Pushmo World

I am completely new to the Pushmo series, having never played the two 3DS games (Pushmo and Crashmo), but after seeing some really positive reviews for Pushmo World, out for the Wii U, I decided to give it a try. I’m sure glad I did. I don’t play a whole lot of puzzle games, but when the right one comes along, I can get sucked in, and I think it’s happening here (which already has me thinking that I need to get the two 3DS titles too). I really love the way it’s all presented – a colorful world with cute plump characters to interact with the puzzle pieces – and the puzzles themselves are surprisingly fun to try and figure out, because of the physicality (pushing and pulling various pieces of a puzzle). I’ve only played 1-2 hours so far, but I think I’m going to like this a lot.

1001 Spikes

This is a really great game to have on your Vita. First off, the full title is Aban Hawkins and the 1001 Spikes, and yeah, it’s an Indy-esque flavored game with the difficulty of a Spelunky, and incredibly difficult environments to traverse. And even though I’m usually not that into playing games that like to slap me around in the challenge department, just like Spelunky did, I found myself addicted to trying to get through levels, despite my many deaths – and yes, often due to quite a few spikes. One of the saving graces is how quickly you can get back into the action. It’s a cross-buy game, so you can play it on either Vita or PS4, and the former has been my platform of choice. I was also excited to try the mutliplayer mode on the PS4 version, but on that end I was disappointed. The idea is a good one, sort of a hot potato mechanic with each player trying to hold onto a vase, but there are just too many environmental traps on the levels that it became frustrating to constantly die because of that, and not because another player was actively doing something to you. 

Battlefield Hardline

I sure didn’t like this game. When it first leaked, I got pretty excited because the idea of you playing cops made me think that it might be similar to Rainbow Six – and Rainbow Six Vegas is still my favorite RPS experience. But no, this is nothing more than Battlefield set in a city, and it’s quite insane to feel like you’re stepping into a battlezone like you are, but just to stop “robbers.” The only fun I had was that when I played the beta, when I was the cop, I would spawn in the police station, and would then hop into a police car or police bike to get to where the action was happening. But once there, I was either greeted by a rocket launcher, or mowed down as soon as I exited the vehicle. Yeah, fun times.

Destiny

I had a chance to play the alpha release last weekend, and man, am I looking forward to more of this. As I’ve said many times, I’m admittedly not that big into FPSes, and never really got into Halo – the Xbox is the only modern console I didn’t own, and so I missed the first two, and then just played Halo 3 and ODST. What interested me about Destiny was the idea of being in a big world in which I can team up with friends for some co-op action, and that’s what it looks like I’ll be getting. But more than that, what I love is the look of the game, and the design of the world – the screenshot I shared that you see in this post gives you an idea of the beautiful sci-fiesque imagery you encounter. I also loved riding around on the hover bikes, and the shooting itself was decent, with guns that felt better to me than the ones in Halo. I’m now sold on this game, and I imagine I’ll be getting it day one when it comes out in September. I’m not even that interested in playing the beta that is set to come out next month, since I already know that I want to dig into the full game.

Dominion

So this is a sequel series to the movie Legion, which I haven’t seen, but I decided to check out the first episode because I had heard some good things about it – and hey, I like Anthony Head – and also because I’m a bit hungry for genre stuff these days. I don’t know if the setting in the movie is the same, but I wasn’t expecting this post-destruction world with “houses” leading the remaining populace. More interesting than I was expecting, so I’ll at least watch the next episode, but who knows if I’ll stick with this for long.

Defiance

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I ended up really getting into Defiance during its first season – after a so-so start – and so been looking forward to the start of the second season. We’re just one episode in, but there are some interesting new things brewing, and so here’s hoping for a satisfying continuation. Feels like there’s really not much to watch on the sci-fi (future) front these days, so it’s good to have this right now.

He’s Got the Oil on His chain, for a Ride in the Rain

It’s rainy season. It’s wet.

And I’ve been doing a piss poor job of doing any kind of writing here. That’s not to say I don’t do any writing – I sure tweet like a motherfucker, and still keep up with my media consumption diary of games I’m playing, and TV/movies I’m watching – but for some reason I haven’t felt any big desire to write posts on this blog.

The blogger is unblogged.

Yes, I did get deflated when the big implosion of all my sites happened a couple of months ago – and even though it looked like I was going to get the data back, that never ended up happening. But it’s something I’ve come to terms with. 

Out with the old, in with the new.

I turned 41 last week, so I guess that really should be “in with the old.” My gift to myself was buying Mario Kart 8 on the day of release (the day before my birthday), which I accompanied with Wind Waker HD, and I then proceeded to spend my entire birthday weekend playing those games.

Add to that a viewing of the LEGO Movie, and I’m not really sure if I turned 41 or 11.

I sure love Wind Waker HD, and I’m pretty sure I can say it’s my favorite gaming experience this year. It’s the 3rd time I play this game, and because of the fantastic HD update, as well as the incredible usefulness of having access to your items and maps on the Wii U controller, it feels so fresh and new. And oh-so beautiful. As I play, I’m just constantly reminded of how much I enjoy Zelda games, and how much I really hope that Nintendo has the guts to create a direct sequel to Wind Waker, in the same style. 

What else is happening? I just had a really great PauseTalk last week – here’s who came – and I’m already looking forward to the next one, Vol. 80, which will be the last one this summer. PressPause keeps on going, although there have been some scheduling hiccups of late – and some health issues on my end that made me miss some – but that’s all part of how these things go. I didn’t think I could do some more episodes of my Codex podcast since I don’t have any hosting anymore – and I’m not in a hurry to get some, since I’m happy to have converted all of my sites to Tumblr – but I think I found a good solution the other day, and it’ll even mean that I’ll record and stream them live. More on that soon, I hope.

Oh, and I was very happy to have been invited again to do the 8-4 PLAY podcast recently, for a third time, which was the E3 prediction episode. I had a lot of fun as always, but I’m realizing that I should probably drink a bit less, because listening to it, it feels like about 75% of my contribution is me laughing at what everyone is saying.

Put the beer down, Jean. Put it down.

E3 starts tomorrow, and I’m pretty excited to see what will come out of it, watching the keynote streams, new trailers, and of course people tweeting what they’re taking in and doing.

Now let’s check the weather widget to see how much rain we’ll be getting tomorrow.

Spoiler: lots.

Tomodachi Life

Boy am I having fun with this game. I still remember teasing a lot of my friends here who were excited for the Japanese edition when it came out last year, and this is what happened. So after seeing the super silly (and funny) trailer that Nintendo released when they announced that it would come out in English, and then seeing some of the screenshots of friends who had early copies, I jumped on it as soon as it was released (this past Friday), and I’m sure glad I did. This really is the kind of game that you want to get as soon as it comes out, because part of the fun is sharing what is happening in your game – a sort of doll house playpen of Miis, that you generally want to import from your friends – and to see what others are seeing as well. When I’m playing, it feels like every 5 minutes there’s something that puts a big stupid grin on my face, and that I really want to share – either publicly, or directly to friends, to show them what their Miis are doing in my game. If you have a 3DS and you like smiling and laughing, then you’d be pretty silly to not pick this up. If you want to add me, here’s my QR code – and here’s the QR code for that “pretender,” jeansnowmii.

Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball

I got this when it first came out a couple of months ago, but just realized I never ended up mentioning it here. It’s an interesting little game for the 3DS – it’s a free download, and you buy baseball-themed mini-games inside, 10 in all. The really interesting part is that when it comes to buying those in-app games, you can negotiate with “Rusty Slugger” to bring the price down – so although the asking price is always $4, you can bring all of them down to about $1.50-1.80. And don’t worry, a character pops up to tell you when you’ve gone as low as you can go, so you won’t feel like maybe you’re overpaying for one of them. Negotiating is done by chatting with Rusty, and giving items and discount tickets that you receive from playing the mini-games. I’ve bought 6 of the games, and do plan on getting the remaining 4. I’ve had a lot of fun with the mini-games, and this is from someone who doesn’t even like baseball. They’re all score based, and it’s just plain fun to pick up your 3DS and go through a bunch of them, to not only better your score (and there are challenge modes), but also to unlock items and tickets to be able to get discounts on the other mini-games. And hey, Rusty is a pretty fun character, and I like that there’s a bit of a narrative going on as you go about buying more of the mini-games. I hope they turn this into a franchise and start adding more sports – would love a hockey one!

Trine 2

Of the new PS4 offerings through PS+ last week, this is the one I’ve played the least, but I was curious to see how it looked, and unsurprisingly, it looks great. I played the original Trine – on PS3 I think – and it’s a game I had fun with. I like platformers, and I like the fantasy setting here, and the switching you do between warrior, archer, and wizard. As with the original, it is sometimes a bit awkward to use some of the powers with a controller – like drawing blocks to materialize for the wizard – but it’s not deal-breaking. I’ll probably wait until I’m done with PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate before I fully jump into this.