Gaming Geek’s Log – 2015.07.02

I managed to scrounge up lots of free time over the past few days so I’ve got a lot of stuff to talk about regarding IronFall Invasion, Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move, Pokemon Shuffle, and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D.

a 3ds - ironfall invasion

Surprisingly, I’m done with the single player campaign of IronFall Invasion. It’s hard to get a bead on how I should feel about this game – admittedly it feels like IronFall Invasion lacks substance, but if I remind myself that this game only cost me ten dollars (just the single player campaign) then I know that I’m actually getting a lot for what I paid for.

In terms of the basic mechanics, IronFall Invasion is very polished – the graphics looked really good, considering that this is a third person shooter for the Nintendo 3DS. The controls are crisp and responsive, and the actual control scheme for the New Nintendo 3DS worked well for the most part. In terms of design, IronFall Invasion is adequate – there’s enough variety in terms of enemy types (relative to the game’s length) and weapons that are available. The levels look good enough and have varied layouts that didn’t feel repetitive, even though there’s only one path to take in most of the levels.

Where IronFall Invasion‘s campaign is most lacking is the story elements and the characterization. The game starts off with the human/alien conflict already in place, and the plot really doesn’t progress forward. All you’re doing is preventing the Dyxides from enacting their plans, and the plans themselves don’t have any rhyme or reason – it feels like the Dyxides are just striking random locations without a real goal in mind. But again, IronFall Invasion‘s campaign missions just cost me ten dollars. For that amount of money, I don’t think it’s reasonable to ask for more content.

I’ll talk more about IronFall Invasion when I do an article for it (some part of me still believes that I can do this, even though it’s been months since I last wrote a game-specific post). For now, I’d recommend IronFall Invasion to anyone who owns a New Nintendo 3DS or the Circle Pad Pro accessory because this is one of the few games in the Nintendo 3DS library that makes good use of the additional controls.

One last thought about IronFall Invasion – am I going to replay this game? I beat the campaign mode on Normal difficulty and have only tried one of the Challenge stages, so there’s still some replay value left. I think there’s a good chance that I’ll try beating the single player campaign on the harder difficulty settings somewhere down the line. Like I said, there are very few shooters available on the Nintendo 3DS, so if I do get that itch to shoot stuff up, I’ll probably go to IronFall Invasion to address it.

a 3ds - minis on the move

I finally solved all sixty standard puzzles in the Puzzle Palace mode earlier today, so now I only have two modes left to play (not counting the Expert level puzzles). Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move is a solid puzzler – the two modes that I’ve played so far share basic puzzle mechanics but have enough differences that made my experience with both modes different enough to not feel repetitive. It also feels great every time I figure out the solution to a level. Right now, I’m playing the Many Mini Mayhem mode which offers another take on the same basic puzzle mechanics of the game. I’ll talk about this mode in more detail next time, after I play more of its puzzles.

Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move is a good addition to the games that I use as palate cleansers – quick games that I can play in between sessions of whatever main game it is that I’m playing. Hmm, maybe I should do a write up on palate cleansers and how it helps me break the monotony of focusing on a particular game without causing me to stop playing that game altogether.

a 3ds - pokemon shuffle

This week’s update is relatively simple – another Mega Event. I was expecting the developers of Pokemon Shuffle to make Mega Charizard available since it’s the only remaining Pokemon Red/Blue starter that doesn’t have its Mega Stone but instead we’re playing for another Electric type Mega Pokemon in the form of Mega Manetric.

After understanding how I could farm for Coins on the Meowth stage, I’ve changed my approach to these Mega Events. Before, I’d try to get a qualifying rank without spending Coins, but I found that approach to be really stressful and wasteful. I’d end up spending a lot of Hearts on replaying these Mega stages, which is wasteful because I’m limited to training certain Pokemon and I’m not earning any Coins in the process.

Now, what I did was to just spend as much Coins as I’m allowed on powerups and get a safe, high enough rank that I’m confident will qualify for the Mega Stone once the Mega Event ends. By doing this, I’m able to use my Hearts for farming Coins and training the Pokemon that I want to train. I’ve already made up the Coins that I spent on my initial attempt at the Mega Event, so all that’s left to see is whether I do end up qualifying for the prize. I haven’t missed on any of the Mega Pokemon that have been released, so I hope this new approach works.

In terms of my “goals” for Pokemon Shuffle, I’ve actually been making really good progress. I’ve already unlocked three of the remaining four Expert stages on my New Nintendo 3DS XL and have unlocked the Genesect stage on my girlfriend’s profile. This puts both of us in good positions for the coming update – both the Mega Manetric event and the Pokemon Safari / Manaphy events will end next week, so there’s room for new events. There’s no telling what’s going to happen – it could be another set of stages or another set of special events. Whatever happens, we’ll be ready.

a 3ds - zelda majoras mask 3d

I’m finally playing The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, and I can say that this game is definitely amazing. It’s has all the bells and whistles and the type of gameplay that you’d expect from a Legend of Zelda game, and yet the addition of constant time pressure and a mechanic that resets almost everything to the beginning creates an experience that no other Legend of Zelda game has given me.

I have to admit that I found Majora’s Mask 3D to be a little frustrating at first, especially when I ran out of time while I was almost at the end of the first dungeon. I had to “reset”, which meant that I had to start over from the beginning of the said dungeon. I had to go through the same obstacles, solve the same puzzles, and fight the same enemies a second time. But I think I’ve got a better handle of the game’s restrictions now, and I’ve learned not to go into a dungeon if I don’t think I have enough time for it.

I can definitely see why some people rank Majora’s Mask 3D as one of the best The Legend of Zelda games. I can also see why some people hate this game so much. Personally, I’m loving it. It looks like I’ll be spending a lot of time on this game though, due to the need to “reset” and repeat some parts of the game.

 

And that’s it for today. I’m glad I saved Majora’s Mask 3D for last – it looks like this game is going to occupy me until Senran Kagura 2 comes out. I’ve also been looking to replay some of my games, and it looks like I won’t be able to do that for quite a while. Until next time!

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