Completed - Unfinished Swan

I think the kids enjoyed this game more than me, the girls enjoyed helping me find the various balloons to collect.  They were slightly frightened by the forest levels but luckily I quickly ran through those.

Once I had collected 30 balloons I unlocked the hose which saves your fingers from RSI strain.

The story I think is about Monroe coping with the loss of his Mother but unlike Brothers A Tale of Two Sons it did not tug at me emotionally through the gameplay.

I did however enjoy the Journey Easter Egg in the game, the story unfolding through scattered letters & the gameplay mechanics changing through the various levels.

Looking forward to the of the WiiU where I can see more enjoyment coming from local play with the kids.


Unfinished Swan - Balloon collecting

I gave up on this last year after five minutes of splatting paint, I just could not see the enjoyment.

But Jaimie kept on nagging me to play again & get pass the first stage. So I started again yesterday evening & the girls quickly became interested in helping me find the Balloons you can collect throughout the levels.

You can purchase various toys with the balloons you collect. I've unlocked the balloon tracker & saving up 30 balloons to unlock the hosepipe which helps the flow of paint/water instead of spamming the buttons.

You are Monroe and you are chasing a swan that has escaped from a painting left to you by your departed mother. I have completed upto chapter 6, it's a short game so I expect to complete this evening.


Completed - Brothers A Tale of Two Sons - *SPOILER ALERT*



PS+ is such a good deal that I am baffled with the games Sony give away. Brothers A Tale of Two Sons was on quite a few Games of the Year 2013 lists so it was on my list to purchase at some point but luckily was given away in March with PS+.

The game starts off with a sad opening showing the brothers mother drowning & the younger brother struggling to save her. Back to the present day, their father falls ill & you have to take him to the village doctor. This sequence introduces you to the unique control method, where you control both characters.
The older brother using the left thumbstick & the younger the right thumbstick. It takes a while to get familiar with the control, I found it easier having the older brother in front & the younger running behind.

The Doctor tasks you with finding a cure for your father's illness & thus begins the game. You will journey through many obstacles, see strange lands & creatures, enjoy the simple puzzles & fun sequences like the gliding plane.

One of these sequences has you saving a damsel in distress & you follow her away from danger in the hope she is leading you to the cure for your father but she transform into a spider and during the boss fight the older brother is wounded.

Upon reaching the tree of life you rest your wounded brother up against a log & rush up to retrieve some healing water. What follows is easily the most emotional sequence I have seen in a video game since Aeris dying in Final Fantasy 7.

You return to find your brother dead, you try to give him the water but nothing happens. A Flashback shows you hugging your older brother before the camera pans down to show the dead body. The game then shows you digging a grave & you have to drag your brothers body to the grave. Then bury it with four piles of earth, you will always remember how many piles of earth because this moment will stick with you forever.

You return to the village with the help of the griffin. Upon reaching the shoreline you realise you can't cross the water. The younger brother has always been scared of the water because of his mother drowning & it was only with the help of his older brother was he able to swim.

I ran around the shoreline thinking there must be another way to get across? The mothers spirit appears to comfort the younger brother, damm this game is tugging at my heart strings !!

I then pressed up on the left analogue stick & the younger brother swam across, using the strength of his older brother memories he made it across & gave the cure to the doctor.

The final sequence shows the father breaking down in tears in front of the tombstones of his wife & son but the younger brother stares into the distance.

Breathe .. what a game !!

So much emotion, I spent ages thinking & reading up about the game afterwards. The older brother dying? The younger brother summoning the courage to swim? The damsel in distress?


History Update - Wii U is back !!

With the upcoming release of Mario Kart 8, I have decided to give the Wii U another chance.

Nintendo's offer of a free game with Mario Kart 8 is a very good deal & I will be going for Zelda Wind Waker. I have also purchased New Super Mario Bros, Super Mario 3D Land & Zombi U.

Will look at also purchasing Nintendo Land & Wii Party U which I know the kids will enjoy.


Steam - The Master Race

Oh the shame !! 120 games !!

Google Doc Link

I'll wait till I'm grey & old sat in my retirement home before I'll come back and look at these.

Will look at enabling Steam Sharing on my account so maybe someone else can get some enjoyment from these?

Portal - Stuff the cake - Completed

Finally managed to get pass the annoying platform section of level 18. Level 19 was a walk in the park compared to 18.

You get an easy boss fight sequence against Glados before you see the outside world & the end credits.

I'd still say that it is an overrated game with all the plaudits it gets I've played far better games over the last couple of years (see my top list).

On release yes it must have been something special due to it's unique gameplay style with the portals & a twist at the end but several years later I think those that have played it need to take off their rose-tinted glasses.

My fault for not playing it on release, so I am going to try with the PS4/WiiU to play the games I want during the year they have been released.

I was going to start Infamous Second Son but the WiiU will arrive next week & I won't complete in time so I'll take a look at the smaller arcade titles I have on 360/PS3 to find a shorter game. The Fallout DLC will take me longer because I will take my time and wonder around everywhere. I've still got lots of XBLA titles & PS+ freebies that I have not played.


Portal - Patience Testing

Not much gaming time this weekend, the weather was too lovely.
I've never seen the reason why this game is given rave reviews. It is after all just a puzzle game.

Easing you in gently & slowly ramping up more obstacles in your way.

I ran through the first 16 levels with little or no difficulty & then it got very hard, currently stuck on level 18.

I know what I need to do it is just timing the jump so I can shoot the portal gun on the next platform.

With the cancellation of the John Lewis order for the WiiU I ended up buying the Mario Kart 8 pack from Tescos & using my clubcard vouchers to get the price under the £150 mark.

I've also purchased New Super Mario Bros U & Zombi U. Will go with Zelda Wind Waker for the Mario Kart 8 free game offer. I expect I am going to have some fun with getting my Nintendo NNID account working on the new WiiU console.


Mass Effect 3 - Completed

Earth is saved & I am dead !!

I went for the Synthesis ending & passed on my DNA to everyone across the galaxy.

In terms of Sci-Fi lore the trilogy has been fantastic, some gameplay elements were not ideal like the fetch & retrieve side quests but overall I would have to say it is an amazing trilogy.

It goes into my top list.

Next on the list then after much nagging from many on UGVM & RLLMUK is going to be Portal.

I've gone off iOS games for the moment so have deleted Tiny Dice Dungeon, Disco Zoo & a few others I was playing. Will just leave the turn based games like Lost Cities, Carcassonne & Disc Drivin.

I've also gone and purchased another WiiU console (WEAK) in readiness for Mario Kart 8.
Edit 3:15 - Too good to be true John Lewis have cancelled the offer.


Mass Effect 3 - Revenge !!

After causing so much trouble & upheaval it was time to get rid of the thorn in my side "CERBERUS"

An attack on their headquarters leads to a boss fight against Leng & you finally get the chance for revenge. Although be warned he is a tough bugger & it took me a couple of attempts before I managed to defeat him.

That was for Thane

Now I am all set for the return to Earth & the Final Conflict

Weekend drawing challenge - Goku

Monster Goku
Drawing challenge with Monster on Goku from Dragonball Z.

He is enjoying watching the series & playing the latest Dragonball Z game.

His effort, he started off drawing from the bottom & by the time he got to head he knew he was running out of paper but a very good effort especially with the hands.

gospvg Goku
My effort was a lot smaller so no issues with running out of space to draw, I found the eyes section quite difficult & added bit of effect lines.

Next weekend challenge is Sonic the Hedgehog.


Mass Effect 3 - Choosing sides SPOILERS !!!

Enough Movie & TV talk, back to gaming !!

Throughout the series you are asked on many occasions to make a choice but none have proven that difficult until you have to decide to go with the Geth or Quarian race.

This proved a very difficult choice & I replayed the mission a few times to see if there was anyway I could save both but alas no, so I decided to go with the Quarians.

 Really enjoying the story of this game, it is sci-fi lore at it's best.


Mass Effect 3 - Thane

After delivering the cure to Tuchanka & deciding to ignore the sabotage option. I returned to the Citadel following up on a video call from the Salarian politician about Udina working with Cerberus.

The Citadel is under attack by Cerberus forces, during the mission whilst saving the Salarian politician an assassin Kai Leng fights and wounds Thane. After taking back control of the Citadel, Thane is admitted to the hospital.

He has lost a lot of blood & even with his son's help, because his Kepral's syndrome is in it's final stages, his time has come.

The weapons in the game can be upgraded with various mods & by only carrying a few weapons your powers recharge quicker. I only carry the Assault Rifle, Sniper & Handgun with damage & ammo capacity mods equipped.

Time to go find this Kai Leng for some revenge.


Mass Effect 3 - Chemist

I enjoyed planet scanning for minerals in Mass Effect 2, this has changed quite a bit now in that you scan the solar system you are in to reveals areas/planets to investigate. You can only get three to four scans before the reapers are alerted & you have to run the Normandy out of the solar system to escape. If you get caught you restart the game.

You find lots of fuel, some credits, intel which you can then use at Liana's Glyph for upgrades or side mission artifacts (fetch & retrieve quest lines).

Ashley is now out of the hospital & has accepted an offer by Udina to become a Spectre. I've met quite a few characters from the previous games including Garrus who is now an advisor on Reaper matters but happily joins me on my quest. Miranda who is worried about her twin sister again. Jack who is now a biotic teacher, Kasumi who is still using her stealth abilities to steal tech, I've sent her to help the alliance build the reaper weapon. EDI has decided to take over the robot that attacked Ashley to give herself a body. Thane who is still slowly dying, Urdnot Wrex & Grunt who I've helped recover a female Krogan from a Salarian research lab, hoping Grunt becomes a controllable character so I can recreate my Mass Effect 2 team again (Garrus & Grunt).

For now my team is Garrus & James. I've done a ton of side missions since my last post & rescued the Turrian Primarch. After saving the female Krogan, I now need to go and dispense a cure for the genophage. Cerburus also are a constant thorn, the illusive man I think wants to control the reapers.

Mass Effect 3 is all about uniting the various races together to take on the reapers but for now I'm a chemist dispensing a cure for the genophage.


Trials Frontier - Shredder

The amount of gold needed to upgrade any bike parts is huge compared to the amount I can now generate from the tracks. It's now taking me two or three days of playing the game just to update one part.

The wait timers & gold needed are getting longer but the revenue generation is now forcing you down the in-app purchases route.

It's been fun for a while but it's now time for me to quit, shame because the game was very playable & if it had not taken the Free 2 Play route but been price at say 9.99 for the full game I would have happily purchased.

Luffers made a comment in the Tiny Dice Dungeon post about hating games with wait timers. I don't mind wait timers but I hate it when it's also applied against slow in-game coin generation thus the paywall is forced on the player to make the choice.

It's Shredder Time !!


New Game - Letter Quest

I know I have enough to play already with Trials Frontier & Tiny Dice Dungeon but tried Letter Quest yesterday & got hooked.

It's a letter based game in which you create words to attack monsters across various stages. Every so often you will encounter a more difficult boss fight. There are three challenges to each stage; normal, time challenge & hard difficulty. Each rewarding you with more gems.

You can use these gems to purchase upgrades to basic stats like health, attack, defence or you can purchase new skill books to equip & learn.

It does have in-app purchases for a gem doubler, bonus store unlock & various quantities of gems. I'm not inclined to want to purchase any of these thus making the game easier but there is an in-app purchase for a donate which I will feel obliged to purchase if I carry on enjoying the game.

Unlike Trials Frontier or Tiny Dice Dungeon it has no wait timers thus I was playing for quite a bit yesterday evening.

The game itself is surprisingly free & so far I have not come across any paywall forcing me down the route to in-app purchase.

The developers website http://www.baconbanditgames.com/ is also a very good read & the blog posts go into quite a bit of detail on the development of the game.

The game is also on Steam Greenlight