Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Demo Seen and the 3DS: Part 1 Downloadable Now

Aaaaaaaaand I'm back. The messages have been pouring through our social media channels. Where is Cunzy1 1? Well maybe they have. We think maybe the filters are too high. We didn't receive a single message. But here I am anyway. This year's E3 put me in an anti-gaming malaise. Not only was I not looking forward to what next gen has to offer (what has next gen got to offer?) but it left such a bad taste in our mouth (we share all body cavities here) that I couldn't bare to even pick up a game. Let alone play a game. Let alone write about a game. I've spent my time watching Let's Plays on Youtube and crying into our wank sock (we share that too). 

Backstreet(Pass)'s Back
And then Pokemon Y came out. Global release. Which meant I had to get a 3DS and boy. Wow. We're back in. We love games again. Pokemon Wersion X and Pokemon Wersion Y are fine games, more on that in a blog post for another time, what impressed us most jumping on the 3DS is virtually everything about the 3DS.

I'd been sitting on the fence with the 3DS for a while. There were some games I would probably enjoy playing but it felt too much like reruns of the DS and DSi. I don't know who console and handheld makers thing their audience is but £200 (the price of a 3DS, don't even  get us started on next gen's console prices) is not a small amount of money by any means and until Pokemon Y came along there was no way of justifying that spend. Well, more of a case of bypassing justification and going straight into lying in the supermarket aisle kicking a screaming "I neeeeeeeeeeeed a 3DS for Pokemon". 

eCrack
Now we have our hands on one, we're super impressed. We thought that perhaps the tubes we were firing the Nintendo Now Showing posts down somehow weren't connected to the Internet. The Nintendo Channel and Shop Channel on the Wii, a mental mental massively popular console, just continued to disappoint with awful videos, every rarer updates, a tiny selection of demos for games you felt less likely to buy after downloading if you could be bothered to keep juggling virtual console and Wiiware games to and from SD cards to free up enough blocks. Fortunately, this side of the Wii seems to have been nought more than a testing ground for the much much much improved 3DS and probably Wii-U eShop. We bought a 3DS a week before Pokemon came out and filled that week playing nothing but demos. Amazing demos. A variety of gaming experiences that washed away our memories of rubbish last gen and got us excited about gaming again like the wonderful technicolor happy days of the PS2. A heady mix of indie games, popular franchises, arcadey experiences and off the wall batshit stuff. Games that make us smile. That's the problem with last gen's home consoles there wasn't enough to excite the old grey matter.

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So we played a bunch of demos. Well, the activity log, the 3DS offspring of the Wii's Nintendo Channel (R.I.P.) tells us we've played demos for 15 hours and counting and here's what we think. Why should you care what we think about months old demos of games for a nearly three year old system? We didn't say you should. Don't be so fucking presumptuous. 

Face it, if the Police found this on your hard drive you're done. 
Etrian Odyssey IV One of those amazing games that sounds like the first three weren't released in Europe. Turns out they were. Either way it's a lovely game. Get past the gratuitous tit and vag paedo character art and it's a game you can spend hours and hours with doing nothing more than filling out a map. Think Rogue in FPS with cartography and you're there. This demo is restricted to three plays only which is the same way drug dealers get you hooked on crack. Inspired. It'll sell twelve copies. 

AiRace Speed We'd make the fairly uncontroversial statement that your demo download service is only as good as the demos on it. The Wii Nintendo Channel was full of awful crap you wouldn't force your worst enemies to play through and there are some stinkers up on the eShop. We were sure this was going to be one of them. Crap title. Uninspiring logo. MIND BLOWINGLY LOVELY. The full game is less than a fiver and we've got a fiver's worth of game from the demo alone. Play it. It squishes all the correct squishy bits in the brain as F Zero, Descent, Wipeout, Burnout's crash mode and oddly Tunnel B1 mixed together and fuck it, whilst we're here it's all of that ON SPEED. Download it already. 

Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] By far one of the worst demos both in terms of the section you get to play and playing the game itself. We loved Kingdom Hearts but the series went a bit Sonic replacing Disney heroes and villains that we love with angsty emo twats. I don't even know how many Kingdom Hearts games there are any more and this demo made me happy for that fact.

Witch & Hero This is probably a free PC flash game, there's nothing that necessitates it being on the 3DS but we were impressed by it and happy that throwaway 'Indie' experiences also have a home on 3DS. I'm not convinced that a demo would make me want to buy FUCK IT IT'S LESS THAN £4. 

Peter Jackson's Metal Gear Solid and the Philosipher's Prisoner of 3D Snakes Official Game of the Game. Like Kingdom Hearts, we lost our way with this series. We played the first one to death, watched a sibling play the second one and then the schlocky adolescent nonsense of a plot just drove us away. Internet communities still seek the deep and hidden meaning in this series. They've got as much luck as SETI to be honest. It just isn't there. The Japanese-ness of it mixed with X files level of scholarly integrity stretched over 200 hours doesn't make it sophisticated or clever. Saying that, I much prefer playing this on a handheld than the four abortive attempts I've made playing it on a console. In fact I may even pick it up for the game bits of it. I can make tea during the endoscope cutscenes up Kojima's arse. 

Fractured Soul Yet another game that feels way more refreshing than it ought too so bland is the palate of experiences in gaming recently. Action occurs across two screens requiring switching between the two in fast paced platforming. Get the timing of the screen switching right and the serotonin and endorphins dribble out of your nose with the flow. Get it wrong and you find yourself locked into sequences of continuously switching at exactly the wrong time proving how it's your subconscious mind that's been in control the whole time your stupid fore brain can't handle this shit. 

Rhythm Thief Rhythm games! Hurrah. In the void left by Elite Beat Agents there's a whole bunch of rhythm action games, three of which have demos. This one is perhaps the weakest of them, the rhythm and on screen action not gelling as well as it needs to. Still if tapping to the beat is your thing get on it.
Even as feminists we'd say that's a totally reasonable outfit. 
Virtue's Last Reward Yet another flavour of game in the ones available as demos, this time it's point and click adventure. The plot hinted at seems typically nonsense but the puzzle design, in the demo at least, scratch an itch that we haven't felt since Hotel Dusk. From this experience alone, we'd say it's actually better. Oh and there's breasts because GOD GROW UP INDUSTRY.

Fire Emblem Awakening We were excited to play this one. It got rave reviews and even EDGE had to admit to there being Nintendo systems to review it. Fire Emblem, like other 'core' Nintendo series seems to be a series that for one reason or another just doesn't resonate with gamers as much in Europe as it does elsewhere. I'll admit, I didn't even know the series existed until Super Smash Brothers Melee came out. By all accounts Fire Emblem Awakening is quite good even above the general accolade that gets poured on games with permadeath in by default. The demo doesn't really make it clear why that might be. The cutscenes look gorgeous though. Seriously. We'd buy all the anime series that came out in 3D on 3DS carts and we really really hate 3D. 

That's it for Part 1. Tune in in seven months time for Part 2. In the meantime go and download them all. It's free

x x x 


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