Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mario Kart 7: 150cc starred

I was dreading the rainbow road courses on the higher difficulties, since I struggled in the earlier grands prix, but in the end I was able to finish top of the leaderboard in both final groups, winning every race.  I've now unlocked all characters, but there are still a number of vehicle parts to unlock and mirror mode has just appeared.  Not completed yet, then.

For now, though, I'm racing some time trials against opponents who have appeared through SpotPass or StreetPass.  I have no idea if they will ever know how much I've thrashed them by, but I hope that if I ever StreetPass them again they will receive a big "loser" badge on their Mii.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Zen Pinball: what's going on?

I am hopeless at pinball videogames.  The tables all seem immensely difficult, I can't judge when to fire in order to hit specific targets, and I can never tell what those targets are meant to do either. There are things all over the tables which look amazing and exciting, but I have no clue what I need to do in order to activate or access them.  The only exception to this was Sonic Spinball, which isn't really a pinball game at all.

Zen is pretty much standard in this way.  I have no idea what I'm meant to do; I frequently find the ball moving to other parts of the table which I'm sure is good but I have no idea what I've done to achieve it.  At least the 3D helps me keep the ball on the table.  I'm still hopeless though.

I like the way the friends list is integrated though, letting you know the next person's score, compelling you to beat it.  I never do.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mario Kart 7: 100cc starred

I'm not sure that I will ever completely three-star the 100cc grands prix, since I'm not entirely sure what it is that influences the number of stars you get.  I have three stars on some, two stars on others, and a single star on two.  You gain nothing for completing everything with three stars in any case.

I'm now half-way through 150cc - well, slightly over, with gold trophies on the first three 3DS grands prix and the first three legacy grands prix.  The last of each eludes me, largely because of Rainbow Road, but if I could get a large enough lead prior to the last track that wouldn't matter.  I shall continue to try.

Online is superb fun, although I'm disappointed that the time trial ghosts aren't populated from my friends list.  From the look of the worldwide distribution graphs, I'm pretty average.  Boo.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Daytona USA: completed!

Daytona is looking a little rough around the edges nowadays, but it's not how it looks, it's how it plays.  This plays exactly like the arcade, which is a relief after the two Saturn versions and the Dreamcast games - all good games in their own right, but they failed to capture the handling and blue skies of the arcade.

Daytona, of course, isn't a game that you will ever "complete".  But I've now placed first on each of the tracks (at normal difficulty) and have won all the achievements.  They were particularly easy.  Even so, I'll be back for another ROLLING START soon, I have no doubt.

Beyond Good & Evil HD: joining IRIS

As BG&E was cheap in a recent sale, and remembering how amazing I felt the game was at the time, I downloaded this.  And, well, it's OK.

It doesn't help that the controls are all wrong; you can either have the up-down camera correct, or the left-right camera correct.  It's such an amazingly simple thing that I just can't understand how they didn't think to add more customisation options.  It's made all the worse since the Xbox 360 contains a default setting which they could have picked up.

But other than that complaint - which is a pretty big one, since it means I'm constantly looking at the floor or the sky - this is still the charming game with the lovely world I remember.  It feels a bit more like a collectathon now than when I first played it, and some of the animation on the characters is rather off-putting, but Jade remains one of the best videogame characters ever and her story - of taking photos to expose conspiracies - is still pretty unique.

But will I play this through to completion again?  Achievements give me an incentive to do so, but the controls are just a major obstacle.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Mario Kart 7: 50cc three-starred

Mario Kart won.  Mario Kart always wins.

I've played a lot of this over the last few days.  I've played through the 50cc grands prix, coming first in every race.  It's really easy, as ever.  I've played a couple of the 100cc races, and have come first in those as well, but at least my opponents were visible on the map screen.  I've played one of the 150cc grands prix, and came second overall after finishing 1st, 1st, 3rd and 4th in the four races.  Unlike the Wii game, I'm going to complete those.

I've also played this online.  It's great, although it's very similar to the Wii version.  I never came last in a race, though I did come fourth out of six once.

The new items are great, and feel like proper additions to the series rather than one-off experiments.  I love the hang gliding sections - starting to use updrafts to my advantage now - but the underwater bits seem a little tacked-on, particularly because on some courses (like the Wuhu Island ones) you just 'die' if you fall in the water.

It's compelling and great and exciting and fun.  Layton may not get a look in for a little while.  I'm running out of gaming time, though; in addition to Mario Kart, I've got my daily 1000 Heroz level to complete, and also Angry Birds Seasons has just been updated with a new advent calendar.  I've beaten Niaz on both days so far.  In fact, I've come top of the leaderboard, but beating Niaz is all that matters.