels, namely the clockworks, a little boring visually but the others more than make up for it.

Luigi himself has loads of character in this game and the poor guy continues on bravely under the always gleeful E. Gadd. The little things Luigi does like hitching up his Poltergust backpack or humming along nervously to the music in the level is very endearing. I hope we see more of this characterisation in Nintendo games in the future.

Controlling Luigi is a little fiddly at first but you get the hang of it. However, using the tilt feature of the 3DS to look around with the 3D on can be a little awkward at times and I found  myself using the X button to look up more than using that feature.

The game also features multiplayer which is great fun! I had a good time and also gained tips for the single players watching others players capture ghosts. The multiplayer can be strangely competitive though and I'm not sure that helps it much, as a co op  game. That said, when you join a game you can see the difficulty level   so you can avoid being out of your depth.

Overall I really love Luigi's Mansion 2. I think it's an oasis in a sea of ultra serious gaming and I think people looking for a change from games like shooters would find it extremely refreshing. I can highly recommend this game.  A 9/10 from me.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Just a note.

Sorry I haven't posted for a while I have been in hospital for surgery and have been recovering. I'm going to do a Dust: An Elysian Tail and Luigi's Mansion review soon! Stayed tuned!

Also: Animal Crossing Soon!!!.