Ninji Direct

There was another Nintendo Direct yesterday. It was a big one, but it actually didn’t show too many games that really excited me. There’s a new Yoko Taro card game coming out next month. That’s… I mean, I’m not all that excited about a card game, but it’s Yoko Taro, so I must. The expansion for Monster Hunter Rise and Kirby and the Forgotten Land are things that I am naturally quite “hype” about, but they’re dated for next spring, so I don’t need to think about them for a good, long while. Triangle Strategy still has a dumb name and still looks great, but again: March 2022.

I’m still excited as heck for Metroid: Dread, but it’s out in exactly two weeks, I really don’t need a new trailer? And the Deltarune: Chapter 2 announcement would have driven me wild, if I had not just played Deltarune: Chapter 2 last weekend on my computer. It was excellent!

What really blew my socks off in this Direct was the content update for Mario Golf: Super Rush. Not because I’m excited about a content update for Mario Golf: Super Rush (I have not purchased the game). No, this announcement had my jaw on the floor because of a character design for a golfer that’s being added to the game: the humble Ninji.

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New “Tales of” game, Arise!

Many, many years ago, I had a bit of a falling-out with RPGs. They just all seemed so samey and unengaging to me. Of course, nowadays I always seem to have at least one on the go at any given time, be it a new game, a classic that I’m revisiting, or something that I had overlooked along the way. I think that I’d have gone down this path one way or another, but I think a lot of the credit to getting me back on the RPG train goes to Tales of Symphonia.

Symphonia was the best of both worlds: on the RPG hand, you got a giant world to explore and plenty of dungeons to lose yourself in, all while a rich story was unfolding around you. On the… not-RPG hand, the battle system traded in menus for action, giving you the ability to move a character around a battlefield and attack enemies with combos and special moves. It actually felt a little bit like Super Smash Bros, and that was more than enough to win me over. In fact, I liked Tales of Symphonia so much that I ranked it my favourite video game of 2004. Not too shabby!

I’ve played a few other “Tales of” games since then -not all of them by any means- and they’ve run the gamut from “Maybe better than Symphonia?” to “Well that was a bust.” And of course, what I’m leading into here is that I’ve been playing the most recent game in the series, Tales of Arise. I’m only about halfway through at this point, but I’m not gonna lie: it’s looking like it might be a contender.

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PZ35/21 – September check-in

“Hey Ryan,” you say to me “you didn’t do one of these Zelda write-ups for August. Did you give up on it?”

No, I did not. There just wasn’t anything to report. I had completed Phantom Hourglass in June, and did not receive my copy of Skyward Sword HD until late July. It didn’t seem like there were any updates worth writing. But there is one now!

Skyward Sword HD is done, and… I don’t really remember how I felt about it in the end last time, but I had a pretty good time with this replay! While I believe that the motion controls are perfectly acceptable in the original version, I took advantage of the new “standard” controls that were implemented for the HD version, and they also work very well! I never thought it could be possible, given how deeply integrated the motion controls are into Skyward Sword, but Nintendo pulled it off!

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A follow-up

Remember a few days ago when I wrote a blog post about how one of my old webistes had gone kablooey and I lost (but not really) a bunch of “TE Classic” content?

Well, I haven’t been able to sleep tonight, so I went and added Part Two of my Disney World series to WordPress.

Now while I did read the whole thing over and fix a few spelling and grammatical errors, I didn’t make any significant content changes. That means that this is still a thing I wrote when I was seventeen, and as such, there may be a little cringe tucked in there.

I also uploaded the old article I wrote about The Hamburger Game. After re-reading this one… let’s just say that it might have been okay to leave it buried. Not my best work for a great many reasons.

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: August 2021

~ Game Over ~

Mr. Driller: Drill Land (Switch) – I honestly can’t believe that Namco decided not to localize this back in 2002. It’s easily the most robust Mr. Driller game I’ve ever played, and the five different game modes add a good amount of variety. Though, I’m still pretty bad at Mr. Driller, so I was only barely able to pass level 2 of each mode :I

The Medium (PC) – Very good spookventure. Clearly influenced by the Silent Hill series, but removes combat altogether to make the gameplay experience a little simpler. The story is a bit opaque, but is definitely more and more interesting as you put the pieces together. Which, I think, is a hallmark of good storytelling.

Stela (Switch) – A “walk forward and solve simple platforming puzzles” game much like LIMBO or Little Nightmares. Only I got no joy out of this one. Mostly because it was completely disjointed, due to every area being totally different from the last. If Stela is telling a story, it’s an impenetrable, convoluted mess. That, and it just never really made an impression otherwise.

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Cannot find memory_lane.html

Hey so Angelfire killed off one of my old websites at some point. Not the main one, but the one that was hosting images and pages for a number of old articles, most notably my memoirs of that time my family went to Disney World. Wuh-oh!

Luckily, I have all that old stuff backed up locally, so none of it it lost forever. But it is a grim reminder that I still have a lot of “content” that needs to be brought over from Angelfire to my current site. I’d really like to get around to it, but I’m just never bored at work any more!

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2

When I played the original Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, I had an absolute blast with it. As a game that called back to Castlevania III, but without the excruciating difficulty, it was something I was really able to sink my teeth into. A retro-styled game executed perfectly.

Then the sequel came along. CotM2 would obviously be similar to the first game, except probably bigger and flashier, if Inti Creates’ history was anything to go by. And that is not an inaccurate assessment! However, this sequel also ramped the difficulty way, way up.

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The Incoherent Dream

Have you ever tried Googling something in a dream? To my recollection, it’s only happened to me once, last night, and it was strange and vivid enough that I feel like it’s worth sharing.

Every Dream Google result that I clicked into was effectively the same: news articles made of paragraphs made of words. But that’s where normalcy ended. The websites were circa the late 1900s: white pages with little more than the text of the article in them. It was like the internet before ad revenue was a thing. The articles themselves were complete nonsense; they included my search terms and some related words, but were otherwise just collections of random words. I think that I actually woke up because my brain was being overloaded by Dream Ryan desperately trying to read and comprehend these gibberish reports.

Now I’m sitting here wondering if there’s an explanation for this, or if it’s just dream weirdness. Could my brain not generate fake articles on the fly? Probably not. So it just filled the dream with words and hoped that I was unconscious enough to notice. But I strongly recall the feeling of frustration that was caused by being unable to actually make sense of what I was reading. I don’t know that I’ve ever read anything in a dream before, so maybe that’s something dreams just can’t do?

This is just another reason why Elon Musk needs to get moving on that dream recording technology!

Godzilla Singular Point

I spent a good chunk of time last weekend watching Godzilla Singular Point, Netflix’s new Godzilla anime. While I would say that I was engaged throughout and enjoyed it, I must also confess that… I don’t think I have the hottest of clues as to what actually happened throughout the 13 episodes.

At it’s core, Godzilla SP is exactly what you might expect: a show about gigantic monsters invading and causing rampant destruction, and the people trying to figure out how to stop them. It’s what these monsters are made of and why they exist that gets me more than a little confused. And also all of the of time-travel shenanigans don’t help at all.

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