1. Ryu (amiibo): $0 (retail $14.19; gift)
2. R.O.B Famicom (amiibo): $0 (retail $14.19; gift)
3. Far Cry Primal (Xbox One): $0 (retail: $64.49; gift)
4. The Division (Xbox One): $0 (retail: $64.49; gift)
5. Hyrule Warriors: Legends (3DS): $0 (retail: $42.98; gift)
YTD TOTAL: $453.15
1. Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright (3DS): 28h 31m
2. Hyrule Warriors: Legends (3DS): 4h 6m
1. Miitomo (iOS): 2h 55m
My obsession with Fire Emblem continued all through the week, absolutely dominating my play time. I logged in more than 28 hours from Friday-Thursday! Even the awesome birthday acquisitions of Far Cry Primal and The Division for Xbox One couldn’t keep me away from the joy that is Fire Emblem. It’s one of those games where the harder it gets, the more fun it becomes. Many have said that Birthright is the ‘easy’ game of the three simultaneously launched Fates games. That’s a scary thought, because the endgame in Birthright is very tough. It requires a lot of strategic planning and careful unit advancement. I won’t say more about the game for now… I actually beat it on the 5th of April, so I’ll talk a lot more about the game in-depth in the next weekly update.
Amiibo collecting has slowed down significantly for me in recent days, but my birthday was good justification to add two more figures to my collection: Ryu and the Famicom-colored R.O.B. My daughter found the special edition R.O.B. at a Target – I’m so proud that I have a nine-year-old who knows what ‘Famicom colors’ are, and that her eyes were sharp enough to see it on the shelf!
I’ve been having a very good time with Hyrule Warriors: Legends, which has received some of the most mixed reviews in recent memory. Jim Sterling loved it; IGN hated it. I think it’s a very impressive technical achievement, and it runs very well on my new 3DS XL when I turn off the 3D. Supposedly, it runs terribly on the original 3DS, which is a shame, since my daughter’s machine is an original 3DS, and she’s really excited about the addition of Linkle (female link) to the roster. I guess she’ll have to borrow my whole machine, instead of just the cartridge.
I have the original Hyrule Warriors on WiiU, but the convenience of having my 3DS everywhere I go has already allowed me to sink more time into the new version. It’s a great palate-cleanser after playing hours of a thoughtful strategy-RPG – you can just run forward, bash hundreds of enemies, and feel pretty damn empowered. Skip it if you have an old machine, but if you have a new 3DS, and you’re not opposed to shutting down the 3D, this is a great new game for your collection.
Of course, the big news of the week was Nintendo launching Miitomo (iOS), their first mobile app. It’s the real deal, from the Producer of the original Metroid. And in Nintendo fashion, it’s unlike anything you’ve seen before, maximizing the unique characteristics of the iPhone. If you go in understanding that it’s a social networking app, and not a traditional game, you’ll come away delighted.
The Mii setup is painless and fun. You can either start with a picture of yourself, or work from scratch. Then, you choose your voice, add friends from Facebook and Twitter, and begin answering questions: What’s the worst game you’ve ever played? (My answer: Game of War: Fire Age). What are you doing this weekend? (My answer: visiting family on Spring Break). And so on. Eventually, you start bumping into your friends’ avatars, who will actually speak their answers out loud. Interacting with the App earns you Nintendo coins, which can be spent on things like discounts for WiiU games and 3DS backgrounds. Personally, I’m saving up for a copy of Zelda: Twilight Princess Picross, a featured item in the “My Nintendo” store.
I’ve ended up playing a bit of Miitomo every day since I’ve downloaded it. It’s perfect for waiting in line at Starbucks. The monetization is lightly applied; at present, you can only get cosmetic items for purchase. I haven’t bothered spending, and am not likely to… but that’s really just because I’ve decided that I’m no longer purchasing virtual currencies, and that’s the only way you can buy items in the shop. If I was allowed to buy a cool Little Mac costume for $4.99 without having to bother with virtual currency, I totally would!
The one “game” element in Miitomo is called “Miitomo Drop”, which is basically Pachinko. It’s a clever way to implement gacha into the game while providing at least the illusion of skill in getting the goodies you want.
Overall, it was a week completely dominated by the game geniuses at Nintendo.