After writing about the Zelda franchise recently, I had to get playing the DS release Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks because, hello, you get to drive a train. In this adventure, you are trying to restore the train tracks that connect the realms as well as stop the resurrection of an evil lord who has stolen Zelda’s body. With sword, er stylus, in hand I set out on this small but mighty adventure. I was actually surprised by how long the game was and how much was packed into that little cartridge. Zelda’s ghost is your guide, but she is also your partner in fights for certain areas which is a nice addition to the gameplay. Your path is very straightforward since you can only travel by train so the map has but a few outposts to discover, sadly. Despite loving trains, at times traveling was tedious and long since the only way to open portals was, for the most part, done with side errands that I didn’t engage in. Still I had a blast with the train driving and the first part of the final battle in which you must take on a giant evil train was quite fun. There is a noticeably low count of enemies in this game, but bosses still gave me quite a challenge throughout. My favorite was in the fire temple, it was just enjoyable to play! But I cannot emphasize enough to Nintendo: please quit it with the stylus heavy games already or at least make it optional especially for things like walking. The accuracy is just not there and it takes some of the portability out. Also flute playing gave me nothing but frustration throughout the game because no one really teaches you how to do it correctly. One thing that stood out to me as the game went on was even though there was much hand-holding, you got so used to it that when it didn’t explain something it was damn hard to figure out. This happened multiple times to me, I’m okay with not haing hints but I’d like consistency about it otherwise it is just confusing. Overall, it was an enjoyable game experience, and I spent the better part of a weekend playing it nonstop, so it hooked me quite well. I love the Wind Waker-esque world so it is great to continue to see additions to it.
With my roommate playing so much Mass Effect 3 that he actually took a week off from work I too have been sucked into to the hype. And since I have a iOS device I decided to try out Mass Effect: Infiltrator. Having sampled a bunch of iOS games the first thing I noticed is that anything other than simple puzzle games and time wasters have an annoying learning curve where you spend time learning the touch screen control scheme and wrangling it into something you can play. As much as writers like to claim that phones will kill the portable gaming machine market the fact that any full portable console has intuitive control scheme make the far more suited for full-fledged games. Infiltrator is a side story about a Cerberus operative who goes rouge. The story is fairly minimal. If you are expecting the complex moral decisions from the main game you will be sadly disappointed. They give you paragon/renegade choices but they are super simple and seem to have little effect on the plot. The combat is a system where upgrades are essential to succed. You have to grind the low-level missions to get the upgrades you need to the later story. The first thing you should to is buy the sniper rifle and the beam rifle. Then upgrade all you weapons and the pull ability. Everything else is supplemental. You need the extra weapons for get the style bonuses from switching weapons to get real money. If you just rely on the assault rifle and the shotgun you will have a very hard time getting gold on any level past the first few.Once I got the hang of the game it was fun but it is really small especially for the price. I am looking froward to seeing how this compares to the Mass Effect 3: Datapad app considering that is free.