Friday, June 29, 2012

Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition: completed!

My commuting game of choice over the past week or so has been the 3DS conversion of the GBA game that was included alongside Link to the Past.  The 3DS game has the benefit of being adapted so you can play it in single-player modes, rather than being restricted to only playing when there's someone else with a GBA and link cable around.

Nintendo evidently realised that such time would be few and far between, so Four Swords actually has relatively little content.  There are three main "dungeons", with three or four levels each.  In the new version, you control two Links, switching between them with a shoulder button, and puzzles have been redesigned so simultaneous actions aren't needed.  It's been really well done.

There have been a couple of times where puzzles have left me stuck for a few minutes, and I only died (properly) once - there were a few deaths along the way but they were paid for with rupees so no progress was lost.  The final boss had a few different forms, but died pretty quickly.

A nice freebie from Nintendo!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Assassin's Creed: completed!

Although some parts of it were a bit annoying - particularly the informer missions - this has been an excellent game.

I was wrong about there being two more missions in the animus - the last block is full of the additional missions such as collecting flags and killing Templars.  There was an obvious twist to the story in the end, though I wasn't expecting that the enemy at the funeral would turn out to not be Robert.  That makes it 50% on the twist-is-a-surprise-o-meter.

After spending most of the game trying to be sneaky and quiet and hiding from the guards, the last bit of the game forced me to fight out in the open, which grated somewhat.  Luckily, I had had plenty of practice at this since the guards throughout Jerusalem had a knack of seeing me even when I was trying to keep out of their way, and so I had been attacked many times over by the time I got to the final mission.  The fights against Robert's men were tricky, and I frequently had to run away to regain some health before returning to the fight.  Robert himself was a skilled fighter, blocking most of my attacks and forcing me to constantly parry.

But he went down, as did the super-secret-obvious end boss, and the game is finished.

I may well go back to collect some flags and kill some Templars, but will need to use a map if I don't want to end up wandering the kingdom forever.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

New Star Soccer: completed!

I'ver probably played this a bit too much.  After coming second in the premiership with Spurs by a single point, I lead England to world cup glory scoring a hat trick in the final against Brazil (which was won 4-0).  Rather than go back to Spurs for another season, I decided to move to Winter in the lower Swiss league - which I presume is FC Winterthur.  This has been a bit of a disaster, with team mates not passing me the ball and fans hating me.

I'm tempted to start over, but there are other things which have piqued my interest recently.  Maybe once I'm able to come back fresh.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Assassin's Creed: splosh!

Im on the 'final' mission now, which is to find the Templar organising all the blockades and book burning and general malpractice. Except I know it's not the last mission, since there are two more mission blocks in the animus.

The last assassination was exceptionally annoying. The port master was, as his name suggests, at the port. Specifically, he coops himself up on a ship. This would be fine if Altair didn't die with the slightest contact with water. This would also be fine if Altair didn't decide to randomly jump at an odd angle rather than onto the post directly in front. I spent ages working may way around the North dock, as the intelligence says, and on my 267,396th try finally made it to the large boat. At which point I realised that I hadn't triggered the cutscene starting the assassination, so Siread wasn't actually on the boat yet.

When I finally completed the assassination, though, I did so very well indeed. Siread is a jittery mess, and wanders around his boat all the time. I managed to get to a position where I was hanging off the side of the boat, and as he went past I jumped over the railing and killed him with one blow. All that was left was to flee the guards - which I did using the paths along the walls, rather than jumping over the boats and poles again. It's a little samey now, and the informant missions are a bit annoying given the propensity of guards to spot you just because a random drunk has pushed you. Still, off to Jerusalem ...

Friday, June 15, 2012

New Star Soccer: the quadruple

New Star Soccer is the best game on iOS. I have dedicated hours to it while commuting, and am now aged 40 in-game and still playing. Given that you start at age 16, and each year represents a full football season, that's a lot of game. It plays to the strengths and weaknesses of the platform superbly. No virtual joysticks, no overly-long matches, no diddly controls. You watch most of a match in text form, as in Football Manager Handheld, but then when your player receives the ball, you act - either in terms of passing, shooting, or intercepting (of course, that last one isn't after you've received the ball, that would be daft). As you do more training, the strength of your shots and the extent to which you can curve them increases, and your teammates appear in better positions as well. I started playing for Tonbridge in the Conference South. I've made my way up through the leagues, mainly staying in England with a brief flirtation with the Faroese league and some time in Portugal. I've now been playing for Spurs for a few years, and last year we managed to win the league, the League Cup, the FA Cup, and the Champions League. And I'm still playing, since England keep getting knocked out of international competitions at the semi-final stage; the last Euros saw a particularly annoying defeat by Greece of all teams. A superb game.