Android (played on Nexus 7 2013 edition)
Price: 99 cents
|Oh, you'll miss plenty with control like this.|
(image courtesy of Jeuxcapt.com)
The predictably lackluster control makes Crazy Taxi a largely hands-off experience. Nevertheless, you'll be surprised by how faithful it is to the Dreamcast game while you're kind-of sort-of playing it. Music by The Offspring and Bad Religion blasts in the background as you tear through the city, picking up passengers and taking them to such iconic locales as, uh, Pizza Parlor and the Fried Chicken Shack. Even without the official license, it's not hard to figure out what that red roofed restaurant is supposed to be... not that Pizza Huts even look like that anymore. Remember, Crazy Taxi was released nearly fifteen years ago! (Why yes, you are old.)
By the way, there's a rumor floating around on the internet that Sega was able to survive its many dumb mistakes because it patented the navigation arrow and fleeing bystanders in this game. Thanks to the popularity of sandbox games and the necessity for a navigation arrow in their massive worlds, Sega gets a steady stream of profit from video game sales, even when those games aren't their own.
LEGEND OF ZELDA: A LINK BETWEEN WORLDS
I scored a digital copy of this game from a member of Cheap Ass Gamer, the internet's foremost pincher of gaming pennies. Normally, I wouldn't be interested in Link's latest adventures, but I'd gotten tired of endless rounds of Super Street Fighter IV and wanted something meatier in my 3DS library. Besides, at fifteen dollars, who could resist?
|Ravio: Because the Zelda series needed|
more creepy, disturbing sidekicks.
(image courtesy of Operation Rainfall)
|I'd be perfectly happy if Sega made a game|
that was 100% this and 0% new Sonic.
(image courtesy of Miikahweb)
ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM
|This game's pretty sweet! Well, sweet-ish.|
(image courtesy of Digital Trends)
(also, please stop hitting me)
At first, it didn't... the disc was badly scratched and had cracks in the spindle. I could get as far as the title screen with it in this condition, but two brisk cleanings with a dab of toothpaste got it to the point where I could transfer the data to my Xbox 360's hard drive. It's a clumsy workaround, but hey, it gets the job done!
Anyway, about the game. It's extremely similar to the previous Elder Scrolls installment, with two immediately noticeable differences. The first is that the interface has been rebuilt and streamlined, which is good news for newcomers but a little awkward for veteran Oblivion players. The second is that the setting has taken a sudden turn for the Norse, with snow-capped mountains in the distance and characters speaking in Swedish accents. It's a jarring shift that hits you like an Ikea chair to the face, but I suppose I shouldn't complain. After all, Bethesda also replaced the Oblivion gates and their long, boring dungeons with thrilling battles against massive, fire-spitting dragons. Good call!
MASS EFFECT 3
I'll discuss this in more detail when I review the Wii U in a future blog entry. However, what I'll say now is that Mass Effect 3 is the kind of game the Wii U desperately needs to be competitive with Sony and Microsoft's systems. Of course, the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 got their versions of Mass Effect 3 a couple of years ago, but having the game at all is a step up for Nintendo, which missed out on the entire franchise in the last console cycle.
|The only Commander Shepard you'll ever need.|
(image courtesy of Leviathyn)
I've spent a few hours with Mass Effect 3 and am already coming to the unfortunate conclusion that it's not quite as good as the sublime Mass Effect 2. Combat is looser, with less emphasis on finding cover, and the storyline is depressingly bleak... yes, even more so than the previous game. On the plus side, the acting is up to its usual high standards, with Jennifer Hale being the Captain Janeway you always wanted, instead of the one we actually got. (Who's that guy on the front of the box? Uh, I think he's the janitor or something.)
Oh, one other thing. The Wii U port of Mass Effect 3 lets you the game directly from the gamepad, freeing up the television for other family members and giving you the freedom to play it just about anywhere in the house. You can have Mass Effect in the kitchen, on the can, or even in the tub if you're willing to take that risk. It's a much better handheld option than Mass Effect: Infiltrator on the Android, which looked like an authentic Mass Effect experience but lost much of its heart.
|If you can't trust a Chuck E. Cheese character|
with a bad comb-over, who can you trust?
(image courtesy of Shack News)
This month, Satoru Iwata revealed the latest addition to the Super Smash Bros. cast, Little Mac from the Punch Out!! series. (That's the game where Mike Tyson beats you bloody in a matter of seconds, making it an extremely realistic boxing simulation.) He also announced the long-awaited comeback of the Koopa Kids (they'll be in Mario Kart 8, alongside their pop Bowser), and a video game which lets you ply a bulldog with doughnuts to receive real-life discounts on downloadable content. The broadcast ended with footage of a mysterious science-fiction action-RPG (anyone catch the name of this?) and Bayonetta 2, the Wii U-exclusive sequel to Sega's madcap beat 'em up.
|At least the punching bag from Waku Waku 7|
is still getting work.
(image courtesy of... me!)