Gaming Geek’s Log – 2015.02.27

I’ve had my New Nintendo 3DS XL for more than a week now but haven’t been able to really enjoy its new features because I’ve been playing Conception 2 and Pokemon Shuffle. Well, IRONFALL Invasion just came out on the eShop today and it’s a great game to fully test what the New Nintendo 3DS XL has to offer.

Conception 2

Let me talk about Conception 2 a bit first. I started playing Conception 2: Children of the Seven Stars because I thought the release of the New Nintendo 3DS XL would get delayed in my country. It did get delayed, but was still released early enough that I’m still not done with Conception 2. Now I’m kind of in a rush to get through this game because I can’t wait to start my The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D playthrough.

Conception 2 isn’t really that bad, but it’s not that good either. It’s an RPG with visual novel/dating sim elements, and right now it really feels like Atlus just tacked on the RPG aspect of the game to add more gameplay features to a dating sim. Like other visual novels, the story of Conception 2 takes a while to pick up and build momentum and when the story starts to get interesting, the RPG part interrupts it. I’ll talk about this more in detail when I’m able to get to my Conception 2 article, so I’ll leave it at that for now.

Now, Conception 2 doesn’t really make good use of the 3D functionality of the 3DS so I’ve been playing it with the 3D turned off most of the time. Aside from the bigger screens, playing Conception 2 on the New Nintendo 3DS XL isn’t that much different from playing it on the Nintendo 2DS. I’m still slogging my way through this game and the closer I get to the end, the more it starts to feel dragging. I’m not going to stop though – I’m going to keep at this until I beat it, even if it means postponing my much-anticipated Ocarina of Time 3D experience.

Pokemon Shuffle

The release of Pokemon Shuffle isn’t helping my progress in Conception 2 at all. A free “Candy Crush-esque” game that was recently released, I didn’t expect to get hooked on Pokemon Shuffle, but I have to admit that I  am. I played Candy Crush before and I did enjoy it for some time, but that game didn’t hold my attention long enough. The additional Pokemon mechanics incorporated in Pokemon Shuffle made this game more appealing to me.

Pokemon Shuffle follows the same “match 3 or more shapes” concept of Candy Crush, but instead of having differently shaped candies to match, you have different types of Pokemon. This goes beyond aesthetics though, as each Pokemon has its own element and attributes. A round of Pokemon Shuffle is presented similarly to a standard Pokemon battle wherein you’re up against a certain Pokemon. The battle involves matching sets of Pokemon, and every time you form a match, you deal damage to the Pokemon that you’re battling against. If you deal enough damage, you defeat the Pokemon and have the opportunity to catch it and use it against other Pokemon.

So, unlike Candy Crush which rewards players with high score rankings and pushes them to get as far into the game as they can, Pokemon Shuffle offers players the opportunity to “catch ’em all” which stays true to the spirit of the Pokemon brand. And right now, I’m hooked. Playing a round of Pokemon Shuffle doesn’t take a lot of my time and seeing my Pokemon collection grow is really rewarding. Pokemon Shuffle is a great palate cleanser in between other games and is definitely going to get a lot of my time.

IRONFALL Invasion

I’m already having a hard time catching up on my backlog, and the free games released recently doesn’t help me at all. First came the Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Special Demo which offers enough of a gaming experience for something that’s free, then came Pokemon Shuffle right after. Like I mentioned earlier, IRONFALL Invasion was released earlier today and it’s sure to get some of my time and attention.

IRONFALL Invasion is an eShop only game, a third person over-the-shoulder shooter (think Gears of War). Currently, you can download IRONFALL Invasion for free and it comes with two game modes – a single player Campaign mode and a multiplayer mode for up to six players. You can play the first Campaign mission for free, and can access one multiplayer map in a local or online multiplayer game, which is why we’ve (me and the StreetPass group that I play with) been waiting for this to be released.

I managed to play IRONFALL Invasion a little today just to test out its mechanics and so far, I’m impressed. The graphics are amazing especially with 3D turned on, and the gameplay is smooth. On the New Nintendo 3DS XL, I’m able to use the C-Stick for aiming but it takes some getting used to. Actually, I’m still not used to it and will probably need to play this game a little bit more to get the hang of it but I’m really impressed with what I’ve seen so far.

What really stood out to me is the enemy AI – they don’t just stand around and wait to get hit, they actually act according to what the situation requires. I was trying to get good position against one enemy, who took cover behind some walls, and got surprised when another enemy outflanked me. That’s really impressive! I’ll save my other IRONFALL Invasion thoughts for my next post, but let me just say this – I can’t wait to download a copy on my Nintendo 2DS.

This weekend, we’re planning a local multiplayer IRONFALL Invasion session, so I’ll need some practice in order to get used to the game’s controls. That means less time for Conception 2, but I don’t mind. 

 

And that’s it for today. I keep saying this at the end of most of my journal entries, but I can’t help it – I’m really glad that I own 3DS devices and my experience with the 3DS just keeps getting better and better.

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