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pigfish2 Blog

Catching fish and fighting Infected

Hi everyone,

Over the past week and a bit I have been playing a lot of both my latest games, Animal Crossing: New Leaf and The Last of us. Both are brilliant and I'm not exaggerating to say they are already among my favourite games ever. As such I can't help but share my positive impressions of them here.

I'll start with Animal Crossing. I have been a major fan of Animal Crossing since I first played the Gamecube version at a friends house in 2004. 2008's Lets go the city on Wii was good but disappointing because it didn't bring anything new that hadn't been seen in Wild World on DS 3 years earlier. The same can't be said about New Leaf. Making you mayor of your village brings a whole new dimension to the game and increases the lifespan even further. I put over 100 hours into the Wii version but with the need to save up enough bells for all the town developments as well as my house payments and getting all the items I want there is a lot to do. Not to mention catching all the fish and bugs and finding all the fossils. Main Street and the Island also bring plenty of new ideas and variety to the game. So far I've played for about 9 hours and I have only scratched the surface of what the game has to offer. New Leaf is certainly the best Animal Crossing yet.

The Last of Us is of course a very different beast to Animal Crossing but it is no less enjoyable. Naughty Dog have crafted what may be the best PS3 game ever. I have completed about 90% so far and I have found the story and characters well written and engaging. I've even nearly shed a tear at times. The survival horror gameplay is also very well designed. The balance between tense action packed moments and slower paced more thoughtful and at times just as tense moments is well struck. I also believe it to be a very good decision to place more of a focus on the human survivors as enemies as their intelligence makes them more of a threat than the infected. It is a great game throughout but about two thirds in it has ramped up even further in terms of both gameplay and story. I can't wait to see how it ends.

Thanks for reading.

pigfish2

My 12 most anticipated games after E3 2013

Hi everyone,

E3 has come and gone for another year and whilst it wasn't as exciting as I hoped it might be it was still great. With new games revealed and the end of the years release schedule taking shape, it's time for my most anticipated games. Any game that isn't official announced yet such as Zelda Wii U can't make this list and neither can The Last of Us or Animal Crossing New Leaf as I have both pre-ordered for today. 

Honourable mention- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD(Wii U)- I never had a Gamecube so haven't played The Wind Waker. As such I am looking forward to playing it on Wii U but as a remake and a game that over the years I have learnt plenty about I've decided not to include it in this list.

12. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U)

I was not expecting another Donkey Kong game to be Retro's secret new game and I will admit that I am disappointed that it is. However that doesn't mean it won't be a great game and one that I am looking forward to getting. I will definitely get it this year as it looks to build upon the quality foundations of Donkey Kong Country Returns.

11. Rayman Legends (Wii U)

Originally a Wii U exclusive that was set to be a launch title, Legends has seen two delays and gone multiplatform. It will now be out at the end of August and while time has diminished my excitement for it a little, I am still greatly anticipating it. 2011's Rayman Origins was a sparkling return to form for the limbless hero and I expect the extra development time will ensure that Legends is even better.

10. Pikmin 3 (Wii U)

I haven't played Pikmin 2 and I found Pikmin very difficult to get into. However I am encouraged by the comments from Mr. Miyamoto and the previews I have read for Pikmin 3. It won't feature the pressure of a limited number of days to complete it and features new controls and innovations that should make it much more inviting to play and easy to enjoy.

9. Professor Layton and the Azran Legacies (3DS)

The Professor Layton series may not have evolved much over the course of its five games but the quality has remained consistent high. New puzzles and engaging storylines keep things fresh and I expect Layton's final adventure will be no different.

8. Watch Dogs (Wii U/PS3)

I am currently undecided as to whether or not I will get Watch Dogs on Wii U or Ps3 but if the Gamepad is utilised effectively as Aiden's smartphone then I am sure it will be the former. Ubisoft's new IP looks genuinely unique and clever and I can't wait to see the different ways in which you are able to use Aiden's hacking abilities.

7. Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)

The Mario Galaxy games are a tough act to follow and it was never likely that the latest 3D Mario game would be up to their standard. 3D World could of course be so but from I've seen so far it looks like a very good game but not up to their  standard. The new Cat suit looks like a welcome addition and I'm sure there will be plenty more to discover. As always with Nintendo the proof will be in the playing.

6. Batman Arkham Origins (PS3)

Rocksteady may not be developing this prequel to the previous 2 Arkham games but that doesn't mean it won't match their standards. Everything I've seen so far is promising and I particularly like the new look of Detective mode and how it is going to play a bigger role this time. Batman being younger and more untested should make for a good challenge too.

5. Pokemon X/Y (3DS)

Every new detail I found out about the latest Pokemon games is making me more and more eager to play them. I have already pre-ordered Y version and October 12th can't come soon enough. The new world looks good and the plentiful new mechanics should make the game feel fresh and exciting.

4. The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS)

I own A Link to the Past on GBA but have never been able to get into it. That hasn't stopped me greatly anticipating its successor though. I think that the ability to become a painting and merge with the wall is a great idea that will be used for some interesting puzzles. The game is set to make good use of 3D effects and the gameplay should be as high quality as we've come to expect from the Zelda series.

3. Star Wars Battlefront (PS4)

All we saw of this new game from Battlefield developers DICE was a very brief CGI teaser and the game is only in the ideas phase so won't be released for a couple of years. However I have been waiting for a new Battlefront game for years and I am so happy that one is finally coming. It may be a long way off but just knowing its coming is good enough.

2. Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)

One of the few reveals in the E3 Nintendo Direct that didn't disappoint was that of Mario Kart 8. It is looking stunning in terms of both graphics and gameplay. The new anti-gravity elements should bring a whole new dimension to the game and I expect the online offering to be even stronger than the previous two Mario Kart games. Spring 2014 is going to be brilliant when this is released.

1. Super Smash Bros 3DS and Wii U

This may technically be two games and I intend to get both versions as they will have at least unique stages, however I have included it as one entry here as I am anticipating both equally. Animal Crossing Villager and Megaman should be great additions to the character roster, although I am not so sure about Wii Fit trainer. Over the coming months we should get plenty of new info and I anticipate finding it all out. The gameplay should be as brilliant as ever but I am really looking forward to is a fully fledged online offering that Brawl lacked. If that is done right then these games will be something special.

Thanks for reading and of course there are plenty of games outside these top 12 I am looking forward too. Let me know your most anticipated in the comments.

pigfish2

My thoughts on the E3 Conferences and Nintendo Direct

Hi everyone,

With all the E3 conferences and the E3 Nintendo Direct out of the way I thought I'd share my opinions on them.

Microsoft

Microsofts policies regarding used games and so on are clearly disappointing for gamers but I felt their conference was actually decent. As I expected they used the console reveal to get all the non game stuff about the Xbox One out of the way in order to just discuss games at E3. They showed a wide variety of games tht looked generally good. I am particularly intrigued by the Drivatar feature in Forza Motorsport 5 and I hope it is implemented well. I am not an Xbox gamer and have no intention of getting an Xbox One but I still feel its game lineup looked good.

EA

EA had plenty of games to show but there was really only one that caught my attention. After years of hoping, Star Wars Battlefront 3 is finally real. Developed by DICE on the Frostbite 3 engine, it should be fantastic. I don't think it will be released until at least winter 2014 but just knowing that its coming is good enough.

Sony

The PS4 as a console is looking great. It has none of Microsofts stupid policies like online requirements and has all the features I could want. I'm a little annoyed that online multiplayer will no longer be free but as long as its not too much and the ps plus perks are good then I'm not too bothered. So far Sony haven't shown many games I think I will want though. Knack and The Order: 1886 do look interesting however. I am fairly sure I will get a PS4 but not until next autumn at the earliest when I have a better idea of what games will be available.

Nintendo

The E3 Nintendo Direct had some good moments but I'd be lieing if I said I wasn't disappointed. The lack of any new IP's or at least a return to older franchises that haven't been seen for a while such as StarFox or F-Zero is strange to me. Nintendo appear stale and to be resting on their laurels. Super Mario 3D World was not what I expected and initially I felt it looked fairly poor although I am starting to come round to it upon reflection. Mario Kart 8 on the other hand looks stunning. The new anti-gravity karts seem like they should be a great addition and I love the design aesthetic. Spring 2014 is going to be great with Mario Kart 8 launching. Retro Studios new game turning out to be just another 2D Donkey Kong platformer is a major disappointment though. I'm sure it will be good but I was hoping for something more exciting especially with Donkey Kong Counbtry returns still fairly fresh in the memory. Finally Smash Bros on Wii U and 3DS has been unveiled. It looks as good as I expected an I like the cel shaded graphics that differentiate the 3DS version. Animal Crossing villager and Mega Man look like good additions to the roster as well. I am looking forward to the drip feed of new information for both versions.

Thanks for reading and please share your thoughts on the E3 conferences and Nintendo Direct.

pigfish2

Front of the GRID

Hi everyone,

In the last few days I have been enjoying my latest game, GRID 2 on the ps3. From my playtime so far it is a very good racing game that excels in both career mode and online. It has got me thinking about different racing game series and which is my favourite. In terms of 'serious' racers I'd have to say that Codemasters Race Driver series, which GRID belongs to is the series I enjoy most. The pinnacle being Toca Race Driver 2 on ps2 which was the best racing game I've ever played. Aside from 'serious' racers, my favourite is of course Mario kart. Overall the Mario Kart series is the best racing series I've played. Back to 'serious' racers and I do like the Formula 1 games and Motorstorm Apocalypse is also decent as something different. I can't stand Gran Turismo though and GRAN Turismo 5 is easily one of the worst racing games I've ever played. It's cars all handle like tanks, the lack of damage and limited number of tracks are major drawbacks and the loading times even when its installed are horrendous.

So what are your favourite racing series. Kart racers like Mario Kart? Realistic games like Formula 1, Forza Motosport and Gran Turismo? Or something in between like Race Driver, Need for Speed or Motorstorm?

Thanks for reading.

pigfish2

My E3 2013 predictions and hopes

Hi everyone,

This years E3 is now only a week and a half a way so the excitement is really building now for what will be revealed at the show. In this blog I will detail what I predict will be shown and revealed and also what I hope will be revealed but don't necessarily believe will be.

Predictions


Sony

  • Uncharted 4 from Naughty Dog
  • New IP's
  • PS4 release date and price
  • New games in existing franchises

Microsoft

  • A large number of games for xbox one will be revealed allaying fears of it lacking games
  • Halo 5 for xbox one announced
  • Release date and price for xbox one

Nintendo

  • New 3D Mario game for Wii U shown with release date of this year
  • Mario Kart Wii U shown with release date of this year
  • Smash Bros Wii U/3DS shown and to release next year
  • Retro Studios new game revealed
  • Shigeru Miyamoto's new game revealed
  • More Zelda Wind Waker HD info

Hopes

  • EA to reveal Star Wars Battlefront 3 and Knights of the Old Republic 3
  • Timesplitters 4 reveal
  • New Star Fox game announced by Nintendo
  • New F-Zero game announced by Nintendo
  • Brand New core IP on Wii U from Nintendo
  • 3D Pokemon game on Wii U revealed
  • Jak and Daxter 4 announced for PS4
  • PS4 backwards compatibility with PS3 games

Thanks for reading and let me know in the comments what predictions or hopes you have for E3 2013.

pigfish2

Next Level Games

Hi everyone,

All Nintendo fans know that one of the companies biggest 2nd party developers is Retro Studios who have made such games as the Metroid Prime series and Donkey Kong Country Returns. Less known however, yet equally worthy of praise are Next Level Games. This Canadian studio, founded in 2002 have developed a string of great games in popular Nintendo franchises for Nintendo systems The first of these was Super Mario Strikers on Gamecube that was released in 2005 but for me their most recent three games are the ones that stand out.

The first of these was Mario Strikers Charged Football on Wii in 2007. This follow up to Super Mario Strikers was the first Wii game to include online multiplayer and one of the first Wii games I got. It was fantastic fun in both single and multiplayer and the online is still fun to this day(if you can get a game). It improved on the original in a number of ways and firmly established Next Level Games as a developer to look out for.

In 2009 they released another Wii game: Punch-Out. With it, Next Level Games succeeded in restoring life to a Nintendo franchise that was seemingly dead. They retained the games mechanics whilst making it for for the modern day and it was an undoubted triumph. It is simple to get into but difficult to master just like Punch-Out games of old. Its success seemingly established them as a key developer for Nintendo and as such Nintendo turned to them to bring another series back to life.

Earlier this year, their latest game, Luigi's Mansion 2 was released. Coming a decade after the original, Next Level Games have again managed to keep what works from the original but make it fresh and suitable to the present day. It is an even greater improvement than was the case with the Punch-Out though and brings plenty new to the table. Next Level Games' abilities are clear and I am truly excited to see what they bring us next.

For more on my thoughts regarding Luigi's Mansion 2 please check out my review. Constructive criticism about my review style would be welcome too. 

Thanks for reading.

Pigfish2

Summer at the Movies

Hi everyone,

Having seen Iron Man 3 on Wednesday(it was brilliant), I now consider the summer of movies to have begun. When it comes to the cinema I count summer as late April through to September because of how spread out the big films are. Its got me thinking about what films are out this summer and I've realised there are quite a lot I want to see. I thought I'd share the ones I am anticipating with you and hear what you're looking forward to.

I intend to see

  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • Monsters University
  • Man of Steel
  • Pacific Rim
  • Kick-Ass 2
  • The Wolverine
  • Red 2
  • Elysium
  • Rush
  • The World's End

What films are you looking forward to seeing at the cinema this summer?

Thanks for reading.

Pigfish2

The turnaround of the 3DS' fortunes offers hope for the Wii U

Hi everyone,

I have never subscribed to the doom and gloom surrounding the Wii U and have always believed it will come good. However I will admit it has had a difficult start, with poor sales and a lack of games. I firmly believe that will change. In my opinion it was launched too early and if it had been released in March then there would have been more games at or close to launch and no one would have complained about a games drought. By the end of the year there will be a plentiful supply of games for it, with Nintendo leading the charge in its releases. Many of which will be announced at E3. Speaking of E3, I was shocked by Nintendo's decision to not stage a traditional press conference this year and at first I was quite angry because it is usually a highlight of the year for me. However having reflected on it, I feel it actually makes sense. The media and the industry will get their own specific tailored events and Nintendo Direct or something similar will be used to reach the gamers. We will still get an exciting presentation with some great announcements around the same time as the usual live conference, it will simply be pre-recorded this year.

It is recent Nintendo directs and the rise of the 3DS' fortunes that give me plenty of hope for the Wii U. The 3DS suffered from a similarly troubling first year but is now going from strength to strength in terms of both sales and quality games. By the end of year at least 9 games that I will most likely buy will be released for it with more that don't appeal to me but will be great for other tastes. The 9 games I am looking forward to are: Animal Crossing, Inazuma Eleven 3, Mario and Luigi 4, Mario Golf World Tour, Pokemon X/Y, Layton 6, Batman Arkham Origins: Blackgate, Yoshis Island 3, and The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past 2.

Finally, I have recently completed Lego City: Undercover on Wii U and whilst its not a classic by any means, it is a good addition to the Wii U's library. I have recently started Tomb Raider that I got for me birthday and it is so far really good and in my opinion a rival to the Uncharted series.

Thanks for reading.

pigfish2

My 20th Birthday

Hi,

Today is my 20th birthday and I have received some good presents from my family. My brother and parents have pooled their money to buy me the 6 film Avengers blu-ray boxset and Tomb Raider on ps3. I'm looking forward to using watching the films and playing the game soon. I have also received £50 from other relatives.

I'm currently playing Lego City Undercover and Luigis Mansion 2 that finally arrived on Tuesday and both are very good so far.

Thanks for reading.

pigfish2

Happy Easter

Hi everyone,

Todays blog is just a quick one to wish you all a happy Easter weekend(if indeed its a public holiday where you live).

I was hoping to play Lego City Undercover and Luigis Mansion 2 during this 4 day weekend but sadly the post has failed me and now due to the bank holiday tomorrow they won't arrive until at least tuesday. I'm sure they'll be worth the wait though.

Are you guys enjoying any games this weekend?

Thanks for reading.

pigfish2