#502 Games from my Backlog for the month of March 2015

Games from my Backlog for March 2015

Its the first blog post of the new month so it is time dig into my gaming library and find a new batch of games to play through.

But first, a few more last thoughts on last month’s games:

LEGO MARVEL Super Heroes:

As I said before it is a wonderfully easy and relaxing collect-em-up game with all of my favorite Marvel Comicbook characters. One more point that I have not mentioned but it’s only after looking through the screenshots of the early Lego games, the amount of effort the current Lego game devs go through to make sure that all the scenery and set pieces looks like they are made out of authentic Lego pieces instead of low quality blocks, as seen in the early Lego Harry Potter game.

And this game does a wonderful thing by NOT pulling any punches when it comes to lesser known comic book villains and unlock able character costumes.

This game also does a wonderful thing by NOT pulling any punches when it comes to lesser known comic book villains and unlockable character costumes. If you don’t know the importance of the clunky Iron Man custom then too bad, the reference was not for you

Rush Bros:

This filled my bimonthly new platformer quota.

Rush Bros is a nice platformer with a killer beat from the original soundtrack. The nice in game bonus is that you can add play your own mp3 files but because of the game’s point of gameplay it automatically filters and remix any of your own files. Which is great for music, but not so much with songs. and because of that it made me want to play Audiosurf for all of my current music earworms.

The problem with playing and writing about so many platformers is that unless one  mechanic is so unquic that it makes it stand out from the rest, like Super Meat Boy's difficulties and Super Mario World's art and 3D game level design

The problem with playing many platformers is that unless one gameplay mechanic is so unique that it makes it stand out from the rest, like Super Meat Boy’s difficulties and Super Mario World’s art and 3D game level design, I kind of lose interest.

Now it is time for my new next batch of games from my backlog…for the month of March…2015.

My first game is going to be the Expendabros, a free promotional game that is a 2D action game that is unapologetically over the top American. As a citizen of the Great U S of A it is my civic duty to play though at least once in my life.

Cue: Bald Eagle cawing

Cue: Bald Eagle cawing behind a wave of explosions

For my second game, I am going to be caving very soon and buying the latest Nintendo handheld game, Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask 3DS, because after Pokemon ORAS I have been looking for a new 3DS game to sink a handful of hours.

 After playing through Wonderful 101 I am patiently waiting for the next major 'must own' Nintendo videogame, I don't think MM3DS will be that, but it will temporarily scratch that itch.


After playing through Wonderful 101 I am patiently waiting for the next major ‘must own’ Nintendo videogame, MM3DS is that, but it will temporarily scratch that itch.


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#501 The Firefly non-post

I figured it out, I now know what my next filler post series is going to be, its going to be following the trend of American made Science Fiction literary works of wonder, the T.V show Firefly.

Its going to be an epic new series bought out every time I need a day off from blogging. This new series is going to be loved by all, full of interesting characters and going into in depth story plots and social commentary.

It will have plans to expand on every aspect of it’s universe, that is, before corporate makes the executive decision to cancel the show so sudd-

I had a friend in college that loved this show, and I as a Doctor Who fan, would always remind him which one of our favorite TV show had the most seasons

I had a friend in college that loved this show, and I as a Doctor Who fan, would always remind him which one of our favorite TV show had the most seasons


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#500 Thank You PAX East #Thankacreator

Boogie2988 recently created the #Thankacreator hashtag, and in his video he explained that the purpose of the Hashtag was to use the Internet to spread a little bit of positivity around the net by personally thanking your favorite entertainer and content creator. This will be my fifth year attending PAX East, and every time it has been able to one up itself in terms of content and entertainment. For my 500th blog post I would like to dedicate this post to the wonderful people who planned and execute the PAX East Expo each year.

pax east black

Thank you people behind PAX for organizing and supplying enough content and entertainment to last for a three day weekend.

For years the PAX Staff has constantly reached out to Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, the other major videogame companies, and gaming personalities to fill up the expo hall to the brim and still have enough panels constantly running in every theater from open to close. I have participated my fair share of event planning for my small college and I can only imagine the nightmare of negotiating with these Triple A game companies and major videogame celebrities living and working in different time zones around the world to make sure everyone shows up and are happy with the PAX East accommodations.

It does not go unnoticed

It does not go unnoticed

Thank you PAX East for making such a welcoming place.

I attended my first PAX East when I was well into college and at that time I overcame my insecurities about being a geek, by the time I first walked through the front door of the BECE. But I can see the importance of an event that is all about a celebrating and embracing everything it means to being a gamer, a nerd, or a geek to a middle or high school student who might might still get picked on or bullied in class for still playing Pokemon or Magic the Gathering

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And despite what the news might claim, PAX East has always been a safe environment for any and everyone, with enforcers stationed everywhere, offering help if needed and checking and evaluating every prop weapon to making sure that they could not harm anyone. I have seen harassers that have attended panels be dealt quickly and responsibly, even this past year, with the aftermath of the Boston Bombing, PAX had upped security but as an attendee, I never felt restricted while I was there.

But most importantly, I would like to thank Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins for giving East Coasters something, anything videogame related.

America’s East coast kinda gets shafted when it comes to videogame conventions, with all the major events; E3, Comic Con, GDC, BLIZZCON, and even the recently announced TwitchCon choosing to stay in California. So thank you Penny Arcade for all that you have done in regards to launching and continuously supporting an event that people from New England to Florida can look forward during the spring of every year. While I do not speak for them, I assume many Southerners and Australians gamers share the same sentiment.

I don't see the appeal in California. East coast has the best Pizza and Sea food.

I don’t see the appeal in California. East coast has the best Pizza and Seafood.


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#499 The return of the 3DS Time Capsule

I have recently run into a bit of a conundrum, I have currently run out of 3DS games to play. I gave up on Bravely Default game, after much self hype (Be MOP #487). Funny enough it was a just game that could not click with me, too much of a micromanagement JRPG for my liking. Besides that, I have been waning and waxing on my other source of 3DS entertainment, my burning desire to be the best, that no one ever was, by completing my X/Y and OR/AS pokedex.

At this point I can not even be bothered to finish the regional dex, let alone the national dex.

At this point I can not even be bothered to finish the regional dex, let alone the national dex.

 

Right now I am patiently waiting for the window of opportunity to open for my time to buy Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask for the 3DS. sometime after my next post-PAX paycheck. Two games I have been sinking my teeth into.

Some recent cleaning have allowed me to unearthed some old DS games, the two are the original New Super Mario Bros. and the other has held the focus of my spare time, Super Mario 64 DS, a game that takes the title of Nintendo’s worst gaming name of all time.

Its a Super Mario game with two suffixes, so much worst than any  Nintendo games with "New" in the name.

Its a Super Mario game with two suffixes, so much worst than any Nintendo games with “New” in the name.

I have played through it all the way once before when I first received the game back in 2004, but it is only replaying it now how much I appreciate Super Mario 64 DS as a wonderful game. It has all the original N64 textures and graphics with the added gameplay feature of the second screen serving as the map for the area and the option to play as Yoshi, Luigi, and Wario on top of the original Mario.and the gameplay is greatly improved by the addition of the 3DS circle pad.

Playing through Super Mario 64 DS for two reasons, one to get me back into the N64 play style or the OoT and MM3DS ports a kin  sequel to my pre-smash hype (Be MOP #429) where I played some origins and best of retro games of some of the Smash characters. More importantly I have been playing through Super Mario 64 DS because I can, out of all of the gaming companies, Nintendo is the only company to embrace backwards compatibility, meaning I can still play a 10 year old game and any other Nintendo DS game just like new.


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#498 Tips for PAX East 2015 from 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen we are now a fortnight away from the people behind Penny Arcade’s PAX East opening their doors and starting the biggest videogame convention that the East Coast has the pleasure of hosting.

This year will be the fifth year attending the PAX East convention, and I was going to write a blog post giving out tips and advice on how to properly effectively capitalize on the most of everything that PAX or any other videogame/comic book convention has to offer you. Then I remembered that I already wrote blog post over at Sheep the Diamond last year. After re-reading the post I realized that I anything I write now would just be parroting that post. So I decided to take a leaf out of the triple A videogame industry by taking the original post, spicing it up a little by adding a bit of content at the beginning and end and re-released it as a “definite edition”.

So without further ado:

***

This Friday kickstarts the 2014 Penny Arcade Expo, one of the biggest video game conventions on the East Coast and this year will mark my third year going down to Boston to experience all that is PAX with my family and friends. Over the years I have compiled my own list of must-haves to bring along if you do not want to miss a single moment of PAX or a similar videogame convention/expo.
A Good Backpack: This one is self explanatory, even if you take a glancing pass through the Expo hall you will end up having more loot that you can hold. Plus you will need it to hold everything else in this list. While the expo may supply you with a bag in the loot bag they do tend to rip and tear throughout a day of heavy use.

 

Phone Charger/Device Charger AND surge protector: Live tweeting takes a lot out of your phone or tablet’s battery and if you plan to play with a handheld while passing time in the lines you will be needing a charge and because electrical plugs are finite in the building, bringing a surge protector along so you can share the electricity with other people. Who knows you might even make a friend or two.

 

CA$H: While the use of mobile apps that performs credit card charges on the go are increasing, plastic is not the preferred choice for the expo booths, and trust me you do not want to miss your chance to get a T-shirt from your favorite booth just because they don’t accept debit cards.

 

An Autograph Book: There are going to be plenty of famous and internet-famous people attending and you do not want to be caught with your pants down when you run into one of your idols and you don’t have anything on hand for them to sign. * Note: this packing tip comes from personal experience of mine when I ran into the creator of Red vs Blue on the expo floor.

 

Travel sized deodorant: There is already the stereotype of the smelly geek attending gaming convention, please don’t feed into it. Deodorant also serves as a college-age makeshift shower after being crammed into a convention hall with thousands of other geeks for three days.

 

Trail Mix: The snack food halls tend to drain the most out of your wallet so trail mix serves as a great way to cheaply save a few bucks and keep you going long into the night. The advanced expo traveler might even try to pack some lunch meats sandwiches in the morning before going. True masters might even try to pack the recommended nutritional value worth of food for the three days, but this is optional.

 

Energy Drinks: Trail Mix and good food may provide great healthy energy, but that always pales in comparison to the high you get from good old fashioned carbonated sugary caffeinated soft drinks. To quote a classic 90’s videogame mascot: during this weekend, YOU GOT TO GO FAST.

And now I am going to save yourself some hassle, pack some Emergenc-C or any types of Vitamin C drops: Bring this along and be sure to eat plenty of Vitamin C for the Post PAX crash because it comes down to this – there is so much stuff to do over this single weekend, the only real benchmark on how well you participated in the event is how comprised your immune system is on the following Monday.

***

To add some little more content to this post I also highly recommend spending quite a bit of prep time looking at all the panels and events available throughout the weekends and building a schedule around those activities. One of my mistake during my first year at PAX was that I ending up wandering around the Expo hall for too long and I only realized that I missed out on some interesting panels only after I looked at the schedule the next day.

If you are planning to attending a panel, especially if it is a panel about a popular topic or with popular people allow your  schedule to wait in line. These panels fills up incredibly fast and in some cases a half hour before the panel even starts. if you have a particular panel or content that you want to not only attend especially if you want good seats.

I hope this post helps any PAX East first timers, and if you are going to be attending PAX East this year leave a comment down below. We could try to do a makeshift meet up.

 


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#497 Nintendo’s Amiibo Distribution Rant

I finally caved this past weekend and bought my first Amiibo to add to my collection. The newest member to my collection was not Megaman, an Amiibo I am planning to buy ironically (Be MOP #493), but instead the ever wise Princess Zelda.

Had to settle twice over. Wanted Megaman, but couldn't even get the best Nintendo Princess.

Had to settle twice over. Wanted Megaman, but couldn’t even get the best Nintendo Princess.

I have literally searched everywhere, whether online or in the physical stores everyone was sold out of the Blue Bomber, and I refuse to be scalped by third party sellers. But this only shows signs of a bigger problem that Nintendo has with the implication of their newest merchandise, the utter lack of support and communication with North American toy and gaming stores.

The Walmart in my area is one of the worst victims of this, with the worst variety of stock I have ever seen, with an abundance of Luigies, a few Zeldas and Bowsers, and one single Princess Peach to fill up the entire Amiibo display. The gamestop just down the street had almost the same amount of selection with only a few extra Samus and Pikachus but a serious lack of Amiibo Wave II and Wave III representation.

I honestly do not think that Nintendo planned for this level of hype and a culture of fans avidly customizing and hunting down Amiibos to be as big as they originally thought of when they first implemented the Amiibos. It shows with the shipping and receiving support and the overall  poor communication with the stores.

 come on it's simple Supply and Demand. Economics 101

come on it’s simple Supply and Demand. Economics 101.

While the shortage were possibly understandable at launch,but now we are at the third wave of Amiibos, Nintendo now has some idea the demand for these figurines from each region and should modify their supply production accordingly. I should not have to have travel to three different stores, constantly checking online stock as well to find the supposedly common, non-exclusive, Amiibos, like Marth, Villager, and my personal white whale, Mega Man.

I am still mad about all that shenanigans with the exclusive Amiibos at certain retailers are in fact US exclusive, exclusive deals. The rest of the world does not have to shop at a Target or Toys R Us for a Rosalina or Lucario.

I am still mad about all that shenanigans with the exclusive Amiibos at certain retailers are in fact US exclusive, exclusive deals. The rest of the world does not have to shop at a Target or Toys R Us for a Rosalina or Lucario, respectively.

There are rumors of reproducing the more rare Amiibo statues, and confirmation of the production of Amiibo cards with just the computer chip which is a step in the right direction, but does not help the main drive I have for collecting Amiibos. While one of the reasons I buy Amiibos are for the in game unlockables, like the racing suits in Mario Kart 8 or the learning computers in Super Smash bros, the major reason I have become so excited about the ideas of Amiibos is that they are cool little figures of some of my favorite videogame characters that are not only relevantly high detailed but low barrier for entry for collecting in terms of cost and -ideal- accessibility.

Ideally I could stop by a game or toy shop and pick up some videogame character statues with pretty impressive details without having to go online or attend the expo floor of a gaming con to play through the nose for any other kind of statue of Mega Man, Pikachu, or Mario.


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#496 Here’s to the Good Old Mindless Games

If you have been following the New England’s weather patterns you would have noticed that we New Englanders got nailed by another extremely cold and snowy blizzard, with the promise of even MORE snow coming later this week and weekend.

This past Sunday, I was once again snowed in. After shoveling out of my car again I retreated back to my room to play some videogames. But not just any type of videogame but a game without a complex game, one with a deep story, or a game with a important social story. Instead I just want a game to play through the motions. That is where Lego Marvel Super Heroes shines, because it has everything I need for an evening where I am snowed in.

LEGO AVENGERS ASSEMBLE

LEGO AVENGERS ASSEMBLE

Lego Marvel Super Heroes has incredibly simple combat controls I was playing on an Xbox controller so the game had the A button to jump, B button for the action command of the character you are controlling, X to attack enemies, and Y to switch to another character.

The puzzles in each stage are easy with the game even telling you what character you need to control to progress and the boss fights are nothing short than pathetic with just using the set pieces and just hitting the bosses with a few hits of your basic attack.

I do like the purposely bad comic book dialogue with all the characters. Or at least I hope i was intentional

I do like the purposely bad comic book dialogue with all the characters. Or at least I hope i was intentional…

While any other game would get panned for for the lack of a combat system and poor level design, the shining quality of these Lego games is how much it is a collectathon.

At least for me the potential hours of entertainment I can have from just playing through the levels but rather running all over the the stage or the city of Manhattan, destroying the props, collecting all the golden blocks, saving Stan Lee, and unlocking all the characters and vehicles. A game like that is exactly what I want on days where I am either snowed in or after a rough day where all I want to do is relax and unwind and not think about much about of anything.

The Lego game knows that the collection aspect is it’s best part because at the end of every level it goes through counts all the lego studs you collected in that area, along with all the other things you could have done. The game is also banking that you replay the same levels again and again to 100% each area because at least once in every level there is a side-puzzle that you can only complete with a skill from another hero that you don not have access to right now in the story campaign, but could be done once you return to the level again in Free Play mode.

You have to respect a type of collectathon game where you can play for two hours and have only touched upon less than 3% of the entire game.

This must be what the Skyrim fans felt like when they first started exploring their game save

This must be what the Skyrim fans felt like when they first started exploring their game save


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