Mario & Bowser: Maybe We’ve Been Lied To

Spoiler Warning: This post does contain some plot spoilers of Super Mario Odyssey… you have been warned! … it’s also pretty silly…

My brain began turning last week after I posted a pretty off-hand Tweet about Mario’s behaviour in ‘Super Mario Odyssey’. It was only after that I started to question what I’d been shown in game and how a few choice camera cuts could have been used to paint a very different picture of the whole series of events. The conundrum raised is, “Is he really the good-guy?… and by extension, is Bowser really so bad?Continue reading “Mario & Bowser: Maybe We’ve Been Lied To”

Editorial: January 2018 – Happy New Year

Happy new year all! I hope you all had an excellent festive holiday and enjoyed welcoming in 2018 however you celebrated. I’m lucky enough this year to have been able to extend my break so I’m still in vacation mode and very very behind on blog reading (to which I apologise to my fellow bloggers), particularly those who participated in the excellent ‘Creative Christmas’ event orchestrated by Later Levels; I’m looking forward to catching up over the next few weeks.

The new year is always a fun gaming time; the evenings are still dark here in the UK and there’s usually (as there is this year) a backlog of games from the festive Steam sale(s) and Christmas gifts eagerly waiting to be played. I’m still splitting my gaming time between the PC and the Nintendo Switch with the latter carrying with it rumours of some exciting developments in the next month, or so Adventure Rules would have us believe. Continue reading “Editorial: January 2018 – Happy New Year”

Zelda – Breath of the Wild: In Defence of the Story

Spoiler Warning: In this post I discuss the plot, including the ending, of Zelda: Breath of the Wild…the clue is in the title…

As my first real outing into the Kingdom of Hyrule, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed BotW and feel at least slightly more qualified now to engage in a Zelda themed conversation than I did just a few short months ago. It’s a game that excels at providing challenge and the thrill of adventure, however you want to tackle it, all wrapped up in a well crafted and intricate world. One of the reasons I havn’t undertaken a review style piece (other than shying away from that type of article in general) has been that it would likely deteriorate into a meaningless stream of me using all my favourite words, like “intricate” and “crafted”, without adding much to the volume of work that’s already out there discussing what a solid experience it pulls together to be. Continue reading “Zelda – Breath of the Wild: In Defence of the Story”

The Many Guises of Open-Worlding

After vowing a few weeks ago that this blog wouldn’t descend into a shrine to Nintendo following my systematic indoctrination that the giant Ninty offer as a complimentary service to all those able to get their mortal paws on a Switch (and presumably either of their ‘mini’ consoles given the pace they race off the shelves/pre-order virtual shelves), it has nonetheless been the focus of my gaming for the past month with at least 85% of that devoted to the open world beast of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I do want to put down my thoughts on that particular title as a whole, but I just don’t feel quite qualified yet, so watch this space for future ramblings on the subject. As my first Zelda outing it has been a great experience, despite being warned on a few occasions that it wasn’t necessarily representative of the traditional Zelda romp and that as an open world title some people didn’t think it was the best example. I would agree that it is a slow starter and does rely on the player giving it the time to absorb them into that world, but once I was enthralled, it really is a well crafted title worthy of the premium price-point (something I’m really not so familiar with coming in from a PC gaming background where every game is generally knocked down within the first few months). Continue reading “The Many Guises of Open-Worlding”

Switch Hardware: Autobot or Decepticon?

Whilst last week I was musing about the accompanying parental control app, this week I’ve decided to subject myself to a vague hardware review and ramble on about my initial Switch impressions. I’ve been Zelda-ing, Sonic-ing, and even a little Splatoon-ing (when I can get my Wi-Fi connection to behave) on Ninty’s latest box-of-tricks for a little over a week in which time I’ve gotten to grips with this mysterious bundle of hardware. It’s a console which is selling itself on being versatile so unlike the struggles I’ve had involving previous hardware reviews, I don’t think I’ll be running short of things to say about the Switch and its various configurations. Continue reading “Switch Hardware: Autobot or Decepticon?”

Switch… it off: Parental Controls

I’m pretty sure I always said that I was going to get a Nintendo Switch… right? … 

The day finally came and I now own my first (relevant) Nintendo home console! Regular readers shouldn’t panic however; I won’t suddenly be warping over to the ways of the plumber and given that one of my first purchases has been the widely anticipated retro throwback nostalgathon ‘Sonic Mania’ (despite how much of a liar he is), it’s safe to say that I’m still staying true to my Mega Drive heritage whilst accepting that times change. I’m also not planning on abandoning PC gaming, but hopefully the Switch will fill that gap in couch gaming, local co-op, and portable action that has been lacking despite trying to fill it with the Steam Link.

If forced to give a one word answer about my interest in the Switch, I’d have to go with ‘curiosity’; I’m interested to see how this hybrid home/portable console with confusing Lego-esque controllers and certain retro leanings holds up. Nintendo has always earned my admiration for thinking about how people game and how they interact with those games, even if not all their experiments work in the market place. It’s an innovative company with a new innovative product… and one of those innovative aspects is the parental control app….    Continue reading “Switch… it off: Parental Controls”