Category Archives: review

Winterval 2008 = fe fi fo festive gaming fun for me!

Seasons greetings, I hope you had a lovely holiday! I did, thanks and have 3 new games to wibble about – here’s some first impressions :-D

de Blob – Wii
In a city called Chroma, there’s trouble afoot – it’s been taken over by the INKT Corporation, who for whatever reason have taken all the colour away and made everything dull and grey! You are Blob (literally) and your quest is to liberate the city from the doings of the INKT Corporation and make the place lively and colourful again by running into paint cans and throwing yourself at buildings, monuments, trees and the inhabitants, the Raydians – but watch out the Inkys are after you! It’s a fun and cute game, some time has been spent on the construction on the various areas and scenes which is nice. Gameplay is broken down into separate challenges that are surprisingly compelling. I’m still getting used to the controls as it’s pretty difficult to control yourself as ‘de Blob’ with the anologue stick on the nunchuck and I’m flying around all over the place, so the effects can be a bit manic. Also, I need to work out how not to skip the back story at the start of a new game. It’s quite addictive and I like it a lot :-D

Professor Layton and the Curious Village – DS
It was a bit of a hoohar to get hold of this game, I couldn’t find one in the length of Oxford St, this I was told was to do with Woolworths being the distributor and because they’d gone bankrupt supplies had run out – not sure if this is true though! I found a few in Rathbone St CEX, but decided that a mark-up to 50ukp for a 29.99ukp game was a bit, um, too entrepreneurial for my purse ;-) Anyways finally got one from Argos after scouring the internet. This is the first in a trilogy for Prof Layton & there’s lots of fun puzzles and brain teasers as you help him and his assistant Luke find the ‘Golden Apple’ in the village of St Mystere. For me a nice touch is the cartoon image of Citroen 2CV they travel around in – just because I like em, though wanted the Prof & Luke to hurry up talking me through the back story though, so could get to the games. The characters are somewhat grating at times, actually – esp Lukes adult-child mockney accent (http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2008/2/13/)! The brain teasers are classic schooly ones, eg weights, matchsticks and stuff, so if you’re like me you’ll be scratching your head a lot and reaching for the hints – excellent fun if you’re patient enough to figure em out ;-)

New Zealand Story Revolution – DS
First released in 1988 by Taito as an arcade game and also on NES, Amiga, C64, Master System, ZX Spectrum, Sega Mega Drive, PC Engine, (to name a few) a version of this platform game has now been released for the DS by Rising Star Games. It stars Tiki the Kiwi – a little yellow bird who’s quest is to find and free his friends from the clutches of a naughty sealion. The game play involves running about collecting fruit, jumping, shooting enemies and floating about on little balloons. It’s lots of fun and incredibly cute :-D Actually, I probably should stop talking in such twee terms about this game, as the original was rather difficult and whooped the ass of seasoned, non-twee gamers! The makers of this version did add a few extras particular to the DS, it’s mostly d-pad / button gameplay instead of touch screen, so I got a bit confused when unexpectedly I needed to use the touch screen to spin a door handle. Oh yes, I’m looking forward to meeting the pink whale! Oh also quite excited about multiplayer mode, esp for the next DS:London meet up :-D

Haylp!

Here’s the pink ice whale boss – meep!

Hope Santa brought you some nice games too!

PS. I got a cheeky book from Cia: ‘My Grammar and I (or should that be ‘me’?) by Caroline Taggart & J A Wines – I think this might be a poke at my 1337 writing skillz – hrumpf – he’s lucky I didn’t throw it at him – the cheeky cat ;-P

PS2: Over the last couple of days, there’s been an abundance of Nintendo DS ads on TV for the ’100 Classic Book Collection’ – it’s a nice idea in some ways, eg lots of classics to choose from and wonderfully portable for us tube sardines, but not sure if peeps will want to shell out for this when they could use Project Gutenberg for free (or by donation) & like me have a GP2X that has a reader. I won’t chastise Nintendo too much though, as anything that gets people reading, or new audiences into learning by play, is a good idea in my book (fnar) – I bid thee goonight (00:57am yawn) ;-)