The Tuesday usual: I chat games with Radio Wammo

It’s Tuesday so that means I chat games with Glenn “Wammo” Williams on Kiwi FM. Today we talked about Resident Evil: Revelations on the Nintendo 3DS and the Circle Pad Pro accessory that adds a second thumb stick to Nintendo’s handheld.

I also did a written review of the Circle Pad Pro yesterday and while it’s ugly, bulky and only comes in black it actually works really well, especially in games like Resident Evil: Revelations.

That’s all I’ve got. Thank you and goodnight.

Hands-on with Nintendo’s Circle Pad Pro

If I’m being completely honest, Nintendo’s Circle Pad Pro for it’s Nintendo 3DS handheld is pretty ugly, especially when it’s clashing with the blue of my 3DS.

As you can see in the photo, I’ve got a blue 3DS and the Circle Pad Pro is black. In fact, it only comes in one colour: black.

The Circle Pad Pro is a bulky, strange-looking peripheral – that’s it there in the photo – that you slot the 3DS into, snug and tight thanks  to six rubber pads that hold it into place.

It takes a AAA battery and as well as  a second thumb stick – which I have always argued the 3DS needed from the beginning – it adds an additional right shoulder button and two triggers: ZR and ZL. It’s so bulky I can’t fit my 3DS into it’s case without removing it.

I’ve long said that the one mistake Nintendo made with the 3DS was not including a second thumb stick, crucial for action games and manual camera control  – and the Circle Pad Pro sorts that problem out.

The first game to make use of the peripheral is Capcom’s Resident Evil: Revelations, the first game of the series I’ve played on a handheld and it’s actually enjoyable using the Circle Pad Pro: more enjoyable than I thought it would be.

Being able to move the camera around as you move Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield around the game world of Revelations is a breeze thanks to the Circle Pad Pro. I played the demo of Revelations before I got the Circle Pad Pro and while playable, I think you get a lot more freedom of movement in the game if you didn’t have the device.

If there’s one think that’s frustrating about the device it’s that after a certain period of inactivity the device goes into standby mode, for example shutting the lid for a few minutes. What that means is that you have to go back into the options menu and re-activate the device. It’s not a big deal but it’s frustrating – especially when you have to keep closing the game because of interruptions.  A message also tells you that if it enters standby mode again to press ZR and ZL together.

Look, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with the Circle Pad Pro. It looks ungainly, awkward and complicated but it actually works and works well. Hopefully there will be plenty of games coming out that make the most of it. I know there is a huge market of gamers who don’t see the merit in dedicated handheld gaming consoles like the 3DS but if you own one and want more control then I can’t see you going wrong with the Circle Pad Pro. Edit:  Something I forgot to mention about the Circle Pad Pro but remembered it this morning when I was doing my segment with Glenn “Wammo” Williams was that the volume slider on the left side of the 3DS is awkward to get to when it’s in the peripheral. I often turn the volume down when I’m playing while sitting on the couch with Mrs Game Junkie (or put in one ear piece) but when it’s all the way down it’s quite hard to turn the volume up while it’s in the Circle Pad Pro.

The Circle Pad Pro is out in New Zealand on February 2 (Thursday) and will cost $35. Resident Evil: Revelations is also out on February 2 and will cost about $90.

We talk Syndicate and Xcom: Enemy Unknown

Jeepers, two videos in one post: what the hell is wrong with me? Seriously, though: two videos in one post. That’s pretty good on my part.

Today was the first video game slot for 2012 with Kiwi FM’s Glenn “Wammo” Williams.  We talked about games, as we do.

The games of choice today were remakes of the 1990s games Syndicate, which was first made by Peter Molyneux’s Bullfrog Productions company back in the day, and Xcom Enemy Unknown, a tactical strategy game not to be confused with the first person shooter Xcom game also in the works.

I’m sure I ramble sometimes and get off topic but it’s sure to make entertaining listening. Oh, as an added bonus, I sort of spring on Wammo that Trials Evolution, the sequel to Trials HD, one of our favourite games on XBLA where Wammo, I and some other Xbox mates tried to outdo each others scores .

Trials HD is a great game but I agree with Wammo that the difficulty spike on some of the later courses is so brutal that we both gave up.

Trials Evolution, which seems jammed packed with features, also allows for competitive multiplayer, so you can race against your mates and really show them who’s boss.

Here’s a trailer of it in action. It looks pretty neat.

Trailer bonanza: Resident Evil 6

Things are fairly quiet at the moment so here’s a little bit of Resident Evil news to put some excitement into your Monday night (well, it’s Monday night for us here in New Zealand but it could be Sunday somewhere else).

Resident Evil fans rejoice, Capcom have released a trailer for Resident Evil 6, the next console game in the survival horror series.

The game, coming out on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3,  is due  in November and is rumoured to feature six-player co-op and takes place 10 years after the original Resident Evil.

The game features Chris Redfield and Leon S Kennedy as the game’s main heroes.

In completely unrelated news, I’ve been playing the Resident Evil  Revelations demo on the 3DS. It’s pretty good, and I’m not even that scared while I’m playing it either.

So, who’s excited about RE6 then?

Haterz always going to hate

[Today’s posting is a rant. I just have to get it off my chest]

I have two gaming T-shirts that I wear quite a bit.

One of them has the images of four game controllers (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC mouse and Wii-mote) accompanied with the words: “Contrary to popular opinion, these do not make me a killer (Well maybe the Wii-mote, that thing is dangerous)”

It’s my “I like to play video games T-shirt, get used to it” T-shirt and nine times out of 10 when I wear it someone will give me a strange look. In fact, a week or so ago when we were staying at a remote location in the Marlborough Sounds I wore it into the camp shop/diary to get milk and a paper. The woman behind the counter sort of looked strange when she saw it.

I mention my T-shirt because if there’s one thing really grinds my gears it’s people who  criticise people who play video games. That’s why I like wearing that T-shirt (it came from Insert Coin clothing in the UK): it makes it known to people that I play video games and, contrary to what they believe, years of playing games haven’t made me a killer. I don’t go out at night, like Dexter Morgan in the TV show Dexter does, prowling for evil doers.

I’m raising this topic because today someone who has hardly played video games at all criticised why I played video games.  I don’t understand why people do that: why criticise someone just because it’s something you don’t like?

Sorry, but I just don’t understand it. I think it’s because they don’t understand video games or the technology behind them. That’s the only answer I can give. Seriously. Or they’ve watched a mainstream news story about “video game nasties” and based their opinion on that.

I’m not making people who don’t like video games play them so why do they criticise them? “Oh, why do you waste your time playing that when you could be outside, in the sun, riding a bike, or doing something with nature?” is a common comment I get on another blog from people who have no understanding of the industry or video games. I don’t like hunting but it would be like me visiting a hunting forum then telling hunters to give it a rest and start taking up crochet or something.

What these people who tell me to “go outside in the sun instead of playing video games” don’t seem to realise is that I actually am able to play video games and go outside and spent time with Mother Nature, on my bike and with my family. It’s called a balanced lifestyle and I have one. I ride my bike, I spend time with my family, I go out in the boat, I go fishing. I also play video games.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. Sometimes small things get my back up, especially when people slag off something that I enjoy just because they don’t understand it. Let us play video games: we’re not hurting anyone.

Promise I won’t moan again in future. Much.