Category Archives: games

Week 1

Things I am going to do this week, apparently by writing them down publicly I might stand more of a chance of doing these.productivity-1995786_1920.jpg

  • Complete Apple Watch Activity Rings 7/7 Days
  • 3x45minute workouts on Apple Health
  • Reach 4 hours of ‘Very Productive’ each day M-F on RescueTime
  • Blog about what games I’ve been playing (and not playing)
  • Throw out more shit I don’t need from my tiny flat
  • Focus on 2-3 games, not 12 different games.
    • Formula 1 2016 (PS4)
    • Magical Starsign on (DS)
    • Zelda Picross (3DS, I might even finish it this week!!)

Roller Coaster Tycoon Classic, comes to Android and iOS

Roller Coaster Tycoon Classic came out on iPad this week and it’s awesome fun. In every way, it is exactly like the original games I spent so long with as a child.

If only there were more mobile games like this! Imagine full versions of Theme Hospital, SimCity 2000, SimTower, Age of Empires…. It would be amazing.

I’ve played through an entire Park now (Dynamite Dunes) and everything feels perfect. The game plays exactly how I remember it, the touch controls are brilliant and I experienced no lag or crashes.

My favourite addition is probably the extra speed controls. You can now make your Park run super speed, which is helpful when waiting to finish a scenario.

If you liked the originals back in the day (or even still like & play them) then please buy RCT Classic and support decent mobile ports!

Dragon Quest VII is too long, but’s that’s OK

I really want to love Dragon Quest VII, but I don’t have the time right now to do it justice and it upsets me. I’ve finished Dragon Quest IV & V for the 3DS and I jumped head first into this one when it came out in September because it seemed right up my alley.


Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past Box Art

It’s one hundred hours long, though! I’m lucky if I get 7-10 hours a week to play, so I played quite a bit for a few weeks then made a fatal mistake. I got busy and put the game down.

Going back to it, I can see this is a quintessential JRPG from an age when longer meant better. Unfortunately, my play style doesn’t match this anymore… It seems I prefer shorter RPGs, puzzle games, and racing games these days. I guess this matches the time I can invest into games!

There hasn’t been an story arc I haven’t liked so far. It’s just that I’m only a third into the game… I picked it up and played another two or so islands for a few hours, then I had to go hunting for my tablets to progress even though I’d finished the story for those islands.

Such a great game deserves to be beaten so it’s going back on the shelf until I have some time to focus on it (when there are less games on my backlog.)

Oh to be a teenager again!

Retro Thoughts – Super Mario 64

I recently played through Super Mario 64 on the WiiU Virtual Console for the first time (up to 70 stars. Enough to beat Bowser, see the credits, and get the game off my backlog.)


For a genre defining game it stand apart from everything from it’s era. However, if we look back through 2016-o-vision the cracks show.

This is Mario’s first foray into 3D environments and every level is unique and engaging, but the controls let it down in my opinion. This isn’t really a flaw in the game, or even with the Nintendo 64 it ran on. We are just so used to twin sticks in modern games to play a 3D without them feels strange and unwieldy.

Twin sticks weren’t even a thing until the year after Super Mario 64 was released (the Sony Dual Analog controller became available April 1997 for the Playstation) and not on Nintendo hardware until the Gamecube in 2001 over five years later.

For what it had, the game controlled well and even translated quite decently to a DS remaster a decade ago. The levels were fantastic (nothing felt rushed, or repeated, or a lazy cop out), the music sublime, and this game is rightly considered a classic.

It’s a shame that Nintendo’s Virtual Console is too dark, as you can see in these screenshots. You could always play on actual hardware (but I am never going be buying old consoles.. I have enough crap as it is) or resort to other solutions like emulating the game yourself on something like RetroPie or your normal computer. Why can’t Nintendo fix the darkness issue? Who knows.. Maybe they will on the NX (as they get us to ‘upgrade’ our virtual console libraries again…)

I don’t think I will ever go back and get all 120 stars. I’d probably snap my controller in half, and I have a hell of a backlog to get through anyway.

How I Learnt To Stop Buying Games

I know I’ve bought a lot of games since I got my Steam account way back in 2009. I didn’t realise just how stupid it had gotten though.

This is a screenshot of my Backloggery (a service for tracking game completion!), maybe one day I will finish all these…


I have decided my Backloggery is only going to have console games (handheld included) and Steam games I have played to completion as I honestly have no intention of playing the vast majority of them.

I removed my Steam games, but have re-added them back under the ‘null’ status so they do not affect the stats. Honestly, most of these games were bought for dirt cheap in sales and there is probably only 25-30 I actually want to complete (HL series, Fallout/Elder Scrolls, etc)

If you take the 204 games above, and played them for a conservation 15 hours each then you have 127.5 days worth of games.

To put it another way, if I managed to play around 10 hours a week they would take ridiculous 306 weeks to finish…

So… No More Games!! Or, being realistic: I need to complete 10 to buy one new 1, and I need to focus on the shorter games in my collection.

Recently I finished the story in GTA V (which was amazing), completed Return to Popolocrois: A Story of Season Fairy Tale (which I recommend if you like JRPGs) and I am currently playing Pokemon Yellow (going for a complete dex might take a while though…).

Trying to focus on one game at a time seems to be speeding up my progress. I will probably be moving on to the games I’ve nearly completed next: Luigi’s Mansion 2 & Kirby Triple Deluxe. I think I am going to focus on one ‘smaller’ game (like Picross or a 2D Mario game) and one ‘larger’ game like Skyrim or Xenoblade at a time so I don’t get bored of any single game at once.

Wish me luck! Hopefully by 2017 I will have a completion rate on backloggery of over 30% (62 games!!)

Too many games, not enough time

It’s been a while since I posted anything on my blogs.

I spent Christmas in South Wales, passed my January exams, and completed some games.

Super Mario 3D World was completed with the help of my girlfriend (We’ve not started the bonus challenge levels yet.), I got around to finishing Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies at last. Pretty good, but I should probably skip novel-like games in the future. I also completed Dragon Quest IV on the DS which had been nearly completed for months. That was a lot of fun, the last battle was phenomenally difficult.

Anyway, it’s back to studying for May exams (last ones ever!) and playing of more games in the between hours of uni/work/uni/work.

I bought Monster Hunter 4 this week so I could experience the online whilst it was still new. I’m also slowly playing through Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Fallout: New Vegas. Time is precious! Oh, I got an ambassador New 3DS too which I’ve been meaning to review at some point!

Kirby and the Third Street Saints

I’m still working through my backlog! Slowly now that uni is back on, but still a few hours a week helps massively. In September (I realise its almost November as I type this, shh) I completed Saint’s Row the Third after reinstalling it to see if it’d finally work on my PC. It did! So I continued where I left off in January 2012 and completed the story.


What a blast. (Upon reading back after drafting this, that pun wasn’t intended. Honestly!) It reminded me a lot of GTA of years gone by. I didn’t really like GTA V that much prefering Grand Theft Auto of my childhood like GTA 3 and Vice City. (Never did play San Andreas much! I will one day)

The story is a pretty typical crime drama. Gang takes over town. Gang threatened by city. Go! Shoot people, get shot, steal things, escort hookers back to their pimps, shoot pedestrians from you manapult, play in a gameshow like Takeshi’s Castle crossed with Total Wipeout.


Ethical Reality Climax

Except there are guns. I’m pretty glad I completed it. I’ll have to go back and tidy up some of the side story lines completely, but at least I completed the main story start to finish!


Kirby’s Dream Land cover art

Changing pace completely, I got around to beating Kirby’s Dream Land on 3DS Virtual Console. It’s a bit of a special game for me, as I’m 99% sure it was the first gameboy game that I ever played alongside Super Mario Land. I think it took me an hour. I wish I’d done it years ago. Anyway, it inspired me to buy Kirby Triple Deluxe which is fun so far. I’ll probably beat it this month or next.

Currently I’m playing through Disgaea 3 on the PS3 and Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale. I’ll probably play a ton more Fantasy life this month too.

The backlogged road is long!

I am slowly making progress through my backlog. Maybe by 2045 I’ll complete it…. From the first list of games to play that I posted after exams ended in May, I tried to spend time on Bad Rats (but it kept crashing), played some Hack Slash and Loot (doubt I’ll make it to an hour, I really don’t like it that much) and started on Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis.

I’m quite enjoying Fate of Atlantis and it’s reminded me how much I enjoy old LucasArts point and click adventures. I’ll have to stop off at Monkey Island soon. They’re just so much fun! Anyway whilst I continue to play OpenTTD and ignore my backlog, I thought I’d create a top games list for each of my backlogged console platforms. Here goes!



  • Lego Hobbit (15h)
  • Earthbound (30h)
  • Pikmin 3 (15h)

I’ve done a few days in Pikmin 3, and I’ve completed a chunk of LEGO Hobbit. I’ll probably just keep doing time trials in Mario Kart 8, though. Add me on Miiverse if you want to: geekyjames.


  • Phoenix Wright Dual Destinies (30h)
  • Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask (25h)
  • Magical Starsign (40h)

I’m on the 3rd case in Dual Destinies, likely going to have to restart Miracle Mask due to forgetting the story and hopefully able to get over the slooooow text in Magical Starsign although I couldn’t last time I tried.


Heh, the screenshots do it better justice… Let’s just say I’ve not started any of these really… I should pick one at random and aim to complete it. The random number generator said 3, 7, and 23… which are… Final Fantasy Tactics, Lemmings (I can finish that!), and Hotline Miami. I’ll give that my best shot…


Assassins Creed series, Ni No Kuni, Burnout CRASH… So many Playstation Plus games, that honestly makes me wonder why I bother paying around £40 a year for games that I’m likely not going to play since I still buy games on the PSN Store… At least I didn’t buy a single game in the latest steam sale!

Time to crack on, shame I’m back at work for nine days starting this week… At least I’ve finally moved house, and have few responsibilities if any until October when uni starts back up!

Completing the backlog: Fun! Fun! Minigolf! Touch!

This week I completed (unlocked everything I could) Fun! Fun! Minigolf Touch! for the 3DS. I bought it back in 2012 from the eShop because mini golf is awesome. And then I hardly played it. Maybe it’s because games with ‘Fun! Fun!’ in the title usually aren’t actually that fun? Maybe, I thought that this game was alright. Some courses were ridiculously easy, whilst others were randomly very hard.


Fun! Fun! Minigolf Touch logo

The normal mode was a blast once I got back into it, trickshot mode on the other hand wasn’t brilliant. The requirement to get the ball into a ‘safe zone’ within one shot did get a bit annoying on the more complicated levels as it required absolute precision in aiming each shot. Additonally, some of the more ‘complex’ levels were just the same courses with extra boxes and such in the way. There could of been way more imagination used between the European, Asian, and American Cups. I’m thinking hamburgers, great walls, and Eifel Towers if you get what I mean!

Overall my 3DS Activity Log showed that I’d played the game in it’s entirety for about three hours. I probably should of gotten around to finishing this years ago.

On to the next game! Maybe Phoenix Wright Dual Destiny’s or another 3DS download title. In fact I’ve organised a folder on my 3DS which contains the games I want to finish this year:

  • Mario vs Donkey [5:00]
  • Crimson Shroud [7:00]
  • Professor Layton: Miracle Mask [16:00]
  • Picross E [11:00]
  • Zenonia [17:00]
  • Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies [30:00]
  • Legend of Zelda [10:00]
  • Legend of Zelda: Links’ Awakening [16:00]
  • Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap [16:00]
  • Weapon Shop de Omasse [9:00]
  • Monster Hunter 3 [80:00+ Lol. Yeah.]
  • Pullblox/Pushmo [15:00]
  • Attack of the Friday Monsters [3:00]
  • Liberation Maiden [2:00]
  • Mario Kart Super Circuit [8:00]

Of these, quite a few are shorter then five hours (however ‘how long to beat’ timings for puzzle games can be a bit off sometimes…) so I think I’m going to focus on the shorter games for the next few weeks…

Pok-IV-Note IV Tracker for Breeding

If you’re trying to keep track of the IVs of the Pokémon you’re breeding then try out this amazingly simple web app. Designed for phones and tablets, but it works alright on a laptop or PC too.


If you need reminding the symbols relate to: HP, Attack, Defence, Speed, Special Attack, Special Defence. So if the IV Checker in Kiloude City tells you that the best stats are Attack, Speed and Special Defense (‘They can’t be beat’) then mark the triangle, heart, and diamond. These marking show on the status screen of each pokemon and allows you to quickly sort through the many monsters that you’ve bred.