In contrast to the massive volume that clearly I'm known for, the near future is probably going to be a bit slower. Our second child (boy) was born almost three weeks ago and to say things are busy is quite an understatement. Gaming has been pretty slim, I mean, not everyone can be coffee.
Overall we are getting an ok amount of sleep; it's just rough when it's broken up throughout the night. It certainly puts a new twist on my late night gaming routine. Had to go to bed at 9:30 last night; the lack of sleep was catching up with me.
Anyway, I have a number of posts in mind, but here are a few quick game impressions from what I've been able to squeak in.
Mario Kart 7:
I picked this up on the 7th and have put a little time into it to get a feel for things. Overall it's a great game and has some neat features; though I feel a little underwhelmed at times and can't put my finger on it. I'm not sure if others view the kart add-on's as a gimmick, but I tend to like the flexibility. The more I play the more I like the glider wings and the various glider-based shortcuts or advantages that they built into various levels. (that is: legit routes and not cheating) It's also cool to have the glider when you hit a ramp at a weird angle and can glide back to the track instead of wiping out off-road.
I also love the idea of online play, but really haven't had time to coordinate a round with anyone. They seem to have ramped up the online integration a bit which is great to see.
I'm a bit sad to see the mission mode missing as we had with the Wii. Speaking of the Wii, I also miss the mote/chuck controls. There's nothing wrong with the 3DS layout, infact it works well and they give you multiple buttons to choose from. (eg: L trigger or X to use an item) It's just the inherent fact of your hands having to be close together to hold the 3DS and it's not nearly as relaxed and awesome as the Wii.
And I probably should have said before: this game looks great. It's silky smooth and has some fantastic looking levels. As with Super Mario 3D Land the "Luigi's Mansion / Ghost" levels really catch my eye and are just beautiful.
Super Mario 3D Land:
Picked this up on launch and have logged a number of hours to get me to the last level of world 5. The funny part is that I didn't have enough "big" coins (or whatever they're called) so I've been backtracking a good bit to collect them.
I have to say that in general the 3D mario/galaxy kind of feel is my least favorite as compared to true 2/2.5D platforming, but this game is still a huge blast. As the reviews say it can feel "slow" at times, but I feel they're just being picky. You can run, jump, skid and generally have a faster experience if you put some effort into it.
I'm really liking all the mechanics such as the wall jumping, tanooki tail, propeller boxes and various other things to add to the experience.
Legend of Zelda: Four Swords:
Dude, it's freaking free. I think this is my #1 game in overall play time stats and I've still a ways to go. I never played the original or the below Link's Awakening DX so it's quite a treat to have this 2D Zelda experience plus all the built-in nostalgia.
I'm currently on the 2nd classic level (something of memories?) after you beat Vaati and from what I've read there's more ahead.
Did I mention it's free? If you have a 3DS or DSi and haven't picked this up I will track you down and beat you. Act now before February.
Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX:
It's true that I'm a sucker for 2D Zelda action and with the various DX posts on DigitallyDownloaded.net, I couldn't hold out any longer. I've maybe put in an hour or two here to wander around, collect some stuff and get some keys. So far this has a very strong resemblance to Four Swords (or it's probably the other way around), though i suspect has much more content and is more difficult.
I'm not sure what there's not to love and I just wish I had more time. The music is dead-on classic Zelda and Link moves very well unlike the original LoZ. (boy I hate it when you attack and get stuck in that direction)
I also really like how you can talk to the town people and it seems like they're setting you up for little mini side-missions.
I hope to be able to carve out more gaming time as we get into a routine with the new baby. Perhaps I'll ramp up my "gaming at lunch" efforts and see how that goes. (yep, did some MK7 the other day when attached to the router outside the firewall :D )
Am also looking forward to VVVVVV, potentially Night Sky, Resident Evil, Luigi's Mansion 2 and I'm sure a slew of others for 2012. Hope to be able to catch some of you online soon.