Hey, readers! Welcome back to The Geekend, where we talk about the games and anime that we’ve been enjoying (or not enjoying, as the case may be). This week, Jimmy is all about Mario Kart 8 while Dan is less sold on basketball and Pokémon. Let us know what you’ve been up to down in the comments!
Jimmy Stephenson–Staff Writer
I’ve spent most of my gaming time this week racing up and down the Mushroom Kingdom in Mario Kart 8, and I must say that I’m impressed by what I’ve seen. Each of the 32 tracks in the game looks gorgeous on the HD console, and the gravity mechanic allows for some interesting paths through each. You’ll race up (and down) a waterfall, on the walls of castles and caves, and down a lengthy ski slope. Of course, this is Mario Kart, so all of the standard rage-inducing, slingshoting power ups are present and accounted for. The addition of a blue-shell blocking shockwave is a nice touch, as proper use can help prevent the most frustrating reversal of fortune. There are plenty of unlockables to work toward, including probably half the total roster and tons of parts for your kart, bike, or four wheeler. So far, I’ve been playing more multiplayer than single, and that’s where MK8 really shines. So far, I’ve never had any trouble joining with a group, and the game runs at 60 fps with absolutely no lag. It all adds up to very addictive online experience, as you constantly tell yourself “just one more game.” Really, the only complaint that I have is that, after seeing how good the online multiplayer, HD graphics, and inventive tracks are, its making me really want a new F-Zero game. COME ON, NINTENDO! ITS BEEN 11 YEARS!
This week, I’ve rotated out which handheld game I’m playing once again and returned to Pokémon X. I think I’ve talked about the game on a couple occasions here in The Geekend, and my opinion hasn’t really changed much. The game looks good and it’s still quite fun to play, but there are little things that just feel like the game is too easy. For one, having access to the experience share right near the start means that everyone levels up quickly, which is great, but it also means that when I do any searching for Pokémon to catch as I travel, I end up feeling kind of overleveled. I’m still only about halfway through the game at this point, so it might change towards the end, but everything points to that not being very likely. On my PS3, I picked up NBA 2K14 because I hadn’t played a basketball game in some time, and I’m really glad that I didn’t pay for it. The controls feel very different from when I used to play, which is fine and I’ll have to adjust, but there are some AI issues that almost make it not worth trying to play. In my few hours with the game thus far, I’ve watched players bounce passes off of a teammate’s back, lose the ball while dribbling all by himself, and even run away from a guy who is on a fast break. Yes, bad plays happen in the NBA, but not with this frequency. These players are supposed to be professionals, but they wouldn’t make a high school team if they played this way. Maybe I’ve had some bad luck so far, but it may take some time before I go back to it.
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