Posts Tagged ‘free’

Why I’ve Decided to Give Up All Other Games and Just Play League of Legends

My dear friends, I am tired.

I’m tired of videogame release after videogame release, all vying for my attention and my increasingly dwindling pool of time. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last several hectic months of my life, it’s that there is such a thing as spreading yourself too thin. If you play too many games, regardless of your good intentions, it becomes near impossible to do justice to any of them.

So I’m done.

Not with games per se, but with playing so very many games. The Final Fantasies, Legend of Zeldas and Call of Duties of the world will hardly miss me if I leave them in my past in order to focus on new horizons. New and insanely popular horizons. Yes, the world’s most played game is calling my name, and its name, of course, is League of Legends.

I may only have dabbled in the game in the past, but what I have played is enough to convince me that I’m making the right call here. There just isn’t a more replayable game out there – it just flat-out doesn’t exist. Every game of LoL is different, and though it’s surprisingly easy to get your head around at first, its sheer, near-bottomless depth, constantly shifting metagame and regular content updates have made it one of the biggest eSports on the planet. And, i mean, have you seen an official League of Legends eSports broadcast? They are so polished I sometimes can’t tell whether I’m watching a traditional sporting presentation or not.

It’s bananas, yo.

I’m not saying I’ll ever be any good at the game, but I’m starting to see what all the hype is about, and it’s just about time to take the plunge. Faced with less free time than I’ve ever had in my life before, League of Legends offers me what other games cannot – an experience that never truly ends, but can be enjoyed in bite-sized pieces. 27 million daily players cannot be wrong.

See you online.

 

A Public Service Announcement for Wii U Owners

Though it’s really, really difficult to believe right now, the Wii U just turned 2 years old a couple of weeks ago, and that means there is something you should probably look into rather soon if you happen to own a Premium version of the console (that’s the black one).

You see, whether you’ve realised it or not, ever since you’ve had your Wii U you may have been earning points towards what ultimately amounts to free money. And in a matter of weeks your ability to earn said points will cease, so now would be a good time to have a look at your point haul.

As long as you have a working Nintendo Network ID (which is required to use the Nintendo eShop online storefront in any case), every digital purchase you have made on your Wii U since you got it, whether we’re talking GBA games, SNES games, original titles like the NES Remix twins, full downloadable versions of retail titles, right out to Mario Kart 8 DLC, Hyrule Warriors Season Passes etc, has earned you points towards an “activation code” for $7 AUD eShop credit. Now I’m not exactly sure how much you need to spend to get this activation code, but I do know that I’ve earned three of them since the Wii U launched, and that I’m very, very close to my fourth:

NNP_Screen

So how do you find out what you’ve earned? Easy. Just go to p.nintendo.net/, choose your country, and sign in with your Nintendo Network ID. You’ll be met with a screen like the one pictured above. Note the text in the red box. Though you will have until the end of the coming March to redeem any codes you may have earned, your ability to earn those codes expires on the last day of this year. So depending on how close you are to a code, now may be the time to pick up Earthbound, Shovel Knight, Advance Wars and the like.

The more you know.

How To Get Even More Free Stuff on Playstation Plus

 

If you have a current Playstation games console (specifically a PS3, PS4 and/or PS Vita) and a connection to the internet, you really should have some kind of subscription to Sony’s Playstation Plus service. It just makes too much sense (and is alos kinda necessary to play most online-capable games on PS4). If you’re skeptical or in the dark about its benefits, read this post I wrote a while back, when it was offering less free stuff than it was now. If it still doesn’t appeal to you, that’s OK. But if it does, then you either have a PS Plus account, or you’re planning to grab a subscription soon. Either way, read on.

Most PS Plus subscribers do not quite realise the extent of what they’re able to access with their membership. If you have just a Playstation 3, for example, you may only be downloading one or two free PS3 games as they become available each month, doing so directly from your PS3 and going along your merry way. And that’s fine. Except you could be getting more.

Allow me to suggest a new way to peruse your monthly free game offerings on PS Plus – a way that is faster, more convenient and leaves you with more games than simply doing it via your console of choice. It may seem obvious to some but I remain astounded by the number of Playstation gamers I meet who are completely unaware of the option. This was first pointed out to me by Delaney of the Mega Ultra Blast Cast (Had to mention that or he would probably complain).
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So you finally got yourself a Wii U, huh?

The World Cup is over and my sleep patterns are more or less back to normal – let’s get back into this!

Yes, it’s another post about the Wii U. It’s fun to write about, alright?

So, you did it. You finally plonked down some hard-earned cash on Nintendo’s newest home console, thanks to the much-too-long-awaited second wave of hype that currently envelops it. Maybe it was the look and feel of Mario Kart 8 that made you do it, or maybe it was Nintendo’s strong showing at E3 this year. Perhaps you’re just sick of waiting through the appalling current drought of Triple-A releases on your PS4 or Xbox One and want something a little different to fill the gap. Maybe you are just too excited about the prospect of a new Smash Bros game this year, like how Hyrule Warriors is shaping up, or are a part of the Bayonetta series’ passionate following. It’s probably a combination of the above. Whatever your motivation, relax. Ignore the vocal haters on the internet – you’ve made a good call. Allow me to step in and help you get the most out of your new console. You may just find yourself surprised by how much enjoyment you can get out of it if you know where to look.

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1. Set up the console with two different power points

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First things first – the physical console set-up. With your average home console this means finding a single wall socket and a spare HDMI port, but with the Wii U there’s the additional concern of finding another power point for the gamepad’s own charger (plus the sensor bar setup if you’ll be playing Wii Remote-compatible titles). Though this may initially seem like an annoyance that could have been avoided in design, you may actually find that it improves the usability of the Wii U as long as you’re willing to put a bit of effort into initial setup. If you can find a way to plug the charger in next to your lounge/couch/chair/bed rather than near the TV, you’ll rarely ever need to get up and turn on your console/television.

The Best Thing.

This is because during your first boot-up, the Wii U will prompt you to set the gamepad up as a TV remote. Don’t skip this part – it’s actually really fast and it will mean that anytime you want to use your Wii U in the future, all you’ll need to do is take a seat, pick up the gamepad next to you, turn on your TV from the menu there, adjust the input and volume if necessary, then turn on your actual console and get started. When combined with the recent streamlining of the console’s operating system and the new gamepad-based “quick start” menu, you may just find that the Wii U gets you playing the games you want faster and easier than any other dedicated games device you own. And of course, you don’t even need a TV to play most Wii U games, because the vast majority of them support off-TV, gamepad-only play. Just make sure to remember to plug the gamepad into the charger after every use – it’s battery life is quite bad (see the 9th point on this article for more on that).

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2. Download that initial update

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This may seem obvious to some, but it really is worth stressing. If you’re planning to go out somewhere after you pick up your Wii U, at least do the setup first, because there’s a big day one update coming. While I’m not entirely sure how large the update is on the newest batch of Wii Us, I know it took a couple of hours to download on my launch console, so keep that in mind. While this update is not mandatory, it does enable many of the features I’m about to talk about. Don’t get blindsided by it.

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What a Wonderful Month, and So On

Dat font tho. Thanks, Google.

For the last two years on this blog I have backed up my excitement for the entertainment media offerings of the month of June by writing down some of said offerings in a dedicated post. While this year’s version of the month doesn’t look quite as good in this department as, say, last year’s, when The Last of Us and Animal Crossing: New Leaf dropped on consecutive days, I’m still able to bring together ten releases for which I am suitably keen. I would be jumping out of my skin waiting for June to come around even without any of these – the FIFA World Cup is nearly here, after all – but they just make the idea of the month even sweeter. Here are ten of the things that will be available to us this June (in chronological order): Continue reading

Why I’m Suddenly Excited For Mario Kart 8

In case you missed it, just over a week ago Nintendo dropped a completely unannounced half-hour Nintendo Direct broadcast focusing entirely on their upcoming Wii U mega-title Mario Kart 8 (You can watch the whole thing below). I thought my fondness for the Mario Kart series had peaked a decade ago with the excellent Mario Kart DS, but this rather incredible recent information rush has really grabbed my attention. I’ve given it some thought over the last week and that all-too-rare feeling that something special is coming has well and truly set in. Here are five reasons why 8 might just be the magic number come the end of this month.

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Wonderfully ambitious online features

Nintendo had some pretty impressive online player numbers in the heyday of Mario Kart Wii, even if they never really called much attention to them, and it’s obvious that they want those players back. I have never seen such an ambitious suite of planned online features for a Nintendo game. According to the Direct, players can customise the item sets, karts, difficulty and more that they want for their own personal online tournaments, which can be set to repeat at a certain time every week so that you and your friends can meet for regular sessions. The same can be done for public tournaments, meaning if you want to race in a matchmaking environment without items at all, you can. Astoundingly, Nintendo has also managed to allow for video replay editing that can be uploaded straight to YouTube, a feature that is still missing from the PS4, although the Xbox One added it earlier this year. Now the only question remains, will it run smoothly? If so, I shall dance a merry jig in my living room, because not only will that make for some intense races, it also means good things for the upcoming Super Smash Bros for Wii U. 

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