Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask Complete

I finished up the latest game in the Professor Layton series, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask. I’ve played each other game in the series, starting with the Curious Village, then the Diabolical Box, the Unwound Future, and finally the Last Spector. This latest game is probably the most fun I’ve had with the series so far, and considering I’ve enjoyed all the games, that is high praise.

The Miracle Mask takes some interesting steps forward with gameplay elements unique to this entry. The familiar puzzles are present, and very good this time around. However, in addition, there are gameplay sequences similar to the Pok

Pikmin 3

I’ve been having a great time playing the most-recent first-party release for the WiiU, Pikmin 3. As per Nintendo’s usual operating procedure, this sequel doesn’t stray far from the formula, but the quality is very high, as is the charm. You control an army of the little Pikmin characters, a kind of plant/animal hybrid, as you perform tasks such as defeating enemies many times your size and gather all sorts of fruit to feed your crew.

The game has the right amounts of exploration, combat, and puzzles that all require the use of your Pikmin. Each type of Pikmin has a different ability that allows you to surpass obstacles or defeat enemies, but it’s up to you to control them. The game is pretty easy so far at least, but a few of the boss fights have been a real challenge.

Although not something I typically care about, the graphical fidelity of the game is very high. The Pikmin and player-controlled characters are cartoonish, but the real-world environments with earth, snow, water, and many types of foliage appear at first glance to be very real. Water splashes believably and branches, leaves, and sticks react to your efforts to move and break them. I was particularly impressed by the deformation of sandy ground as you moved across it, blew it up with bombs, and under which the boss burrowed.

Pikmin 3 is a very strong title for the WiiU, and while isn’t a killer app for everyone, is certainly a great reason to own a WiiU.