New Nintendo 3DS – Review

February 13th sees the new and improved Nintendo 3DS go on sale in Europe, but amazingly Nintendo sent us one to review early so we could let you know all about their new handheld console.

We’ve been testing out the new Nintendo 3DS for about 2 weeks now, and have had a good go at all the new features.

We’ve been playing around with the smaller original sized new 3DS, but there is also an update of the XL version.

Some of the improvements on the new version include new shoulder buttons, new circle pad joystick,retro coloured buttons which look awesome, an improved processor, and vastly improved 3D.

The improved 3D has been the biggest jump forward for me with the new device. It works so much better, and I’ve actually been using the 3D all the time whereas before it would be more on and off. The 3D works better thanks to the new second camera which handles face-tracking. This means that you don’t have the problem anymore of moving slightly and losing the 3D image and having to find that sweet spot again. It’s made such a difference to my 3DS experience and I love it.

The boys have never really been big fans of the 3D on the 3DS, that’s why they got on so well with the simpler 2DS. However they have both been interested to try it out again on the new version and have been enjoying it a lot more.

It’s still not something I would let them play all the time, as I do worry about little ones developing eyes using it too much, but things like taking pictures in 3D and Face Raiders have been vastly improved for them by the new face tracking tech.

To be honest it’s the 3D pictures we’ve been using the most. Jacob just loves using his 3DS camera, and now taking 3D pictures is his big thing. They look amazing.

A brand new feature you won’t be able to see is the NFC technology, which makes it possible to use your lovely new Ammibo characters with your new 3DS. You just place the character base on the bottom screen, and just like that your Ammibo’s details come up on-screen. The first game to use the Ammibo’s will be Super Smash Bros 3DS once it gets the update tomorrow, and I can’t wait.

You will be able to use Ammibo’s with the old 3DS if you get a peripheral reader when they come out, but it won’t be as clean and user-friendly as simply putting your figure on the screen.

Another thing we love is the changeable face plates for the front and back of the screen. We were sent some Luigi plates as you can see, and they make your 3DS seem really fresh and original. Plus it’s a great way to add a bit of your personality to your new console.

For mums and Dads I think the appeal will be having different face plates for different kids 3DS’s so you can tell them apart. My boys have almost always had 3DS’s with no cases around them, as they found them too bulky to play with when they were younger with smaller hands. So these would be ideal. I wonder if they do a Pokemon themed one for Thomas?

The removable front and back plates are only available for the smaller new 3DS and not the XL which is a good and bad thing I suppose. It’s nice actually that it makes you feel better about having the smaller screen.

One small thing that still bugs me is that you don’t get a charger with the console. I know that most people will have one anyway from their previous 2DS/3DS, and if not they are easy and cheap to buy, but it still bugs me.

In conclusion the new 3DS might initially seem like not much has changed and an only upgrade when your original breaks kind of situation. But once you start actually using it you realise that all the little things that have changed add up to a great new console experience that if you love Nintendo and your 3DS you just have to get in on.

Sonic Boom 3DS/Wii U – Review

This close to christmas is a blur isn’t it. This year especially for me seems extra busy. Thomas has been off school sick, I’ve got a driving test in a few days and to add to it all my washing machine has packed up so I’m having to hand wash everything for the moment. Phew!

Thank goodness for some new video games to help us all wind down after a busy day, plus keep Thomas entertained whilst on his sick-bed.

Thanks to the lovely people again at Nintendo we’ve been playing the two new Sonic the hedgehog games. Sonic Boom:Shattered Crystal on the 3DS and Sonic Boom:Rise of Lyric on the Wii U.

They may both bear the Sonic Boom name, but they are very different games.

Shattered Crystal on the 3DS is more of a regular platform game. With the now familiar Sonic targeting system. Rise of Lyric on the Wii U is more about solving puzzles, with some battles along the way.

Whilst it’s nice to have a new Sonic game on both the main console and a mobile version. For us we much preferred Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric on the Wii U.

It’s great that 2 players can play together. Thanks to the Wii U gamepad’s screen, each player actually goes of separately in places and completes puzzles apart then coming back together when finished. It’s very cool.

It’s also good to see a new villain thrown into the mix, as Eggman needs a rest I’m sure. Although we do see Eggman at the start, most of the time our nemesis is a robot crocodile type creature called Lyric. He’s also the bad guy in Shattered Crystal on the 3DS.

As a family we would highly recommend Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. It was really good, one of the best Sonic games I’ve played for years.

Unfortunately we didn’t get on so well with Shattered Crystal on the 3DS. We just kept getting lost and spending 15-20 mins completing every level, which wasn’t that fun.

So For us we give the thumbs up to the Wii U version.

Disclosure: We were given a download code for both games in order for us to write an honest review.






Mario Kart 8 Bloggers Challenges Week 2 and 3

Sorry about this double post guys, but with the weather so wonderful I’ve got a bit behind with the blogging.

Since we received our copy of Mario Kart 8 from Nintendo we haven’t stopped racing. Were still having loads of fun completing the cups and unlocking new tracks. Plus the online play is awesome, I’m having a blast playing with racers around the world.

As part of our Nintendo family bloggers Mario Kart 8 challenges we’ve had so much stuff to keep us busy. We’ve been tackling the tracks Toad Harbour, Shy Guy Falls, Sunshine Airport and Electrodome.

Thomas has drawn a picture of his dream Mario Kart track, including candy canes, chocolate ramp and a chocolate river.

And we’ve all been discovering which Mario Kart character we are most like by answering a fun questionnaire.

It turns out I’m most like Princess Daisy – A slight tomboy, yet with a love of nature. pretty accurate I think

We all had a laugh when Thomas answered most like Bowser, and Jacob was quite predictably Waluigi . We always joke that Jacob is like Waluigi and he always plays as him, so I’m not sure if he cheated and peaked at the answers so that’s who he’d come out as.


Daddy’s been really busy with work this week, so couldn’t take part in our time trials. So here’s the results from us for week two.

Jacob’s doing really well considering he’s still got the cast on his arm, but still not caught up to me yet!

His cast comes off on Thursday hopefully, so maybe we’ll see a change at the top next week.

Thomas is struggling in the rankings as he’s not totally got the knack of the drifting. He’s working on it but needs a bit more practice.

mariokart2The results for week 3 are a bit sparse as everyone has been so busy the kids haven’t managed to unlock the cup’s to unlock the tracks yet. Me having a bit more time thanks to my broken foot managed to unlock and complete all the cups ages ago, so the kids need to get cracking.

So sorry but week 3 just has my results until the kids can catch up with their gaming.

Sunshine Airport is my favourite track of the whole game, I just love racing around that luggage carousel.

Thanks for reading about all our Mario Kart fun, and thanks to Nintendo for coming up with all these cool challenges for us


Mario Kart 8 Blogger Challenge Week One

Last Friday the 30th May saw the gaming release everyone has been waiting for – Mario Kart 8 is finally here.

We were lucky enough to get a visit from the postman with a special Nintendo Mario Kart package thanks to us being Nintendo Family bloggers.

The game is awesome, totally totally awesome. Mario Kart has never looked so good. Everything is so bright and vibrant, the tracks look stunning.

The best thing in my opinion is being able to play on the Wii-U gamepad. Jacob and I both love watching all the other competitors on the map as were racing.

You can even see when someone picks up a power up, or when you hit someone with your banana skin or shell.

We love the new Mario Kart Tv as well, with which you can upload 30 second highlights of your race either onto Youtube, the Miiverse, online at Mario TV website, or the smart phone app.

The new power ups in Mario Kart 8 are really cool. Our fave is the big red horn which you can use to blast other nearby racers or smash that pesky blue shell that’s coming for you. So much satisfaction in dodging that blue shell.

Blogger Challenges

In our special package from Nintendo were a series of blogger challenges.

Firstly for the next 8 weeks we will be running a family challenge to see who’s the fastest on various tracks. Who will win kids or the parents?

At the moment it looks like parents have the upper hand as our youngest Jacob managed to break his wrist last week,. So now has a cast all the way up to his shoulder.

Happily though Mario Kart 8 is the one game that he can still play.

Although he’s obviously at a massive disadvantage as he can’t use the triggers, he’s just happy to be playing.

He even cried on friday when he thought he wouldn’t be able to play, so he’s just having fun enjoying himself.

Time Trials

So here it is week one of the Toybuzz family Mario Kart 8 Time Trials.

At the moment I’m in the lead with Daddy trailing behind. I was really surprised that there was only 1-2 seconds between Thomas and Jacob on both courses considering Jacob’s injury. If he was 100% I think he’d be ahead of all of us.

Here’s the results in full.


As well as the ongoing time trials, every week we have another more creative project to challenge us. For this week the kids were asked to create their own Mario Kart.

Jacob’s broken wrist saw him on the benches on this one, so it was all up to Thomas to win it for the team.

His kart idea is a Mario and Luigi style jet powered skate board. He thinks it would be great for getting some good air over all the ramps and jumps. The parachute which comes out the back is shaped like a Bullet Bill power up, and he says it’ll go as fast as you would if you picked up the power up. Bit of a cheat, but a great idea.

I’d love to see what Mario would look like on a skateboard, and think it’s a great idea. Hopefully Nintendo will take note and it may get added for next time.

Next week we’ll be seeing who’s fastest around Toad Harbour and Shy Guy Falls, and building our own Mario kart track. Let’s see if I can keep my place onto of the leaderboard :)

Disclosure: Thanks so much to Nintendo Uk for sending us Mario Kart 8 for review. You Guys are amazing!

Making Mii’s with Nintendo

Making Mii’s on the 3DS is so much fun.

I’ve loved Nintendo’s Mii’s ever since we first had the Wii all those years ago. Now on the 3DS making Mii’s is so simple you can make loads and loads.

Mii’s are characters you can use in games which you customise to look like yourself or however you want.

The thing I like about Mii’s is when your playing a game like NintendoLand or Wii Party U on the Wii U, and all the family have their Mii’s you can instantly tell who is who, and it makes playing much more fun.

I actually make a lot of Mii’s as I think it’s funny to have the whole extended family as Mii’s, as you never know where or when they might turn up in a game.

The boys and I used to love playing a certain game in Wii Party where you had to find Mii’s, and your Mii’s would turn up and it’d make everyone laugh.

I find the 3DS the best way to make Mii’s, it is so quick and simple. It’s also really easy to then transfer your Mii over to a friends 2DS or 3DS or Wii U.

To make a Mii you need to follow these steps:

whether to make a male or female Mii

face shape

eyebrow shape and colour

eye shape and colour

nose and lip shape


size and height


This is a picture of the Toybuzz family Mii’s


However the very simplest way to make a Mii on the 2DS/3DS is to use the camera function and take a photo.

From the photo Mii Maker will set to work trying to replicate your features into Mii form.

The only problem I have is that  I wear glasses, and Mii Maker doesn’t seem to like my face with glasses. So to take a picture I take my glasses off, which in turn makes my eyes look funny and not like me.

So for me I find I get better results making my own Mii, but it’s still fun to try. You get a laugh out of seeing your face on a box with your Mii trying to break out.



Yoshi’s New Island 3DS – Review

Thanks to us being a Nintendo Family Blogger we’ve all being enjoying the ultra cutesy delights of Yoshi’s New Island over the past couple of weeks.

Due to my broken foot I’ve been back and for to the hospital for appointment after appointment. Luckily Thomas’ trusty 3DS XL and Yoshi’s New Island have been making the time pass a little quicker.

Yoshi’s Island on the DS has been a favourite of Jacob’s ever since he first played it about 3 years ago. So he was thrilled to be able to play this new addition to the series, and delighted to find it was more of the same enemy gobbling fun he loves.

The story is that baby Mario and Luigi were dropped off at the wrong parents by the stork, who then proceeded to drop Baby Mario into the Yoshi’s Lap and let Baby Luigi get stolen by Kamek on behalf of Baby Bowser.

The game sees the Yoshi’s take it in turns to carry Baby Mario through the levels. At the end a new different coloured Yoshi comes along to take over. I don’t think the Yoshi’s do anything different, it’s just nice to have another Yoshi to look at.

When you encounter an enemy in Yoshi’s new island you can launch Yoshi’s tongue out to grab him, and then turn him into an egg. You then use the eggs as projectiles to either hit other enemies or to gain entry to special areas or grab out of reach goodies.

Your aim is to get Baby Mario safely to the end of each level. Every time you get hit by an enemy Baby Mario will go flying off your Yoshi’s back and you need to retrieve him before the time limit runs out. If you don’t get him back in time a group of flying guys come down and take off with him.

Along the way as well as the usual egg’s Yoshi will get, there are also some massive enemies that the Yoshi’s can turn into Mega Eggdozers. They work a bit like Mega Mushrooms in Mario in that they enable you to break down and wreak everything in their path.

A nice little break from the levels come in the form of little motion controlled mini games. You play these by holding up your 3DS and moving it left and right or up and down. In each of these games your Yoshi will transform into a different vehicle. My favourite two were the Minecart and Sledge, there’s a Jackhammer Drill and Helicopter too. Once unlocked in the game you can go back and just play the mini games if your after a quick fun game.

Playing Yoshi’s New Island Jacob almost instantly falls into a fit of the giggles. Boys being boys he finds Yoshi’s cute little voice hilarious as he gobbles an enemy and turns them into an egg.  It’s probably some sort of Yoshi gibberish but I’ve always thought he says Yum as he eats them, but Jacob being a young boy liking toilet humour likes to think he says Bum! Please forgive him, he’s only 6 :)

Yoshi’s New Island is a great game for young and old. The boys and I have had a great time in his cute and cuddly world. It’s easy to get to grips with as   you only need to jump, gobble, and throw eggs. Once you’ve got the targeting of the egg throwing down your laughing.

It’s great that if you get stuck and lose a couple of lives on a level you’ll have the option to simplify it a bit with special Yoshi Wings which make you flutter in the air a bit longer. Plus if thats not enough you can equip the gold wings which help you flutter longer and make you invulnerable to enemy attacks. A word of warning though if you want to fully complete the game, try not to use the wings if you can or at least be ready to go back and replay those levels.

Yesterday I finally managed to conquer the boss and finish the game, Yeh. However after the credits rolled I had a big shock, Big Bowser appeared and gave me a real fright. I’d used the wings to complete the very final level, and Bowser was coming to tell me what’s for. So i’ve got some more work to do to finish it without the wings and get my fight with big Bowser.

Jacob however is not opposed to using the wings if he needs to. He’s just happy to be getting to the next level, and is doing really well and loving it.

Yoshi’s New Island isn’t incredibly long, but theres plenty to do and find. Even though I’ve finished I’ve got lots of extra items to go back and collect, plus that tricky final boss battle. Theres also an extra bonus level you can unlock at the end of each world if you manage to collect every bonus item, so i’ve got that to work towards as well.

Yoshi’s New Island is a really cute little platformed that will make you smile as you play. A lovely kids game suitable for big kids like me too.

Nintendo 2DS – Review

The boys and I have been putting the brand new Nintendo 2DS through its paces for the past few weeks, and here’s what we thought.

The Nintendo 2DS as the name suggests is essentially the same machine as the 3DS, just without the 3D gaming option. However there are a few cosmetic differences also.

In our opinion the lack of 3D is not an issue if the console is for younger gamers, as you wouldn’t really want the 3D on for them anyway. My Thomas has had a 3DS for 2 years now, but never uses the 3D option as I’ve always been concerned about effect on his eyes. So the 2DS is perfect for children as you don’t need to worry about that anymore.

Another main difference is that the 2DS is a flat unit, and does not fold in half like the DS and 3DS. At first I thought that this would make the 2DS more cumbersome, but this is not the case. Actually Thomas has taken to using the 2DS rather than his 3DS, even though we agreed Jacob should use it as he doesn’t have one. The fact that it does not fold means he finds it comfier to hold.

 Thomas also prefers the 2DS as he has a plastic clamshell cover over his 3DS ( I was paranoid about the hinges getting damaged) ,and due to the cover his headphones don’t fit in and he has to keep the volume turned down. As at the moment we haven’t got a cover for the new 2DS he’s happily sitting around gaming with his headphones on.

Another little design tweak that the boys both liked is the Sleep function.  Unlike the DS and 3DS which go into sleep mode when you close the lid, obviously this is not possible. The 2DS has a little slider switch which you pull. I’m not sure why as they both work fine, but for some reason the boys both preferred this.  So another plus for the 2DS from the kids.

Along with the 2DS Nintendo sent us a download code for us to try out Luigi’s Mansion 2 from the Nintendo E shop.

Luigi’s Mansion has a real place in our hearts already, as it was Thomas’ very first game that he completed on his own. Back a few summers ago when we got the Gamecube out for the holidays. So Thomas was very excited to try out this latest iteration, and get out the Poltergust 3000 again.

We’ve been having a real blast with Luigi’s Mansion 2. It can be quite hard don’t get me wrong, but so much fun.

At the moment we’ve managed to complete the first mansion, and are now over at Haunted Towers. We like that rather than exploring room after room, this time around you get to travel to different houses.

The new button layout on the 2DS is great for a game like Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon, as your on the buttons and stick a lot. The 2DS just feels a lot easier and comfier to hold, and the boys told me that they’re hands didn’t feel as stretched.

Thomas has put Luigi’s mansion as his second favourite 3DS game, only sightly behind the best game ever Pokemon Rumble. That’s a big honour from him, as he still spends ages playing Super Mario 3D land and Mario Kart 7. So to get above those two he must think it’s good!

I would (and have already) recommend the 2DS to other parents of younger children over the 3DS. For me the lack of 3D is a bonus, as it’s just something to remember to turn off. The all in one flat design I believe is also sturdier and less likely to get damaged.  Plus the 2DS is cheaper too, so were all getting a bargain.

The 2DS is a good move from Nintendo, and for me is the one to get for the younger gamer.

Disclosure: We were sent a Nintendo 2DS and a download code for Luigi’s Mansion 2 for review in exchange for an honest review

Christmas in July #2

Following on from my previous Christmas in July adventures yesterday, Last Saturday Thomas, Jacob and I attended the Mi-Christmas Open House near Paddington.

We had a simply amazing day and the boys haven’t stopped talking about it yet.

Usually I don’t have the opportunity to take the kids with me to these kind of events, so it was great to get them both involved. Thomas even took on the job as official blog photographer for the day, and I think he’s got quite a knack for it. All the photos today were taken by him (proud mum alert)

We saw lots of great brands and products, so here’s just a snap shot of all the things we saw.

Annoying Orange

The first thing we just had to see and get out-of-the-way was the Annoying Orange Kitchen Crew. Both of the boys are just mad about the Annoying Orange characters, so this just had to be the first stop or I’d never here the end of it.

We saw some great T-shirts and Pyjamas,  tons of Annoying Orange Plush toys and key rings like the ones we reviewed here earlier this year, Joke Books if you can take Orange’s jokes, and some Annoying Orange Morph Suits which are due to be released later this year.

Start-Rite Shoes

We had a good look around the brand new ranges from Start-Rite, and I just couldn’t help but be drawn to the new collection of Start Rite By Myleene Klass. If you have a little girl there are some beautiful shoes like the Carmen or the Princess Ida. Plus I was so pleased that the boys didn’t get left out, as the Sullivan and the Captain styles are some really smart shoes with serious style.


Sonic The Hedgehog and Sega

Next we headed upstairs to see a children’s bedroom kitted head to toe in Sonic The Hedgehog goodies. The kids went mad over this room, and made a mental checklist of everything inside for their perfect new bedroom :) Sonic has always been a family favourite, as I instilled my love of Sonic into them from an early age.

Thomas was thrilled to get an exclusive play of the new Wii-U Sonic Game ‘Sonic Lost World’. Coming out this November  it’s a mix of 2D and 3D levels. So hopefully something to please both new and old Sonic The Hedgehog fans.

Our top toy picks from the Sonic room were the Sonic the Hedgehog Pinball Machine (available at £14.99 from The Entertainer) The Sonic The Hedgehog Meccano Playsets, which we previously reviewed, and the Sonic Bike (£120 available from Argos)

As for mummy the huge Sonic mug from Half Moon Bay caught my eye. It looks like it could hold about a pint of tea, It was a massively giant mug.

We also got to meet with the main man himself, and have some of his yummy christmas cake. Worth the trip just for that!

Entertainer Toys

Up another floor of the house and we arrived at the Entertainer Toy Shop Room where they were showing of their pick of the top toys for Christmas 2013.

We saw some amazing new Hexbugs that can climb up walls, A new version of the Logo game called Logo Billionaire, and a really quite creepy Monsters University Sulley mask which actually moves his mouth and eyes as you move yours.

Our interest was piqued however by the latest version of Monopoly, Monopoly Empire. This one totally won us all over, and It will definitely be a must have for us this christmas.

In Monopoly Empire instead of buying streets as you travel around the board, you buy companies. Cool companies I might add, which everyone will want to own. Nerf, Coca Cola, Xbox, McDonalds are just some of the big names.

The game pieces have also been updated, including a tiny gold Xbox controller, Coke bottle, Football boot, and packet of McDonalds fries.

We are already having arguments over who’s going to have the Xbox Controller piece!

JCB Kids

Across the hall and we arrived at the JCB Kids Bedroom. This is a little boys dream bedroom if ever I saw one. Even Thomas who’s 8 was bowled over by the bed in the shape of a JCB Digger, and the huge JCB wall mural behind the bed.

Theres not just a JCB bed either, you can now get the whole bedroom decked out in your favourite diggers. Wardrobes, Tables and Chairs, Toy Boxes and much more are available from Tesco, Asda and Mothercare amongst others.


Sadly my two have grown our of their JCB toys now, but I still have happy memories of Thomas on his digger and Jacob in his JCB Coat which he wore everywhere.

Jacob has had lots of JCB Kids clothing over the last few years. The aforementioned coat, jeans, Jumpers, and t-shirts and shorts. All were really great quality, and lasted for a long time. So I can highly recommend the My 1st JCB range of clothes you can pick up at Tesco and Asda


Carte Blanche Group – Tatty Teddy, Blue Nose Friends and Me to You

Another Bedroom, and this time it was decked out head to toe in Tatty Teddy and his Blue Nose Friends.

I just love the whole Tatty Teddy and Blue Nose gang, so I was totally in my element in this room.

We got to take home a wonderful new Tatty Teddy plush with a brand new ultra soft fur.He is so soft and cuddly it’s adorable, and has instantly gained a place on my bed.

As well as the hundreds of Plush friends we saw, I also loved the range of wrapping paper, Gift Bags and Christmas Tree ornaments on display.

The gift bags were especially beautiful, with a snowy image of Tatty Teddy making a snowman. Some of the snow was highlighted with glitter, and it makes for a truly Christmassy scene.

The Tatty Teddy toy playsets were also a big hit with the boys. We had a great time playing with the My Blue Nose Friends Tatty Teddy Heart House, and all the My Blue Nose Friends toy Figures.



Our last bedroom, and boy this was a good one for my boys. It was the Nickelodeon room, and it was jam-packed with everything a boy could want.

We spent around 30 minutes in this one room alone playing with all the latest Turtles toys like the Turtle Pop Up Pizza Playset, and the SpongeBob Squarepants push along Krabby Patty Car.

We also saw some toddler toys in the form of these Interactive Dinosaur Train figures. Each of the animals can talk to each other, and even knows which other Dinosaur Train friends are nearby so they can talk and sing together wirelessly.

Finally we’d made it all the way to the top of the house, just in time for a spot of Swingball on the roof garden in the most glorious sunshine.













We all had a really funtastic day, and thanks to everyone at the Mi-Christmas Open House for having us.

Nintendo Post E3 Event

Recently it seems all I’ve done is go back and forth to London on the train. One of the downfalls of not living in the capital when it comes to PR events.

Last Thursday however I positively bounded out of bed I was that excited to get going. As for this trip I was going to an event I’ve never been to before – A Nintendo event!

Yes, last week I travelled down to Covent Garden to catch up with the Nintendo bod’s at their London Post E3 event. Getting my mitts on loads of amazing games nearly a year early was something I wasn’t going to pass up.

Not being a Londoner I wandered around looking for the venue for a while until I happened upon this massive mural. Ah this must be the place then :)

As soon as I was inside I was totally in my element. How I wish I could have taken the boys with me, they would have had a field day. Unfortunately I’m a nasty mum who made them go to school, so the games would just have to be played by me.

On entering the first thing I came across was a massive bank of 3DS XL consoles. I firstly tried my hand at Yoshi’s New Island.

My youngest Jacob was a big fan of the last Yoshi Island game on the DS, so I was excited to see what Nintendo had done this time around.

It was only a short demo of the first few levels, but I could already tell that he would love this new Yoshi game also. It’s a lot like the previous Yoshi’s Island, but the with added benefits of the 3D effect of the 3DS. It looked gorgeous on the bigger 3DS XL screen, and made me wish I had an XL too. I think I need an upgrade around christmas time.

Next on the 3DS XL I checked out Mario and Luigi: Dream Team, which is another instalment of the popular Mario and Luigi RPG games.

The last of these games Mario and Luigi: Bowsers Inside Story has always been another of my youngest’s favourite DS games. It’s probably the only turn based game he’s ever played, but he always loved it.

I’ve never really understood what was going on, so I was interested to see whether this Dream Team would be any easier for me to grasp.

I definitely found Mario and Luigi:Dream Team easier to control than the previous games. It’s still tricky to begin with moving the Mario Bros separately, but I did get used to it pretty quickly.

I loved the humour as Mario entered Luigi’s dream’s and used hundred’s of mini Luigi’s to create a giant wrecking ball to topple the bad guys. There was also a section where you had to pull dreaming Luigi’s moustache to climb up to the next platform. Really good fun, and I can’t wait to play this all day long!

With so many games just itching to be tested, I had to move quickly around the booths. I next made my way over to the Mario Wii U area, and got busy with Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario 3D Land.

Mario Kart 8 was brilliant fun as we’ve come to expect from Mario Kart. It’s more of the same, but with improved HD graphics, new tracks to get stuck into, and a really cool anti gravity thing, where you can ride up the walls.

Also a fun feature which will probably keep the kids very amused, but the parents not so much is the addition of a pressable horn on the Wii U touchpad screen.

Don’t worry I didn’t finish 8th – I won all my races, and the Star Cup :)

If I’m totally honest Super Mario 3D Land was the big game I was incredibly excited about playing – Just so I could experience being Cat Mario

And the game didn’t disappoint. Firstly being able to play Super Mario 3D Land on the big screen this time around, rather than the 3DS screen was incredible. Although I loved having the last game portable, it’s always great to see your favourite games blown up on the TV screen.

Cat Mario is officially the best Mario Level Up Ever! I love him sooooo much. Plus he’s not just there to be cute, being a Cat has its advantages too. You can climb up the walls to reach platforms which would otherwise be out of reach. He bounds about the screen rather than running (not really an advantage, just funny) And I love that if you climb up a wall and then let go Mario will slowly drag his claws down the wall rather than falling straight off.

I was also swooning over the fact that the Item to gain Cat Mario was a Little Cat Bell, which dings when you collect it.

Never mind what the rest of the game is like, Cat Mario is awesome

I’m only sorry I couldn’t get any photos of him for you. My camera messed that up unfortunately.

With time quickly running out I ran over to test the new Mario and Sonic at The Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games before I had to go and catch my train home.

As a family we all enjoy the Mario and Sonic series, and it’s always a great family game night when we whip it out and have a tournament.

I’ve only had the pleasure of playing the 2 Summer Olympics variations before, so trying out the Winter events was something new for me.

We had three events we could try out on the day, Team Bobsled, Snowboarding, and a mixed event which changed vehicles as you travelled along the course similar to Sonic All Star Racing Transformed.

All three event courses were easy to navigate and control with the motion control of the Wii U Gamepad screen. Out of the three The Team Bobsled was my personal favourite, although all three were extremely fun.

I think I enjoyed the Bobsled the most as I found it amusing that Sonic, Mario, Bowser, and Waluigi were all teamed together. I seemed bizarre seeing Sonic and Waluigi both puffing as they pushed the bobsled over the start line.

and with that  I realised it was time for me to bid Nintendo and London adieu. Thanks for having me, and I can’t wait to get these games home next year :)



Animal Crossing New Leaf Diary #1 – Review

Thanks to the lovely people at Nintendo I’ve been having lots of fun with the new Animal Crossing game on the 3DS this week.

As it’s such a huge an immersive game I’m going to write 4 reviews over the next month, so you can get an idea of how the game works and what you can get up to.

At the moment Animal Crossing is my baby, but I have been letting Thomas share my save and do some tasks for me. Initially he wasn’t sure whether it was his type of thing so he was just trying out life in my village, but now I think he’s itching for a save of his own, so we’ll probably be starting that tonight :)

I’ve been mayor of the town of Rigby for 6 days now, and am beginning to really find my routine.

When you first start with Animal Crossing it can seem slightly daunting, but you’ll soon get into the swing of daily life.

Even before you arrive in your little town, your first job will be to give it a name. I suggest thinking about this carefully, as I remember well being disappointed with the name I picked in the last game Wild Wood, and always rueing not giving it more thought.

This time around I’ve gone for the name of Rigby, after the character from our family favourite TV Show – Regular show. I think it works quite well as a name, and I even tried my hand at drawing Rigby for my flag. I’m not artistic whatsoever, but I think it came out rather well.

Being quite early into my animal crossing journey most of my first week has been spent collecting shells, fossils, fish and fruit. Trying to raise the money to buy my own house from Nook Homes.

I love that Tom Nook is still around from my last Animal Crossing adventure. I’m really looking forward to see what other familiar faces I’ll bump into.


Just yesterday I managed to garner my 100% satisfaction rating from the townsfolk, so can no go ahead with my first public works project. After much thought (ok not that much thought, I’ve been dying to make one from day one)  I’ve decided to build a new bridge into town. Perhaps foolishly I picked a wonderful secluded spot overlooking the shore for my new home, but then realised I had to make a round trip of the whole town to get to the town hall and the shops.

The new bridge will cut my trip down by over half. I just have to find a way to speed along the other residents contributions to the world. Coming up with 128,000 bells on my own is going to take some time. Plus I’m still paying off my mortgage to Nook Homes.

Hopefully by next week I’ll be able to report my new bridge being finished, but for now I’m off to shake some more trees :)