Tuesday, 30 October 2012

WiiU thoughts

As mentioned in the Play Expo 2012 thread I got to play on the upcoming WiiU and here are my thoughts.

Before I begin let me just say that I am a huge Nintendo fan (have been since the NES) but, and it's a big but, I'm also not one of those people who thinks that everything Nintendo do is absolutely amazing. For a start I thought that Mario Bros. Wii was dull as ditchwater and the 3DS launch was a right royal screw-up but because of this it means that I can go into the launch of a new console with an open mind.

When the major details regarding the WiiU were finally announced back in September I had pretty much decided that I was definitely going to be buying one at some point (a post that can be read here) but even then there was still doubts, like how will the pad be utilised within games, will it be uncomfortable to use, while the games certainly look enjoyable will they play well? doubts that I had even as I was queuing to play on the WiiU, doubts that quickly disappeared as soon as I picked up the pad.

Lightweight and comfortable to use I had absolutely no problems at all using the pad, even when having to tilt it to progress on Rayman Legends. I suppose the only 'problem' that I had with the pad was when playing Ninja Castle on NintendoLand as I found it a little bit difficult to line it up to hit the Ninjas with the shurikens but that was more me trying to slide/throw at different speeds and times than anything to do with the pad.

Talking of NintendoLand, I also played on The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest and Luigi's Ghost Mansion, one was great and one not so. I love the LOZ series and I was hoping to say the same about this but unfortunately I just found it to be a bit slow and dull. I played using both the pad and the Wii remote and I have to say that using the pad was better as the game was a little bit more fun. When using the pad the player plays as an Archer while the other player(s) play as characters using swords. I found the Archer to be better as you just had that little bit more to do with having to hit enemies in the air and aim for crystals in higher up places to open doors. Giving the pad a little shake refilled your arrow bag but overall I just wasn't that impressed with the game play.

Luigi on the other hand was absolutely brilliant and is definitely worth playing. The player using the pad plays as a ghost who has to chase the other players and grab them to 'kill' them. The thing is though is that the ghost can see every player on the pad/TV screen while the players using the Wii remotes cannot see the ghost at all, meaning that all they see on the TV screen is blackness where the ghost should be. Players can kill the ghost by shining their torch on it (and like in the original Luigi's Mansion game the ghost has 100 points) and can also resurrect other players but at the expense of the possibility of their torch draining which means that they have to hunt for a new battery. The game is really interesting and fun and can be quite strategic, especially when there are four other people playing.

They were the only three games that I played on NintendoLand but I also played on Rayman Legends and Mario Bros. WiiU to mixed reactions. Rayman Legends was an absolute joy to look at and to play with bright colourful graphics and game play to match. Using the pad I took control of a character who can cut ropes, attack enemies and pull things across the screen, a particular highlight being grabbing an enemy who was sticking their head out of the ground and stretching them up the screen so that the other player could bounce off them to reach a platform. Another highlight was getting to a section where the Wii remote player jumps onto a platform and the pad player tilts the pad round to move the platform allowing for the other player to jump up to their destination. The game really utilises the pad and is definitely one that I will be buying at some point.

Mario Bros. on the other hand was to me just as dull as the Wii version. The graphics looked great but the game play was just lacking, especially for the person using the pad who's only involvement was to touch the screen to produce platforms for the other players to jump onto. In all honesty I found it to be so excruciatingly dull that I couldn't wait to put the pad down and try with the Wii remote, unfortunately I found that to be just as bad but this time due to problems with the kit and so I moved on to Batman: Arkham City which I was excited about. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get to play on it due to being behind a person who just could not grasp how to use the pad. I did get to see how the pad was utilised within the game but unfortunately after a few minutes the 'give me the pad and let me do it' monster started to rear it's ugly head so I took a wander to have a look at ZombiU.

Unfortunately ZombiU was roped off for over 18's only, though you could still see it in action over the rope, and so due to not wanting to queue again I only got to see it in action. I thought that some of the graphics looked a little ropey but the game play did look interesting, though I have to admit that I did start to wonder if it would get a little predictable after a while. A couple of memorable bits were using the pad to scan Zombies for ammo whilst not knowing if they would come back to life and having to decide when and where to use the torch to conserve battery power. It's a game that looked like it had good atmosphere and interesting sections but without properly trying it not one that I will be rushing out and buying.

I didn't intend for this post to be so long so I will wrap it up by saying that I'm now 100% convinced about buying a WiiU and that after playing on one (well several really) I can honestly say that I would recommend it to other people.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Play Expo goodies

As mentioned in my previous post about Play Expo 2012 I picked up some goodies including posters and games, pictured below is what I picked up.

Lenticular poster for the new Metal Gear game.

Poster for the upcoming Darkstalkers Resurrection release.

Play Expo goodie bag for volunteering.

Extra extra, read all about the Play Expo in the free newspaper.

Cost me an English fiver but was worth it after all these years.

Given to me as a gift from the excellent TwoHeadedBoy
So there you have it, just some quick photos of all the lovely things that I picked up at the Expo.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Play Expo 2012

Better late then never, I was meant to post this nearly a couple of weeks back now but unfortunately life got in the way. Here it is at last, my thoughts on Play Expo 2012.


I had to set off very early on Saturday morning to arrive at the venue on time for it to open and I managed to arrive fifteen minutes after opening to find a very big queue outside which was due to technical issues on the inside. Due to this the event was delayed by thirty minutes and originally the organisers were going to open for thirty minutes longer but in fact opened for an extra two hours, top marks for that.

I was volunteering on the Saturday so managed to get in to see what I was supposed to be doing and it turned out that I was on the afternoon/evening shift which meant that I got the morning to myself to freely wander round and try things. After taking in the rather large array of hardware the first thing I did was pop over to Console Passion and pick up a complete SNES game in the form of WWF Royal Rumble, a game that is now nineteen years old and if memory serves me right not actually that good a game but one I've wanted for years none the less.

After that it was time to head over to play on one of my holy grails of gaming... the Crazy Taxi arcade machine. It was free play and I certainly made the most of that free play as I had some goes over the two days of the event. After a couple of plays on the arcade I headed over to the WiiU section which was starting to open. I managed to stand second in line on the none ZombieU side (that was in a separate section for over 18's) and waited and waited until finally giving up due to some of the machines breaking.

By this point the doors had opened and the place was starting to fill so I decided to take a wander round the retro section seeing what machines had been set up and what games were being played on them. Playing on machines that I hadn't played on before like the Vectrex and games that I had never played before like Judge Dredd on the SNES and Hulk on the Saturn.

I then briefly had a look around the developer section without playing anything due to queues before starting my volunteer shift on the modern section. Once that was finished and the crowds were winding down I headed back to the developer section to try out games like Darkstalkers Resurrection and the new Devil May Cry which was fun enough in the small amount that I played. I had a look at the new Metal Gear Solid game and it looked interesting. If you played the twenty minute demo you received a poster, due to it being so late I cheekily asked if I could get a poster and the member of staff was kind enough to give me one. I also picked up a Darkstalkers poster to go alongside it which was good.

Alongside all of this I met a few people from the Retro Gamer forum including markopoloman and friends who I shared a room with and Darran, the Editor of the Retro Gamer magazine. I also met a couple of member who are fellow bloggers, jdanddiet who writes Jdandiet's Gaming and Move Blog and also TwoHeadedBoy who writes TwoHeaded Thingies and who also gave me a Ghostbusters two from the box of goodies that he had.


I was volunteering again on Sunday morning and this time I was assigned to the retro section which was more to my liking. Due to a late night in Manchester Sunday started with a mad dash to the venue to prepare but luckily we made it in time.

For the first couple of hours I was wandering round the retro section making sure that people were getting on OK and enjoying themselves and chatting with various retro gamers. After that I was on the information desk next to the entrance and which was also next to the Cos-play section. It was interesting seeing the people in the Cos-play section and the dedication that they put into their costumes. Whilst not something that I would myself I do admire the people who do partake in Cos-play, especially when the costume looks like this.

Once I'd finished on the info desk I played some more retro and met some more people, both from the RG forum and people at the event. I headed over to the WiiU stand again and this time I managed to get in and try out the hardware and what hardware it was, even with the consoles still being developer kits. I'm not going to go too much into it as I'm going to write a separate post but what I will say is that after playing Rayman Legends, Mario Bros. and NintendoLand is that I will definitely be buying one at some point.

I also played on some 3DS games which included Kid Icarus, the new Professor Layton game (well I watched part of the opening story before moving on) and the upcoming Paper Mario: Sticker Star which was an absolute joy to play. The graphics loved lovely and the game play of what I played was superb with the stickers being used for fighting and for using as part of the environment, There was also a game hub that resembled the one from Mario Bros. 3 which was great.

After this I played some more Darkstalkers and the latest Pro Evolution which was a bit meh and also on the first Metal Gear on the NES. A guy next to me was playing Metal Gear Solid on the Playstation and just as he died someone walked past and shouted Snake, Snake, Snaaaaaaaaake which made me laugh, unfortunately the guy playing didn't really see the funny side.

Sadly I had to leave a little early to head home so unfortunately ended up missing the staff competition on Chompy Chomp Chomp but from what I did see it looked like a fun game and people seemed to be enjoying playing it.

Over the two days there were some minor quibbles (like food prices and the attitude of younger gamers) but overall I had a thoroughly enjoyable time, played some great games and met some absolutely wonderful people and really enjoyed being there, which is what gaming is all about.

More photos can be found on the Game Over Yeah Facebook page.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Game Over Yeah will be at Play Expo

As the title says I will be at the Play Expo in Manchester this weekend.

For those not in the know take a look at the website here. Packed to the rafters with retro gaming, coin-ops, pinballs, modern systems (including the WiiU), tournaments and cos-play there should be something for everything.

I know of at least one other blogger who will be attending so if you are come and say hello, I'm dste from the Retro Gamer forum.

Pictures and a detailed account will follow early next week.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Classic Corner Two

Welcome to classic corner two where this time I'm going to take a look at one of my all time absolute favourite games, Secret of Mana for the SNES.

Developed and published by Square and released for the Super Nintendo in 1993, Secret of Mana was a hit both critically and commercially and it's not difficult to see why.

It's difficult to know where to start when describing Secret of Mana as a classic as there is so much that you can talk about, the characters, the story, the music, the game play, Santa Claus, so I'll start at the very beginning with the opening scene of the game.

As soon as you switch the game on you are introduced to enchanting and slightly haunting music as the titles appear and the screen opens and scrolls up to reveal the three lead characters standing before the Mana tree. It's a great opening which you get to savour before you are told about the history of Mana. Shortly after that you are introduced to your first playable character and the game quickly begins.


It's not long into the game that you meet the second of your three lead characters and what characters they are. Starting of as the hero you go on to meet a girl and a sprite and each person has their own individual strengths and weaknesses and reasons for joining the adventure. The main hero uses the Sword of Mana and is brilliant at combat but cannot use magic, he is tasked with re-energising the sword and saving the world from monsters and the big bad. The girl is physically weaker than the hero but can cast healing and support spells, she is trying to find her love who has been sent by the king to try and stop the monsters. Finally, the sprite is the last character who is physically the weakest but is strongest with magic, especially offensive magic. He joins the quest to retrieve his lost memories. As per usual with RPG's each character can be levelled up alongside their weapons and magic by killing enemies, finding weapon orbs and by rescuing spirits known as elementals.

The plot/story is pretty much your standard good vs evil like in the majority of RPG's but it's the way that the characters are portrayed and their reasons for taking part in the quest that make the game that little bit different. The girl and sprite are not in it to save the world, they want to find the love of their live and regain lost memories, the hero is only initially fighting due to being banished from his village for removing the sword, it's not like Zelda where a hero is called upon to save the world.

The game play is set in real time allowing for you to kill enemies and level up as you walk around between villages and dungeons. There are numerous bosses in the game which include a giant frost demon that when defeated turns into Santa Claus. As mentioned previously weapons and spells are upgraded by finding orbs and elementals. There are quite a few weapons found in the game and each one can be upgraded and includes a charge attack which means that you cannot attack whilst charging but once unleashed the attack takes off a lot more energy from the enemy. One really good thing about the game is not only that you can swap characters to fight with at any time but also that with the aid of a multi-tap up to three players can play at the same time. Extra players can drop in and out of the game at any time which is also handy. The world that the characters inhabit is huge and to cut down on travel the characters can be shot from a cannon (after paying a fee) to where they need to go, that is until the player accesses Flammie which is a giant dragon that is controlled by the player.

Moving onto the graphics and sound. Presented in a top down style the graphics are great with the characters through out the game being nice and big and the colours of the various parts of the world being bright and well done. The game also takes advantage of the Super Nintendo's ability to use Mode 7 when controlling Flammie. The music is fantastic as evidenced by the opening and uses a variety of tunes to show off the different parts of the world, ranging from somber to dance like.

To me Secret of Mana is a near perfect game, there are sections of grinding that could have been done without, but overall the game is vibrant, the game play fantastic, the characters are instantly lovable and the music is wonderful and that is why it's in my classic corner.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Attitude of Gamers

I was originally going to write a similar post to this a few months ago when the Capcom/sexism incident occurred but for various reasons never managed to get round to it.

Lately though the attitude of gamers has reared it's ugly head again and has prompted me to finally write something about the way that a portion of gamers have been behaving recently.

There have been instances in the past few months where I have sighed, rolled my eyes and moved on like the Mass Effect 3 ending debacle and incidents where I have felt a little ashamed to be a gamer like the afore mentioned sexism fiasco. Lately though it seems that these incidents are becoming more and more regular and it was the recent Nintendo announcement of the WiiU and specifically Bayonetta 2 that got me really thinking about the problem.

I apologise in advance for the language in the pictures but it's these pictures that epitomises exactly what is wrong with some gamers in this day and age. I mean seriously, threatening to kill someone because a game is Nintendo exclusive. Did they threaten to kill someone because God of War was a Sony exclusive or is it just because it's on a Nintendo console. What really gets me though is the sheer ignorance behind the post. If they had done any kind of research (like typing Bayonetta 2 into Google) they would find that the whole reason the game is WiiU exclusive is because Nintendo are actually pumping money into the game after it was cancelled on X-Box and PlayStation. Of course Nintendo are going to want to make it WiiU exclusive, they are a business.

 The picture here again shows how ignorance prevails as yet again most of the people have a go at Platinum Games for releasing the game as a WiiU exclusive. I love the comments two to four as I'm presuming that the person has played a few games on a WiiU before making these judgments. I also love the fifth comment about about 'loyal gamers', loyal how? Loyal to Platinum Games as a quick look at their resume shows that up to this point in time they have released four games in Europe/USA with two of them being Nintendo exclusive and the other two being Bayonetta and Vanquish for the 360/PS3. So if he is on about being loyal to the company then I'm presuming that he owns all four games, but wait, as just mentioned two of the four games were Nintendo exclusive so from his post I'm presuming that he doesn't own all four games released by Platinum Games. Is he a loyal gamer because he only plays on one out of three home consoles?

I could sit here all day ripping apart the posts but the one that really irked me was the last comment about no one playing interesting games on the Wii (that's straight after she incorrectly states that Bayonetta 2 is in fact being released for the Wii and not the WiiU). Well here's the thing, not only is the comment completely false and judgmental it's also completely wrong. I know this because I PLAY INTERESTING GAMES ON THE WII. In fact I own and play nearly 100 'interesting' games on the Wii compared to about 40 on my 360. Do you know how I play interesting games on the Wii? I open my eyes and look. Just like I look past the FPS and Fifa's on the 360 to play games like Catherine and El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron I look past the 'shovel ware' on the Wii and play games like De Blob, Little King's Story, Boom Blox amongst many others. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy playing the likes of Fifa and Gears of War as they are good games but for me personally I wouldn't call them interesting in the sense of finding something different.

Moving on from all of that, I do apologise for the length of the post, on Friday September 28 I picked up the free Metro newspaper which had an article regarding women playing games. The article quoted some statistics (which are most likely all made up) about how 47% of games are women yet a lot of them are subjected to abuse when playing online purely because they are female. I'm always up for a bit of banter when playing games with other people but it's absolutely disgusting how far over the line some males take the abuse and insults. I'm not saying that women are perfect and I imagine that some of them give as good as they get and rightly so but sometimes it's shameful being a male gamer and being associated with the people who come out with this stuff.

The latest incident to upset those oh so sensitive gamers is an advert from Nintendo for the 3DS featuring Dianna Agron 'playing' on Art Academy. The bit that has made people get their knickers in a twist is the line 'I'm not a gamer, I'm an artist'. Big deal is all that I can say. The advert isn't aimed at 'gamers' who buy the likes of Mario, Metroid, God of War, Gears of War etc etc, It's aimed at a market who may not play them and may be looking for something different and Nintendo are showing of a different element of the 3DS to those people. Shock horror gamers, Nintendo are a business who need and aim to make money to survive, hence them advertising to people who may not be traditional gamers.

There is also a second advert featuring American gymnast Gabrielle Douglas which features the line 'I'm not a gamer, I'm a coin collecting champion'. First things first, if the context of the advert was that she wasn't a gamer then to me she wouldn't be playing the 3DS in the first place. The second thing to me is that what she's actually saying is that she's not only a gamer, she's a coin collecting champion because she plays the game so much (might not be true in real life but for the purpose of the advert it is). Maybe if the line was 'I'm not just a gamer' or 'I'm also a coin collecting champion' then maybe the poor little souls might sleep easier at night.

The final nail in the coffin for me at the moment is the furore surrounding Resident Evil 6 and the reviews that have been handed out to it, especially the 'gamer' scores. At time of writing the user score on Metacritic for the game is 0.8 based on 2795 ratings. So basically 2795 'gamers' have played and completed the game and the majority of them think it's one of the worst games ever and have said so on Metacritic, hmmm. I'm guessing that quite a lot of them have indeed not played the game and have based their score on the demo or what other reviews.

Anyway, it looks like I could be here all day ranting and I do apologise but I'm now just a bit fed up of the idiots who give gaming a bad name, it's bad enough that a lot of non-gamers think that gaming is immature and juvenile and this a lot of time sadly I can see why they think that.

Don't even get me started on fanboys and 'hardcore/casual'.

The two videos can be found on The Official Nintendo Channel on Youtube.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Wreck-It Ralph

I imagine that most people by now know about the up-coming film from Disney Wreck-It Ralph but with a new trailer released today I thought that I would give it a mention.

Directed by Rich Moore and featuring the voices of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch and Alan Tudyk, Wreck-It Ralph follows Ralph as he becomes tired of being the bad guy in his own game so sets off into other games to prove that he can become the good guy.

Featuring cameos from villains that we all love including Bowser and Dr. Eggman the trailer looks fun and it's definitely a film that I will be going along to see.

The film opens November 2 in the US and February 15 in the UK but in the meantime if you head over to the official website you can play the Wreck-It Ralph game which is done in the style of the original Donkey Kong.

The above trailer can be found on theWaltDisneyStudiosUK Youtube channel.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

September Purchases

 Just the four purchases this month, three of them being games.

Manhunt 2 was picked up pre-owned on the cheap and is a game that I wouldn't mind playing. Beat the Beat was in a Game sale and was purchased using remaining Game points so cost nothing in the way of money. Mario Sports Mix is yet another sealed game and another that was only a good ole English fiver and the Marvel vs Capcom 3 steel tin was bought from KW from the Retro Gamer forum to go along side my other collectibles.

Not an outstanding month but still three games that I want to play.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Completed Games September 2012

Another Code: Two Memories - DS
Gears of War 3 - 360

Only two games completed in September, though not through lack of trying.

I thoroughly enjoyed playing Another Code. Developed by the same people who did Hotel Dusk and Last Window it's an interesting game that despite being a few years old now really utilises the DS and it's controls, delivering puzzles that make you use features to figure out the answers. The only major problem that I found with the game was the length, I completed it in about 4+ hours which was a shame as the game is fun with an interesting storyline.

Gears of War 3was a very enjoyable game in co-op and an improvement over the second game, despite the second game possibly including my favourite section. It was a good and fitting end to the trilogy despite the game feeling a bit easier than the previous two and final boss not really being that difficult. It had a couple of sections that dragged but overall it was a game worth playing.

Monday, 1 October 2012


Regular readers may remember back in April when I bought Pandora's Tower that Nintendo offered a reward of three coins for registering the trilogy of games of Xenoblade Chronicles/The Last Story/Pandora's Tower. Well, I registered the games and today the coins finally arrived.

What you may not notice there is that the box is a velvet type of box and feels rather nice on the fingers.

 The front of the coins.

The back of the coins.

Apologies for the state of the pictures, I'll update with some better ones at the weekend when there is some natural light.

Overall though I'm really pleased with them, they feel weighty and not cheap and they look really nice and should look good next to the box with the games and art book in.