Monthly Archives: December 2014

#466 Bayonetta’s Image

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to have enough free time to finish the last few things that needed to be done in the first Bayonetta game before I could properly dig my teeth into the sequel, the game I wanted to play since the end of October.

My normal schedule would only allow me to play late at night, after work but I found the time to sit down and play through the game for a solid few hours this Sunday afternoon and evening

My normal schedule would only allow me to play late at night, after work but I found the time to sit down and play through the game for a solid few hours this Sunday afternoon and evening

A lot of things can be said, and already had been said about Platinum’s Bayonetta, both the game and the character, so much so that I would not be surprised that if in the next few years we see feminist and gaming books hit the shelves that focuses almost exclusively on this one umbra witch. Out of everything I could talk about Bayonetta, for now I want to talk about the image Platinum games had for Bayonetta in their game and how they tried to convey that image in everything outside of the scripted cutscenes.

Thanks to the advancements in technology in gaming almost every game protagonist has personality, moving beyond the 8/16-bit times where there was no room in the game to add any character to the characters. With Platinum, their image of Bayonetta is of this perfect fighter that is always in control of her life and of the situation. The game developers try to bring this point home in every moment in the game, she exudes confidence, you tell that from the way she holds herself and how she talks to friends and how she responds to being in the middle of an ambush from Angels or meeting face-to-face with mammoth skyscraper-sized creatures, that would be an end game boss in any other game.

She is someone that can handle every death defying move without breaking a sweat or sustaining a scratch, as you can see from those causal instant death QTE moments in the cutscenes and in the normal areas of the levels.

The idea of a character’s image is easy to convey in the cutscenes, when the game developers has control of everything, the camera angle down to how Bayonetta move around a room but it during the gameplay where the developers makes the point across in the actual game with the grading system.

In the Bayonetta games, every stage of every level has a grading system to score on how well you performed, with points taken off if you take any damage and if your last fight had a lackluster amount of combo points or if you took too long annihilating everything in the game threw at you. The game even takes off points for when you use items, something that you earn throughout the game, because the Bayonetta that Platinum had in mind is not one who would relay on health packs in the fights.

This is the only game where I felt like I was cheating for using an item that I found naturally in the level.

This is the only game where I felt like I was cheating for using an item that I found naturally in the level.

If you play the game in such a way that you are rewarded with the highest score that game can give you, you start to see that the image of Bayonetta fighting in the cutscene and the way she fights in the game is the same. That being said I am grateful that you can use items in the game and you can sustain damage in your first play through without impeding the story’s development or losing the feeling of epic and scale with the boss fights.


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#465 A Response to “Should Nintendo Launch New Franchises Soon?”

The good people over at Gamemoir has asked a question about Nintendo and their Intellectual Property, wondering if the gaming company should make a new franchise to make them better appeal to a new generation of gamers who are hungry for a new batch of iconic characters. You can read to post in question HERE.

A day may come when I will stop blogging about Nintendo, but it is not this day.

A day may come when I will stop writing about Nintendo, but it is not this day.

To cut right to the point I highly doubt that Zelda, Mario or any other Nintendo properties will go stale anytime soon, whether it be this, the next generation or beyond that.

Nintendo has been very good at keeping these characters timeless with every installment of the game series, Most main series Mario platform games takes place in a modern age kingdom with no hint of modern technology from the real world. We see with the Zelda series the game’s most common setting is a fantasy medieval kingdom setting, with the common way of fighting was with swords, bows, and magic instead of guns and grenades.

Even with the two Gamecube oddities of  Super Mario Sunshine and Zelda Wind Waker, that  moved away from the traditional game setting, Nintendo made sure that both games to never introduce social or technological influences from the real world into their games that would allow them to be dated in anyway.

And I serectly allowed Nintendo to keep their characters purposely blank in character personality to allow everyone to imagine themselves as either the Hero of time or a Space Bounty Hunter

And Nintendo keeps their characters purposely blank in the personality department to allow everyone to imagine themselves as either the Hero of time or a Space Bounty Hunter

The funny thing is Nintendo is has been busy making new game franchises beyond the staple Mario/Zelda/Pokemon marketing triforce. In the N64 days we were given the first Super Smash bros game, with the Gamecube we witnessed the birth of the Animal Crossing series. The Wii console saw Nintendo’s big push of their Mii franchise with all of the games that incorporated your cartoonist avatar (List), and most recently we have seen the possible creation of the new Wii U franchise, Splatoon.

It is far too early to predict what is the future of this game.

It is far too early to predict what is the future of this game.

Even if Nintendo stopped creating new Intellectual Properties I would still believe that Nintendo’s classic characters would last for years to come, because Nintendo has almost cornered the market with local co-op games. With the recent Mario platformer games that allowed multiple players to play the game at the same time and it is obvious that all of the Mario Kart, Mario Party, and Super Smash games that were specifically designed to be played with multiple players in one room.

We saw this game play design work into the the 3DS, with the ability to connect to the internet the handheld constantly rewards you for running into 3DS gamers with the use of the Streetpass worked into most of their game.

We saw this game play design work into the the 3DS, with the ability to connect to the internet the handheld constantly rewards you for running into 3DS gamers with the use of the Streetpass worked into most of their game.

If Nintendo stay to course and continue to create quality games that allows a living room full of people to have fun at the same time, those experiences will be memorable to the young and old gamers alike and in turn those characters they played as will be an iconic part of their childhood, which creates a wonderful cycle of nostalgia for every new generation. We most of us picked up Super Mario 64 I doubt any of us were worried about how this was the same character that our parents played back in his debuted in 1985 on the NES.

It is the same reason why Superman, Batman and Spider-man are still considered iconic characters in the comic book world dispute the fact that the Man of Steel and the Caped Crusader all of them are pushing 75 and the Manhattan Webhead just celebrated his 50th anniversary.  None of those characters would be remembered or iconic if they did not have their company constantly push out quality stories in comic books, live action movies, or Saturday morning cartoons for a our parent’s and our entertainment.

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These fictional characters are older than most parents and some grandparents. 


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#464 The Magic of Strategy Guides

It has been about two weeks since Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire hit the US shelves, and since then I have played through most of the game before I realized that I forgot that I did not buy the official strategy guide for the game. Not that I need it, I know the hoenn story, dungeons, and basic world layout like the back of my hand even though the remake of the game is more handholding than the original.

But buying a player guide is an old Nozell-Pokemon tradition, whenever my brothers and I would receive a new Pokemon game we would also get the strategy to go with the game, a trend that dates all the way back to the classic Red and Blue game, continued with every new installment to the main series.

This was not my original R/B guide, but an amazing Goodwill find.

This was not my original R/B guide, but an amazing Goodwill find.

Even when it got to the point when I started buying my own Pokemon games and game devices I still set aside some of money for the strategy guide, partly for tradition, and partly because I wanted all the extra, hidden and postgame content Game Freak added that I know I missed on my first play through.

There is something more added, nostalgically magical, when playing with a strategy guide on your lap or by your side than compared to sitting next to a computer with a webpage opened to an online walk through. In my experience strategy guides only really works with consoles and handhelds, when you have a lap available, and I was quick to learn with my time with World of Warcraft, an MMO with frequent hot-fixes and content patches does not translate well to the non-updatable media of paper and ink and with Steam and Steam community overlay feature, with a catalog of player created guides, added to most of the games on steam’s catalog, has almost completely killed PC games guides.

Having a strategy guide has always been an vital part of my Pokemon experience, seeing those dungeon maps, the tips on beating the various gym leaders and elite four members and the stats of almost all the Pokemon and Items  is just needed for me to get the full Pokemon experience. . Also there is something to be said about the way the guidebook is designed is beautiful, the way the book lays out the data, it is like a wonderful grown-up picture book, something to read and re-read on a lazy weekend day, while your 3DS is charging up.

IMG_20141203_133010_794

“read and re-read on a lazy weekend day, while your 3DS is charging up.” I am speaking from experience. 


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#463 Games from my Backlog for the month of December 2014

December is here you you know what that means, it is time for me to break out the peppermint hot chocolate//mocha drinks, sit down and watch some of my favorite Christmas movies and it is time for me to choose a few more games from my ever growing backlog. Last month I decided to play the recently released The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth on the PC and the first Bayonetta on the Wii U.

At the start of this project I honestly thought that I could actually try to get my gaming backlog under control to a reasonable size, but I now know better, after realizing all the good games this is an exercise to become a better experienced gamer.

At the start of this project I honestly thought that I could actually try to get my gaming backlog under control to a reasonable size, but I now know better, after realizing all the good games this is an exercise to become a better experienced gamer.

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth: I have not talked much about the remastered version of Binding of Isaac but I have played the game for about eleven hours and it is a wonderful game but the thing stopping me from putting literally hundreds of hours in game, like I did with the previous Binding game was because I already played it.

This was something that I was afraid of happening, I got burnt out on the game, the magic I first time I played the original game is gone. (Be MOP #436) There is new content in the game, with more new enemies, bosses, levels, and items then I could count but there was not enough new item combinations to keep me interested in playing. It is not the developers fault, I just hate replaying games and I was really hoping that this game would be different.

I am glad that Steamworks is now built into the game, so I can just go through Steam to take simple screenshots

I am glad that Steamworks is now built into the game, so I can just go through Steam to take simple screenshots

Bayonetta 1: This was one of the several Nintendo games I picked up from last month and funny enough this was one was a freebie. I really wanted to play the Nintendo exclusive Bayonetta 2 but in the United States every physical copy of Bayonetta 2 came with a the Wii U port of Bayonetta one for free.

After playing through the game I can say it is a good game,the fights are epic, the combos are easily executable but that is all coming from someone that has no experience in fighter games besides the one shovelware beat ’em up game, Power Rangers Super Legends (Be MOP #227).

ANYTHING is better than that game.

ANYTHING is better than that game. 

One of my favorite thing about the Bayonetta series is how wonderfully apologetically sexy the main character is, literally everything Bayonetta does has a level of sex appeal to it, while it can be an issue to some players the only problem I had was that I could not, in good faith, play this game around family members and when there was company around. Which means that I could not complete the last few levels before the Thanksgiving holiday season was upon us.

But it is the first day of the last month of the year, so I need to pick some more unplayed games to work through. I might be pulling a cop-out but this month I am going to be playing two games that have not been sitting patiently in my extensive library of games, but two that are still hot off the presses and two games I have hinted at last month. The first game is Omega Ruby, I am currently close to finishing this game’s story campaign but like most Pokemon games there is so much more content in the post-game, this time in the form of Contests and secret bases that I need to play through all of what this game has to offer before moving on to any other handheld game.

As a surprise to no one my other game to play through for this month is going to be Bayonetta 2, because now that I have a rough understanding on who the characters in Bayonetta are and I can start to work through the game that I actually wanted for my Birthday. Hopefully starting the next year I will have my fill of Nintendo fix and start moving back to PC games.


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

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