Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (360): COMPLETED!

Wow. It’s been a while since I’ve completed an Xbox 360 game. In fact, bar the odd bit of Minecraft, I’ve barely touched it in ages. Today my daughter wanted to play a Turtles game, so I picked this.

It’s the original arcade game from 1989, although I did complete it almost eight years ago. Blimey. Was the 360 even around that long ago?

This time was in co-op, obviously, and I found it easier than I remember. Sure, a billion credits were used (for some reason the game only gives you one life each credit? Pretty sure I must have missed a setting somewhere), but the bosses didn’t seem as indestructible as I recall.

Anywho, done. There was some technical issue aftermath, though. After playing, the game reverted to the trial version, and so to fix it I deleted it and went to redownload it. Of course, it’s not on XBLA any more. Nor was it in my download history. In fact, NOTHING was in my download history aside from Minecraft. Twice. Not on my 360 nor on the Xbox website. All very odd. Sorted it a few hours later when the Xbox Support Twitter account provided me with a link to my download history, which appeared to be the same URL as the one I’d visited previously, but this time it listed everything. Phew.

Retro City Rampage (360): COMPLETED!

tumblr_n1g9w6sqt41svmpf2o1_1280What a totally nuts game. So many ideas, parodies and play styles all thrown together, seemingly randomly, with intentionally terrible (well, great retro but terrible modern) graphics 1 and sound and garnished with groan-worthy puns and not-so-subtle innuendo.

And it’s brilliant.

One minute you’re in the sewers beating up ninja turtles, the next you’re a Ghostbuster, before taking part in a clone of Smash TV (where at one point you end up in the wrong TV studio and interrupt Phil Fish being interviewed), all via some Solid Snake Inna Box and pretending to be Batman. Not to mention Paperboy, Super Hang On, ‘Splosion Man and so many more. And GTA, which the main game overworld apes so obviously.

There are references to retro and modern games, TV and films everywhere. The developer pokes fun at terrible practices at large gaming companies at every turn. Games programmers, reviewers, PR people and “celebrities” pop up all over the place. There’s so much fun to be had before you even play the game.

Thankfully, the game still stands up as a game worth playing. Somehow, stitching these tropes and parodies together actually works. The game even riffs on itself by apologising for the tedious bits, using some deus ex machina to skip some sections that are obviously going to bore you (one fetch quest is cut short with a never used again warp whirlwind, a-la Mario 3). In fact, even some of the more difficult stages give you the option of skipping them, or you’re loaded up with better weapons to make things a bit easier. Add to this instant restarts and pretty frequent checkpoints and it’s clear the developer doesn’t want you to get bored.

Unfortunately, some of the stages are still a bit on the hard side (especially the final few), but that’s to be expected, I suppose. I did put some of the deaths down to a bizarre problem my 360 pad has developed where it moves to the left by itself. Odd.

Overall, well recommended. And other off my Pile of Shame. Phew!


  1. Which you can change to make look even worse! Like it’s a C64 game or it’s running on a Game Boy!

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (360): COMPLETED!

Urgh. I really didn’t enjoy that. And, without spoiling it for anyone else, I can’t really explain why.

I didn’t get used to the two-person, two-sticks controls. The camera caused a few issues (in the snowy area, specifically, and on the final “boss”), and it was far too easy. But they are not the reasons I didn’t like it.

No, it was the story. The last bit of the story. Far too grim for me, especially the bit you do immediately after reaching the top of the Tree of Life. After I’d completed the game I genuinely wished I’d never played it. Horrible. Even worse than that bit in Prey.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (360)

I’m torn.

On one hand, this a beautiful, heart-wrenching puzzle-platformer. On the other hand, it’s ICO. Now, I sort of liked ICO. I liked the idea. I liked some of the puzzles. I liked the setting and the graphics (although the horrible low-res made my eyes explode). I didn’t like all the dragging Yorda round and stopping her getting killed, though.

This doesn’t have a lot of that, and the graphics are several billion times easier on the eyes, but still – it’s ICO.

Controlling both brothers at once is awful. Not so much when you do the puzzles like getting one to turn a handle and the other to run around, as you’re not physically making them move togther, but more just navigating from A to B. No matter how hard you try, one always veers off and gets stuck behind something or goes the wrong way, artificially making the easy bits of the game harder.

Since completion time has been reported at just 3 to 5 hours, I’d estimate I’m about half way through. Just after the bit where the younger brother hallucinates about the giant who seems to be his mum, anyway.

Bastion (360): COMPLETED!

A beautiful game. Gorgeous to look at. Fantastic music. Fun to play. Somewhat short, and incredibly easy (I didn’t die at all, ever), but really, really good.

After a few levels, I’d settled on the Fang Repeater and Machete as my weapon paring of choice. I set my special attack as the spinning shield thing, but frankly, I never needed it. Of course, I’d pick up other weapons along the way, but until I found the Calamity Cannon I swapped back to my mainstays as soon as possible. Both sword and gun were upgraded almost completely by the end, and tore through pretty much everything in seconds or less.

Spoilers follow…

The final few levels were a bit different from the rest of the game. Not only did I acquire the ability to jump (which was needed for about three minutes, when the game momentarily became a platformer), but I also picked up a massive battering ram, which replaced all my weapons until near the end of the level.

I chose to rescue Zulf, and then a slow walk to the skyway, whilst being shot at a lot until the Ura decided not to attack any more, and then chose the “evacuate” ending.

And then stupidly started New Game+, which meant I couldn’t return to the Bastion just prior to the final level and get the other ending. Tch.

Bastion (360)

After finishing Rayman, I found myself without a “currently playing” console game. Sure, I have a few that I’ve finished but not 100%ed, that I could have returned to (like Lego Harry Potter 2, Skylanders, or more Rayman), and yeah, I’ve Luigi’s Mansion on the go for “on the go”, and sure, I have The Wonderful 101 sat there unplayed… but I thought I’d play Bastion.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I’d been told it was good, and I’d read it was “a bit like Diablo” (which I’ve never really played), and some people said Heroes of Ruin was quite similar and I have played that, but I didn’t expect it to be exactly like Skylanders.

OK, that’s an exaggeration. But it is very similar. Levels set in the sky. A narrator. A hub world you gradually built on using items called “cores”. Lots of barrels and chests and boxes in each level to smash and get money from. Upgrades to your weapons that you spend money on. Characters that gradually populate the hub world. Similar weapons. No jump button. Similar enemies. Similar graphical style.

You may say it’s all coincidence. You may say it’s a disservice to say Bastion is like Skylanders. But the fact remains – they are very, very similar. In a good way. Because I liked Skylanders and I like this.

I’m not terribly far in yet, having only just rescued the first guy and built the first building on the east half of the Bastion itself. I’ve currently settled on the bow and machete as my weapons of choice, with a mirror shield as a special. I’m really enjoying plowing through all the enemies, and the narrator is brilliant (and doesn’t interrupt what you’re doing so much as on Skylanders).

Some things I’ve played recently

Round up time!

Doritos Crash Course 2 (360)

I turned my 360 on for the first time in months this weekend, and my download queue kicked in. The first thing that downloaded was this. It is, considering how it’s both a shameless advert for Doritos and free, really good fun. Much like the first game, really.

I was enjoying it, until I ran out of the stars you need to buy the next level. You see, you collect and win stars in each level, and then you spend these to buy ever more expensive extra levels to progress. A bit like Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing Transformed. Only when I ran out of stars, I was told to buy some more. For real actual money. I said no and turned it off. Ain’t playing that again.

Cloudberry Kingdom (Wii U)


This promised to be a lot better than it turned out, sadly. It looks and plays like a freebie Flash game. A good one, sure, but still – it’s a purposefully hard platformer with a million levels that just ramp up the difficulty to “clearly impossible”. Although the levels are short, and you instantly restart, the harder levels are almost trial and error, or worse, luck – it’s impossible to see a path through the spikes and fire and stuff, let alone avoid them all.

It is fun, but perhaps more suited to an XBL Indie Game.

New Super Luigi U (Wii U)


At first, I wasn’t sure I was going to like this. I don’t enjoy Luigi’s jumpyslidey physics, and the game world seems to be the same as in Mario U. Having just 99 seconds to complete each level would, I thought, make them all a mad rush. No restart points would be frustrating.

But, of course, I was wrong. His floaty flutterjumps make some of the levels easier. The levels are shorter too, so the time limit rarely comes into play. In fact, the only thing I’ve not liked so far (and I’m up to the “in the clouds” world already!) is the lack of a restart point at the bosses. Oh, and the fact the bosses are the same as in Mario U, I suppose. Still, it’s really good and well worth getting.