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UK Mike (miner2049er)

The Bi-Weekly British Backtrack – A year older or a year younger?

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A year older, a year wiser, a year younger. Well that's the way it feels.

Twelve months ago I sat here (well it was over there in the other chair actually, but you get the picture) and I wrote about the Christmas gift I was getting the next day, the Amazon Kindle. That Kindle is still going strong and is still being used almost daily. In fact it is so good out of the box that it's one of the few things I haven't hacked. I bought it to read on and it does that admirably well by default.

Of course a hacked Kindle would give me the option of new fonts but I like the default ones. A hacked Kindle would give me the option of a personal screensaver rather than the random default ones but when it's in the leather binder (which it constantly is) I see the screensaver for approximately 2 seconds on opening and approximately 1 second on closing, so what's the point?

Another device I've had for quite a while which has so far survived any hacking is my Nintendo 3DS. Not only because there is the chance that an online update from the big N will zap it, but there is hardly a library of games that I'm so desperate to play that I would risk the wrath of the Thought Police to try before I buy. Until now it seems.

The 3DS has had something of a lacklustre launch, a problem that even Nintendo recognised when they slashed the price by £100 or so. Not wanting to disappoint the early adopters any more then the lack of quality games did, they came up with the Ambassador Program and gave away a bunch of downloadable games to anybody that registered their console before the announced price drop.

Not wanting to pay such a premium for those games (most of which I have played or own already) I waited until the price drop before picking mine up along with the 3D remake of Ocarina Of Time. That cart has stayed in there almost continually since, not only because it's a great game, but also because it's just about the only title on the system that I feel compelled to buy. Until now that is. Now, finally some titles are coming. Now I can walk the streets without feeling the shame of being a 3DS owner.

This year I'm anticipating a couple of 3DS games for Christmas, ironically both first party titles, Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7, so I feel like I've regressed a little going from the Kindle one year to Mario Games the next, especially as I haven't received a video game for Christmas in donkeys years, but I'm looking forward to the dilemma of which one of them to play first.

Of course, they are once again first party upgrades of existing Nintendo franchises, but I’m hoping there is enough in them that’s new to keep them feeling fresh and worth the price of entry, which is so far incredibly expensive taking into account the price of the system and the three games I’ll then have for it, but hopefully this heralds the start of the quality games catalogue for the system, but somehow it doesn’t feel like the dawn of something big in the same way that the launch of the original DS did.

Having said that though, I’m content to make do with the quality that is Ocarina Of Time, Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 until something else tickles my fancy.

Now I need to plan what to ask for next Christmas. Maybe an Action Man or a rattle.

Oh by the way, Merry Christmas.

See you next year.

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