Sunday, January 20, 2013

Why I returned a Wii U

As a Nintendo fan, the launch of a new Nintendo system usually gets me excited. Wanting to try out the new system and get familiarized with it myself, I broke down and bought one right before Christmas, and then let it sit unopened for a few weeks as I was busy with work during the holiday period and going to MAGFest. So I returned it since there really wasn't anything else worth playing on it that justified spending $400 when I already had enough games to play between 3DS, Xbox 360, PS3 and even Wii (I haven't even finished Skyward Sword). If I'm returning Nintendo's latest system, then what does that say about Wii U?

The only game I really wanted to play was New Super Mario Bros. U, which was the 4th iteration of the NSMB series, but I was already the playing New Super Mario Bros. 2, the previous version, on 3DS. Its not at all like when Super Mario 64 launched and was revolutionary with its 3D world, its just more of the same. I played some of it during Nintendo's mall tour and I'll want to play through it but it can wait.

Also, I realized the launch of Wii U was no where near as good as the GameCube's. Sure the lineup was bolstered by 3rd party support, but most of those are ports that already came out on Xbox 360 and PS3 that I'm sure most people have already played. In comparison, GameCube had an awesome launch with Super Smash Bros. Melee, Star Wars: Rogue Leader, Pikmin, Wave Race: Blue Storm, Luigi's Mansion, and Pikmin; significant sequels or original titles that showed off what the new game system was about.

Sorry Wii U but the GameCube's launch was really awesome.
So this is one Nintendo system launch I'll be sitting out until the platform gains some momentum. That and my credit card bill is looking a lot better.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

NSMB2 ??

The reason I haven't played New Super Mario Bros. 2 is because...


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Testing this

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sending this to the past!!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Castlevania, lamenting Castlevania, last years recap

A year ago I wrote about a few games I was planning to play that holiday season and here's what I thought.

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow followed in Symphony of the Night's footsteps and was well worth owning a Nintendo DS for. From the very start of the game with its wintery outdoor setting and its kickin main theme, I was hooked on this excellent 2-D game. Yeah, it follows the same Metroid style formula Igarashi and his team have been using since SoTN of giving the player a huge castle to explore, but its well executed and lives up to its predecessor's legacy. In some ways I thought it was better than Symphony of the Night, specifically that the difficulty of the enemies weren't so easy, including the bosses where you actually had to fight and evade their attacks, where in SoTN, it felt like you could just keep attacking a boss without much consequence as long as you had enough life. Many bosses in Dawn require you to duck at very specific points of a room to evade an attack for example. The final boss in the game does not disapoint either, where in SoTN, Dracula was easily pummled. The weapon upgrade system where collected enemy souls are used to upgrade certain weapons, and the use of enemy souls for secondary weapons and abilities, kept things interesting and stressfree with its simplicity. I still have to complete game's throwback to Castlevania 3's character switching, Julius mode. And I never did get that "bad" ending because I had a certain item equipped the entire game.

Unfortunately the latest console Castlevania, Curse of Darkness for PS2 and Xbox, didn't turn out so well, and I've left it unfinished. All I can say is they got it right with Lament of Innocence, and just needed to work on their level design. Playing the PS2 version, the main thing that stopped me from finishing it was the loading screens between every other boring section, over and over again. Entering a the next room must have a 3-4 second loading screen. Lament of Innocence only had a quick animation of Leon running into the next room, and is instant compared to CoD. Play magazine gave the game an above average review and I imagine they must have played the Xbox version that would have less load times, and slightly better graphics to boot. CoD on PS2 looks like it suffered a downgrade from LoI with no anti aliasing, everything just looks worse. Hector's character model looks to be less detailed than Leon's, most likely to work with the openess of the stages and the addition of and additional character, a familar you raise, running around. On the other hand it has some of the best looking cutscenes and voice acting in a video game, though I feel the high quality of the graphics in the cutscenes clash with the rest of the game where LoI kept things consistant between gameplay and cutscenes. The game seems to amount to attacking enemy after enemy and running through long boring levels, but manages to control worse than LoI. Hector just never has the same control that Leon did in LoI, and the camera always feels placed wrong compared to other 3-D adventure games. Lament of Innocence had a nice look going for it with the stationary camera, giving the game an almost overhead view, and keeping all of the action on screen at once. On the good side, along with its excellent voice acting, the game has a great soundtrack by SoTN composer Michiru Yamane, starting the game off with rocking guitars, contrasting LoI's more techno soundtrack, with some great boss themes. And since this game takes place after Castlevania 3 there are a few throwbacks, with the first few notes of "Beginning" played at the start of a few tunes. Unlucky for me, when I picked up my preorder for CoD, they guys there had no idea about the CD sampler, but I plan to get the CD soundtrack sometime. Dawn of Sorrow turned out the better Castlevania game, both being developed at the same time. I'll get through Curse of Darkness eventually to see it to the end, but I'll be looking more forward to the next 2-D entry, Portrait of Ruin, in Novemeber for Castlevania's 20th anniversary.

Dragon Quest VIII I had wanted to take a crack at but never got into it. Only recently did I pick it up for $20 but didn't play much further than the first town, the same part of the demo I had. I'm not sure I have the time to get into a large RPG like this with its traditional style. I'm kinda mixed on the voice acting and script, not that its bad, its just I don't care for the English flavoring. I mean, if they want to appeal to the U.S. why give it an English flavor. Akira Toriyama's art sure does come alive though. I kinda wish that when you talk to people, the camera would move to the side to see the character like in Zelda, instead of having to manually move the camera. I'm just nitpicking though, I really haven't played enough of the game to judge it.

Mario Kart DS is probably the best Mario Kart yet. Its made going back to Double Dash hard for me because of the return of hopping to corner turns. I don't like how they reduced the amount of control you have over dodging red shells, they seem to be harder to stop with a green shell thrown backwards, almost appearing to circle around the kart and hit in front. I just really liked how turtle shells could actually be dodged with a quick miniboost in Double dash. I've unlocked all courses and characters, but have yet to get my 3 yellow stars by completing everything perfectly.

Monday, August 23, 2004

So many games to play, so little time to play them all…

When am I going to find time to play all of these video games?! The older I get, the less free time I have, and the less time I have to play video games. And ironically as I’m older now, the more money I have to spend on video games I don’t have time to play.

One of reasons for me wanting a PS2 was to play all of the Square RPGs I had been missing out on since the Playstation. I snatched up FF Chronicles and Anthologies as soon as I saw them at Best Buy, but never really got around playing them other than starting FFVI and its long load times, and enjoying about 1/3 of FFIV. I had a great time playing FFX, but have not yet finished it. I’m at what I think is the end of the game, but there are many sidequests I believe I’ve missed, and I just never got around to beating it. I’ve also got Earthboundfor the SNES to replay after all these years, and Skies of Arcadia Legends that I should get back to. Lately I just haven’t felt like playing RPGs, and have been leaning more towards action based games.

Never finished ICO after playing halfway through. Mobile Suit Gundam: Federation vs. Zeon’s campaign mode goes unfinished because I felt I was spoiling the end to the anime series for myself (which I’ve never seen because Cartoon Network never finished its run). Metroid 2 I just have not been able to enjoy anymore. I’ve beaten Mega Man 1 and 2 from the Mega Man Anniversary Collection, and I’m looking foward to playing through Mega Man 3. River City Ransom EX I play now and then, but I’ve been unable to finish it because it has to be played through in one sitting/leaving the machine on. I got F-Zero GX weeks ago with MMAC because I had wanted to play the sequel to the N64 game and it was $15, and I’m just now playing it because my interest has been sparked. So I’ve been playing F-Zero GX and 1080 Avalanche, which I’ve unlocked most of the stuff.

As for games coming out to add to my insanity, I sorta want to get the Famicom Mini versions of SMB 2 and Zelda 2: Rinku No BoukenPikmin 2 is coming out sometime very soon. My nostalgia for Donkey Kong ’94 interests me in getting Mario vs. Donkey Kong eventually. It’s been a long time since I’ve played Street Fighter II, so I’d like to get the SF Anniversary Collection for PS2. My Japanese Legend of Zelda Collection has arrived, and I’m thinking about getting Nintendo Puzzle Collection to go with the Freeloader I’ll need. It’d be nice to have a version of Dr. Mario and Panel De Pon(Tetris Attack) to play.
And that’s all besides older games I missed out on like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night! There are just so many great video games out there to play, new and old. Time to stop slacking off and wasting money, and starting playing, and finishing, video games!