Tag Archives: Gaming

Bait And Switch

Hey gamers,

With the recent reveal of the Nintendo Switch, and it’s impending launch day of March 3rd fast approaching, I have been going on…and on…and ON about the system. Picking apart and analyzing every little bit of the Switch hardware, software coming out, and Nintendo’s general hype building in preparation for their big move.

thanos-wait-and-see

AKA The Thanos Treatment.

It’s really looking like a “wait and see” scenario right now, with Nintendo taking their sweet time getting up off their asses to deliver.

In my attempts to analyze the Big N’s strategies involving the Switch, I’ve voiced my opinion that I can’t quite shake the idea they didn’t learn the right lessons from the Wii U, as it looks as if they are repeating them in due process. Mounting launch costs (both console and add on prices), unproven tech involving gimmicks like HD Rumble and IR sensor on the controllers (“Joy-Cons”), and a seemingly rushed launch day that currently looks to be doing more harm than good, and I’ve got this familiar sinking feeling in my stomach I’ve felt before.

everclear

Bad console launches being a lot like what happens when you pregame with Everclear.

With all of that in mind, I’m constantly reexamining my critique of the Switch, to attempt to see the value of what Nintendo is offering. I preordered the thing, dammit, so I’m really not trying to put myself off before launch day. If anything, without straining myself at least, I want to be genuinely excited to finally get the Switch in my hands come March 3rd. A bad console launch is one of the last things a gamer wants to suffer from, right next to the effects of pregaming with Everclear.

everclear-drunk

Picture of a person reacting to the PS3 launch, or someone who’s Everclear Drunk? 

I’ve already come to terms with the idea that the Switch launching so early in the year really indicates a “Soft Launch”, kind of an attempt at Nintendo’s part on rushing the thing to market, to strengthen it’s value and better prepare the machine for it’s destined money making holiday window later this year.

Considering how hard Nintendo royally dropped the ball on software last year for the Wii U, it’s not like they have the luxury of just not making money for the majority of this year, so the earlier Switch date makes sense, at least from a business stand point. Having seen what Nintendo has to offer, it leads me to believe it is from a business stand point only that the Switch will deliver initially, but I have my fingers crossed.

While I still intend on writing an article about what appears to be the only  saving grace of the Switch during it’s launch period (Zelda: Breath of the Wild), I thought I would take one more moment to look at a few of the other exclusive *NEW titles on the Switch, that Nintendo is hoping will get our engines revved.

mario-kart-8-deluxe

*NEW titles, Nintendo.

I mean, come on guys. That is like 95% an already released game, and due to the Switch’s online not even being ready at launch, MK8 will have more functionality on the Wii U than the Switch till later this year.

disappointed-freaks-and-geeks

Nintendo’s Reaction: Nah Uh.

The three titles I’m taking a closer look at today are ARMS, Snipperclips, and 1,2 Switch, all exclusive titles for Nintendo’s upcoming console. I will take a moment to figure out what these unique titles are bringing to the table with the Switch, and whether or not they will help to make the launch day fantastic.

I am now going to take this moment to immediately douse your flames of excitement, by reminding you that only one of these games is day one (1,2 Switch), with Snipperclips dropping a couple weeks later, and ARMS tentatively positioned for Q2 (April, May, June).

Oh yeah, did I mention the Switch will only have 7 games on launch day, only two of which are exclusive? Excited yet?

michael-bolton

Off to a good start, then.

Starting with a look at our first “launch game” with ARMS, this game takes a slightly different approach to the 3D fighter, with a behind the shoulder approach of fisticuffs, relying on combos, grabs, dodging, and strategic weapon usage rolled into an accessible fighter. Think Punch Out! meets Wii Boxing.

I remember the lead designer at the Switch presentation referencing “Rock, Paper, Scissors” when speaking about ARMS, and after the Live Treehouse event, it looks as if roshambo had a stronger inspiration for this title than I initially imagined, as the title has a heavy emphasis on countering with the right move at the right time design.

A basic, but somewhat strategic mix up kind of game.

arms-1

Or a straight up eat shit game, depending on your skill level.

The big stand out question for me while watching ARMS being demoed was whether or not it would have the same lasting longevity as a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors; seeing the light of day only in moments of bored indecisiveness. The game was exhaustively referred to as accessible, which is worrying to hear for a fighting game, as most of the greatest have a mandatory jumping on point of difficulty you just have to struggle with.

Needless to say, I was not able to discern in such a short amount of time whether or not the title had a serious meta-game to it, or whether or not it would basically devolve into a mindlessly satisfying button masher, but one of the reps did mention “frame advantage”, which inspired some confidence.

arms-3

At least, it inspired more confidence than the obviously painstaking creative endeavor of original in-game character names.

I think ARMS has a chance of being the most memorable of this presently discussed launch bunch, even if we have to (sadly) wait a couple months to see if that’s the case. The rep mentioned that ARMS wisely took a page out of the Wii U’s failed play book, by offering up both traditional and motion controls for the title, giving players options in the matter.

Having said that, the rep also drew a comparison to Splatoon, citing the motion controls as the more ideal option with very little practice. Considering Splatoon turned out to be a surprise darling proving gryoscopic controls can work efficiently in a competitive arena, ARMS may yet surprise gamers with a depth of play and addictive quality only the Switch’s Joy-Cons can offer.

OR it may just be a $60 drop in the bucket which will recount the same awkward arm flailing simulator Wii Boxing did at 100% of the cost but…we’ll have to wait and see.

Next up on our “Will they won’t they give a shit about Nintendo launch titles?” quiz comes Snipperclips. Snipperclips is a co-op puzzle experience, which sees two players going through a series of puzzles they must work together to solve, in what I’m guessing will be an unforgiving, tough as nails take on the puzzle genre.

snipperclips-0

Or not. I see Nintendo is fiercely targeting that hardcore dollar again.

Upon first glance, it doesn’t look like Snipperclips is looking to challenge the members of Mensa, or will even give Professor Layton a run for his puzzle making money, as Snipperclips looks to be a cutesy, quirky, quaint, co-op experience you and your closest non-gaming buddy may get a laugh out of, however.

snipperclips-1

Snipperclips, AKA The Couples Game

The main hook of the game has both characters being able to “snip” the other, cutting the partner into a relevant tool that can help solve the current puzzle. The few examples they showed were incredibly simple, from popping a balloon to sharpening a pencil.

There was no time limit, and the players could be reset on the fly, with virtually no way of failing. The game appeared exceedingly forgiving AND seemingly impossible to lose at even, leaving me wondering if the most puzzling aspect of the title was who it was actually aiming to challenge.

sensible-chuckle

Truly, Snipperclips being the sensible chuckle of the Switch lineup.

I concluded very quickly Snipperclips was indeed that ideal couples/family game: the title that is the stop gap between the core and casual gamer of the bunch, the gateway drug to help coax along the unsuspecting Zelda-less heathens of our lives.

While not impressed by Snipperclips, I will at least concede the demographics for this game do exist, and at a $20 price point, despite having no seriously redeeming qualities aside from a charming aesthetic,  Snipperclips may not need to do much else but lie dormant next to a Nintendo logo on a store shelf to sell several million copies.

mario-and-sonic

It worked for Mario and Sonic, anyway.

1,2 Switch is next on the agenda, looking to comfortably fill that token mini-game launch compilation slot Nintendo is so fond of filling. Unlike the benefit Wii Sports had with the freshness the motion controls brought with it, or the appealing promise Nintendo Land ultimately failed to inspire other games to follow up on, 1,2 Switch looks only to be switching it up in terms of what’s left to scrape out of the bottom of the mini-game barrel.

milk

I’m not even reaching when I say Nintendo is starting to milk this concept.

And that is indeed a screenshot from 1,2 Switch, from the mini-game simply titled “Milk”, which doesn’t look like the richest experience from the demos thus far.1,2 Switch does include a variety of other mini-games of varying degrees of attractiveness, including Quick-Draw, Copy Dance, and Eating Contest.

The selection of mini-games packaged into 1,2 Switch shows off the questionable bells and whistles that Nintendo has packed into the Switch’s Joy-Cons, including the HD Rumble, and IR sensor, which help you interact in new, exciting ways you’ve only ever dreamed of.

eat-1

Hah. Too easy. Time for another segment of make up your own joke caption.

The Treehouse Event showed off several of the mini-games involved, some of which, like Copy Dance and Table Tennis, were some of the few that had that fine balance between goofy and engaging. Others, like Eating Contest and the game simply entitled “Milk”, left a lot to be desired, as the novelty of the games seem so extreme, I wonder if either would get even a second chance after the 30 seconds of awkward novelty wore off.

12-switch-electric

Another preview of a mini-game from 1,2 Switch, likely entitled “Electrician”, the object of the game is to pretend to perform a menial work task to forget the amount of boredom you’re having with a Nintendo launch title.

Other games still, like Quick Draw and Samurai Training were more imagination than actual gameplay, upon further scrutiny. In both theory and execution, the titles offer some interactive charm, but when you get down to the nitty gritty, both players will effectively be interacting with either game a mere second or so and a single button press.

With all of this in mind, I’m not sure whether to applaud Nintendo for their ingenuity of having the player be apart of this abstract design, or smack my head in disbelief that the big N found a way to sell you the idea of a game, and for you to imagine the rest.

hd-rumble

Ever dreamed of competing in a virtual “how many marbles” game against your estranged family members? Say no more: Nintendo’s got you.

All that said, Nintendo really is selling you more of an experience with 1,2 Switch than genuine, hard data gameplay, as 1,2 Switch heavily relies on the players to complete the idea, through enthusiastic participation and role playing, in a sense.

In fairness, the Treehouse Live event only showed a handful of mini-games, and IGN’s write up of their hands on mentions Nintendo’s reassurance that these represented a small portion of what’s on offer, but I must insist, Nintendo perhaps is starting to scrape the bottom of the mini-game barrel to come up with any more creative endeavors in the min-game launch line up arena.

wii-sports

And to think, Nintendo debuted and simultaneously peaked motion control gaming with the same title.

1,2 Switch doesn’t have the advantage of the previous two mini-game compilations had, not being bundled in with the system, and debuting with a $50 price point, it looks so far through previews of the game that 1,2 Switch is the hardest sell yet from Nintendo’s token mini-game launch compilation lineup. The game seems to lack the robustness Wii Sports managed, and fails to be that hectic insanity Wario Ware has perfected, while still lacking the more abstract design approaches of Nintendo Land.

Despite all of the obstacles I see standing in this title’s way, if we consider the almost non-existent variety of savory Switch games at launch, and the stupid gimmicks I always underestimate the general populace totally eating up, 1,2 Switch may prove me wrong in terms of sales.

amiibo

I mean, if these cheap little things can turn crack addicts out of Nintendo fans, what would fail to?

I’m shooting in the dark here by saying this game isn’t packaged in with the Switch, because Nintendo either doesn’t want to send the message that this is their mission statement for the Switch, or they don’t have a lot of games at launch and need every last title to round out it’s roster.

This might be a little from column A, little from column B scenario, but whatever the truth is between the two, I’m comfortable in pointing out this certainly feels like a glorified tech demo for the Joy-Con functionality, and an attempt to justify the “HD Rumble tax” that helps contribute to the $70 price point that the Joy Con’s are going for…without mentioning the extra $30 charging grip that compliments the controllers.

money-printer

Remains to be seen whether or not the Switch will follow in the footsteps of the Wii and DS line, in being Nintendo’s new money printer, or as useless as Nintend’s printer without paper, the Wii U.

I was about to conclude the article with some final thoughts, but remembered at the last second there was one more launch title worth ridicu…err, analyzing, and let me reassure you, the joy I have in bringing forth discussion about the game and it’s developer staggers me.

konami-bomb

Oh Joy.

Yes, gaming fans, it looks as if Konami has taken time out of their busy schedule of mailing envelopes filled with piss to Hideo Kojima and counting their pachinko machine profits to hype Bomberman R, exclusive to the Nintendo Switch. A throw back to the old school Bomberman titles you kinda remember from the 90’s, you’ll get to relive the classic days of blowing you and your friends up as you walk down memory lane with an *unbeatable franchise.

konami-franchise-2

*Unbeatable in being a cheap to churn out iteration when compared to several way bigger franchises that helps to showcase a minimal effort of commitment to both consumer desires and strong third party support for Nintendo.

To its credit, Bomberman R does look as faithful as any of the old school titles you may remember, but with swanky new HD visuals. Despite a faithfulness to the original formula, I stand annoyed at Konami for a vast number of reasons, including picking Bomberman out of their huge stable of available properties to go with (see above), while simultaneously failing to generate hype for the Switch.

Out of all of Konami’s offerings, this seems like one of the weakest picks they could have gone with. Especially compared to the rest of what they have; no one’s going out to buy this console for Bomberman.

milk

But when you consider that MILK is an alternative buying choice. IT’S ANYONE’S GAME!

It’s not even as if Bomberman is the only cost effective/low overhead game out of their old franchises they could have developed for the Switch that would have made bigger splashes, either. Ignoring the massive hype franchises like Zone of the Enders, Suikoden, or Silent Hill would have brought forth as launch titles, I feel as if other simplistic old school titles like Goemon, Gradius, or Contra would have spoken to far louder fan bases on either side of the globe.

Hell, even a remixed/repackaged Castlevania would have caught a lot of peoples attentions.Plus, it would have competed with Konami’s former star employee Igarashi, and his spiritual successor to the Castlevania series Bloodstained, which is the kind of pettiness I feel Konami really shoots for.

mgs-konami

Ah Yes. Pettiness the likes of which only Konami can pull off.

Again,  Bomberman R looked fun, even if the demo was the only one in the entire event that had troubles with controller connectivity, which made me unsure whether or not Konami informed their rep it would be an additional five dollars to unlock player two’s controller. The old school charm for Bomberman R wore off pretty quickly of course, as I waited with bated breath for the moment of truth…

bomberman-gems

Paying to continue? In MY Konami game?

It’s more likely than you think.

And before I launch off into an exhaustive rant about Konami’s infinitely stupid ingame practices, I will give them the SLIGHTEST moment of pause, in admitting I was unable to find out whether or not it was easier to earn gems solely in-game, or primarily through real world currency. It’s likely you can just gain the gems through in game play, no biggie.

I still however, wouldn’t put it past Konami to roll out some pay 2 play bullshit in some form, just because they can. Considering the shop tab is one of the only visible on the main menu of Bomberman R…

bomberman-bs

…and that Konami has a notorious reputation for shoving micro-transactions into their other franchises, including allowing you to skip playing their games by paying to “achieve” 100% status, and further destroying huge series with cheap pay to play gimmicks like Castlevania and more recently MGS V

konami-laughing

Hey Fucking Hoh! Micro-Transact Me, Bro!

I honestly don’t even care if I’m being  a knee jerk alarmist here: any chance I get to turn up my nose at any possible Konami misstep I will more than gladly take.

castlevania-erotic-violence

They’ve earned my ire.

I felt as if I had some grand finale to close on, but it’s 6 AM and I don’t care anymore. So there you have it: a slew of reasons why the Switch is testing my patience, and why I question myself when I immediately preorder new consoles, despite knowing video game system launches are fool’s errands, and why I’d be better off just waiting a year and a half for either the first big price drop, or the third killer app worth having.

I guess much like Nintendo, I will never learn how to do it right.

~Pash

 

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The Violent Double Standard

Hey Gamers,

A long time has elapsed since I’ve put words to a screen, and it’s time for that to change. I’m going to spitball about GTA V here for a bit. I am gearing up to write about the recently revealed Nintendo Switch, but I usually like to warm up before the real fun begins.

gta-trevor-torture

Real fun, ultra violence….tomato, tomato.

In any case, I’m very late to the party on GTA V,  as the game came out a few years ago, but a number of happenstances prevented me from playing it for quite awhile. I bought it for myself on X-Mas, and have had a blast with the game so far. I’ve always been a big fan of the GTA series, maybe just as an after effect of GTA III being such a massive deal when I was growing up. There were plenty of games that justified the PS2, but GTA III was arguably one of the easiest justifications of why the system dominated that console run.

melee-halo

Not to say Nintendo or Microsoft were total pushovers.

The series really didn’t find itself till the third installment, with the first few GTA games being more of a middle of the road experience. The lack of technology was the obvious pitfall of the original titles: the top down view made the experience feel a lot more detached and archaic in design, something III fixed with a third person perspective and subsequently, a more immersive open world as a result. In fact, GTA III did for sandbox gameplay what Street Fighter 2 did for fighting games.

mudman-2

Annoy everyone with offensive knockoffs.

Fast forwarding a bit, GTA V tries a few new things, and mostly succeeds, even if the game is still guilty of some of the age old problems that has plagued the series since III. GTA has always been a jack of all trades and a master of none, at least mechanically speaking. The shooting is always second rate, as well as the driving….and well, GTA has never excelled at any single gameplay facet, but the experience has always been greater than the sum of it’s parts. I suppose the glue that holds the experience together is the empowering freedom that every installment is imbued with. Aside from the fragility of mortal life (which many pop on a cheat code to resolve in an instant), the worlds of GTA are truly yours to take, with an endlessly inviting yet intimidating environment where most anything seems possible.

gta-v-monkey

What happens in Los Santos stays in Los Santos, right guys? Right?

GTA V stands out more than its immediate predecessor, as IV deviated a bit from the prior games, eschewing the more ridiculous aspects of previous titles, and overall taking itself a bit more seriously . Where San Andreas had large Scale Gang Wars fought with Jetpacks, IV had hang outs with your cousin going to a strip club (to fulfill the simple task of seeing “big american titties” or so I have heard). Pretty mundane stuff in contrast, needless to say. So while Saints Row was picking up the slack for the zany antics during GTA’s chill out period , it wasn’t until years later when V  launched that the series returned to absurdity. V is not at all worried about being more ridiculously raucous, which is a saving grace of the title.

gta-v-horsing-around

You know, some good old fashioned horsing around.

However, from a story stand point, GTA V definitely has more difficulty in believably switching it up between the absurd and the serious during pivotal moments. Keeping in mind, GTA stories are rarely much more than parodies of already existing crime stories, at best recycling cliches from Hollywood’s most notable gangster offerings, but V never seems to balance inane and insane with more intriguing verve. The 1st act of the game has great momentum, and the 2nd act carries it confidently with the introduction of the Heist missions, but the game perhaps peaks too early in terms of drama, and then kind of meanders into some seriously dubious territory, in terms of both suspension of disbelief and bad pacing. A not so confident story guilty of flippancy more often than not.

In essence, I like that V is more ridiculous in many ways and better for it, save the story, which does not benefit in the same manner.

gta-v-sex-doll

It’s a touch and go mess, honestly.

Focusing more on one of the main characters, I wish to discuss Trevor, who is the obvious fan favorite in the community. We are speaking of a man that goes from 0-100 in about 3 seconds, with mood swings that startwith Trevor violating a stuffed teddy bear, which then somehow segways into a a bloodbath involving half of a walking mall and a firetruck. In a sense, Trevor is kind of the human personification of the world of GTA: total chaos.

While I was playing GTA V, I had a strange moment of realization; Trevor as a character represents a departure for the series in an interesting way, and I’m not sure how many people really considered why. Where as earlier GTA games featured basically a blank avatar (Claude from GTA II and III), and other characters were morally grey, but mostly mentally sound individuals, Trevor stands out. Looking back at past characters, Tommy was a killer no doubt, but he was still grounded in some form of reality, and CJ was just a kid mixed up in some bad shit trying to get out of the hood, CJ being the most sympathetic and likable of all the GTA protagonists in my eyes.

jetpack-cj

I mentioned the jetpack, right?

Niko is from Eastern Europe, and was a soldier who was fucked over in a war so…he is understandably harder edged, but you still felt for the guy in trying to make a new life by leaving a bad past behind him.

This is where Trevor stands out as an oddity, as Trevor for all intents and purposes, is a certifiable psychopath, having absolutely no moral boundaries whatsoever and a seemingly endless thirst for violence in which he gleefully engages in. As I mentioned previously: Trevor represents some walking metaphor for the world he inhabits- chaos incarnate. This is the interesting split with Trevor from other characters in the series, as we kind of have to observe and judge Trevor in real time outside of our own actions, and be a little closer to the idea of how insane GTA is in theory, and perhaps even how fictionalized the games have to be in order to maintain a sense of self , or how desensitized we have become to violence itself in order to participate.

motoraxe

I mean, joy rides have really spiraled out of control in recent days.

I know that sounds a little heavy handed, but I think there is a case to be made that Trevor represents a confrontation for the player, as we have to observe the very same insanity we’ve been personally guilty of for so many years in a new, uncomfortable way .

He challenges us by pushing the boundaries, helping to uncover at what point violence crosses the line from darkly humorous to detestably horrific.

Truly, Trevor represents the worst of the worst: so uncontrollable and violent by GTA’s standards, that even the other crazy murdering protagonists are terrified of him, going as far as high ranking government officials specifically wanting him very dead for what a threat he is. Where as most other GTA anti-heroes are poised as somehow charmingly flawed in their conquest of the criminal underworld, or someone like Claude who represents you as the player, a personal conduit, previous GTA characters have represented someone to root for. If we then look to Trevor, who outside of your own actions, provides a sense of brutality we haven’t seen yet in GTA, Trevor succeeds only in being a train wreck: you know it’s wrong to want to see the carnage the crash will cause, but you can’t help but sadistically hope the derailment occurs for a small sense of relief.

Despite his bi-polar fueled ragefests, I was always entertained by Trevor…when I wasn’t blown away by his vile approach to the every day. And yet, Trevor persists as manic to a fault, and goes back to GTA V failing to toe the line between the inane and the insane, with Trevor’s lighter moments being almost Tom & Jerry in one instance, to straight up Reservoir Dogs within the blink of an eye. Rockstar didn’t seem to quite know what to do with Trevor entirely, kind of having their cake and eating it too. If they made him too brutal he would have been a loathable character entirely, but make him too high jinksey, and he would have lost his fearful reputation as a result

I don’t know if they quite pull it off, but Trevor at least stands tall as a very memorable character as a result, even if a deplorable one. The simple truth of the matter may lie within who Trevor is fundamentally, as further analysis suggest he becomes a distillation of the GTA experience as a whole, representing the game, the player, and the interaction between both, in spurring the random chaos of a fantasy. Maybe Rockstar’s greatest achievement with Trevor then, is somehow creating an avatar that encompasses the interaction of the game and the player, into one psychotic symbolism?

walrus

I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.

Thinking about it, does that make Trevor the Walrus? I suppose if Trevor is the avatar of the experience, then maybe we are all the Walrus in this case?

……

Regressing back to my original point, and to clarify: I’m not taking GTA to task for not being more self-aware or less violent: the very premise would make the games instantly vanish into a thin air of boring paradox. I’m more pointing out that GTA V suffers from the same systemic problem many games  across the board do, which is lagging behind in the story telling department…or perhaps, struggling with the story and gameplay complimenting each other in a greater, more satisfying manner.

I’ve seen many gamers turn their nose up to the phrase “ludonarrative dissonance” as a criticism, a term used to describe conflicts between gameplay and story. In this particular instance however, I pair the term with disassociation to boot. How my swath of bloodshed and murder is somehow palatable and joyous, while I’m simultaneously revolted by the  Trevor inflicting the same kind of terror in a similarly gruesome way, I stand in a final moment of grand hypocrisy.

Hmm. 1800 words later, and I’m still not sure I’m articulating quite what I wanted to say here. On top of me being rusty in the writing department, I think there’s a lot to unload on this topic, so this idea may yet be in it’s earliest stages of development. With one final note, though I have thoroughly enjoyed GTA V, I think if Trevor does act out as sort of the spirit animal of GTA V in a symbolic way, I think observing that Trevor is an imbalanced riot says as much about V as it does him, and maybe even me, at least in terms of when conceptual depravity is concerned.

Well. I suppose that’s it for now. Just trying to shake the cobwebs out.

~Pash

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E3 2016: Nintendo, Microsoft, And Sony

Hey Gamers,

Once again, I excitedly share the news about being invited back to E3.

Like, as excited as making bacon pancakes excited.

Like, as excited as making bacon pancakes excited.

I have always found E3 to be one of the biggest highlights of the gaming year, and having had the pleasure of experiencing a couple firsthand, my opinion has only been strengthened in it’s resolve. I always cover the show as Editor-in-Chief of Gamersyndrome (as I will this year, too), but due to server issues, I can’t even log into my own site right now. Oh the frustrating irony of it all.

Like Batman being locked out of the Batmobile.

Like Batman being locked out of the Batmobile.

Like every year, before the show, I always enjoy talking about what we can expect, by throwing around some fun speculation, and generally, shoot the shit about what the fuck we are waiting for. This year is no different, and I want to take this moment now to run down some of the major players and what they have to bring, at E3 2o16. First up, we look at Nintendo and see what massive variety they have planned for the show floor.

That's right folks, The Legend of Zelda is just the beginning.

That’s right folks, The Legend of Zelda is just the beginning (of the end).

It’s been no secret that Nintendo has vowed to finally showcase Zelda NX, in all of it’s beautiful glory at E3 2o16. What’s more, is that the big N plans on having multiple kiosks for Zelda on the show floor for attendees to play and enjoy, along with a Treehouse Live special going on during E3, which has developers hands on with the title, showing off the new Hyrule in all of it’s next gen bravado for the world to see.

If that wasn’t enough, Nintendo has also said Zelda will simultaneously release on both the NX and the Wii U, much to the delight of any Wii U owner, and one of very few delights they will know in the next year or so.

Pictured: Wii U owners reactions when they heard Zelda wasn't coming out until 2017

Pictured: Wii U owners reactions when they heard Zelda wasn’t coming out until 2017

Most of that sounds good, right? I hope it does, because Zelda at E3 is about the only thing Nintendo fans have to look forward to this year. For the third year running, Nintendo has opted out of doing a press conference, which makes some kind of sense, as it would be very hard to rationalize what would ultimately be a 90 minute commercial for Zelda, and not subsequently get pissed on by the collective gaming community. I know it worked for Nintendo with Super Mario Bros 3 and The Wizard once upon a time, but we live in a very different time now.

Very Different Times

“Very Different”

So yes, Nintendo isn’t doing a press conference, and they won’t have anything but Zelda on the floor. That is incredibly unprecedented by any E3 standard, and should help reinforce just how much trouble Nintendo has been in for awhile. Not a “Nintendo is doooomed” kind of implication, but all of these massive underwhelming announcements for the next year, in combination with the complete lack of content for the Wii U in 2016, and Nintendo is struggling to do anything outside of flashing their Zelda bling. Which admittedly, they do well.

As a fan of Zelda, I’m thrilled I’ll be surrounded by my favorite green clad hero. As a critic, I’m like “Dudes, are you serious? One freaking game?” I do my best to rationalize the situation in the sanest ways possible.

Zelda at E3

The upshot to this is that no one is really expecting anything from Nintendo at all this E3, so if Zelda is surprisingly good, they will  get great press about it. Which is perfect, cause they will likely get little press other than Zelda. They have back peddled recently to say they will mention in some capacity a few other titles, like the new Pokémon titles Sun and Moon, along with Monster Hunter and Dragon Quest VII for the 3Ds, but have safe expectations going into the show.

Let's hope Nintendo hasn't done to Zelda 's E3 showing what Link does to love letters.

Let’s hope Nintendo hasn’t done to Zelda ‘s E3 showing what Link has done to love letters.

Safe Expectation: Zelda. Seriously, that’s it.
Impossible Expectation: Nintendo has been lying about not showing the NX this year, and we get a physical look at the console, with an official name.

Next up, we have Microsoft, the tech giant that went from disastrous launch, to admirable sales for the Xbox One, with their system currently outpacing the success of the 360 in comparison of sales to time on the market. MS is still almost twice as far behind as Sony’s PS4 however, and will have to continue to pull out all the stops to catch up.

With one of the stops being continually not bringing up the failure that is the Kinect.

With one of the stops being continually not bringing up the failure that is the Kinect.

I know you wanted the Kinect to be embraced by your core base, Microsoft…but it’s just not going to happen

Microsoft is likely to continue their “games first” strategy that we saw them steam ahead with last year, tech add on’s and vague promises of future upgrades just (haven’t) and aren’t going to satiate the expectations of gamers. With more than 50% of all games announced at last years E3 (from all companies) still not out a year later, MS is going to have to wow the crowds with some concrete content with solid release dates.

Luckily, among the contenders for games likely to be announced at the show this year for the X1, we’ve got Crackdown 3, Cuphead, and Gears of War 4 all riding the hype train to E3. All three of these games have been in the works for some time, and round out an impressive variety that MS has been trying to compete with Sony on, a company that has had a quality stable of varied content in the past couple years.

Not that Sony hasn't had a varied amount of content that hasn't seen the light of day. Everyone is looking at you FF7.

Not that Sony hasn’t had a varied amount of content that hasn’t seen the light of day. Everyone is looking at you FF7.

To that point, we already know Gears 4 will be coming out October 11th, and it’s going to be one of the games to beat this year in terms of hype factor. I’d be surprised if Crackdown 3 didn’t finally have a release date announced, as well as Cuphead finally getting a launch window. I’m excited to finally see Rare showcase Sea of Thieves on top of it all, as they’ve had plenty of time to get the project off the ground, though a 2016 launch for it feels unlikely to me.

I think Recore and Scalebound are doomed to delay till 2017, considering what little we’ve seen of either in the past year. With Inafune heading up Recore, and having trouble getting even a small project like Mighty No.9 out, and Kamiya heading up Scalebound, who’s notorious for being patient in development to put out a quality experience, I will be very surprised if either see the light of day in 2016, but expect awesome previews at Microsoft’s conference non the less. It’s been rumored Halo Wars 2 will finally be announced, and I’m foolishly hopeful that it’s been in development long enough to be ready by years end.

But in he end, this is Halo we are talking about. We will likely be bummed about having to wait a little longer.

But in the end, this is Halo we are talking about. We will likely be bummed about having to wait a little longer.

Other honorable mentions go to Microsoft’s continual need to remind us it owns Mincecraft, some kind of Windows 10 pimping, and perhaps most excitedly, the rumored Xbox One slim, which is suppose to be almost half the size, and with possible 4k resolution support. There have also been rumors of an “Xbox Scorpio” flying about, which is supposedly far more powerful than the Xbox One, and possibly equipped with VR in mind, but with the Slim being the likely candidate (and MS still being mum on any possible VR focus), it would be pointless for Microsoft to announce the hypothetical Scorpio, as Sony and Nintendo have vowed not to bring new hardware to E3.

Which is believable, as Nintendo has barely vowed to bring any software to begin with *twiddles cigar*

Which is believable, as Nintendo has  vowed to barely bring any new software to E3 *twiddles cigar*

Safe Expectation: Microsoft announces a slew of release dates for big games, and the Slim is unveiled with a cool design and reasonable price point
Impossible Expectation: Microsoft shows working prototypes of a virtual reality machine, with a late 2017 launch window.

Last but not least, we discuss what Sony may do come this years E3, and what they have to avoid in order to not be the laughing stock of the gaming community.

Step 1: No crazy expensive announcements

Step 1: No crazy announcements

 

Step 2: No crazy promises

Step 2: No crazy long term promises

 

Step 3: Seriously...just don't be crazy, Sony.

Step 3: Seriously…just don’t be crazy, Sony. Sheesh.

While Sony has had their fair share of missteps in the past, they regularly have an incredibly strong showing at E3. Even when they announce something ludicrous, or ham fist some heavy handed promises, it’s at the least extremely entertaining on a memetic level. Though Sony has confirmed the existence of the  “PS4 Neo”, a new iteration of the PS4 line (much like the X1 Scorpio) which has been confirmed by Sony’s president to be more powerful and more expensive, it has also been confirmed it will not be making it’s E3 debut this year. Sony is still ramping up on showing off it’s not to distant future VR offerings with the PS4 VR add on, Project Morpheus, which will be the cheapest way to get your VR funk on.

No word yet currently on whether or not Sony will offer games which will have you getting funk off of your VR.

Though, unlike their competitors, no word yet on whether or not Sony will offer games which will have you getting funk off of your VR,

PS VR helps to solidify  the PS4 as the most attractive offering on the console side, and Sony has the sales numbers to back that up. There are quite a few games Sony has planned to discuss at their show this year, with some impressive names like Gran Turismo, Ace Combat, and Harmonix showing off titles for Project Morpheus for gamers to enjoy. Other titles which will be explored include Rigs: Mechanized Combat League, Dreams, a project from Little Big Planet Developers Media Molecule, and even a VR version of Rez, the highly acclaimed cult classic rhythm experience.

There are another dozen titles or so planned for PS VR, and it seems Sony is putting a great deal of focus on showing it off this year, which leads me to believe we may get a solid release date in late 2016, with the price point of $400. I know not everyone is sold on the idea of VR, but after having the joy of experiencing it myself at E3 2014, I can’t help but be excited for the future of virtual reality in gaming, which will only become more popular as the price goes down.

And like most major modern day tech innovations, I'm sure porn will most certainly convince everyone to jump in.

And like most major modern day tech innovations, I’m sure porn will most certainly convince everyone to jump in and help expedite cost reduction.

Putting aside the saucy nature of possible VR advancements, Sony has regular software lined up for their conference, including looks at Horizon: Zero Dawn, a futuristic open world third person action game that looks beautiful in motion, and a game I’m crossing my fingers comes out this year. The Last Guardian, which better have a release date this year, or is doomed to catch up with the number of times Duke Nukem Forever was delayed, the long awaited sequel to the gravitationally challenged Vita darling Gravity Rush 2, and possibly the rumored announcement of a Norse myth focused from one of Sony’s biggest, God of War 4.

Spoiler Alert: Kratos will most still be a massive asshole.

Spoiler Alert: Kratos will still be a massive asshole.

The last couple of years I’ve gone, while some companies have delivered the goods in terms of conferences (Microsoft 2014, Bethesda 2015), Sony always seems to be the ones to beat in terms of variety of content and showmanship. Let’s see if they can pull it off again this year.

Safe Expectation: Sony will announce a lot of cool shit
Impossible Expectation: Any of it will be cheap or come out any time soon.

And that concludes my overview of the big three in some of the preliminary analysis of E3 2016. What’s exciting is that the show is always anyone’s game, and even if one company rises above the rest, they all always have a chance to impress, and to collectively succeed to make an excellent show. What’s more is that this year has seen a surprisingly low number of leaks, so there are still a ton of surprises left, with dozens of unannounced projects just waiting to shock and awe. Stay tune as I cover the conferences and the show live from LA, as we all enjoy the awesomeness that is E3 2o16.

~Pashford

 

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Star Wars Battlefront: What Is “It”?

Hey Gamers,

Shh! Before you say anything, I think you should click the link below, and all of your questions will be answered.

Click Here For The Truth

I hope that has more or less cleared everything up for you: shit has sucked, fuck it blah blah blah…now let’s get down to the important business at hand, here.

Let’s bitch about Star Wars. Battlefront to be precise.

Told you it wasn't going to be about the prequels.

Told you it wasn’t going to be about the prequels.

A little late to the party when it comes to writing about Battlefront, but if we then consider my recent track record on providing content…

AD Footage not found

…this post represents a hell of a change of pace.

To that point, I missed the recent Battlefront reboot when it launched last November, despite being both a bigg Star Wars fan, and Battlefront enthusiast. While I am aware the first couple of games in no way represented the heights of gaming quality, they were damn fun, which makes them winners in my book. Remembering back to Battlefronts 1&2, and how much fun I did have vs how polished the games were (as in not quite at all), I must say I’m impressed. The camera and controls weren’t top notch, the graphics and gameplay weren’t mind blowing or very original,  and they did indeed utilize a metric shit-ton of nostalgia to dress up a lot of these issues with a cute Star Wars facade, to make you forget about all of the flaws the material truly had.

What Is Also Known As Ewok Syndrome

What Is Also Known As Ewok Syndrome.

And yet, despite all of their lackluster qualities, I spent hundreds of hours with the old Battlefront games and still remember them fondly. Which goes to show: sometimes it’s not about having all of the best elements, it’s about having enough of all of the ones that matter.

You Know What I'm Talking About Dynasty Warriors Fans.

       You Know What I’m Talking About                   Dynasty Warriors Fans.

With my thoughts on the originals now known, I move my analysis to the latest entry, in the hopes of investigating the reasons why the newest Battlefront doesn’t quite seem to be “with it”. If we also take into account how many  problems the original games had while still remaining extremely fun, it is clear from the start  the Battlefront Reboot fights an uphill battle to victory, with us the gamers having the high ground.

Now just where Have I heard that phrase before?

Now just where have I heard that phrase before?

As I begin my brief deconstruction of where Battlefront waivers, I find myself lacking a certain exposition on the matter. As I pointed out, the Battlefront reboot (BR) doesn’t seem to be “with it”, in a vague sense, or is lacking “it”, whatever “it” may be. While I will try to satiate your wanton curiosity of where BR went wrong, I may point out that this all powerful “it” BR lacks, may be a failing on a far larger scale than previously imagine, and unavoidable entirely.

The problematic “it” I speak of, may be due to problems at large with the industry at this point in time, or even where I am as a gamer. Keeping in mind I played the original Battlefronts over a decade ago, we then must consider that both the industry and I have aged, growing into different places at different times. To wit, I share this Simpsons quote in revealing the reason that I may not like the current iteration of Battlefront in another vague attempt to help you understand what “it” is: perhaps both Battlefront and I are just to old to be “with it”, or that the gaming industry has changed what “it” is, leaving BR and I in the proverbial cosmic dust.

I know that seems like an odd point of contention, but I did feel a bit old in critiquing the game, if not only due to asking what BR was missing, and how I perceive such irregularities…and though I articulate many points below, I always simply landed on the key element of what the reboot lacks.

And, I always come back to a simple ambiguous truth: the new Battlefront is just missing…”it”.

And you may continue to ask: What is it?

It's it!

It’s it!

What is IT??

It's IT!!

It’s IT!!

What IS IT???

IT'S IT!!!

IT’S IT!!!

WHAT IS IT????

IT'S IT!!!!

IT’S IT!!!!

…OKAY okay, I get it, “it’s” hard to describe.

Despite that, let me do my best to try to nail down what the definition of “it” is.

And no, that does not mean we are going to look at what the definition of "is", is.

And no, that does not mean we are going to go back and look at what the definition of “is”, is again.

…you know what it means.

*Ahem*

Now, where were we then? Aw, yes! The Battlefront Reboot (BR).

For starters, and what’s immediately apparent, is that the top menu feels rather bear, almost as if there really isn’t enough content to even make the most basic of menus look appealing. I know the designers wanted to go for a minimalist look, but that didn’t mean they had to go with a minimalist content, too. Before I even picked up the game, I read a number of complaints from both press and players about the lack of single player content, and they weren’t exaggerated.

What’s interesting is that while I agree Battlefront leaves much to be desired in terms of single player content, I do recall that the first couple of games really only had a few basic modes to choose from (campaign, conquest, instant action), so I don’t think the problem is the lack of modes, just compelling ones that kept you coming back. Though each of these modes were basic in approach, they provided a satisfyingly diverse number of ways to replay them, and awesome ways to go about winning.

Like playing as the Empire and using the DEATH STAR to blow up your opponents planets.

The salt is strong with this one.

The salt is strong with this one.

As if millions of bitter friends suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.

(Get rekt, Kashyyk.)

The originals didn’t have many bells and whistles to speak of in terms of single player content, but what was on offer was infinitely enjoyable and massively replayable. I did not at all get the same feeling from BR, as I was basically over what little single player content the game has in a matter of hours. This distinct difference between BR and the originals I think largely boils down to gameplay basics.

New elements introduced to the game, such as cool downs instead of replenishable ammo for almost any ability or weapon in the game feels inappropriate, and kills the pacing the originals had. The new Battlefront does away with old conventions with bad form or assumption on player demographics, forcing the player to “wait” to get the good stuff, which is a sin the reboot committed repeatedly, ad infinitum.

I was thinking the entire time you don’t even have to feel guilty about “ripping off” the old games ideas: you’re in the same family, it would be just like old times! Just reuse old ideas: it worked for Force Awakens, dammit! Look to your past and do what your predecessor would have done.

You know, like father like son...OH SHI-

You know, like father like son…err, bad example.

Man, is the Battlefront Reboot like the tantrum throwing Kylo Ren to the old Battlefronts swag as fuck Han Solo originals?

Search your feelings, you know it to be true!

Search your feelings, you know it to be true!

Following up on my point, many of the issues Battlefront has had since day one involves the dirty use of enforced wait time on the player. Want to use your cool abilities and weapons you could use almost all the time in the originals? Hold your banthas, now Want to use even the most rudimentary of gear the game has to offer to have a better chance at surviving and kicking ass? Wait it out, sonny. Want to get from point A to point B without the travel feeling as long winded as trekking through a Tatooine desert? Too bad.

While I know many other shooters now a days make you play to earn better gear, Battlefront seems to be below average on the scale of pacing the reward system appropriately. Hell, I was jonesing so much to use the cooler weapons, I would willingly go back to the stunted single player modes, so I could feel like more of a Jedi than a Jawa.

Pictured: Me Spawning on a team against a single long time player.

Pictured: Me Spawning on a team against a long time player.*

However, even die hard multiplayer fans will have to wait to get what they want, regardless of how much they want to speed up the process. Not only does the grind for a lot of the better equipment seem extensive (as compared to the almost instant gratification of cool gear in BF 1&2), one of the main tabs on the top menu is for the season pass, which includes four expansion packs, the first of which is not even out by the time of this writing (four months after the games launch day).

It’s hard to argue with many fans who have felt they were”sold an engine” as opposed to an entire game, as so much of the content is locked behind a slow grind and a wait time, that an entire portion of the game is still locked behind another $40, after the $60 they already dropped…months after the initial launch.

EA And Dice Overseeing Continued Development Of Battlefront Post Launch

EA And Dice Overseeing Continued Development Of Battlefront Post Launch.

I can see the lack of cool gear from the get go will (and has) discouraged a lot of players, and I’ll bet the maps themselves may do something similar. A bad trend I’ve seen in recent games is making the maps “too big”, traversing them a boring and unnecessarily long process. You combine that with someone who is already frustrated at the lack of content they paid a lot for, on top of the feeling of helplessness with a lack of interesting starting arsenal, and you quickly realize having a game that constantly makes you travel a long distance, to possibly just immediately die upon final destination because a long time player has some pimp gear, would quickly become a deal breaker.

Leia's face prefectly capturing what many Battlefront fans thought after buying the game: I've made a huge mistake.

Leia’s face perfectly capturing what many Battlefront fans thought after buying the game: I’ve made a huge mistake.

Don’t get me wrong: I did indeed have some fun playing BR-the dog fights were surprisingly engaging, and some of the game modes had me enjoying the really awesome visuals and thick Star Wars nostalgia. Playing as one of the heroes and decimating as Vader was great, defending Hoth against an oncoming AT-AT was good fun, and slaying Storm Troopers on Endor in a hectic battle was cool- it just wasn’t enough.  I had reservations about buying this game at launch, not only from reviews, videos, and word of mouth mind you, but even going to E3 and playing early hands on impressions. While at the show, I had this awful feeling the whole thing felt way too hollow for it’s own good, and by the time I got to the finished product, I realized that I still hate being wrong.

I think if the game can be summed up in one important critique, it would likely be that the BR does not respect the players time. Between all of the enforced waiting, extensive grinding, and asking more and more from the player without proper incentive, this is less of a fast paced shooter and more of a slow paced action game with heavy RPG elements, taking all of the worst elements of modern day gaming, and throwing away all of the worthwhile mainstays. The Battlefront Reboot tosses aside almost every aspect of what made the originals so good with such obvious gameplay mechanics that work, in favor of cheap time grabs in the name of entitlement, which the game ultimately didn’t initially earn.

I said I’d avoid making fun of the prequels, and I’ll keep to my word. Instead, I will liken the Battlefronts to iterations of Han Solo in the original Trilogy.

Battlefront 1:

New Hope Solo

Battlefront 2:

Empire Solo
Battlefront Reboot:

Han Solo Carbonite

In closing, what was “it” that was missing? Was BR a victim of it’s time, never fully being able to recapture what the old games were due to new industry standards and expectations? Maybe I also, was in a different place due to the passage of time, and no longer liked what is considered the modern average? Could it be, that whatever “it” was, was indeed redefined, with only those who have lived long enough able to understand the change, and still remembering fondly what “it” use to be?

You know what I think? It’s true…all of it. Ultimately, the game may have failed to recapture what the originals meant, but perhaps recreating the past was an impossible feat to begin with.

Still, at least conceptually, Battlefront lives on.

As an afterthought, in terms of ideas being passed on, it is at least important Battlefront is being paid forward.

For it is the truth that many who have lived long enough, will know quality in different ways, and perhaps what once was is best left frozen in carbonite for them, a monument to past triumphs and beautiful memories. This same symbol of a treasured past may yet represent a new hope for those curious enough to rediscover it, and may still get a glimpse of what was once cherished, and perhaps they will carry the torch to a new generation.

After all, there is no shame in celebrating what has passed, and truly appreciating what made it so great, but that also doesn’t mean there isn’t worth in what’s left to enjoy, and what may follow in it’s footsteps.

~Pashford

(*Art by Pierre Loyvet)

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by | March 15, 2016 · 04:34

Sexy Brazilian Privacy 2: Pirate’s Booty

Hey gamers,

Promptly following up on a post I did a year and a half ago, I waste no time in once again observing gaming culture in Brazil, and the recent troubles it faces, likely causing massive duress for the country as a whole.

Err...Looks Like They Are Getting Along Real Well

Err…Looks Like They Are Getting Along Real Well, Actually.

Surely, somewhere in the mass expanse of Brazil, the recent problems it’s gaming culture faces is devastating the country side.

...Damn, That Looks Nice, Too.

…Damn, That Looks Nice, Too.

Uhh…I’m sure that the very real issues Brazil’s gaming culture faces are taking away from the beauty of…

Okay, Come On Now...That Looks Ridiculous

God Dammit

Okay, okay…so what I’m about to talk about Brazil probably doesn’t give a shit about, but it’s still mildly interesting non the less, and we will likely get a good joke out of it. Like the fact that someone, somewhere, is going to be very disappointed reading this post, after being misled by the title. So I’m just going to get that out of the way now, and totally turn off casual readers expecting something sexy.

Aaaand, There We Go.

Aaaand, There We Go.

*Clears Throat*

Moving on.

This post indeed follows up my first post entitled Sexy Brazilian Privacy, as it involves both gaming cultures oddball country, and Sony getting real all over it. While my first post was about ludicrous PS4 launch day prices, this post involves how Brazilian pirates have found a way to effectively hack PS4’s, giving way to a shady business, and a wealth of super cheap gaming for the Brazilian masses.

Sony, needless to say, is not happy.

Seen Here: Sony's Legal Department Reacting To What Brazil Is Doing

Seen Here: Sony’s Legal Department Reacting To What Brazil Is Currently Doing

I’m not sure how wide spread the problem is, nor am I sure this is at all related to the $1800 price tag Sony slapped on the PS4 when it first came out in Brazil. Either way, things suck for both parties big time. According to the original source, Sony has already sent out a cease and desist to the businesses they know are fucking up royally, but like most thieves, I’m sure they have approximately no shits left to give. I suppose it’s not all “Brazil’s” fault, as the source of the article claims that this method of hacking, albeit slight tweaked, originated in Russia.

Here’s hoping Sony teaches the lesson to the right people, or they might end up fucking over the wrong person.

Pictured: Sony's Current Legal Recourse

Pictured: Sony’s Current Legal Recourse

This is what happens, Brazil…

Let’s hope that’s not actually what happens to Sony, and that this crazy hack doesn’t make it too far outside of the country, or Sony (and the gaming people), could end up with potential complications on our hands.

On a side note, I just realized why Brazil was the only territory in which the SEGA Master System outsold the NES way back when: Brazil’s taxation system on video games is ridiculously high, about 125% in fact. I’ve discovered this is because Brazil’s government considers them gambling. Huh…totally makes sense now. For years it bothered me not knowing why.

See?

See?

Well, I guess Nintendo won that one in the end, huh?

Can't Win Em All

Can’t Win Em All

At least you can catch them all, right?

Amiibo sold

Err…

We're Done Here 2
And we’re done here.

~Pashford

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It’s A Meow, Mario

Hey gamers,

I finally got around to playing Super Mario 3D World, which in it’s pre-release showings, was bragging about having some very cool new power ups. They weren’t lying, either.

Suddenly, a cat.

Cat Mario

Mario Cat, To Be Precise

Actually no, I meant to say Cat Mario.

Cat Mario, To Be Perfectly Precise.

 To Be More Precise

That’s like that long forgotten pirate ghost debate: a ghost pirate being an entity that would be a ghost that was not previously a pirate. I think. In any case, I believe Cat Mario is the right way to portray this, as this Cat was previously a Mario, where as a Mario Cat was not previously a Mario. It’s about becoming, really. Being one with the kitty.

Not That Kitty

Not That Kitty

Doesn’t matter when.

What was I saying? Oh yeah, the cat suit in Super Mario 3D World is proper fun, and helps to give the game a far more impressive scale to the level design as a result. Scaling, and climbing and jumping every which way, the game has way more verticality as a result. I’ve noticed Nintendo be more about adding verticality to compliment some of their other games recently as well, with Link Between Worlds and Pokemon springing to mind. I don’t know why the big N suddenly got into going up and down, now out of all times, but that seems to be the case. I know Shigeru Miyamoto oversees a lot of Nintendo’s biggest games, and whenever he becomes interested in something new (he was really into gardening when developing the idea for Pikmin), you usually see a reflection of that in the games themselves.

So perhaps the reason so many Nintendo games are having fun going up and down so much recently, has to do with the fact that Miyamoto has developed an elevator riding addiction.

Stranger Things Have Happened

Stranger Things Have Happened

Speaking of which, I spent so much time during the course of this post considering the semantics of ghost pirates and Cat Marios, I ran out of time to talk about 3D world. Aside from the verticality observation, which we got a good joke out of, so. Yeah. I have plenty more to say on in the matter of Mario, which may be a result of having played his games for the last 23 years but, that’s kind of a win win for both of us. So yeah, see yah next time.

Oh, and I’ll try and think of a title that will top today’s post name.

~Pashford

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Fat Worm Blows A Sparky

Hey gamers,

As some of you may remember, my last post involved the excitement I had in being invited back to E3 for the second year running.

And There Was Much Rejoicing.

And There Was Much Rejoicing.

Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worst, and I came down with something shortly after.

Editors Dramatization

Editors Dramatization

Having regained my wits, and possessing a renewed sense of vitality, I was excited to get back to the gaming grind. As I mentioned last week, I look forward to sharing with all of you, a treasure trove of assets and stories from last years E3, something I’ve been meaning to get to since about this moment in time. I never mean to hesitate, but it ends up happening on a continual basis. I can only speculate my constant delays involve how the creative process can be an unpredictable beast; one plagued with narcolepsy, sporadically remaining dormant, only to chaotically awaken at the worst moments.

Creativity Can Be Lurking Around Every Corner

Creativity Can Be A Very Horrifying Process

I didn’t show up here with an agenda today, aside from an attempt at entertainment (wait for it), as my focus has been rather divided. A lot of people I hear giving recommendations on how to “get shit done”, will suggest being a master of multi-tasking, which I’ve concluded is a load of claptrap. I know it’s probably different for everyone of course, but I find I do some of my “best work” when I’m not thinking about it, merely doing instead of thinking of doing. Apparently, this is referred to as wu wei in Taoism, though I assure you, my own machinations are far from mystical.

Pictured: How I Normally Get My Article Ideas

Pictured: How I Normally Get My Article Ideas

Dancing naked to Goodbye Horses isn’t the only thing I did while trying to come up with the motivation to start writing today, the list was extensive:

Died in Super Meat Boy a lot-

About Five Minutes Worth Of Dead Bodies Here

About Five Minutes Worth Of Gameplay, Here.

Changed clothes-

I Was Feeling 12thy Today

I Was Feeling 12thy Today

Ate some ice cream- (See Above)

Enjoyed a nip of whiskey-

Whiskey

Listened to the Attack on Titan theme song way too many times-

Foreshadowing is Fun!

Foreshadowing is Fun!

Browsed pictures of Panda Bears:

What Fun

Like This One!

Debated with myself about self-awareness and quality of work-

Walter: Is This Your Article, Pash? The Dude: We Know It's His Fucking Article, Where's The Fucking Content You Little Brat!

Walter: Is This Your Article, Pash?
The Dude: We Know It’s His Fucking Article, Where’s The Fucking Content You Little Brat!?

I believe all of these things occurred in my own wu wei, but I don’t think being buzzed and imitating Buffalo Bill is what Taoists had in mind when coming up with the concept. However ridiculous this aside may seem, I wanted to stress two points: getting shit done is sometimes an absurd process, and two, if you find your own flow, it’s not about doing one task or doing many tasks, you will simply task, and results will follow.

Or Not

Or Not

I recently picked up my second replacement 3DS. While I am grateful to get my hands on the device for a third time, I also can’t avoid feeling a little silly I’ve somehow estranged myself from so many at this point. I’m seriously considering surgically grafting this fucking thing to my body, so as to avoid having the device become lost or damaged once again. Some of the longer time readers won’t at all be surprised that the game I’m currently playing is indeed a Zelda game. However, a similar number of you may be surprised I’m not about to do a 17 part retrospective mini-series about Majora’s Mask, and how it relates to both culture and time travel.

Heavy, I Know.

Heavy, I Know.

Rest assured, I’m enjoying it thoroughly, and I think the portable remake works just as well as Ocarina of Time did, but I wasn’t really struck with any sort of inspirational lightning bolt for an article this time round. Could be the divided focus I mentioned earlier, as I’ve been playing probably too many games recently, and not really getting stuck on a single one. Which is what I should likely do, as I tend to uncover truths or identify more interesting concepts when I house arrest myself in a virtual reality for a long enough time. I also spread myself too thin, foolishly thinking in a single week, I can halt an apocalypse, reconsider my stance on nuclear deterrents, prevent history from dying, conclude whether or not free will truly exists, keep the high score of Ms.Pacman at a local barcade intact…

My flow is a no go, and those who depend on me are suffering for it.

Is he really not coming this time? Because I'm totally going to push them off this shit.

Is he really not coming this time? Because I’m totally going to push them off this shit.

So yeah. That’s really it. This piece was suppose to be a warm up, and the unfortunate reality is that warm ups aren’t really top shelf dealings, but I had a couple of okay jokes in here so, yeah.

Animaniacs

~Pashford

P.S: You know, on second thought, it does feel a bit wrong I’m not excitedly espousing about Zelda, as I’ve done such a good job of it in the past, I think I’ll leave you guys with a poll, on whether or not my next article should be about Zelda. Just click on one of the buttons below and tell me what you think.

POLL: Do you think Pashford should write about Majora’s Mask for his next article?

Yes []
No []

Cheers,
~Pashford

P.P.S: Some of you may be wondering why I named the article “Fat Worm Blows A Sparky”, and the reason for the title is simple. The article title is actually the name of a 1986 ZX Spectrum game that shares the same name, and I believe the experience of playing the game, is as confusing as this article was to write, and read there after.

See for yourself:

I told you the title made sense.

~Pashford

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