What the NintendPals and Pals Have Played – 19/03/16

Welcome to what will hopefully become a new regular feature here at Nintendo-Okie. Each Saturday a selection of Nintendo-Okie staff and contributors and NintendPals listeners will be going over what they’ve been playing this week.

You may have to bear with us for a couple of weeks whilst sort out structure and things like that so let us know if you have any feedback for us

Also if you’d like to get involved then send an email to mylesfoale@nintendo-okie.com, but without further adieu here’s this weeks instalment of What NintendPals & Pals Have Played…

Myles Foale – NintendPals Co-Host and European Editor for Nintendo-Okie:

The-Legend-of-Zelda-Twilight-Princess-HD-1-1280x720.jpgThis week most of my gaming time has been taken up by the fabulous Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD for the Nintendo Wii U. I never played this on GameCube as I’d long since given up on the console by the time the game came out and I only briefly played it on the Wii. I couldn’t stick with it because of the motion controls which ruined many games on the Wii for me. So I was really excited when Nintendo announced that they were rereleasing this in HD with “proper” controls, I got it the day before launch and have been pretty much hooked ever since.

As of right now I’m about 16 hours into the game, I’ve completed the first two temples which I thoroughly enjoyed. Twilight Princess has some of the best dungeon design I’ve seen in a Zelda game. The dungeons provide plenty of challenge in combat and puzzles without ever leaving you feeling unsure of what you need do or where you need to go. Something that I find many Zelda games suffer with, especially the N64 era ones.

The world of Twilight Princess is decent, it’s not the most interesting over-world I’ve ever explored but it does a good job of connecting the various locations together and funnelling you in the right direction. Also there are some very stunning set pieces in the over-world that make you realise just how hard Nintendo have worked to bring this game up to date.

1b8a6d550458e362f561c5133993473bRight now I’m part way through the third temple having just acquired the really cool looking blue tunic. The third temple is a water temple and I’ve never been a huge fan of this particular theme usually because water means restricted and slower movement, so I’m getting through it as quick as I can. I’m really excited to see where the story goes next as I feel something big is going to happen after this temple is completed.

Next week I’ll hopefully be able to tell you happens next in what is so far an excellent story.

James Haden – NintendPals YouTube Contributor:

JH01.jpgJamie here; old school gamer trying to reintegrate into gaming life after taking time out for life; as you do…

So I get into the Overwatch Closed Beta; this started before Christmas 2015 and started again Feb 2016. The game itself is very similar to Team Fortress 2 but made with Blizzards flair and style which makes its it own.

Imagine more comical characters and over the top abilities and you have a general idea; I posted a video on the Nintendpals youtube video which you can find here.

So a little about my thoughts on the game…Very addictive I must say; it consists of a progression platform in way of level of player; this has no impact on abilities in game, but at this moment in time it allows for random acquisition of character skins and emotes ( see screenshot above ) so if you play a game and you see a level 50+ player theres no need to instantly think you are going to be decimated; chances are you will be in a team with similar high level players; after all the game is about teamwork.

JH02.jpgThe game itself looks gorgeous! You can definitely see Blizzards flair and style. It runs well on my PC and is expected to run very well also on Xbox One and PS4.

Im not going to rabbit on too much today; this is just a (very) brief introduction to the game. So far im level 20; hoping to progress further obviously, and will also be buying this game when its released. Next time I will write a bit more about some of the matches I have had

For now…happy gaming!

David Gillam – NintendPals Listener:

Metal Gear Solid V – The Phantom Pain

I have been a fan of the MGS series since I was too young to have been playing them. I have played MGS and MGS2 to completion well into the double digits and loved every second of it. To maintain platform parity and achieve the “experience” I associate with the series I even waited to purchase it on PS4, despite having a PC powerful enough to offer an optimal experience, but now I wonder if it was worth the wait.

Ground Zeroes had me scratching my head about the direction that Metal Gear Solid V was taking but I had my faith in series creator Hideo Kojima. As the series has transitioned from linear mission structure and narrative to open world the series has lost it’s ability to tell a concise and comprehensive story. The core story is lost amongst taking out arms dealers and Private Military Company leaders so when Chapter One closes with a battle against Sahelanthropus (this game’s Metal Gear) you wonder what actually happened that led you to this moment.

metal-gear2.jpgMGSV bogs itself down in unnecessary base management which forces you partake in boring spreadsheet management and slows down the flow of what should be a high action game. Between almost every mission you are returned to the Motherbase to view a cutscene that is often unnecessary to the plot or to view an area the game feels you might have neglected to discover naturally.

With completely forgettable boss battles and a mission structure that essentially boils down to, wait around, tranquilise the target and Fulton them out. It feels like the interesting parts of the earlier games are absent and any seeds of intrigue that the game plants are completely uprooted and discarded in the late game. The biggest sting was when one enemy whose identity has been shrouded in mystery throughout the prologue and Chapter One is revealed in a brief radio conversation when you select a side op.

As a game, MGSV is not bad, as a Metal Gear Solid game though it pales in comparison to the any of the first 3 games. I will be completing MGSV as a matter of duty, but I do feel that there has been a marked decline in the quality of MGS since the series’ highlight Snake Eater.

Fire Emblem: Awakening

As with most people, Awakening has been my first foray it the world of Fire Emblem. I have shied away from the more Japan-centric games in Nintendo’s catalogue as I have let my experiences of Anime and manga jade my perception of all things Anime-esque in appearance. However 20 minutes into Fire Emblem Awakening and thought “This isn’t that bad”.

Awakening has a battle system that will feel familiar to anyone who has played the Advance Wars games. As you progress through the story you pick up new characters along the way bolstering your roster of warriors, mages, archers, cavaliers and metamorphosing beast people, turning your party of rag-tag would be heroes into a squad of party poopers for the Valmese army.

tumblr_static_fire_emblem_awakening_cover_art.jpgI will admit I could not play this game with Permadeath on. I am far less of a tactician than I would like to admit so every chapter has its casualties. What I like most about Awakening is the reliance on positioning more than character levels or items; on more than one occasion I have forced my foes down a bottleneck to their impending demise, laughing at my genius only to be attacked moments later for not paying attention to the enemy forces closing in on me from behind.

The absolute highlight, the final gem in the Fire Emblem Shield though is the cutscenes. Though infrequent, the cutscenes in the game are perfection. I have found myself pitching ideas for an Anime series to friends telling them about just how beautifully handled the cutscenes in Awakening are. Forget the terrible 90s Legend of Zelda Cartoon or the Super Mario Bros Super Show, Nintendo need to get on Fire Emblem. Honestly, they are that good.

As I draw near to the conclusion of the game I am looking forward to beginning other games in the Fire Emblem series, particularly Conquest and #FE. As a cynic of and newcomer to the series I cannot express how deeply this game subverted all of my expectations and perhaps in future I will give other media with such an Eastern feel a proper go before I let my eyes start rolling.

Dota 2

downloadThere was a time in my life where I could not understand other people’s addictions to certain games. Endlessly playing what appears to be a slight variation of the same match over and over ad infinitum boggled my mind. I would scoff and snigger at people talking about how much time they had put into MMOs and MOBAs, noting how wasteful that time seemed to me. That was until 2 years ago when a friend of mine introduced me Dota, and now, like a Sniper losing mid-lane to Pudge, I am hooked.

Dota 2 is a combination of action and strategy game where your objective is to destroy the enemy team’s Ancient whilst they try to destroy yours. Similar to other MOBAs such as League of Legends and SMITE, Dota has become something of an Esports sensation which has been drawing in newer audiences since the game’s release.

There is no room for casual play in Dota 2, you play to win. Dota 2 has a steep but rewarding learning curve that can often seem punishing new players, its depth is unlike any game I have ever played, and even after over 1000 games I am still learning new things.

With a huge roster of over one hundred Heroes to play as each 5V5 battle yields an epic tale of Victory or Defeat to recount. The huge variation of viable options, build, positions and strategies for victory are what make Dota 2 so addictive. There is no guaranteed safe strategy, every match you will need to throw out what the previous taught you and try to apply your knowledge of Heroes, abilities, items to battle your way to victory.

This will be the only time I write about Dota but know that every week there is an update from me the vast majority of my time spent gaming will have been on Dota 2.

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