KiiGX: Part One

Adam and Kii went to EGX in London on Friday. Here is Kii’s coverage.

So Adam and I were cheeky enough to request press passes from EGX (Formerly known as Euro Gamer Expo) and they were silly enough to give us entry for the Friday!

My overall impression of the event was jeez, it was big. EGX ran from Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th and it filled Earl’s Court One. I was expecting the Friday to be lighter on people since generally attendees would be in work or school but no! For Kii forgot that this was London and what passes for busy in the frozen north of her homeland is nothing to London! Honestly though, it was nice to see a gaming event get such good attention, there was a massive industry showing with ‘The Big Three’ each having an area to show off their goods and numerous indie teams in the Rezzed section. The main show floor was open to everyone whilst there was an over 18s area upstairs with demos for games like The Evil Within and unrestricted demos of games like Mortal Kombat X which had toned down versions at the console booths. We ran around and queued with the best of them and hopefully I can put into words the awesome and exhaustion that we experienced.

Bayonetta 2
I am currently lording it over Adam by being the only Lighthouse Keeper (That’s what we’re called now, I’ve decided) who actually owns a Wii-U. This means that I get to own Bayonetta 2! Which we managed to get our hands on at the Nintendo stand and I’m super glad that I’ve already preordered it. It is everything that Bayonetta is meant to be, flashy and accessible game play with over the top tongue in cheek humour. As someone who has already ordered it, I won’t go too far into a description as I’m likely to do a full game review but it looks pretty and is so enjoyable to play.

Alien Isolation
I played this for you guys. That’s how much I love you. I don’t do survival horror, I just don’t enjoy being scared witless and losing years from my life. At EGX I lost years from my life for the sake of journalism. I haven’t played any previous Alien games but I know that a lot of people were disappointed by Colonial Marines for going too Call of Duty with the Alien franchise. Isolation has distanced itself so much from its predecessor that Colonial Marines has filed a missing person’s report. Needless to say I was fucking terrified, you have a real sense of being prey and I would suggest playing with headphones or surround sound if you wish to genuinely shit yourself.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
After going through a series of scary and gory games I ran back to the joyous colour of the Nintendo area where I got my grubby little hands on Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. As you may have noticed from my previous articles, I really love Monster Hunter so I was pretty damn excited. You played the demo on an individual 3DS as part of a four person team. You could select between all of the available weapons with preset armour and had your hunters pouch stuffed full of useful goodies. Whilst I did want to try out the new insect staff, I went back to my trusty dual blades to make sure I wouldn’t embarrass myself in front of the Nintendo gods. Prepared, we set out to fight the challenge monster that was a cross between a giant lizard and a water balloon which showed off Monster Hunter’s odd ability to make ridiculous creatures somehow plausible.

After running around the new desert map we took down the tits-hard WaterLizardBalloonBomb in a time that won every member of my team a T-shirt! My impressions of the game play were that it wasn’t dissimilar from Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, however, changing how you play has never seemed of importance in previous games. The key changes to the new incarnations tend to be in the weapons, armour and monsters because if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it! There is a new climbing mechanic but the monster that we fought didn’t lend itself for that mechanic to be shown off. In conclusion, I’m looking forward to seeing what other varieties of monsters that my team and I can set forth and destroy for its pretty headgear! Sadly, we have to wait until early 2015 to get hold of a European copy whereas the Japanese get to play in October this year. Whilst I’m upset that I have to wait, this is no where near as disjointed a release as Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and thus I have more hope for the franchise gaining strength in the west.

Poncho

Poncho
I would have loved the extra time and energy to really explore the indie area a lot more but I did come across Poncho. It’s beautiful and if you love 8-bit style games like Fez then this is the perfect game for you! The utterly charming platform exploration game begins as an adorable robot in a dystopian/post- apocalyptic future who needs to gather things his creator has left for him so he can save humanity. I immediately fell in love with this game and got to chat to one of the developers, this is where I found out that the game was only in Alpha and the full game development was still being funded via Kickstarter. A Kickstarter which runs out shockingly soon! So here’s the plug, please visit HERE and pledge anything. Not only because it’s an awesome game but I really really want to play the full thing and I am not above using my power here for my own means. Go forth and stick it to the man by funding a nice indie game! (Note, funding may not actually stick it to the man).

Kii

HYAAH!: A Hyrule Warriors Review

Our resident Nintendian Kii gives us her verdict on the new Hyrule Warriors game on the Wii U.

I know what you’re thinking, how can Kii possibly be reviewing a game within a year of the release date? Well I’ll tell you. Hyrule Warriors. That’s it. Hyrule Warriors, Kii’s wet dream of a Legend of Zelda game. When Nintendo first announced that they were going to be giving third party companies access to their core franchises I was unsure what to think. Were they giving up on their in-house developers or trying to breathe new life into potentially stale game formats? Whatever the reasoning for their choices I am so friggin happy. Not only did the Tekken team get hold of the new Smash Bros but Koei gleefully ran off with the Legend of Zelda to squirrel it away in the insanity house that births Samurai and Dynasty Warriors.

Omega Force (ω-Force) are famous for the 1 vs 1000 style of game that they have perfected. This is a format that is often repeated by other companies but in my opinion none can hold a candle to Omega Force so it’s understandable that if Nintendo wanted a company to display an outright war in Hyrule, Omega Force were the perfect choice. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a childhood Zelda fan, Twilight Princess was my first hands-on experience with the series and I instantly fell head over heels. Since then I’ve worked my way through the DS games, Minish Cap and the fabled Ocarina of Time. Ocarina was where I met Sheik. In Hyrule Warriors you can play as Sheik. Can you see where this is going?

YOU CAN PLAY AS SHEIK. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT? Actually you can play as a fantastic selection of characters and use a myriad of weapons from all over the Zelda universe which not only makes the game really interesting but great for long term fans. Nintendo, as always, build games with the ability to enjoy them with more people whether that be via the Miiverse or in your own living room. Hyrule Warriors has taken my household by storm, myself, my partner and our housemate all have our favourites and rotate the Game Pad when levels with those characters appear. There’s also co-op using the Wiimote or Wii-U Pro Controller where one player uses the TV and the other exclusively the screen on the game pad.

ImpaandSheik

But I’m not so blinded with love that I can’t critique the game. The Wiimote controls don’t feel very natural when you’ve been using the game pad and I feel that you’re at a disadvantage if your player 2 doesn’t have the Wii-U Pro Controller. Swinging your arm to do your standard attacks works in the normal Legend of Zelda games, however when your attacks are extremely combo based as Omega Force love to do, it’s hard to know where you are in your inputs. It’s also exhausting with the amount of enemies around. My other issue is a bit of a catch-22, Hyrule Warriors has stayed true to the Zelda standard of nobody having voice actors, solely relying on screen text to display dialogue (including a literal ‘Proxie’ fairy for Link’s speech). Whilst I’m happy that they’ve stuck with the formula, this has reduced the game’s accessibility if you’re playing with someone impaired or a younger child who can’t read as fast. The story is great and it saddens me that some people will miss out on it or even miss in-game instructions through no fault of their own.

On a less in-depth note, it’s beautiful. The character designs are elaborately stunning and the updates to older characters like Impa brought them immediately on par with the newer guys. The other game modes are also fantastic including Adventure Mode where you play to acquire segments of the original Legend of Zelda map. According to the DLC release schedule on the Nintendo e-shop future releases will include Adventure Mode maps for Majora’s Mask and Twilight Princess as well as new playable characters, weapons, costumes and game modes. Why yes, I have already bought it.

Hyrule Adventure Mode

With the, quite frankly, ‘iffy’ response to Skyward Sword I feel that Hyrule Warriors has been the adrenaline injection that the Zelda franchise needed. No longer is it a series locked to outsiders who don’t know what a Cucco is and why you NEVER EVER HIT ONE. People who like the Dynasty Warriors style of game are wandering over to see what all the fuss is about and without the prerequisite of having to spend five hours in the water temple utterly lost, less marathon style players are having a look too.

So my final words on Hyrule Warriors are this; If you like The Legend of Zelda, bloody well play it. If you don’t, bloody well play it anyway. Borrow someone else’s, be someone’s Player 2 (but ask to use the Game Pad) or watch a Let’s Play and then just buy it, I guarantee that you’ll have fun.

Now I’m off to stare at Sheik’s butt. I mean, play as a kick-ass ninja who gets 100 KOs in one move (whilst staring at ninja butt).

Kii

Video Game Reviews – Destiny (Xbox One)

Nath sometimes reviews games. This is one of those reviews.

So unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you may have heard of Bungie’s new video game called Destiny. I managed to get my hands on a copy after a bit of trading with a stupid sales assistant, went home and began playing the game.

So first things first, I did not read the instruction manual and I’ve only seen trailers of the game so I didn’t really no what to expect. The first thing you do is pick your race and there are 3 options: Human (lame), Awoken (Human’s with blueish skin and white eyes, also lame) and Exo (not really sure, some sort of robot with a soul). With Exo being the most interesting I went for that. Next was the class and again I only had 3 choices and they all explain themselves: Titan (Warrior) Hunter (Hunter) and Warlock (Totally Wizard). I opted for Titan as I’m impatient and can’t be bothered to stalk enemies or waste my time doing spells. So I got started the game, I will try my best not to reveal any storyline, but that may be a bit difficult.

You start off wandering Earth and you’re making your way back to a city, pretty simple really. You get a gun, learn how to shoot it and then you’re back home. Easy start. There a then tutorials throughout the first few levels to get you acquainted with the weapons (3 types, primary, special and heavy) grenades, melee, powers etc. You then start running around killing enemies in the usual fashion of trying to shoot them to death or blowing them up. Very easy and simple concept to the game.

The leveling up system and the character customisation has made it a very interesting mix of FPS and RPG. Also the social aspect of the game is brilliant. You are matched with other guardians trying to do the same quests as you and providing they aren’t complete retards, you should be able to complete certain objectives together in a fun and controlled way.

The multiplayer is pretty good. The character you have in game is the character you take to the multiplayer arena. Everyone is evenly matched so it makes the game fairer. You can also use the weapons you have picked up in game so if by chance you have a badass sniper rifle on you, you can use it in the arena.

The leveling up system is also pretty good, however you can level yourself up in the arena and then go straight into the storyline and play it as a high level. People do do it but why would you want to, give yourself a challenge.

Now the problem I had as I was playing it was the similarities to the Halo franchise. You have an AI like Cortana, the Master Chief and the Guardians health bars are very similar, the enemies hierarchy and class system is also similar as are the weapons and vehicles used in the game. I did think have Bungie just been lazy and given Halo a fresh lick of paint?

The honest answer is yes, there are some big similarities but I won’t give too much away. There is one major storyline arc that is hugely similar and I imagine if you play it, you will pick up on it too. Also I am finding the weapon and armour system too easy. There isn’t really any reason to purchase any armour or weapon upgrades as you constantly pick up weapons armour in the game.

The enemies bother me as well, there’s no real fight in most of them, it’s only when you reach the end of a mission where you meet an enemy who might be a bit harder to kill. So far I’ve only met 2 or 3 enemies that are different from the rest and put up a decent fight.

In conclusion, I can safely say Destiny is living up to the hype it has generated about being the next big thing. Is it the next big thing? Well I have been playing it for about a week and I am actually struggling to put the controller down. I haven’t played a game I’ve been so engrossed with since I played Skyrim, and that came out in 2011. It truly is a brilliant game, gameplay is simple yet fun, the storyline is excellent, not too complicated and not boring. Graphically it is brilliant, certainly the first game I’ve seen on Xbox One that looks amazing and the multiplayer (social and arena) is lots of fun. In total I would give this game 9 out of 10 fists of havoc kills.

 

PS. This is for those people online that are criticising Peter Dinklage’s performance in the game. You’re saying he is very monotone and boring, he’s playing an AI. Not every freaking AI in video games has to be GLaDOS or Cortana, sometimes they are just going to be an AI.

GBH: Round 1 – Fanfare

Our new contributor Fenton likes fighting games. He’s going to write about why.

Fewer things mean more to people than validation; where a lot of people struggle to find it, gamers have almost unlimited access to it whenever we play games. The proverbial pat on the back is especially meaningful in a fighting game environment where the players engage in short, intense and often challenging games. Fanfare is something often overlooked in fighting games because we take it for granted, but it is something we very much notice when it isn’t there.

One example of a lack of fanfare would be in NetherRealm’s smash-hit Injustice: Gods Among Us, a game that took many by surprise with its in-depth and competitive combat that ends in a lengthy unskippable outro so lacklustre that professional players will forfeit matches just to save time. To add to this problem, Injustice also has a announcer so heartless it may as well be a dial tone, which combined with its long victory screens makes for one of the few but obvious problems with the game.

While I’m hesitant to declare this in my first article, I must confess that I am not a huge fan of Street Fighter – HOWEVER I fully understand why it is so popular amongst fighting game pros and fans alike. The one thing I always give credit to Street Fighter for is making a spectacle of winning. Short but sweet victory poses, an awesome announcer (who is possibly more excited than you are) and immediate options to head into another fight or to change it up. Street Fighter is a game that truly feels like it wants you involved, the announcer constantly comments on the match to keep you engaged and on edge, the background flourishes for finishing with a big move and makes you want to end it with style. Even your character enjoys the win with well animated victory poses.

An interesting case would be any of Midway/NetherRealm’s Mortal Kombat fighting games. The series stable of Fatalities adds the unique issue of having possibly the most exciting victories and the very worst. Achieving a Fatality brings a level of excitement in both winner and loser that’s hard to compare, the anticipation of “whats going to happen?!” is an adrenaline rush for everyone involved whilst being a sign of dominance and respect to your opponent. If you fail to achieve a fatality for whatever reason it’s almost more embarrassing to be the winner, even your opponent will be annoyed that you failed to kill them in a stylish way and instead clumsily kneed them in the elbow. I can’t think of another series that has such a unique issue, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I feel as if I picked on Injustice a little bit with this article but it’s exactly because I love it so much that this issue screams out to me. Many of the fighting games I play lately actually do lack exciting fanfare, this doesn’t make those games bad at all but I do wish that creators/developers would think more about how to make winning exciting for everyone, players and viewers alike.

Fenton

Video Game Reviews – Game of Thrones Ascent (Free App)

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Nath sometimes reviews games. This is one of those reviews.

If you own a smartphone and you have regular access to the internet you may be very well aware of the free apps you can download that may be useful in every day life. However, if you’re like me you scour the app store for the best free games you can download. I decided to write up a review of some of the best free games I have managed to find and play for hours on end.

The first game I chose is called Game of Thrones: Ascent (from Disruptor Beam). It started off as a Facebook game but it has recently been ported on to iPhone and Android devices. First and foremost with this app, you will need to be patient and make very smart choices from when you start the game. As you can tell by the name, it is a game based in the Game of Thrones universe and I believe every fan should have a go at this game.

It is an RPG-Strategy game, where you start off as a knight in service to Robert Baratheon. The tutorial shows you some basic commands in order to win battles with enemies. After this win, Robert Baratheon grants you some land where you start building your little kingdom. The tutorial carries on with some basics, such as buildings, upgrades, sworn swords and fighting types. You also name yourself as lord as well as your keep. Did I play this seriously? Of course not. If you have ever played Final Fantasy XI or World of Warcraft and you came across a player called Youreatowel, that was me. So I named myself Lord You’re A Towel and called my keep The Towel Rack.

Soon after you name yourself and your lands, you are given a tutorial on the type of lord you want to be. You can be a lord that specialises in battle, trade or deception. Also you can pick your alliance and each alliance has it’s own perks. There is no real difference between the three types of specialities, however I went for battle and then looked for the best alliance for battling. I found that siding with the Baratheons gave me some excellent perks for battle so I went with them.

You then have a tutorial on sworn swords. These are characters that you send out into the world to perform quests for you. They can also specialise in battle, trade and deception and each quest may be better suited to one discipline.

Once this is done, you start building your realm and equipping items to better your house. There are also quests that focus on your house, the storyline of Game of Thrones and various other side quests. There are also player to player battles where you steal gold off other houses and take part in huge multiplayer events. Needless to say it is a fantastic app for any Game of Thrones fan. Now I bet you are wondering why you may need patience and to make smart choices. Each action such as building, making equipment and questing takes time, some times under an hour and others almost whole days. You just need to be patient with the game. Smart choices come down to what type of lord you want to be and how you train yourself and your sworn swords. You make one mistake, you can’t undo it without paying a fee. Silver is easy to come by in the game, but you do have the option of buying gold. Gold allows you to purchase certain items and units and speed up actions. However I haven’t bothered with it so far so you should be fine.

It should be noted that the game does require an internet connection to play the game as everything is stored on servers. It will eat up a fair bit of your data but its totally worth it. That’s one downside, there are a few smaller ones that you may encounter but you should be fine. In total I would give the game 9 out of 10 decapitated heads.

Nath

Industry Spotlight: Katsuhiro Harada

Kii turns her keen eye to various members of the gaming industry

In this segment I will highlight people in the games industry that I feel people should give a shit about. It could be developers, artists, professional players and even Let’s Play hosts. Whatever strikes my fancy because I hold all the power (ha).

This month I would like to focus on Katsuhiro Harada, the head behind Tekken and Project Soul (Soulcalibur). The reason I like Harada so much is that he doesn’t take the piss like so many Triple A developers can do these days. The video games industry is at a turn which has put many developers on edge, with free-to-play games becoming giants they seek to cover lost revenue in different ways. Many have begun to favour more unsavoury means of doing this, for example paid on disc DLC (A huge peeve of mine, I’m looking at you Capcom) and pay-to-win multiplayer strategies. However, Harada is different and thus is a hero.

Harada has made it known that he doesn’t like the idea of DLC. When his games are released they are complete. The exception to this was Tekken Tag 2 which launched with a few characters still in development, Harada issued an apology for this and the characters were patched into the game entirely free at a later date. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t extra ways to make money out of Tekken but everything that you can give Harada your hard earned cash for isn’t necessary for a complete experience of the game. Using Tekken Tag 2 as an example, the pay for items were the character movies and music from every previous Tekken game and silly costume items for the playable characters. Costume packs for characters were also on sale as it’s purely a cosmetic choice if you would like Jin Kazama in a swimsuit (I do) and the fact that the Big Bikini Bundle wasn’t restricted to the female characters made this little feminist giddy with equality glee.

Harada seems to care about his fans and his characters and thus treats both with respect. There is a reason he climbed from an arcade promoter to director of two of Namco’s strongest franchises. He’s happy to have a bit of fun and has a good sense of humour which is easily seen in the ‘fights’ he had with Capcom’s Oda on the run up to the release of Street Fighter X Tekken. So, if you like beat ‘em ups I urge you to support Harada’s games as he’s a dude.

Kii

Would You Kindly Get Me Into the Gaming Industry? Chapter Three – First Section Completed

Our contributor Nathan continues his journey into games design.

So it’s been a while since I wrote an article on my progress, mainly because I’d been struggling to manage my time between work and the course and therefore I am a little bit behind. However I have managed to carry on regardless of being sent all over the country for work.

So how is the course going? Pretty well actually. Still passing the tests which is awesome and I’ve started learning about the different types of software I may encounter during my time as a producer. The ones they are focusing on the most are the management applications where I keep everything under wraps such as sound files, graphics, storyboards and any other documents I may need (I should know this).

So after learning about all the software I needed, it was time for the big test. This was the first section test of the course. 1 hour, 100 questions and a 80% pass mark. I sat down and went for it. Sweating, shaking and a lot of swearing, I finished and I received my result a few days later. 82%, only just, but still I can take that as a pass. Its like getting a first or an A so win.

However there is a concern at the moment. There are certain areas in the course material entitled Self Marked Assessments (SMAs) where you answer question about the material and these aren’t marked but I give them a try anyway, but there seems to be a serious lack of coursework so far. Literally nothing, I thought I was building a portfolio.

So instead of sitting here moaning about it, I decided to be proactive and create a story bible for a game idea I’ve had for a while. So far I have the genre, the main character, the premise and the setting. Everything else will come in due course, but it’s great to get some ideas down. I won’t divulge too much, but will mention some bits as I continue to write the articles. So here is my first little taster: Genre – Survival Horror.

 

Nath

The Xbox One – Fancy Gimmick or the Next-Generation Console?

Nathan got an Xbox One. Here is his review. It includes a review of Dead Rising 3. Review-ception.

OK I know the Xbox One has been out for a while, but I thought it was time for a review as I’ve had it for about a week now I thought I’d better share my views on it. Luckily I don’t have to bring money into the equation as I won the Xbox in a competition (go me), so no need to worry if I wasted the money or not. So let’s get cracking!

So I immediately unpacked everything, console, controller and Kinect, and set it all up. I turned it on for the first time and had to the initial configuration and that was a ballache, but I guess it was to be expected. It failed to find my profile so had to create a dummy one and try again later so that was ballache the first.

The next step was to sort out the Kinect and learn about voice commands and motion control. This was ballache the second and third. The voice commands are good, but there are still issues with it. This maybe because I talk like a simpleton. However, after a recent update there has been some improvements so it’s not too bad.

The motion control isn’t so great. In fact its pretty terrible. They’ve ballsed up quite a bit here. It’s very clunky. I followed the tutorial and got through it fine, but I haven’t used it since. The scrolling doesn’t work properly, the selecting of apps and games is awful, using your hands to zoom and rotate objects also needs work.

So far not so good, however I thought I’d give one of the games a go so the first one I put in was Dead Rising 3. I’m a massive fan of the Dead Rising series, the games are simple and fun and you get to kill zombies. So I put the disc in and it had to wait until it installed. Needless to say this annoyed me a bit, but I guess I couldn’t do anything about it.

So as you can see, the game is pretty similar to its predecessors. You can customise weapons, kill scores of zombies and defeat bosses to gain awesome weapons. So what have they done to make it better? Well the graphics are pretty good for starters, the controls are more improved and there are a lot more weapons, weapon combinations and costumes to try on. Story is still pretty basic, but its OK. However, the biggest improvement has to be the use of vehicles in the game. Not a lot to choose from, mainly cars, but there are some gems like fork lift trucks and steamrollers. Oh there’s another bit too: you can customise vehicles.

Now that is a steamroller motorcycle hybrid. Need I say more. This pretty much sold me straight away once I saw it. I am yet to find more hybrids and other weapon customisations but they are pretty epic: sledgehammer twinned with batteries, teddy bears with light machine guns and machetes with chainsaws (somehow when you combine one machete and one chainsaw you get 2 mini chainsaws). I’ll give it 7 decaptated heads out of 10.

The Xbox One I’ll give 5 moving hands out of 10. At the moment it is just a gimmick, but I guess there hasn’t been anything developed to really utilise the graphics and the Kinect properly yet. Also I imagine there will be improvements coming up too, one I would suggest is proper voice recognition. It is a real ballache playing a video game and then your housemates come in and shout “Xbox Turn Off” and then it shuts down. Fucking bastards.

Nath

Kii3: An E3 Round Up

Kii brings us her round up of last week’s E3 expo!

So, the huge event of the summer is here. I am, of course talking about E3 and not the other thing with the kicking. There is an awful lot to cover and people will obviously look into the areas that they care about most; however, I’m going to sum up the conferences and announcements that were my favourites or that I feel need mentioning. Compared to last year the only conference that stayed steady was Ubisoft, everyone else has fluctuated from massive improvement to down right ‘Why did you guys turn up?’

  • Ubisoft:

Ubi have had a very strong conference every year since they picked up Aisha Tyler as a show host. Most of their on stage team don’t read from autocue and appear to be genuinely passionate about what they’re doing.

  • Sony:

Sony… What? The brotherly spats between Sony and Microsoft have always irked me as in my opinion; the joys of your company should speak loud enough without having to shit on your competitors during press conferences in the hopes of gaining more sales. Last year, Sony were not quiet about how little Microsoft talked about games compared to the other entertainment functions of the Xbox One. But this year they have a conference that is almost exactly that, very little time given to games and the game announcements they made were either not Sony exclusives or timed exclusives at best. Disappointing.

  • Microsoft:

Actually talked about games! And quite a variety of them! I was impressed by the range of genres covered in the MS conference instead of just shooty, shooty, halo halo. Also there was Halo. I’m not enthralled by the Super Master Chief Boner Collection but I would rather they do that instead of releasing an anniversary edition of every friggin game before releasing Halo 5. Some of the speakers for games were clearly on their first day out of the office and I really want to find a video of the guy turning WAY before camera cues to some sweet techno.

  • Nintendo:

Mother. Fucking. Zelda. Reddit has already exploded with conspiracy theories. Nintendo really showed up in comparison to last year. I feel like they’ve found their legs as a company now that they’ve realised that the gaming market has changed significantly since they started out. They made a bunch of great game announcements, specifically ones that people really care about and really wanted to see, though there were a couple of announcements that maybe should have been made in the main Nintendo direct instead of in their ‘Tree house’ event afterwards. A new Starfox game being mentioned off-hand took the entire audience by surprise.

  • EA:

EA seemed to forget it was E3? It’s like they flipped the calendar and suddenly went ‘SHIT!’ Barely anything they showed was beyond concept art including an announcement of Bioware’s new IP which seemed to be ‘Hey look, we rendered a tree’. If you’re going to tease, give me a teaser, if you’re going to announce, make a proper announcement. What was delivered instead just felt unprepared.

 

And now, what we really care about: VIDJA GAMES.

 

  • Scalebound:

DMC meets How to Train your Dragon. Sassy Punk kid with Dragon BFF fighting giant monsters. Oh, he can also ‘Flame on’ with matching dragon scale armour at will. It looks pretty, looks fun, seems to have a good sense of humour and also hints at multiple dragon classes and Co-Op/Multiplayer. My friend Timber literally threw his wallet at my TV.

  • Assassins Creed Unity:

It’s in France, looks fluid and you can have some good times with your chums in four-player co-op. The new Assassin sounds pretty good though the controversy of how much work it would have been to render some playable ‘Wimens’ I think they’re called, is tainting it a bit for me. Personally, it’s the first time I’ve cared for AC since Ezio’s introduction game but Ubi, don’t tell me that you can’t even be bothered to reuse your female multiplayer model to make one of the four assassins a Lady-face. Though they would probably give her Assassin garb a Boob Window.

  • Shape up:

Fitness disguised as a game is the right amount of psychological manipulation and competitiveness to trick me into doing cardio. It looks hilarious with things such as graphics of heavier and heavier items being put onto your back during a push-up challenge and a DDR cardio work out.

  • Sunset overdrive:

The humour of Saints Row, numerous ways of killing people of dead rising and the fluidity of movement of a Tony Hawk with some kick ass tunes. I was flagging on Sunset Overdrive due to it not being released after being announced at 2013 E3, however, the development team arrived in costume on a giant bus with a zombie/mutant on the fender. Yes. It’s bright, colourful and has comic book-esque POW, OUCH and BOOM graphics. Yes. Yes. Yes.

  • Amiibos:

Nintendo are very good at manipulating our addictive personalities hence why Pokemon has been going for so many years. Nintendo’s new idea is Amiibo, which are small models (similar to Skylanders) that you can add into various Nintendo games. Your little Amiibo is an A.I that you train yourself and thus even if you and your friend have the same one, they will fight completely differently. Oh yeah, you can make them fight each other and your friends. You can also fight them yourself by popping them into Super Smash Bros which is meant to provide a harder challenge than the Wii-U A.I. Essentially, you have your own friggin pokemon. A POKEMON THAT CAN LOOK LIKE LINK. I’M CALLING MINE WIGGLES.

Kii

The Anti-Nintendo Attitude

Kii tells us why Nintendo is still a great and relevant games company.

Even though all of us here at The Lost Lighthouse like games, I am the ‘Nintendo Fan’ due to the fact I actually own a Wii-U and 3DS. I’ve written about games on the Nintendo consoles before, but what I wanted to address this time is the ‘Nintendo is shit’ attitude that many gamers have developed. This isn’t Nintendo propaganda or bashing on Sony and Microsoft but more a genuine confusion as to why many people feel this way about what is one of the most successful games companies around.

For example, I was privy to many a Facebook status about how amazing Sony is due to the free games provided by Playstation Plus. It’s a great service that provides more up to date games in comparison to Microsoft’s Fable 3 freebie a while ago. When, Nintendo released that you would receive a free game when registering Mario Kart 8 with Nintendo Club (a free service might I add) I again saw an increase in game related Facebook posts. This time however, there was a lot of mocking about how Nintendo giving out free games meant that they were in the red and failing as a company. When it was pointed out that the Nintendo and Sony system was the same thing, replies were along the lines of ‘It isn’t, Nintendo are failing’. Cue my frustration at a name on the screen and yelling “BUT IT’S THE SAME FUCKING THING”. It’s become cool to hate on Nintendo and shit on their franchises without ever actually looking at what’s going on with them. There needs to be an attitude change.

I could go on a massive rant (well, more than I already have) and quote numbers of loss and sales to compare the Big Three console companies and prove that it is indeed a Three and not Two but that may label me as a fanatic with more love than sense. But let me ask you this, when was the last time you saw a twenty-something year-old become childishly excited because their favourite character has been added to a cross-over game? Or a franchise that has so much legacy that people will buy it just because they love it and they KNOW that it will be good without seeing anything about it? Nintendo’s power isn’t in having the biggest hardware in a console war, it’s in the utter joy that they can ignite in people just because the characters that have been in their childhood are still going strong. It’s the idea that multiplayer games can be played with your friends and family all cramming into your living room and playing for hours instead of having an American toddler call you a noob over mic. It’s not having the highest specs or the most gritty shooter, it’s having a great time. Except when you’re about to win and your FUCKING BROTHER USES A SODDING BLUE SHELL RIGHT AT THE LAST MINUTE AND THEN DRIVES PAST YOU, YOU LITTLE SHIT.

Kii