Archive of April, 2014
April 07, 2014:
After watching Dave poke around with the Streetpass games during some downtime at Katsucon, and after getting tired of playing Dots on my phone, I decided to grab myself a Nintendo 3DS from Amazon. The cool-looking one, with the Legend of Zelda case.
This is the first game console I've owned that's younger than an NES. So I had some catching up to do.
The device itself is nice. It has a good weight to it and the 3-D effect is pretty cool and cleverly-done. On the downside, it's a little bulky and you have to be at the exact-right distance and angle from the screen so I usually have 3-D shut off. Streetpass, which lets you exchange data with other 3DSes in the vicinity, is nice but rare out in suburbia. McDonald's and other places are set up as a kind of Streetpass warehouse, where the wifi router there will hold on to the last user who came by, and send their info to the next. The process then repeats for the next user. Which is where I've gotten most of my Streetpasses from.
The 3DS I bought came with Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. It's very much like the older games in the series, with an overhead view like the original game. Better graphics, though, even though the 3DS's resolution isn't much different from an SD TV's. On the whole I enjoyed the game, though there were some places where I was absolutely stuck and had to use a walkthrough to find my way through.
In most cases that was because I'm used to games that are 20 years older: It's just not in my head to pick up every little thing I come across to see what happens. Enemy curls up his feet and turns into a bomb when I smack him? Just run away. Why would I try to pick him up and toss him? Why should I go back to this NPC? I already talked to him and I haven't beaten any dungeons or finished any side quests yet.
Oh, because this game was released in 2013, not 1987. It has more computing power than your typical abacus, not less.
So with the walkthrough's help I beat the game, and am occasionally playing it in Hero Mode. Same game, but the enemies hit twice as hard as before. When your strategy is barely a step above LEEROY JENKINS this makes the game a bit frustrating.
And speaking of frustrating, I've made some bad game choices, people. Someone I trust convinced me to buy Bravely Default. I'm not sure I can forgive him. I'm told it's like Final Fantasy, which I'll have to assume is true, never having played an FF game. (Dragon Warrior all the way!) I've played maybe two hours of this game, including time spent dying, reloading and going back. So far it's completely on rails, without so much as a fork in the road to do anything with. Find blotch, fight bad guy, save, move to next blotch. Whee.
Where I do have free reign, I don't want it. Each member of my party has a full-blown character sheet, like in a D&D game. So instead of just knowing that X artifact helps magic users, or that weapon Y only works with warriors, now I have to juggle every item in my inventory to see how they work with which character's base strengths. And some of those items are "jobs" that further screw with the stats.
That's not a game, that's work.
Having never owned a Nintendo 64, I also wanted to see what all the fuss with Ocarina of Time was about. I was told the fairy was the worst part of the game. I was lied to.
The game acknowledges the passage of time, meaning that day and night will come and go as you move around (except in towns and dungeons). But there are things that can only be done at certain times of day. So you go in, do one thing, leave, run around for a bit, come back, do one more thing, etc., ad nauseam. Not too far into the game you learn the Sun Song so you can just play a little ditty and jump 12 hours, but still. That's chores.
The game itself is done with a chase cam, like Tomb Raider or Mario Kart. Unlike Mario Kart, though, the cam in Ocarina is manned by a retarded crack baby. Nothing like a big, looping turn so I can make sure my enemy is actually on-camera when I turn to fight it. And that assumes the targeting system deigns to let me fight; if I have to aim manually Link automatically swallows a couple Valiums to avoid making any movements faster than a sloth might.
This is a seminal game in the series? With play like this I'm amazed any more titles were made.
Not all is lost, though. Mario Kart 7 is exactly what it says on the tin -- a fun racing game that
also traces its roots to the N64. (Oops -- turns out Mario Kart goes back even farther, to the Super Nintendo!)
The tracks are all repeats from earlier games, but I never played those games so what do I care? It's a fun way to blow through about 20 minutes with its worst sin being the AIs' tendency to gang up on you on higher-level tracks.
Overall? The system itself is good, and the games can be great. They can also be annoying as hell, and at up to $40 a pop that can leave a bad taste in your mouth if you find a bad one. But I haven't played a phone game in close to a month so it must be doing something right!