Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

22 05 2012

No, I don’t mean this kind, even though it is awesome 😛

 

No, but rather today, I thought I would share a discovery with you all. Over the last couple of days, I have been watching many videos on Youtube by this guy: http://www.youtube.com/user/PeanutButterGamer. That’s right, PeanutButterGamer, now, although many of you may have never heard of him before, I have personally found him to be rather amusing. Plus, he seems to be a huge Zelda fan, like me, and has recently done a whole bunch of videos on it for his ‘Zelda Month’ so, I would like to recommend him to all you guys, as even his videos that aren’t Zelda based, are still pretty damn funny. Give him a watch 🙂

Oh, and I thought I’d share this with you too 🙂

Link using his powers for all the wrong reasons, as usual.

Right, and today I come with more news on me! that’s right, it’s time for my daily update! Well, I have just finished off writing my review for Trials: Evolution, so you should see a link for that on here whenever that gets posted up on all those internets, and now you can actually rate and comment on my articles (past and future) on scottishgeeks.com, so you can finally let me know what you think of them :). Now, I am going to try and get another article of some description up on here in the next 24 hours for you guys, however, I have an exam tomorrow, and other responsibilities too, so please be patient with me. If I can’t find the time, I’ll be sure to find you an amusing link or something to pass the time with instead 😀

Thanks for reading 🙂

 





Keeping you up to date.

22 05 2012

Hey guys. Well, just thought I would bring you up to speed with how my stuff is going. I am currently working on my review for Trials Evolution for scottishgeeks.com, and I have changed my mind on the ‘InRETROspect’ idea. Not that I am not going to do it anymore, but, because Killer 7 was rather creeping me out, and turning out to be much more frustrating than I remember, I have decided to play through the original Devil May Cry for it now, because I can. 

I have also recently bought another copy of Zelda: Wind Waker, as mine broke a few years back, and have made it my mission to get the four zelda games I don’t own (note, I have actually finished them all already) and play a marathon of them over the summer when I finally get the chance. So, all I need now is link’s awakening, Oracle of Ages/seasons and Four Swords Adventure, and my collection will be complete. If I’m not wrong, I can pick up Links awakening (at least) on the virtual console on either Wii/3DS, so that should be easy enough. Soon, I can proudly say I own every zelda game (and it will be about time too).





After the storm

25 01 2012

Hi guys, now, as some of you may have noticed, it has been a few days without a post now, which I am very sorry for, It has been a hectic few days involving my birthday, moving back to uni, and doing some assignment work. However hopefully I can get back on to my schedule from now and get back to bringing you daily updates 🙂 As promised in my last post, I’m going to bring you a list of ‘hidden gems’ from 2011, try not to pay too much attention to ranking, just take note that all these games are awesome 🙂 Also, if there are any games you feel are worthy to be on this list, please comment and tell me below, after all, there are probably games that I have missed out on too :).

Top 10 games of 2011 (you probably haven’t played)

10. Shadows of the damned (PS3, Xbox 360)

Made by the twisted mind behind the likes of No More Heroes and Killer 7, Shadows of the damned follows suit in the twisted, hellish craziness department, with a crude humour to match. With your girlfriend being taken hostage by a demon, it’s your job to jump straight into hell after her and shoot everything that gets in your way with your boner (…the name of your gun). Whilst technically not the best game ever, it will certainly leave an impression on you, and if you have an ounce of insanity in you, you’ll not want to miss out on this…experience.

9. Might and Magic: Clash of heroes (DS, PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

With this game already featuring on my top 10 GOTY list, you guys should probably have already guessed this is a great game. With a wonderful presentation, a lengthy campaign, great multiplayer, and a simple, yet beautifully realised puzzle battle mechanic, this game should be on everybody’s list of games to get, might and magic may be an old franchise, but this release showed the world it still has what it takes to stay more than relevant, let’s just hope it isn’t the last we see of it.

8. Dark Souls (PS3, Xbox 360)

Well, with a tag line of ‘prepare to die’ it doesn’t take a genius to realise this game is going to be a tough nut to crack. Whilst not always difficult for the right reasons (the game basically throws you in at the deep end, and leaves you there to figure things out yourself) it is fair to say that death will most certainly be on the cards. Luckily a brilliant mechanic in the game helps make up for it. When playing on the game online, you will encounter the souls of other players from where they have died, leaving you tips on what the next area may involve, or the weakness of a specific enemy etc. it’s a small but game changing idea, and I for one love it.

7. Rayman origins (3DS, PS3, PSVita, Wii, Xbox 360)

Whilst many ‘gamers’ passed on this game due to its childish (albeit amazing) appearance, it’s easy to say that they are missing out on some good old fashion, beautifully tweaked Rayman platforming. Throw some 4 player co-op a la Super Mario Bros. Wii, and some really challenging levels later on in the game, and Rayman Origins is a glorious return to form for our favourite free-floating hero, and for many, the best in the series so far.

6. Magic: the Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Although the card game this game is based on is anything but new, this game brings us a great way to discover and play it through. Don’t get put off if you’ve never played the card game before, as I hadn’t either. However, it is simple enough to learn, and difficult enough to master that it will leave everybody happy, newcomers and veterans alike. With several modes to play, from a campaign to unlock new decks and cards, to an extremely difficult archenemy mode, which pits you and two mates (or AI) against one super powerful enemy, this game certainly has enough to keep you going, and trust me, you’ll want to.

5. LA Noire (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)


Ever want to be a 1950’s cop in L.A. solving murder cases and more? Yeah, me neither really, that is until I saw footage of LA Noire, from then, it became a dream of mine. A dream that was beautifully realised by this great game by Rockstar. Giving us a look at what life is like on the other side, this game is a huge departure from GTA, however the quality is certainly still there. Letting us examine crime scenes, compete in car chases and even interrogate suspects (the facial scan technology they used means unparalleled facial animation, and some of the best acting in a game, ever). Despite whether you want to be an oldy-worldy cop or not, you should give this game a chance to interrogate the socks off you.

4. Bastion (PC, Xbox 360)

After ‘the calamity’ leaves the world in pieces, it is up to you to put the bastion back together, and make the best of a bad situation. An isometric dungeon crawler with a twist or two, this game will leave you wanting a narrator of your own (he narrates over the whole game, and it’s dynamic, to match whatever you are doing the in the game). The fluid combat and great weapons are more than enough to motivate you through bringing an entire world back from the brink of death. Not to mention all the little extra bits you’ll come across. This fantastic looking game will leave you begging for more, now let’s just hope we get it.

3. Bulletstorm (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)


With epic games offering the Gears 3 beta codes along with a pre-order of this game, it’s fair to say that many people who bought this game, never truly wanted to play it. However more fool them, as secretly, we all should have been buying this game, even if it denied us access to the beta. With the game giving us almost limitless ways to kill anybody stupid enough to get in the way, and the skillshot system rewarding us for finding them all, Bulletstorm is an almost limitless cycle of killing, and buying new death machines, leaving us more than happy gamers in the process.

2. LittleBigPlanet 2 (PS3)

Just missing out on the number 1 spot is the sequel to MediaMolecule’s fabulous imagination implementor, LittleBigPlanet. Number 2 simply gives us much much more, and lets us do what we want with it. Giving us new items, like the grapple hook, new genres of gaming to design, and even the option to make our very own cut scenes, no game has ever been so close letting us make our very own games, however we want to make them. Boasting an impossibly big combination of possibilities, no game has ever relied so much on us gamers. The bet pays off big time, with the community on this game flourishing, and more and more levels to play being added every day, you don’t even need to be a genius level designer in the making to appreciate this game, you can simply abuse the efforts of others and play their wonderous  levels. With all this and the ability to play almost all of it with 3 other friends, you certainly wont be running out of things to do on LittleBigPlanet 2 anytime in the near future.

1. Terraria (PC)

Simply put, this 2D lovechild of Zelda and Minecraft has captivated me, and many other gamers who have played it. With an ever-growing amount of enemies, bosses, weapons, armour and everything else in between, Terraria has a little bit for everyone. You can just build a massive fortress for you and the NPC’s to live in whilst the zombies and demon eyes haunt your nights forever, or you can build a little hut for a base, and go wild with exploration, all the way to the depths of hell, where you will more than likely be killed by the demons or the lava. This game has so much to discover that you will more than likely never find it all, and if you ever plan on it, be prepared to lose entire weekends spelunking caverns with your friends. So put on your rocket boots and equip your demon bows, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.





Getting old

20 01 2012

Hey guys, I’m writing to you today on the last ever day of me being a teenager, and it’s starting to make me feel old. However, today, as a nice introduction into true adulthood, I had to shovel out a bunch of money on a train, just to get home and visit family. This made me feel rather poor, and started to make me think about how I ever manage to keep up my oh so expensive hobby that is gaming. So I thought I’d bring you a 3 part guide to gaming on a budget. Firstly, today I have written you guys the methods I use to save money on gaming and get all those wonderful games to play. Then, over the next two days I shall post up A) a list of the best games of 2011 you may not have played/heard of   and B) a list of great games to get for under £10.

A Student’s Guide: Gaming on a Budget

Well, being a student in this day and age means one thing for sure, a severe lack of money to go around, so I have had to learn how to game on a very small budget. Today, being the lovely person I am, I’m going to share these tips on how I manage it with you guys. Hope you enjoy, and as always, feel free to leave comments and tell me how you guys save those pennies when gaming.

Time is your greatest ally

Well, I mean really, this one kinda goes without saying, but don’t go out buying all those games on release day. Games that may cost £40 on release will quickly drop in price to £20-30 within the space of about of a month, and although this may not sound like much at the time, if you make up to £20 saving every time you buy a game, it will certainly add up, and let you buy twice as many games. However, if there is a game that you really want to get on release, and you can’t bear to wait any longer, then I would actually recommend going out on a limb and pre-ordering it, as often you get little bonus content for showing your loyalty to the game. Another good tactic is to try and go to the midnight launch for the title, as often, specialist game retailers will also give out little incentives with the game to promote their midnight launches (for example, I got given 800 MS points free at the launch of Gears of War 3 at GAME).

Be Independent

By this of course, I mean that you should start playing more indie games. With many of the bigger indie titles offering as good a gaming experience as retail games (titles like Minecraft, bastion and super meat boy spring to mind), but only costing a fraction of the price, many of them can be a steal. With Xbox Live, PSN and WiiWare getting in on the indie action, it has never been easier to get your hands on these great titles, and plus, many of these developers may grow to make your next favourite blockbuster game, we just need to support them now as well, whilst they are still growing.

Timing is everything

Now, although you may only need to wait several weeks for retail games to drop in price, downloadable titles are a bit more stubborn when it comes to their price point. However, there is a way to get around this, and that my friends, is sales. With the holidays having just passed, many of you may have noticed huge price drops in some amazing, downloadable titles, and this gives you the perfect opportunity to grab those games you’ve been meaning to get, but haven’t wanted to fork out the cash for. For example, the holiday steam sale was magnificent, with many titles dropping in price by more than 50% for almost a whole month, and then the daily deals crunching those even further, to the point where some games were 80+% off their normal prices, you’d have to be crazy to not take advantage. The trick with these sales is to wait until the last day to buy anything you want, because at any point it could turn out to be part of the daily deals (which is when you really want to buy them). It’s not just the holidays to watch out for though, sales can happen at any point throughout the year, and with most services offering special deals every week/weekend, you have to stay vigilant, otherwise you may miss out on some fantastic deals.

Saving you a bundle of moneys

Buying in bulk

With all of these fantastic services offering us our games at great prices, many developers need ways to make their games stand out. It seems that right now, bundles is the next big thing. With things like the ‘humble indie bundle’ offering you a great selection of games, at a price point of your choosing (although you get more games if you pay more than the average price paid, which is usually around $6/7, which is a steal for 7/8 great titles), you can’t really go wrong, even if you only like 1 or 2 of the titles, you’re still paying way below the odds (often the value of these bundles is around $100), and as a nice little touch, they let you choose how much of your payment goes to the developer, with the rest going to charity. It’s not just indie developers that are doing this either. When on steam, you may notice that many developers are offering all of their games in one huge bundle, at a slightly discounted price. Wait until the sales however, and you can grab some bundles worth £300+ for less than £100, and you don’t need me to tell you, that’s a bargain.

Start subscribing

With services like Lovefilm becoming more and more common, renting games has never been easier. Pay a subscription fee (packages range from roughly £5 to £20 a month) and you can start renting all of those titles you’ve been meaning to play, without having to buy any of them. I will say this much however, although this may be good for you wallet, I will still plead you on a moral basis to not use this method, as it leaves the developer severely out of pocket, meaning that in the future they may not be able to make any more of their amazing games for you. However, in an attempt to try and be as informative and useful as possible, I am obliged to tell you this, as it is genuinely a great way to save some cash.

pay for one game, get two... o.O

One man’s trash is another’s treasure

Like my last point, I will urge you to stay away from this tactic as often as possible, because those lovely developers gain nothing from this method either. However, used games is truly a great way to save huge amounts of your precious money With most game retailers offering other peoples unwanted games at discounted prices, this can be another method of picking up newly released titles at a fraction of the price, with games pricing at about £5-10 cheaper than their freshly packaged siblings. Buying used games is also often your only option if you are hunting down some old classics that you missed out on…speaking of which…

Respect your elders

Tracking down older games can be a great way to use up your time while you are waiting for those new games you’ve got your eyes on to drop in price. Searching round the internet for some good games you may have let pass you buy over years gone by can be one of your greatest options. The only problem can be buying them, as many retailers may have stopped selling these games by the time you try to acquire them, leaving you with no other option than to try and see if one just happens to be sitting in the pre-owned section of your local stores, or leaving you to try and win a tense bidding war for some lucky seller’s version of the game.

How could you possibly resist?

 

They’re called ’hidden gems’ for a reason

Chances are, that at some point down the line, there have been a few stellar titles that you will have never even heard of. With many of these great games dropping to ridiculously low prices really quickly due to lack of sales, going for un-noticed games is truly one of your best, and most satisfying bets. With many of these games dropping to as low as £10 within 4-6 weeks of release, you can find yourself buying 3 or 4 fantastic titles for the price of one, and all of them can be sparkling new in the process. The only catch however is that you’ll have to hunt them down. Scrounge around the internet and do you homework (a good place to start is looking for peoples ‘best games you may not have played’ lists etc.). However, if you keep seeing games crop up on a number of these lists, it’s probably a good sign that you should be trying them out, maybe try seeing if any of them have demos to try them out, make sure if they are the right game for you.

Friends do have their uses

If all other options fail you, maybe find a friend that is as big a gamer as you, and strike some sort of deal with them, in which you both borrow games from each other (it’s only fair they get something from you too). Again, this does short change developers, but maybe if you both strategically plan games to buy new, with the plan to lend them to one another, and everyone benefits. Just make sure you check how well they take care of their own games before you start trusting them with your precious possessions. After all, games are for life, not just for Christmas.





Humble Beginnings

15 01 2012

Hey guys,  welcome to my blog. This will mainly be a way for me to get my opinions on gaming out in the open, and to (hopefully) inform you guys a little in the process. I will also be de-stressing about real life a bit.

It all started just over a year ago, having just recently starting university, I decided to start writing something. I thought I would start with something I had experienced, so, being a 20-year-old who has pretty much spent his entire memorable life in education, guess what I chose? After about half a novel written out about the life of a teenager (I know, very original), my laptop’s  hard drive decided to break on me, meaning I lost the whole thing. Then after another half a year of hating technology for making me lose all my work, I decided to start writing again. Still wanting to write about something that plays a big part of my life, gaming seemed like the next logical thing. For my first attempt, I’m going to look at whether you should buy a 3DS, hope you enjoy. 🙂

The 3DS in 2011

The 3DS came out nearly a year ago now, and, let’s be fair, it’s had a bit of a rollercoaster ride so far. When it was released the internet exploded with complaints. ‘The battery life is too small’, ‘The 3D gives people headaches’, ‘There are no games out’. Then came the announcement of the circle pad pro, an attachment that adds an extra circle pad and two extra shoulder buttons. This made many people question Nintendo and their loyalty to their own design. Ninty then decided to announce a price drop aswell, making people question them even more, and leaving many loyal fans who had already bought the system feel betrayed, despite the free games they may have got as part of Nintendo’s ambassador programme.

Now in spite of all of these issues, the 3DS made a comeback in spectacular fashion, selling more in 8 months than the DS did in its first whole year. Now many people seem surprised by this, however, not me. there are many reasons why you should go out and buy a 3DS, and here are the biggest ones.

The Games

Now then, even as a very loyal Nintendo fan, it’s not difficult to say that this year hasn’t been great for the 3DS, aside from the two Mario games (Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3DS Land), the only real games that have grabbed most people’s attention have been the remakes of star fox and Zelda. On the upside for Nintendo, this really showed the selling power of Mario is still well and truly there. However, for us gamers, this was a huge let down.

2012 should however be the year we 3DS owners were hoping for, with a stellar list of already announced games, not to mention all of the (hopefully) amazing games that Nintendo have hidden up their sleeves, we’ll be playing our 3DS all year-long. Resident Evil: Revelations is the first of these to come out, (26th jan for us UK folk) this looks set to make a triumphant return to the good old days of resident evil, providing us with a true survival horror experience, as opposed to the much criticized formula of RE5.

With the likes of Kingdom hearts, Fire Emblem, Metal Gear Solid 3DS, Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney, Harvest Moon and Blazblue all coming out this year, it certainly looks like we have plenty to keep us happy and quiet for a little longer about any of the system’s shortcomings. That’s not even mentioning any of the games that Nintendo have to delight us with. With Luigi’s mansion 2, Kid Icarus: uprising, Animal Crossing, Paper Mario and even the possibility of a new Super Smash Bros. game, anybody would have to be crazy to not be excited about what 2012 has in store for the 3DS.

The Price Point

With many people opting out of buying the 3DS originally due to its hefty price tag, and it’s onslaught of complaints. Nintendo had no real option but to respond with a price drop. Now that you can get it for roughly £150, and considering all the games I just listed, there is not much of a risk anymore to say no. I mean really, comparing it t the DS and the new PSVita, the 3DS is a steal, with the DSi XL coming in at £130, and the PSVita costing £230 (or £280 for the 3G option), the 3DS is now great value, and anybody who isn’t at least tempted by buying one, is at least a little bit crazy.

What’s the catch?

Don’t get me wrong, there is still a risk in buying the 3DS this early on in its life cycle. I mean firstly, there is no way to make sure that the games will keep on coming, I mean, sure, 2012 is looking great, without a doubt, but beyond there we are basically going in blind. With the exception of Super Smash Bros. (which has no announced release date), there are no games announced officially for 2013 and beyond for the still young handheld. Now, you may all be thinking that this is just me being paranoid, however, we have to take into account the WiiU. Nintendo’s new home console is coming out this year, and with the disappointing launch of the 3DS, Nintendo will be making their best effort to have a stellar line-up for the WiiU’s launch. Now, this is great news, but, it could mean that the 3DS gets left in the WiiU’s shadow for 2013 and beyond. This shouldn’t be the case, so don’t worry too much, Nintendo are the gaming veterans, and they know what they are doing (most of the time), and they learn from their mistakes. I think I can safely say that Nintendo will have no troubles with running both consoles at the same time, after all, they have been doing it for over a decade. 🙂

Now, unfortunately that’s not all, with all the issues that have surrounded the system itself. There are already rumours spreading like wildfire around the internet about a 3DS ‘lite’ console. Boasting better battery life and a smaller, lighter design, (just like the DS lite did) it may not be just the time to go ahead and buy a 3DS, especially if you were one of the people who traded their DS for a shiny new DS lite. However, many people were disappointed these rumours didn’t include putting the circle pad pro into the design of the lite, therefore having no need to use the (somewhat bulky) add-on for the 3DS on games that will need it. Now, although these rumours may not be true, bear in mind, that it will almost definitely happen. Nintendo have a track record for revising the design of their handhelds, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Lastly, just as a small point. The PSVita is also coming out this year, providing some real competition for the 3DS. However, the japanese have already started bringing up issues with the (already released, in Japan) console, and there is still a lack of games released for the handheld powerhouse. Now, as you may have just guessed, the PSVita boasts much more power than the 3DS, so those of you who love your shiny graphics will probably be much more attracted to the idea of buying a Vita over a 3DS. Now, I would personally say that the two are aimed at different market, with Sony going for the ‘hardcore’ market, and Nintendo going for a market of ‘everybody in the whole world’, you’re clearly going to get different mileage out of the two, and I personally say (if you can afford to) it’s probably worth getting them both at some point. However, with the 3DS having a lower price point, and a much quicker expanding library of games, I would personally suggest buying the 3DS now, and the Vita later, unless you really, really want to play uncharted on the go ASAP.

My thoughts on the whole mess

Well, since I recently bought a 3DS for christmas, it’s pretty clear where I stand on the whole matter. I say buy it, it’s cheap, there are plenty of games coming out this year, and its main competitor has not even released over here yet. Simply put, I think it’s a no-brainer, I don’t particularly care that there will be a new version of a console out, I bought an original DS, still have it now, and I don’t regret it at all, even though the next iterations were actually better. Also, having read the previews of the circle pad pro, I’m not that miffed about having to use it for the occasional game, especially if it gives me a better gaming experience. So go ahead, buy one now!!! 😀