Good morning everyone. Looks like we’re in for another lovely day as the sun spreads its colourful rays over the hills and under the clouds. Everyone’s up bright and early to make the most of it. Workers are preparing for the Carnival, shops are set up to rake in the rupees, dogs are barking, kids are playing, and the Postman trots along in a sweat, already struggling to keep up with the day’s letters. I’d expect nothing less in Clock Town, the busiest place in the world. With a staggering population of 26 there is always something going on here. The Mayor is being indecisive as always, while the soldiers and council workers go about their usual debate routine. I’m excited for the big fireworks in 3 days, but there’s a hint of doubt in the air. The soldiers are saying it’s too dangerous and there’s talk of workers slacking off, even leaving. Some even say the moon will fall. Pessimists, I say. Great excuse to get out of work. All the doom and gloom is mostly coming from the soldiers, all they do is stand there all day. The councilmen are determined to put on a good show, or all their hard work will have gone to waste. Just the usual bickering. The moon does look big and nasty, but it’s so far away right? Even though it’s harmless I can’t help but stare at it.
Welcome to SR388, home planet of the Metroids. My desire to learn more about these creatures has thrust me into the dark depths of Metroid II on the Game Boy. It’s an ancient screen the Chozo used to replay historic moments over and over. On SR388, Metroids thrive in a monochrome habitat and keep themselves hidden in a dot matrix maze of grayscale caves. They are aggressive creatures when threatened but enjoy their privacy. This game stars Samus in her most faithful role as a Bounty Hunter, with the goal of hunting down 39 Metroids to eradicate the entire species. Set after Metroid 1 / Zero Mission and Metroid Prime 3, the Galactic Federation just randomly held a conference and decided the only way to stop further chaos is to drive Metroids to extinction. It might be the only way, or perhaps this is a classic overreaction to a threat they don’t understand. A sensation that might be familiar to Metroid fans. Could it be a cover up, a conspiracy, a trap, or just plain stupidity? What is going on behind the scenes? A bunch of Federation Troopers mysteriously disappear while “investigating” the Metroids here. Samus is sent to terminate the Metroids because “she can handle it” based on previous experience. This must be how Next Level Games feel right now. Metroid II is a hostile environment, with convoluted passageways forming a structure that takes advantage of the Game Boy’s limitations to provide a great sense of scale. Isn’t that contradictory? I would say it’s ambitious and necessary. Metroid II shoves an entire planet under the Game Boy screen and lets the player deal with the repercussions.
The talented (seriously, check out his comics) Josh Nickerson has been playing the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game on 3DS, and blessed us with this guest review to tell us all about the game. Please enjoy.
Booyakasha! The most recent TMNT game is the best one in ages… of course, it was a low bar to begin with…
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have had a turbulent history with video games. One could argue that there hasn’t been a decent TMNT game since Tournament Fighters back in 1993, with the sole exception being the GBA game based on the 2007 animated movie, made by Ubisoft of all developers. That trend would seem to continue with Activision picking up the video game rights to the current Nickelodeon animated series. However, after dumping out a couple of turtles turds such as “Out of the Shadows”, Activision slipped up and hired a decent developer to produce the next game, namely the good folks at WayForward. Now, WayForward, while most of their original output has been at the very least solid, their licensed games have ranged from good (Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?) to terrible (Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit World). Still, I was optimistic that they could pull off a decent platformer. But by the time the game released in the game glut month known as November, I had forgotten about the game, distracted by sleeper hits such as Super Smash Bros.
Recently Nintendo held a promotion on the Wii U eShop that let gamers sample a whole bunch of Indie games. Over the course of 3 weeks, a wave of 3 new games popped up to sample each week. Simply by playing the demo of one of these games, you are granted 15% off their retail price when they come out. Nindies@Home was Nintendo’s way of bringing some of the E3 experience into people’s homes, and helping Indie devs get more exposure. The promotion just finished in Australia and I’ve just finished playing them all. It arrived here later than America and Europe, since ratings are expensive here and demos have to go through certification. I didn’t expect the promotion to arrive here at all so it was a pleasant surprise. Nintendo AU pulled through and I’m very thankful. They have been doing a great job with everything lately. I took the opportunity to play all 9 games and offer my thoughts.
The following are demo event impressions and not representative of my final opinion.
Posted in Impressions
Tagged Another Tag, eShop, Extreme Exorcism, forma.8, Freedom Planet, Indies, Lovely Planet, Mutant Mudds, Nindies, RIVE, Runbow, Soul Axiom, Typoman, Wii U
The build up to E3 this year saw the hype train going at full speed. With Nintendo’s show being a big secret, everybody had their own wild predictions. However we saw one name mentioned more than most: Metroid. It just felt like it was “time” with Retro Studios project being a secret, and no real Metroid being released in almost a decade. I was hyped for this too, because why else would Retro Studios open a Twitter account right before E3? The gaming media also helped set up the disappointment, with articles like “Why Metroid should be announced” and “Metroid Prime devs tease E3” right before E3. It wasn’t “Donkey Kong devs tease E3” despite that being their most popular, and most recent game. So when you deconstruct this hype, it didn’t follow much solid logic. Does it ever? Regardless, expectations were set to Metroid and hopes were high. Then we got this…
What a day. My arms are tired from shoveling, and my legs ache from jumping and squatting. Such is the life of a Knight of Shovelry, but I am prepared to do this every day. My purpose is to stop The Enchantress and rescue Shield Knight, but right now I am consumed by the warmth of this fire. There’s something magical and innocent about it. Those 8-bit flames might not light up a castle, but they keep me warm. A mellow tune plays in my mind as I reflect on a hard day’s shoveling. It was tough but I got some gems, beat some enemies and took down one of the Knights of The Order. Such fools, surely they see The Enchantress is using them. Alas, not my problem. I will knock some sense into them the only way I know how, with my shovel. As I drift off to sleep I search for pleasant thoughts, the chime of gems, the great jumps I cleared, that musical note I found… yeah… I did all that… I will save you Shield Knight… zzzz.