The not very regular series of posts in which I detail what I’m currently playing, but haven’t played enough to review in full yet!
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D
I am completely blown away by this game so far, both in terms of graphical appearance and gameplay. A great story, interesting characters and a very satisfying combat system. If you have a new 3DS I think this is a must own for the system. The soundtrack is also excellent so far, especially through headphones.
There are some times when I long for more games that don’t involve running around shooting things with guns, as the market can often seem overrun with lots of that. Enter FarCry Primal, set before guns were invented, in the great and lush outdoors, the game is strangely immersive and utterly stunning on PC. (I may have invested in a 970, more on that in a later blog post) It’s a very visceral experience, and one which is holding my attention quite nicely at the moment.
Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer is not a pure Animal Crossing game, but more of a spin off game…it’s useful to remember this. It sees you become an employee of “Nook’s Homes” an interior/exterior designer if you will. Animals will appear outside the shop each day and it’s your job to pick one customer and design their dream home. They may specify that you must include certain items (most characters unlock more furniture which is then added to your library for use in any home thereafter) but for the most part, it’s up to you. And you literally choose everything, from how the exterior looks, the floor plan, the flooring, lamps, windows and sofas etc. You unlock more design options as you go through the game, and can also design buildings in the town centre too.
Want to design the home of your favourite New Leaf villager? You can leave it to pot luck and hope they show up outside the shop, or you can try your luck at getting them in Amiibo cards packs. The cards can be scanned on “new” 3DS/XL consoles, or via an Amiibo reader and the villager or character will appear onscreen! The Amiibo cards are the only way to unlock the option to design the houses of the shop keepers and other non villagers in the game. (Saharah for example) These exclusives are denoted by the fact that their cards are glittery. Scanning the villager Amiibo figure also reaps a little reward too!
Overall the controls are excellently done and the game strangely addictive, if a little repetitive. You aren’t rewarded for matching items so it can feel a little empty at times, as the villagers are always happy regardless of the type of interior you design for them. However the online feature that allows players from around the world to rate your work makes up for this a little. Limited in scope, but done well, this is a welcome addition to the Animal Crossing franchise.
Immensely fun, but a little repetitive after a while.
Great use of 3D and incredibly cute characters!
Limited due to game type really.
Again limited, but the music stays with me after I save and quit the game.
Not much of a story, but there doesn’t need to be with the nature of this game.
Value for money
A little limited in comparison with other Animal Crossing games.
I really enjoy the rating system and being able to look at other player’s designs.
Mapped really well, picking up and playing for the first time was easy.
Relaxed gaming at it’s best.
Excellent use of Amiibo. Both the cards and the figure can be scanned in, in an innovative and immersive way.
I’ve always thought ArenaNet have been excellent for making such an awesome MMORPG that’s buy to play, where you purchase the game, and then play for free, meaning no monthly subscription. With the first expansion launching soon, they have gone a little further and made the base game free to download and play completely. This allows people who are new to the franchise a chance to try the game, and also, they don’t have to invest a huge amount of money to get the full experience. (They will only have to shell out for the expansion)
There are of course some limitations to free accounts;
Fewer character and bag slots.
Map chat is disabled, but whisper and local chat are still available.
These players can buy and sell on the market but can’t mail gold or items directly to other players, trade gold for gems, or access guild vaults.
And, to quote ArenaNet directly “free accounts have some restrictions to prevent them from skipping ahead to places where they could be used to disrupt the game. They must play to level 10 before leaving the starter zones, to level 30 before using LFG, and to level 60 before using World vs. World. They can play PvP immediately but must get to rank 20 before using custom and unranked arenas.”
If you have always wanted to give the game a try CLICK HERE to register and start playing. If you’d like to join me, I play on the Aurora Glade EU server.
Within the FAQ, ArenaNet provide a handy table detaling limitations, depending on what content you have purchased, on This page.
After investing in the Alleria hero skin, I decided that my second class to play as in Hearthstone would be Hunter, I like how quick games with a deck that focuses mainly on hitting the other hero’s “face” can be, and enjoy the different play-style, when compared to Rogue (this is less about combos.) Pictured above is the deck I am currently using, the only ones not pictured are 1 x Tundra Rhino and 1 x Savannah Highmane. It has served me pretty well so far, but I’m still new to the class, and so will tweak and update here when necessary.