I Downloaded a Bunch of Games For My New iPad Mini

Games on iPad Mini

I just got a new iPad Mini and I decided to go on a game download spree. I didn’t want to just hit up the App Store and download the most popular games, because those games popularity is misleading since so many non-gamers download everything they can get their hands on. Instead I decided to take a look at what real gamers recommended so I thought, “what better place to start than the iOS Gaming Subreddit?”

I spent the last hour and a half looking at just the discussions on the front page and I found lots of great games to start with. I only downloaded the free games for now but I added any other paid apps that looked really good to my wish list. Here’s what I found.

Free: (some are free only for a limited time)

Below are the paid apps sitting in my wishlist. I also added these apps to my AppShopper.com account (which is free) because they’ll send me a notification when an app I want drops in price.

Do you have anything to add? I’m all ears for recommendations right now, free or paid.

Just Playing Some Mario Kart 64

I’ve been reading articles, watching game reviews, and listening to game podcasts talking about how great Mario Kart 8 is. It looks great and I’ve been really wanting to play it but I don’t own a Wii U and I don’t plan to buy one in the near future. I decided to pull out the ol’ Nintendo 64 version to get my fix instead.

I’m pretty terrible, but I’m sure with a little practice I can get back to the skill levels I once had. I was pretty damn good at this game too. We played this game so much that we made the joysticks on the controllers all loose and crappy.

Finally a Dragon Ball Z Game Worth Playing!

I’ve purchased two Dragon Ball Z games in the past and I’ve played a couple others, all of which pretty much sucked. It looks like the indie developer group, Team Z2, thought the same and decided to make their own version – Hyper Dragon Ball Z. The game is built on the Mugen freeware fighting game engine and was developed with the gameplay styles of Street Fighter and Darkstalkers in mind.

WOW!

This looks like the Dragon Ball Z game that I’ve always wanted. Check out the demo trailer below. I couldn’t stop watching.

So awesome!

Check the description on the YouTube video page for more details on the project. If you want to keep up with the progress of the game, follow the Hyper Dragon Ball Z Facebook page or grab a pre-packed sample here: http://z2.smeenet.org/HyperDBZsample.rar

DIY Super Mario Bros. Cat Tower

mario-bro-cat-climber-1

I don’t have a cat, but if I did I would totally make a Super Mario Bros. cat tower. I almost want to get a cat just so that I can build one of these!

Redditor “collinferal” built his own cat climber and posted a picture (seen above) of his final creation on Reddit. Check out that thread for more tips on building it.

The cost for this project ran about $140 in materials.

  • 6 hinges (each box has an opening door)
  • 3 magnetic clasps
  • 2 50-foot rolls of sisal rope
  • Wood
  • Paint
  • 2 buckets
  • 2 bags of 50 glue sticks
  • 1 can of polyurethane

He even took some video of the cat using it.

This project was based on the Etsy item “Super Mario cat complex,” which you can see below. Also freakin’ awesome!

il_570xN.479685442_nnrr

The original costs $200, plus $45 S&H, so you can save $100 by building your own, maybe even more with some modifications or if you already have some parts laying around.

Chipotle Releases an iOS Game That Takes Shots at Processed Food Manufacturers

Chipotle has just come out with a promotional campaign that targets two of my biggest passions – natural food and video games. The video above tells a beautiful story of a scarecrow (Chipotle) who works for “Crow Foods” (industrial farms), a food company that produces highly processed foods containing chickens pumped full of hormones and cows raised in cramped, unnatural conditions. The scarecrow sees the wrong in this and takes it upon himself to bring natural foods back to the people by starting his own farm and selling it in the city, competing directly with the company he formally worked with.

The iOS game puts you back in the scarecrow’s shoes, fighting against Crow Foods. The controls are entirely tilt-based and you need to navigate through each level while avoiding obstacles.

chipotle-scarecrow-carrying-boxes

In each level, you need to transport items to your destination, trying not to lose your items by getting hit by an obstacle. Each level has various challenges. In the first level, for example, you need to carry 5 boxes of fresh produce to your destination. Each time you are spotted or get hit by an obstacle, you lose a box. At the hardest difficulty of the first level, you need to get to the end of the level without losing any boxes and within the short time period you’re given.

chipotle-scarecrow-saving-animals

This game is challenging, but honestly, it isn’t very good. There are only four levels and each level has 4 or 5 challenges, which is really only the same exact challenge, but with increasing difficulty. I became bored of the game real quick.

chipotle-scarecrow-drugs-and-animals

I liked the little shots the game took at industrial farms and food production companies though. This game has a great message! The one thing I find interesting is that Chipotle would choose to release this when nearly all of their ingredients are GMO.

Why You Should Play Games With Your Kids Even If Society Thinks It’s a Waste of Time

Kid plays Donkey Kong

My wife is 22 weeks pregnant right now with our little baby girl. I mentioned to my wife when we first found out she was pregnant that I can’t wait for our daughter to get old enough for me to play video games with her. My wife said that she doesn’t want our kid to play video games because games are bad for kids and a waste of time.

What!!??

Ok, now I get why people think this. I’ve heard this my whole life. But being an avid gamer since I was just a little kid, I know differently. I feel like games have benefited me greatly. I’ve always believed that my eye-hand coordination and reading skills have been enhanced by playing games. Games are also a great way for me to wind down, relax and recharge.

People can make all the assumptions they want, but recent studies are showing that games are great for both kids and adults in many ways.

In older adults, scientists at the University of California have found that playing video games can increase cognitive function and can treat neurological disorders. The researchers even believe that video games might be on par with prescription medications.

Just 15 minutes ago, my local news station aired a short story about Dr. George Sachs treating young kids with ADHD with video games. They used strategy-based games in the study and found that the volunteers showed better speed and accuracy on cognitive tests. That’s big news.

I don’t know how beneficial all games are for kids, but you’re probably safe giving your kids educational games or games that promote critical thinking. My favorite games as a kid were RPG’s which is what I think helped my reading skills develop so strongly. These are the kinds of games I plan to play with my daughter and I’m glad to know that gaming can be so beneficial in cognitive development.

I’m Sick This Weekend So I Guess I”ll Just Play Mega Man 9

mega-man-9

I’ve been playing Fallout 3 for the last few months, with a short break in-between to play The Last of Us (AMAZING GAME!), but with all the recent news surrounding Keiji Inafune’s Kickstarter campaign to create a Mega Man clone called Mighty No. 9, I’ve been jonesin’ to play some Mega Man.

might-no-9

I caught a bad cold earlier this week and I’ve been stuck in the house for the last couple of days, so I decided to hit up the PSN Store to see if I could download Mega Man X, the SNES classic and my all-time favorite Mega Man game from my childhood. Sadly, Mega Man X is not available on the Xbox 360 or the PS3, so instead I settled on Mega Man 9.

It’s definitely as difficult as I remember Mega Man games being, that’s for sure. It reminds me of the days of the NES, when games were so hard that they often led to controllers being thrown across the room. Luckily, Mega Man 9 has a “save” feature, so that helps.

megaman9-bosses

I’ve only played for a couple of hours so far, but I’ve only beaten two bosses – Splash Woman and Galaxy Man. Both of them are easy to defeat with just the Mega Buster and the levels aren’t too difficult either. All of the other levels in this game are ridiculously hard! I can barely make it to the half-way points in any of them. Mega Man is all about repetition and memorization though, so I’ll get it eventually.

I hope I can beat this game before the weekend’s over, but I think I may have already had enough Mega Man to get my fix 😉

Full Review of Resident Evil 6

There are a lot of good reviews of Resident Evil 6, but there seem to be many more bad ones; some so bad I was almost positive that I was going to hate this game. I picked it up from Redbox anyway and played it over the course of an extended weekend.

I played the game all the way through for a total time of 31:48:09 (hours:minutes:seconds)

Getting Started

There are four campaigns you can play, all of them containing different storylines and enemies.

  • Leon & Helena
  • Chris & Piers
  • Jake & Sherry
  • Ada (unlocked after completing the other three campaigns)

Each campaign requires that you play with a partner, whether it’s computer-controlled or with a friend. If you play single player, you get to choose which character you want to control from each campaign.

There are four difficulties; Amateur, Normal, Veteran and Professional.

The Campaigns

I had originally planned to play only one campaign and then return the game to Redbox, but I changed my mind after realizing that each campaign is completely different, each with their own storylines, weapons, enemies and boss battles.

You can choose any of the main three storylines to start the game, but I feel like Leon & Helena’s has the most substance and helps explain the other storylines. I would recommend playing all campaigns in the order they’re shown on the campaign selection screen.

Leon and Helena’s Storyline

Completed in 11:29:57

The story starts out with the president having decided to reveal the truth about the initial Raccoon City incident and how the U.S. government played a role in working with Umbrella, but before the president can tell the world about what happened, he becomes the target of a bio-terrorist attack and is mutated by the C-virus. Leon Kennedy, a Raccoon City survivor and Division of Security Operations (DSO) agent, alongside Helena Harper, also a DSO agent, must kill the president and then try to figure out what’s going on.

This storyline feels the most like a Resident Evil game. You’ll fight your way through zombies until the very end. This is the first campaign that I played, which is probably why I didn’t understand all of the reviews that I’ve read saying that Resident Evil isn’t a Resident Evil game anymore. If you start RE6 on any other campaign, I can see how someone could feel that way. This was the longest campaign and explains a lot of the story.

Chris and Piers Storyline

Completed in 8:02:23

Chris Redfield and Piers Nivans are both members of the Bio-terrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA). During a battle between the J’avo and the BSAA, the BSAA team is attacked by Neo-Umbrella agent Ada Wong, who infects everyone except Chris and Piers with the C-Virus. Chris is distraught with the what happened and goes into exile and suffers amnesia of that specific experience. Under the threat of a bio-terrorist attack, Piers seeks out Chris and asks him to return to the BSAA and head a new team of recruits. He recovers from his amnesia and vows revenge against Ada.

This storyline doesn’t feel much like a Resident Evil game at all, but instead like a military action/shooter. I felt like the new duck and cover system introduced in RE6 fit really well in this campaign and I found myself using it a lot. This campaign also introduces a new type of monster called the J’avo. The J’avo are super-creepy and are the only thing that really reminded me that I was playing a Resident Evil game. The freakiness of those things made me laugh.

Jake and Sherry’s Storyline

Completed in 6:51:31

The story starts out with Jake Muller, am Edonian Liberation Army mercenary, escaping from a bio-terrorist attack taking place in his city. Unbeknownst to him at the time, Jake is Albert Wesker’s son which is why Sherry Birkin, a DSO agent, is sent to Edonia to extract him safely from his country so that his blood can be tested for anti-bodies for the C-Virus.

This storyline didn’t feel much like a Resident Evil game, but it reminded me a lot of Resident Evil 5 because most of the enemies are more like humans than they are the typical zombie. A lot of this campaign consisted of trying to escape from an enormous monster called the Ustanak (seen in the picture above) who always seems to be hot on your tail. I lost count of how many times I encountered this guy, but this story almost felt like one long boss battle with some puzzles and storyline mixed in. This wasn’t a bad thing and I actually enjoyed the way this one was laid out.

Ada’s Storyline

Completed in 5:24:18

In the other campaigns it’s discovered that National Security Adviser Derek C. Simmons has played a major role in the bio-terrorism attacks taking place around the world. Ada keeps to herself and stays in the background while following all of the other characters in the game, manipulating their storylines while also keeping track of Simmons and discovering his true intentions.

You can’t play Ada’s story until completing the other three campaigns and she’s the only character that doesn’t have a partner. Since she doesn’t have a partner to rescue her when she’s down, the campaign is slightly more difficult than the others, but by this point you should already be pretty good at the game. Ada’s story fills in all of the little bits and pieces left over from the other campaigns and explains why Ada is sometimes helpful and other times pure evil.

My Thoughts on The Story

There really isn’t much of a story in RE6, but the small amount of story that the game does have is silly and mostly non-sensical. There are a couple of examples that really stuck out while I was playing.

There are several scenes where Chris and Piers campaign intersects with Jake and Sherry’s. In one particular scene, Chris tells Jake that he was the one who killed his father and Jake gets so upset that he starts yelling and threatening to kill Chris by pointing a gun at his head. But what makes this odd is that Jake’s father was an evil man and Jake never even knew who his father was before Sherry told him. Never in the game was it implied that he had any emotional connection to his father so his reaction in this scene was odd.

My worst gripe about the story is about the main storyline. The president of the United States was going to announce to the world about the original zombie outbreak that happened in Raccoon City. Derek Simmons felt this would make the U.S. look weak in the eyes of other countries around the world and thought it would threaten U.S security, so what did he do? Simmons released the virus of course! The president became a zombie and wasn’t able to tell anyone about Raccoon City, so mission accomplished I guess. That just doesn’t make any sense.

The story in RE6 isn’t good, but it’s the action and fun gameplay that keeps this game going.

The Partner System

Except for Ada’s campaign, all of the other storylines require that you play with a partner, whether it’s controlled by the computer or a friend. We all know how frustrating it can be in games when you have to play with a computer-controlled character so I was a little worried about that, but shortly into the game it became clear that it wasn’t going to be a problem at all.

My biggest worry was that I would have to heal my partner or revive them when they’ve fallen, because it’s frustrating to play a game where a mission is failed when the AI character dies. I played the game on normal, so I don’t know if it’s different in harder modes, but your partner is indestructible and cannot die.

The computer AI is also pretty smart. Your partner always stays nearby so that if you fall and need to be revived, they can usually get to you before an enemy finishes you off. You’ll also never find your partner just standing around when enemies are nearby and they rarely get in your way.

The game and stories are also designed well around utilizing your partner, for example your partner can help you reach unattainable areas, break through doors or provide cover when you’re trying to complete an objective.

I have no complaints at all about the partner system in RE6 and in fact I think the developers did an awesome job making it work.

The Enemies and Bosses

As I mentioned earlier in the section about Chris Redfield’s campaign, some new enemies are introduced in RE6 called the J’avo. These are super creepy. The first time I saw one in the game I laughed, but then I ran away because I had no idea what these weird things were going to do. Some fly, some crab walk. I love these guys!

Warning: There may be spoilers here. If you’re the kind of person who likes to figure out how to kill enemies yourself, you might want to skip this part. But maybe you’ll just forget about this stuff by the time you play the game 😉

My favorite part about games with big boss battles is trying to figure out how to kill the bosses. RE6 made every boss battle fun and interesting in this regard.

One example is the battle with Ada’s sister. You can waste all the ammo you want on her but you’ll get nowhere if you don’t shoot the yellow spots on her tentacles.

Another example is one of the final boss battles with one of the most enormous monsters I’ve ever seen. Not only do you have to avoid the attacks from this monster, but you’re also constantly bombarded with a never-ending barrage of zombies. And just when you think you’re starting to put a dent in this boss’s HP, he picks up a zombie and eats him, regenerating all the health you’ve just worked so hard on taking away. The trick here is to pick up a large lightning rod and ram it through one of the zombies, pinning the zombie to the ground. He’ll grab that zombie the next time he needs some health and will be struck by lightning.

There are several boss battles like the above where several steps are required to do damage, but I don’t want to give too much more away. Some of the these battles are even quite frustrating, but when you finally figure it out, you get a real feeling of accomplishment.

Puzzles

There are some really fun puzzles here – creative puzzles that I don’t really see much in video games anymore. One such puzzle involved having to gather pieces of an emblem that was needed to open a door. The character has to crawl through small booby-trapped areas while trying to figure out how to avoid spinning blades or zombies. Or both!

Another memorable puzzle was based on a falling floor that would open up once too much weight was placed on it. If you don’t use your crossbow much, you won’t realize that you can actually pin enemies to the wall with your arrows. This keeps them from joining you on the weight-sensitive floor and you can finish the task at hand.

I never found the puzzles to be repetitive. I would have liked there to be more puzzles though.

Multiplayer Modes

I didn’t have the chance to play multiplayer or any of the online modes, so I can’t provide a review on those features, but the game has two modes that you can play: “Mercenaries” and “Agent Hunt.” Three additional downloadable modes, “Predator”, “Survivors” and “Onslaught, ” have also been added since the last time I played RE6 at a cost of 720 Microsoft points.

Agent Hunt – When playing in a campaign, one of the options is to allow Agent Hunt mode. This mode allows other players around the world the ability to join your game as an enemy creature. You will be notified when players have joined your game, but you’ll have no idea which creatures are played by humans. If you’re playing as an enemy, once you’re killed, you’ll respawn as another enemy.

Mercenaries – The goal of this mini-game is to defeat as many creatures as possible within the time limit, which starts at 2 minutes and 20 seconds. You can add time by smashing time crystals, killing enemies and utilizing combos. The points you earn from this mode unlock new costumes.

Predator – This mode can be played with up to 6 players, with one always playing the Ustanak, the baddie from Jake’s campaign. Players earn points by attacking the Ustanak, but lose points for being captured or taken down by him. Each player gets a turn as the Ustanak before the round ends.

Survivors – This mode is for 2 to 6 players. This is your typical “deathmatch” mode in which it’s everyone vs. everyone. When you die, you come back as an enemy character and when you successful kill one of the other players, you respawn as a human again.

Onslaught – This is a two player only mode. Each player needs to kill as many enemies as they can. When enemies are killed, they are sent over to the other players screen. If you suck at killing bad guys, expect to be over-run quickly.

Additional Thoughts

There are some other things I thought were worth mentioning, but not requiring their own sections.

Little-used features – I thought there were some features of the game that were little-used and I would have liked the game to incorporate more into all of the campaigns, such as sliding and shooting from cover. Sliding was rarely used at all, but I did find cover shooting especially handy in Chris’ story.

It’s all in the details – I had a lot of fun watching for small details the developers added that might be missed if you’re just running through the game, such as cool shadows (like in the image above), stumbling over dead bodies and unique camera angles. One of the funnier things I enjoyed was when the j’avo would jump onto another j’avo’s shoulders to get a platform for jumping even further towards you.

Skill points – You collect points throughout the game by finding them in broken boxes or dropped by enemies. You can use these points at the end of a mission to purchase abilities such as increased weapon damage, increased accuracy, or increased damage to a certain character. I liked the idea of buying upgrades but I didn’t like being limited to using only three at a time. For me, this ended up with me using only a select few abilities and then never changing it again throughout the game.

Final Verdict

Resident Evil 6 has strayed away from the survival horror genre and is much more of an adventure game. There’s so much action in RE6 that it’s like being immersed in an action film that never ends. The action was so non-stop that it regularly made me laugh. It was ridiculous, but I liked it.

A lot of the reviews I’ve seen have said that RE6 tried to do too many things in one game, but I disagree. They did do a ton of things in this game, but I don’t think it was too much. It really kept the entire game interesting. I felt like I was always waiting to see what the game had in store for me next.

I had a lot of fun with Resident Evil 6. I thought the game was extremely enjoyable and is definitely worth buying. With the ability to replay RE6 as all of the characters in addition to having five online modes, this game has re-playability value too.

Rock Band DLC: Cruefest Pack + Free Single

Crue Fest

The next update for Rock Band brings some good ‘ol Cruefest content. Each track available will cost only 0.99 this time around and there’ll also be a free single, “Promised Land” by fictional band Vesuvias from the upcoming comedy, The Rocker. Here are the tracks that won’t be free;

  • “Down the Whisky” by Motley Crue
  • “Time is Running Out” by Papa Roach
  • “Who’s Going Home With You Tonight” by Trapt

LEGO Indiana Jones Demo on XBLM

LEGO Indiana Jones
Do you like LEGO’s? How about Indiana Jones? I love both and so should you. And if you’re anything like me you’ll want to head on over to the Xbox Live Marketplace and download the demo for LEGO Indiana Jones immediately. GO GET IT!