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Kid Icarus: Uprising Review

Kid Icarus: Uprising is Nintendo’s attempt at reviving an old franchise and for the most part it’s a success there are some glaring flaws with the game design which keep it from joining the ranks of Mario, Metroid and Zelda but it is still an enjoyable game and I hope the franchise continues.

The graphics are one of the standout parts of the game. In their own way they match those of Resident Evil: Revelations. The screen is usually ablaze with colour and action and the frame rate is pretty consistent. Although the screen can at times be too busy to clearly see what’s going on it is all in all a pleasing game to look at.

The story is simple but it’s effective enough to keep the game going on and provides a good enough backdrop for the constant action. It’s the action that really makes this game shine. The levels are all split into air sections, ground sections and boss fights and the near limitless supply of weapons, as well the incredibly flexible difficulty level keep the combat fresh and fun.

The multiplayer also seems to be good fun, though I admit I’ve only played a few games. The combat is different to that in the single player but is no less fun. My only real complaints, with the entire game, not just the multiplayer, is the control set up. Using the stylus to aim and the one shoulder button to attack is painful and the stand doesn’t do anything to help, nor does the circle pad pro. It makes long play sessions hard work because the pain builds up and ruins it. This isn’t game breaking but it really is a shame.

Aside from that and the fact that at times the action can be too much the game is great and although it hasn’t lived up to the hype that’s built up around it it is nonetheless a worthy buy and I hope we don’t have to wait another 20 years to see a sequel.

Score: 8/10



Wii U: How to be a Success

In a few months the Wii U will be here and hopefully by the end of E3 we’ll know pretty much all we need to know before it launches. I’ve already decided that I’m buying one, pretty much no matter what they say at E3, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my doubts. There are some crucial things that Nintendo need to ensure for the Wii U to be a success.

The key thing is third party support. Nintendo’s first party content is stellar and I’m sure there’ll be a strong first party game or two for launch but what they need is long term third party support. Their launch and immediate post launch third part support is great: Assassin’s Creed, Battlefield, Batman, Aliens, all great looking games. What Nintendo need to do is secure some other big names, Bioshock, Resident Evil 6 etc. but also get long term third party support so they can keep up with Sony and Microsoft when they release their new consoles.

Second of all they need to consider price. The Wii U could easily be very expensive, that controller does not look cheap. The real issue is that in terms of specifications and power, aside from the controller, it is only likely to be about as good as the current Sony and Microsoft consoles so it can’t really be allowed to cost all that more than those two do.

The other key area of improvement is in it’s online capability. The Wii is severely backward with this, it doesn’t feature anywhere near the same level of multiplayer functionality as its competitors and the Wii U seriously needs to catch up. Also it needs to offer more entertainment. The PS3 and 360 feature things such as TV services, social networking. Lovefilm, Netflix etc and the Wii, again is lagging behind.

Ultimately most of the details like this will probably be revealed at E3 and the rest will become clear as the consoles launch draws nearer. I for one have high hopes for the Wii U and can’t wait for its launch.


Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D Review

Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D is, for me, the most anticipated 3DS game of the year. The Metal Gear series is my favourite of all time so when I heard about this latest game I was instantly excited. Initially I was worried that the small screen and lack of a second stick would be an issue but, luckily, they aren’t. This game is great and this version, for me, is the definitive one.

The most important part of it is the gameplay. I don’t own a circle pad pro and so didn’t use one throughout the game and I have to say I don’t see why you’d need to. The camera controls are mapped to the face buttons and the camera controls great. The game is a port of the Subsistence version of MGS 3 so you get to control the camera. Aside from the camera the game is of course a great blend of stealth and action. Although it can occasionally be hard to spot a guard due to the size of the screen sneaking is more less as fun as it has always been, the same goes for the combat. The control layout is great and easy to use and the CQC is just as cool as it was when it first came out.

Graphically the game is stunning, whilst it doesn’t reach the same lofty heights of Capcom’s Resident Evil: Revelations it still performs really well and the 3D effect serves to the make the jungle really come alive. Although the screen is small and this does lead to a couple of issues such as spotting guards there aren’t any issues that are game breakers. The HUD has been moved to the bottom screen which really lets the improved graphics shine through by ensuring that the environment isn’t crowded with things like health bars and radars. There are occasional moments when the frame rate drops but, like the occasional screen size issues, these really aren’t game breaking and are to be expected when you put a game like this on such a small screen.

Story wise it’s as great as it was on the PS2, the game doesn’t miss anything out from the original so you get to experience the whole thing. There are some issues with lengthy cutscenes and radio conversations which, when you’re about to get off of a bus, can be frustrating but I’m glad that they kept the cutscenes and conversations because they really add to the game by creating the great story and fleshing out the characters.

There has been a lot of discussion about whether or not you should buy the HD Collection or this handheld game but this seems crazy to me. If you owned a 360 or PS3 and a 3DS then you should buy both. That way you can play the game at home or when you’re out and I have to say its the fact that you can play this game anywhere that makes it worth buying. You never have to be without a Metal Gear game and that is great.

All in all, although it does have a few minor flaws, the game is fantastic and is a must buy. I would recommend avoiding the Circle Pad Pro, it just seems like a waste of money because the game handles really well without it. Essentially you all need to buy this game, and fast. Forget Kid Icarus, forget Resident Evil, forget Heroes of Ruin, this is the best 3DS game to come out during the first quarter of 2012.

Score: 9.5/10


Wii U Zelda Demo (E3)

 IGN gets a hands on demo of Zelda in HD on the new Nintendo console the Wii U. Check out this exclusive look at the tech at E3 2011.

What games do you hope to see on the Wii U?

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