New 2DS XL unboxing and first hands-on impressions video

Nintendo will be releasing the New 2DS XL on 13 July in Japan and 28 July in the US and Europe.

The latest member of the 3DS family, the New 2DS XL is the budget offering in the ‘New’ range, clocking in at £50 cheaper than the New 3DS XL.

But how does it look, and is it worth the money? Yer man Scullion will be giving a full written review next week, but until then here’s a 12-minute video of me unboxing it and pointing out some of the key good and bad points. Continue reading “New 2DS XL unboxing and first hands-on impressions video”

ARMS (Switch) review

Nintendo
Switch

When I first played Arms at the Nintendo Switch reveal event back in January, I left with a few concerns.

“Before I fork over my cash for it,” I wrote in my hands-on preview, “I’m going to want to see a lot more characters, plenty more stages (each with a unique gimmick, preferably) and a solid single-player mode that goes beyond arcade-style ‘beat this fighter, then this one, and so on’ stuff.

“I like what I’ve seen so far, but I remain unconvinced at this point. It’s going to take a little more than this to disarm me. You’d think I’d be sorry for that joke. You’d be wrong.”

I’ve now spent the last week playing the game at home, and I’m happy that most of those concerns have been put to rest. I’ve even come to terms with calling it ARMS instead of Arms.

And I’m still not sorry for that joke. Continue reading “ARMS (Switch) review”

Ultra Street Fighter II (Switch) review

Nintendo / Capcom
Switch

Street Fighter is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. While its popularity may have started in the arcades, gamers of a certain age (i.e. old pricks like me) will always associate it with Nintendo too.

The Super Famicom version of Street Fighter II was the game that got countless western SNES gamers curious about importing, with magazines like Super Play guiding us through the process.

I distinctly remember convertor cartridges being sold out of independent game shops all over Glasgow as I (well, my dad) and many others happily dropped upwards of £100 on the Japanese version of the game so we didn’t have to wait six months for the European release.

For the longest time the SNES version of Street Fighter II and its ‘sequel’ Street Fighter II Turbo were the big winning blow in the 16-bit console wars, the game Mega Drive owners were jealous they didn’t have. Until they got it a year later, mind.

My (needlessly long) point is that when I think back to the early days of Street Fighter II, my mind goes back to the early ‘90s as I played it for hours every night on the SNES, wearing out my L and R shoulder buttons with endless Dragon Punches, Spinning Bird Kicks and Hundred-Hand Slaps.

It’s fitting, then, that Capcom should celebrate Street Fighter’s 30th anniversary with a return to Nintendo and what it hopes is the definitive version of the game that kicked it all off in the first place. And for the most part, it’s succeeded. Continue reading “Ultra Street Fighter II (Switch) review”

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows Of Valentia (3DS) review

Nintendo / Intelligent Systems
Nintendo 3DS

Hey! Remember Fire Emblem Gaiden? Of course you don’t, you lying bastard: it was released on the Famicom (NES) in Japan 25 years ago and never made it to the west.

But fret not, because it’s back as a shiny new 3DS remake, complete with a much less concise title – Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows Of Valentia.

Let’s be clear, though: this ain’t your daddy’s Fire Emblem. Um, unless yer da used to live in Hokkaido or something in the early ’90s.

Echoes tells the story of the continent of Valentia, which has been divided by warring nations. One country worships the earth god Mila, whereas another worships the dark god Duma.

You play two different campaigns at once: one involving a young lad called Alm, and one starring a similarly youthful lass by the name of Celica.

Alm and Celica were childhood friends, but ‘events’ split them up early in their lives and they each go on to lead different armies on opposite sides. If you think this means an awkward reunion is inevitable, then… well, yes. Obviously. Continue reading “Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows Of Valentia (3DS) review”

Review round-up #2: NBA Playgrounds, OK Golf, Puyo Puyo Tetris, Kitty Powers, Ruin Of The Reckless

It’s time for my second review round-up, covering the games I’ve been playing over the past week or two. This time around:

• Is NBA Playgrounds more Space Jam or Shaq Fu?
• Is OK Golf more Tiger Woods ten years ago or Tiger Woods today?
• Is Puyo Puyo Tetris more Bloc Party or New Kids On The Block?
• Is Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker more drag queen or Drag Me To Hell?
• Is Ruin Of The Reckless more procedural perfection or by-the-numbers baws?

Read on to find out, innit. Continue reading “Review round-up #2: NBA Playgrounds, OK Golf, Puyo Puyo Tetris, Kitty Powers, Ruin Of The Reckless”

Review round-up #1: Lego City, Neurovoider, Disney Afternoon Collection, Pic-A-Pix Color, FlatOut 4

Tired Old Hack is two years old now, and in that time the site has finally grown to a stage where I’m able to start doing what I love again: reviewing lots of games.

Most big sites review all the triple-A games but often other titles are ignored. One of the main points of Tired Old Hack is to make sure these other games get their chance. The thing is, I like to write long, meaty reviews but since I’m only one man I don’t really have the ability to do this for every game I get review code for.

Since I want to cover as many games as possible – to make sure you lovely bastards are suitably informed as to what I’m liking and what you should steer well clear of – I’ve decided to start these regular review round-ups. Continue reading “Review round-up #1: Lego City, Neurovoider, Disney Afternoon Collection, Pic-A-Pix Color, FlatOut 4”

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch) review

Nintendo / Nintendo EAD
Switch

For most games, selling 8 million copies would be considered a huge success. Much whooping and hollering would take place, and both publisher and developer would metaphorically and physically kiss each other on the lips at a job well done.

Mario Kart isn’t most games though. For it, 8 million is quite an underachievement. Considering the DS, Wii and 3DS entries sold 23, 36 and 14 million copies respectively, a ‘mere’ 8 million has to go down, bizarrely, as a disappointment.

This was the fate that befell the appropriately named Mario Kart 8, which failed to hit octuple figures through no fault of its own. Indeed, most people who played it considered it the greatest Mario Kart game ever made.

The reason for its relative sales funk, of course, was that it was released on the Wii U, a console that – as genuinely great as it was – ended up being about as popular as an Al Jolson cosplayer at the MOBO awards.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, then, finds itself in an interesting position. It’s essentially an enhanced version of a game that, despite already selling 8 million copies, is set to be experienced by a whole host of new players for the first time. Continue reading “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch) review”