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Sun 11th Dec 2011

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geckofreak commented on 3D Solitaire:

The scoring isn't implemented properly and quickly becomes somewhat redundant - eg. If you have one king - 2 complete and another of the same colour just pick up and move the required cards to the other king so that you get a 2nd bonus.
It's easy to say that the game is just solitaire and it does what it says it does but if you say your not going to do much then you had better do it well... this game is woeful!



geckofreak commented on 3D Solitaire Hits North American eShop on 2nd ...:

This game is absolute rubbish!!!! Really!!! It is very simple and it doesn't even do simple solitaire very well. 3 x 3D backgrounds don't change the fact that the actual solitaire is crappy!Wow, choose from Klondike 1 or 2 both with a crappy scoring system and the same 3 backgrounds to "unlock" plus the ability to wait ages while it loads your own photos so you can load one as the background (then reload it next time you start the game)... failing on the gameplay for solitaire makes the Zen company look pretty useless! I cant believe they would release such a poor quality product!



geckofreak commented on New Super Mario Bros. 2 Download Size Breaks S...:

2GB doesn't go that far if you like to download from the eShop and use the video camera. It goes without saying that if you have a 32GB card you should be sitting pretty 8GB would be more than enough for your average eShop using 3DS owner.
The only real advantage of downloading games is that you don't have to change cartridges and as MadAussieBloke pointed out, there are a few drawbacks.

If only there was some clever way to buy a cart then save/free-download the game to the 3DS so that the cart was dissabled from being played while the saved version was playable and then potentially reinserting the cart and 'disabling' the saved version so that you can play the cart in another 3DS... it's never going to happen but it's the best I could think up of the top of my head.



geckofreak commented on Review: 3D Solitaire (3DS eShop):

Instead of wasting time creating pointless 3D backgrounds wouldn't it have been easier to just include more options for different styles of solitaire? I actually got this because I thought it would be boring and would put me to sleep... not so boring I can barely be bothered playing it.
I guess 6 is a decent score since it doesn't actually purport to do much anyway but maybe a point or 2 lower might have been justified because if it doesn't do much then it should do what it should do well!



geckofreak commented on Pinball Arcade: The Twilight Zone Hits Kicksta...:

If I had spare cash to buy a Vita I would just for this. After seeing how annoying it is to play Zen Pinball on the little 3D screen I am not holding high hopes for this assuming they are going to insist on doing it 3D rather than concentrating on the gameplay by using both screens in 2D (I'm guessing it would be too much for them to let you choose in game).
It will be unfortunate if they actually manage to replicate TZ well but the experience is ruined by the 3D gimmick. Zen Pinball was a very ordinary "pinball flavoured" game and with the poor physics and table design it wouldn't have made much difference if it had used both screens... If TZ is a fairly accurate simulation then maybe all the people that loved Zen will finally realise how a real machine plays and how the ball is supposed to move.



geckofreak commented on Review: Zen Pinball 3D (3DSWare):

I'm still amazed at how many people think the physics in this game are great! The physics are terrible - even though I have unfortunately played worse. I have a feeling that the people that think this is good, either haven't played real pinball or it's been a very long time!
Zen pinball is pinball flavoured where as the new Pinball Arcade game looks like it contains some real pinball. I don't know why they didn't just change the shape of the playfield altogether because they could have made a more enjoyable pinball flavoured game that way rather than sticking to the basic aesthetic form of something that they obviously don't really understand anyway.

I am still waiting for the 3DS version so I can give it a go but I'm a little worried about them trying to adapt it to the little 3D screen rather than just doing a 2D port that spans the 2 screens which would be more naturally suited to pinball. The kickstarter idea is being a little over done but in this instance it really is a case of either that or nothing so although I have no plans to contribute I think it's a valid approach.

Thomas Whitehead's review seems to reflect the thinking of many of the people commenting above and that is who this game is really aimed at anyway. If Nintendo Life needs someone to review Pinball Arcade when it comes out on 3DS I'm sure there are enough people (myself included) that would not only be willing but more capable of discerning it's quality as a more authentic pinball emulator.



geckofreak commented on Iwata Hints at Upcoming Swapnote Update:

Wow, I actually read all of the comments. 95% of them are of course just people repeating each other as if they are putting in a vote for that change maybe Nintendo can release a survey app and give people options to vote on.

The one feature that no one seems to have commented on (especially with all the people fantasising about no ink limit) is that the ink is a more literal representation of a pen which means that if you keep drawing on the same spot over and over again you can use up all your ink and only have a small dot on the screen. This is especially a problem if you want to colour in something - your ink will disappear faster than it should. If you make a mistake and try to colour in a patch it will use more ink than the first time.

Obviously, some of the limits are just because of the limitations of the 3DS but as he said in the article he tried to keep it simple so anyone can use it so you have to wonder if some of the limits are arbitrarily imposed. No limits on ink, more colours, pages, video etc all increase the size of messages and if implemented could increase the time it takes to send messages so that everyone will be back here putting in their votes for shorter loading times.
Keeping it simple also means people lose interest more quickly and some features such as text could help those who are a little challenged in the handwriting department.
If they are worried about putting off some users by making it too complicated they can just have an advanced tools option.
I don't have a lot of friends but it seems like the ability to at least favourite friends as well as searching for messages by specific friends might assist some people.

I think Nintendo might be taking things slow with these programs. Releasing them with few features then deciding what people want added and including it in the future updates. Why else would the 3DS photo editing be missing so many features from the DSi.

Maybe the ability to post notes to your Facebook wall... I might do that once, maybe twice



geckofreak commented on Review: Zen Pinball 3D (3DSWare):

Thanks for the link, that definitely seems like one to look out for. I would really be impressed if you could use the play guides at ipdb to play it!
Bally has to be my favorite, both for the quality and the nostalgia of playing the actual machines. Gottlieb are mostly too easy, forgettable and probably make better computer games than actual machines (maybe too harsh).
Anytime I can play a real, real machine I am much happier but without owning my own Pinball arcade (and going completely broke in the process) these games can be nice little time wasters.



geckofreak commented on Review: Zen Pinball 3D (3DSWare):

@Donjwolf Williams Collection might be ok and it even has a couple of machines I have played. I'm not sure why they have never released a Bally Collection with some of the modern classics like Twighlight Zone and even Adams Family. A Stern collection might be interesting as well since they are the only company left making them. I'm not sure why they stick so slavishly to real pinball designs as Metroid Pinball showed that throwing a few crawling alien insects on the table can be fun too... and goes a little way to making up for everything that is lost in reducing a pinball machine down to a measly video game.



geckofreak commented on Review: Zen Pinball 3D (3DSWare):

It's hard to believe you all (inc. Thomas) have been playing the same Zen Pinball 3DS that I did! I have played it quite a lot if only because I spent money on it so I will darn well get some value out of it - even if it kills me - but this game fails terribly in so many ways!
Thomas said the physics were great but on my 3DS the ball has a very limited number of paths it can follow. Hit target A and and the ball will fall in the same exact path to the end of the flipper EVERY TIME! I'm not even sure it would actually qualify as "game physics".
On top of this the ball sometimes jumps around and leaves the flippers at odd angles (even if a very limited number of odd angles).
The graphics freeze regularly, most annoyingly when the ball is heading to the flipper so it's it impossible to time your shot.
Some loops/ramps have been positioned with little or no regard to the proper flow of a real pinball. eg. In Excalibur you shoot the loop and the ball hits the top of the slingshot and bounces to the opposite flipper... exactly the same way every time.
On El Dorado you can keep shooting the ramps as much as you like in order to spell "JADE" in the flipper feed lanes so that the ridiculously long ball save stays on continuously... so with a little practice it's possible to sit there and keep the ball save going constantly, racking up huge scores (all the while with this little voice in the back of my head willing me to miss so that it will finally be over)
The 3D visuals look nice enough unless you want to know what the upper playfield artwork is about then you have to hold the ball and use the view button to look around the table and as soon as a multiball starts the camera pulls further out so you can see the whole table - ie The table becomes much smaller - at this point you have to deal with the poor "physics" and freezing while squinting to see the little graphics!

Perhaps the 3DS downloadable games are too limited to do justice to pinball. I can only hope Nintendo release a 3DS Metroid Pinball as this has been my favorite video game pinball - in my opinion as an enthusiast (and borderline wizard) of real pinball.