Posts by: ZINGER

VIVAWhack it open and taste the gaming goodness.

Create your own virtual garden and attract an amazing array of wild animals, known as Pinata. Use your knowledge of the species to cater to their every need.

Buy and sell at the local store, make friends with your neighbours and trade tips.

The colourful art style and seemingly child-friendly interface left Viva Pinata largely overlooked when it was released in 2006.

While it may not be as complex as some other strategy/simulation games, Viva Pinata is a great starting point for beginners interested in the genre.

Provided you have a half decent memory that is, because at times you have a lot going on. Multi tasking is the key to most games of this type, and Viva Pinata is no different.

You’ll also need to think outside the box when it comes to attracting new species of Pinata to your garden. You’ll need to understand the food chain and be brave enough to venture out at night to collect the nocturnal Pinata, some of which are cute, but not exactly friendly.

Don’t worry though, you can literally beat the stuffing out of them and allow the other Pinata to feast on their insides. Funniest of all, you’ll need to provide love nests for the Pinatas to mate, or ‘romance’ as the game calls it.

Viva Pinata is a great buy for 360 owners looking for something different. Even if you only play through once and disregard the online features, it’s still worth it.

There’s also a sequel called Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise, and a game for Nintendo DS- Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise.

Be sure to use the advanced camera setting instead of beginner. You can change it in the options menu and I recommend you do from the start because it makes the game much more playable.

Did you enjoy Viva Pinata? Leave a comment!

 

stickspI won’t be making a habit of this, but I thought you might be interested in this story that I read on an Australian tabloid news site, news.com.au.

Following the death of professional cricketer Phillip Hughes, the developers of the popular mobile game Stick Cricket have changed some animations in the game that were there for comedic value, but now “no longer funny”.

Check out the full story on news.com.au here.

If you’re not from a cricket playing country you can read about what happened to this young Aussie cricketer here.

 

eshopThis week brought the wonderful news that Nintendo are bringing classic Wii games to the Wii U eShop.

It’s a shame these titles are existing outside Virtual Console, meaning no Miiverse communities, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

I won’t be buying Super Mario Galaxy 2, (even at a fairly reasonable $13) but I’ll definitely be picking up Metroid Prime Trilogy, hopefully I’ll be able to use the gamepad*.

Everyone has games they’d like to see make the cut, here’s ten of mine.

Continue reading »

 

I couldn’t find one.

Of the stores myself and a friend visited between us over the Christmas break period in the Sydney and Illawarra regions, there was:

  • 6 EB Games
  • 6 JB Hi-Fi stores
  • 4 Big W stores
  • 3 Target stores
  • 3 KMart stores

And not only did no one have a Little Mac, no one had a single amiibo in stock, from wave one (give or take the odd Mario or Pikachu) or wave two.

Not even my favourite “hidden gem” EB Games stores had any in stock. (I can’t tell you where these stores are, but they always have great bargains and rare titles on sale).

I stopped to think about a bigger picture when I was preparing this article.

Had I gone mad? I mean, these little bits of plastic cost around $15 each and don’t even have a dedicated game to use them in, and very limited functionality as it is.

Yet I contacted twenty-two places to find one.

Does this mean I need to grow up and get a life? Yes. Yes it does.

Still, a lot of places assured me there was new stock on the way, some even telling me Marth and Wii Fit Trainer are coming.

You can follow me on Miiverse: zinger_AU and twitter: @rustyshell

 

Rusty_Shell_HOTPeople keep asking me if I am going to do a Get Good In No Time for Mario Kart 8.

Yes I am, it will have it up in February.

In the meantime, I thought I’d do a special I Like Mondays post showcasing some other cool Mario Kart 8 help related stuff.

Advice is not hard to come by, but content that’s well written, attitude free and easy to understand often is.

But I found some, so click on the links to access such content.

First it’s this cool piece from gamesrec.com with some tips for what they deem the 7 toughest tracks. Some of it’s general, some of it’s specific, but it’s worth reading.

Next, it’s mii-gamer.com talking about character and kart combinations. It’s worth listening to a new point of view and different advice from players, and these guys have gone to a lot of effort here.

Then there’s this video from YouTube user GreenKokiri54 which showcases corner cutting and shortcuts. Ignore the jerks in the comments section, this video is definitely worth a watch.

Lastly, there’s this bunch of sensible tips from lootchaser.com. Among the advice found in this article, they suggest practicing online and looking at time trials mode. Wise counsel.

My own no nonsense guide to getting good in Mario Kart 8 will be up sometime in February.

You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell or Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

50centbox50 Cent’s second foray into video gaming may be self aware and self indulgent (it’s 50 Cent after all), but it’s still surprisingly good fun.

Good variety of missions and an intuitive cover system combined with a kick ass ‘fiddy soundtrack- Blood On The Sand is a great solid third person shooter and something a little different.

If you missed it and still have your PS3 plugged in (where’s that backwards compatibility, Sony?) you should pick it p off eBay for about $20.

Did you enjoy Blood On The Sand? Leave a comment!

 

Cher_in_if_i_could_turn_back_timeThis is the first in a new series of posts where I look at things I should have done as a gamer.

Todays topic: those friggen’ amiibos.

Who knew they’d sell out worldwide, be so sought after, and be attracting ludicrous prices on eBay already?

Not me. But now I’m kicking myself for being a hater.

I should have bought some when I had the chance. And what a chance I had.

The day they were released in Australia, I went to my local EB Games to pick up Smash Bros. and some amiibos.

It was early morning and the store was empty. A mid-twenties employee wearing a dapper bow tie was actually unpacking some amiibo stock.

I was in the market for a Yoshi, and I was going to pick my friend up a Bowser.

After I complemented the EB games employee on his striking fashion statement, I looked over the fresh array of amiibos the store had available.

They were all there. Villager, Wii Fit trainer, Marth. The whole wave one line up.

eBay has her for $50? I could get three Yoga sessions with that...

eBay has her for $50? I could get three Yoga sessions with that…

After embarrassing myself by asking where Bowser was (he was not in the first wave of amiibos. Dammit, I should have known that!).

I had to choose another character for my friend. If he didn’t want it, I’d keep it.

Then something happened that as a gamer I shall live to think about until some new stock arrives and everyone who paid a fortune on eBay will be kicking themselves for being impatient and getting ripped off.

At least that’s what I’m telling myself, because surely Nintendo will have to address this supply and demand issue while the iron’s hot. They’re losing money.

Villager has the equal least functionality yet is the most sought after and expensive

Villager has the equal least functionality yet is the most sought after and expensive

Anyway, back to my story.

Remember, this was day one and every character was there for the taking. No one really knew if Nintendo’s little statues were going to sell, especially considering there was no dedicated game to use them in.

The EB Games guy was quite knowledgable about amiibo and gave his thoughts on which one I should get in lieu of the unavailable Bowser.

He told me to pick up a Villager and a Wii Fit trainer. He told me Villager was the most pre-ordered and Wii Fit Trainer will become a collectable because no one will want her.

“Huh” I scoffed, “I’ll wait until she’s $5 in your bargain bin and pick her up then.”

And as for Villager?

“There’s no way I’m paying fifteen bucks for him. You can’t even use it in Animal Crossing and he looks crap in the Smash footage.”

Marth remains popular despite his haircut. Me? I like Ike.

Marth remains popular despite his haircut. Me? I like Ike.

After some more light banter about the amiibo’s functionality (or lack thereof), the bow-tied employee encouraged me once more to pick up Wii Fit Trainer.

I laughed his suggestion off a second time, and even though Marth and Fox looked so awesome, I knew my friend was a Donkey Kong fan so I went with him and Yoshi.

What a silly mistake. For just $14 I could have had all three of the most sought after pieces of plastic in the world.

And I should have known. I should have listened to him. I mean, the guy was wearing a bow tie at work. Voluntarily.

If I could turn back time…

How was your luck getting amiibos you wanted? Let me know by leaving a comment! I lifted the Cher pic from cher.yuku.com 

 

wiiulogo

As a console gamer I’ve always believed that the true strength of a system can be measured by looking at the line up of exclusive games it has to offer.

I judge consoles past and present on this criteria above anything else. What can this machine offer that no others can?

I first wrote about the state of Wii U’s exclusive line up in April 2014, so I thought I’d better take another look at the situation, eight months on.

No one can legitimately argue that the system isn’t worth owning like they could have at this time last year, and that’s thanks to this killer line up of exclusives.

I have highlighted the games I have played in orange.

Ones I haven’t played remain black, and for those I have included the verdict from Miiverse*, and what aggregate score the game has on gamerankings.com

Also, at this stage I’m only looking at disc based retail games released in Australia.

Continue reading »

 

eshopJust a final reminder that December 31, 2014 is the last day your eShop downloads contribute to your redeemable points in the Nintendo Network Premium Deal.

If you were considering an eShop purchase, make it in the next 24 hours!

You’ve got until March 30, 2015 to redeem your accumulated points.

For more on the deal, have a look at this. And get spending.

You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell and Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

PRINCEA true example of video games as art.

Explore a vast, beautiful world as the unnamed Prince in this 2008 entry into Ubsioft’s long running action series, Prince of Persia.

Swing, jump, run and liberate a world corrupted by the evil of Ahriman, a dangerous ancient God about to escape after being imprisoned for a lifetime.

The Prince teams up with Elika, a beautiful stranger whose ancestors enslaved the evil Ahriman eons ago.

Elika and her mysterious powers will help the Prince navigate the terrain and defeat enemies along the way.

The landscapes are sprawling and wondrous.

From the ruins of enormous castles, to lush green mountain tops with the ocean glistening in the distance- the art in the environments and architecture of the levels are second to none.

It truly is like playing through a living, breathing watercolour painting.

Continue reading »

 

wiiulogoMaybe not forgotten, but it’s flying under the radar, what with all the talk about new Starfox, Zelda, and Xenoblade.

Devil’s Third is a single player focused action/shooter from developer Valhalla Game Studios, and it’s being published by Nintendo to become a Wii U exclusive.

I’m not sure how the Wii U crowd have embraced Bayonetta 2 in terms of sales, but it’s good to see Nintendo backing another “mature” title for its home console.

Just like The Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2, the Devil’s Third development team features well-respected industry talent, namely Team Ninja’s Tomonobu Itagaki.

Have a look at the official website here, and interview about the game here, and some footage of the game below.

You can Valhalla Game Studios Facebook by clicking here.

You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell and Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

mk8postrMy game of the year for 2014 is Mario Kart 8.

It’s the best Mario Kart game ever in terms of the overall package, it’s an absolute blast to play, and it brought my friends and I together on so many occasions this year.

No other gaming experience comes close to MK8 for me in 2014.

I’m posting this with a hint of sarcasm, because although “game of the year” awards are really only ever based on opinion, I was surprised to see some major outlets overlook such universally acclaimed titles like Bayonetta 2, Mario Kart 8, and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U in their considerations for such awards.

You can follow me on Miiverse: zinger_AU and twitter: @rustyshell

 

bowseramiiboOh god. As announced on Nintendo AU&NZ’s twitter account, the third wave of amiibo figures are coming sooner than first planned.

Instead of February, they’re out in Australia on January 29, 2015.

I sense my wallet, and keycards staging an intervention pretty soon.

Have a look at the delightful wave three line up here.

I’ve already pre-ordered Shulk, and the Rosalina and Luma figure is apparently selling out elsewhere in the world.

If anyone wants to buy me a Bowser or Sonic, please feel free.

I first read about this on vooks.net

You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell and Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

shulkamiibo2“Retailer exclusives” aren’t that much of a done thing here in Australia, and while the Shulk amiibo is going to be just that in the US, at least one Aussie retailer is taking pre orders for everyones favourite Xenoblader.

No one can tell me whether he’s exclusive to EB Games in Australia.

The third “wave” of amiibo figures, which includes Shulk are coming in February 2015.

Have a look at the full line up here.

UPDATE: EB is not taking any more pre orders on Shulk, or any other amiibo.

If I get further info I will share it.

You can follow me on twitter: zinger_AU and Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

marioamiiiboA few weeks ago I was vowing not to buy a single amiibo until Nintendo gave us a fully fledged adventure game to use them in.

Where was the value? Why would I want one?

Fourteen dollars for a piece of virtually useless plastic?

Why would anyone buy one?

Then of course, I saw them in real life and I heard my accountant scream in terror from two suburbs away.

I’m gonna keep an eye on what Aussie stores are selling them for, starting with some pre-Christmas pricing from the major retailers.

Target: $14

Big W: $15

JB Hi-Fi: $17

KMart: $15

EB Games: $17.95 (LOL, but they’ll price match)

My current amiibo count stands at 2: Donkey Kong and Yoshi.

Next on my hit list are Little Mac, Shulk, Ike, Bowser, and Diddy Kong.

King Dedede looks freakin’ awesome too. So does Meta Knight.

Damn you to hell for this, Nintendo. And, you know… shut up and take my money… Sigh.

You can follow my amiibo purchases on twitter: @rustyshell and Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

eshopNintendo’s confusing but generous promotion that started at the launch of Wii U two years ago, is about to come to an end.

If you have a black Wii U and are an avid eShop user you’re probably already across this promotion and what it entails.

If not, read my guide explaining everything and remember you’ve got until December 31 to accumulate points, and until March to redeem them for eShop codes.

You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell or Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

tonyjonesBuyer’s guides are a dime a dozen, but here’s my no nonsense look at what to get and where to get it.

I’m covering all current generation systems, thanks to some feedback from previous years.

If you don’t agree with me and have some alternate advice to offer, please leave a grown up comment because this is really for the benefit of those who might not be in the know.

If you want further advice or have a different question entirely, ask in the comments section and we will get back to you. You can also send an email: admin@rustyshell.com

Continue reading »

 

IMAG0574How in are GameCube controllers right now?

Not only have they instantly become relevant again (for a third time) after 12 or so years on the market, but people are so desperate to use them in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, they’re willing to pay ridiculous amounts of money for the privilege.

You can’t get that adapter anywhere in Australia, that’s for sure- and it seems like the rest of the world is experiencing a similar shortage.

I thought it was a bit of a gamble for Nintendo to even offer support for its decade old controller in the new Smash game, considering there’s an exceptionally adequate new input device for Wii U in the form of the Pro Controller (or WUPC, as I shall call it henceforth).

I thought: Would people really want to pay for an adapter when the Smash Bros. target market have probably already forked out for a WUPC or two already?

Surely the physical layout of the GameCube controller isn’t that much better for playing Smash with than the new, sexier looking WUPC?

I wondered why would people want to go back to wired controllers after a full generation of wire free play.

Surely original GameCube controllers are so old now that they simply won’t function properly having gathered dust, grime and unexplained general stickiness after years in the storage boxes of thirty-something Nintendo fans the world over, I thought.

Well, I thought wrong. Wrong with a capital purple W against a yellow background.

Not only have the adapters sold out pretty much everywhere, but I can’t find a limited edition black GameCube controller anywhere, either. Bearing in mind, it costs 50 Australian dollars and at this point can only be used to control one Wii U game.

People still want to use the GameCube controller.

Tell them bitches get a stick, I'm done leadin' the blind

Tell them bitches get a stick, I’m done leadin’ the blind

I have three WUPC’s.

I bought Smash with the GameCube controller adapter. Sitting down to play on launch day, my friends had a choice of  GameCube or WUPC’s. Two chose GameCube, two chose WUPC’s.

Out of the two that chose GameCube, one had ALWAYS used a Wavebird to play Mario Kart Wii and refused to use anything else, so the chance to play with it again after some time was too much to pass up.

The other had mostly dismissed Brawl, so he was keen to relive the glory of our Melee playing days with his Spice Orange GameCube faithful.

I chose my original Indigo wired controller, the same one that came in the box with my GameCube all those years ago.

Turns out, the physical layout of the buttons is better for Smash than the WUPC’s.

Having the A button so accessible is a god send. You won’t get confused between “grab” and “shield”. The C stick is perfectly placed for Smash moves because from B to Smash is so natural.

I could go on, but I won’t because I want to get back to playing Smash with a twelve-year-old wired piece of plastic that still feels, looks, and performs better than any controller Nintendo has offered us since.

Nintendo, or anyone else.

It’s a pretty great testament to the impeccable design and function of the controller itself, and while people are touting DualShock 4 as the best of all time, I can’t see it being as enduringly popular or consistently requisite as the GameCube controller.

Now, if we could just have some GameCube games on Virtual Console

 You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell or Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

whitegamecubeHave a look at this immaculate new white Gamecube controller. It’s brand new and it’s a Japan only affair, although you can apparently have one shipped to Australia through play-asia.

What a comeback story. The Gamecube controller is the best controller ever created, and despite its slightly off putting appearance is proving to be one of the most enduring in terms of popularity.

And a lot of that has to do with how great it is to play Smash Bros. with.

Anyone who’s played Smash for Wii U with the GC controller knows that it’s not just about nostalgia anymore- it now feels as though it was built for Smash Bros.

Nintendo’s flagship franchise can’t exist without it on a home console, and thankfully for the time being it doesn’t have to.

I first read about this delightful product on nintendolife.com.

 You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell and Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

800px-GameCube_controllerIt was bound to happen. After a shortage of the adapters at retail in Australia, they’re selling for a small fortune on eBay.

I recently questioned whether or not I really needed to play Smash with a Gamecube controller now we have the Wii U Pro, but after testing both set ups out on the new game, it was apparent the GC controller is still the best way to play Smash.

Good luck finding the adapter, anyone who’s trying.

You can follow me on Miiverse: zinger_AU and twitter: @rustyshell