Mario Kart 8 – One Race (DETAILED IMPRESSIONS)

At the EB Expo this year I was lucky enough to drive a race of Mario Kart 8. By lucky, I mean I shot my arm up in the air at the speed of light and almost lost it in the rafters. The Nintendo area had a screen on stage for a number of different game events, including Just Dance and Mario Kart 7. Mario Kart 8 was a special game they only pulled out every few hours, and I was very grateful for my chance to play it.

mariokart8ebexpo

Here’s the setup with two random dudes playing, one Wii U GamePad and one Wiimote. Unfortunately when I got up, the other kid (my opponent) wanted to use the GamePad so I let him and took the Wii Remote, because kids always come first. I’d used motion steering in my many hours of Mario Kart Wii so this was no hurdle for me. Let the race begin!

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PAX Australia – Games, Games, Games

paxballgamesbegin

Welcome to PAX Australia!  The games had begun before the Expo even opened, with an epic game of “smack the beach ball over the sign“! Each goal was encouraged by massive cheers and an obscure angle shot was rewarded with oooo’s and aaaa’s. The beach ball felt solid yet agile, with several circulating at a time to make sure the gameplay was never predictable. I would give this game a 9 out of 10 for its unique multiplayer capabilities. What’s that, it’s 10am? Sorry, we’re busy playing. Oh alright… Into the Expo Hall!

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Zelda: A Link Between HD and 3D Worlds – Hands On Impressions From PAX

Zelda was playable in two forms at PAX Australia, Wind Waker HD on Wii U and A Link Between Worlds on 3DS. Both games had their own surprises in store that had to be felt in person to believe. Zelda 3DS impressed me with its graphics and Wind Waker HD impressed me with the controls. Did I get that the wrong way around? While Link’s butt does look fantastic in HD, there’s more to it!

linksbuttinHD

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Pikmin 3 – PAX Australia Demo Challenge

I played a lot of games at PAX Australia over the past few days; Mario 3D World, Wind Waker HD, Sonic Lost World, but I’m writing about Pikmin 3 first because it was the best. That’s right, the conclusion is in the introduction. You can stop reading now. Pikmin 3 is out here on Saturday and may already be out in your part of the world, and I never initially planned on playing this demo for that reason since the game is so close. My innocent eyes had not seen much of the game because I enjoy surprise in games, so I don’t much care for trailers or screenshots. Once I caught a glance of Pikmin 3 however I had no choice, I had to play it.

pikmin3demo

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StreetPass Supanova

4 new StreetPass games have been released on 3DS and this weekend I had a chance to StreetPass my arse off, collecting over 300 Mii’s in my pocket across 2 days at Supanova in Sydney. With some solid playtime behind each game, I thought it’d be fun to write some impressions with this perspective.

Before I talk about the new games though, I’d like to clear up some confusion that’s been spreading around the internet and answer some common questions people asked me over the weekend.

sptakingnames

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IGN Black Beta Select Awards – Pietriots Style

The what awards? Black Betty select who? I asked the same questions the day before the event. On Friday IGN AU held an event at the Maritime Museum in Sydney to announce the best games of 2012 sponsored by Mountain Dew. It sounded like the last place you’d ever expect to see a Pietriot, but also an opportunity. Out of the blue someone offered me a ticket and I jumped on it. Free food, beer, games to play? Why not. It was all worth it when I saw this!

monsterhunter6

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Hey U – Give Me Real Controls

The Wii Remote & Nunchuk was last generation’s innovation in violence – still strong today, still better than the competition. This was the method of controlling the last true console Resident Evil experience the world would know: The Umbrella Chronicles.

For the previous console cycle, there’s a seldom-stated lesson Capcom briefly learned (see RE4:Wii) then immediately forgot (see their “HD” games): if you’re pretending to KILL in a video game, do it properly. It’s just a shame we don’t have to pretend anymore: modern games, such as Capcom’s premiere action series, have gotten so smart that they play themselves (step aside Super Guide). The games don’t hesitate to handle much of the excitement on their own, and work hard to convince us that quick-button-context-flashback-retrospection-cutscene was an artistic achievement (“Best QTE of 2012,” is there such a thing?). Opponents of violent gaming love to point out how video games “teach kids how to kill”, but I know that’s rubbish cuz most games suck at that, especially as more games suck at being games. It’s supposed to be like watching a movie, right? Why not an effing GAME? Thru these last couple generations of analog masturbation, popular shooters have more or less surpassed “REALISTIC EVERYTHING” – nevermind the gameplay. And in a (not really) fun twist, “more realism” cheerfully graduated to “more Hollywood”; new gameplay became movies that look like gameplay. “Wow, it’s like playing a game,” – thanks, my confidence in the new generation is at an all-time high.

Before proceeding, I want to be clear that the major ideas in the blocks of text below don’t necessarily apply to every genre or gameplay mechanic. Many of our favorites are derived from things like tennis, team sports, board games, gambling, mazes, vehicles, boxing puppets, and Donkey Kong – there’s no reason to mess with certain core elements. However, TANGIBLE VIRTUAL VIOLENCE has a raw, engrossing quality that the majority of the Industry has not been interested in embracing for some time; fluid human movements seek the spillage of human fluid, yet they insist gamers don’t like movement and just seek Mountain Dew. Trapped in the game industry’s electronic erection contest, the prestigious computing “arms race”, we continue enduring their fake war: fake gameplay and fake value. Cash and companies continue to perish in the high-priced struggle to show violence; rarely do we see genuine imagination towards playing violence. It doesn’t have to be this way; we can still search for decency. Aim off-screen and raise your real arms to rediscover what’s in front of you: the gameplay in your hands.

/wii joke

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EB Expo – Handheld Edition

Wii U may have been the big attraction, but 3DS was the real hero who kept us busy in the long lines. A dedicated gaming event like the EB Expo is perfect for StreetPass action, and I got tons. Popular games included “Health & Safety Information” and “System Settings” , which is “OK.. I guess”. Some guy went out of his way to show everyone he owned Etrian Odyssey III. Hardcore, dude. I rated you Fantastic! for your efforts.

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“Durpthroughs” – Fatal Frame IV – Batch 4

After a long absence, I return with the next Durpthrough session of Fatal Frame IV!

Beware the narrow hallways that make fighting ghosts nearly impossible, the deathly fear of potential game-breaking bugs, the bewildering persistence of that nurse I can’t remember the name of, the REVENGENCE of Ayako as I storm her room for sheet music, the wheelchair lady who somehow pushes herself, and the terrifying black death thing that scares the living shit out of me!

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“Durpthroughs” – Fatal Frame IV – Batch 3

Ooooops, I’ve had these done for a while now, but I’ve been so busy I forgot to put them up.

In this round, Misaki battles a bully from her childhood and a new character surfaces to explore the medical wing of the creepy complex in search of the man responsible for the kidnappings.  The ghost encounter rate continues to increase as the setting gets spookier, so how long can I last!?  Enjoy!

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