Things I’ve been playing recently

A lot of things, it seems. I’ve had a glut of new games overt he last month and I’ve been playing each for a short time. I’ve yet to settle down and just work on one or two, so I’ve not made much progress in each. So here’s a list, in no particular order:

Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition (Vita)

tumblr_nhtwabelmc1svmpf2o1_1280My subscription to PS+ was autorenewed before I could cancel it (the whole service got DDOS’d and I couldn’t log in), so I thought I might as well make use of it. This is one of the rentals.

It’s Duke Nukem. A bit easier to control than the 360 version that appeared on XBLA, and with a nice (but often broken) rewind feature if you die. It’s the same game that it ever was, so great. Half way through the first episode so far.

Hohokum (Vita)

tumblr_nhzgjbfpdm1svmpf2o1_1280At least, I was playing this until my family hijacked my save game. I’ve no idea what’s going on. You’re a snake which flies around bizarre levels bumping into things which sometimes react, solving puzzles that aren’t really puzzles, in an attempt to reunite with other snakes. I think. You’re just dropped into the game with no explanation and just expected to get on with it. It’s good, but I’m confused and lost. No idea why I bought it, although it was on offer.

Super Smash Bros U (Wii U)

Oh.I’m sure the Gamecube version of this was easier to control. I’m still sticking mostly to Mega Man, and I’m trying, but it does seem very vague as to whether I actually pull off moves or not. And I can never remember in the heat of the moment how to do the special moves that try to carry you back onto a platform when you’ve been punched off. It’s utter chaos, but then I suppose that’s the appeal.

Whoa Dave! (Vita)

tumblr_nhttyfer181svmpf2o1_1280Another PS+ rental. It’s an 8bit (or lower, perhaps – it’s more like an Atari 2600 title) looking single screen arcade platformer. Eggs drop from the top of the screen, and after a while they hatch. Baddies pop out and when they hit the lava at the bottom of the screen they “level up” and become more dangerous, and then level up again each time they hit the lava. You have to beat them by chucking eggs at them, or by destroying the eggs by throwing exploding skulls at them. Then UFOs appear and it all gets really hard. Really like this game, so much so I’ll probably buy it when it hits the 3DS. My high score is $1.76, in case you want a target (an easy target) to aim for.

Peggle (Mac)

tumblr_nhtn2lm76a1svmpf2o1_1280I happened to be using my old MacBook, and Peggle was on it, and I couldn’t remember playing it on there before so wasn’t sure it would work and then I ran it to see and it did work and then an hour passed magically. It’s Peggle, and that’s what happens with Peggle. No idea how far I got.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (Demo) (3DS)

I didn’t want to like this because I really wanted a Wii U version instead. Sadly, that doesn’t look likely to happen. It’s Monster Hunter, but made a bit easier to play (on the 3DS) as I’ve a shiny new New 3DS with extra buttons and a prodnipple, so it’s essentially got the same controls as the Wii U version of MH3U anyway.

I chose the Great Jaggi hunt as I know where I am with that, and picked a hunter with twin blades, not a class I’d used before. I don’t know if it’s the different weapons, or the different game, but the combat was so much swifter than I ever had on the previous game. Mind you, that was with a Great Sword and so slow and ponderous came with it. I like how you can now jump on the back of the Great Jaggi and slash at his (her?) neck, and it’s nice to have some new maps to hunt on. Do I want this now? Yes. Yes I do.

SteamWorld Dig (Wii U)

Toot_Toot_Sonic_WarriorIt’s the same as the 3DS game that I completed last year (or the year before?), but that doesn’t matter. It’s just as good, but all in HD and on the tellybox. I bought it as it was on offer and I was trying to spend enough in the Wii U eShop before the end of 2014 to get another £5 credit before they stopped running the scheme. Don’t know why I started this before the other games that I’d bought but haven’t played before – that’d make more sense, surely?

I’ve reached The Old World, and have a couple of upgrades from there. I’m pretty sure by this point in the 3DS game I had the ability to punch by now, so I’m wondering if I’ve missed something…

Rock Boshers DX: Director’s Cut (Vita)

tumblr_ninhulrwnN1svmpf2o1_1280Stumbled across this, and as soon as I noticed it was basically a brand new Spectrum game, I had to buy it. Turns out it’s a twin stick shooter, with Spectrum graphics and sound, and even had a two minute long load (which you can skip – I didn’t). The plot is incredible – you appear to be Queen Victoria, dressed as a man, who decides to go to Mars in a giant bullet shaped space ship that’s shot out of a huge cannon, and, when you arrive, you have to shoot guards and zombies and collect keys and avoid massive centipedes while looking for tea and jammy scones. YES. It’s the best thing ever.

Picross e5 (3DS)

tumblr_nip7ql5orv1svmpf2o1_400I was having a look at the eShop the other day and realised Picross e5 was out and I hadn’t bought it. So I bought it, and started playing it. It’s Picross, and I like Picross, so I like this. Aside from different puzzles (obviously), it seems to be no different to Picross e4. That’s not a problem, as Picross e4 was lovely.

Minecraft (360)

Oh, remember my 360? Never before has a console so frequently used in the past been dropped so quickly. Mine barely gets touched these days. In fact, the only reason I turned it on was because I finally decided to get Minecraft, mainly for my daughter. I’d a pile of free credit, and since the 360 is the only machine I have that 1) plays Minecraft and 2) I have two controllers for (for co-op), it had to be that version.

Created a “creative mode” map, which was far too vertical to navigate, so after a while we binned it and created a flat world – which we forgot to make “creative”. So cue all the baddies in the world appearing when it got dark and we hadn’t built any shelter because all I had were a couple of oak tree seeds and some dirt. Then we explored a lot and it seems everything wasn’t just flat, as we found a monastery (I think) and I fell in a well and couldn’t get out and drowned. Yay?

Skylanders Giants (360)

While the 360 controllers were out, and we’d just taken delivery of a cheap Skylanders Swap Force starter kit (for the Wii U – to hell with the 360 now!), I thought we shoudl probably finish off Giants.

So we worked through two more levels – Kaos’ castle, and a Ghost Ship. I’m sure the game it waaaay harder than the original Spyro’s Adventure, you know. We’ve about 30 Skylanders and ploughed through pretty much all of them on both levels.

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know! (Wii U)

Prison_breakThis was on sale and even though I know it’s not supposed to be very good, we are big fans of the cartoon and it was very cheap. And it’s multiplayer co-op.

It’s not too bad, actually. For the most part it plays like Gauntlet, complete with food and baddie generators and smart-bomb magic, but there’s also a Rogue Legacy style shop system. You can quit the dungeon after every 5 levels, and then spend your money to get better stats, but any money you have left is lost when you return to the game. The best bit is how the Gamepad becomes a giant Beemo face, who comments on your action with such gems as “food is where the hearts are!”. Excellent.

OlliOlli (Vita)

tumblr_ningobQfD61svmpf2o1_1280With various deals and cheap credit, I got this for less than £2. I’ve wanted it for a while, but keep being put of by people who say it’s rubbish. At that price I thought I’d risk it. And I’m glad I did as it’s pretty good.

It’s no Tony Hawk’s, obviously, but is instead an endless runner with things to grind on and ollie off. It’s all about timing, and the tricks are more like the Skate games in how you flick the stick to pull them off.  Was getting well into it, and then it crashed. Bah.

Things I’ve been playing recently

A lot of things, it seems. I’ve had a glut of new games overt he last month and I’ve been playing each for a short time. I’ve yet to settle down and just work on one or two, so I’ve not made much progress in each. So here’s a list, in no particular order:

Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition (Vita)

tumblr_nhtwabelmc1svmpf2o1_1280My subscription to PS+ was autorenewed before I could cancel it (the whole service got DDOS’d and I couldn’t log in), so I thought I might as well make use of it. This is one of the rentals.

It’s Duke Nukem. A bit easier to control than the 360 version that appeared on XBLA, and with a nice (but often broken) rewind feature if you die. It’s the same game that it ever was, so great. Half way through the first episode so far.

Hohokum (Vita)

tumblr_nhzgjbfpdm1svmpf2o1_1280At least, I was playing this until my family hijacked my save game. I’ve no idea what’s going on. You’re a snake which flies around bizarre levels bumping into things which sometimes react, solving puzzles that aren’t really puzzles, in an attempt to reunite with other snakes. I think. You’re just dropped into the game with no explanation and just expected to get on with it. It’s good, but I’m confused and lost. No idea why I bought it, although it was on offer.

Super Smash Bros U (Wii U)

Oh.I’m sure the Gamecube version of this was easier to control. I’m still sticking mostly to Mega Man, and I’m trying, but it does seem very vague as to whether I actually pull off moves or not. And I can never remember in the heat of the moment how to do the special moves that try to carry you back onto a platform when you’ve been punched off. It’s utter chaos, but then I suppose that’s the appeal.

Whoa Dave! (Vita)

tumblr_nhttyfer181svmpf2o1_1280Another PS+ rental. It’s an 8bit (or lower, perhaps – it’s more like an Atari 2600 title) looking single screen arcade platformer. Eggs drop from the top of the screen, and after a while they hatch. Baddies pop out and when they hit the lava at the bottom of the screen they “level up” and become more dangerous, and then level up again each time they hit the lava. You have to beat them by chucking eggs at them, or by destroying the eggs by throwing exploding skulls at them. Then UFOs appear and it all gets really hard. Really like this game, so much so I’ll probably buy it when it hits the 3DS. My high score is $1.76, in case you want a target (an easy target) to aim for.

Peggle (Mac)

tumblr_nhtn2lm76a1svmpf2o1_1280I happened to be using my old MacBook, and Peggle was on it, and I couldn’t remember playing it on there before so wasn’t sure it would work and then I ran it to see and it did work and then an hour passed magically. It’s Peggle, and that’s what happens with Peggle. No idea how far I got.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (Demo) (3DS)

I didn’t want to like this because I really wanted a Wii U version instead. Sadly, that doesn’t look likely to happen. It’s Monster Hunter, but made a bit easier to play (on the 3DS) as I’ve a shiny new New 3DS with extra buttons and a prodnipple, so it’s essentially got the same controls as the Wii U version of MH3U anyway.

I chose the Great Jaggi hunt as I know where I am with that, and picked a hunter with twin blades, not a class I’d used before. I don’t know if it’s the different weapons, or the different game, but the combat was so much swifter than I ever had on the previous game. Mind you, that was with a Great Sword and so slow and ponderous came with it. I like how you can now jump on the back of the Great Jaggi and slash at his (her?) neck, and it’s nice to have some new maps to hunt on. Do I want this now? Yes. Yes I do.

SteamWorld Dig (Wii U)

Toot_Toot_Sonic_WarriorIt’s the same as the 3DS game that I completed last year (or the year before?), but that doesn’t matter. It’s just as good, but all in HD and on the tellybox. I bought it as it was on offer and I was trying to spend enough in the Wii U eShop before the end of 2014 to get another £5 credit before they stopped running the scheme. Don’t know why I started this before the other games that I’d bought but haven’t played before – that’d make more sense, surely?

I’ve reached The Old World, and have a couple of upgrades from there. I’m pretty sure by this point in the 3DS game I had the ability to punch by now, so I’m wondering if I’ve missed something…

Rock Boshers DX: Director’s Cut (Vita)

tumblr_ninhulrwnN1svmpf2o1_1280Stumbled across this, and as soon as I noticed it was basically a brand new Spectrum game, I had to buy it. Turns out it’s a twin stick shooter, with Spectrum graphics and sound, and even had a two minute long load (which you can skip – I didn’t). The plot is incredible – you appear to be Queen Victoria, dressed as a man, who decides to go to Mars in a giant bullet shaped space ship that’s shot out of a huge cannon, and, when you arrive, you have to shoot guards and zombies and collect keys and avoid massive centipedes while looking for tea and jammy scones. YES. It’s the best thing ever.

Picross e5 (3DS)

tumblr_nip7ql5orv1svmpf2o1_400I was having a look at the eShop the other day and realised Picross e5 was out and I hadn’t bought it. So I bought it, and started playing it. It’s Picross, and I like Picross, so I like this. Aside from different puzzles (obviously), it seems to be no different to Picross e4. That’s not a problem, as Picross e4 was lovely.

Minecraft (360)

Oh, remember my 360? Never before has a console so frequently used in the past been dropped so quickly. Mine barely gets touched these days. In fact, the only reason I turned it on was because I finally decided to get Minecraft, mainly for my daughter. I’d a pile of free credit, and since the 360 is the only machine I have that 1) plays Minecraft and 2) I have two controllers for (for co-op), it had to be that version.

Created a “creative mode” map, which was far too vertical to navigate, so after a while we binned it and created a flat world – which we forgot to make “creative”. So cue all the baddies in the world appearing when it got dark and we hadn’t built any shelter because all I had were a couple of oak tree seeds and some dirt. Then we explored a lot and it seems everything wasn’t just flat, as we found a monastery (I think) and I fell in a well and couldn’t get out and drowned. Yay?

Skylanders Giants (360)

While the 360 controllers were out, and we’d just taken delivery of a cheap Skylanders Swap Force starter kit (for the Wii U – to hell with the 360 now!), I thought we shoudl probably finish off Giants.

So we worked through two more levels – Kaos’ castle, and a Ghost Ship. I’m sure the game it waaaay harder than the original Spyro’s Adventure, you know. We’ve about 30 Skylanders and ploughed through pretty much all of them on both levels.

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know! (Wii U)

Prison_breakThis was on sale and even though I know it’s not supposed to be very good, we are big fans of the cartoon and it was very cheap. And it’s multiplayer co-op.

It’s not too bad, actually. For the most part it plays like Gauntlet, complete with food and baddie generators and smart-bomb magic, but there’s also a Rogue Legacy style shop system. You can quit the dungeon after every 5 levels, and then spend your money to get better stats, but any money you have left is lost when you return to the game. The best bit is how the Gamepad becomes a giant Beemo face, who comments on your action with such gems as “food is where the hearts are!”. Excellent.

OlliOlli (Vita)

tumblr_ningobQfD61svmpf2o1_1280With various deals and cheap credit, I got this for less than £2. I’ve wanted it for a while, but keep being put of by people who say it’s rubbish. At that price I thought I’d risk it. And I’m glad I did as it’s pretty good.

It’s no Tony Hawk’s, obviously, but is instead an endless runner with things to grind on and ollie off. It’s all about timing, and the tricks are more like the Skate games in how you flick the stick to pull them off.  Was getting well into it, and then it crashed. Bah.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate box artAnd so it continues. I’m about 140 hours in now and ploughing through the 7 and 8 star quests, and I’ve ever started doing a bit of the online stuff. I finally got a nice checkmark on the 6 start quest section today by getting around to doing the annoying egg-fetchy-quest. It turns out it wasn’t nearly as annoying as it could have been (i.e. no rampaging Deviljho to avoid) and was done in under 5 minutes.

I’m now kitted out with a rather fetching set of S rank Diablos armour and have switched my primary from Dual Swords to Long Swords (due to everything getting a bit too tall for my little swords to reach) and I’m really enjoying the mechanic. Things are starting to get difficult though – many of the high rank quests involve ganking more than one beastie at a time, and given some of them take a good 50 minutes to take down alone, the search for better gear is pretty much constant. Not even vaguely close to finishing this one yet :)

 

MH3U – Heat Exhaustion

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate box artOh Good God. That was a bastard. Heat Exhaustion is a five star quest (but fairly early on) which requires a big of thinking to do. Firstly, it’s set in the volcanic area, so naturally you’ll need a good supply of cold drinks. Secondly, it requires carrying burning hot rocks which constantly deplete your health from one end of the map to the other, a bit like the ‘Poached Wyvern Eggs’ quest. Except they don’t break if you drop them – they explode. So you’re going to need a lot of health and a lot of stamina. Thirdly, just to make things fun, there’s a Uragaan on the loose. If it hits you, the powderstone explodes. If the ground shakes when it thumps its tail, the powderstone explodes. If you’re in range when it roars, the powderstone explodes.

It’s a bastard of a quest. Here’s what I did:

First off, take plenty of potions, mega-potions, cool drinks and well done steaks. Most importantly, get a meal made with fresh ingredients and choose the cooking method which will give you Felyne Lander. This will allow you, carrying a stone, to leap from the ledge in area 10 and land safely in area 5, shortcutting half of the map, without the damn thing exploding.

Clear out any mobs you find on your way to 10. Many of them won’t respawn and it’ll make things easier when carrying the stones.

This bit is optional, but makes things more interesting. Hunt down the Uragaan. He does a lot of damage but isn’t mega-tough. That will probably take you about half an hour, leaving you an easy 20 minutes to grab the stones. Pick them up at 10, run like hell off the ledge to 5, then it’s plain sailing. Repeat. Win.

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.

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 :)

Things I’ve been playing recently

Round up round up round up!

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Wii U)

Closing in on 60 hours played now. SIXTY. Between this and Animal Crossing, I’m really not going to finish off many other games this year.

I seem to find myself playing mainly online these days. Hunting a monster in a team, regardless of which monster, who the team is, or even what rank everyone is, is always fun. Entering a room and everyone remarking on your rank and then offering to help you rank up is fantastic. I’m HR3 at the moment (but almost HR4), so although it’s still VERY early days, I’ve already been able to help some others reach HR3.

Offline, I’ve reached 5* and just have to capture a Lagiacrus to progress. Well, I say “just” – I find caps pretty difficult.

I’ve also completed my Rathalos armour, which has now replaced my Jaggi armour as my default choice. It’s not much better in terms of defence, but I haven’t pimped it out with Armour Spheres to the level I had with the Jaggi stuff, so I can improve it further.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS)

Meanwhile, AC has clocked up 90 hours play. Erk.

Sold my turnips for a 100% profit, only to find I could have got 500% the next day. That’s the way it is. Still – at least I made a stack load of bells. Made a load more selling perfect pears “abroad”.

In development news, I’ve built a street clock, a yellow bench, and a fountain, and filled my basement with urinals.

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D (3DS)

This was one of the free games I obtained from the “So Many Games” promotion. It wasn’t one I especially wanted, but it was either this or Pokemon Mystery Dungeon so I tossed a coin. I have never been a fan of the series – I hated the SNES and Game Boy Donkey Kong Country/Land titles, and Donkey Kong 64 almost drove me away from gaming completely, but so far – only half way through the second level – I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I’m actually rather enjoying it, despite it being pretty difficult already.

Super Mario World (Wii U)

Once Kirby was completed, I returned to this. I’ve now reached Chocolate Island, so I know there’s not that much game left between me and Bowser now!