The Laggy Ass of Lagiacrus

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate box artOh, he’s a pain in the arse, isn’t he? So, I’m currently wearing two bits of Barroth armour (head and belt) and the rest is Jaggi. I’m using upgraded Ludroth Pair (dual swords) and doing a fair bit of damage, but that thunder attack keeps wreaking bloody havoc on me.

The good news is that a full set of Barroth armour will give me a nice thunder resist bonus. On top of that, some nice ThunderRes decorations will boost it a little more. The trouble is, the three parts of Barroth armour that I’m missing all need Fertile Mud and that just seems to be refusing to drop for me.

I think I’m going to take the approach of trying captures, as it seems to drop more frequently in capture rewards than it does just by whacking the mud off him and collecting the sparklies. Sigh.

Many Things

So, I’ve been off on holiday this week and I’ve treated myself to a bit of quality game time. Entirely on the 3DS and Wii-U, now that Nintendo seem to be getting their act together. So without further ado, I’ve been playing:

imagesGunman Cliver (3DS). Oh Good God, this is good. It’s a side scrolling shooter with power ups, a western theme, and gorgeous ‘hand sketched’ visuals. It’s not a million miles from the less metroidy Castlevania games, and it’s just as unforgiving. On top of all that, it’s available for less than the price of a pint of beer. BUY!

pikmin-3-box-artPikmin 3 (Wii-U). Well worth the wait – it takes everything that’s great about Pikmin and turns it up to eleven. The three new characters (who you can use to control squads) and the touchable map on the Wii-U controller make this every bit as much an RTS as Starcraft is. But with added cute. It’s also very pretty. For some inexplicable reason, there’s no online multiplayer, but I guess you can’t have everything. So far, I’m only about 8 days in, but loving it so far.

Donkey_Kong_Country_Returns_3D_box_artDonkey Kong Country Returns (3DS). This is brutally hard. Very very good, but Jesus. Anyhoo, I’m not far into it, mainly because every single level seems to take me a million attempt to do. It does that really annoying thing where it’s incredibly hard but never feels unfair, whereby you have no excuse but to examine your own ineptness whenever you die. And you do. A lot.

Toki-Tori-2-boxartToki Tori 2 (Wii-U). SQUEEEE. Well, that’s what I said when I saw it on the shop. And it’s great – it’s pretty much perfect in every way. Looks, sound, entertainment, challenge, you get the idea. It’s also only 12.99, which I reckon is bargaintastic for puzzles that will make your BRANE ASPLODE.

animal_crossing_new_leaf_box_art_north_americaAnimal Crossing New Leaf (3DS). I don’t think I need to say much here because anyone who knows AC will know what I’ve been doing. News of the week, though, is that I made a serious killing on the Stalk Market, thanks to Zomoniac, and have enough filthy bells to make me comfortably well off. Still scouting the Happy Home Academy, still buying fortune cookies, still no banjo. I WANT A BSNJO DAMMIT! I have a stool and music stand already set up and a space where a banjo will go! There’d better be one or I won’t be amused.

c871ed9d01227ec24a0914ab34ad359eHeroes of Ruin (3DS). This is great – it’s my go-to-when-I-have-a-spare-five-minutes game. Think Torchlight on the move and you’re pretty much there. It’s inclined to be a little ugly, but I can forgive that.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate box artMonster Hunter 3 Ultimate (3DS / Wii-U). Surprisingly, I’ve been playing this mostly on the 3DS because I like the controls better. I’m doing pretty well – just ganked my first Rathian (in this version of the game) and am ploughing my way through the four-star quests. I’d like to say I’d finished all the three star ones, but sadly it’s not true – I still have two capture quests (Qurupeco and Royal Ludroth) to do, but I totally suck at capture quests. That’s my job for tonight though – get those buggers done.

Where does Earthbound fit into this list, you ask? Um nowhere because I’d forgotten I had it until I started writing this post (blush). Now that my holidays are drawing to a close, I should really start focussing on playing fewer games at once. Trouble is, with the massive time sinks that are MH3U and ACNL on the go, that’s easier said than done.

Monster Hunter & Earthbound

More monster huntering. Lots more – I appear to have clocked up a little over 24 hours play time. Not entirely sure how, as I have very limited time for gaming! Anyway, I’ve been hunting many big ugly things and have just upgraded my weapons to Ludroth Blades. Had a fairly lengthy multiplayer session with #2 son – the connectivity between 3DS and Wii-U is very cool. Still HR1 online, though, but there’s time :)

In addition, Earthbound was (finally) released on the VC. It’s really lovely – some great game mechanics and genuinely funny dialogue.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (3DS)

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate box artSo, today’s lunchtime was spent ganking a Gobul. Which sounds a little rude. But it wasn’t. It basically involved swimming around a lot and stabbing it in the face even more. I’m finding the underwater combat really fun and satisfying – more so than in any other version. Mostly because of the ‘monster lock’ function. Underwater, with 360 degrees of movement on all axis, you can move really smoothly and simply by pretty much just using the lock button and evading in various directions. Anyway – the Gigul was pretty straight-forward to defeat (once I worked out the being behind him is only a good idea if you enjoy a very long paralysis).

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Wii U)

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate box art50 minute quest with one objective. Kill a Qurupecu.

49 minutes later, I limp back to the village with no health, no potions, no whetstones, and proudly carrying a bunch of feathers.

Chased the damn thing round the map for AGES. I suspect I need to upgrade my dual-blades…

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Wii-U)

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate box artI’m going on a bear hunt! I’m looking for a scary one! As the song goes. Well, I certainly did find a scary one – he’s an Arzuros and his picture is down the bottom there. For this quest, I had to weaken him to a point where the tranquiliser would be effective. This involved wailing on him with dual-blades for a good twenty minutes. The trouble is, the animation is so flawless that it was kind of upsetting to do. Okay, at the start of the level he’s all drool and rage and swipey claws, but by the time I’d worn him down a bit he was limping from area to area and falling over when he tried to charge. Poor beastie.

Arzuros

Anyway, consider him captured. Now – I’m off to farm Great Jaggis to upgrade my armour…

Oh – also, the ability to move the savegame between the 3DS and Wii-U (and back again) is awesome. As long as you remember to move it back again when you’re done :)

Wii-U

Worst. Setup. Ever.

Tonight consisted of:

1. Putting the hardware together, cabling up etc.

2. Wrestling with the networking for the best part of an hour to get it to connect. In the end – I took all the spaces out of the SSID, did a manual setup and used static IP addressing and Google’s nameservers. Then it worked. Sadly, it demonstrated it was working by…

3. Spending two hours downloading an update.

4. Next up, I made a backup copy of my 3DS’s 32Gb memory card (and lucky I did – as you’ll soon hear).

5. Spent an hour doing a content migration from the Wii to the Wii-U.

6. Created profiles, added friends, stuck monster hunter in the drive.

7. Discovered a slight hiccup in the Monster Hunter 3DS<->Wii-U migration system. It moves the WHOLE DATAFILE, not individual users. Which is annoying as #2 Son has a fairly advanced player on my 3DS. The idea is we’d be able to do multiplayer between the 3DS and Wii-U. But the saves can only exist in one place at a time. Wait! Remember that backup I took of the 3DS SD card? You guessed it. Created #2 son an account on the Wii-U. Each account has its own datastore. Moved the save (including his player) to his account. Turned off the 3DS. Stuck the SD card in the Mac and copied the backup I made over. Booted up – yuss! Saves recovered to the 3DS. So, we can both play on the Wii-U and 3DS – we just need to be careful who copies what where…

 

It’s all going to end in tears, isn’t it?

 

I’m going to bed. I might get a go tomorrow :)

State of the Gaming Nation (in my house)

So, I’ve not really been doing much gaming for the last year or two. Just fiddling with a few titles here and there. It’s a bit of a recurring ennui, really. I can pin-point pretty much where this lengthy slump came from. It pretty much coincides with the end of the Gamecube era and the start of the Wii era.

Throughout its life, there was a steady stream of seriously good (to my eyes – I have odd tastes) titles appearing on pretty much a monthly basis on the cube. A fair few of them I still pull out every now and again. More than a few have gone in my gaming top-ten-of-all-time.

So, to say I was disappointed with the Wii is an understatement. I’m sure there were some good titles released, but the sheer volume of utter shovelware pumped onto the system did a damn fine job of masking it. Even the first-party titles didn’t particularly shine for me (with a few exceptions). Something I’d normally consider unthinkable happened. Skyward Sword – a Zelda game – is sitting on my shelf. I haven’t played it. And I LOVE Zelda.

Anyway, things appear to be looking up. I have a 3DS and it’s starting to get some damn good titles. Titles of a quality that it’s beginning to feel a bit like the Gamecube era. In the last six months or so I’ve bought Ocarina (again :)), Cave Story, Harvest Moon, Fire Emblem, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Donkey Kong Country Returns and Luigi’s Mansion 2. Without exception, they are magnificent.

In fact, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is SO magnificent that I’ve just bought a Wii-U to play it on. Thank God, it looks like Nintendo are getting their act together.

Monster Hunter 3 ultimate (3DS)

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate box artSo, a one-star mission. Hunt some beasties, get their guts. 50 minutes to do it. Dead easy, I thought. As it’s an easy one, I thought I’d hunt the aquatic beasties, on the basis that it would give me a bit of practice with the (perfectly adequate) controls. And it was all going fine until the bloody Lagiacrus turned up. Nasty ornery beastie can spot you a mile away and comes straight at you, stunning on the way. So, several frantic minutes later, after much darting between areas trying to evade the damn thing, I finally handed in the mission – with less than a minute to spare :-/

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (3DS)

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate box artIt appears dem monsters need hunting once again. I was a bit suspicious of how this would play, particularly with regards the camera, but as it happens it controls beautifully and doesn’t require The Claw Of Death like the PSP version did.

So, it’s Monster Hunter – you know how it works. There’s Monsters. And you Hunt them. While upgrading and crafting and so on. It’s still got the learning curve we all know and love from the series, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s also very pretty.

What is completely lacking, though, is standalone online multiplayer in the 3DS version. Given the PSP version (Freedom Unite) had it 5+ years ago, this is pretty bloody unforgivable. On the upside, those of us with a Wii-U (I don’t have one) can transfer saves to and fro between the Wii-U version (which DOES have online) and the 3DS. I don’t know what they omitted the non-local multiplayer. Seems a bit stupid. Still, the upside is it’s given me the reason I needed to buy a Wii-U.

Anyway – it’s a diary, so progress. I’m just starting out. Ganked some Jaggia, collecting some mushrooms.