Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins: story completed

That was pretty short, really - though the fact I get to spend much more time on handheld games always makes them feel shorter. I've finished the story now, which ends with a good link to the Wii U game and Chase being sent abroad. I was concerned that this would mean that I couldn't continue to search the city, but straight after the credits I was back in Lego City.  The game is apparently 30.6% complete, even though I have been mopping up the collectables and activities as I found them.

It's a little too similar to the Wii U game if anything, with the same puzzles and characters. The controls are awfully imprecise and I frequently found myself falling off ledges. Due to this, I don't know if I'll ever get to 100% completion - particularly since the scanner which you use to find hidden items has a pretty poor range and you can't just drive around looking for things because they only appear when they're about ten metres away.

Having said that, I've a ten hour flight to South Africa next week ...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Assassin's Creed II: I have a motive!

Ubisoft release an Assassin's Creed game each year now that they've seen it's a popular series.  It seems as if I'll play through one a year as well, just a few years behind.

Assassin's Creed II continues the story from the first, which meant that the first half hour or so was confusing and empty, given that I couldn't remember the story and didn't pay too much attention to it in the first place.  I could remember that Desmond lies down on a bed and has memories of the past in his DNA, and explores these.  In the first game he was a professional assassin, who had no real motive for killing other than for money.  Travelling through the story of the second game, it's been revealed that the next assassin does have a rather strong motive; after an hour or so of playing, I saw all the male members of my family executed in the town square.  I've already killed the man who let it happen, and am now running around trying to trace who ordered it in the first place.

The controls are better than the first game - the camera's not so wild, though it does still get lost occasionally - and so far missions seem to be more varied.  It's not as comfortable, in that there's no strict rule about which order things should be done in to get the game as complete as possible, but it's therefore less likely to get boring before I get to the end.

I've now completed the first two sequences and have run out of Florence.  My family owns a big house, woo.  I was met by my uncle (who made me laugh with his greeting: "It's-a me, Mario"), who seems to have left things to ruin.  Now to become a proper assassin.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins: slow crawling fog

I am once again getting myself very confused by playing two similar games on two systems.  The last time this happened, at least the two games were graphically dissimilar and in different worlds.  This time, I am running around the same city on the 3DS as exists in the Wii U game, and the structure of the game is near identical, to the extent that I cam being frustrated when I find pigs on the 3DS that I can't ride them as I've only gained the farmer costume on the Wii U, and so on.

It takes little away from the game, which is not as amazing as its big brother but is still a notable achievement, but the city does feel a lot emptier and the draw distance - particularly when crossing the bridge - can be awful, disguised by a creeping fog.

I've spent the last half hour running errands on a construction site, in order to facilitate the building of the bridge to the next area.  Moving between areas requires a lengthy loading pause, so it's lucky that the missions are seemingly quite compact and straight-forward.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Thomas Was Alone: completed!

Told you I had nearly finished it.

A few of the puzzles towards the end were a bit tricky, particularly when I was trying to balance two squat blocks on top of a tall thin block, but there was nothing for which I required external help. I was impressed that there were very few repeated puzzles over the 100 levels, and the game finished at pretty much the right time - before it had to introduce too many new gameplay mechanics.

One of the most affecting parts of the game was losing the original cast and being given the grey blocks instead. The narration at this point was a little weak, not expressing the emotion of the change or the bewilderment of the newly introduced blocks in the same way as for previous characters. This was rectified towards the end of the levels where Gray was portrayed as a villain - even though you were controlling both him and all other characters. Seeing each of them in turn eaten by the pixel cloud was daunting (though I can't remember Team Jump's exit).

It's not the most accomplished game ever, but as a story-driven experience it works really well.

Thomas Was Alone: blundering through

I've nearly finished this, but before I do I must comment on how well designed the game is.  Many of the levels can be solved in numerous ways, whether by design or not.  I just completed level 9.7 by carrying the smallest block (Jo) across the green gravity reversing areas using the other two blocks (Sam and Gray), using Jo to keep the others down and not fly up into spikes.  After completing the level I realised that what I should have done is to get Sam to touch the red area, making him act as a trampoline for Jo.  I'm not sure if that would have been any easier.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Forza Horizon: pretty pictures

I found these on my hard drive, created using the in-game photo mode and exported.  I seemed to have saved one at a low resolution and one at really high resolution, in bitmap format - but that's not a good idea on the web, so I've converted it to better file type.

The second picture shows my general finesse at the game.  That's me upside-down.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Nintendo Land: Donkey Kong Crash Course: completed!

While I was away, I finally managed to complete Donkey Kong Crash Course.  Unfortunately, this was on my brother's Wii U, and I completed it by accident, falling onto the finishing line.  The game then implied that there are further stages to go ...

But I completed this stage, at least!

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Nintendo Land: being a pikmin

I've been on holiday for the past week with my extended family, and as part of that my brother took along his Wii U.  We played Mario Chase a lot, which (as you'd expect) works best with five players.  We also played Animal Crossing: Sweet Day a fair bit, as everyone finds it hilarious when people are waddling around with massive heads.

On the last day, I played through many levels of Pikmin Adventure with my brother, switching roles every couple of checkpoints.  It works really well as a co-operative game, though at the end of each level you're shown who played better throughout.

Look at my contribution!

The game is very pretty, with an interesting aesthetic of robotic versions of the typical Pikmin enemies.  They have obvious hit points, which you can then throw pikmin onto, including any player-controlled pikmin.

The game predates the flying pikmin of Pikmin 3, but that doesn't mean you don't get airborne.  One annoyance is that even if Olimar and all player pikmin are on a launch pad, Olimar has to call the pikmin to him before the launch pad will launch.

It's good fun throwing player pikmin into random areas.