Zelda A Link Between Two Worlds Review

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Introduction

Zelda A Link Between Two Worlds is a pretty neat little game with a very interesting mechanic behind it. I’ve never really been able to get into any Zelda games and I’ll admit my 3DS was purchased purely to play the new Pokemon game on, so imagine my surprise when I found myself enjoying this game. So what makes this a game worth playing?

The game follows our hero, Link, as he battles a villain who is seeking to transform the Seven Sages into paintings, adding them all to his horrid collection. When Castle Hyrule is attacked by the menace things really get underway, sending our hero on his quest to save princess Zelda and the Sages.

Gameplay

imageWhat I really enjoy about Zelda is the casual gameplay. It’s easy to pick up and play and you don’t need to invest hours at a time to enjoy it. Exploring Hyrule and Lowrule is good fun, using a number of different tools to help get to new locations. The added ability to transform into a painting and meld with walls adds a whole new level of exploration and puzzle solving. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I saw pictures of Link turning into a painting but I’m impressed with how well the concept works.

Puzzle solving works well in this game, giving the player a range of abilities and tools to help them get from A to B and discover treasure or hidden items. The puzzles aren’t overly taxing but they are enjoyable and add a little something more to the game.

Combat starts out pretty basic but as you progress through the game it gets a little deeper. The new items the player acquires help out in fights, all causing different types of chaos for your enemies to deal with. One thing that I found to be pretty different is how the players user interface becomes more intuitive as they progress, the quick skills bar evolving with time.

Graphics

The graphics are pretty good, a top down, cartoon style. It’s just what you’d expect from a game built for the 3DS. The style works really well and works perfectly with the 3D option.

Speaking of 3D, I found that it works well in Zelda, the most tolerable game I’ve played yet with 3D on. After a while though the novelty wore off and I went back to 2D but I’m sure there will be plenty of players out there who will be able to play all the way through with 3D on.

What I liked

I loved the way that this game mixes things up with new concepts like turning into a painting to explore. It’s different to anything I’ve played in quite some time and really adds depth to the game. I can’t really imagine this being a particularly great game without these added concepts.

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What I disliked

That the guy I rented my house out to kept taking my rented items if I died! Damn you!

Stand Out Feature

It’s definitely the range of unique tools and abilities this game gives the player. It just adds so much and really helps to mix things up. I’ve had some great moments staring at the screen figuring out where on earth I need to go next when a lightbulb moment hits me and I use one of my tools to fly over some spikes or meld with a wall to cross a mountain ledge. Hats off to the developers on this one, some really good fun things to play with.

Conclusion

As I said at the start of this review I’m not a fan of the Zelda franchise but I’ve really enjoyed my time with this game. I’ve enjoyed it so much that I’ve even decided to give Ocharina Of Time another blast!

If you’re looking for something to sink a fair amount of time into on your 3DS then is recommend giving this game a blast. I’d almost go as far to say I’ve enjoyed it more than Pokemon… almost…

Give it a go and see for yourself how much fun this game is. You won’t regret it.

Zelda A Link Between Worlds Impressions

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I’ll admit, I’ve never really gotten along with Zelda games. I attempted to give it a go on the N64 when it first came out and I enjoyed it a little but it wasn’t one of my favourites. My 3DS has been a little neglected, growing unloved now I don’t sink much time into Pokemon so I needed a new game. I saw the reviews and user opinions of Zelda A Link Between Worlds, and decided to give it a go.

My first few hours have been great fun. It’s a pretty casual game and looks very nice. The puzzles are fun, and the world is enjoyable to explore, a fantastic art style really shining through on the 3DS. 

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this game but so far I’ve had a blast, wandering the kingdom of Hyrule and battling a range of enemies. I’ll post a full review once I’m done with the game but so far so good! Let’s hope it keeps it up.

My Top 10 Gadgets 2013

Below is a list of my top 10 favourite gadgets that I used throughout 2013. I got to play with a whole load of different toys and enjoyed most of those. Check out my thoughts below and click the links for more details in Amazon.

1: Macbook Pro Retina 13 inch 

 

Recently I took the plunge and upgraded from my 11 inch Macbook Air and I’m very glad I did. The Macbook Pro is a stunning machine. Its fast, responsive and above all the screen is beautiful.  

I’m no Apple fan boy, far from it in fact, but I’ve got a place in my heart reserved for MacBooks. So far my pro has served me well and is a fantastic step up from my Macbook Air. I love the larger screen size and the retina display is to die for. 

The device just feels premium and is everything I could ask for. For what I need, the Macbook Pro Retina is perfect and I would recommend it above everything else. True love has been found in 2013. 

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 was my personal phone for the best part of 2013 and I loved it. I recently changed to the Sony Xperia Z1 and find that I miss the screen size and stylus from my Note. Even it’s cheaper plastic finish isn’t enough to put me off, in fact its a bonus, making the device light weight. The Note 2 is easily my favourite phone that I used in 2013. 

Sony hit a niche market with this product. The camera on my phone is one of the biggest features I use and now with the QX10 lens I don’t really need to worry about the camera quality onboard my chosen phone. The device has god battery, is small and compact and relatively easy to use even for an amateur like myself.  

The zoom is absolutely fantastic and snapping pics in low light conditions is amazing. The lens far exceeds any dedicated camera built into a smart phone that I have used so far and that includes the Nokia Lumia 1020. 

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So I felt it was time to upgrade my graphics card in 2013 and I’m glad I did. This was the first year that I played some big name single player games from start to finish and actually enjoyed them. Games like Bioshock Infinite ran like a dead dog on my previous card but after installing my GTX 680 it ran like a dream. 

Nvidias physx also added a little spice compared to my previous AMD card. Its nothing to really shout about but there were a few noticeable differences in certain games that caught my eye, the biggest being in Planet Side 2 with its oddly beautiful teleporter effects. 

2013 was the year that I returned to dedicated portable gaming hardware thanks to Pokemon’s lure. I had always used a tablet or phone for casual gaming, singing the devices praises and condemning portable gaming hardware, saying how redundant it was. It wasn’t until I returned to true hardware controls that I realised how wrong I had been. 

The 3DS is a lovely size and very comfortable to hold. Its got a great sized screen and has a pretty good catalogue of games. I’m glad I made the move back to a portable console and couldn’t be more impressed with this device. 

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I have a love hate relationship with Sony. I want to love their products but I’ve always been unlucky in the past with all my Sony branded products going faulty. So with great reluctance I gave up my note 2 and got myself an Xperia Z1. 

Am I glad I did? Kind of. The camera is hit and miss, half of the time it takes better quality photos than I’ve ever taken before, the other half it captures horrid blurs. It feels so solid and premium unlike most Android devices which is a welcome change and the waterproof feature actually works! Its beyond fast, responding like lightning and very rarely lagging. 

The downside is its huge and my device is already faulty which is a real shame. I’ve had it exchanged and the second unit was faulty so it appears my bad luck with Sony has continued. 

The Nexus 7 is my tablet of choice at the moment. Its a relatively low cost, yet powerful device. Sporting pure Android with no manufacturer interference leaves the Nexus running blazingly fast. 

Its light weight and feels great in the hand, its rubberised back and sides stopping it from sliding all over the place and making it easier to grip. The screen size is both a positive and a negative, small enough for light browsing, gaming and work but too small for anything more. 

Overall I’m impressed with the Nexus and have so far enjoyed using it on the train to work.  

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Ah the iPad mini. This would easily be my device of the year if it wasnt for a certain software update. The iPad mini feels and looks fantastic. The screen size is perfect for on the go work and gaming. Its not too big and not too small, the best tablet size I have used. The battery life was good and it ran smoothly, never skipping a beat. 

So what changed? iOS 7 landed, turning my iPad mini into a horribly slow device. My iPad was so slow it had become unbearable to use. I understand that older Apple hardware begins to run terribly slow as new software updates land but the iPad Mini was still a current device at the time of iOS 7. In my opinion this was a terrible move by Apple. 

I miss my iPad mini as it was easily the best tablet I have ever used. After the way Apple destroyed my device I don’t think I’ll be taking the plunge and updating to the latest model. 

My first Windows 8 tablet. There is huge potential from these hybrid devices but I still don’t feel like any manufacture has gotten dit right so far. I really enjoyed my time with the Ativ Smart PC Pro but it ultimately felt like a jack of all trades. As a tablet it was average and as a laptop it was average. 

The keyboard dock was plagued with disconnection issues and as tablet the device was just too big and bulky. The thing that really killed my experience was Windows 8 which offered a very jarring experience. Modern UI and desktop mode just don’t fit together at all killing any seamless experience you would expect from a device such as this. 

The concept is sound and the potential is massive but I can’t help but feel that these hybrid devices are just lacking. 

So I mentioned already that I have a love hate relationship with Sony and the same applies with the Xperia Tablet Z. I loved the feel of it. Its so slim, with a beautiful screen and gorgeous matte finish. Its probably the nicest looking Android tablet out there. 

However its incredibly slow. Almost everything I did on the device was laggy unless I installed a custom launcher. Web browsing was poor and just navigating menus was slow. I’m not entirely sure what Sony did to this device to make it respond so poorly! Needless to say my time was short lived with this device.

 

 

3DS XL Circle Pad Pro Impressions

I picked up the circle pad pro after reading some positive reviews and must admit I’m pleasantly surprised by it. One issue I have found with handheld consoles is that they just feel a bit cramped when playing. My fingers get sore after a long play through and the whole experience is uncomfortable.

The biggest win for the circle pad in my opinion isn’t the extra joy stick but the extra size. Using the DSXL in the circle pad feels right, its so incredibly comfortable. It fits my hands perfectly and makes playing for longer periods of time possible for a change. Even when I don’t need the extra controls the pad offers I leave it attached as I just cant go back to using my 3DS without it.

So touching on some of the extras the pad was intended for. The extra joystick is obviously a big win, especially in games like monster Hunter. It just adds to the experience and makes controlling the game so much easier. The shoulder buttons feel nicely spaced and the device On the whole feels responsive and premium.

I would recommend the circle pad pro to anyone. Its a fantastic add on for anyone who owns a 3DS or 3DS XL. If like myself you have large hands then this is your perfect companion for handheld gaming. Absolutely top class piece of kit.

Pokemon Y First Impressions

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When I decided to give the Pokemon franchise another go my expectations weren’t particularly high. I remember the days of playing Pokemon Blue and how much fun that was, nothing would compare to that. So with that in mind I powered on the latest instalment, wary that any of the newer Pokemon games id played had grown old fast.

The first thing that shocked me was just how well the art style has transitioned across into a fully fledged 3D game. We are no longer playing a pixellated sprite game, everything about this looks great. Walking around the house you start up in just feels so much more immersive, it’s actually fun to take a look around and explore the building unlike previous generations where you are in a small boring room.

You set off on your journey and straight away you can run… No slow walking, no having to wait forever to move a little faster. Also the old classic fetch a parcel or egg or something random quest has gone, you just set off on your journey and dive straight into the good stuff.

Theres a massive range of pokemon to catch and collect right at the beginning and almost immediately you pick up an exp share which shares out exp from a battle with your entire squad putting less pressure on you to choose who will be your lead pokemon.

So far the game really feels like something new unlike previous generations which have felt like the original game just with small tweaks. The world is fleshed out and due to the new art style and graphics its just great fun to explore. Theres a whole host of small tweaks but ill touch on those when I give a more detailed impression of the game.

So far ive sunk only a few hours in but for the first time since Blue I really cant wait to power the game back on and waste a good portion of my life playing.

Check it out at Pokemon Y