Tag Archives: Zelda

#511 A weekend of Nintendo

Following my Friday’s Blog Post, it seems that the magic Nintendo Stars aligned to grant me a wonderful Nintendo filled weekend. First my paycheck arrived and with that I finally caved and bought the Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask 3D edition. I will talk about that game more once I sink more play time into to to get past the second or third dungeon and enough of the side quests. I will say Majora’s Mask has some excellent level designs, with the ability to communicate what the game wanted me to do without any handholding or tutorials beyond the movement controls and it has some of the best 4D puzzles I have ever seen in a game.

I've been eyeing this game for a while and it was ...wait for it... about TIME I picked up this game

I’ve been eyeing this game for a while and it was …wait for it… about TIME I picked up this game

After that I remembered that Club Nintendo was closing down and I still have not cashed in my Club Nintendo Fun-Bucks, along with the complementary Flipnote Studio 3D app for being a Club Nintendo member I also downloaded the Virtual Console edition of the Game Boy color game, The Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening DX.

Link’s Awakening is the Game Boy port of Link to the past, which is the predecessor of my favorite 2D Zelda game, A Link Between Worlds and the inspiration to one of my favorite games series of all time, the Binding of Isaac. Lets hope the port holds up with compared to it’s other brothers in the genre.

I did not realize I was as much as a Zelda fan I was until this generation of consoles and handhelds.

I did not realize I was as much as a Zelda fan I was until this generation of consoles and handhelds.

The other highlight of my past weekend was that I finally received my free copy of Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS. I wrote about this before but this was free promotional gift to everyone in Club Nintendo that bought both copies of Super Smash Bros and registered on the Club Nintendo site.

The Album is two discs with 36 songs and tracks each, one from the 3DS soundtrack and the other from the Wii U version of the game and best of all it is a physical copy of the soundtrack, with a colored insert and all. The thing is this was only for Club Nintendo users, and it would have incredibly simple, and cost effective to simple email everyone who qualified a web link to one of their servers for just a simple .zip file. But no, Nintendo went out of it’s way to order, produce and ship these out to the presumed thousands of people who bought both games.

They did not have to but because they did they have earned a bit more respect in their customer appreciation department now.

They did not have to but because they did they have earned a bit more respect in their customer appreciation department now.

This is a great weekend because with the purchase of Legend of Zelda, Majora’s Mask and Link’s Awakening have been looking for a reason to open up and play my 3DS beyond just updating and exhausting all my free turns in Pokemon Shuffle. Now only if I could find a killer game that would give me motivation to boot up my Wii U.


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#510 Let’s hear it for the Nintendo Girls

It has been a big news week for Nintendo, with their announcement of going into the mobile gaming market, their hints at a new Nintendo Hardware device simply codenamed “NX”, and the launch of the Nintendo’s newest edition of Mario Party and their next wave of Amiibos, along with that one Walmart exclusive Golden Mario Variant. Out of everything I could talk about today, for this post I want to focus on a wonderful little critical Huffington Post blog post against Nintendo’s choice of celebrating their Women characters for Women’s History month.

This month Nintendo had decided to release a series of promotional art work of Nintendo’s take on the iconic Rosie the Riveter World War II posters with some of their leading ladies from their popular games. These posters stars: Rosalina, Nintendo’s newest princess,  Princess Zelda’s alter ego, Tetra, from their incredibly popular (and just recently released in HD) “Legend of Zelda Wind Waker game”, Samus Aran, one of the first female protagonist of the 8 bit era from the “Metroid” series, and Platinum Star’s own, and recent to the Nintendo family, Bayonetta from “Bayonetta 1 & 2”.

Samus is akin to Wonder Woman of the video game world. A independent woman that has been around since the beginning of the console lifespan

Samus is akin to Wonder Woman of the video game world. A independent woman that has been around since the beginning of the console lifespan and a trend setter in her own right.

The author comments on the lack of Princess Peach representation in these promotional posters, and I agree with her idea that Nintendo might have chosen not to go toward with her as one of the stars because of how often the Mushroom princess has been kidnapped in all of the Mario games.

The author does takes issue of how Tetra is kidnapped by Ganondorf and must be rescued by the hero of time, you, and once the plot reveals how this leader of a pirate gang is actually the reincarnation of the princess of Hyrule and wielder of the Triforce segment of Wisdom. She is prevented from leaving the underwater -and protected- Hyrule Castle, until Link rebuilds his missing piece of the triforce lest Ganondorf recaptures her and assemble the entire Triforce and gets his one wish of returning the land of Hyrule to it’s original state, destroying all the land and inhabitants that lives above the sea.

Then the author goes on and talks about how Bombette, from Paper Mario, and Toadette are “just pink versions of the male characters” forgetting that they are not pink characters of male characters but pink characters of their entire species.

Toadette's biggest characterist is because she a girl because she, and all other toads have no personalities . If I was to put on MY over thinking hat I would argue that the toads have no personalities because they are all no-name proletariats, there to only serve Princess Peach; the only member of the Bourgeois in the Mushroom kingdom

Toadette’s biggest characteristic is because she a girl because she, and all other toads, has no personalities . If I was to put on MY over thinking cap I would argue that the toads have no personalities because they are all no-name proletariats, there to only serve Princess Peach, the only member of the Bourgeois in the Mushroom kingdom

The author also mentions how ‘problematic’ Bayonetta, a character that has passed the Bechdel Test, is for having an uncomfortable levels sex appeal in her game. As someone who played through both of the Bayonetta games just last year, Bayonetta has always come across as someone is determined in her mission, never to be distracted by anything petty like men or shoes. She is sexy not because it is bad character aspect of her personality, but because she is so much in control of anything that heaven or Hell could throw at her that her sex appeal has become a luxury, using it to taunt her friends and foes.

She is so confident about herself she has achieved Self-actualization in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. She has reached her full potential, she is pursing it, and she does not care any anyone else thinks of her. She is having fun

Bayonetta is so confident about herself she has achieved Self-actualization in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. She has reached her full potential, she is pursuing it, and she does not care any anyone else thinks of her. She is having fun

The author of this Huffington Post closes with mentioning games with more powerful women characters, like Naughty Dog’s “Last of Us” and Ubisoft’s “Beyond Good and Evil” as a few other non-Nintendo games that have done women characters the right way.

From my own point of view, as a reader of the post and as an avid videogame player, this post smacks of looking a gift horse in the mouth. Out of all the video game companies out there, from Sony to Microsoft and Steam, Nintendo is the only one going out there and putting themselves on the line to celebrate women in the media. I do not see any other companies going out of their way to plan, make, and execute a promotional event for Women’s History month, but after the blow back from Nintendo I have an educated guess on why they might want to abstain from talking or mentioning politics with their female characters.


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#485 Goodbye Club Nintendo

Sad news for Nintendo fans, but Tuesday morning Nintendo made a press release announced that their six year old consumer rewards program, Club Nintendo, will be closing down by the end of this year.

The rewards program is based on the nostalgic codes included with physical copies of games which you could exchange for physical or digital goods. Nintendo has started to phase out the service, by preventing anyone for signing up for an account the day the press release went live, the last day of March (31st) will the last time Club Nintendo users to earn and redeem coins, with the closing of the entire service for North American users by June 30th.

The funny thing is, only two weekends ago I went through to my collection and redeemed my Wii U and 3DS codes to finally achieve platinum status.

The funny thing is, only two weekends ago I went through to my collection and redeemed my Wii U and 3DS codes to finally achieve platinum status.

It is a shame to see it close down, but not surprising factoring in the potential cost of production and shipping of some the nicer Nintendo products out there

I only started the the participate in the Nintendo rewards program at the start of 2014 and since that time I was able to redeem several very nice complimentary gifts including; the virtual copies of the first Legend of Zelda, Kid Icarus, Metroid and Super Mario Bros. for the 3DS,  the remake of  Zelda Wind Waker for the Wii U, the physical copy of Super Smash Bros soundtrack and the code for Mewtwo DLC in Super Smash.

It is honestly a toss up between what Club Nintendo Reward I hold dear, a free HD remake of a childhood classic or the two disc soundtrack

It is honestly a toss up between what Club Nintendo Reward I hold dear, a free HD remake of a childhood classic or the two disc soundtrack

Nintendo has stressed that with the closing of the Club Nintendo program they will be rolling out a new, updated, consumer rewards program later in the year once everything from Club Nintendo has successfully be closed down.

Hopefully with the connectivity that Nintendo’s handheld and console devices has with the internet and Nintendo servers, I hope the new rewards system is something more automatic than entering codes online through a website, maybe Nintendo can make it work with a special 3DS/Wii U New rewards system app

I also hope that with the new Nintendo Rewards program is that they keep the free digital games as a reward (which I would not expect to be dropped because digital codes are the one reward that cost nothing to the company) but on top of that I hope they improve the quality of the games in the reward sections.

The free 3DS and Wii U games given away through the Club Nintendo program has always given me the impression that it was A novelty or consolation prize for the the people who could not earn enough for the good physical items. The original titles of the Mario, Zelda, and Metroid games are nice to have as artifacts of the old times but those were the cream of a some rather uninteresting crop of games.

Something beyond the NEW/Gameboy era of gaming

Something beyond the NEW/Gameboy era of gaming

Nintendo I know you have some of those really good Super Nintendo and GameBoy Advance 3DS ports placed under lock and key, its time to bust them out for this new program and maybe, for the high level rewards offer some cross buy titles to boot.


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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.

spider_man_50_years

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


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#455 When is it OK to remake of a game?

It seems that a new recent trend with many Gaming companies is to release a fresh batch of remakes of old games to celebrate the start of the new console gaming generation.

So far we have Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3DS, Wind Waker HD, Majora Mask 3DS, on Nintendo’s devices. The Master Chief Collection and Last of Us are the major exclusive releases for Microsoft’s and Sony’s console respectively.

Last week I celebrated the release of Binding of Isaac Rebirth on PC and it’s debut on PS4 but that is not the only contender on this gaming trend. Lately we also have the official re-release of Grand Theft Auto 5, Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs for the new consoles.

Everyone has some stance when it comes to buying video games, there are those on the internet who are excited for these games to come out for their new devices, and other have gone to the forums proclaiming that these and most remakes are just a cheap trick pulled by these gaming companies to get a quick buck as filler content before they can announce their proper next current generation game.

I land somewhere in the middle, so for today I am going to provide my personal checklist to answer the question, “When is it ok to buy a remake of a game?”

I have been meaning to talk about this issue for ages, with the rumor of GTA V for the Xbox 1 and PlayStation 4 but I felt like I needed more games in this category before I could talk about it.

I have been meaning to talk about this issue for ages, with the rumor of GTA V for the Xbox 1 and PlayStation 4 but I felt like I needed more games in this category before I could talk about it.

 

 

**The first thing on my list is when the old game is ported to a new engine.**

 

We see this with Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire being ported to the X/Y 3DS engine, with Binding of Isaac moving away from being coded on flash and I can not speak for the Halo development team but I assume their Xbox One games as well.

I suspect that it took quite a bit of time remaking the entire region  from the old pixelized world

I suspect that it took quite a bit of time remaking the entire region from the old pixelated world

Being ported to a new engine means that the developers actually put effort into recreating the old world with the new technological tools they had since the game first came out, proving it is not just an upgraded port of the old game. As Edmund McMillen said in his F.A.Q, moving away from flash was able to have the freedom to add more content and have the game better reflect what the type of game he wanted from the beginning.

**New content added….beyond the bundled DLC**

I can only talk about Pokemon ORAS and Binding of Isaac with confidence but both games have added more content to their base game. Just like porting the game to a new engine added content is there as a sign that the game developers put some serious thought and effort into remaking the game to provide more content and reason to justify the decision for the consumer to rebuy the game again.

With Pokemon we have the game play advances we have all come to know and love since the old Gameboy Advance games like the inclusion of  fairy types and mega evolution but on top of that we get the recently advertised feature the new Hidden Move, Soar, giving the players the ability to roam around the Hoenn region as the next logical step for HM02, Fly.

With Binding of Isaac, we have all content from the basic game and the Wrath of Lamb DLC already in the game, but even with all of that the game was just about half the content, the people behind Binding added more items, trinkets, enemies, bosses and levels. With all the returning the old and new items the game has been balanced and tinkered with to provide better synergize with different types of tear shots from all the possible item combinations.

So much added content that within the week of being the only non-stream PC game I played in the last week I have not even begun to scratch the surface of the added content,.

So much added content that within the week of being the only non-stream PC game I played in the last week I have not even begun to scratch the surface of the added content,.

The last and most important criteria for buying a remade game, in my opinion, is:

 

**A remanded game that could still be needed even with backwards compatibility**

 

Backwards compatibility has been a big issue with me with this gaming generation, as well as others, when there was the announcement that newest consoles, aside from Nintendo, could not and would not play any of their games from previous generation’s library. This category focuses on all the games I have not mentioned yet like The Last of Us, Halo 3 & 4, and all the other third-party games remakes.

This leads me to a major question I have with these recent AAA remakes, as a PC gamer is “Why”? Why would anyone play and even pay full price for the same game again with just a graphical upgrade? To side with people I mentioned earlier, It does seem a bit lazy just porting an old game to the PS4 and Xbox One and it only happens that because of the technical ability of the platforms these game developers chose to work with. I do not recall much from the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 launch library but I do not remember just after the last gen was revealed a major influx of remastered old  PS2 and Xbox games for everyone to buy again.

You can give Nintendo flack for rehashing established Intellectual Properties and reselling their old games on every new platform but at least it is new to the device, like we see with the NES/SNES ports on the 3DS or old games that dates back two generations, like we see with Zelda Wind Waker, and where credit is due, half of the Halo collection.

I remember my brothers and I playing this game on the Wii almost more than any other wii game besides Mario Kart and Smash

I remember my brothers and I playing this game on the Wii almost more than any other wii game besides Mario Kart and Smash

But that is just my opinion, I want to know what you think, what are the criteria for buying remade/remastered games? Feel free to leave a comment below.


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#429 The 3DS Time Capsule

The next installment of Super Smash Bros. is right around the corner, while I have been patiently waiting to buy my Wii U edition of the game I have been killing time and getting more excited for Nintendo’s newest brawl by playing some of the original titles of some of the fighters in the rosters on my 3DS. Blame it on the fact that I am a history fanatic that enjoys a good origin story, and where some of these original, now iconic, tunes that I hear over and over again in the brawl soundtracks WITHOUT resorting to emulation or romhacks.

I have mentioned before I already own a copy of the NES port of Super Mario Bros (Be MOP #380) and Metroid (Be MOP #406) and through one way or another I also picked up 3D Classics: Kid Icarus. It seems that Nintendo was thinking the same thing because I received an email about their discounted Wii U and 3DS games starring the stars of Brawl and with that I picked up a copy of Mega Man II.

 

 Who says Nintendo doesn't know their player base and have an on point marketing team

Who says Nintendo doesn’t know their player base and have an on point marketing team

With the the released replenishing of the Featured Games offers and my surplus of Club Nintendo rewards coins I also picked up the Legend of Zelda on the 3DS for myself and the first Super Mario Bros for my younger brother.

Because that what bigger brothers do.

Because that what bigger brothers do.

While I am still clicking through Tomodachi Life, waiting for the right moment to open up Bravely Default, these proper 8 bit games have been holding me off the itch for buying another action platform game. All of these games are challenging, way tougher than I anticipated, as I mentioned at the origin point at the start of this blog post, I get to see and hear all the original tunes and experience the first boss fights that all future installments of Mario and Zelda games base themselves off of and for the cherry on top, I also get to see, first hand, the inspiration of the levels and bosses in Shovel Knight.


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#421 Enjoying the Palate Cleanser Games

This weekend I finally sat down and plowed through the last few dungeons of Zelda: A Link between Worlds. I do not want to talk too much about it but I will say that the games is the closest thing to an open world version of Binding of Isaac, and I can see what all the game’s praises were well deserved.

Which is not surprising since A Link between two Worlds is a sequel to a Link to the Past which was the template and blueprint for what Binding of Isaac was suppose to be.

Which is not surprising since A Link between two Worlds is a sequel to a Link to the Past which was the template and blueprint for what Binding of Isaac was suppose to be.

 

After such a rich game like Zelda it is always nice to decompress with a game that cleanses the palate between moving on to the next rich game, which is exactly the reason why I started playing Tomodachi Life right after saving Hyrule.

Even though I just started playing Tomodachi Life my first impressions is that it is a life simulation mixed with a point and click adventure game with all of the adventure removed.The Miis with have a problem they want you to address, like being hungry or showing interest in another resident and immediately after that a prompt will appear on screen pointing you to exactly want you need to do.

Do you know what? Even if there is no challenge to the game I am still having fun, importing my Miis of family members and famous people, filling out their personality to the best mirror the real life version, and seeing them all interact with each other can be a great way to relax. Best of all Tomodachi has dual screen screenshot support!

HNI_0018

That's right Reggie is a resident in my island

That’s right Reggie is a resident on my island

 

It is exactly like what Kirby Triple Deluxe did for me too, the cute art direction, the bright music, and simple and easy platform levels are exactly what the doctor ordered after playing up the point in Shovel Knight were I was properly rage quitting out of the game (at the second the last stage of the game) with those unforgiving obstetrical that constantly knocked me down bottomless pits of death.

I have a feeling that Tomodachi Life is one of those never ending games, so I will not be finishing it or completing the game but playing it just enough for it to get to that level of wackiness advertised in the reveal video then getting bored and moving on to the crème de la crème: Bravery Default.

 

been saving this one for last

been saving this one for last. Been meaning to pick up a Final Fantasy-like game for the 3DS for a while now


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