Tuesday, 29 January 2013

In Memoriam: My 18 Best Games for the Nintendo Wii

Well, here we are, then.  Journey's end.  How many years was it, five?  Six?  God, it makes me feel old when I can't remember a time before you were in my life.

You didn't have an easy time of it, that's for sure.  Even beyond me being a fool and holding off on buying you for three months - totally mum's fault - you always had that stigma to rise above.  The 'Casual Console', they called you.  As if that ever meant anything.  But they kept repeating it like a mantra, trying to spurn you for daring to be different; a spark of ingenuity amid a thick, noxious cloud of stagnation.  They tried to drown you, but I like to think I did my bit to keep your flame alive for as long as it was.

Even so, times change.  People grow old.  And lo, as you replaced your father, so now your son has come to replace you.  I've already started courting him, I'm not ashamed to say - he's got a little bit of growing up to do, a little more expansion of his repertoire, but I've got a good feeling.  You raised a smart kid.  Let that thought give you comfort as the final sleep takes you, my darling Wii.

...not that you're actually going anywhere, of course, I still need you for the occasional Eternal Darkness or Rogue Leader run-through.  *cough*  Uhm...yeah, so here's my picks for the best Wii games ever, I guess.

Saturday, 26 January 2013


...seriously, what a f***ing stupid thing to call anyone...

???:  HEY YOU!
Nina:  Hm?

Chun Li:  You hurt my friend!  Now it's time for me to get some payback, and you better believe it's gonna come - WITH INTEREST!!

Nina:  Uh-huh.  And you are?
Chun Li:  Like you don't know!  I'm Chun Li!  Interpol detective!  Master of the Spinning Bird Kick!  Panty-flasher extraordinaire!  STRONGEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD!
Nina:  Stop shouting, Chubby.
Chubby Chun Li:  No, it's CHUN...LI!
Nina:  That's what I said.

Nina:  I don't even know who your 'friend' was - 
Chun Li:  Cammy!
Nina:  That name means nothing to me.
Chun Li:  She was the super-awesome commando!  Y'know, with the, uh, braided pigtails and the leotard and the...weird paint splotches on her legs?
Nina:  OH!  Girl-scout sleazy apartment wrestler, I remember that one.  Thought I killed her.
Chun Li:  She's just resting!
Nina:  Yeah, resting.  In a pine box, in the ground.  Tch...

Nina:  Y'know, if I had anything else to do right now, I'd just walk away and leave you to stew.  But as it happens, my schedule's open, and this whole 'Strongest Woman' crap has seriously pissed me off, so let's do this, Chubby.
Chun Li:  Okay!  Get ready to feel the brunt of my ultimate technique!  HAJIME!!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Craig's Most Wanted Games of 2013 (So Far)

Does exactly what it says on the tin.  These most certainly won't be the only games I buy over the next calendar year - I've got a lax understanding of fiscal responsibility - but they're the ones I'm really anticipating, and would definitely put money aside for in advance if I had that kind of sense.

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacies (3DS)
The Professor Layton series has been a pretty recent obsession of mine.  I completed the first game, Curious Village, almost 2 years ago, then forgot about the series, and only recently remembered them in the run-up to the arrival of the most recent game, Miracle Mask (also the first 3DS outing, and developers Level 5 made the transition very well).  Since then I've beaten Pandora's Box, Lost Future and Miracle Mask and am in the midst of Spectre's Call.  Whilst the simple logic puzzles are addictive in their own right, it's the quirky world, characters and stories that form each game's framework that have made me a fan, and with the promise that game 6, Azran Legacies, will both wrap up the overarching plot of the 'prequel trilogy' and be the last game to feature Layton himself as the protagonist (!), I'm very anxious to get my mitts on this one.  It's due out in Japan in February, but given the massive volume of text to localise, I'm not expecting it to drop in the UK until much later in the year.  It'll be worth it.

Aliens: Colonial Marines (multi-format)
Probably the most imminent arrival of everything on this list, Gearbox Software's love letter to Aliens doesn't look to be the most original or daring FPS I or anyone else has ever played, but it does look set to play to the strengths of the Marine campaigns in the various AVP games (typically the best parts of those titles) and the universe of Aliens is the sort of world I never mind returning to.  It helps that the devs have been hyping up the Wii U version as the 'best' version, though what this means beside using the GamePad as a movie-accurate motion tracker is beyond me.

Monday, 14 January 2013


Winner of Gaming's Most Angular Font since 1993.

Released October 2012.
Developed by id Software and Nerve Software.
Published by Bethesda.
Available on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC/Steam.
Version played: PS3

Now this takes me back.

Not that I had any particular memories of Doom 3 in its earlier form, at least not of playing it.  Though I'm effectively a console gamer alone these days, there was a time when my computer - or rather my mother's work computer which her council overlords smartly didn't fit with blocks against installing foreign programs on - was my main gaming format of choice, and most weeknights were a haze of Command & Conquer Red Alert 2 and Serious Sam: The Second Encounter.  Doom 3 was still very much a mirage on the horizon back then, a looming herald of the next generation, and much though I lapped up the hype, I knew I'd never really be able to sample its delights.  It was made with beefier systems in mind, you see - something which would eventually drive me away from PC gaming.  All power to those who can, but having to essentially take apart and reconstruct your games machine from scratch every year or so to keep up with the medium was both expensive and scary to me.  And so Doom 3 passed me by.

Until now.  Question is, was it better off unattainable?

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Further Adventures of Minimate Nina, part deux: Prelude to a Something

In which the groundwork for future stories I haven't bothered plotting out yet is laid!  GET EXCITE!!

Nina:  Time to go see 'the boss', I guess.  I hate this part.

N:  Seriously, he can't just have an office...?