Monday 30 November 2015

"Talent is a flame. Genius is a fire."

If I'm honest LEGO Technic doesn't really appeal to me as much as the classic brick does but I could see while building recently that Seth is getting into the more technical side of LEGO building and he's even been eyeing up the electrical kits in our local toy store. I thought it was time for us to try something a little different. Although the parts used in Technic don't do it for me, the amazing finished articles that are popping up in the range look really interesting.

To start with, one of the mid range kits to get Seth's technical building started (42040 Fire Plane). I personally find it really difficult to custom build with the Technic piece system but that's mainly because I am so familiar with the classic bricks. As we made our way through the build though I was really impressed with the design and being able to see the moving mechanisms starting very early on. The propellor on the plane moves when you push the landing gear along a surface and the boys found it really interesting that that was made possible using only a series of cogs and a small rubber band. I could hear the cogs in Seth's head going round as he was asking "could I make something that does this...." and "If I built this could we make this bit move". The ailerons and elevators also move using a joystick on the plane and if that's not enough, there is a button on top of the plane that you can press to release the water bricks from the hatch below, it is a really detailed build.

LEGO Technic offers a completely different side to LEGO building and for a builder that wants what they have created to include motion it really is a great addition. the Fire plane looks awesome and has great playability. What makes this build even better though is it is a 2 in 1 kit and can also be rebuilt in to a jet plane. A lot of thought has gone into this build especially being 2 models and it has got me thinking more about my own creations.

*Note: The plane does come with stickers, unfortunately our over excited 4 year old is yet to let us stick them on until we have built the jet plane.

Now to move on to a bigger build, we have started kit 42042 The Crawler Crane which is taking Seth longer than expected but he is loving learning more about the power functions so stay tuned for that post very soon. I may have been converted to the magic of LEGO Technic after all.

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice"

If you are anything like us when it comes to gaming then you love a good brawl, I'm not a violent person at all in fact I am quite the softy but there is something quite satisfying about letting out your inner rage on a games console. The latest scrapping game to be released is Kung Fu Panda: Showdown of Legendary Legends and it is being released ahead of the next installment of what will now be the Kung Fu panda trilogy. Myself and the boys have been having a good old fisty cuffs over the last few days with Po and his friends.

The game follows a similar style to Super Smash brothers, giving the player the chance to battle in many different arena's with upper levels to bounce around on and special moves to master along the way. I am not ashamed to say that I am terrible at it and I follow the same fighting style as I did playing the first Street fighter game many many years ago, hit every button and hope for the best. Opeie however being the wise old age of 4 seems to know exactly what he is doing and puts my gaming style to shame.

With a great selection of characters to chose from, from both the Kung fu Panda movies and the Legends of awesomeness series and plenty of stages to fight in, Showdown of legendary legends could have you happily brawling for hours. 


Sunday 29 November 2015

"When a fox is in the bottle where the tweetle beetles battle with their paddles in a puddle on a noodle-eating poodle..."

After finishing Fantastic Mr Fox with Opeie a few nights back I figured that it was about time for the Gifts from the Pirates fox hunt update. The family game is still going strong and is now in its third year. It seems that everywhere we look still those sly yet adorable animals are staring right back at us. Here are the ones we have spotted recently...

"The edible, fleshy, roundish, or somewhat conical, root of a cruciferous plant"

Its definitely been a month of gaming and we've been so lucky getting to review some great Nintendo 3ds and Wii U titles. The boys love gaming and although we do limit them so that it is done in moderation, if they can steal a spare gaming minute here or there they will. Today was one of those days where the rain was thrashing down, it was dark and gloomy and Mrs M was curled up on the sofa feeling poorly... cue a family gaming afternoon under a blanket.

With the release of Animal Crossing: amiibo festival last week we had been sent the game to review, we had planned on getting stuck in last weekend but with the days taken up by adventure and then a pretty busy week following we didn't get the chance to all sit down together. Firstly when the game arrived the boys were so excited to find 4 amiibo's! well it is a festival. Me and Opeie had reviewed Animal Crossing Happy home designer a few weeks back so Opeie was familiar with the characters and chose his boss Tom Nook straight away.

Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival follows a similar style to the Mario party series. 1 to 4 players make their way around a very cute board game and the aim of the game is to be the happiest player at the end of it, I know, too cute for words right?! each player takes it in turn to roll the dice by holding their amiibo against the game pad they then make their way around the board trying to land on the spaces that make them happy by doing good deeds and meeting up with friends, or the ones that give them the best pay out, to spend on turnips (more about that shortly).

It was nice to see that Cyrus shares my love of blogging and he is getting himself out there.

A full game plays through 4 weeks and each roll of the dice is the equivalent to a day. throughout the week you are greeted by different characters throughout the Animal Crossing games, fortune tellers, Crazy red who owns the card shop and Joan who visits each week to sell you turnips to sell along the way at a higher (or lower) rate. Some days the turnips you are carrying can be worth a lot more than the price you paid for them but other times the market drops and you will end up making a loss if you are unlucky.

Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival is a great interactive game, making use of both the amiibo characters for moving around the board and the huge collection of Animal Crossing amiibo cards for unlocking all of the mini games throughout main game.

For a 4 player game it took around 1 hour 15 minutes to play the full month. It was nice to play a game together as a family and great to have the chance to be playing something that I'm not continuously tied too, I could get up make drinks and dinner between goes, awesome! Mrs M's character Cyrus (who was nicknamed millenium fonz because of the quiff) was the happiest all through game and Mrs M was sure that she was the reigning champ. As we reached the end of the game though Opeie had more money which added to the happy points, proving that you can in fact buy happiness.

Animal Crossing: amiibo festival isn't the sort of game I would play myself of an evening but for younger children and for quality family time the game is great, sending a great message that if you are a good person and you do nice things for people you will inevitably be a happier person.