When Avalanche Software’s Disney Infinity was announced, some people questioned if there was any point in the empire of the Mouse trying to horn in on what appeared to be a niche market with a clear monopoly. Of course, it didn’t take long to see that the magic of the Magic Kingdom was a power to be reckoned with. Last year, when I reviewed Disney Infinity (you should read that review), I mentioned that it was within the realm of possibility that Disney could include Marvel in an upcoming release of Infinity. Lo and behold, the inclusion of the Marvel universe has come to pass in Avalanche’s latest release, Disney Infinity 2.0; but is this version merely just an expansion involving characters only? No – this is much, much more.
A few days ago, our intrepid Thumber, Seán O’Sullivan, attended a post E3 Nintendo event chock-full of demos and Nintendo-y goodness. His experience was too much to document in one pass, so we have a second post for you. Enjoy! – ed.
This past E3 saw each of the “big three” firing on all six cylinders to impress upon gamers that the best is yet to come; but Nintendo’s showing was particularly successful at changing the Wii U’s prognosis from more cynical gamers (enough that a poll of IGN’s readers showed the majority rated Nintendo as “winning E3″).
Nintendo recently invited Toronto Thumbs and other Canadian outlets to a post-E3 demo session, where multiple kiosks were available to showcase the big hitters coming this holiday season and beyond for Wii U and 3DS.
The Mario Kart series has always been one of Nintendo’s most fun and reliable franchises. These kart racing games place you in the roles of some of Nintendo’s most beloved heroes and villains (from the Mario series of games) in wild and wacky races across really cool tracks. Mario Kart 8 (co-developed with Namco Bandai Games) for the Wii U is no exception, and while it may not really rock the boat in terms of innovation, there are a couple of new features that will be sure to get your motor running!
Your phone rings and you pick up, receiving your mission during the short conversation that ensues. Your job? Infiltrate an enemy-infested location and hack into their system. The catch? There are at least ten heavily-armed guards scattered about the inside of the building – and your only approach runs right through their midst, and there is very little cover. You approach the building, pulling your mask on and tugging down on the brim of your baseball cap. You maintain a low profile, keeping cover in between you and the guard pacing outside. You stop behind a dumpster, a stone’s throw from the closed garage door that is to be your access. You smile, chuckling silently as you pull out your phone and hack into the surveillance camera, using the line of site provided by the device to open the door. The guards swivel around, not sure what is going on – especially since you set off two different car alarms. As the guards mill about in confusion, you take out a few of them by overloading a nearby junction box (noticing a series of cameras that will each get you a step closer to the terminal that is your target). You grin, tapping your phone’s touchscreen, taking out guards as you go.
All in a day’s work for Aiden Pearce. Welcome to Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs. In short, a great game that falls a little short of high expectations – but one that should be played none the less.
When I play a superhero game, I want to be able to feel like I am that superhero. The Batman Arkham series, for instance, really makes the player feel like Batman (with all the gadgets, the stealth, and the awesome fights). There have been a number of different Spider-Man games over the years, but Activision’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (developed by Beenox) does a really great job of placing the player behind the mask of Spider-Man when you’re web-slinging and swinging through the city. Sadly, this awesome open-world mobility is at odds with most of the rest of the game. I took this game for a spin (tee hee) on the Playstation 4, and found myself both immensely satisfied and and desperately wanting more all at once.
A good game is a pleasant diversion, helping you pass time in an entertaining way. A great game captures your imagination and ceases to feel like a game, feeling like a world unto itself and making time seem like nothing – leaving you wanting more. These days, role-playing games, the very games that should all fall into the “great” category, have gone astray; with “grindy” mechanics and semi-tolerable plots, most modern RPGs lack that “je ne sais quoi”, sending them straight into the merely “good” category. Ubisoft’s Child of Light, on the other hand, is nothing short of magical. Trust me, you have not seen a platforming RPG like this one.