Currently Playing (27/09/2013) + I just got a PS3

I guess the title speaks for itself 🙂

First up is Mario and Luigi: Dream Team for the 3DS. This is my main focus at the moment. I’m back in college and I commute via the train. It’s an ideal game if you’re looking for something simple and fun to play in short bursts throughout the day. It’s got a save feature similar to pokemon. You can just tap save wherever you are and you’re good to go. Flick the 3DS screen down and let your streetpasses rack up. I’m having a lot of fun with it, some of the dialogue is downright hilarious. It’s also a game that offers excellent use of the 3DS hardware. Here’s the E3 trailer, which more or less shows you what to expect from the game. It’s followed by and awesome commercial.  

*whispers* Oh bravo Doctor Anderson.

Next up is The Wonderful 101. This game is absolutely brilliant. I’d nearly go so far as to call it a masterpiece. But I guess I can’t make that call, only being half way through it. The guys at Platinum did a smashing job. The drawing mechanic on the gamepad is so much fun. Basically you have a team of 100 ‘soldiers’ and you draw certain shapes on the gamepad, press ‘a’ and they will assume the relevant shape. So if you draw a straight line (for example), they will assemble into a sword! The bigger the line, the stronger the sword! This can also be done with the right stick, for those of you who can’t draw straight lines (and try to catch a roses that are being displayed on a flat tv screen)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=LOG_pcFEkwo&t=475

I found it hard to stop laughing at that. Oh IGN.

The story is very 90’s cartoon reminiscent; It’s over the top in a charming way. It’s a game with a steep learning curve that takes a lot of time to master. It’s actually been unfairly bashed (In my opinion) for its difficulty. It’s easy to blame the control scheme when you just suck at it. If getting bronze after every mission on your first try hurts your ego too much.. well, what can I say? This game is not for you. There are plenty of iterative unchallenging games out there, take your pick! Or you know, you could always put the game on easy. Here’s a 7 minute director’s cut trailer:

Xenoblade. Yes, I’m still playing this game. I don’t think I’ll ever stop.

I’m also still collecting stars in Super Mario 64. You can read my thoughts on it here:

https://nintimdoblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/22/beating-super-mario-64-16-years-late/

(Or if you’re on my homepage you can just scroll down :])

So, that’s what I’m playing at the moment! Unless of course I forgot about something, which is very possible. I’d love to hear what you guys are playing, so drop a comment! If you want any more information about any of these games don’t be afraid to ask. I plan to review all of them once I’ve finished them.

Finally, I got a PS3 t’other day. My PSN thingy is NinTimdoBlog so add me if you want!

And my Miiverse is timsdeece, add me on there if you want tooooo. I usually post my latest blogs on my timeline.

I have an Xbox 360 too, but I never intend to use online on it ever again. But, timsdeece is also my name on there.

Maybe I’ll tag all these at the ends of future posts. Seems like a good idea.

-Tim Out!

Beating Super Mario 64 16 YEARS LATE

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So, I decided to throw Super Mario 64 into the good ol’ N64 with the goal of actually completing it this time; Yes I’ve never completed it before! I first played this game when I was 9 or 10. My dad who was living in the U.S at the time brought us to GameStop (we were visiting on Holiday during the summer). I don’t know why but I asked could we get a PS1 (even though we were there for only 3 weeks) with the explanation that it would always be there when we came to visit. Thinkin’ on my feet! To my surprise he was like “sure”.  But then I saw the N64 and was just like…IWANTHATINSTEAD. And that was that.

The games we got were Shadow of the Empire (Great game), Pokemon Puzzle (Another great game) and of course Super Mario 64  (hdlkashdakshd). Since I had a Mega Drive (Genesis) back in Ireland I wasn’t too interested in SM64 since I was like “OMGZ LIKE SONIC IS SOOO MUCH COOLER DAN MoRIO”. I played a lot of Shadow of the Empire before even considering popping in the cart to check it out. Being about 9 or 10; I was absolutely awful at it. I never got past the first floor and just spent my time running around Whomp’s Fortress. But that was fun for a kid. I ended up playing it a lot!

Years later at the age of 15 or 16 I got pretty big into emulation. At some stage during my emulation craze I downloaded a Super Mario 64 ROM (…or maybe I didn’t…sorry Ninty). I don’t remember much except that I know I used a walk through for a lot of it and of course that I never completed it. I definitely emulated it a few more times on various devices. Although often what happened with emulation is I would start loads of games and never finish them. It was definitely emulation that sparked my overall interest in the Mario series. Most ROM packs would of course come with the Mario games and they would be one of the first games I would use to test the emulators.

About 3 years ago  (due to the interest sparked by emulators) I started collecting old video game consoles. I eventually  got an N64 for cheap on a local advertising site and then hunted down a copy of SM64. I got 56 stars this time around before giving up 😦 I still found the game quite difficult. I didn’t bother with stars I had never gotten before. I was a bit of a sham to be honest. I convinced myself it was the level design. Which is a common complaint about SM64 when compared to (say) the Galaxy series. It’s believed that it’s not at all obvious for the player where some of the stars are. I’ll get to my thoughts on this later.

So, When I picked the game up AGAIN about 4 weeks ago I vowed to do it right.

My palms were sweaty

Knees were weak, arms felt heavy. Vomit on my sweater already

MOM’S SPAGHETTI

….

So yea, this time I did it right. I read every line of dialogue. I read every post and talked to every NPC. I actually thought about the names of the stars too. I even scanned through the manual online. And that’s all that needed to be done. I was finding stars I would have just given up on before. There was not a single star I hit that took more than 5 tries to get and if it did it’s because I knew what to do but just kept dying because I suck!! So I’m going on record of admitting I was wrong about the game. The level design is fantastic, it’s the gamers that suck! haha. Oh of course with all that said there are secret stars which are designed to be very hard to find. I actually ended up finding a ton just by exploration.

What I just described, that approach to the game is my advice for anyone out there who’s considering playing this game again or for the first time. Do exactly what I did and you should not run into trouble. You should definitely get enough stars to complete the game. I’d also recommend taking notes. I’ve a notepad dedicated to games where I just jot things down I think I’ll forget. Which is a lot of things….because my memory sucks.

Of course everything else about the game is great. Mario controls really well. His jumps are tight. Who doesn’t love the music? In fact here’s two of my favourite remakes of two tracks from the game. The first is Smooth McGroove’s rendition of the lovely “Dire Dire Docks”:

Next is Super Mario Galaxy 2’s remix of “Bomb-omb Battlefied”, it’s so snazzy

One of the catchiest songs ever written! Some other of my favourites are the castle music and the song that plays when you’re on the slide in peach’s room. Oh and Bowser’s Road!

Something I didn’t think would hold up is the visuals but in all honesty the game is as good as it needs to look. There was no point while playing when I stopped and though “Omg this is no fun, these graphics are old!! >:-(“. In fact It’s a shining example of how unimportant graphics can be  for games which focus on the game play. Imagine that, games that focus on the game play.

Now, something that did frustrate me was the camera control. I really would have preferred full 360 control. Sometimes the surroundings blocked me from continuing to pan the camera left or right. It was annoying when it occurred. I don’t tend to get angry when I play games though so I guess it was annoying in a funny way. My girlfriend has to listen to me go mental. Then we laugh! Honestly that’s the only bad thing I can think of.

TLDR; A masterpiece, pick it up and play it. Do it right by reading the manual, reading in game instructions and signs. Talk to NPCS and think about the star names. Whether you’ve played it before or not I think it’s a game mostly anyone can enjoy. For those who have never played it before, be prepared to pump hours into this one.

I would give this game 10000000AAA/10 or 97£6%

THIS GAME HOLDS UP MOTHAF****R

 

🙂

If you would like to request I try out any old games and give my thoughts lemme knowwww

Now. You have a good day.

-Tim Out!

R.I.P Hiroshi Yamauchi

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For those of you who don’t know Mr. Yamauchi he was the third president of Nintendo. He’s best known for turning Nintendo into a video game company and reinvigorating the video game market after its crash (due to an over abundance of crappy games) with Nintendo’s seal of quality. The man was a true gaming legend. He lead Nintendo right up until the gamecube when Iwata stepped in to fill the role. I’ve a big regular post coming later but I just wanted to dedicate this small one in remembrance to Yamauchi’s passing away 2 days ago on the 19th.

May his atoms scatter throughout the cosmos on an epic adventure 🙂

What better way to remember this man than playing some of the great games that are here thanks to him? Much respect.

-Tim Out!

Rayman Legends Wii U Review

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Rayman Legends is Ubisoft Montpellier’s latest entry in the Rayman series and a follow up to the critically acclaimed Rayman Origins. Initially, the game was meant to be a Wii U exclusive (and to be released back in February); But, it was delayed in order to make it multi-platform. The team spent this time polishing the Wii U version and making more levels. They also released a free challenges app to further soften the blow of the delay as it genuinely upset many fans. Basically, this gave Wii U owners a beta of the online mode. But we have the full game now, we’re okay, everybody relax. Oh, And if you’re reading this Ubisoft…Sorry for all them angry messages on facebook SORRYNOTSORRY LOL.

Let’s start with the visuals 🙂

I really freakin’ love the art style. You know when you’re looking at the concept art for other games and it looks fantastic? Then you see the final product and you’re thinkin’…… :-/ hmmmmm, wut? Well this is the exact opposite. It looks like they took the storyboard art and threw it at the computer! Just take a look at the above picture for example. That’s not a really nice campaign poster Ubisoft slapped together. That is in fact just a screen shot from one of the levels. So there you have it, you can decide for yourself if you like it! I’ll post some more screenshots….now. (Ctrl + Click on them for full screen)

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Indeed, the levels are crisp and clear with a lot of attention to detail. Look at this funny onion looking guy hopping about in the far background (he’s hard to spot, you can definitely see him between 5 – 20 seconds), he’s my friend

There is just so much polish and hidden details which really bring the world to life.

The music is splendid too. It’s fully orchestrated for the most part! Of course there are levels specifically built around the music which I will discuss later; Here I mean just the usual backing tracks to the main levels. The music always fits the moment perfectly. Throughout the course of the level the tracks change depending on what you’re doing. So if you (for example) are sneaking around underwater trying to avoid spot lights, a cool bond-like track will play.

While it’s not my favorite track from the game it certainly works in context. Now here’s a track I genuinely love and have on my mp3 at the moment:

It’s a beautiful piece of music. The main melody played on the Morin Khurr  (correct me if I’m wrong, maybe it’s a Dizi Flute) really reminds me of The Legend of Korra. The production value is very good too. All-in-all they did a great job with the soundtrack.

OoooO0ooOooooooo lookie what I found; The entire soundtrack in one Youtube Video, enjoy!

We have established how good the game looks and sounds, but, the big question is how well does it play? I’m going to first discuss my personal favorite way to play the game; That is two player co-op. If you asked me the best (or funnest/ideal) way to play Rayman Origins I would have said that it’s a one player experience for sure. It just didn’t work out having more than one player on the screen. Both me and my girlfriend often mistook each other’s character for our own. Not to mention we would accidentally slap each other to death or one would often fall behind the other. It became very frustrating during the fast paced sections where platforming needed to be tight and precise. In fact at times we would just turn off the second controller and pass a controller between us.

So, what has changed you might ask!? Well, it’s all thanks to the Wii U’s gamepad; A second player can take on the role of a character called Murphy. As Murphy the second player can do an assortment of things such as move platforms, cut ropes and tickle enemies (to name a few). All the while player 1 is still platforming and speeding through the levels at his/her own pace on the big screen. It’s really something you will have to experience for yourself to understand. It’s ridiculously fun and a very fresh experience. It’s clear when playing this way that all the levels were designed with Murphy in mind. Here’s a video of me and my girlfriend playing through a level. This is the best I could do, I wanted to capture the magic

Of course single player is still a ridiculously fun experience. There are moments where it becomes necessary to control Murphy and the player is prompted to take over as him by touching the gamepad’s screen. It really breaks up the game in a good way by adding in this new fresh gameplay. Here’s a video of me playing through a level on my own:

You can also play with up to five players (including Murphy). It’s very fun but of course not the ideal way to play the game if you want to take it seriously. It’s fun for different, sadistic reasons. There’s a multiplayer mode called kung foot. You can play off against each other either as 1v1 or 2v2. In all honesty I think it’s better than Fifa. LOL relax. Nah, I wish I was joking. Polaris are currently doing a tournament, they’re at the semifinls but here’s round one. Polaris are a great channel by the way, I’d recommend subscribing to them for some unbiased news on video games and everything else nerdy!

As you play through the game you get scratch cards on the gamepad which unlock levels from Rayman Origins. Not only that but the levels are redesigned with Murphy in mind. It’s great, having played the game on the Wii, to see these levels in 1080p HD graphics! But of course graphics aside it’s the same fun gameplay from a great game that helped revive the Rayman franchise. Unlocking these levels adds a lot of replayability.

The second last level of each world is a boss fight. These were actually added to the game during the delay. I’m very glad we got these. They are the only levels in the game where the second player cannot play as murphy! To reduce spoilers here’s a clip of the first boss

Finally the last level of every world is built around a song so that it morphs into an unbelievably fun platforming/rhythm challenge. They are so well designed and the best part of the game. I felt very enthused to keep playing in order to unlock the next one. Here’s me playing through one of my favourites, actually scratch that, they’re all my favourites

SPOILERRRRRRRRR – Skip beyond the next line of stars to avoid a slight spoiler

********************

So, for those of you still here, at the end of the game you unlock a world called ‘Living Dead Party’. In it you can replay all of the rhythm levels, but, this time the music is 8-bit and some awesome video filtering effects are used to make the levels much tougher. Here’s me playing through one. It’s very trippy, you’ve been warned!

********************

Here’s some other points about the game which you may need to know

  • You have infinite lives and also lots of checkpoints
  • There’s an online mode with leader boards. New challenges come out daily and weekly. It adds plenty of replayability.
  • You unlock many characters as you collect what are called ‘lums’. There’s even a Wii U exclusive set.
  • The story is pretty much irrelevant, so that’s why I didn’t discuss it. It’s a gameplay focused game.
  • The game has off tv play and miiverse support
  • You can use the Wii U pro controller, the wii mote or the wii mote + nunchuck
  • It’s kewl

So, I hope that even though I gave my opinion throughout that there was enough information there to help those of you who are still considering whether you should purchase it or not. I absolutely loved it. I thought it was ridiculously fun and used the gamepad in a very effective and innovative way. I will end this with a Haiku

Rayman Legends, Wow

What a really awesome game

Buy it, don’t be gay.

– Tim Out!

[Note: Where I’m from ‘gay’ is just use among friends as a mindless slander; NinTimdoblog does not approve of homophobia]

Upcoming: The Legend of Zelda: A Link between Worlds 3DS/2DS All you need to know [UPDATED 4/10/13] [COMMENTS LOCKED BECAUSE OF SPAM}

 

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Let’s have a moment of silence to take in an appreciate the gloriousness of the box art…now, on to the deep and mildly humorous discussion.

So, if you don’t know what The Legend of Zelda series is, you should probably (cue Gollum impression) leave this blog and never come back… JUSTKIDDINGDON’TLEAVEME. In a nutshell it’s an action-adventure video game series created by legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto (Also know for Mario, Metroid and many more). For this game in particular, we need some history.

The year was 1991. I was but a wee babe at breast, naked as my name day with aught to do but suckle on my fair mother’s teat. To cut a long and interesting story short, a video game for the Super Nintendo was released: The legend of Zelda: A link to the Past. The game was a massive hit. Many fans will tell you this is “The definitive Zelda title” or even “The best game in d hole ntire wordlzzz”. Well, we will let them be entitled to their opinion, because it’s clearly The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. I’m just kidding of course, everybody has their own opini- blah blah blah…

So, some of the top Nintendo execs got together and came up with a very interesting little formula. Those of you not fond of mathematics may be a little overwhelmed, but try to bear with us

(Successful video game + Sequel)*(Nostalgia) = Money

And thus a sequel was created. The game was officially announced on the 17th of April this year during a Nintendo Direct with the title “A legend of Zelda: A Link between Worlds”. Since then many details have emerged about it from interviews with the series producer Eiji Aonuma and also Miyamoto. Along with more Nintendo Direct and gaming event coverage. Lets kick things off with this years official E3 trailer

Take as many moments necessary to wipe away those tears of joy.

So, what can we extract from this preview? Well, lets start with overall vibes. The music sounds awesome. The game will feature orchestral remasters of songs from the original along with newer themes. I love some of the new motifs coursing through over-world theme.

Along with sounding great, it looks great too. It’s colourful and runs very smooth. The world looks exactly like it did in A link to the Past. But don’t be fooled into thinking this makes it the exact same game. It will be structured to be completely different from the original. So, for example, accessibility to certain areas will be completely changed. With that said GameXplain did some magic and made a side to side comparison. Check it out, it’s awesome:

If we can trust Aonuma as a viable source; this will be the first 3DS game to run at 60fps both in and out of 3D mode. He continued by saying

“The faster the framerate, the more stable the 3D effect, so 60FPS is a big deal. There are players who don’t like 3D and always keep it switched off, so there’s nothing in the game that absolutely requires 3D, like puzzles that can’t be solved without it.” [1]

This is excellent news for those who don’t like the 3D effect or who are considering purchasing a 2DS system. But, even though it can be played with the 3D off, in a different interview Aonuma also made it clear that

“Playing without 3D enabled will not give you the full experience.” [2]

I think its immediately clear from the footage why this is so. Just like its predecessor the game has you control link from a fixed overhead perspective. With an overhead perspective it can be hard to judge depth. At times in the original game it really made no difference whether you were on the ground or atop Death Mountain because of the 2D plane. The dungeons appear to take advantage of the greater depth perception offered by the 3D effect, having link bounce between different ‘levels’ to solve puzzles. Here’s a quick example of what I mean

Another interesting thing is the introduction of the drawing mechanic.  Link can use his new ability to become a “drawing” and move along walls of dungeons. This opens up new ways to explore and puzzle elements that give Link access to locations he could not otherwise reach. I absolutely love this mechanic. I think it will feel really fresh. For old fans, when traversing dungeons there will certainly be many “OOOOOHHHH YEAAAA, I should try drawing” moments when they get stuck.

Players can use the second screen as a map and inventory. It comes in handy when switching between items. It certainly made the (nightmare that is the) water temple in the Ocarina of Time a much more pleasurable experience in the remake. Also, since this is being built from the ground up for the 3DS hardware, I hope they use the second screen in other interesting ways like, for example, gadget use. Those who have played the DS games might also remember the ability to take notes on the dungeon map. This is another feature I hope they bring back.

Here’s some other interesting facts about the game and its development process

  • The game has a magic/stamina meter that regenerates on its own. Usually it would go down and a potion is required to replenish it. You can see it in action during the above footage
  • Aonuma has made it clear he is listening to fans on social networks and miiverse and taking their opinions on board. [3]
  • He has also made it clear that he does not want to alienate the original A Link to the Past Fans. Instead he wants to create a healthy balance of old and new. [4]
  • Those of you with a keen eye may have noticed the Nintendo Network logo on the box art. This hints that there may be some online functionality such as multiplayer. I’ve seen some crazy theories on this one. Some people flat out take it as a hint that miiverse is coming to 3DS. Like, what?
  • Like A link to the Past the player will be able to traverse between two different worlds this time around using the drawing mechanic. Each world will contain its own triforce. [5]
  • The game takes place generations after the original [6]
  • The game will be amazing [7]

A Link Between Worlds launches November 22nd at a suggested retail price of $39.99 in North America. Nintendo of Europe says that the game will launch in November there. I’m super excited for it. I absolutely loved the original. I’ve actually only been a Zelda fan for the past year. I picked up Ocarina of Time 3D last year and since then have played 4 more titles in the series. Lets hope this title can live up to the name.

I’m going to update this article as more news pours in. If you think I missed something, let me know. Have a good day.

UPDATE 1 (15/09)

As promised here’s the first update. Since writing this article IGN has caught up with Aonuma [7] who has revealed new details about the game

  • First IGN asks why the art work has changed. In particular Link looks younger and has a much more cartoony vibe. Aonuma explains that for A Link to the Past, because the player could not see Link’s details (due to technology restraints) the art work could essentially be anything. But, because of the 3DS’s power in comparison to the snes; The player can in fact see Link’s details. So they used the old art work as a placeholder while they worked out how they wanted Link to look in this game. He also stresses to “Please understand” that this can change.
  • IGN bluntly asks if there will be cinematic scenes. Aonuma takes a paragraph to say yes.
  • The bracelet Link wears in the new concept art (I will post this below) is an important item

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Finally, in another recent interview, this time with the Official Nitenndo Magazine; Aonuma states:

“Collecting rupees, the currency of the Zelda world, will be very important in this game. You might think that was the case with all the past games too, but I must say that this time it will be more important than ever and you will need to collect a great deal of them.” [8]

Those of you who have played a Zelda game before know that typically the player receives a new item in a dungeon and then continues to use this item to complete the dungeon and defeat the boss. However, combining the above statement with the picture below

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Maybe this time around we need to collect rupees to purchase a new weapon!

That’s all for this update 🙂

UPDATE 2 (04/10)

So, Nintendo shared some new details about ALBW in the October Nintendo direct summarised below

  • It ha been confirmed that items will be both bought and rented from the shop in the picture above. This goes against the typical Zelda convention of receiving an item in a dungeon and then using said item to complete the dungeon. According to Iwata this makes for a very fresh experience in that the player can decide how to progress through the story and choose which dungeon to visit next. This also opens up a money management aspect to the game.
  • The character in the shop who looks like Nabbit from New Super Mario brothers is actually an entirely new character called Ravio (pic below). Production of ALBW and NSMB took place on the same floor in the Nintendo headquarters. Iwata speculates that the teams unintentionally inspire each other from time to time and perhaps this is how Ravio cam to look similar to Nabbit
  • Some really nice looking cutscenes were shown.
  • The game releases on November 22nd in Europe

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-Tim Out!

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Sources:

http://www.edge-online.com/features/eiji-aonuma-on-the-return-of-a-link-to-the-past-after-22-years-in-a-twilight-realm/ [1]

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-9020_7-57582222-222/exclusive-zelda-3ds-feels-totally-different-needs-to-be-played-in-3d/ [2]

http://mynintendonews.com/2013/06/28/aonuma-says-he-is-listening-to-the-internet-regarding-zelda-3ds/ [3]

http://playeressence.com/nintendo-doesnt-want-to-alienate-the-original-link-to-the-past-fans/ [4]

http://ie.ign.com/articles/2013/08/07/nintendo-reveals-new-details-for-a-link-between-worlds [5]

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/123361-Nintendo-Announces-A-Link-to-the-Past-2 [6]

nintimdoblog.wordpress.com [7] 😉

http://ie.ign.com/articles/2013/09/11/three-things-we-learned-about-zelda-a-link-between-worlds [7]

http://www.officialnintendomagazine.co.uk/53765/collecting-rupees-will-be-more-important-than-ever-in-zelda-a-link-between-worlds/ [8]