Special Feature: Mario Kart 8 + 4 Digital Titles $75 (Wii U + 6 Games for roughly $275)

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I previously mentioned there were good value deals to be found with the Wii U, but I think mentioning the other systems distracted readers from my main point, a good value deal.. Here is a good value I found on the Wii U that requires some trickery, but can all be accomplished with 1 trip to Best Buy and 15minutes on Club Nintendo.  I’ve figured out on how you can get yourself Mario Kart 8, The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker HD, Pikmin 3, New Super Mario Bros U and Wii Party U for roughly $75…plus you’ll get around $20 in eShop credit, and a $5 Best Buy Reward Certificate.  There’s also a way to do this that will cause less hassle, but you’ll end up converting more money into Best Buy Store Credit, if that doesn’t bother you…it’s probably the most convenient.   The thing is, you have to hurry up now before Best Buy gets swamped with used Mario Kart 8′s and lower’s the trade-in value.   You can probably find similar deals though at any place that gives a good trade in of Mario Kart 8.  Those who don’t own a Wii U yet, can pick one up refurbished with Nintendo Land for $200Combined with this deal that’s 6 Games and a Wii U for around $275.

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Special Feature: The Value of the Wii U

 

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There hasn’t been many positive things to say about the Wii U. It’s selling horrible and most people have already written it off as a failure.  I understand the reasoning for this, but unfortunately a lot of people are missing out on the hidden value of this console.   I’m not saying the Wii U is a better console than the Playstation 4 or XBox One, but it offers a unique experience with a long list of exclusive titles.  A two-console gamer would be wise to pick up a Wii U as their second console, and a family or apartment of gamers would get possibly the best local/couch multiplayer console ever.

Cost is an issue, especially if you already own another system.  To be fair, we’ll compare the typical costs a gamer experiences when they buy the Playstation 4 and XBox One.  The usual costs includes the console themselves, one game, and an online subscription.

The costs are detailed as follows:

PS4:
$400 – Console & One Controller
$60 – Game
$50 – PSN+ Year Subscription
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$510 Total

XBox One
$500 – Console, One Controller & Kinect
$60 – Game
$60 – XBox Live 1 Year Subscription
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$620 Total

Let’s meet somewhere around the middle of these total costs and say $530 is the average cost when you buy one of those systems.  It’s fair to point out there is a Titanfall Bundle and a Forza 5 Bundle, but they are currently priced at $500 and when you add in the XBox Live subscription you’re up to $560. Its worth noting that the XBox Live subscription works on your XBox 360 too if you still use it.

The Playstation 4 deserves credit for being a pretty good value itself. The PSN+ subscription comes with at least 12 free PS4 games through the year, however the downside is that you have no choice which titles you receive free.  PSN+ also carries over to the PS3 or Vita if you own them, and both receive multiple free titles (different from PS4).  Plus if you buy some digital games on PS4, they are also available for the PS3 and Vita if it supports cross-play.  I personally see more value in the Playstation 4 than the XBox One and it is why I made it my first “next-gen” console. Others might value the TV Functions or Kinect more than I do and that’s understandable.

So I was wondering what would happen if you put this same $530 into purchasing the Wii U?  How far could you stretch it, and what could you get out of it? Picking through the Wii U, eShop/Virtual Console, Wii-Backwards compatibility and Wii-Shop, I’m going to see how much value can be squeezed out of the Wii U.  I searched online for the best prices of quality games unavailable on the Playstation 4 and XBox One.

Here’s the best value I found online… Read the rest of this entry

Finished Games – Knack (PS4)

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Knack is Sony’s “other” exclusive launch title for the Playstation 4, a new platforming beat-em ‘up.  Since I picked up a Playstation 4 at launch I paid extra attention to the exclusive titles, and Knack had grabbed my interest.  A platformer where the character becomes bigger from collecting relics. The larger they are, the more powerful and destructive they become as they fight their way through enemies.  When reviews game out for Knack they were mostly unfavorable, a lot of scores below 50%, but I still wanted to pick it up.  I quickly learned the reviews were just over-reactions, it’s not a great “showcase” game, but Knack is not a bad game.

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Most of the game consisted of clearing out enemies in rooms/arenas/areas, every few rooms the player cleared, they hit a checkpoint. It sounds very repetitive, and at times, it is, but usually the game stays fresh by introducing multiple different enemies that uses various attacks.  The enemies would attack within a pattern, the player has to use precise dodging, and then attacking when they have a free shot.  Those skilled at a game like Punch-Out!! would do well with this, and probably enjoy it.  Read the rest of this entry

Finished Games – Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)

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Super Mario has to be my favorite franchise of all-time.  Nintendo has consistently delivered excellent Super Mario games, whenever a new one is announced, it immediately becomes my most anticipated title.  I bought a Wii U at launch and have waited through some release droughts, but Super Mario 3D World is here and there’s no way I would pass this up.   When Nintendo originally announced Super Mario 3D World however, I was let-down a little bit.  I was expecting the next Galaxy/Sunshine/64 style Mario, not a sequel/expansion of the 3DS Super Mario 3D Land.   Even though I wasn’t getting the Mario title I had initially hoped for, I knew the game itself would be fun and wouldn’t disappoint.  Fortunately, Super Mario 3D World fully delivers, and is sort of a perfect blend of all previous Mario games in one.

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I’ve had more fun with Super Mario 3D World than any other game that came out in 2013.  The level design feels perfect, even with all of the different levels, no two ever really feel the same.  Each level is more focused and fine tuned for specific challenges, enemies or strategies.  Read the rest of this entry

Collection Update – January 2014

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This was a slower month compared to others, the only games I picked up in January were either digital titles or PS3 games I’m swampping for my 360 copies.

PS Vita
Hotline Miami (Digital) – Wow, this game is addicting and fun.  The soundtrack is one of the best I’ve heard, possibly ever.  I was hooked on this game for almost 2 weeks.  I beat it, but I’m still looking forward to going back in it and attempting to get 100%.

OlliOlli (Digital) – This is a fun skateboarding platformer, I’m not addicted to it, but it is pretty fun.  Flashbacks of my Tony Hawk days.

Playstation 3
Batman Arkham City – Sold my 360 copy and bought the Game of the Year Edition for PS3

Puppeteer – Saw this on sale for $20 and heard great things about it so I picked it up

Ratchet & Clank Full Frontal Assault – Found it for $15, Vita Crossplay really pushed this into a purchase.

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time – Like the title above it, found it for $11 and the Vita Crossplay made this a must purchase

Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection – Sold my 360 copy of this and bought the PS3 version instead

Splatterhouse – Also sold my 360 copy of this and bought the PS3 version instead.

Viking: Battle for Asgard – This was a game I really enjoyed on 360, one of the first I played through.  If I ever replay it again, I’d have to start all over anyways, so I sold my 360 copy and bought it on PS3.

Finished Games – Killzone Shadowfall (PS4)

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Years ago I played Killzone Liberation on the PSP, it was a shooter/dungeon-crawler that I really enjoyed.  But that was my only experience with the Killzone franchise, I never played a really experienced Killzone, since it’s originally a first person shooter. I bought the Playstation 4 at launch and the”big” exclusive launch title was Killzone Shadow Fall, I figured it’s time for me to find out what I’ve been missing.

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Being unfamiliar with the story and lore of the Killzone series did hinder my experience at all.  I enjoyed the the campaign’s story, even though it did kind of lose some steam towards the middle of the game. But it did pick itself back up before the end, I walked away feeling pretty satisfied.  The visuals, especially of the environments show the start of the next-generation, the smooth frame rate and clear resolutions really look amazing.   Outside of the story, the campaign has the typical first person shooter objectives, shooting your way through enemies until you reach the end of the chapter.  The weapons and items (the OWL robot drone) were pretty unique and I did enjoy the use and feel of most of them. Read the rest of this entry

Finished Games – Killer is Dead (PS3)

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Suda 51 is behind some of my favorite games from this past decade.  I always find them entertaining, refreshing , and different from the other releases on the market.  So of course Killer is Dead stayed on my radar since it was announced. After the fun I had with his last 2 releases, Shadows of The Damned and Lollipop Chainsaw, I was really anxious to see what Killer is Dead had to offer.  When reviews came out, trashing the game (64 on Metacritic), I thought about holding off until the inevitable price-drop. But the collector in me was too tempted by the “Limited Edition” version that came with a soundtrack and well designed artbook.  I love the art style of Suda 51’s game and the soundtracks are always unique. I wanted to get the “best version” of the game and secure the collectables, so I paid full price and bought it at release.  I do not regret that decision at all, and I’m glad I got to play Killer is Dead sooner, rather than later. (Note: “Limited Editions” have been on sale for $19.99 since I purchased it for the full $59.99)

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Killer is Dead is a perfect example of when a gamer should go with their gut-feeling, or awareness of their own tastes and completely ignore the reviews.  I really enjoyed Killer is Dead and find the reception it has received surprising.  I paid no mind to the majority of the story, similar to the way I’d ignore the story of a Contra, Double Dragon orStreets of Rage game.  The logic in it is all fantasy, and makes about as much sense of a pack of pizza eating Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that hang out with a female News Reporter.  And that ultimately doesn’t matter.   Read the rest of this entry

Collection Update – December 2013

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Christmas month, I’m always bound to get a couple of games.  I was surprised to find out that I got a PS Vita from my in-laws thoughs!  My wife also got me a handful of games and the PSN+ membership & PS3 Crossplay titles really give me a variety of games right away.  I’m very excited to spend more time playing the PS Vita, it is an impressive piece of hardware.

PS Vita
Hot Shots Golf: Wold Invitational – My wife got me this for Christmas, I had this on my Amazon Wishlist, she picked it up for under $10.  I love Hot Shots and this one plays just as good as the best of them.

Killzone: Mercenaries – After enjoying Killzone: Shadowfall I was interested in Mercenaries.  I’ve yet to play it, but I am glad my wife got it for me for Christmas.

Tearaway – Another game my wife got me for Christmas, and this one is very creative and fun. I’ve only played a little bit of it so far, I need to get on this it was phenomenal  from what I played.

The Walking Dead (Digital) – This came bundled with the PS Vita, I played some of this on 360 before but never got deep into it.  I’m hoping to restart this on Vita.

Touch My Katamari – My wife and I are huge Katamari fans, so it’s no surprise she picked this up for Christmas too!  It’s just like all the other Katamari’s so take that for what you want, good or bad.

PSN+ Free Titles
Gravity Rush
Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed
Uncharted: Golden Abyss Read the rest of this entry

Collection Update – November 2013

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This month saw the launch of the Playstation 4 & XBox One, plus the Wii U & 3DS got some of the year’s best games this month.  I picked up a Playstation 4, but did not get the XBox One.  I also came across a good sale on GameFly for Buy 2 Get 1 Free on Used games and I ended up picking up a bunch of PS3 titles, ontop of selling some  360 titles.

Playstation 4
Battlefield 4 – I was big into some of the previous Battlfield’s, and now the consoles have started to catch up to PCs, I had to check this out.  I haven’t spent much time with it, but I enjoy it so far.  It looks amazing.

Killzone: Shadowfall – Never played a Killzone before besides the isometric view one on PSP (I don’t think that counts), but I’ve had a lot of fun with this game so far, especially in multiplayer.

Knack – Previous Sony Exclusives and Platformers were highly recommended, so I picked this one up too.  I’m not disappointed.

Madden NFL 25 – I really was expecting just a port of the 360 version, but this one looks amazing, blows away the one on 360.

Playstation 3
Anarchy Reigns – I bought this for 360, but my 360 is becoming a dust collector now.  I sold my 360 copy and bought the PS3 one instead, was about an even swap. Read the rest of this entry

Playstation 4 Launch Preview

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Earlier in the year I picked Playstation 4 as my most likely system for the “next-gen”, before it was even unveiled.  Now here we are, just 2 weeks away from the Playstation 4 Launch.  My pre-order has been in since June but now I’ve got to start figuring out the games I want to buy and the ones I may want to just rent.  I like trying out the system exclusives, so i can really see what experiences I can only get on that specific system.  There are also games currently available on the Wii U/PS3/360 that I think I’m looking forward to experiencing on the Playstation 4 to see how far the gap is between generations.  Target is supposed to be having a Buy 2 Get 1 Free Sale on games the week of the PS4 Launch, and that might change some of these “rentals” into a “purchase”

 

ac4bannerAssassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – Rental I feel obligated to support the Wii U and would’ve picked this up on Wii U over the 360 or PS3, but the PS4 version should clearly be the best.  I’m in no rush to purchase this game though, I still haven’t played Assassin’s Creed Revelations or Assassin’s Creed III.  I’ll eventually get around to those other Assassin Creed games and then I’ll rent ACIV (or purchase it if it’s cheap by the time I get around to it).  If AC IV gets high praise and reinvents the franchise, then I may just skip past AC:R & AC III so I can play some next-gen Assassin’s Creedbar2

 

bf4bannerBattlefield 4 – PurchaseI loved Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and was really hyped for Battlefield 3’s release, however when BF3 came out I ended up not playing that much of it.  I’m not too pumped up or excited about Battlefield 4, but I know when it comes out I’ll get sucked into it and hooked.  Playing it on the Playstation 4 will let me see the high quality graphics and environments PC gamers got to enjoy in BF3 while I was playing on 360.  I’m sure I’ll sink a lot of time into this one.
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