Monday, 17 September 2012

Completed or not completed?

That is the question.

I've been thinking about this since I 'finished/completed' Lego Batman a couple of weeks back, when is a game completed these days?

Back in the old days (and I'm not saying how old) generally games would have a start, middle and end, exceptions being sport and fighting games due to the fact that you could complete the game with multiple teams/fighters, but even then there were a few sports games where the main mode was a knock-out type game where you won a trophy and that was it. These days with sports games you can be playing season after season and theoretically never complete the game.

Anyway, slightly going off on a tangent there.

The example I'm going to use for the purpose of this post is the aforementioned Lego Batman on the 360. I imagine that the PS3 version will be very similar but the 360 version is the one that I played through. For those of you who haven't played it Lego Batman consists of two fifteen levels for heroes and fifteen levels for villains broken down into three separate stories consisting of five levels each. That's fair enough, a fair bit of game play there and after completing one set of fifteen levels you get to see the end credits. Only one thing about that though, after each 'story' level has been completed a 'free play mode' unlocks allowing/meaning that to properly finish the levels you need to go through them all over again. That wouldn't be too bad if you didn't have to keep going through them over and over again until you collect all of the relevant cannisters, Lego parts etc that are hidden throughout each level to unlock bonuses, bonuses that also need to be bought by collecting studs on each level which work towards your 100% in game completion. Add to all of that two bonus levels and completion starts to look a whole lot bigger, but then they are included within the 100% completion and once finished you can put the game down.

But wait, this is the 360 version remember and what do you get on the 360 version... achievements.

Yes, the achievements where if you really want to complete the game you need to unlock all 46 achievements which range from completing episodes to smashing all street lights in a particular chapter (does that really add anything to a game?!). If and only if you decide to go for all the achievements is the game then really completed or is it when you complete all 100% of the actual game. The one good thing about Lego Batman is that it didn't have any DLC as then the game could be never ending.

At the moment for me Lego Batman is finished due to completing the thirty story modes for heroes and villains. If I were to 'complete' it then I would at least play through the free play modes and then go on to complete all 100% of the game. I personally do not count achievements towards the completion of a game for two reasons, 1) I don't much care for them and 2) some games like Gears of War include online achievements for the like of multi-player which have no bearing on the solo mode.

I know that there have always been games like this, for example Super Mario World had your basic levels, the 96 exits and then the bonus star levels, but these days games seem to have more and more definitions of 'completion' and multiple endings that sometimes it's nice to just have a start a middle and an end.

What do you class as 'completed' these days?

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Five games I've started over and over again...

...but am still yet to complete.

I imagine that everybody has at least one game that they go back to every now and then in the hope that it will be the time at last where they finally complete the game.

In the past year I managed to knock two of them on the head and finally completed them (Metroid Prime and Zelda: Wind Waker) and thoroughly enjoyed playing them. These next five though have been sitting on that pile for years now and one day their time will finally come.

 Cybernator - SNES

Cybernator isn't one of the greatest games in the world but it has that certain something that makes me want to play it and finally finish it. Sadly it also has that certain something that makes me want to just switch it off after dying. When playing I speed through the first five maybe six levels and then somewhere down the line I die and instead of just carrying on I just get up and turn it off. I do genuinely want to finish it but need to find that last bit o f motivation to do so.

 Banjo-Kazooie - N64

Pretty much everybody knows Banjo-Kazooie and off those that do and have played it they have most likely also finished it, not me though. I start the game with much enthusiasm and play through the first few levels finding and collecting everything, enjoying what I'm doing and then at some point I switch if off to have my tea, go to bed etc and then the next day it doesn't get switched back on, or the day after that or after that until eventually I start the cycle again. No idea why as I do like playing the game.

Legend of the Mystical Ninja - SNES

I think that Mystical Ninja is a fabulous game and over the years I started it numerous times both solo and with a second player but years later I've yet to complete it and I think the main reason is the mini-games, specifically Gradius. Despite being able to only play the first level of Gradius I always end up getting to the machine with it on, playing it for a bit and then switching the game off even though I genuinely do want to carry on and finally complete the game and see all of the weirdness behind it.

Fur Fighters - Dreamcast 

The problem with Fur Fighters is that the levels are huge and I mean huge and you pretty much have to scour every inch of the levels to find the babies required to complete the level. Despite it being a great game it's pretty much the only reason that I'm still yet to complete Fur Fighters as I have to admit that I like to take a break from playing the game to try something else, unfortunately that break tends to get longer and longer until I have to start the game yet again.

Evolution - Dreamcast

Evolution is one of my all time favourite games, absolute love it and over the years I've put in god knows how many hours playing it, until the last boss that is. Every single time I play it reach the last boss and die, no matter how much I'm leveled up I die and it drives me mad. I turn it off promising myself to go back to it a day or two later to finally defeat him and for some reason or other never do and so the cycle continues over and over again which is why Evolution makes it to the top spot.

So there is my top five games I've started over and over and am still yet to complete. There are actually more games, looking at you Body Harvest and Zombies, but these are the ones that have been started the most over the years.

Do you have any games you start over and if so what are they?

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Twelve games I want for the WiiU pt2

Moving onto the second six games, again in no particular order.

I'm a fan of the first game as I found it to be a fun action packed game that it didn't take itself too seriously and featured now memories from the past. Due to this, and despite the trailer featuring no game play at all, I'm really looking forward to the sequel and it's definitely a game that I will be buying.

The second bundle game and a lot has already been seen and said about ZombiU. From my perspective it looks like an interesting and tense game in the fact that like Nintendo Land it should show of the capabilities of the pad and it should hopefully be tense in the fact that the game doesn't pause when changing weapons and the like on the touch screen. I have heard about problems with the amount of Zombies appearing on screen at any one time but hopefully this will be resolved by launch.

It's an Aliens game that from the trailer looks like it should be very dark and atmospheric and though I don't like to compare games if it's anything like the first Dead Space game then it could have the potential to be tense and claustrophobic. I've heard the complaints about the lack of female characters which I have to agree with in a series where the lead character is female and hopefully the developers will rectify that. Beyond that though the trailer looks good and who here isn't looking forward to using the pad as a scanner like in Aliens.

They're coming outta the walls. They're coming outta the goddamn walls.

Yes, this has already been released on the 360 and PS3 and I have every intention of buying the GOTY edition for the 360 when it is soon released but if the WiiU manages to add a lot to the game then I could warrant buying it again as this could be the new version of Resident Evil 4 where the controls justify buying the new version.

I'm not going to lie, I found New Super Mario Bros. Wii to be quite a dull game and in all honesty I found it a chore to complete, therefore I am a little apprehensive about this version but then it is on a new system and the trailer does look interesting with what you can do with the pad and it could be really fun in multi-player. Therefore I am going to keep an open mind and add MarioU to the list.

I think I've only ever played one Tekken game in my lifetime and though it was quite enjoyable I've never been too fussed about buying any of the games, that was until now. I've already seen people saying that they enjoy the recent release on 360/PS3 and I have to say that with the addition of the Nintendo costumes and the quite frankly bonkers mushroom battle mode it could be time to finally invest in a Tekken game.

So there are the the twelve games that I fancy buying from the recent announcements and as said previously that's the what I have seen from the possible launch window. Do you fancy anything from this list or are you going for games that I haven't mentioned. Let me know in the comments section below.

All videos bar the Tekken Tag one can be found on the Nintendo YouTube channel. The Tekken Tag video can be found on the NamcoBandaiGamesEU channel.

Twelve games I want for the WiiU pt1

Now that the dust is starting to settle from the WiiU announcements I thought I would start having a proper look at what games from the launch period I would fancy buying when finally purchasing a console.

I managed to find a whopping twelve games that I would fancy playing on the machine and in no particular order here are the trailers and my thoughts on those twelve games.

One of the two console bundle titles this looks like it should do for the WiiU what Wii Sports did for the Wii. Featuring numerous solo and multi-player mini-games showing off what the pad can do Nintendo Land looks like a good fun game, especially with the addition of mini-games based on Zelda, Metroid and Pikmin.

Despite owning it for a couple of months now I've still yet to play Rayman Origins but I have heard it be raved about so if Legends is anything like Origins then it should be a good game. The trailer looks interesting with showing how the pad can be utilised to move platforms, especially when tilting and moving the pad around. All in all hopefully Rayman Legends should be a good game to play.

I like the Rabbids, moving on.

It's Pikmin, not really much more to say apart from the fact that the trailer makes it look like a fun and enjoyable game.

This went onto my list as soon as I saw the trailer when it was called Project P-100. It looks like a crazy hybrid of Viewtiful Joe and Pikmin which can only be a good thing when done right and from the looks of the trailer it looks like it is certainly being done right. Definitely one to keep an eye on.

I'm still yet to play the first game due to not being able to find the steering wheel pack for a reasonable price but it is a game that I do fancy playing. I know that the original is far from perfect but it is a game that I fancy playing and judging from the trailer the same can be for the WiiU version. The tracks and characters look interesting and hopefully Sumo Digital will have tightened up on what was supposedly wrong with the first game and made a cracking sequel.

Friday, 14 September 2012

WiiU be buying one?

Yesterday Nintendo released a presentation* which finally announced the details that people had been waiting for regarding the WiiU, namely the release date, the price and the titles.

Was it a hit? For me, yes in many respects and no in an important one, the price.

I'll start with the price to get that out of the way before moving onto the positives.

The first point about the price is that it's too high, the second point is the reason and that reason is that despite the giant mess with the price of the 3DS, Nintendo does not seem to have learnt anything from that debacle and have allowed retailers again to set the price. Even more annoyingly, America and Japan had their prices set by Nintendo, why the UK and Europe didn't I don't know. Due to this in my opinion (and by a lot of other peoples by the looks of it) retailers have yet again priced to high and many people are expecting a price cut sooner rather then later.

So onto the positives.

Despite there not being any particularly 'blockbuster' games being announced for immediate launch from Nintendo themselves (bar Super Mario Bros.U) there was still some interesting games that I would consider picking up, the top one possibly being Bayonetta 2. I really enjoyed the first game and so for Nintendo to be releasing this and exclusive to the WiiU is great news. Nintendo Land, Rayman Legends and The Wonderful 101 look like wonderful games that I would be interested in playing. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 looks interesting with the Nintendo stuff added and add in ZombiU, Pikmin 3, Aliens: Colonial Marines and Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition and there is already ten games that I would be willing to pick up, and that is just from the possible launch window.

Add in the new pad with the ability to play the games on it whilst other people use the TV, 3DS and WiiU compatibility, the Miiverse, backwards compatibility and it looks like it's shaping up to be a fairly good console. There are still reservations regarding the online (the Wii was unfortunately sometimes severely lacking in that department) and the size of the memory but it they sort those properly and keep the third party developers on board then it could shape up to be a cracking console.

Will I be buying one? In the long run yes but only once the inevitable price drop has happened or when retailers offer bundles with extra games. If Nintendo and developers release even half as many great games as they did on the Wii then in my book it will be worth purchasing a WiiU.

What are your thoughts? Will you be buying one at launch, later or not at all. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

*You can view Nintendo's presentation here.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Nintendo Gamer - The final issue

The final issue of Nintendo Gamer (Issue 80) hit the shops yesterday and what a memory filled issue it is.

It starts of as a normal issue with news, an article about the WiiU and the usual stuff like art and cosplay. Alongside that is the regular stuff such as the previews, reviews (of which there are two), the top 25 list (this time round it's the top 25 sidekicks) and the retro stuff (including an article on Second Sight for the Cube).

After that is all of the stuff that makes you feel all nostalgic and brings back the memories such as the interview with Wil Overton (who drew the cover bringing it all full circle), the snippets of memories from previous writers and editors on the old magazines such as from Super Play until now and the twenty page feature showing the cover of every single issue of Super Play, N64 Magazine, NGC, NGamer and the re-launched Nintendo Gamer. The feature certainly brings back memories for this writer.

It's always a shame when something long running ends but the real annoying thing about Nintendo Gamer ending, apart from it being a good magazine, is that in November Super Play celebrates it's 20th anniversary of issue one being released so it would have been that little bit special if the last issue had been twenty years to the month of the first issue being released. Also, the WiiU, according to all of the rumours, should be being released in November so sales may have picked up again. Unfortunately we will now never know but here's to twenty years of the magazine being released in various incarnations.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Classic Corner One

Welcome to the second new feature of the blog this week, Classic Corner.

To balance the equilibrium after crap corner I thought I would take a look at those games that fill me with pleasure and joy and remind me just why I like gaming so much. So for classic corner number one I present to you...

Crazy Taxi

There are two reasons why I chose Crazy Taxi as the first game of the feature, the first being that It's a damn fine game, the second being that it was the sole reason for me buying a Dreamcast.

I first played Crazy Taxi on the original arcade where due to having to use a steering wheel and pedals I didn't do very well at all, but I still had a couple of tries before admitting defeat. A little while later I found out that the game was being ported to the Dreamcast and despite only playing the arcade for roughly six minutes I had played enough to really want the game.

So what particularly makes it stand out as a classic game? Well quite a few things, the game play being the obvious thing. It's just generally a fun game, you can just stick it on drive around picking up customers for a bit and then turn it off again and sometimes you need games like that.

A big plus for me personally is the music especially with it featuring one of my favourite bands Bad Religion, it's just a shame that between them and The Offspring there are only four song in the main game (seven in total including credits and menus). Top marks must also go for naming characters across the series after members of Gun's 'n' Roses, another favourite band of mine.

The game does look a little dated now, especially with the pop-up for the backgrounds, but it is still a really good and fun game to play and despite being looking like a simple game on the surface there is quite a bit of depth to the game. There is a choice of four characters to take control of (Gena being my personal favourite due to the lightness of the car) all with different attributes to them. A mini-game section is included that can take some skill to complete and which upon completion can offer up new cars/bikes to drive and there are two cities to drive around, the first being the original city in the arcade and the second being a new bigger city created for the game.

Though the game can be easily picked up and played it takes skill and dedication to fully realise the maps and how to perfect routes, customers and tricks to be able to maximise the tips and score. For me, that's what raises Crazy Taxi from a good game to a great game and who can forget desperately trying to drive through a car park to get to Pizza Hut.

Let's make some crazy money.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Crap Corner One

Welcome to a new feature of the blog, a feature that I like to call Crap Corner. I imagine that you can guess what these posts will entail so without further delay I present to you the first game entered into Crap Corner...

Fighting Force 2

Even the cover looks crap.
Somehow I still remember the conversation like it was yesterday, standing in a shop looking for a game to buy, how it all went wrong went something like this.

Me: I've just bought a Dreamcast and now I need to buy some games for it. This Fighting Force 2 looks like it might be quite good.

Friend: Don't buy it, it's crap.

Me: Are you sure? The screen shots on the box look pretty cool (which at that age to be fair they did).

Friend: Seriously, it's crap.

Me: Hmmmmm

Friend: Don't do it, it's a terrible game.

Me: It does look pretty cool, I think I'll give it a shot.

Skip to a couple of days later.

Me to friend: Man, that Fighting Force 2 is crap.

I still to this day don't know what possessed me to ignore what my friend was saying and buy Fighting Force 2 as it honestly is one of the worst games that I've ever had the misfortune of playing and owning. There is not one redeeming feature about it.

The shots on the back of the box make it look pretty cool with explosions, going on about 'fierce hand-to-hand combat', 'over 20 lethal weapons' and 'over 50 unique enemy types that use the terrain to their tactical advantage'. What you instead get is very dull game play, clunky movement, awful controls, repetitive and generic level (notice that I say level and not levels as I've never bothered myself to get past the first one. As for the 20 lethal weapons, well god knows when that is as you only start with a crappy knife.

I could go on even more about how bad it is but I think you may be getting the gist now. I'll sum it up by saying that when writing this I had a look for some review scores and GameSpot gave the game 3.5 out of 10 whilst IGN gave it a slightly better 3.6 out of 10. All I can say is that even that is very generous.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

August Purchases

Not that much bought in the month of July but a couple of games I've been after for a while so still a pleasing month.

X-Men Legends II is the first game that I've been after for a while as It's another step to finishing of my Cube collection and also because I enjoyed playing the first game. Mario & Luigi is the second game that I've been after for a while now and though you may not be able to see it in the picture, it is still sealed. It won't stay that way though as I intend to play it.

Polarium and Rhythm Paradise were two games that I picked up on a whim for very cheap prices, both complete and both games that I didn't really know much about before I bought them. Finally, the Smash Bros soundtrack was a freebie alongside X-Men Legends II as I bought the game from a member of the Retro Gamer forum and they very kindly put in the CD for free.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Completed Games August 2012

Lego Batman - 360

Just the one game this month, though not through lack of trying as I have a few games on the go at the moment.

I like and enjoy the Lego games but for some reason this one left me feeling a little cold. I think that it could do with the fact that I normally play them on my DS where I can just pick them up and play through a level or two when I feel like it but there was just something about this one where I found it to be a little bit of a chore after a while.

Don't get me wrong, it has it's moments like a dancing robot (which made me remember why I love playing games so much) but overall it's not a game that I'm in a rush to go back and finish 100%.