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Earthbound

Sunset of the Dual Screen

For each year that passes, I become more and baffled that this website still exists. Like, I have immense difficulty focusing on anything for more than about 10 minutes at a time, and a list of unfinished projects that could wrap around the Earth. How am I still doing this???

I don’t have an answer to that question. But Nintendo recently asked themselves a similar question, in relation to keeping the ol’ 3DS family of systems relevant. Their response was “We’re not.” and earlier this week, it was announced that the 3DS eShop will be shutting down in March of next year. To be more specific, you’ll no longer be able to make purchases at that point. Presumably, the shop will still exist so that people can still download all the games they’ve paid for. Presumably.

Continue reading Sunset of the Dual Screen

Nintendo @ E3 2018

This is it: the big collection of video game commercials that I’d been aching for since March. Okay, yeah, with that qualification, it’s obvious that I was 90% in it just for the Smash. But hey, there were other neat things, too! Let’s take a look at the sentence or two that I had to say about them!

Daemon X Machina – OOH ANIME MECHS. I LIKE. It’s like the best parts of Xenoblade X but made by Platinum and Suda51. (Except not. It’s actually Marvelous making it.)

Xenoblade 2 DLC – Speaking of Xenoblade… Hey it’s that promised story expansion DLC for the game that I’ve still only seen like 50% of. It’s a prequel with a new titan, I guess? I don’t know, the narration was Japanese and my phone was sitting on a stand that obscured the subtitles. Obviously I’m going in on it, because Xenoblade 2 is freakin’ sweet and yeah I’ll take any more of it that they’re willing to give me.

Pokémon Let’s Go – No new information here. Just Reggie pimping the lame Pokéball Plus accessory. But it does give you a free Mew, so…

Super Mario Party – I don’t have friends, so I don’t care. And even if I did, I’m sure they’d just dump all over it instead of playing with me. Dig the logo, though.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses – It’s Fire Emblem on Switch, which is so cool, which I’m down with. But I have played exactly one Fire Emblem game ever, and I have my doubts that I’ll be adding this one to the list any time soon.

Fortnite – Nope. Don’t care. I do like how not-gritty it is, though. And cool that it’s out NOW.

Overcooked 2 – I’ve heard many times that Overcooked is great, but again, with the lack of friends and all.

Killer Queen Black – Like, seriously. No friends. Okay, one friend. But that’s still not really enough to care about multiplayer party games.

Hollow Knight – Ah! A single-player game! There we go! But I’ve played it already, so… oh, what? It’s available today? And only $17? Hey, I mean, it’s not like I paid money to play it the first time…

Octopath Traveler – New demo with carry-over data… but I really don’t have time to fit that in at the moment. I don’t even know that I’ll be able to make time for the full game come July.

Sizzle reel – Mostly things shown at other presentations, or that are already out, or are getting DLC soon. Nothing that made me shriek with joy. Dark Souls still doesn’t have a release date, and Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate made an appearance. Hi, 5 seconds of Mega Man 11!

Super Smash Bros Ultimate – There was a lot to process here, so rather than trying to clean it up, here’s my stream-of-consciousness notes, hastily typed as I was watching: Oh Sakurai, you joker. Link has new moves!  Zelda is Link Between Worlds style!! (<3) Ice Climbers are back! Pokémon trainer! Lucas! Ryu! Ganondorf looks better than ever! Cloud! SNAKE IS BACK! Pichu! Toon Link AND Young Link! Wolf! MEGAMAN! Every fighter ever is back! This is amazing news!  BIG BLUUUUE! Daisy?? (Aw, dangit.) Inkling seems awesome, and I love the Squid Sisters assist trophy. But where’s Off The Hook? Bomberman assist trophy? Nice! Ooh and a deadly Fake Smash Ball! GOOD LORD RIDLEY MURDERED MARIO AND MEGA MAN.

Verdict: Super Smash Bros Ultimate is out on December 7 and that’s all that matters. Everything else was gravy at best, or I just didn’t care. Smash is all I wanted from this presentation. It’s all I wanted from this E3. And by God, they delivered!

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up – August 2015

August. What is there to say about August?

Absolutely nothing.

~ Game Over ~

Mega Man 6 (NES) – Typically one of the less-appreciated Megamns. I really like it! The Rush adapters are a lot of fun, and almost make up for the lameish robot master weapons. Also it’s maybe a little on the easy side, making it a breeze to burn through in an afternoon.

Life is Strange: Episode 4 – Dark Room (PC) – I was greatly disappointed by one of the bigger story beats, but enjoyed everything else about this episode. Many times I thought something horrible was going to happen, but it never did. Because they were saving it all for the end. Yikes.

Submerged (PC) – Lovely game about boating around a city that’s half underwater and climbing up buildings. It’s like Shadow of the Colossus, but with a boat instead of a horse, and a total lack of violence.  Only takes around five or six hours to complete, too.

Mega Man 4 (NES) – What? Ryan’s playing Mega Mans? WHAT A SURPRISE. …you know how I feel about Mega Man 4.

Mega Man (NES) – Ugh… this one is pretty bad. Have I mentioned that before? No unplayable, but frustrating and kind of a joke compared to the rest of the NES games.

Mega Man 2 (NES) – And then this one is so good. Not the best, but pretty darn close.

Mega Man 3 (NES) – This one is the best. I’ve even played it so many times now that I only have a little bit of trouble with the Doc Robot stages. Hooray!

~ Now Playing ~

Five Nights at Freddy’s (iOS) – I bought the mobile version because I thought it would be easier to handle if I could play it while in my parents’ living room with people around. Nope! The tension is still unbearable. Also it crashes like nobody’s business. So I’m stuck on Night 2 forever.

Bravely Default (3DS) – Playing over a year after everyone else got bored of it has a certain benefit: a lot of the streetpass/friend list bonuses are totally broken since my allies are all done the game, many of them having maxed out job levels and whatnot. And I’m really enjoying it! I’m already getting hyped for the sequel, though I’m only on chapter 3 of this game.

Picross e6 (3DS) – Mo’ Picross, mo’ problems. Or, not. Because Picross makes me happy.

Fallout: New Vegas (PC) – Don’t know what it is, but as much as I enjoy this game, I find it very difficult to invest time in it. Also, a maxed out Sneak stat isn’t nearly as effective as I’d like it to be.

Earthbound Beginnings (NES) – Honestly, it’s starting to feel a little tedious. If Lloyd and Ana had joined the party at a respectable level, maybe things could have been different… Whatever. I’m nearing the end. Just got to keep pressing forward. Sloooooowly.

Dark Souls (360) – Yeah I went back to this for a bit. Made some progress. Probably going to keep not writing about it though.

Papo & Yo (PC) – A puzzle platformer of sorts. Wherein the boy you play as has a robot for a backpack and a monster for a buddy. Also said monster sometimes goes on horrible, violent rampages after eating frogs. Only an hour in, it’s been enjoyable.

Chrono Trigger (DS) – Logged a couple hours in here. Chipping away at my goal of unlocking all of the endings, one baby step at a time. I currently have four of thirteen.

Secret of Mana (SNES) – Started a new run because my brother had never played it past Spikey. I don’t blame him. That’s a tough (and very cheap) boss. Might take forever to finish, because we usually play Monster Hunter or Smash Bros instead.

Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (GC) – Started a new run because my buddy had never played it. Might also take forever to finish. Because we have like seventeen million games on the go right now. (We are terrible at finishing games.)

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up – July 2015

I’m finding that I spend a lot less time playing video games than I did only a few months ago. Maybe I’m growing up finally? Nah. Just keeping busy with other things.

Though somehow the Now Playing list still seems to go on forever. I think the real answer must be that my ADD is progressively getting worse.

~ Game Over ~

Puzzle & Dragons Z (3DS) – I rolled the credits, but really I’m only halfway through the game. It’s one of those situations where beating the “final boss” unlocks another adventure and the other half of the game world. Also the final boss was a total joke compared to the penultimate boss. That was really weird.

Mega Man Sprite Game (PC) – An RPG based on what I assume is a sprite comic. It only took an hour, but it wasn’t as funny as it wants to be. A lot of the music used in it is really good, though. It’s probably worth a look if you’re bored and enjoy absurd humour.

I’ve Got To Run! (3DS) – It was on sale for ten cents, if you can believe it. It’s an endless runner game, so I can’t really beat it, but I unlocked all the modes and characters, so good enough. Some of those extra modes are pretty fun, too, so… good buy.

3D Classics: Kirby’s Adventure (3DS) – It’s Kirby’s Adventure. I play through this at least once every year. One of my favourite games of all time.

~ Now Playing ~

Balloon Fight (NES) – Spent a few nights with Balloon Fight to honour the memory of Iwata. Got new high scores on both modes.

Fallout: New Vegas (PC) – These (modern) Fallout games are so great. I could just wander around the wastes for hours and not get bored. Except that I can’t because there are so many things that can kill me with ease. But someday, I will have a decent gun. And then… then, I will have my revenge.

Earthbound Beginnings (WiiU) – As much as I love Earthbound, I feel totally lukewarm about Beginnings. It’s not a bad game by any stretch, but it’s hard to fully appreciate it after playing the timeless sequel. It’s still pretty interesting from a historical standpoint, though.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3D (3DS) – I sometimes wish the real world had a soundtrack like the one in this game. It’s just so gosh darn pretty!

Drakengard (PS2) – I’ve read the LP. I know what it is and what happens. But I just had to play it for myself. Just one of those things that are so mind-boggling that you need to experience them first-hand, you know?

Pokémon Alpha Sapphire (3DS) – I decided to go back and clean up the post-game stuff. I hate that I have seemingly outgrown Pokémon. Maybe I just spent too many hours with Pokémon Y? Because I got pretty deeply invested in that one.

Clicker Heroes (PC) – I probably shouldn’t count this any more. Even though it gets about as much attention from me as the rest of the list combined.

Bit Boy Arcade (3DS) – I can’t even describe how weird this game is. I imagine that it must be what a bad acid trip is like. Also the gameplay is middling arcadey fare, but it says “arcade” right there in the title. I guess I can’t really complain?

#ThankYouIwata

Yesterday, the news broke that Nintendo’s Global President, Satoru Iwata, had passed away.

thankyouiwata

Now I’m heartbroken all over again. When you think of the CEO of a giant global company, you don’t think of someone like Mr. Iwata. His warmth and sense of humour made Nintendo Directs such a joy to watch, and his contributions to Nintendo as a programmer are legendary.

I couldn’t possibly hope to properly articulate how I feel and why, so here’s a really great write up. One of many that have been posted today. I’m sure that many more still will be written over the next few days.

Edit: Aw, heck. Here’s another one by a fellow Talking Time member.

iwataballoons

Rest in peace, Iwata-san.

Happy Earthbound Appreciation Day!

Oh, wait. No, that’s not right. It’s Thanksgiving. In Canada.

Anyway, this adorable little tribute video has been making headlines around the web over the last couple days, and I figure that it’s my solemn duty as a Massive Earthbound Fanboy to share it as well. So here’s an embed of it. Enjoy. And if you tear up a little, it’s quite alright. Nobody’s going to judge.

Yup. Occasionally the internet is used for good. Overwhelmingly beautiful good. But seriously, everyone should love Earthbound as much as this woman does. The world would be such a wonderful place.

Oh, and happy Thanksgiving. I give thanks for all the wonderful people in my life, without whom I would be absolutely lost. And for video games. And moments of pure beauty like the one embedded above.

Not-quite-double vision

I know almost nothing about Phineas and Ferb or Disney Infinity, but a big ol’ wave of déja vu rolled over me when I saw this pre-order card at Best Buy a couple weeks ago.

For whatever reason, this figurine (which I later confirmed is in fact Phineas) reminds me very strongly of the official Ness figurine.

When you sit the two next to each other, they aren’t really all that similar, but they do share a bunch of traits. The striped shirt, blue jeans, and green base. Big heads topped with something red (Phineas’ hair and Ness’ baseball cap). You can see how at a glance, I could have been mistaken and had one of those “Bluh?” moments.

That’s all. Just a funny observation today.