Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Small Subpoena

From Batman: The Animated Series episode 49 - The Man Who Killed Batman

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Retro Reminiscing Half-Life

I have been playing through the first Half-Life recently. This game blew me away when I was first introduced to it, but by today's standards is a bit lacking. Despite the crow’s-feet and receding gum line, I have been enjoying my revisit. I will say though that some of the archaic game design is laughable.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Prometheus looks good

Is it just me or do female tennis players look like they are smelling farts all day?

Can you smell that?

Who farted?

I am SO sick of your farts!

EWWW, keep the smell away!

Oh god, maybe no one heard that...

Smelling that fart just made me retarded.

That it! I'm leaving.

Why would you do that???

Yeah... It was me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Game of the Year 2011

The time has come for everyone to take all the experience of the last twelve months, bundle them up and file them away. While doing so, consider the videogames you have played this year. For most Americans it was probably something on Facebook or maybe angry birds. Limit that group to console gamers and it was most likely a shooter (call of duty, battlefield), skyrim or batman. While my pick isn't completely out of left field, it may be considered somewhat electic since I am a hardcore gamer.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

It may be necessary to preface this statement by saying that I have yet to play Batman: Arkham City, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 or Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (all of which may be contenders on people’s GoTY lists) though I am confident my opinion will remain unchanged when I finally get around to playing them. I hope that talking about a Wii game doesn’t put most people off the subject. I know many people ‘hate’ the Wii and would be reluctant to check out any game on it for a variety of personal prejudices. The same could be true of the Zelda series, many people feel that it is the same game so why give it the time of day. For the latest entry, this is definitely not the case.

Nintendo has truly outdone themselves this time. I have played the main entries in the Zelda franchise and honestly believe that Skyward Sword outdoes all of them. To give you a little background I would say that Twilight Princess was disappointing at best and I really enjoyed Wind Waker. Skyward Sword manages to forge a bond between the two taking the style driven vision of WW and combining it with the modern sensibilities of TP. One huge boon in its favor is that SS has fantastic controls. The game requires the motion plus attachment, but offers a previously unheard of level of enjoyment for the commitment of a new peripheral. All the promises that were made when the Wii was first released control-wise have finally come to fruition in this game. The sword combat feels great; if you waggle and flail your arms like you were playing TP for the Wii, Link will respond likewise. This means you have to make deliberate motions that feel much more natural and accurate to the action on screen. I never really believed this would be fun after playing several years of Wii motion titles, but it is. If the control design wasn’t enough, Nintendo up the ante of the game content itself.

Not only will hardcore fans see subtle nods to their previous entries but the game contains elements that keep it relevant with many of today’s more traditional RPGs. Random loot drops, being able to make decisions to affect side quests, forging equipment, complex yet intuitive inventory management round out several of the changes that are new to the franchise. These come with a new round of dungeons, over-world and transversal methods which always remind us why the franchise is still amazingly fun. It is really amazing to see how Nintendo took all the successful elements of a dozen previous titles and combined them in snippets here. Without spoiling anything, I will say it has been fun to see how they adapted things from other successful games (even non-Nintendo titles GASP) into this one. Give it a shot, alright?

On a side note, why are there so many female Link cosplayers? Maybe this should be explored in the next Zelda game.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Zelda II: Link's Adventure (into Mario territory)

Until the end of civilization, Nintendo is releasing a new Zelda game. Luckily this time it will be a proper sequel on a platform that has had almost every previous Zelda game ported to it, yet hasn't hosted a true sequel (Twilight Princess doesn't count). Many people will probably feel indifferent to another Zelda title, but having been a fan from that one time in the past, I can't resist the temptation to see what Nintendo has cooked up.

As a lead-in to the new game, I have been revisiting geriatric Zeldas to catch up with my favorite adventurer and try to psych myself up for the next installment. I played through Majora's Mask (on the N64 of course, no emulation!), then I played a bit of the original NES Legend of Zelda. After a few dungeons I decided to switch to Twilight Princess (Wii Version). I never actually beat the game. After almost a dozen hours on the Wii, I decided to revisit what I remember as the most difficult Zelda game I had ever played: Zelda II: Link's Adventure. I don't think I even know anyone who has actually beat the game so I figured I should be the one to put ol' yeller down.

This title is a little different. First of all it isn't "The Legend of Zelda", it's Zelda 2. Though you always play as Link, this is the first one which is specifically designated as an adventure involving Link (F*CK THAT 'HERO OF TIME' BULL). The premise behind Zelda 2 is the same, but the execution is vastly different. First of all, you need skillz to play it. Most of the other Zelda games are a nice conversation followed by session of hand holding. Also the game doesn't have any money. What??? No rupees???

How about a little back story? In Zelda 2 you play Picklesniffer the elf (Link for short). Link's girlfriend is suffering from a constant migraine and won't get out of bed until Link leaves their apartment. It is Link's job to go pay the bills and return to his girlfriend with her dry cleaning.

So in reality, Link was feeling self conscious because Mario, Nintendo's other man, was more popular. To combat this, Link went through an 'exploritory phase' where he tried emulating Mario in several ways. First there was the red clothing trading in his typical green duds for 'stronger' red clothing. Next, Link gains the ability to jump much higher than the average Joe, much like Mario. All in all Link gains most of Mario's signature traits: jumping on enemies' heads to do damage, busting blocks, red clothes, super jumping, shooting fireballs, etc.

Needless to say this is a grueling experience and I believed I wouldn't be able to complete the game... several times. In the end I persevered and was able to win after around 30 attempts. The game tracks your deaths so it is easy to gauge what kind of failure you are. All in all your girlfriend wakes up and no one cares that you beat the toughest entry in the Zelda Franchise. I still can't wait to check out Skyward Sword.