NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits: by Over The Top Games
Price: 1000 Points ($10, £7, ¥1000)
Availability: Wii Shop Channel (WiiWare section)
+ Pluses +

+ Visually pleasing ancient Greek backdrops and style.
+ Good for short, 15-20 minute bursts of play, fast loading and saving.
+ Great puzzles and level design for the most part, mixes things up and challenges you in new ways, keeps things challenging to the end.
+ Great use of the Wii pointer controls, used for grabbing and shooting stuff among other things. Feels very tactile, something the Wii does best.
+/- Neutrals +/-

+/- Music is great, but loops for too much so gets repetitive quickly.
+/- 2-player mode is basically just separating the character controls and the pointer controls across two remotes.
+/- It can be completed in 3 hours, with only a few collectable items to tempt you to replay the levels. ‘Just’ about worth the 1000 points I’d say.
-Negatives –

Running feels too slow to be effective, it’s also mapped to the same button as gliding, meaning when you’re running across platforms that collapse you will start to glide – to your death. Why couldn’t it have been on another button?
Graphics get very repetitive due to the file size limits of the WiiWare service. It feels samey because the same 5 or 6 blocks and shapes are used again and again with an occasional palette colour change.

4 pluses
2 minuses
3 neutrals

You aint getting a percentage, marks out of ten or a lettered grade.
That’s what’s good, that’s what’s bad and that’s what neither here nor there,

Make up your own mind from that.

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My ideas for a “One Console Future”

Many people are dead set against a one console future, and from the ideas put forth via many people, I can see why – they aren’t very good.

My idea of a one-console-future is quite simple and I honestly can’t believe that no one has suggested it before.

My idea is that the console from each major manufacturer, Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft should have equal specifications and the same basic OS for their systems, this would mean that all games would work on anything. Simple.

I could foresee several versions of this happening, varying in their awesomeness.

+ Great Ideas +

+ You would still have 3 different systems, from 3 separate companies, each looking different in style and form and size, yet the insides would be effectively the same.
That means you can still have a console from the company you like, yet still play the games from the others if you choose to.

+ Even better than that, if the platform holders were willing to go the whole hog, make it one device (an equal partnership) and have an online menu where games could be downloaded by publisher. Wait, I think I just described OnLive.

+ Note: Visual presentation could differ with each system, but the underlying OS must be the same. No system may have more features than the other, maybe have it so the Nintendo/Mario-themed interface is only on that specific version of the system, but that’s as far as it should go.

+ Publishers will no longer have to make 3 different versions of everything, we can get better games in shorter time frames. Grandma will no longer worry about getting “the wrong version” of Fifa/Madden etc.

+ All peripherals would be inter-compatible, no more trepidation when buying a headset, memory card or controller – everything just works. Just go with the form-factor that suits you.

+ Online play would work across all systems for all games, same goes for in-game chat and friends lists etc.
If the “platform-holder specific version of the same console” idea happens, maybe each publisher could run their own individual severs. E.g: Sony runs the Uncharted 3 servers, EA runs the Madden 2015 ones, Nintendo the Animal Crossing ones etc etc.

-/+ OK Ideas -/+

+/- As there would no longer be any “exclusives”, this could put off the big guns from ever adopting anything reaching a one-console idea.
At this point I’d still go for something like each system having or requiring a publisher-specific peripheral or monthly subscription to use their network or something else that means you have to give them (and only them) money to play “their” games.

+/- Although even with this half-baked plan, just buying a specific controller or subscription would be a hell of a lot better than buying an entire system for each game, no?
If that ever did take off, it would be great to see competition based solely on their online infrastructure, Nintendo would have to step up their game and Microsoft would have to think hard about how much they’d charge.
Likewise, what if Sony’s controller worked better than Microsoft’s when playing a Halo game!

– Bad Ideas –

The worst possible version of the one-console-future would be that the platform holders might force agreement that 1st party titles only work on their respective consoles, full-stop.
This would mean the “one-platform” nature of this new generation idea might only apply to 3rd party titles.
Although, even this terrible idea would be better than what we have now.

One box, everything works

Feel free to let me know what you think of these ideas in the comments section below.

Review: Picross 3D

06/05/2010

Picross 3D: by HAL Laboratory / Nintendo
Price: $19.99, £29.99, ¥3,800
Availability: Retail DS Cartridge


+ Pluses +

+ Charmingly simple graphical style makes things easy to understand, cute animations of the objects when you solve the puzzle.

+ Great tutorial to teach you how to play. If you look at Picross and are confused, you won’t be after the first few minutes of play.

+ Over 350 puzzles come pre-loaded, and are accessed via a satisfying level and unlocking structure, which also mixes things up nicely.

+ User creation option lets you design your own puzzles and share them over Nintendo Wi-Fi connection. It is a lot fun and easy to make your own 3D puzzles.

+ Weekly user submission competition could help this game last years, always new puzzles to download. (400 additional puzzle download capacity)

+ Reasonably priced (in the USA and Japan at least..)

Picross 3D allows four user profiles

– Minuses –

If you don’t like puzzle games, this won’t change your opinion of them.

Sometimes frustrating trying to view/navigate inside the 3D objects, a method does exist to change the viewpoint, but it’s slightly unwieldy.

People with poor 3D spacial awareness might get frustrated with it.

Final Score:

6 pluses
3 minuses
0 neutrals

You aint getting a percentage, marks out of ten or a lettered grade.
That’s what’s good, that’s what’s bad and that’s what neither here nor there,

Make up your own mind from that.

Eliminate Pro: by Ngmoco
Price: Free
Availability: iTunes App Store

+ Pluses +

+ It’s free for heck’s sake!

+ Nice, simple interface, automatic login to Plus+ service. (subject to change after 4.0 firmware)

+ Constant free updates, new maps, weapons and occasionally modes added via in-game download. (not a App Store update)

+ Great graphics, it is basically Quake 3 on your iPhone/iTouch.

+ Tonnes of customisation, weapon upgrades, skins and armour; keeps you coming back daily to earn more credits and climb the ranks. Perfectly fun without the paid service that is offered.

+ Fair and balanced matchmaking, usually only puts you against someone a rank above or below, no cheating (anymore) and no known exploits to spoil the fun.


– Minuses –

The control scheme that emulates a twin-stick control pad, the left side for movement, right side for aiming/shooting, it does the best it can for a system without buttons, but it’s not perfect and can often lead to accidental firing and frustrating misses.

You can’t befriend people you play after a match, this makes finding friends to add to your buddy list hard. Plus+ does offer a friend request system, but it’s not that good.

Levelling up your suit and weapons all use the same currency (Credits) meaning you have to choose very carefully what you decide to use it for. This also means it take a long time to buy anything good. This may push the game into too much of a grind for some, especially those without patience. (like me)

No music outside of the option screens, of which there is only one looped track


-/+ Neutrals -/+

+/- Restricts you to 3 or 4 games every few hours (game displays a countdown until you’re allowed to play again), requires real money to top up your “Power Cells” if you want to play constantly and climb the ranks faster. If this restricts server overloads and keeps everything running smoothly (and free) then I don’t see it as a good thing or a hindrance.


Final Score:

6 pluses
4 minuses
1 neutral

You aint getting a percentage, marks out of ten or a lettered grade.
That’s what’s good, that’s what’s bad and that’s what neither here nor there,

Make up your own mind from that.

Super Mario Galaxy: by Nintendo EAD Tokyo
Price: $49.99, £39.99, ¥5,800
Availability: Retail DVD Disk

+ Pluses +

+ Beautiful graphics that push the Wii, shows that it is possible to create great looking games on the console.

+ Fully orchestrated music for the most part, which is fantastic. Made a non-gamer friend of mine say “Wow”.

+ 120 stars/missions to complete, only 60 needed to see the ending. You can take it at your own pace, if you’re a completist you’ll love it, if you’re not and you just want to enjoy the ride, it’ll suit you fine too.

+ Great new suits and power-ups like the Bee Suit and Ice Mario both of which add interesting new game play elements.

+ Every level feels different, loads of things in the levels are there just for fun.

+ Even though it’s a console game, it lets you pick up and play for a few minutes at a time, meaning it’s good for busy/married people too!

The Bee Suit

– Minuses –

Because of the way the spherical worlds are created, you often go behind planets resulting in not being able to see your character, this can result in some annoying deaths due to the controls spazzing out. A necessary evil because a constantly following camera would be disorientating, but still annoying nonetheless.

Shaking the Wii Remote to do the spin attack does get tiresome.

+/- Neutrals +/-

+/- Some of the final missions/challenges are just the same levels as before but just have you collecting coins. This pushes the unique level count down to about 95-100 in actuality, still tonnes of levels, but just be aware of what you’ll have to do to do everything in the game.

+/- 2-player mode is very simplistic and not that fun. I don’t know many people who want to sit next to me playing Mario while they wave the pointer around collecting things. It’s there but it’s kind of useless.

+/- The online component (if you can call it that) is simply a screen-shot tool that takes a picture of your star count so you can post the image to your friend using the Wii mail service. A completely unnecessary and mostly useless addition.

Final Score:
6 pluses
2 minuses
3 neutrals

You aint getting a percentage, marks out of ten or a lettered grade.
That’s what’s good, that’s what’s bad and that’s what neither here nor there,

Make up your own mind from that.
How Famicomplicated reviews work:

+Pluses = Good stuff.

-Minuses = Not so good stuff.
-/+Neutrals = Neither good nor bad stuff.
Final Score Example:
  • 3 pluses
  • 2 minuses
  • 1 neutral
You aint getting a percentage, marks out of ten or a lettered grade.
That’s what’s good, that’s what’s bad and that’s what neither here nor there.

Make up your own mind from that.