Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A little bit of everything

I finally caved in and bought the Wii U not long ago, after finding out how far away SSB4 still was. I was intending on holding out until it was out, but since it's still quite a while away I decided, eh, why not. Right now the only game I have is the copy of NSMBU that came with it (complete with the NSLU DLC), but I already pre-ordered MK8 with a gift card I got for Christmas, so the situation won't last.

I was surprised to find out that even in the early 2010s, a console could still outdo its predecessor this significantly on the graphics front, though it's for all the wrong reasons - namely the fact that the Wii had no HD support. And it clearly appears that the Wii U seems to have been meant to compete with the PS3 and 360, as if Nintendo thought these two systems still had much more life left in them than they did. Regardless, graphical performance means very little to me. Of course it'd be silly if a home console game with GCN/PS2 graphics was made these days, but if the game was good enough it wouldn't stop me from buying it. Nothing brings my piss to a boil quite like hearing about how games like GTA4 have graphics so bad they're "unplayable".

As for the gamepad... I can only say I'm pleasantly surprised. When I first heard about it, I thought the size of that monstrosity would make it a hassle to handle, an opinion I still had upon buying the console. Surprisingly, I'm having no problems whatsoever with it. It IS fairly large, but it's deceptively easy to use. I was also unsure about the purpose of its screen, but upon trying it I can only say being able to play a home console game while still being able to watch TV (especially handy during NHL playoff season) is really nice. Heck, the screen's big enough that using it to play isn't jarring at all, even compared to my 32" TV.

So anyway, NSMBU. To be quite frank... the base game is a bit underwhelming compared to the Wii version. Sure, it has its moments (especially Soda Jungle and Superstar Road, and I guess making Peach's Castle into the FIRE world of all things was an interesting twist), but generally there's a bit less personality to it than NSMBW. It's not that it's a bad game, mind you, but it's not the greatest thing ever either. I blame NSMB2 for this. Damn game should never have existed, then all the effort would've gone into NSMBU, and it might have been a much more memorable game - at the very least it would've been the target of less sarcastic comments (at least among those who actually played it).

Luigi U, on the other hand... well, I'm only three worlds into it, but it definitely has a lot more flavor to it. Not just because of the difficulty, or the awkward physics... the level design genuinely feels a lot more interesting, even though we might not see too much of it because of how short the levels are. But at the same time, it might just be this bite-sized approach that gives the levels that charm. Either way, it presents much more of a challenge than anything else we'd seen in the NSMB series, all while not being defined solely by the difficulty. 100 seconds is enough to get through most levels just fine, but there's no time for exploring and looking for secrets like you'd do otherwise. Luigi's signature abilities, including the dreaded SLIPPERY SHOES, are featured front and center and the game itself is built around that, which makes a fitting tribute to a character that quite often found itself either underused or misused. So in a way, it's the DLC that's probably meant to be an afterthought that ironically makes NSMBU into a game worth getting into. (As a side thought, DLC in a Nintendo game. Here you go, if you thought there was just no way MK8 would ever get some. Pikmin 3 also got that treatment, for the record.)

While I'm on the subject of Mario, here's an interesting tidbit I came across on the Super Mario Wiki:

In a 2012 interview with the American magazine Game Informer, Shigeru Miyamoto explicitly stated that "our current story is that the Koopalings are not Bowser's children", officially leaving Bowser Jr. as his only offspring.

...wait, what? How did I miss that? Am I the last person in the world to learn about this retcon, or is it something that went over most people's heads? Either way, I guess it was necessary to make this whole thing about Bowser's bloodline less complicated, though the question remains... who's Bowser Jr.'s mother? Is Maury Povich still a thing?

Besides, this is the man who once said in an interview many years ago that LttP was the last game in the Zelda timeline, even though it has always been a prequel to the first two games, and never stopped being so at any point in time... still, I'd assume Mario's canon would be a bit more basic than Zelda's.

Oh, and I guess I can't wrap this up without a mention of how Microsoft is at least partially disavowing the Kinect. Remember how they depicted it as being just that important to the Xbox One experience? Well, that was the last thing people hated about it that they could U-turn on, and U-turn they did. Guess the execs were in an absolute panic upon seeing Titanfall wasn't even enough to allow the Xbox One to overhaul the PS4 over the month it came out.

So now the Xbox One has none of the things that made it so viscerally hated when it was first announced, and a price tag equal to that of its primary competitor to boot. Is this good enough? Well... these suits thought all those things that were meant to nickel-and-dime gamers were good ideas at some point, and were so confident in them that they showed their hand in full before Sony even said a single word, and some customers might not forgive so easily. Of course there's always the hardware performance front, but as I said earlier I don't give a rat's ass about that, so I don't know which of the two is more powerful, nor do I care.

22 comments:

  1. If you've ever been interested in Wind Waker HD, I highly recommend it. The game trims the fat from the original by including the faster sail, eliminating most of the treasure charts, and making vast improvements to the picture-taking (so much so that the Nintendo Gallery is not only reasonable, but actually fun to do!). The game also uses the gamepad very well, allowing you to see the map and switch items on the fly, making it a much more streamlined experience. The improvements may not be worth $60 to you, but I recommend picking it up when you next get the urge to play WW.

    I'm not sure if you're into fast-paced action games like DMC or Bayonetta, but if you are or you're interested in trying them, I also recommend The Wonderful 101. It's really over-the-top and campy, and you'll love it if you were ever into Saturday morning cartoons. It's a hell of a lot of fun, and being a niche title, it needs all the support it can get. And if you like that game, Bayonetta 2 (by the same developers) is in the same vein of gameplay.

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    1. Eh, as far as I'm concerned I can still play the original version on my Wii. Not very interested in Wind Waker HD for that reason.

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    2. Oh, so nintendo made wind waker FASTER to beat and DIDN'T add any more necessary dungeons? That's just great. No, really, we needed it to be much easier and even more completely centered around sidequests at the expense of a main game. My opinion represents the entire fanbase as I alone speak for everyone.

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    3. Calm yo tits VikingBaitBilly. ShadianVise also forgot to say that Nintendo also added a Hero's Mode to make the game a little bit harder. But this mode actually make the game as hard as it should have been in the first place, so eh... I agree it might not be worth the full-price investment if you can still play the original just fine, which I couldn't do because I never owned the original disc. That's the only reason why I bought the HD version myself to be honest.

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    4. I actually also just caught that I said 'treasure charts' instead of 'Triforce charts'. I meant the latter.

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  2. My Wii U = Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate playing machine for now. I just can't get enough of it. I did play all the other must-haves (except maybe Wonderful 101, which didn't look like my kind of game after I played the demo), but this is the one that truly kept my Wii U from collecting dust. Not sure if it would be your kind of game, but considering the fanbase is really small here in the west, thus making hard for any of the entries to get localized, I'll still recommend it just out of principle.

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    1. Right, I forgot to say that my ID is "Lonesome_Demon". Probably won't be of much use for now to add people on this blog right now since I mostly use my Wii U for MH3U and Youtube (my computer nearly blew up and is now unusable) as of now, but eh, I'll be happy to play against or with any of you whenever I get Mario Kart and Smash Bros so I might as well prepare a good Friend List right away.
      Also, considering I'm pretty sure only a few people here already own a Wii U, I guess I could ask you Slowflake if you don't mind adding me as well without feeling like I'd be taking up useless space in your Friend List.

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  3. Ooh you got a Wii U. Hope you don't mind me asking but what's your Nintendo Network ID by the way? Mine is BboySoloVerse but either way not trying to force myself on you, I just have nearly no friends whatsoever right now and need some more to play with once MK8 comes out.

    Also when you do get MK8 will you do the Club Nintendo deal that let's you get either WWHD or Pikmin 3 for free? (NSMBU is the other one and Wii Party.....well yeah it's clearly between those two for any sane person).

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    1. It's Slowflake, and I'm planning on using the deal to pick up Pikmin 3. Of course it has to be the digital copy, but hey, a free game's a free game.

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    2. I added both of you if you're interested.

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  4. My ID is "Nucleae" for those interested. I haven't been able to see how the friends list works for the Wii U because none of my real-life friends have the console... Just don't expect to video chat or anything.

    If you are a fan of 3D Mario games, you're probably already planning on getting Super Mario 3D World eventually. This game feels like the game 3D Land should have been all along. So much so, in fact, that there is not much reason to go back and get the 3DS game if you only had the Wii U one. It doesn't attempt to tread much new ground as a Mario game, so it might be best to keep your expectations in check. It is quite fun though in its own right, though.

    It looks like I'm getting Pikmin 3 once Mario Kart 8 comes out. Pikmin 2 frankly didn't leave a good impression on me, but I wouldn't have anyone to play Wii Party U with, and I already own NSMBU and Wind Waker HD.

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  5. I'd just sent you a friend request on the Wii U (we've already got each other on the 3DS) as Ganondorf (that's the Mii, anyway). I'm not really planning on any of the Mario titles myself (except maybe MK8), but I'll be getting SSB when it comes out. Also, I don't know anybody with a Wii U myself, so I figured there's no harm in trying.

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    1. Oh, the NNID is my preferred username Griffodrake. Honestly, I only ever made this one when the other stopped working in places.

      On another note, the Zelda level in Sonic Lost World is pretty awesome. LW itself appears like a Mario Galaxy clone, but actually just feels like Sonic levels built around pills and cylinders rather than on a flat plane. I'd agree about WWHD (I wasn't otherwise going to bother, but got the Zelda Wii U, so there you go). I've also heard Darksiders II is pretty good, but haven't had a chance to play that one myself yet (not Wii U exclusive, but still). Other non-exclusives I'd suggest are the two Assassin's Creed titles available for the system, Batman--Arkham City and Origins (PS3 is the better choice for the Arkham titles, since Sony seemed to have gotten all the exclusives for those), and Tekken Tag 2, which also adds a few Nintendo-exclusives to the game.

      I'm interested in Bayonetta 2 myself, but I have absolutely no idea WHEN they're actually going to release it. Haven't they been teasing it since before the Wii U's launch?

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  6. For anyone interested: My ID is PokeMarioSonic2. I've already completed both NSMBU and NSLU 100%(My copy is also the copy of NSMBU that came with the Wii U, complete with the NSLU DLC). I have to say: NSLU was great for all of the reasons Slow mentioned. It actually felt rewarding to successfully beat every level w/o dying even once instead of having to do that just so the game could actually HAVE any significant challenge(NSMBU). As of now, I'm replaying every Wii game I have and completing them 100% as well. Yes, even SSBB, in honor of Smash 4's eventual release. I'll also be looking forward to playing with/against any of you whenever I get Mario Kart 8 and Smash Bros. 4.

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  7. I would highly recommend DK tropical freeze if you like 2D platformers, it's amazing

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  8. Nintendo id is "Chompjil" without the quotes,I am hoping yo save up money for MK8 soon. Anyone from here add me

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  9. The Koopalings aren't bowser's kids? What are they like his nephews or something? Sorry Miyamoto but your not gonna sway my opinion. I don't even know why he prefers bowser jr. to the Koopalings at least the Koopalings have somewhat of a personality rather than just being a rip off of baby bowser whose personality consists of squeaking and dragging the princess off.

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    1. If the creator of a series retcons something, it's not a matter of opinion, his word is law, period.

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  10. When I first got my Wii U I was surprised at how ergonomic the game pad was, but it is still just a gimmick. I thought it was a good system, but I think if they wanted to compete then they should have got more 3rd party support, and marketed it as a system where you can get Nintendo's 1st party games and all of the big 3rd titles on one system

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    1. And that would've been a lie, because you just know they never would've got the latter anyway.

      By the way, I hate how the word "gimmick" is thrown around willy-nilly. Remember when the DS was first announced? "GIMMICK! GBASP WITH EXTRA SCREEN!" Creamed the PSP. The Wii's motion controls? GIMMICK! Outsold the PS3 and 360. The 3DS? GIMMICK! The Vita's making the PSP look like a smash hit. The only reason people are pushing this for the Wii U is because it's not selling well. And it's not selling well, not because of the controller, but because the system doesn't have the horsepower to draw third party support, and even if it did you just know Nintendo would fail miserably at getting it anyway.

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  11. Wow guys. Serebii.net is hiding EVEN MORE secrets. Just take a look at these pages of an as of recent TWO unknown move.

    http://www.serebii.net/attackdex-xy/thousandarrows.shtml

    Thousand Arros = Ground type move
    90 power
    100 accuracy
    Is able to hit flying type pokemon and disable their ground immunity

    http://www.serebii.net/attackdex-xy/thousandwaves.shtml

    Thousand Waves = Ground type move
    90 power
    100 accuracy
    Foes that are hit get trapped in play

    I was first alerted to these moves by this youtube video. The sceptic of me did a check on Serebii.net and sure enough, he was hiding the moves on the site.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVyybDPm6Ug

    Better check out these pages now while they're still around. I'm going to save the pictures of the pages in case they're removed later.

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    1. Quick addition. Thousand Arrows can hot any pokemon that's airborne, meaning Flying types, levitators, those holding Air Balloon, those under Telekinesis effect and those under effects of Magnet Rise.

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