Category Archives: News Nonsense

Do You Like Super Smash Brothers?

Hey Gamers,

Some of you may be wondering what the hell I’ve been doing all month. Not only have some big games launched recently, but arguably the game, or at least my game launched earlier this month on the 3DS.

Duck Dynasty 2

Err…No

But it did involve Duck Hunting!

True Story

True Story

In case you missed it, the new Super Smash Bros did indeed launch ont the 3DS on October 3rd, and the response has been rather positive. From the strong sales to the evidently warm reception from both casual and competitive players, the new Smash Bros seemed a clear winner from day one. The series itself stands out as one my favs, and I’ve discussed it on a couple of occasions in the past, on top of being completely in love with the game when I was at E3 earlier this year.

Some of you might be asking the obvious question: how in the world have we not seen an update every single day from you if you’re so excited for such a big game?

This is how.

This is how

I’m only being slightly farcical with the usage of the previous image. While it was not in fact a David Cage game that has ruined my day, it was quite literally heavy rain that has prevented me from talking about Smash at great lengths. See, I had my 3DS inside a new backpack that I was extremely unaware was not remotely water resistant, and rode home from work in a downpour. The results were a waterlogged 3DS, and the inability to play Smash Brothers along with it.

Oh yes, my laptop also shit the bed that day, too.

Attention: game cancelled due to rain

Attention: game cancelled due to rain

Yeah, it was pretty much the worse gaming related tragedy in the past 4 months, which in and of itself is a terrible reminder of tech disasters, as the last worst day involving video games actually involves how I lost my previous 3DS.

Laugh It Up, Chuckles.

Laugh It Up, Chuckles.

Obviously, I’ve regained regular computer access, but I did not have the means to just up and replace te aforementioned soggy 3DS…a special edition Zelda 3DS mind you, and the same one I bought with the intention of having on hand for when Smash finally launched. The very same 3DS that didn’t even last a full week before the unpredicted water damage destroyed the bastard, and the one that is el finito, preventing any further Smash playing. I’m hoping you get the picture here, as I can’t emphasize enough just how frustrating this has made the past couple of weeks.

I Hate That Dog!

I Hate That Dog!

So, believe me readers, when I say that I’m sure you may be bummed you don’t get to laugh and revel in my Smashing antics, but any pain you feel is removed by a factor of ten in relation to how bummed I feel in regards to a game I was set to review, obsess over, and completely lose myself in, but sadly can not.

Duck Hunt Dog 2

*Laughing*

 

YOU'RE GONNA DIE, CLOWN!!!

YOU’RE GONNA DIE, CLOWN!!!

*Clears throat*

ANYWAYS, massive disappointment, I know, from both a work and recreational perspective. I’d be lying if I said I was going to be able to replace my 3DS anytime soon, so my one hope now is finance focused else where. I speak of being able to afford a Wii U (which I know will cost a similar amount, but bare with me) so I can pick up the new new version of Smash Brothers (see?) when it launches on Nintendo’s home console on the 21st. That won’t fix my current situation with the 3DS of course, but it will give me the topical review I so desired with Smash 3DS, but did not get the chance to make happen.

For now, I say a somber farewell to my 3DS (again…sigh). While the remnants of that rich kingdom were washed away before their own time, I feel rest assured that like other tales that have come before it…

Water Will Not Deter Heroes

Water Will Not Deter Heroes

It Can However, Greatly Piss Them Off

It Can However, Greatly Piss Them Off

While I’m aware my following thoughts act merely as a consolation prize, I will impart some impressions on Smash Bros, just to say I tried at least. The lack of intro movie was a complete shock, as the Smash Bros intro cinematic is often the cream of the crop in hypetastic efforts by any gaming standard. I guess I’m more shocked I thought they would be able to include it, given Sakurai commenting several times on how limiting the 3DS version was during development, but my hopes remained high.  Can you blame me? I *live* to hear that announcer say Super Smash Bros.

I need it.

I NEED IT

I NEED IT

The limitations of the 3DS card iare very apparent from this first moment, and every moment there after. The game’s a blast, rest assured, striking that sweet balance between Melee’s speed and Brawl’s floatiness, but what it has on offer is a small smattering compared to the content behemoth that was Brawl. Hell, Melee looks chock full of content compare to this sucker, and Melee came out 13 years ago. This sounds a little more damning then I mean it to be, but the obvious remains so: Nintendo knew they were forcing Sakurai to make a lot of sacrifices to make this sucker multi-platform.

Which You Know, Is Really Okay With Nintendo

Which You Know, Is Really Okay With Nintendo

I mean, Smash is the kind of game that not only excites gamers, but synergizes and ignites Nintendo’s entire platform. A surge in 3DS sales (to the point of being sold out in Japan even), but a huge shot in the arm to the Wii U’s relevant value, as Smash will continue to get great reviews right up until it launches on Nintendo’s home platform, once and for all cementing the consoles value to even the most dubious of gamers. On top of everything mentioned, Smash is the first game to use Nintendo’s new Amiibo add ons, which is going to be a crazy cash cow for the Pokemon company that could, if they convince consumers these cute little figurines are worth the price of admission.

Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished

So yeah, Smash is a blast, but we kinda knew that was gonna happen anyways. What we didn’t expect is that Nintendo, without announcement, was basically restructuring and strengthening their entire gaming empire with a release of a single game, solely through the use of our excessive love of Smash Brothers. A game with enough quality and popularity, Nintendo slyly created a mini-platform based on the predicted games success, to completelyreverse their continually dire fortunes this entire generation in a single months time. For once this gen, Nintendo, I must say…well done.

Nintendo fans had no idea what was coming, because while we thought we were getting asked a simple question…

Smash Bros Bateman

Nintendo Was Just Getting Ready To Completely Overpower Us

Anyways, those are some thoughts. Take em, share em, save em for a rainy day (ugh), do whatever the hell you like with em, because they’re yours now. I did have far more interconnected and intimate thoughts relevant to the content of the game rather than the concepts behind it (character analysis, Smash Run thoughts, Zelda related sexiness), but I’m pretty satisfied ending here. Even if I don’t go on more about the 3DS version of Smash (which is still possible), the game will be relevantly entertaining and likely topical for years to come once launched on the Wii U.

So stay tuned.

~Pashford

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Quickie: Either Very Smart Or Very Dumb

Hey Gamers,

I hadn’t officially done a “quickie” in awhile, for a number of reasons. I generally go on at great lengths about video games, which is something I’ve been trying to moderate in recent days. Speed isn’t relative to quality, but something easily digestible can sure be a treat.

You Know, A Real Pick Me Up

You Know, A Real Pick Me Up

I can’t guarantee you’ll feel as ready to “seize the day” as much as Max would after downing some meds, but….

You probably don't have to deal with anything as horrifying as this on a nightly basis, either.

You probably don’t have to deal with anything as horrifying as this on a nightly basis, either.

Today’s quickie was just some thoughts I had on an article related to enemy A.I in video games. This is a topic I’m familiar with, and one I’ve read about and engaged with before. Much like I’ve encountered before, the article in question details how players may not really “want” smart A.I, but A.I just smart enough to make them feel like they’ve beaten the system. The article makes mention that in play testing, players actually became frustrated when the enemies were able to flank them, and then used boring tactics (like funneling them into a hallway) in order to beat the level.

At it’s worst moments, made the game too hard. At it’s best moments, made the game too boring, based on the reliance of cheap strategies to win.

Cheap Strategies: Or What Dr.Wily Refers To Mega Man As

Cheap Strategies: Or What Dr.Wily Refers To Mega Man As

At the end of the day, the developer had to make the A.I more stupid to make the game more fun. This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who plays video games on a regular basis: forgoing realism almost always makes a better game. It’s why you can drive off a cliff in GTA in excitement, and why you can move Sonic at 700 miles per hour and not be worried the mother fuckers face is going to rip off.

Dr.Robotnik: "I Don't Get It. Why doesn't that little fuckers face rip off if he's moving so god damn fast. It's bullshit.

Dr.Robotnik: “I Don’t Get It. Why doesn’t that little fuckers face rip off if he’s moving so god damn fast? It’s bullshit.”

While I could probably go on at lengths about this subject (but will moderate myself from doing so), at it’s core it’s about ease of play. A lot of people don’t like difficult games, and design is at it’s best when it effectively teaches the player how to improve themselves, without excessive force. Over time, the enemies will get smarter (based on the game of course), but you don’t want to make any player feel like they can’t win a game they just started.

Also, as far as “smart” goes, you have to understand and respect the spectrum of intelligence that exists, in all its beautiful forms. Since there are so many different kind of smart, and so many different types of learners out there, you really have to try to start in middle of the road of rudimentary, to try to give everyone a chance at having fun.

Or You Run The Risk Of Having People Feel Like They Are Really Playing This Game

Or You Run The Risk Of Having People Feel Like They Are Really Playing This Game

And yes, that picture does show an arcade game (Boong-Ga Boong-Ga) where the goal is to ram a finger up someone’s ass.

Talk about a

So, take note. While many of us have a desire of something, it is perhaps the infinite pursuit of the desire we are attracted to, and not the object itself. While smart A.I may seem like “the next step” or a “welcome challenge”, we perhaps haven’t considered what we really want from every day obstacle and challenge.

We want the chance to be challenged, but not necessarily to be faced with it.

Happy Gaming.
~Pashford

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Dangerously Alone

Hey Gamers,

Anyone who knows me well enough, is acutely aware of my love of the Zelda series. Going into why this is true would be a post all on it’s own, and is not entirely what I wish to discuss. I feel I need to mention this fact, for the more casual readers, as a good setup for recently developed thoughts. I start with embarrassing honesty, however, with the fact that I was unable to play Wind Waker HD, when it launched on the 4th.

I know Doc, it's heavy.

I know Doc, it’s heavy.

The only source of comfort I can associate with this minor failing, is in regards to why I didn’t get to play WW, as it wasn’t due to “cheating” on the title with another game, nor was it sheer laziness. Obligations of the writing persuasion were what prevented me, so at least I was being responsible. Times like this, are the ideal moments when I reassess my own means of pre-planning, and why thinking head is so important.

Something some of us could greatly benefit from on a more regular basis.

Something some of us could greatly benefit from on a more regular basis.

Rest assured, I have set aside my next day off to enjoy the title, and enjoy it proper. I don’t get a whole lot of actual free time now a days, and even when I sit down to game, I have pen and paper at the ready, ready to plunge head first with analysis, and even “go gonzo” when necessary. Wind Waker will certainly be a delight, of this I have no doubt. The title’s previous status as severely under rated, which remained until very recently, was always misplaced in my opinion. This may have been due to a number of things, though I do believe Ocarina of Time’s standard of quality was so high, it may have actually hurt the series, by setting unrealistic standards of what was consistently possible.

If only Zelda fans had taken another moment of reflection, when turning their noses up at "Non Ocarina of Time" Zeldas.

If only Zelda fans had taken another moment of reflection, when turning their noses up at “Non Ocarina of Time” Zeldas right after launch.

Which brings up a good point. Most Zelda games eventually rally the fan base around them, even if met with initial controversy. This remains a secret to everybody, but not one that remains completely obscured from perception. Majora’s Mask and Wind Waker have already suffered the process, and I imagine Skyward Sword will meet with the same, terrible fate. Of course, if we take Zelda Producer Aonuma’s recent comments with any real consideration, we may be nearing a radical new age of Zelda.

Well, let's hope not too radical.
Well, let’s hope not too radical.

Aonuma has expressed interest in questioning the regular formula of Zelda titles, which seems to have been a conversation that’s been going on for some time now. I do believe the series experiments enough with every title, so that I don’t feel cheated when a new game comes out. Almost never cheated, anyways. I think this self awareness is healthy, as it gives way to move progressive thinking, instead of stalled, or even regressive ways of game design. You can do a lot with the Zelda name, and I’m sure plenty would love to see how radically they can recreate it.

Again, let's not go too far in one direction.

Again, not too radical.

As Aonuma has cited the Wind Waker HD adaptation, in the assistance of questioning the series, maybe the man realizes what made that game so powerful to begin with. Wind Waker, against all norms and conventions, created a new identity for itself, and apologized to no one. The gamble worked, and we ended up with a new reassurance cel-shading had a chance as an art style, reminded everyone Zelda wasn’t just a one trick Epona, and gave Gamecube and Zelda fans alike, one of the best games in either category.

Wind Waker succeeded where many others do not even put forth the effort, being confident, and being itself. Without trying to aimlessly emulate past Zeldas or other adventure games, Wind Waker gave way to it’s own sense of identity, and probably only deterred the most shallow of observers with it’s cartoon like aesthetics. WW is ample proof to the gaming masses, sometimes, you have to go against every instinct you’ve ever had, in order to find any kind of success.

When all else fails, just do the complete opposite.

When all else fails, just do the complete opposite.

I’m really not too worried about the Zelda series, nor Nintendo in general, despite occasional concerns about doing the opposite of what they normally do. I do believe this line of thought from such important creative minds is a healthy state of being, and will hopefully benefit Zelda fans the world over, when Nintendo finally reveals Zelda Wii U (at next years E3 please/thanks)

And remember Nintendo, in “doing the opposite” or going for a full blown ground up approach, almost nothing is out of the question.

Almost Nothing.

Almost Nothing.

~Pashford

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Grim Reality

Hey Gamers,

With information so readily available about upcoming video games, it’s pretty easy to get mass info dumps on any title, long before it’s even launched. I for one, am weary about how much I learn before the game comes out, full well knowing how much I love surprises.

Though not all surprises are pleasant.

Though I don’t love all surprises.

The next gen is fast approaching, and I feel rest assured there is a great deal more I could learn about both the Xbox One and PS4. This thought in turn leads me to believe their are plenty of surprises in store on either system, leaving me eager to see what little secrets they really hide.

Perhaps the same could be said of all game platforms...

Perhaps the same could be said of all game platforms…

Each new game console, represents a very real investment, and pieces of technology I will  spend the better part of the next decade with. As with most tech, I would actually warn against picking them up day one, for a number of reasons. The expense, early tech problems, and lack of library are always real issues when consoles first launch. I do believe day one purchases for game systems, are really left to the enthusiasts and the idle fumblings of the rich.

And how rarely those two groups of people actually intertwine.

When it does happen, however, hilarity is soon to follow.

When it does happen, however, hilarity is soon to follow.

While I have launch games I have my eyes on, I’d have to pin point Dead Rising 3 as my first go to, despite the PS4 being my first go to. This is an obvious contradiction with the most basic of video game facts in mind, and quickly reveals why both systems are relevant to my interests. I’m definitely sad to have seen Keiji Inafune leave Capcom, least of which involves the fate of Dead Rising. It seems the man is doing well despite this, which touches my gaming heart.

Dead Rising 3  seems to be doing well despite his absence, which also touches my gaming heart.

In a slightly different manner of course.

In a slightly different manner of course.

The E3 showing of Dead Rising 3, left me a little concerned. The game resembled the likes of a too gray, too brown Quake inspired realistic fuck fest, something most shooters have adopted now a days. Not that I mean to bring shame to the name of Quake, it’s just unfortunate developers ripped off the games aesthetic so relentlessly, without ripping off the same quality of game play. In any case, as more info rolled out on Dead Rising 3, the game seemed to have it’s signature humor intact, with ridiculous weapons and over the top costumes close at the ready.

Always money in the banana hammock.

Always money in the banana hammock.

I knew the world was going to be sizable and very custom tailored, but I had no idea to what extent. I may be excited for the next gen, but I am not a fool enough to believe every single zombie will be different than the last. To believe such a claim would be almost too eager on my part. I appreciate the intention behind the claim, and even if (likely) untrue, the effort to make it as true as possible will still add a lot of flavor to San Perditos, when I finally get my hands on Dead Rising 3.

Will DR3 be a killer app? Perhaps not, though I do believe the game will likely be one of the strongest on day one. When I think killer app, I think a title that comes out of nowhere, and is usually completely original in execution. While Dead Rising 3 will have both killings and executions, I do not believe it will be the master of either domain, or a tempting enough game, to contradict the weighty $500 price tag.

The face gamers collectively made, when they realized Microsoft was not going to release an Xbox One bundle, without the Kinect.

The face gamers collectively made, when they realized Microsoft was not going to release an Xbox One bundle, without the Kinect.

It remains unclear, in absolute certainty, what turns gamers off most about the Xbox One more, the higher price tag, or the complete indifference to the Kinect. We can not overlook that both are connected in this observation, which may be the problem to begin with.

~Pashford

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It’s A U, Mario!

Hey Gamers,

My honest desire to write, is second only to my honest desire to game.

Even if my desires aren't so honest when either is happening.

Even if my desires aren’t so honest when either is happening.

This caught my eye earlier, when I was going about my daily harvest of relevant gaming sustenance (previous picture unrelated). At first glance, it seems Kotaku was trying to take the piss out of Mario games, but their honest assertion of not being “truly excited” for a Mario game, has been shared by the gaming community for some time.

Their quick to point out the series is always consistently fun, but all things in context. We are discussing the biggest gaming icon known to man, so the logic follows that he would have the biggest games. Not to say it’s been forever since a fantastic Mario title, which is why I think the regular observations of “stagnation” are relaxed in their accusation, and tame in their execution.

Which isn't something I can say about everyone passing judgement on the Mushroom Kingdom.

Which isn’t something I can say about everyone passing judgement on the Mushroom Kingdom.

I remember reading this awhile back, and was stunned I hadn’t come to similar conclusions before hand. Then again, I can’t claim ownership of every gaming truth in existence, and D-Toid is good people. Others may have pointed out the very same, even before Ponce had, but he successfully brought to my attention the truth about newer Mario titles.

Many of the “Pre New” Mario Games (How Ridiculous), possessed some kind of quirky aesthetic, or defining visual characteristic. Mario 2, a dreamscape, Yoshi’s Island, a kind of story book motif. Even Sunshine, which has been viewed more favorably in recent years, now seems dripping with atmosphere, within it’s wet and wild tropical subset of Isle Delfino.

How fitting then, that the “New” Super Mario Bros, fails to kick ass by showing it’s age.

Not that showing your age has any baring on your ability to kick ass.

Not that showing your age has any bearing on your ability to kick ass.

So while I do believe Mario should take a page out of the book of Snake, with mustache at the ready, the series embracing it’s age, would in turn lend itself to continuing to experiment. For such a formulaic franchise, Mario games are visually daring in their design, so as to remind us the players, why jumping is still so much god damn fun.

Super Mario 3D World’s attempt at this, at least in one respect, is the games newest powerup, which comes in the form of a cat suit. Brilliant I say, as Mario’s powerups have helped to define him as a versatile character. Even putting aside the machinations of the Mario series, messing around with a cat always delivers with tons of laughs.

Or Blood.

Or Blood.

Super Mario 3D world doesn’t stop at the casual inclusion of a cat costume. When looking at everything on display, it’s easy to see why 3D World may not even need a visually daring world to entice us. We start with the cat suit, and we move on from there, which includes (but is not limited too) exploding soccer balls, being in direct control of cannibalistic plant life, and a dragon turtle trying to murder you with a pimp mobile.

Totally Not Kidding.

Totally Fucking Serious.

All things considered, we may have hit the jackpot on this one. Super Mario 3D World is looking like the first New New Mario game in some time, who’s effected  by age in only one regard, which is the game’s old school want to bring honor back to the house that Mario built.

~Pashford

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Seemingly Legitimate

Hey Gamers,

I had a lot more lined up for today, and a slew of topics to discuss rhetorically, in an attempt to entertain.

Time seems to have caught up with again.

Time, however, has a bad habit of catching up with me.

I must be brief, but not without remorse. A couple of things have still caught my eye, and are definitely topics of interest I can discuss in the short hand. I first direct my gaze to GTA: Online, which has been glitching faces off for a mere 24 hours. I’m surprised others are surprised, that an online game launches with a few hiccups. The only thing we can really ask for when something as massive as GTAO launches, is that the game company responsible, is vocal about its faults, and swift with it’s patches. No online universe will ever launch without a hitch, and has to be the most unlikely expectation I’ve heard in my recent gaming days.

I take it back, second most unlikely thing.

I take it back, second most unlikely thing.

One other topic of vast interest, is the swiftly approaching launch to Pokemon X & Y, which I’ve been keeping a close eye on since first announcement.

A very close eye.

A very close eye.

Like many of my proud gaming brothers and sisters, I have been a Pokemaniac since Red and Blue. The games represent some of the best in portable playing, and continually impress, even when they aren’t fully pushing themselves to try something different. X & Y, however, seem to be bucking the trend of experimentation more than, well, any other PKMN game that has ever released.

Correction, more than any other *relevant PKMN game has ever released.

Correction, more than any other *relevant* PKMN game has ever released.

I’m sure I’ll get hate for that, but fuck you. The game is like three hours long and doesn’t even have half the Pokemon in it. My only love of the title, comes in the form of some of it’s functionality, adding a sense of adventure to a 12 year old’s life, with the promise of stickers at my local Blockbuster.

Which was way more legit than the promise of a Free Mew in that van one time.

Which was way more legit than the promise of a Free Mew in that van one time.

Hmm…

Anyways, fuck Pokemon Snap. My point was, the game is looking ambitious, and armed with proper direction. With a major push involving a 3D overhaul, a brand new Pokemon type (Fairy), and holy shit Mega Evolutions, I really can’t believe how real Pokemon is about to get.

So fucking real.

So fucking real.

~Pashford

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Probable Odds

Hey Gamers,

Two posts in as many days? My levels of consistency expose themselves as shocking.

Stranger things have happened, of course.

Stranger things have happened, of course.

Gaming continues to march on, despite road blocks and detours at every turn. The particular road block I reference, is that Killzone (a launch game) for the PS4 will require a 50 GB download, if you decide to go digital. This is a problem many likely overlooked when they threw out every single physical game they ever owned, because digital was “the flawless future”. Flawless if you happen to have several teraflops of hard drive space lying around, but I imagine most people aren’t the MCP from Tron.

Though if you were, the probability of you needing to get a new system to play one video game is improbably low.

Though if you were the MCP, the probability of you needing to upgrade your hardware to play video games is improbably low.

Times like these we all kick ourselves for forgetting the obvious, in this case, realizing technology develops faster than our ability to deal with it. The further irony, is the notion that we have less hard drive space than actual space, which is a mind trip when you think about it. I’ve also stumbled upon the realization that, despite the initial convenience of downloadable games, I’m at the mercy of rather eclectic tastes, making the task of choosing what stays installed and what gets deleted infinitely impossible. Though, if I had infinite hard drive space, I would likely become the equivalent of a virtual reality hoarder, and would gather so much information, I would buckle under the pressure of choice.

Hell, I could have a hard drive with the equivalent capacity of the Holodeck, and I'd still walk in and say "Eh, nothing to play."

Hell, I could have a hard drive with the equivalent capacity of the Holodeck, and I’d still walk in and say “Eh, nothing to play.”

Accepting our terms with the finite, especially in the very limited scope of possible technologies, let’s us properly adjust our expectation levels.

Something we would all do well to keep in mind.

Something we would all do well to keep in mind.

In predictable fashion, ” the internet” is in a hectic tussle, due to the mere mention of Half Life 3 by someone outside the anonymous collective. In this case, Valve themselves have been rumbling about the now legendarily awaited title, and as I look around to see the fan fervency for the title, I ask you the dear reader one simple question.

Surprised Mother Fucker?

Are You Surprised Mother Fucker?

Because you really shouldn’t be. Considering recent developments with Valve, HL3’s delay may seem more relevant now than ever before. With the announcement of SteamOS and the Steam Machines, perhaps Valve has been wisely waiting to release HL3 (dare I even mention timed exclusivity on Steam Machines?), as an extra step of convincing gamers the companies proprietary technologies are totally worth it.Other still have already considered the inevitable release of the next Source engine being a possible reason for the delay of HL3. With all of this to take into account, it’s not very hard to see what kind of culmination Valve may have been working towards all of these years.

Before 2013 of course, playfully trolling your die hard PC friend by saying “There’s no way Half Life 3 is coming out this year”, was an effort in hilarious futility, as there response was always the same.

Never tell me the odds.

Never tell me the odds.

With all things considered,  it looks like Valve may finally be the one’s to shoot first.

~Pashford

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