Category Archives: Games

The Best Superhero Games OF ALL TIME (Minus Arkham)

Superheroes are cool. See, it’s a common misconception that comic books and adults in capes and spandex is in some way strange or unusual and should therefore be shunned or avoided at all costs. All you need to do these days is take a trip to the cinema to see how many of the upcoming blockbusters happen to star a super solider or a wall crawler to get conclusive proof that: Superheroes are cool.

So, with that in mind (and considering the fact that I haven’t written a post since before Christmas) here is a list of what I consider to be the tip of the top of superhero video games. It won’t be too hard, because a lot of them are absolute piles of crap *cough* Superman 64 *cough*.

(Oh, just to be clear, you won’t be seeing Arkham City or Asylum on this list because frankly, they’ve been praised enough and it seems an obvious choice)

LEGO Marvel Superheroes (Wii U, Xbox One, PS4)

I’ve always loved LEGO games. Seriously, it appeals to the obsessive compulsive desires in me to collect and 100% every game I play. LEGO games feels so much rewarding because they tend to have a hefty stack of secrets and collectibles.

LEGO Marvel is no exception. The biggest LEGO game yet does not skimp on the fan service, letting you fly or drive or web swing through a fully realized New York as one of around 200 Marvel characters ranging from Spider Man and Iron Man to the more obscure, like Howard the Duck.

Essentially, what any fan wants from a superhero game is to feel connected to that world that they love so much. LEGO Marvel comes remarkably close, from taking down Sentinels in Central Park to just jumping of the top of the Empire State Building for laughs, it’s sense of immersion and fun is unparalleled for any other Marvel game so far.

Batman Vengeance (PS2, Gamecube)

I have a feeling most people who’ve played this will disagree with me. I’ll admit that Vengeance has some glaring flaws; combat is absolutely atrocious, cycling through gadgets can become fiddly and confusing and simple jumps can become needlessly difficult.

However, this game was based on the world of Batman: The Animated Series. You know the one. The best cartoon ever to have existed in this or any other universe. It had a genuinely engaging and exciting story and made an effort to change up game play by having sequences in the Bat mobile and the Batplane.

It also featured the voice work of the inimitable Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as Batman and The Joker, long before Arkham reared its head. That’s worth the ticket price alone.

Spider Man 2 (Gamecube, Xbox, PS2)

I doubt there are many people who can say a bad word about this one. Pretty much the first open world superhero game and it nailed it on the first time out.

Spider Man fan or not, swinging through a fully working New York (gobby pedestrians and all) at top speeds and taking out bad guys or jumping into car chases was all kinds of awesome.

Sure, it had some shitty indoor levels, but the combat was cool, dodging bullets with your Spider sense made you feel like a PRINCE among men and most importantly, you could tie thugs to lamp posts upside down and beat on ’em for as long as you wanted. God bless you, Spider Man 2.

Spider Man (PS1, N64)

The first video game I remember absolutely loving. I have nothing but awesome memories of this video game. It was funny, it was challenging, it was packed full of secrets, cameos (Daredevil, bitches) power ups (FLAME WEBBING) collectibles, alternate costumes (Scarlet Spider was awesome) and cool references (On one level, you could find the Baxter Building and prompt a cutscene with the Human Torch) and it was stuffed to the brim with everyone’s favorite villains.

The boss fights were always interesting and always had a twist. The level designs always provided an ample mix of platform, puzzle combat and stealth. Above all though, the game was funny. It just felt like a Spider Man adventure, just absolutely over the top and batshit crazy, but it knew it was stupid and reveled in that stupidity.

It’s also important to remember that the last boss was the Carnage symbiote merged with Doc Ock, and when you’re seven years old that is literally the coolest shit ever (even if it did used to scare the bejeebus out of me).

Also; FLAME WEBBING.

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The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Review

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No matter how things change, some things always stay the same. The Zelda series, for all its continued innovations and original ideas in moving forward has always retained a comforting air of familiarity. The first new Zelda since Skyward Sword, A Link Between Worlds is actually a sequel to the revered SNES classic A Link to the Past. Does this new title manage to push the series forward in exciting new directions, or is it bogged down by dewy eyed nostalgia?

Thankfully, the game achieves the former with just a healthy dose of the latter. This game oozes innovation and a sense of freedom I’ve not felt since the first Zelda. Longtime fans will have a blast seeing what’s changed and what’s remained in this loving recreation of the SNES Hyrule while we also get to explore the entirely new world of Lorule. Both worlds are filled with fiendishly clever puzzles, moody dungeons and all manner of secrets and collectibles to keep the completists happy.

The story leaves a little to be desired, with your standard Zelda collect X amount of this then X amount of that quest. However, the game does have a truly surprising twist up its sleeve and is peppered with likeable and charming characters throughout. The most prominent of these is Ravio, the salesman who sets up shop in your gaff and is responsible for the games biggest shake up: The item rental system.

The rental system is designed to allow players the aforementioned freedom to move around as they wish. Technically, you could run off with all the items within the first few hours and buy them to keep soon after that-at a price. For the most part, this system works and being able to go anywhere and do anything after previous game’s increasingly restricting hand holding is truly liberating.

Sadly, stumping up the rupees to get all the items is far too easy and the idea that if you die, you lose any rented items just doesn’t work. This is because the game is really, very easy and with a few fairies you can blitz through without ever dying. The only incentive to buy the items and not just rent is so you can upgrade them later on.

What the game lacks in actual challenge from death by enemies, it makes up for with some of the series’ most ingenious puzzles. A lot of this is down to Link’s new ability to merge into a wall and become a painting, Paper Mario style. This system actually turns everything you know about Zelda on its head and more than a few times, I was staring at a chasm or conundrum for minutes, only to realize all I needed to do was jump into the wall.

Each dungeon has it’s own unique feel and atmospheric music. In fact, all the music in this game is outstanding, be it a remix of an old classic or a completely new score, your ears are always in for a treat.

Graphically, the game looks just OK. When you slide up the 3D, it really pops but if you’re playing on a 2DS don’t expect anything too special.

My biggest problem with A Link Between Worlds is that it just doesn’t go far enough with the changes it’s begun to implement. It’s as if Nintendo didn’t want to go any further in case it started to feel too different to what’s come before. Despite this, it’s a short, sharp, charming adventure that easily sits among the best of Zelda and is undisputably the finest of the handheld titles. If Nintendo take what they’ve started here and keep pushing, Zelda should be in very safe hands.

Pokemon Y Review (8/10)

Send help, I did it again. Ever since Pokémon Ruby, I have always told myself; No More. Stop, each game is the same, save for a graphical face lift here, a slew of new monsters there. You’ll never “catch ‘em all” I tell myself bitterly. 151, maybe even 300 was doable but I’m an old man now. I’ll be long dead on the fateful day they reveal a new pokedex, bringing the number up to a round one million Pokémon.

But of course I bought Diamond and loved it. I bought Black and Black 2 and I loved them. I sat there squinting at my DS through teary eyes, wondering how Game Freak can still coerce me into buying the same game on an almost annual basis. Pokémon is like heroin, with more strange colourful monsters. Or maybe less, come to think of it.

And so Pokémon X and Y were announced, with their promises of brining the series into a fully resplendent 3D world. I looked on cynically, cackling from beneath my Pikachu bed sheets that I don’t really have. “It’s the same game!” I cried. “How much can 3D really change things? I am 100% not getting this one”.

I bought it. Of course I did.

Although as it turns out, 3D really has made this iteration of the age old series the freshest since Gold and Silver. The graphical update has given the game a level of detail that adds a certain degree of engagement with the world that I’ve never really had before.  This is helped in no small part by the brilliant character customization system. You choose what you look like right down to the socks, and it’s fantastic entering a new city to see what new clothes you can track down.

The battles in particular, are finally interesting to watch. Instead of looking at a selection of static sprites and a slowly moving health bar, we finally have dynamic, swooping fights, with Pokémon reacting to pain and being impressed when they dish out a brutal attack. I guarantee you will care more about your Charmander when you actually see it in pain.

The region of Kalos itself is a great looking place. For the majority of the time, we play in the usual top down perspective which is a little disappointing. But when the camera swoops down as you cross as a river or approach a large building on the horizon, you’re reminded just what the 3DS can do. This is undoubtedly a pretty looking game. Think Pokémon Colloseum but less shit.

While we never expect much from a Pokémon story, X and Y really drop the ball here. I barely cared or remembered what was going on, or even who the real bad guy was. Team Flare were a generic, uninspired bunch with no clear motivation. Bring back Team Rocket and be done with it.

It would be remiss of me to finish this review without mentioning Mega Evolutions, the new gimmick for this entry in the series. For a start, it looks really, really cool seeing your Charizard or Gyrados power up and get even more brutal. However, there are only about four other people in the entire game who can also mega evolve, so it feels like a bit of a cop out in 99% of battles.

And therein lies my biggest problem with these new Pokémon. It is far too easy. I’m far from being even halfway good at these games, yet I finished them without losing one battle or even coming close to doing so. This was in part due to Mega Evolutions and in part due to Super Training, a new series of mini games which let you bump up whatever stats a Pokémon has that you feel could be better. While this is great for getting an edge in online battles, it ensures that you’re all but invincible for the main game.

After you’ve knocked back the main game, there’s precious little to do. Three legendaries to catch, one pathetic side quest and next to no new areas to explore and we have the most disappointing post game experience since Ruby/Sapphire. On top of that, there is essentially nowhere to train up your 70+s besides the Elite Four and that’s just a ballache.

Sure, there’s the daunting task of catching them all and the great online features should keep things interesting for a while, but exploring new areas was always my favourite part of finishing a Pokémon game, so I’m a little let down. Maybe Game Freak will release some kind of update with new areas and a little more to do.

Pokémon Y is by no means the best game in the series, but it is the best looking and the most engaging. Let down only by a shoddy story and an easy difficulty, I’d recommend it to fans of the series, but I know you’re probably already playing it.,

The Five Creepiest Moments in The Legend of Zelda

It’s that time of year again. The leaves turn brown and fall from the trees, the days grow shorter and parents believe that it’s somehow acceptable to allow their offspring to roam the streets begging while they set off explosions in the sky at night. It’s the most wonderful time.

But it got me thinking about what actually used to scare me as a kid. I was never exposed to 18 rated horror films because my parents actually gave a shit. As a kid I was scared by the kind of stuff that was meant to send a chill down a kids’ spine. Not graphic images of a knife wielding madman stabbing some horny teenagers by a lake, but stuff that sent my imagination into overdrive and allowed my brain to do most of the scaring.

Nothing did this job better than The Legend of Zelda series. While usually charming and swashbuckling, every Zelda game is peppered with darker, chilling moments that can still to this day freak me out. Here are five moments that made me want to put my controller down and sit in a corner, and no, Tingle will not be in this list. Because that’s such an obvious choice.

Dead Hand (Ocarina of Time)

You only need to look at this ungodly bastard to see why it might terrify a ten year old encountering it for the first time. It’s not as if exploring under the well in Kakariko village was a traumatizing enough experience, with INVISIBLE SPIDERS, random patches of floor you could fall through into a pit of zombies and INVISIBLE SPIDERS.

No, they had to top the whole experience off with a boss fight with fucking satan himself, scabby hands shoot from the ground, holding you still while a hell beast with a giant, rictus grin that would make The Joker shudder edges over to you to eat your brains. Ten years on and I still dread meeting Dead Hand. The Lens of Truth wasn’t even that good.

Wall Masters (Zelda I, Oracle Series)

You might find it strange that I find these scarier than Ocarina’s ceiling dropping breed or the Wind Waker variety that basically pull you into hell, but Oracle of Seasons Wall Masters are the first I encountered and where I expected to simply take damage from them, they took me back to the start of the bloody dungeon.

I was scared, confused, and it took me more tries than I can remember to get past them. For that reason, and the fact they came out of the shitting walls made me terrified of them.

ReDeads (Various)

It’s at its worst when you aren’t aware of their presence. You’re edging your way through a dungeon. You hear that hellish shrill scream and your heart leaps into your throat as the camera swings around to reveal a zombie plodding towards you. You mash the controller, screaming, doing anything you can to just move but it’s all to no avail. The ReDead is upon your paralyzed form. It closes on you and… dry humps you.

The ex Hyrulean sex offenders are a scary bunch, if only because they literally stop you in your tracks and sexually assault you. Of course, as with all things scary, they’re at their worst when you don’t expect them. For example, in Ocarina when you’re in a hurry to get out of Ganon’s crumbling castle and you’re accosted by one right next to the bloody exit. Dick move, Nintendo.

Ikana Tower (Majora’s Mask)

It’s not that the final dungeon in Majora’s mask is even trying to be overtly scary, it’s just that everything about it is deeply, deeply unsettling.

The subtly creepy music, the strange statues of demons holding upside down triforces, that fucking freaky statue that’s meant to look like Link when you play that song… The entire place feels wrong, and more than a little off. I suppose that sums up Majora’s Mask as a whole really.

Dodongo (Ocarina of Time)

This one is based purely on personal experience as Dodongo is not in the least bit scary as the second boss of the game. These days I off the guy with barely a second thought. Muscle memory kicks in and it’s bomb, sword, boom. But it wasn’t always like that.

I must have been about eight when I first played Ocarina (it came with the Wind Waker special edition if you must know). All was well as I breezed through the second dungeon and I plunged down the hole and into Dodongo’s pit. There I was faced with this giant, fire breathing lizard and I just froze up.

It’s not that I was ever even scared of dinosaurs or anything (I loved them) it was the combination of the fact there was literally no way out, and I can only run in a small circle because of the lava pit at the center. I just freaked out and could never do it. Of course, the day I finally did, I felt like I could overcome anything…

Then I got to the shadow temple. Thank you Zelda, for absolutely destroying my childhood. Good job.

The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker HD Review (8.5/10)

The original Wind Waker for the Gamecube, released in 2003 was undoubtedly one of the finest games on the system and arguably one of the greatest games of the past twenty years. Its unrivalled sense of exploration, excellent combat and charming cartoon visuals have ensured that even a decade later, it’s a brilliant looking game that is still fun to play. How has Nintendo managed to improve this gem with their new HD update for the Wii U?

For a start, it’s absolutely gorgeous. This remake isn’t merely the same graphics translated to HD, but a complete overhaul of new textures, character models and lighting. Sailing across the deep blue sea, as the sky blurs into the horizon and the sun sets, bathing your boat in a deep orange is a joy.

The juxtaposition of the wide blue expanses of the open sea, and the dark, moody lighting of the many dungeons and caves scattered through the land constantly serves to keep things fresh and interesting. When you finally emerge victorious from a dank dungeon, the bright skies of the open world are a genuinely welcome reward.

Occasionally, stepping into the glow of a torch can cast your cel shaded character into an ugly light, making them look almost clay like. It’s fairly off-putting, but for the most part, the updated lighting serves the varied locales and colourful characters well.

Of course, a pretty looking game means nothing if it’s no fun to play. Thankfully, Wind Waker HD builds on everything that made the original so great and adds a selection of subtle tweaks and improvements.

Playing with the gamepad is a revelation. As your inventory and maps are all ready for instant viewing on the touch screen controller, you never actually have to pause the game to stop the action. You can simply drag up the items you require on the gamepad while the action rages on, on your television.

The gamepad also serves to make sailing less of a chore. One of the biggest complaints many people had with the original Wind Waker was the sailing. It was too slow, too laborious and you spent too much time doing it.

No more do you have to pause to check where exactly you are, simply glance at the gamepad to reaffirm your location. No more do you have the spend so much time sailing, as a new item in the game reduces your sailing time by half and doesn’t require you stop to change the direction of the wind every few minutes.

Nintendo also realises it’s just as important to leave what worked alone. The excellent combat, engaging story and massive open world all remain intact. Fighting enemies has never been more satisfying, as Link’s varied arsenal offers a variety of ways to dispatch a foe, ensuring combat never gets stagnant.

The wide open sea offers more freedom than any other Zelda game. While many have complained that Wind Waker’s large world had nothing to it, I would point them in the direction of the various enemy watchtowers, pirate bases, giant sea monsters and dozens upon dozens of islands littered with secrets. Wind Waker’s fantastic sense of exploration is one of it’s stronger aspects, almost making up for the length and difficulty.

And it’s in terms of length and difficulty that made up my mind when reviewing this game. Hero mode, available from the start, offers more of a challenge for this notoriously easy of Zeldas. However, once you get a certain number of hearts and bottles for fairies and potions, it becomes nearly indistinguishable from normal mode.

Length has been the major sore point. I was always annoyed with the length of Wind Waker, mostly because I love it so much and hate that it has to end. The game has been made even shorter with the streamlining of the Triforce fetch quest, a quest I personally enjoyed as it encouraged you to delve into the exploration and treasure hunting aspect of the game.

Of course, I can understand why that has had to be streamlined. What I cannot understand is why there is no extra content. Two dungeons were cut from the original due to time constraints and this was the perfect opportunity to include these lost dungeons. Nintendo didn’t want to alter the flow of the game, fine. But the fact that they didn’t put them in as optional post game challenges is an unforgivable missed opportunity

While Nintendo may have missed a chance to include some much needed extra content, this is still the definite way to experience the most underrated of Zeldas.

Why A Link Between Worlds Could Be the Best Zelda Yet

 

After seeing the awesome new trailer for Link Between Worlds, I was moved to download A Link to the Past from the Wii Shop and relive the 16 bit glory of one of my favorite Zelda titles.

This got me thinking about how the upcoming 3DS Zelda title has the potential to be something truly special. For a start, I realized what a powerful (perhaps even somewhat manipulative) tool nostalgia is.

For example, I think one of the reasons so many people cite Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal as their favorite gen is because of the nostalgia fueled return trip Kanto from the first game. Everything was very much the same but… different. There was a joy in traversing the familiar locales and spotting what had changed over time.

And so as I play through LTTP again (for probably the hundredth time) I breeze through because I know it like the back of my hand. I know every secret, every nook and every cranny in such detail that the chance to revisit that same over world, but slightly altered over the years excites me beyond measure. I suspect that I am not alone in this.

On top of this, we can no doubt expect dozens of references to LTTP, be it characters, items, dungeons or music. Anyone who played the SNES classic will doubtless be smitten just on the fact that LBW is a sequel.

Of course, trying to make a good gaming experience through nostalgia and references alone would not make for a satisfactory game. Fortunately, Link Between Worlds looks set to shake up the Zelda formula in the biggest way since, well, since A Link to the Past.

Not only does it have a completely new Dark World in Lorule (no one strained any brain cells at Nintendo there) to complement the familiar Hyrule, we have new items (always a standard but welcome addition to a new Zelda), intriguing new characters (hopefully, one of them won’t turn out to be Ganon).

But above all, what has me so excited about this new game is shake up of the age old Zelda formula; That you have to complete dungeons in a certain order. While I have never had a problem with the series’ formulaic approach, I will welcome this change with open arms, for the level of freedom and challenge this shake up will bring.

It’s for these reasons that I think A Link Between Worlds absolutely has the potential to be the best Zelda ever. While it promises to completely reinvent decades old aspects of the franchise, it also looks to have an unrivaled air of familiarity,ensuring that no matter how different things get, it will be unmistakably, The Legend of Zelda.

Five Stages That Should Be In Smash Bros. 4

I know, another list post. I’m a lazy, sloppy excuse for a writer but I needed to post something so I don’t fall further into the depths of obscurity.  Just go with it, ‘kay?

Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS are getting ever closer and we’re slowly being drip fed tantalizing nuggets of information that only serve to make the game more exciting with each morsel of news. So I’m jumping on the bandwagon and giving my own list of stages that should be included in the new games. Because it’s Sunday and I don’t have any original thoughts.

Comet Observatory (Mario Galaxy Series)

It’s inevitable that in the new Smash installments, the Galaxy series is gonna be represented somehow. After all, it’s only some of Nintendo’s finest work to date.

In my mind, the stage would work similar to Isle Delfino from Brawl. You fight in the Comet Observatory, but it regularly whooshes (yes, that’s a word) off to various galaxies from the two games and you fight to cling on as the stage flies through space. Maybe one section has rolling chain chomps to dodge, and another has balls of fire flying in from all directions.

This way, we get one stage that manages to represent  loads of different aspects from Galaxy. Why yes Nintendo, you can have your cake and eat it.

Forsaken Fortress (Zelda: Wind Waker)

With the brilliant news that Toon Link is coming back to the brawl, we all know a Wind Waker stage is a certainty, especially if the 3DS is reppin’ Toon Link with a Spirit Tracks stage. Why not the Forsaken Fortress?

It could work like Shadow Moses Island did, if a spotlight catches you, you’re bombarded by a barrage of bombs. Every now and then, Ganon’s giant pet bird could fly down into the stage and start pecking at everything in sight, or flap items and characters off the stage.

Tourian (Metroid)

This stage would be absolutely mental. Metroids flying in at random times to suck on your brain, fireballs flying from every possible angle and every now and then, Mother Brain rises from the ground to take pop shots at you just to cause further chaos.

Maybe it could be a scrolling stage, taking you right through a faithful recreation of the final Metroid level from the first Metroid to Mother Brain at the end?

Smash Bros is all about frantic gameplay and a stage packed with traps like this would be perfect.

Pokemon Center (Pokemon)

This would be awesome. Death and destruction in a place of healing? Lovely. Just imagine a full scale brawl over the the peaceful music we all know and love.

Maybe random Pokemon could appear from behind the counter to cause trouble, similar to Goldenrod City in the original Smash Bros.? Or perhaps Team Rocket could storm in with various contraptions for stealing items and the like.

Wii Fit Park (Wii Fit)

What better way to scare off joggers than by having a great big throw down in the park? Since Wii Fit lady has been confirmed and we all juts have to deal with that, we might as well get a good stage out of the deal.

It could be a scrolling stage in which you have to keep along at a good pace or your unfit ways will kill you dead. DEAD. Perhaps every so often a parade of jogging Miis could come in from the opposite direction and trample you if you don’t get out of the way.

So then, that’s your lot. If you don’t agree or think you can come up with better, I don’t care. (I’m joking, please, I need the validation and approval of strangers). Thanks for reading.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf Review (9.8/10)

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So the other day I was just riding the train, when a cat got all up in my face and started pestering me. He was asking me all these personal questions about who I was and where I was going, which was annoying to say the least. When I finally got off the train, I was accosted by an assortment of various animals.

The dog among them, who I took to be their leader, started demanding I be the mayor of their freakish little town. The dog dragged me around, yapping all sorts of things about houses and rent and planning permits. I was in such a state of shock that all I can recall is a bizarre ritual that involved the tribe watching me plant a tree and being made to sleep in a tent.

It’s two days later and a kindly racoon has given me a house (for a price), but their seems to be no way out of this hellish world I am trapped in. There are no princesses to save, no world in peril and not the slightest sign of any danger. I love it.

At the time of writing this review, I’ve only racked up about ten hours of playtime. I am more than aware that there are many, many hours left in this game. The Animal Crossing series has always felt to me like a quaint little old British children’s cartoon. Nothing ever happens. The day is formulaic; catch fish and bugs, gather fruit and try and make enough money to pay off your loans all while occasionally chatting with the strange animal folk that live next door.

So what is it that makes a game about trading turnip with sheep so insanely addictive? Especially for me, as an avid hater of games like The Sims.

I think a great deal of it lies in the atmosphere. The whole game constantly feels like a hug, or a hot cup of tea. You can dip in and out whenever you like. The game never tells you to do anything or demands anything from you. The only thing gently pushing you along is the real time aspect of the game, meaning certain shops open and close, or certain things can be done at certain times.

But even this can be adjusted through your mayoral powers. A new aspect of the Animal Crossing and one which adds on another few dozen hours of playtime. You also feel more invested in the town than you might have in previous entries. Jobs like weeding and watering the plants feel like less of a chore now you are actually the boss instead of just some guy.

Being the mayor also affords you the ability to build bridges, benches, streetlights and all kinds of other stuff. I wouldn’t know yet, as I haven’t gained the approval of the villagers. It seems easy enough however, as I’m on 85% at the moment. The extra level of customization is a welcome touch.

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Of course while every day generally follows the same outline, there are enough differences to make you actually want to return again and again. The town receives new visitors and passerby every now and again. The most recent of which for me was a chameleon who held a bug catching contest in the town, obviously so he could eat the entries. Something I thought was a nice comedic touch.

The shops also offer new stock each day and I haven’t even come to close to upgrading and fully unlocking every shop on the high street. I really enjoy the fortune cookies, which can be exchanged for various Nintendo items. On my first two tries I got Link from Zelda’s clothes and boots, which sent the fanboy in me into a slight frenzy.

Then there are the changing seasons. Since the game moves in real time and we’re mid Summer, I won’t be seeing this for a while. I refuse to adjust the clock and time travel because it completely defeats the object of the game and besides, even if I have stopped playing by September, this means I’ll still boot up the game just to see how things have changed and I’ll probably get sucked right back in till Christmas.

The game is absolutely crammed full of charm and humor. You actually want to talk to the NPC’s because they are genuinely funny and engaging characters, each with their own personality. My personal favorite at the moment is a dog I taught to say “pass the weed”. I’m easy pleased.

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I’ve managed to write this much about a game I have barely scratched the surface of. I know I have dozens upon dozens more hours of play ahead of me and so much more to see and do. Animal Crossing: New Leaf is more than worth the tawdry price of thirty quid considering you’ll be playing it for months. I couldn’t recommend a more engaging, relaxing and downright enjoyable game if I tried.

Ten New Faces That Need to Join Smash Bros. 4

yesterday’s glorious E3 trailer showcased three brand new characters to the Nintendo fighting franchise. Mega Man and Animal Crossing Villager were the two predictable but still great entries, while the Wii Fit trainer was a brilliantly mental surprise.

But we can assume that the surprises won’t stop there, so here are ten characters that I think should join the line up. Quick word before we start; I know this has been done to death, but it’s my blog so screw you.

Oh, and if there happens to be a third party character in here, it’s because they are associated with Nintendo in some way (That’s how Smash Bros. works). If you were expecting to see Master Chief or the guy on the front of Pringle tubes, you are gonna be disappointed.

Also, one character per franchise. I only include this rule for myself, otherwise I would end up putting in ten Zelda characters.

Ridley (Metroid series)

For the past three generations of Smash Bros. games, Samus Aran has been the only character to represent her series. Fair enough, the whole point of Metroid is isolation but that reptilian bastard Ridley is probably one of the most popular bosses in Nintendo history.

They may have to scale down his size a little, but he could be a great flying/heavy character using his tail and flames for some badass long ranged attacks, while his claws get shit done up close.

His Final Smash could be turning into Meta Ridley in a Giga Bowser/Ganon style where he’s afforded a small window of time to destroy every living thing on screen.

Young Link (The Legend of Zelda series)

I know he was in Melee and was exactly the same as Link so just hold up a sec. I’m talking Link from Majora’s Mask. Similar to the Pokemon Trainer, a certain move could turn him into Goron, Deku, and Zora link, all with their own attacks.

Of course the Final Smash would have to be Fierce Deity Link. Come to FUCK SHIT UP.

Raichu (Pokemon series)

Screw Pikachu. Yeah, he’s the mascot of Pokemon and the famous face that everyone loves, but Raichu is so much more. You just know he’s a tough guy, plus he’s cuter than Pikachu and that tail could be used for some cool attacks.

His Final Smash? A shit load of electricity rains down from the sky and destroys everyone in it’s path.

Tom Nook (Animal Crossing series)

We all saw the trailer. That terrifying glint of murder in the villager’s eyes. Such an agent of chaos needs a counterpart to keep it in check. The Ying to his Yang, the light to his dark.

Tom Nook could fulfill that purpose. I’m not entirely sure what his moveset would be, besides throwing bags of money and maybe setting his twin nephews on everyone, but he’d be a laugh to play as.

His Final Smash would probably involve him dropping a house on someone, I imagine.

Mii (Miiverse)

I was unsure about this at first, but if the Wii Fit trainer is in it, I am certain that the Mii is gonna put in an appearance now.

He/she will likely use all manner of Wii Sports items like golf clubs and bowling balls to attack.

Their Final Smash could be a horde of thousands of miis, swarming the screen like locusts and laying waste to the stage.

Leon S. Kennedy (Resident Evil series)

Not really a Nintendo character, but he did star in Resident Evil 4 which was one of the best games to ever grace a Nintendo console, so that’s close enough in my book.

He’d play similar to Snake did in Brawl, except less stealthy and maybe more hand to hand, using a knife. Or he could just pistol whip everyone. That’d work.

Maybe his Final Smash could include some heavy artillery? Possibly a rocket launcher that homed in on whoever was in the lead.

Toad (Super Mario series)

If nothing else, poor old Toad should finally get a spot on the roster on the grounds that he’s been used as Princess Peach’s bitch in the last two games. Nothing more than a human shield, a cruel mockery of the proud Toad name.

He’d be a zippy little fella with fairly light melee attacks and possibly the ability to lob poison shrooms at foes.

His Final Smash would involve him consuming a mega mushroom and crushing his enemies into the dirt.

Tetris Block (Tetris series)

I have absolutely no helpful suggestions or hints as to how it could possibly work as a character. I just know I want to see it happen. Maybe it could just ram into enemies at full speed and for a Final Smash cover the screen in Tetris blocks (Tetri?).

Can you tell I’m regretting my one character per franchise rule yet?

Slippy Toad (Starfox series)

I hate this guy. You hate this guy. Fox McCloud hates this guy. The only reason I want him as a character is so I can beat him remorselessly and without end. Even his Final Smash should just be him lying down and letting everyone stomp on him.

On the other hand, he could just replace Sandbag as an item and we can have Sandbag as a character…

Master Hand (Smash Bros. series)

Because if you tell me you don’t want to play as a giant laser shooting hand, you are a liar sir. It’s about time we finally got to play as the main bad guy of the series (The glitch in Melee doesn’t count).

We know he has a rounded move set, and having four of them on the screen at any one time would be chaos. They’d need to figure out how he could use items but I’m already sold on the idea.

For his Final Smash, he could call up his old buddy, Crazy Hand for twice the er… craziness.

Agree? Disagree? Tell me what an ignorant idiot I am in true Internet Comment fashion.

Wii Fit Trainer Joins the Fight in Smash Bros. 4

Right…

I’m not entirely what’s going on here, or indeed who’s idea it was to include such a strange character choice.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure she’s going to be a pretty handy character when we get down to the meat and ‘taters of the fighting, but if we don’t get Ridley or Dark Samus or some other Metroid character besides Samus for once because of this, I shan’t be best pleased.

The trainer is one of the new fighters joining the roster, including Mega Man and the Animal Crossing Villager. Expect more updates to come in pretty sharpish.