ButtonMasher is a games blog. We don’t promise to be your number one web destination or anything like that. But we do reckon you’ll have a darn good time while cruising the site or the forums, where you’ll find a great, friendly community of kiwi gamers. Check up frequently for news, previews, features and those review things. Each week tune your ears to the ButtonMasher podcast.

Send news tips to: wugga@buttonmasher.co.nz

The Team:

Ahmad
(Also goes by Ahmad)

Fighter for the best deal, and a master of retail. He will read your (consumer) rights, from Dunedin. Despite having an aversion for FPS due to motion sickness, he is a bit of a Nintendo fanboy at heart as evidenced by his launch day acquisition of the 3DS.

Email: ahmad@buttonmasher.co.nz
Gamertags: XBL: ahmadNZ, 3DS: convoluted friend code he can’t remember
Twitter: @AhmadNZ
Blogs: http://buttonmasher.co.nz/ahmad, http://geekzone.co.nz/ahmad

Brianemone
(Also goes by Brian Heslop)

Not much is known about Brian. Some say he started ButtonMasher. Some say he works as a chef in Hamilton. Of course nobody can prove it.

Email: brian@buttonmasher.co.nz
Gamertags: XBL: BrianemoneNZ, PSN: Brianemone
Twitter: @brian_heslop

captainX
(Also goes by Richard Armitt)

Richard is a well established writer, a self-published author in Auckland, his works include Taking Chemo on the Chin, and Sparrow’s Flight. Richard is also a regular contributor to Game Console. Having played games for at least 30 of his 41 years his spectacles are known for being retro tinted.

Email: captainx@buttonmasher.co.nz
Twitter: @KoruCottage
Gamertags: XBL captainxmas , PSN captainX-nz
Blog: http://koru-cottage.com

GaR
(Also goes by Gareth McGregor)

Gar’s the last angry man. There were more angry men, but Gar got angry and scared them away. At home on PC or on the track, Gar typically prefers racing, strategy, or shooting. Maybe not in that order.

Email: gar@buttonmasher.co.nz
Twitter: @Garmandude

Gamertags: XBL: LovableWand

Mriceguy
(Also goes by Michael Gray)

Michael always wanted to be a videogame designer. Unfortunately he was never good at maths, art, or much in general really. Failing that he decided to write about games. Michael majored in Media Studies at Victoria University.

Michael is a freelance writer based in Wellington and has written for a number of publications including Game Console and Salient.

Email: mriceguy@buttonmasher.co.nz
Twitter: @Mriceguy
Gamertags: XBL: Mriceguy NZ, PSN: Mriceguy-NZ
Blogs: www.michaelgray.co.nz

Sparky

(Also goes by Richard Greenlees)

A well… sparky (electrician) in Palmerston North. Lover of all things motorsport and bacon.

Email: sparky@buttonmasher.co.nz
Gamertags: XBL: Sparkynz1, PSN: SparkyNZ
Twitter: @SparkyNZ

Tusock
(Also goes by Barrie Clarke)

Barrie is a stay-at-home Dad and has been gaming since the days of the C16/Plus 4. He is also a volunteer Firefighter with NZ’s 3rd busiest brigade, so if he all of a sudden disappears from a game this could be why. This may be the reason that his genre of choice is single player RPG’s. Favorite games: Wasteland (C64), Original Bards Tale Series, and Fallout Series. Oh, and for those who were wondering, NZ’s 3rd busiest brigade is Rolleston.

Email: tusock@buttonmasher.co.nz
Gamertags: XBL: Tusock,
Twitter: @TusockNZ

Wugga
(Also goes by Austin Sedgwick)

A washed up competitive gamer, Austin spends his time in the corner of a dark room, surrounded by trophies of a bygone era, as he gently plays the blues on his saxophone. Oh, and he does things on this website, ButtonMasher.co.nz that you might have heard about.

Email: austin@buttonmasher.co.nz
Gamertags: XBL: Wugga, PSN: WuggamusPrime
Twitter: @Wugga

 

Podcast Special Guests:

 

James Taylor

Twitter: @SecludedCrayon

 

Paul Dickinson

Twitter: @dogcownz

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I was a proper fan of SOCOM 1 and 2 back in the day. I was blown away with technology available where i could tell my squad members where to go and for the most part, it worked pretty damn well. And no amount of mocking from my partner at the time would stop me. Sure I looked like a dick, but it was great fun. Now I’ll admit I never got into Socom Confrontational. Being online only and with few of my good PSN friends playing it wasn’t really a option for me. But now Socom is back and sporting a proper single player campaign I couldn’t resist. “Bravo… stealth too… Charlie…”

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fablebannerIf there’s a good reason that this review is so drastically overdue, it’s because my feelings were so mixed on the affair that I didn’t really know where I stood. It has all the things that you’d love about a Fable game, even more refined in places, and all the things that you hate, and those are even more detrimental in places. Ultimately there’s a lot of Fable-y fun to be had, but there’s significant pacing issues and the conclusion to the story personally left a bad taste in my mouth.

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It's a Mafia themed game. Appropriately named. At first impressions, Mafia II is a game that knows what it wants to be. A period appropriate game inspired those classic movies, Goodfellas, The Godfather, Casino, and so on. A story of desperation, of extreme measures with no other options, of loyalty, of ever corrupting power, of revenge and tragedy. Fittingly though, like the real Mafia, beneath the attractive exterior lurks a reality which is quite unsavoury. Continue reading

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When a company publicly declares that it is creating a new genre it is natural for the sceptical mind to wonder if just marketing spin or if there really is a new hot ticket that we should all be jumping on, or if perhaps the PR spin has just gone into overdrive trying to prove its worth. Sony’s release of LittleBigPlanet saw the first ambitious stab at Play Create Share, Mod Nation Racers was bookmarked to be the second, but is it a legitimate entry to this new genre, or is Sony jumping the Shark?

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It’s always going to be a tough ask to review the fourth installment in a successful cult franchise when you’ve never been exposed to any of the previous games, but sometimes it is useful to get a fresh opinion anyway, untainted by any expectations based on prior knowledge of the series. Yakuza 3 continues the story of Kazuma Kiryu, a Japanese gangster (Yakuza) who gives up his former illustrious career in the hope of leading a purer life looking after children in an orphanage on the island of Okinawa. Of course there wouldn’t be a story to tell if he lived happily ever after, and it isn’t long before trouble starts to come to town. Kazuma soon learns of plans to seize the land that the orphanage is on in order to build a beach resort destined to bring wealth to the sleepy island. Being the bad-ass he is, you can imagine that Kazuma is hardly going to sit back and watch this happen.

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Getting delayed can often times mean a death sentence for a game, the hype dies down, people look else where for their fix. Battlefield’s move back to releasing this week was either due to the developer needing more time or EA deciding that they might prefer to avoid going head to head against MW2. Either way, the time is here, so what is the final result?

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New Super Mario Bros. Wii is the follow-up to New Super Mario Bros. released 3 years ago for DS, and is the first game in the series to feature on Wii. The formula is the same as you would expect, with signature side-scrolling action that will test even expert gamers, but several key changes to the game make it accessible for all – and you can even all play together with the new 4 player co-op mode allowing additional players to drop in or out with ease.

New Super Mario Bros. is one of my favourite games for the DS, with excellent challenging gameplay, and a decent number of varied levels. If you have played New Super Mario Bros. then you will feel right at home playing New Super Mario Bros. Wii. The basic controls and world structure are similar, and it is easy to jump right in and play without reading any manuals. The cheery music welcomes you back into the Mario world as your onscreen enemies bounce in time to the tunes.

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