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Christmas Blog 2014

Merry Christmas everyone

I realise its pretty much a year now since I last blogged and I don't think anyone still reads these anyway but I could not forgo my Christmas tradition of wishing everyone a merry Christmas and sharing what gifts I got.

This year I received

    • Dragon Age Inquisition (PS4) from my parents
    • Pokemon Omega Ruby (3DS) from my brother
    • A £25 Amazon voucher from my godparents
    • £30 of high street vouchers from my Gran

I am really happy with what I got this year and can't wait to play the games. Additionally I have purchased Battlefield 4 premium edition for just £25 from PSN which is a great bargain. Add that to Smash Bros Wii U and both seasons of the Walking dead on PC that I have to play and I've got lots of gaming to do.

Merry Christmas


My top 20 games of 2013 part 2 #10-1

Hi everyone

Welcome to part 2 of my countdown of the 20 best games I played this year. To qualify a game does not have to have been released this year, I simply must have played it for the first time this year. Check my last blog for numbers 20 to 11.

10. Mario and Luigi: Dream Team (3DS)

9. Tomb Raider 2013 (PS3)

8. Pokemon Y (3DS)

7. Luigi's Mansion 2 (3DS)

6. Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS)

5. Rayman Legends (Wii U)

4. Bioshock Infinite (PS3)

3. Bioshock (PS3)

2. Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)

1. The Last of Us (PS3)

Now here is a list of all my games of the years.

2007- Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)

2008- Super Smash Bros Brawl (Wii)

2009- Pokemon Platinum (DS)

2010- Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)

2011- Mass Effect 2 (PC) - Alternatively for games released that year- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)

2012- Mass Effect 3 (PC)

2013- The Last of Us (PS3)

Thanks for reading.


My top 20 games of 2013 part one #20-11

Hi everyone

As usual at the end of the year it is time to for me to reveal the 20 best games I played this year. To qualify a game does not have to have been released in 2013 but I must have played it for the first time this year. Part 1 is number 20 through to 11.

20. Formula 1 2013 (PS3)

I am a big Formula 1 racing fan and this years game is the best version yet at capturing the speed, excitement and unpredictability of the sport.

19. Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)

The prequel Layton trilogy comes to a close with the Azran Legacy and whilst this second trilogy has not matched the quality of the first, all 3 games have been great fun only let down by some strange story decisions. Azran Legacy sees Layton out well though.

18. Red Dead Redemption (PS3)

I may not have found RDR to live up to its hype but it was still a quality experience with memorable characters and fun if repetitive gameplay.

17. Grid 2 (PS3)

Grid 2 takes the honour of my favourite racing game of the year. The story mode is fresh and fun and the online play is even better.

16. Pikmin 3 (Wii U)

Pikmin 3 looks sumptuous but underneath the inviting exterior lies a challenging experience that is one of the best strategy games around. If it was more of a fan of the genre I am sure it would be higher.

15. Lego Marvel Superheroes (Wii U)

Lego Marvel combines the fun of the Lego games with the history, variety and quality of the Marvel brand to create a game that is funny, entertaining and surprisingly deep.

14. Dishonored (PS3)

After playing the awful Hitman Absolution at the start of the year, Dishonored showed me how a stealth game should be. Each mission is self contained with multiple ways of completion but fit into a wider story that is genuinely interesting and populated with well written characters.

13. Kid Icarus Uprising (3DS)

Uprising deserves a place on this list for its gameplay alone but it is the relationships and interactions of its characters, particularly Pit and Palutena that elevate it tot the next level.

12. Lego City Undercover (Wii U)

Undercover marks the first time that Travellers Tales' have created their own story and characters rather than using an exisitng franchise in their Lego series and it is a definite success. I am hoping for more of the same.

11. Bioshock 2 (PS3)

I played all 3 Bioshock games this year and whilst the other 2 make my top 10 Bioshock 2 is still a great game in its own right. Its story is not quite on the level of the other 2 games but is still had quality gameplay and plenty of intrigue.

Thanks for reading.


Merry Christmas 2013

Hi everyone

Since Gamespot had its big update it has been almost deserted so I'm not sure if anyone is actually going to read my annual Christmas blog but here it is anyway.

I got 3 games for Christmas this year.

  • Super Mario 3D world from my parents
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link between worlds from my brother
  • Ratchet and Clank: Nexus from my godparents

I also got a Muppets t-shirt from my parents and £20 from my Gran.

I am now looking ahead to a fun rest of the day with my family.

Merry Christmas everyone and I hope you have a good day with your families and get something nice.


Nintendo to unveil a new Wii U game at this weekends VGX awards

In an unusual step for Nintendo they are joining the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Square Enix and unveiling a new trailer at this years VGX. Not only is it a new trailer but it will be for a new and unannounced Wii U game. When Nintendo is concerned it really could be anything from the next Zelda to a game for the casual market. However given that it is a dedicated gaming awards show, casual gamers are unlikely to be interested so it should be a game for core gamers to get excited about.

I'm hoping it will be one of these four....

  1. The next Zelda
  2. A new StarFox
  3. A new F-Zero
  4. A brand new IP

Whatever it is there are only 3 days until we find out.

The new Gamespot

Hi everyone,

If you have actually found this blog (I can't find anyone else's), its just a short one.

The new Gamespot is as far as I'm concerned very difficult to navigate and poorly designed. For that reason I am not leaving but I won't be posting or commenting as much because it is just too much of a hassle.

Does anyone else have the same problems?

Thanks for reading.


My Smash Bros predictions are wrong already

Hi everyone,

A month or so ago I posted my predictions for the Smash Bros Wii U/3DS character roster. I kept it to 35 characters as Masahiro Sakurai has previously said the roster won't be any larger than Brawl's (although I wouldn't be surprised if it was). In order to include newcomers I had to cut several characters from Brawl. One of those I didn't think would make it was Toon Link but yesterday it was confirmed he would be in the games. I am actually pleased he is returning because he was one of my favourite characters to use. However because he is basically a clone of the regular Link I didn't think he would return in order to free up space.

I am already wrong then but maybe some of my newcomer predictions like Krystal, Bowser Jr and Pac-man will still be right.

Thanks for reading.


The 100 best games I have ever played 10-1

Hello everyone,

At last it is time for the final part of my countdown of the 100 best games I've ever played. I believe the top 10 are a stellar selection of games and I hope you agree.

10. Batman Arkham City (PS3)

Arkham Asylum is a great game and really makes you feel like Batman but Arkham City manages to somehow do almost everything better. The story is more considered; playing as Batman feels even better, the boss fights are greatly improved and the larger environment is full of much more to see and do. As the quote from PSM3 on the back of the box says, 'it makes the original look like a test run.'

9. The Last of Us (PS3)

The Last of Us continues Naughty Dog's excellent track record and is in my opinion their best game yet. Its storytelling and characters are also arguably the best in any game ever and will hopefully set the tone for the future direction of gaming. Zombie style apocalypses have been done countless times but the quality of Naughty Dog's work makes everything seem fresh and exciting. 

8. Mass Effect 3 (PC)

Mass Effect 3 is the final evolution of the development of the Mass Effect trilogy into an epic action RPG and it isn't quite as good as Mass Effect 2 overall but comes very close. Its combat and spectacle are an improvement but the story and balance of the gameplay aren't quite right. However the ending aside it is a superb finale for Commander Shepard and company.

7. Super Mario World (Wii Virtual Console)

As far as I am concerned Super Mario World is easily Mario's finest 2D outing and also the best 2D platformer ever. Everything from the jumping mechanics to the level design and een the new power-ups like Yoshi seems to work superbly. The sheer variety of the levels and the fun it creates make it one not be missed.

6. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)

At the end of 2011 the Wii needed one last hurrah to send it off with a bang and it got that and then some in the shape of Skyward Sword. It was a long time coming but Nintendo spent that time wisely and crafted the most complete Zelda experience yet. The dungeons are all the right sort of challenging and the game has a good length too at over 40 hours even without the sidequests. The cheery graphical style balances well with the dark tone and it is the best Zelda ever.

5. Timesplitters 2 (PS2/Gamecube)

When it comes to deathmatch modes Timesplitters 2 cannot be beaten. The story is fun but its not the draw of Tmesplitters 2. The arcade deathmatch modes are supreme fun both in multiplayer and against the computer controlled bots that are the best in gaming despite being over a decade old. The wealth of characters, maps, modes and weapons it staggering and there isn't a dud in sight. Timesplitters 2 is pure fun at its very best.

4. Super Smash Bros Brawl (Wii)

Next years Smash Bros on Wii U and 3DS has a lot to live up to and its difficult to see how it can be a better package than Brawl. It encapsulates all of Nintendo's rich videogame history in a top notch fighting game that is filled to the brim with unlockables. The characters and stages are plentiful and cater to all Nintendo fans and their are trophies, stickers and more besides to collect as well. Most importantly though as a fighting game it plays supremely well, especially in multiplayer.

3. Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)

In 2007 Super Mario Galaxy set a new benchmark for 3D platforming with one of the finest examples of Nintendo's talents in the genre. The spherical level designs and use of gravity create a captivating experience and each level is full of imagination and new ideas pop up throughout. 

2. Mass Effect 2 (PC)

Mass Effect 2 takes everything that made Mass Effect great such as the interactive storytelling and streamlined it to make the best Mass Effect experience. The game is more focused on combat without the slightly uncomfortable compromise between combat and RPG elements and overall everything is much more refined. The story is also excellent and the best in the trilogy.

1. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)

When Super Mario Galaxy 2 was announced I feared it would be too similar to its predecessor and that it would find it very difficult to better it. Somehow though, it is better. It does feel similar but it feels all new at the same time which is a fine achievement by Nintendo. The level designs and graphics are even better and all in all it is Super Mario Galaxy but even better.

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed my list and please share your thoughts in the comments.


The 100 best games I've ever played 20-11

Hello and welcome to part 9 of my countdown of the 100 best games I've ever played. This is numbers 20 through 11 and as I said in the last blog every entry in the top 20 is absolutely top draw in my opinion. 

20. Batman Arkham Asylum (PS3)

As we all know, superhero videogames don't have the best history but in 2009 Arkham Asylum bucked that trend. It focuses on what makes Batman unique and really makes it feel like you are Batman. It is full to the brim with gadgets and villains from Batman's history and is only let down by the weak boss fights which even then aren't bad, simply mediocre. The Scarecrow fights really mix things up though and if anyone hasn't played it, I won't spoil them, but they are among the best boss fights I have experienced in gaming.

19. Bioshock Infinite (PS3)

Moving from Rapture to Columbia paid off in Bioshock Infinite. The game feels fresh and full of character as a result. Columbia is a well crafted and deep world of religion, racism and more. The combat is also very good as well and combined with the intriguing story, the result is a another high quality 'thinking man's' first person shooter.

18. Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception (PS3)

The first two Uncharted games were very good and have already featured in my top 100 but Uncharted 3 took the series to a whole new level. The story, graphics, gameplay and music are all the best in the series. The biggest improvement is the online multiplayer though which for the first time is genuinely fun to play and full of depth. I have put many hours into it as a result. A return to the series on PS4 would be very welcome as far as I'm concerned.

17. Mario Kart Wii (Wii)

2008s Mario Kart Wii stands as the best in the series in my opinion which is no mean feat considering the calibre of the franchise. Its selection of new and old tracks are all winners and they may not be to everyones taste but I liked the implementation of tricks and the Wii wheel as well as the removal of snaking. The 12 player online is great too and I have high hopes for next years Mario Kart 8.

16. Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS)

As you can probably tell by my avatar I am a huge Animal Crossing fan. This years New Leaf is the most refined and deep entry in the series yet and given how the series is evolution over revolution to a significant degree I have only included New Leaf in this list despite enjoying several previous entries in the series. All of New Leaf's new features are a success and as I have said it refines everything that was great about previous iterations as well.

15. Bioshock (PS3)

As good as Bioshock Infinite is, it is the first Bioshock that is my favourite in the series. Rapture and its politics are a joy to discover and overall the game is just that little bit more balanced than Infinite with a story that unfolds at a better pace. 

14. Mass Effect (PC)

Games that give the player real choice and influence are something I really enjoy and the Mass Effect series is far and away the best example of the type. The first Mass Effect is my least favourite of the trilogy and still makes number 14 in my favourite games ever. which shows how highly I rate the series. It struggles a little to strike the right balance between shooter and RPG and the sequels fix this but the story, immersion and overall quality make it a great game.

13. Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition (Wii)

I will admit that I am not a big fan of the Resident Evil franchise but Resident Evil 4 is the exception. It gets almost everything right. The combat is slow but the controls are tight rather than tank like. It also creates a tense atmosphere with threatening enemies everywhere and the gameplay is varied with puzzles that are at least testing. The balance between shooter and survival horror sways a little more towards shooter and that is to my preference.

12. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)

Twilight Princess is not every Zelda fans cup of tea but I much prefer it to both Ocarina of Time and A link to the past, both of which I have played and neither of which made my top 100. The dungeons are all at least good and I like the dark atmosphere that makes it stand out from other Zelda games. Its not my favourite Zelda game but its close.

11. Pokemon Soul Silver (DS)

This entry could just as easily have been the original Pokemon Silver which I got for Christmas in 2001 and absolutely love but 2010's DS remake is the better version as it takes nothing away and makes improvements to the graphics and more. Silver/Soul Silver is my favourite Pokemon game and not just because of nostalgia. It has the best Pokemon and the best regions and feels like the most complete Pokemon game yet.

Thanks for reading. Let me know your thoughts in the comments and look out for my top 10 soon.


The 100 best games I've ever played 30-21


Welcome to part 8 of my countdown of the the 100 best games I've ever played. It's now time for numbers 30 through to 21.

30. Mario Kart 7 (3DS)

In late 2011 the 3DS needed software badly and what better to provide that than Mario Kart. Mario Kart 7 didn't just fill a gaping hole in the release schedule but provided a quality Mario Kart experience full of tracks, characters and features. The new tracks and the kart customisation provide plenty new and its a very good game online to boot.

29. Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii)

Donkey Kong came back with a bang in 2010 in this Wii platformer. It revived the classic Donkey Kong Country gameplay with a modern feel and I didn't expect to like it but was left thoroughly satisfied. Retro Studios demonstrated their talent with a fun and at times extremely challenging. game. This years upcoming sequel looks even better although I don't expect to get it until at least next summer due to the packed release schedule this winter.

28. Halo (Xbox)

Halo is the only Xbox game in the entirety of this countdown and ranking at 28 shows how highly I rate it. I have lots of great memories of playing it with my brother on his Xbox a decade ago. The campaign is superb especially in co-op and the splitscreen competitive multiplayer is some of the best I have played too.

27. LA Noire (PS3)

LA Noire is a game that successfully manages to combine quality interactive gameplay with a well written story and interesting characters. Playing as a cop in 1940s Los Angeles is a superb experience and their is plenty of gameplay variety through stints in different police departments such as Arson and Homicide. Solving each case through looking through finding clues, chasing and fighting criminals, conducting interviews and interacting with the characters created by top draw face capture techniques is a true joy.

26. Pokemon Leaf Green (GBA)

I was too young to experience Pokemon Red and Blue on their original release and Pokemon Silver was my first Pokemon game. As such when Fire Red and Leaf Green (updated remakes of Red and Blue) were released in 2004 I couldn't wait to play Leaf Green. It combines the best elements of all of the first three Pokemon generations to create a great game and a showcase of how to do remakes well.

25. Mario Tennis (GBC)

Mario Tennis was one of my first videogames and as you can see remains one of my favourites. The handheld version had a great RPG story mode that saw you progress through the ranks of a tennis academy in both singles and doubles to eventually face off against the likes of Mario in the Mushroom kingdom. It also had a good selection of minigames that I played for hours in themselves.

24. F-Zero X (Wii Virtual Console)

I have recently got F-Zero GX on Gamecube to play on my Wii but that came too late to vie for a place in my countdown. I got F-Zero X six years ago through the virtual console however and instantly loved it. The races are fast paced and action packed and their is nothing else like it. The music and track designs are excellent too and I really hope a new F-Zero game can eventually be made.

23. The Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap (GBA)

The Minish Cap was my first ever Zelda game when I got it on launch in January 2005 and it quickly enamoured me to the series. The dungeons and items remain among the best I've seen in a Zelda game and it offers a real challenge too. To this day I have never defeated the final boss.

22. Okami (PS2/Wii)

I first got Okami on PS2 and then again when it was remade on Wii because I had sold my PS2 and games. That I bought it again is a testament to its quality. The watercolour graphics bring the Japanese world to life and its is inhabited by interesting characters too. It is let down by too much dialogue but the brush techniques give it a real unique character and I do hope for another game in the series.

21. Toca Race Driver 2 (PS2)

Toca Race Driver 2 stands out as my favourite serious racing game for a number of reasons. The sheer number of tracks and types of racing on offer are staggering and the cars handle exceptionally well. What really makes it stand out though is the career/story mode. I wouldn't normally say that for a racing game but the cutscenes add drama and meaning to the career mode that charts your rise through the racing ranks and it has never been replicated.

Thanks for reading and I hope you look forward to the list moving into the top 20 because the quality really steps up a gear now.