Things I’ve been playing recently

tumblr_n7udoirp541svmpf2o1_1280Euro Truck Simulator 2 (PC)

My first ever Steam Sale purchase! Sadly, it isn’t as great as I thought it was going to be. The graphics are flatter and drabber than videos had led me to believe, the roads are samey and short, and you’ve little choice in the routes you have to take.

Still, driving all the cars off the road on the way to Belgium, then running down all the Belgians when you get there, never gets old.

tumblr_n7y3aztlhd1svmpf2o1_400Picross e4 (3DS)

Having completed Picross e3 recently, it was obvious e4 needed to be bought. It is, as you’d expect, just more of the same. More Picross. It has the Mega Picross puzzles from e3, and the Micross puzzles from e2 though, and certainly seems a much longer game than e3. So far the Mega Picross puzzles have been completely doable without resorting to educated guesses, so in all it’s a better game.

And you get 5 bonus puzzles for each of e, e2 and e3 that you already own too. I suspect they’re Mega Picross versions of “normal” Picross puzzles found in those games, as some seem familiar.

I’ve been jumping around the various modes so I can’t really say how much I’ve done so far, but perhaps a quarter overall?

Is_ita_bird_Is_it_a_fish_Nobody_really_knows.Pullblox World (Wii U)

It’s just like the 3DS version, only with different puzzles. Which is fine. It loses a little from not being in 3D, but gains a bit from a bigger screen. I’m almost certain that the 3DS game didn’t have an unlimited rewind too – it “ran out” – but here you can rewind all the way back to the start of your attempt regardless of how long you’ve spent on it.

It also appears that some of the levels are much bigger than in the original. Some are seemingly too big – as even zooming out doesn’t show half of it.

Apparently Pullblox World has something like 240 puzzles to get through. I’m on the final “page” of puzzles (with 10 on each page) right now, and completing them will total 120, so I’m not sure where the other 120 are…

StreetPass games (3DS)

The four additional StreetPass games are currently on offer (£8.99 for the lot, instead of about £15), so I bought them. I’ve exhaused Quest and Quest II, and apart from the occasional new picture, the puzzle game was finished long ago (and is quickly completed when there is a new one).

I’ve not spent ages on each so far, but some thoughts:

StreetPass Squad is a more than slightly enjoyable side-on shoot ‘em up. StreetPass’d Miis provide different weapons for your not-at-all Opa-Opa cloned ship, and the levels are varied and fun.

StreetPass Garden is a surprisingly deep gardening simulator, where Miis help you grow flowers and harvest seeds from them, with new breeds and hybrids and stuff to collect. There are tasks to perform by growing certain types of flower, and all sorts of garden paraphernalia to collect. I hated it at first but it soon opens up into a more enjoyable game.

StreetPass Battle is like a cross between Janken and Risk, where you build up your troops (bolstered by StreetPass hits) and then take on other nations. How well you do is defined by how many troops and what sort of attack they use (in a Janken rock/paper/scissors type way). It’s very slow going though, building up your army to be big enough to defeat the next nation. Unless I’m missing something obvious.

StreetPass Mansion is part puzzle, part RPG where Miis you meet give you pieces of floor which you arrange in the mansion to create rooms. Put multiple pieces of the same colour together to make bigger rooms with better treasures, and put non-matching colours together to trigger battles where you fight ghosts. Your weapons can level up and be upgraded Fallout New Vegas style too. Lay enough floor tiles to reveal the stairs to the next floor. It’s really pretty good.

tumblr_n7ocn6ultr1svmpf2o1_400Nintendo Pocket Football Club (3DS)

Not doing too well in this at the moment. All my players are getting old and I’m unable to train up new players to replace them quickly enough. Also I’ve lost any chance of promotion from “The football icon” league, although I’m almost certain to end up in second place at, so I’m not too worried.

I’ve played a lot of online matches recently, mainly to farm cards, but I’ve been doing surprisingly well. Not enough to rise up the ranks much, but I’m certainly not dropping like I had been previously. Mind you, I’m picking my battles.

tumblr_n7w9sbxzkw1svmpf2o1_400Chibi-Robo: Let’s Go Photo! Demo (3DS)

I took a photo of my watch and it turned it into a badge. Then I cleaned up a kitchen with a sort of hoover thing, and chucked a load of rubbish in a robot bin blender thing. I had a conversation with a talking smartphone, and then wandered round a very small part of a very empty museum.

Which was all great. But I’m somewhat confused as to what all the cleaning up is for. One to wait for in a sale, I think. I’ll give it a miss at full price, not least due to having a trillion other games on the go at the moment.

tumblr_n7drd6fd641svmpf2o1_1280Theme Park (Mac)

Bought as part of the GOG sale, in a Bullfrog games pack. It’s as janky as I recall (although I mostly played the Amiga 1200 version, back in the day), slightly more so due to running under Dosbox.

I couldn’t remember how to research new things for ages, so only had the same few rides and shops for several game years. Then I remembered, but by then half my rides had exploded, everyone was too hungry and thirsty to stay, and nobody liked Vomit Park any more.

Then I screwed up salary negotiations and all my staff went on strike, during which the rest of my rides blew up.

All in all, rather successful, no?

Things I’ve been playing recently

A few things that might not warrant a full post each. Or I’m lazy. Or both! Or neither.

Super Mario 64 (Wii U)

Technically, I’ve been playing this on the Wii U, but it’s actually the N64 game on the Wii Virtual Console via the Wii U.  Erm, but anyway.

I’ve not got very far in, and playing it was mainly to entertain my daughter, but I’ve picked up about 15 stars. It’s still one of the best games ever made, and as good as Super Mario 3D World is, this still bests it by a considerable margin. Not bad for a game that’s 18 years old!

tumblr_n5lyespnhy1svmpf2o1_400Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS)

It was my birthday, and the animals threw me a party! And some sent me (terrible) presents. But the thought was there.

I’m now just 4 weeks away from having played this for an entire year. I’ve still got so much to do – I’m nowhere near filling either the museum or my catalogue, and I still don’t have a police station. Still, I did manage to get a new tree stump pattern I’d not managed before. Looks like I might be playing this even after my 365 day stint is up…

tumblr_n5qgrqjqab1svmpf2o1_400Nintendo Pocket Football Club (3DS)

I’ve been promoted to the third league (the one with the football as the logo), and spent the summer training, playing Italy a lot (which gives you loads of cards), buying some new players (some of mine have aged already, and are dropping stats!) and preparing for the new season.

Which started badly as I lost my first game. Thankfully, it was only to the team that had just dropped down from the next league up, so I should still be able to beat everyone else. In fact, I have beaten two other teams already, so things are looking up!

I wish my striker, Jaimie, could manage more than two matches without getting injured though. Useless.

Nintendo Pocket Football Club (3DS)

tumblr_n4ci3vdlc81svmpf2o1_400Those of you who know me are well aware of my level of love for football. The world’s most popular sport. The beautiful game. It’s all rubbish, innit. 22 overhairdressed pansies kicking a bit of pig around for 90 long minutes. Have you seen Robbie Savage? Good lord.

My forays into football games have been short and infrequent. I’ve booted a ball about variously over the years in PES and FIFA and so on, but nothing has ever held my attention since Sensible Soccer. And not even the XBLA remake – the original, on the Amiga, in the early 90s.

tumblr_n4akdjffz01svmpf2o1_400I did once get slightly addicted to a football manager game, which may or may not have been Football Manager (not the Kevin Toms seminal classic for the Spectrum), but that’s it. Until now.

Some months ago, perhaps years, Nintendo released shots of Calciobit. A 3DS update to a GBA game of the same name that I’d never heard of. It looked a lot like Sensible Soccer, but it appeared to be a management simulation. Interest pique++, but the chances of it ever appearing outside of Japan were slim to none, and so I was disappointed. Disappointed about a football game that might not come out in the UK. I’ve changed, man.

Then some astounding news – Nintendo were translating it and punting it onto the eShop as Nintendo Pocket Football Club. And I was there, virtually queuing up for a Day One purchase. That was about 10 days ago. I’ve sunk over 30 hours in already. Hooked.

tumblr_n46khijjaa1svmpf2o1_400Things started out badly. My squad simply couldn’t play. I lost almost every game in the bottom league for the first half of the season and although I’d then figured out how best to obtain and use training cards (protip: play online lots) it was by then too late and I finished in 3rd place. My first, and only, Cup match ended with my pink boys (home strip is rainbow, away is pink, because reasons) suffering 7-0 loss which I couldn’t bear to watch after five minutes. Shambles.

Thankfully, my second season following an intensive summer of training couldn’t have been more different. Just five matches in and I’m top of the table with a 5 point buffer. The problem I have now, though, is I’m overworking my best players. I’ve had Jaimie – my star striker – injured twice already due to playing him hard, and I’ve been needing to introduce fallow weeks in the schedule to stave off player-death. Frustrating when all I want to do is train them and train them and train them.

Pansies.

Oh, and if you want to see my stats, click here.