All posts by JoeZ

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (AKA #mh4u)

If you have a look here, you will notice that I was excited about two new titles for the Nintendo 3DS family. One of them was Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate which was released on 13/2/2015.

I’ve already sunk ten+ hours into the game (and I’m still at HR1, I’m probably getting old) so I think I’m able to give you my two cents about it.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

ย Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is my first step into the series. I’ve only played the corresponing demo (and got completely thrashed by the second monster) and liked it.

There are some really nice things about the game. First of all, even if it is damned hard to actually solve the real solo quests, there are beginners quests teaching you how to use the individual weapons. In them you get a short introduction to whatever weapon you have selected and then the chance to use your recently acquired knowledge to take out a Great Jaggi in an arena. This way, you quickly find out which weapon(s) are to your liking. Or which weapons you should avoid at all costs. Like great swords for example. Cool to block, lots of damage but rather slow and therefore hard to use against quick monsters (Hint: they’re all quick!)

The second thing I really like is exploring the world. To solve the quests you have to explore the surroundings, collect herbs, find bugs and then combine what you have found for potions. Apart from standard quests (Here, kill this beast! Here, find X and kill Y!) there are exploration missions where you enter uncharted territory to find (and of course slay) new monsters. Makes a nice difference, because you don’t know which monsters you will encounter.

Third and last: Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate lets you hunt together via local multiplayer or the Internet. Just collect 3 other hunters and go for a guild hall quest. Trust me, it is fun to tackle a big one together. (It also is fun to fail together, if the big one was simply too big.)


New Nintendo #3DS Titles announced!

Well, I’ve just seen the first Nintendo Direct of 2015 and I have to say that I’m impressed of what will be coming for the 3DS!

There will be loads of good titles, but here is my personal need-to-get-one:

Fire Emblem: ?

There is no definite title yet, but what you can see in the trailer is simply awesome. I really can’t wait for this title to be released. Fire Emblem: Awakening was totally cool and loaded up with DLC content. From what we can see in the video, this will be a worthy update to the series!

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

Also intersting to see was the new Monster Hunter Ultimate 4. Looks like I might get that one, too. There will be a demo out to give it a test run, but so far I’ve not managed to get a download code for it. ๐Ÿ™

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros.

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros.I would never have believed this, but you can make a role-playing-game with two iconic humorous characters: Mario &Luigi!

OK, it is not completely a role-playing-game. There still is plenty of jumping and searching for stuff and even the fights (while being turn based) are full of action. Simply because you not only select your attack but also have to do it. The same goes for blocking your opponent’s attacks. Better keep your eyes open (so that you know which of the two brothers is going to be attacked) and your finger in check. When you are too slow or too quick to block, the block will fail.

But what really makes the cookies crumble are the items you can acquire along your journey through Luigi’s dreams. Whereas more standard games have different swords, staffs or wands ready for you, the Dream Team Bros. offers old boots, weak boots, so-so boots, etc. to give just one example. The designers have given their best and made sure that you have trouble concentrating because of the sheer amount of giggles and squees you emit while playing the title.


The top ten, being my most played games in 2014

One really nice thing about the Nintendo 3DS is the activity log. It lets you find out how many hours you actually spend playing. (It also counts your steps, but really, who would be interested in that?) So, without further ado, here is my list of the top 10 most played games in 2014:

10. Luigi’s Mansion 2

Luigi's Mansion 2
Luigi’s Mansion 2

This one is a no brainer. I have always liked this brother more and the game itself is simply adorable. The only downside is the use of automatic saves. I really hate it when you just can’t save when you want to and have to finish a level to save your progress.
It has a cool multiplayer part, too!

9. Mario Kart DS

Mario Kart DS
Mario Kart DS

Even if I have by now upgraded to Mario Kart 7, this one ended up quite often in my 3DS. Rightfully so, simply because of it’s multiplayer options (and because my daughter has a cartridge, too, and often asks me for a race.)

8. LEGO The Hobbit

LEGO The Hobbit
LEGO The Hobbit

Combine LEGO and J.R.R. Tolkien? Yes, of course!

7. LEGO Lord Of The Rings

LEGO The Lord Of The Rings
LEGO The Lord Of The Rings

See #8!

6. LEGO Batman 2

LEGO Batman 2
LEGO Batman 2

LEGO and DC Comics? Batman? Count me in! I’m such a sucker for the LEGO games. They have a great innocent humour as well as great gameplay and design (Ok, all but one: LEGO Marvel totally sucks!).

5. Shin Megami Tensai IV

Shin Megami Tensai IV
Shin Megami Tensai IV

This one was only released as a download from the eShop. We also got it later than the rest of the world. Well, better late than never, because it is a fine role playing game and one of the hardest I’ve ever played as well. Definitely not for the casual gamer.

4. Fire Emblem: Awakening

Fire Emblem: Awakening
Fire Emblem: Awakening

I bought this one thinking it was a role playing game. Turned out that it was more of a strategy game set in a fantasy world. Still, it is a great game which is highly playable even for non-hardcore-strategists because of its two difficulty settings.

3. Bravely Default

Bravely Default: Flying Fairy
Bravely Default: Flying Fairy

See here.

2. Pokemon Alpha Sapphire

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire
Pokemon Alpha Sapphire

You probably can’t believe it, but this was my first ever Pokemon game. That said, I really enjoy playing it. The difficulty is about right, there is tons of stuff to do (Collecting Pokemon is slightly addictive, to say the least!) even if I have neither interest in breeding the critters or taking part in any tournaments. I’m definitely giving Pokemon X a try, too,ย  in the not so near future!

1. Fantasy Life

Fantasy Life
Fantasy Life

See here.
Simply a great game with a maniac supporting community!

SpillPass works rather nicely!

In a previous post I wrote about giving SpillPass a try. Well, on New Years Eve I got a chance to replace my Raspberry Pi (B model) with a Raspberry Pi (B+ model). The B+ model is now used as a media centre and performs this job quite nicely.

With the old B model I gave SpillPass a try. I downloaded the image, dd’ed it to a spare 8GB SD card and booted up the Pi. It went up quite nicely, apart from the fact that it would choke on the first two USB wifi cards I tried to use. (Both the Edimax EW-7811UN as well as the Netgear G54 do not work with SpillPass.) The one card that did the trick was the Netgear WNA1100. (This, by the way, is the only card that will work with the Lego Mindstorms EV3 brick. You might wish to keep that in mind, too.)

Raspberry Pi B with Netgear WNA1100
Raspberry Pi B with Netgear WNA1100


A few minutes later I got the Eon-ticket for Pokemon Alpha Sapphire!
Yay me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Nintendo Zone/Streetpass

One really cool thing about the Nintendo 3DS is Streetpass. It’s an exchange of game items, avatars and more with other 3DS users playing the same games. Your game console just needs to have wifi turned on and be in sleep mode for the magic to happen. Ideally you pass a lot of other owners and collect lots of goddies that way.

In truth, however, things look a bit different. On my commute as well as at my job, I’m the only 3DS owner. If I were in a rural area, this would be extremely devastating as I had no chance of collecting certain game items. (Hello, Eon-ticket in Pokemon ORAS!)

Nintendo Zone

Enter the option to use the Nintendo Zone in certain McDonalds fast food joints. But checking those frequently is both not a good choice for your wallet and neither for your health.

Some smart people have found a solution for both problems: Homezone. In short, you create your own Nintendo Zone right at home and welcome Streetpass visitors this way. You can use your computer to do this, or, even better, use a spare Raspberry Pi for it: SpillPass!

In totally unrelated news, I just ordered a second Raspberry Pi.


Fantasy Life

As you might wish to know what I’ve been doing all those months, a quick look on my 3DS will tell: playing Fantasy Life. With 70+ hours this is the longest time I’ve ever spent on a game. Also, while I’ve both managed to finish the main story as well as the story-line of the DLC, I’m still far from finished. There is just so much to do, considering you can play as 12 classes (or lives as they are called in the game).

Fantasy Life NA box art

Definitely a game to get!

Back again…

Ups, seems that I haven’t really posted anything here over the last few months. Well, I hope I can change that in the future.

At least I took the time for a small redesign and hey, why not grab a wallpaper while you’re here?


Rant: Lego Marvel Super Heroes

I freely admit that I’m an “old age” returner when it comes to video games. In fact, I never thought that I’d return to gaming after my youth of playing with the C= 64 and, much later, the original Nintendo Gameboy.

Well, our daughter wished for a Nintendo 3DSXL last Christmas. She got a nice red one with a small number of games. Long story short, 7 days later I was the proud owner of a blue 3DSXL as well as some games. (Apparently leaving gaming behind can be problematic.)

I grew especially fond of the Lego games. So far I’ve mastered:

  • Batman
  • Batman 2
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Pirates of the Carribean

What I really like about them, apart from the humour, is the fact that while you can die in the game (=lose all hearts), all you lose is a mere 1000 points because you are resurrected immediately next to the spot you died on.

It is this ease of play that really makes the Lego games utterly enjoyable. With this in mind let us turn our attention to the Lego Marvel Super Heroes game:

Lego Marvel Super Heroes BoxLooks pretty slick, right?

Let’s start the game. The first character you get to play is the Hulk. Guess his role. Yeah, right something like:


Sad, but true, this is the only Lego game that I’ve played where you can’t jump. We’re not talking about a double jump, but about a simple hop. And it is not only the Hulk, but every character has been made jump-less. Spider-Man for example can use his web, but mostly has to walk or run up to his opponents. Very funny, when compared to the comics.

But wait, there is more!

You also don’t resurrect after you die. Instead, the mission (=level) fails and you have to start again. This means that you will have a rather hard time to beat the bosses at the end of each level. I can’t even remember the number of tries it took me to take out Doc Oc at the end of the first part. Well done, folks. Nothing like that to turn gaming into a frustrating experience.

And finally:

In all other Lego games so far, beating the boss lets you enter the next chapter of the story. Well, not with Lego Marvel Super Heroes. Here you have to beat the boss and have had collected enough special bricks throughout the level. In case you haven’t, tough luck, enter free play mode and try to find the remaining ones. Utterly enjoyable, especially when it is so easy to die and in consequence fail the mission.

So, do yourself a favour and stay away from this game.




Peter Parker returns as Amazing Spider-Man

Amazing Spider-Man #1Today is the day Peter Parker returns as Amazing Spider-Man in the appropriately named Amazing Spider-Man #1 (AKA the Marvel Now reboot). I’m really happy about this as Spidey is one of my childhood heroes back from the day when I quit reading Mickey Mouse for, ehm, serious comics.

Therefore, no wonder that I grabbed my issue and can’t wait to read it. Still I wish they had changed the cover. I’ve already bithced about that here.