I was already hyped for Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, but this trailer that was released at Comicon made the story that much more interesting. Tolkien fans are in for something interesting as the identity of one of the characters Tirion will encounter plays a huge part in the history of Middle Earth. That means one of two things; either this is going to be a great supplement to the Lord of the Rings story or it’s going to be a huge disappointment. Either way, I’m excited to get my hands on this game.
There are a few games that I could rattle off if you asked me my favorite games of all time; Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Luigi’s Mansion, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and Plants vs Zombies just to name a few. Those games are tied to significant events in my life, my fascination for history or they’re just crazy fun games that I enjoy playing at least once a year. I’ve found nearly every secret in those games, beaten the final boss dozens of times or finally 100% completed them after months. However, none of those games have captured me and kept a hold of me as much as the game I’m playing right now has.
Infamous: Second Son is the game, which if the year ended right now, I would say is my most favorite game of this year. I’d also venture to say it’s rocketing itself into my list of favorite games of all time. I’m ¾ of the way through the story of the game right now and I’ve already completed all the side quests in the game. That’s something that never happens. Even in Mario games I fly through the “story” and get to the end so I can say that I’ve finished the game. Then if I’m interested I go back and find all the coins, stars or whatever collectibles the game happens to have. Something about the way Infamous laid out their side quests and the numbers of them there are to do struck the perfect balance. Not only that, but they’ve been fun to finish. No unnecessarily difficult flags to collect like in Assassin’s Creed and nothing that I had to go completely out of my way for.
On the podcast this week we were asked about what our favorite games of the year had been so far. I mentioned a couple of titles, but I didn’t have a list of the games that I had played in front of me. Now I have the list of all the games I’ve played this year and I thought I’d give you my thoughts on the first half of the year. I haven’t played all of the big name titles out this year so this isn’t a comprehensive list of the best games of the year; just the best ones that I’ve played so far.
The Wii U has had a good year so far and there are a number of titles coming out throughout the rest of the year that I’m looking for. I also bought two new systems, the PS4 and the Vita, so I’ve had a lot of new stuff to play. These are some of the games I’ve played so far this year that I’ve really enjoyed. These games are listed in no particular order and, unlike our end of the year lists, it only comprises of games that came out this year.
Mario Kart 8 (Wii U) – After the last three Mario Kart games (Wii, DS and 7) I was beginning to sour on the franchise. I played all of those games and had a fun time with them for a while, but things begin hampering the experiences. I thought maybe I was growing past my love of the franchise and it wasn’t going to be something I was interested in much longer. I went into Mario Kart 8 with a little bit of hesitation and tempered my expectations and because of that I’ve been incredibly happy with the experience. My family has gotten to the point where it’s a huge competition amongst all of us and everyone has a chance to win every race. There’s no more intentional throwing of races to let the younger kids win. There’s no incredibly broken rubber banding of the AI. There’s no snaking or cheater online. It’s just been great fun for everyone that I play the game with.
Nintendo has just announced the list of awards for people who have been faithfully registering their games, both physical and digital, through Club Nintendo all year. If you registered enough games to earn 300 coins then you reached Gold Status for the year. Registering enough games and taking enough surveys to earn 600 coins means you hit Platinum Status. This year Nintendo has decided everyone will get to download a game of their choice from the following list:
Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins (3DS)
WarioLand II (3DS)
Donkey Kong 3 (3DS)
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (Wii U)
Super Mario Bros. (Wii U)
Kid Icarus (Wii U)
Ice Climber (Wii U)
All of those are the Virtual Console versions of those games for their respective systems.
Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move (3DS)
Dillon’s Rolling Western (3DS)
Fluidity: Spin Cycle (3DS)
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D (3DS)
Dr. Luigi (Wii U)
Earthbound (Wii U)
NES Remix (Wii U)
Game & Wario (Wii U)
The list of games isn’t a bad mix of old and new, but I can’t help that think it’s a little disappointing and there might be people that won’t earn a rewards because they might have every game on the list. If you get your reward let us know what you chose.
You’ve heard us talk about crazy stuff that happens in Tomodachi Life on the podcast over the last three or four weeks, but now you have the chance to try it out for yourself. Nintendo is releasing a demo of the game today that will let you get in and see just what all the zany hype is about. Chances are you’ll like the demo so much you’ll want the full game, but give it a try and see. Just head on over to the eShop and download it.
And while you’re at it, take a look at this video of some Nintendo developers singing. Who hasn’t wanted a tiny version of Miyamoto that they can carry around in their pocket and sing to them whenever they desire?
Mutant Mudds came first to the 3DS, but has since been tweaked, redone, added to and generally turned into something completely different on other systems. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but it has had new content in the form of 20 Ghost Levels added to Deluxe editions of the game on PC, Vita, and Wii U. Now the 3DS is getting those levels.
Renegade Kid co-founder, and all-around nice guy, Jools Watsham has confirmed that the 3DS will be getting those 20 additional levels for free on July 3rd. This update will be free to players in North America and Europe. You’ll just have to download the update from the eShop and you’ll see a new ghostly portal on the level select screen. I’ve played them. These new levels are hauntingly good.
PlayStation Plus has introduced me to a number of games that I might not have ever played before. One of those games is called Stick It To the Man, a puzzle-platformer/adventure game from Zoink Studios that I would have honestly passed up just because the visual style didn’t appeal to me. I thought it would be distracting to the point of not being able to focus on the game underneath it. Let’s just say I was wrong.
In the game you play as Ray, a man whose day job involves him having hammers dropped on his head to test out materials that are used to make hard hats. He rates them based on how much pain he endures during each test. On his way home after work one day an object falls from the sky and lands on his head knocking him unconscious. When he awakens he notices a large, pink, sticky hand protruding from his noggin. He realizes very quickly that he can manipulate this hand to grab objects in the environment, read peoples thoughts and even create objects based on some of those same thoughts. What proceeds after that is an adventure through the mind of a crazy man and literally the minds of everyone around him.
Nintendo has just announced they are embarking on a new dozen city tour to showcase their handheld systems and its lineup of software. This new tour gives players the chance to get their hands on the 2DS and play some of the biggest titles available for that system. According to the press release, “Guests will enjoy whimsical-themed gaming zones filled with iconic items like banana-shaped seats in the Donkey Kong area, a giant Poké Ball in the Pokémon section and Yoshi egg chairs in Yoshi’s island.” In addition to that you’ll be able to meet costumed versions of some of Nintendo’s most popular characters. If you’re curious about the 2DS and what it has to offer then you might want to check out the listings after the jump and see if they’ll be coming to a mall near you.
What I find most interesting about the press release is that it specifically says you’ll be able to play “the hottest games on Nintendo’s coolest system, the 2DS.” It doesn’t mention the 3DS at all. The wording makes you think that Nintendo is going to be putting more focus on the 2DS. I wonder if this means that they’ll be shifting marketing toward that system going forward.
The list of games that will be available to play are:
Kirby: Triple Deluxe
Yoshi’s New Island
Pokémon X and Pokémon Y
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Super Mario 3D Land
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
Mario Kart 7
Nintendo wasn’t finished with the surprises after their Digital Event on Monday. In fact the company said that they had one more unannounced 3DS game to show off on Wednesday night and they did just that. At a developer roundtable event they showed off the newest game from Advance Wars and Fire Emblem developer Project S.T.E.A.M. This game is a hybrid turn based strategy/third person shooter.
You control a group of four characters in a “vibrant, Steam-punk like world”. Much like other traditional strategy games you move on a grid to outmaneuver and outflank your enemy. Actions are controlled through a steam gauge that once depleted means your turn is over. Unlike more traditional strategy games where the view is more of an overhead, full view of the battlefield style this game puts you right into the action with the camera right behind the characters shoulders. This lets you see the action and the depth of the levels from their perspective. According to Nintendo this gives you a better feel for the characters and lets you see what they’re seeing.
More information about Project S.T.E.A.M. will be available throughout the week as Nintendo will be showing it off through stage demos. Right now the game is set for a 2015 release.