> The Beesley Buzz: April 2016

Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for the Nintendo 3DS

Review by J, aged 11:

On Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games there are four different modes. Road to Rio, Quick play, Versus mode and Pocket marathon. 'Road to Rio' is the story mode, where you choose to play for team Mario or team Sonic and compete to win gold medals. In 'Quick play', you can play the Olympic events. In 'Pocket marathon', you have to walk with the Nintendo 3DS. Every step that you do turns into an in-game metre. You can earn rewards from walking certain amounts of steps. In 'Versus mode' you can with your friends in local play or download play.

My favourite events to play in quick play mode are football, 100m sprint and rhythmic gymnastics. The plus events are the same events but played a bit differently to normal events. My favourite plus events are BMX, where you have to avoid the goombas and collect rings, and archery, where you have to hit the moving targets that the boos are holding.

In 'Road to Rio' mode, you train for the events doing different training exercises, and can level up by training to increase the amount of clothes that you can wear. Different clothes help your mii in different ways. They can increase or decrease the amount of speed, power, skill and stamina. You can wear different clothes for different events. For example, in the 100m sprint, you would wear clothes that increase your speed. You choose whether to play for team Mario or team Sonic. Then you collect gold medals in the events for your team. You can buy clothes and gear using apples and melons.

In the 'pocket marathon' mode, you put your Nintendo 3DS into sleep mode and walk with it in your pocket. Every step that you do turns into an in game metre. There are three courses to run. The first course is 10,000 steps, the second course is 20,000 steps, and the third course is 42,195 steps. You can get rewards for walking a lot. One day, I walked over 22,000 steps with the Nintendo 3DS just for the pocket marathon!

In 'versus mode' you can play in local play with others that have the game, or play in download play, with others that don't have the game. You can play all the events in 'Quick play', including the plus events. You can get achievements for doing certain things in Quick play, Pocket marathon, Road to Rio, or Versus mode. You can get rewards for completing certain amounts of achievements.

This is a game that I absolutely love. My favourite things to do on it are football, rhythmic gymnastics (it's so funny watching my mii do it), BMX and Pocket marathon.

I think it is so cool that the game is named after the Olympics that are actually coming up this year and it makes me really excited about the real Olympics too. I think I will always love this game more than the real Olympics though.

Find out more about Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games here.  It is available for the Nintendo 3DS family systems (making it also compatible with the Nintendo 2DS) and is rated PEGI 7.

Disclosure: As Nintendo Family Bloggers, we received a download code for this game for the purposes of review. 


Boiled Bungalow Cake adapted from Emma Bridgewater 'Pattern' Book

I'd never heard of a bungalow cake before and a google search has left me none the wiser. I've rarely made fruit cake either - I think last Christmas was my first time making fruit cake but when I saw this recipe in Emma Bridgewater's 'Pattern' book, it caught my eye.

In my usual way, I decided to try to make the recipe a little bit healthier. I know it is still cake but I always try to see if I can reduce the amounts of fat and sugar in cakes and after my Chocolate Beetroot cake bakeover turned out so well before, I keep trying in the hope of further successful bakes.

This time it wasn't 100% successful. The texture and moistness were perfect. It rose sufficiently well too. But I think adding so much bicarbonate of soda was my error as it gave the cake a peculiar taste. As I had reduced the amount of self-raising flour and egg in the recipe and switched the plain flour for wholemeal, my fear was it wouldn't rise and so I over-compensated by adding far more bicarb than I needed to. So that will be my main lesson for next time.

I adapted the quantities in the recipe to make a smaller cake and switched a few ingredients like swapping the caster sugar for a smaller amount of honey instead.

So here is the recipe I used once the changes had been made but do take note that the bicarb did affect the flavour of the cake so next time I will be using less!

225g mixed dried fruits (I used a mixture of what I found at home which was mixed dried fruit, dried apricots, dried cranberries and glace cherries)
150ml water
1 and a half tsp bicarbonate of soda
60g honey
88g stork
1 egg - beaten
50g self-raising flour
63g wholemeal flour

1. Pre-heat the oven to 130C (fan). Grease and line an 8inch cake tin.
2. Chop all the dried fruit to a small size (i.e. I chopped the larger dried apricots and glace cherries to match the size of the mixed dried fruit pieces).
3. In a pan, mix together the dried fruit, water, bicarb, honey and stork. Place on the hob and bring to the boil. Stir regularly and boil for 10 minutes. Then leave to cool.
4. Once cool, add in the egg and then sift in the flour. Mix together then pour into the cake tin.
5. I baked it for an hour. Check with a skewer to see if cooked through.

As I mentioned, the texture and moistness of this cake were perfect. It was just the bicarb that changed its flavour enough that the kids didn't enjoy it but me and Richard happily polished it off.

As for the book, despite not having any particular interest in the field of pattern and design (I still think my bottle design was more luck than skill), I found I really enjoyed reading the stories behind the Emma Bridgewater patterns. The more books I am reading, the more I am finding that I enjoy biographies and similar books that tell of real life people and their real life stories. I hadn't expected to find recipes in this particular book so that was a bonus too.


Hyrule Warriors: Legends on Nintendo 3DS

Hyrule Warriors: Legends is the latest adventure based on the amazing Zelda franchise. Whilst based on the same lands and characters as Twilight Princess, this has a vastly different look and feel to it. With less of a focus on solving puzzles, and much more on cutting down hoards of enemies as you progress.
Hyrule Warriors: Legends on the Nintendo 3DS is based on the Nintendo Wii U game and contains all the original content, but with even more added content and features and, of course, the ability to play on the go. One of the things I love about the Nintendo 3DS is that it fits neatly into a pocket, and provides an ideal distraction whilst waiting for a bus or travelling up to London on the train. And this game offers a great distraction!
After the beautifully crafted introductory set video, you start the game as Link. The basic premise is that the land has been invaded by an enemy and you must defeat them. Lots of them. As you battle through the different fields and fortresses, you have to overcome enough enemies to trigger the area boss to arrive. Beat him, and that area comes under Hyrule's command again. And once you have conquered most of the land, the level boss arrives and you have to work out how to beat him, too. He's breathing fire, trampling through walls and crushing your team-mates so you have to work fast.
As you progress you learn new skills and tips, and have to learn to take control of other playable characters in the game, or direct them to where you want them to fight for you. To be fair, the first level is not too tricky, but does involve a lot of sword play against hundreds of nasty chaps. But at the end of that level we find that Princess Zelda has been captured, and the real game begins - travel through different levels, different terrains, battle different enemies, and find her to bring her back. The trick is to win battlegrounds, and to do so quickly - that keeps your army's morale high and makes them more effective in fighting for you.
The Nintendo 3DS game has new stages, new gameplay and new characters compared to the Wii U game, so if you are a fan of that version you will want to take a look at this.
I realise I've mentioned the 'fighting' and 'swordplay' a lot, but this is not a game of gore. The atmosphere is light and playful. It is a huge amount of fun, with simple controls to move and control your character, and the ability to switch to other characters in the game. As you defeat more enemies, you can use new weapons (like bombs) and special moves, which are really quite extraordinary and great fun to use.
If you remember the Zelda games of yesteryear, you will also love the unique Adventure Mode where you can explore the original Legend of Zelda maps, finding fairies to assist you and bringing them into this new mission - but choose wisely, and help nurture the fairies you bring so they offer the best help for you.

Hyrule Warriors: Legends is available on Nintendo 3DS and is rated PEGI 12. Find out more from theNintendo website... or watch this short video produced by Nintendo UK.
Disclosure: We were sent the download code for this game for the purposes of review. All opinions are our own.