Our Year in Games – Part Two
Last week we kicked off a review of our last year in games, and today we kick on with part two. Hit the break to see what other thoughts we have from the last year in games…
It’s been a year where I’ve started to really see the point of why Nintendo made the Wii U. It hasn’t had the instant impact on me that the PlayStation 4 has, but as the year has gone on, I’ve learned to appreciate it more.
While I picked up the machine at the tail end of last year, and even reviewed Super Mario 3D World in December, I didn’t get into things properly until this year. When I reviewed 3D World, it was a loan copy from Nintendo, but the game was just so damn good that I picked it up again this year to get ever closer to the end. There is so much charm and style in that one title. In the early part of this year, I picked up some other Wii U titles, Pikmin 3 and Rayman Legends amongst them, both of which are wonderful to play, though I still haven’t played them anywhere near enough.
I think it was the release of Mario Kart 8 which made me fully realise what a grand console the Wii U actually is. I doubt it would be the primary gaming device of many, but when it comes to titles like Mario Kart and 3D World, you can start to appreciate where Nintendo’s little creation sits. It is the machine which has a handful of truly brilliant titles (you would probably add Bayonetta 2 to the list) along with a very strong supporting cast. With the supporting case I’m looking at titles like the aforementioned Pikmin and Rayman along with oddball takes on classic series’ as we had with Hyrule Warriors. That is without mentioning the growing eShop where titles like Stealth Inc 2 really shine.
I’m really looking forward to picking up Super Smash Bros. and the year ahead with titles like The Legend of Zelda and a promised Star Fox mean that this much derided machine still has life left. This year, I’ve started to appreciate the wonders that can be found on this console.
Turns out, I’ve spent a lot of time gaming on portable platforms this year: primarily iOS (my trusty iPad and iPhone). The combination of an ever increasing workload (day job), an ever increasing family life (young boy, baby on way, a wife…..) have seriously curtailed my game time. As such I’m grabbing little snippets of ‘joy’ whenever, and wherever I can. I think therefore that I can speak on the next two titles with some authority.
OUT THERE; on iPad and iPhone (though I’d go pad on this one), is a brilliantly atmospheric take on the FTL formula. Like FTL, but played it to death? Then this is for you. There’s exploration, first contact, translation of alien languages and combat of sorts. You can switch ships, kit them out and generally mess about. It’s also a very very funny game, and I thoroughly recommend it.
The other game, which I’m actually slightly worried over my game time on, is SUPERPIXEL LANDER If you have an iPhone you owe it to yourself to get it. You play a little spaceship and it’s your job to collect gems while avoiding asteroids, bullets, plasma and at later stages, lava. You tap the screen to thrust and tilt your device to turn and that’s it. There’s only one round and you last as long as you can; progress being measured in gems collected. It’s devilishly simple yet incredibly addictive. The literal ‘just one more go’ formula.
Do it. You’ll thank me… Until it takes over your free time… Then I might hide…