Gaming reviews: Pikmin 3; The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief; New Super Luigi
Michael Plant is chief editor and writer of gaming ezine and blog GamesCatalyst.com, as well as editor of 'The Independent'’s games review printed in the Saturday supplement 'Information'. Established in February 2011, Games Catalyst endeavours to bring its unique brand of fact and satire to the videogaming community and, in tandem with 'The Independent', hopefully turn a few non-believers on to gaming while we’re at it.
Friday 26 July 2013
Pikmin returns after an extended hiatus and delivers exactly what any fan would expect: the continued corralling of the titular helpful herbivores, all wrapped-up in glossy HD visuals courtesy of Wii U. Series stalwarts Captain Olimar and Louie are this time ousted as principal leads by a brave trio of new astronauts, Captain Charlie, Brittany and Alph. The three have crash-landed on the planet Koppai, leaving them seeking both their ship's missing parts and a source of food.
Division of labour is the order of the day, then, and it's here where the console's unique functionality comes to the fore, with players able to set separate destinations for each character by use of the touchscreen map. While the addition of rock and air pikmin adds to an already rich dish, it's the wistful charm of witnessing your pikmin fetching, carrying and bashing monsters that is the chief selling point. Pikmin 3 might be little more than a spruced-up take on its predecessors, but it's still nothing less than essential for Wii U owners.
The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief
£20.99 (inc. all three episodes)
Part one of this point-and-click series plays like a homage to the complete works of Agatha Christie. There's a trip on the Orient Express, a cruise aboard an ocean liner (complete with regulation murder victim) and a lead character, one Constable Zellner, who is surely a distant cousin of Hercule Poirot. Subsequent episodes might be wise to feature more challenging conundrums; but this is still a promising start into the mystery of the Raven's return.
New Super Luigi U
To mark the "Year of Luigi" – as Nintendo has christened 2013 – the company has rejigged its Wii U launch title New Super Mario Bros U, removing Mario and installing his oft-dismissed, green-overall-clad brother in his place. What follows is some of the most challenging Super Mario Bros platforming since The Lost Levels. Pixel-perfect jumping, punishing platform configurations and an absence of mid-way points define Luigi's game, in a sometimes frustrating adventure that's not for the faint of heart.
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