Tag Archives: Zelda

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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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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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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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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Seriously Not About Horses

Hey Gamers,

I’ve been away from ATE for awhile, but it’s time for my self enforced mandatory monthly pop-in to let you know I am indeed, still gaming. Some of you may remember I was going on at some lengths about horses throughout August, and by the end of it all, I was seriously fucking done with horses. So, after weeks to myself and a hiatus from ATE and the horse shit that followed, what do I have at the ready to eagerly talk about?

Horses.

Seriously

Seriously

It’s actually the same god damn one, too, and I am so not horsing around about this. I am kind of joking about this being the topic of debate today, as there really isn’t much to discuss in terms of why this matters….because I’ve already done that. Though, as a point of observation, this is indeed “The Epona”, as she is included as “a weapon” in the Master Quest DLC pack for Hyrule Warriors, which is a nice little bookend to my extensive espousing of her as such a staple to the series in my previous series of posts. The only detail worthy of mention here is that some gamers were disappointed to find out using Epona as a weapon includes riding her into battle as opposed to physically arming Link with her to attack hordes of enemies with.

Like So

Like So

I apologize for the level of funny in regards to that picture (kinda sorts), as I feel there were a lot more ways the visual gag would have worked better, but probably would have taken three times longer to make then this entire post will, so that’s kind of a tough shit scenario.

Insert Obligatory Phantom Hourglass Mockery Joke Here

Insert Obligatory Phantom Hourglass Mockery Joke Here

I was not seriously going to go on about horses again, especially after everything we went through already, I just felt obligated to bring up the Hyrule Warriors DLC, as it was just so incredibly absurd not to mention. I would have already been playing it, but the reasons for why such events have not yet occurred hearken back to the dark times, in the long long ago. I mean…if I really tried, I may be able to summon the words to tell the story. Let me see…

Thousands of minutes ago...

Thousands of minutes ago…

Nah, that’s going to take too long. Anyways, I had planned on talking about other nonsense, but realized at the last second the new Smash Brother is right around the corner. The game’s release didn’t really sneak up on me, mind you, I am just normally distracted by so many games at any given moment, even the ones I’m really excited for slip under the radar…for a time. This game being Smash Brothers, however, means the game can’t possible stay out of my focus for long, for a number of reasons. One of which involves that the game can’t actually slip “under my radar”, as I’ve had the radar surgically implanted into the inside of my eyelids, in order to prioritize the games release.

Though, in the past couple of weeks, in order to be productive, I’ve had to try and take some some extreme measures to adapt to this new reality.

DON'T PANIC BLINK

DON’T PANIC BLINK

Though it does the trick, let me tell you. I know this all sounds rather crazy, but it should, because a new Smash Bros is a crazy big deal. At least in my circles, it’s really one of the only games I’ve played more than a decade ago that my friends today are still severely excited about, and for good reason. Between the multi-platform approach, to the on the go capabilities of the 3DS, and taking into consideration the direction Sakurai has taken with the newest iteration (somewhere between Melee and Brawl)..there’s reason to be excited.

Like, This Excited

Like, This Excited.

Rest assured, I’ll be running around like a cucco with it’s head cut off on the 3rd, trying to play, think and write about this sucker as hard as I fucking can. I know I recently said I would really stop talking about Zelda for awhile, but that universe is one of many focal components of this exciting new experience…and I mean, come on.

It’s Smash Brothers.

~Pashford

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Serious About Horses

Hey Gamers,

I think, no matter what, I’m done talking about Zelda and horses for awhile after this post. While I’ve had a lot of fun discussing both(?), I desperately need a break from both Hyrule and equines in a serious way.

How serious of a way you may ask?

This Serious.

This Serious

And before I move on, I know what you’re thinking: “Pashford, how could you!? Using the memories of Artax casually again to play with my emotions just for a cheap laugh? How could you!” I understand where you’re coming from dear readers, but it’s hard to convey how serious about horses I’ve been, and that picture sums up horses in a serious way. I mean, I tried to go a different route, and include a picture of Elton John on a horse for the joke to work, but a Google search provided me with only this picture involving Elton John and horses:

Elton John Horses

And I’m way more serious about horses than what’s shown in that picture. Though, considering that picture says “Live Like Horses”, I would suggest if you were a horse (of course), not to live in the Swamp of Sadness. You know…for obvious reasons.

You Know, For Obvious Reasons

Because You Can’t

To the denizens of Fantasia: to avoid further depression involving dead animals we love, let’s just assume horses can’t go into the Swamps of Sadness, just to be safe. I mean, we can experiment all day with this shit, but if all we get is a couple hundred dead horses and therapy sessions for the rest of our lives, I’d say let’s just agree upon the “Horses Don’t Do Swamps” theory and be done with it. That sounded like a Goosebumps book waiting to happen. Also, did they explain how Atreyu didn’t just submerge entirely after losing his best friend? I mean, you sink into the swamp if you’re sad, right? What, was Atreyu popping Prozac’s like they were skittles or something?

Thinking About It, Yeah He Probably Was

Thinking About It, Yeah He Probably Was

Eh, whatever helps get you through the day…err swamp I suppose.

Weeeeeell, It's Mostly An Accurate Sentiment.

Weeeeeell, It’s Mostly Accurate

I mean seriously, what kind of person goes around committing genocide as a life choice? Honestly, don’t be going around hurting people for fun! While I’m at it…

And Don't Be Going Around Breaking Things, Yah Tit.

Don’t Be Smashing Stuff That Doesn’t Belong To You, Yah Tit.

I mean thinking about it (not to derail or anything here, Zelda), if we really take a look at the social and moral implications of the Triforce and the philosophy behind the series as a whole, I believe you’ll find…

Zelda Not Amused
Okay, okay! I’m sorry! I’ll rein in my thoughts about horses and continue on.

*Ahem*

I refocus my attempts at wrapping up my thoughts involving Ocarina of Time, Epona, and everything that has followed suit. I really didn’t mean to go on for so long about the event, looking back now realizing Back in the Saddle was a fine enough stand alone piece as it was. Not to say the rest has been bad, but there are just so many other great games and awesome sites I need to tend to at this very moment. This exercise in examining the merits of replaying Master Quest was suppose to be a quick effort, not a multi-part series over a period of a month. No matter what happens by the end of this post, I will take my leave of both Hyrule and horses for a time, as two things have happened since I’ve begun my extensive conversation about both:

1. I don’t stop hearing fairies I can’t see
2. I can’t stop seeing horses that don’t exist

As you can imagine, I’m deeply concerned for my own sanity, and must make way to more reasonable pastures post haste. BUT, not before bringing to light a few thoughts I hadn’t properly molded into a write up while I was explaining why Epona in Ocarina of Time represents some of the best horse action in gaming, and everything that entails.

Two posts ago, I was a little enamored by the idea of Epona’s nostalgic value, in relation to the gaming populace as a whole. I cited the regular difficulty gamers had in completing their games, even observing statistics that 90% of players couldn’t even beat the first level of Super Mario Bros. This relates to getting Epona (as I had mentioned), due in part to her not only being much later into the game, but rather difficult to eventually obtain. This speaks to the levels of dedication Ocaina instilled in it’s user base, and holds value in realizing people loved them some Zelda on the 64. The number of times I’ve personally talked to gamers about their fondest memories of Ocarina, involving riding around Hyrule Field on Epona mind you as an extremely high number, which shows you she may very well have been many gamers first horse.

Well, Let's Not Get Filthy About Zelda...

Well, Let’s Not Get Filthy About This…

 

Err...Again Anyways...

Err…Again Anyways…

 

Okay, That's Enough Of That

Okay, That’s Enough Of That!

Epona being many gamers first horse is fitting, as at this point I think Ocarina may have been many people’s first Zelda, so they are just impossibly interconnected for all of time in many gaming minds, resulting in kind of an “ideal experience”.

The potent value of nostalgia often lends itself to strengthening not only the quality of the experience, but the quality of person, too. I’m sure that’s why it will be a long while before a game comes along to top the perceived value of Ocarina of Time, and the horse it rode in on. I’d like to take this moment to contextualize “Best Horse Action”, as I know riding on Epona (at this point in time anyways) is limited in many ways, and that there are plenty of other games I’ve played and many more that other gamers have enjoyed with arguably better horse action:

Just

Just

 

To

To

 

Mention

Mention

 

A

A

 

Few

Few

 

Examples

Examples

Those aren’t all of them, of course, but some of the first that popped into my mind. I had a handful of other ones I didn’t even mention I thought of almost as immediately (Assassins Creed, Darksiders, Minecraft, about a billion MMO mount experiences), but thought my point was justifiably reinforced. The point I was making was in comprehension, in having a mutual understanding that while there may be great horse action out there, even mechanics that help to make or define the game entirely, Epona may yet stand as the most pivotal or valued equine when looking back on our glorious gaming history. Not just any Epona either, Ocarina’s Epona. Much like I interjected the idea of other games being able to claim “better horse action” in general that is more intertwined with the quality of the game, I take one more moment to remind everyone that another Zelda game (Twilight Princess) even had better horse mechanics (with Epona no less), that helped to differentiate and heighten Twilight Princess, by taking a page out of Ocarina’s book.

Or As Many Would Admit, Merely Took All The Pages From Ocarina's Book And Simply Revised Them

Or As Many Would Acknowledge, Taking All The Pages Out Of Ocarina’s Book And Simply Revising Them

But that’s the point here, and one that shouldn’t be mistaken as contradiction or flip-flopping. My current point is not one of derailment (there’s been plenty of that going on already), I am trying to stay on point by observing….

AW, COME ON BATMAN! BAT BOMBED AGAIN!

AW, COME ON BATMAN! BAT BOMBED AGAIN!

Man, I hate when you do that, Bruce! You just Bat Bomb me when I’m in the middle of a good point! Now what am I going to do?

Hey, Look! It's Another One Of My Running Jokes! Sonic Must Be Here To Save Me From Being Bat Bombed!

Hey, Look! It’s Another One Of My Running Jokes! Sonic Must Be Here To Save Me From Being Bat Bombed!

Yeah, go Sonic! Help me get back on point! Uh oh, looks like The Batman is activating something in response to Sonic’s attempted Anti-Bat Bombing Plan!

Oh No! The Batman Is Using His Gadget To Initiate The "Cucu for Cuccos" Stategy!

Oh No! The Batman Is Using His Patented Cucco Transponder Device!

What kind of gloom and doom could this spell for Sonic, I wonder?

That's A Shame

That’s A Shame

Well, things don’t look very good for our little blue running joke here, however fast he may be.

While those two are distracted fighting, I’ll take this moment to sneak away and finish up my point involving best horse action. Even with all of the given standards of games using horses (and when Ocarina launched, there really weren’t many at all), and even within the Zelda universe having another game with an arguably better experience involving a horse, the power of nostalgia transcends perhaps even higher quality, which in turn makes the memory of Epona almost impossible good. Obviously, the memories of the quality involved are genuine, and do come from a place of excellence Ocarina can indeed brag about, but it’s this sense of personal indomitable truth from our past that makes so many look back on Epona so fondly.

Putting aside the legacy of influence Epona has had, like making mounts absolute staples in the Zelda series or the impact she has on other developers who have tried to match and or beat her inclusion in Ocarina of Time, the standards for which many games are judged by gamers, is in turn from how much people enjoyed this game, Epona included, and the fun they had as a result.

Much like, say for example, Final Fantasy 7’s effects on gaming history having more to do with time and place then it’s observable quality.

Speaking Of Another Memorable Mount

Speaking Of Another Memorable Mount

While the hype for FF7 comes from a real place of quality, the game’s ultimate relevancy stems from when it came out and what it did at that time, thusly reaching a huge audience and influencing those who were not previously influenced by RPG’s in general. While the debate is seriously subjective, myself and many others could argue better RPG experiences before and after FF7 that “did it better” so to speak, even looking at games within the pedigree (like FF6 and FF9) as example. All of these games, however, did not come out when FF7 did, and in turn did not effect, influence and set the standard for new comers to the RPG scene like FF7 did, effectively memory locking the game as the “ideal experience” for millions.

I know the mention of FF7 may seem like a random aside, but I believe the related thought ties in nicely with Epona, as I could have easily replaced just about every noun in my description of FF7 with OoT, which relates to the best horse action I’ve been going on about all this time. It’s not as if Ocarina really is the end all be all Zelda or the absolute best of it’s kind in terms of video games, but it did greet gaming audiences at a certain time and place in a major way, which is something no other Zelda experience can ever completely duplicate. One of the big reasons the game is remembered, is for it’s refinement in regards to both fun and solutions, Epona a prime example of both. Everything about Ocarina came out when it did, at that specific time and place that it did, and as a result, cemented the experience in a lot of minds as “the ideal experience”.

An ideal experience exists somewhere between fantasy and reality, and one that can’t be quantified or measured, only marveled at and discussed. A preference spawned from our best or earliest moments, and one that will live on invincibly, shared between minds and preserved in culture for generations to come. This is what Epona represents, I believe, the “ideal experience”, and is the reason why I’ve been so serious about horses these past few weeks.

How serious you may ask?

This Serious

This Serious

~Pashford

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Horsing Around

Hey Gamers,

I know at the end of my last post, I gave you a sneak preview involving the sentiment that I was going to be “getting serious about horses”.

How serious is he going to get about horses, you may be asking yourself?

No, Not This Serious

Well, Not This Serious

And for those of you who were just like “Pash, how could you?! Inflicting such feels with that photo!” Yeah well, Atreyu got a magical flying luck dragon like three seconds after Artax died so I don’t feel too bad. I’ve suffered the melancholy effects of impermanence a million times over and didn’t get anything near as awesome out of the deal.

I mean seriously.

He'll Be Fine

He’ll Be Fine

In any case, while I was serious about discussing a few more points of interest in regards to Zelda, stemming from my discussion about Epona’s value, finishing up this line of thought will have to wait just a little longer to bring out of the stable. You may be thinking I’m beating a dead horse with all of these puns, and you’d be right, but I refuse apology. My excitement in writing and gaming more have yielded to quite a bit of horsing around, and aside from all of the bad play on words, it’s been a win win for everyone involved. Besides, there is still more to discuss in the way of Zelda and the awesome gaming it has represented. To be honest, I’m not sure I could play a great game and not espouse about the experience at this point, Zelda not with standing and oddness fully intact.

If I’ve learned anything in all my years, it’s that when I start spending more time in Hyrule

Things Get Weird

Things Get Weird

I know it seems I’ve already talked a great length about my recent engagement with Ocarina 3D, including the event surrounding my play through of Master Quest, what I think of the design, and even what elements of the game means to gamers, but there is yet more to ponder and discuss. I have a bad fun habit of always going a step further with every thought in terms of my games, or at least admiring them. Starting from why am I playing this, to why is this game fun to play, to what does the game mean to gaming and eventually how much of an effect this game had to the culture at large. More or less anyways, I’ve found parallel with my gaming discussions pop up again and again over the years, and this recent foray of Zelda admiration reminds me of similar analysis that occurred at the beginning of this year, under similar circumstances to boot.

tl dr; I think a lot about my games, which gives way to fun, and anyone reading this benefits as a result.

Also, Zelda: because everything always makes more sense after playing it.

~Pashford

(Next time, on Active Time Event: Pash is serious about getting serious about horses.)

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