Saturday, November 29, 2014

Games - Metroid Madness

So I don't know why but I've been obsessed with Metroid.

I don't remember what kicked it off, but I started looking for video Retrospectives on Metroid Prime, and how they ended up translating Metroid from 2D to 3D, I'm fascinated with that process and the challenges they had to figure out. From there, I had a hankering to play one of the Prime games. The WiiU can play Wii games, so I ended up playing the beginning of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. I have owned the game since it came out, but had never played passed one of the early boss encounters(Ridley) because I kept failing because I was having a hard time with the Wii Controls. This time around I got to that point again, and on the 3rd try I got passed it, and finished what is essentially the prologue or intro to that game. I don't know if I will play more of it, The Wiimote controls are still annoying to me.

From there I ended up downloading the Gamecube Emulator Dophin. In my Metroid video search I had come accross some comparisons from the SD 480 Gamecube video, to playing on the Dolphin, which can upscale it to HD 1080.

The Dolphin emulator also does some graphical tricks the Gamecube couldn't and does them by default. So just about all the games look a lot better. Metroid Prime still looks pretty darn good when up-scaled, would love to see a version native to the WiiU that will let me use the control pad. So I've messed around with that a lot trying to get a good control scheme. Even as tough as it was to go back and use the Wiimote and Nunchuck to play Corruption, it was even super hard to go back to the Gamecube control scheme. I thought I could give it modern shooter controls if I used the Wii version of the original Metroid Prime which uses the Corruption control scheme to do free aiming, by pointing the Wiimote. I was wrong, while I was able to map it to the analog stick, it always moves the target reticle back to center. So I may just give up and use the standard Gamecube controls and play it that way(because I have so much free time)*

Then the very next day I was told about how Metroid II: Return of Samus was available for free on 3DS if you have enough Nintendo Club points. So I did that and downloaded it. Then one of the "Black Friday" deals on the Nintendo eShop was for Metroid I downloaded that for the WiiU. Then I thought about playing through all the Metroid games in order, so then I busted out Metroid: Zero Mission for my GBA Emulator(I lost the cartridge), and started playing a bit of that...which is another game I wish was on the WiiU eShop, I mean if Fusion is on there why not Zero Mission. Then I just got stuck in the idea that someone should remake Metroid II, like they did for Zero Mission.

To finish it off, I ended up playing like an hour of Super Metroid on the WiiU which I already had. Also thinking about booting up Other M, and finally seeing what the fuss us about. Regardless of the story, I hear the gameplay is good in that game, and that is all I really care about.

*Side Note about Emulation: I own every Metroid game I mentioned in this post either physical copy or digitally. Metroid: Zero Mission only one I can't produce because I lost the cart long ago.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Comics - Last Weeks Stuff (11/19/14)

Last week a hell of a week for comics, so many of the "important" books, but also the ones I enjoy the most came out. Next issue of Amazing Spider-Man, the 2nd Part of Spider-Verse, came out and it was another beautiful book, some mysteries answered, new ones added, and this is clearly where the books springs off into all the companion titles, and tie-ins. For some reason I like it in stories when they assign special "destiny" titles to characters. So in this book there are 3 to look out for, 2 have been identified. We have "The Bride", "The Other", and "The Scion". The new character Silk is The Bride, Kane is The Other, and we don't know who The Scion is yet. Those ones haven't been a mystery, and the enemies apparently need those 3 people for something. We don't know exactly why they are more important than all the other Spider-characters, but I can't wait to find out. And I didn't realize that the Spider-Men who showed up last ish, were unrelated to the crew Superior Spider-Man was assembling. Those groups meetup and sparks fly. Both Avengers and New Avengers came out as well. Really enjoying those books and can't wait to see how it all plays out. Currently we have the Illuminati on the run, the Shield-Vengers after them, Sunspot, Canonball and most of the new additions to the team that started in Hickman's Avengers trying to actually solve stuff, and then the Cabal destroying worlds. The multiverse is collapsing and no one has a solution yet. Its super complicated but great and I love it, seeing the Illuminati characters brought so low due to their own actions not due to some misunderstanding is facinating to watch. You see Tony Stark clearly at his worst, in his most self-absorbed, self-important madness. Not used to them going so far with these characters. Invincible came out after a long hiatus, enjoyable as ever. This issue was a side story, but still fun to read....very gorey as Invincible has been for a while now. They also announced they were switching to a new type of schedule similar to what Saga has been doing. They will only come out with batches of issues when they are completed, then the Trade will come out, and then when the next set of issues are ready it will be monthly again till that group is done. I'm glad they are spelling it out cause i always look for a new issue, and it get exacerbated by Marvel who puts out like 2 or 3 issues of something a month, so it feels like 6 months have come out since the last Invincible issue. New Axis issue, nothing off the top of my head jumps out so I'm gonna say not much happened. Also in the meat of the story in Godhead so i don't wanna be a big spoiler. But that story has now escalated, and I'm still interested. I hope to be a bit quicker about commenting about the weeks comics, as I am literally going out to by this weeks issues as I finish this post.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Games - Castlevania: Circle of the Moon / Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

So in my ongoing quest to play all the newest and hottest games, I downloaded Castlevania: Circle of the Moon from the WiiU eShop. Using the most advanced home console system Nintendo has ever produced to play a 13yo Game Boy Advance launch game. Its a game I originally purchased launch day with my GBA when it came out.

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*Flashback Start!-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

I took the City Bus downtown because I didn't have my license yet. Went to the bank where I "snuck" money out of my savings account that I wasn't supposed to have access to. Then took the bus to the Mall and went store to store trying to find a GBA. Ended up finding it at Target, and got Castlevania and Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2.

Now keep in mind this was the original GBA, so Circle of the Moon was a dark game, and that system had no backlighting. So while I liked that game it was super hard to play. But I played the crap out of it, but never finished it. Eventually I got an GBA SP, which is one of my favorite designs ever, which had a backlight and made playing those games SOOO much better. But by that point I had lost Castlevania, and since I never finished that first one I never wanted to continue with the other ones.

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*Flashback Over!-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

Well I spent a few good hours getting back into that game after so many years. Wife was watching YouTube on the XBox One with the TV, while I played my game on the WiiU Gamepad. I made a lot of progress, beat the first couple bosses. Have tried opening up as much as the Map as possible, beating the bosses, getting a new ability, and using it to get to new parts of the Castle. Game's graphics are simple but get the job done. Its a straight up Metroid-Vania, which at the time we hadn't seen since Symphony of the Night. It has a simple Item system and card system, all obtained from random drops when killing enemies. The Items you by can get different armor/clothes and accessories for Body, Left Arm, and Right Arm. The Card system is used for different Magic abilities, there are 2 kind of cards Ability and Effect. I currently only have 1 Ability card which is for my whip, and I have 2 Effect cards, one which gives me a flame whip, the other a thorn whip. I'm having a lot of fun with it right now, been a long time since I played a good game of this type, glad I finally have another chance to finish this game.

Other Game I played a bit of has been sitting in my Steam Library for almost a year now, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet. Oddly enough its actually another Metroid-Vania type game, but your a little UFO ship exploring a hostile environment, reminds me a bit of PixelJunk Shooter. Exploring and finding new abilities to help to explore more areas and new abilities. The art style is mostly black and white but it is 3D rendered and has a lot of depth. The Art style is fabulous, I kind of just had time to fiddle with it, but its very cool and I hope to spend more time with it.

Also played a little more TIE Fighter. I went from Flight Training before to Mission Training. So I got to fly about and scan some ships for contraband, then I stepped up to combat simulations and did pretty well there. I'm slowly working my way up the ranks, next time I'll actually try to jump into the Campaign.

Comics - Axis/Godhead

Okay 5 Issues in we finally get to the promise of Axis, and this issue was good, but we're kind of where I imagined we'd be by #2. A bunch of heroes have been turned evil, and some villains are out doing good now. Things go real bad, real fast, and we see how bad these heros have fallen and how far they are prepared to go. Fal-Cap's behavior inparticular being the most terrifying to me. They havn't shown too much of the villains being good guys in the main book, other than a bit about Carnage last issue, seems to be mostly in the Tie-Ins. I'm glad Adam Kubert is no longer drawing the book, I'm just not a big fan of his work. I'm much happiuer with Lenil Yu on the last issue, and this issue was with Terry Dodson.

Onto DC and their Green Lantern Event Godhead. Now I was a big fan of Green Lantern books during the Johns run. Got lots of great GL stories and then he wrapped it up with a bow when he left, and felt like a good time to jump off. But the covers for Godhead drew me in, it was eyecatching, and i liked the quotes they were using on the covers. Act 1 of Godhead ran through a One-Shot and then GL, GL: Corps, GL: New Guardians, Sinestro, and Red Lanterns. Red Lanterns was the only book that seemed like a tie-in as opposed to part of the main story. Basically the New Gods have learned of the colored lanterns, and stole a ring from each Corps. They thought by combining their power they would have the Life Equation, which would be the ultimate weapon to finally defeat Darksied. Turns out its not, they now think the Lantern Corps are an abomonation to the power of the spectrum, and want to wipe them all out. While Kyle Rayner the White Lantern who everybody else thought was dead since he crossed the source wall, seems to have the Life Equation inside him.

So far I'm enjoying the actual story, but it feels a little drawn out by the fact it has to be in all these books. What I am liking in that its pretty friendly to lapsed readers. They are doing a good job getting me up to speed on whats been going on with Hal, John, Guy, and Kyle. Though I will say nothing prepared me for Carol Ferris being with Kyle, was very surprised by that. Just started reading Act 2, its continuing to be good. In the latest issue of GL(#36) Hal and Sinestro have a discusion that kind of describes my entire issue with Hal since he became leader of the Green Lanterns after John's left the book. So if the quality keeps up, I may continue with the book after the crossover. But to be honest all the books still feel too interconnected, the fact they keep involving every single book and do these crossovers, makes me not want to continue, feel like I'm missing something if I don't read them all, and I just can't read/keep up with them all forever..

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Comics - Spider-Verse

I think it was inevitable but I guess I will be talking about comics here as well.

So Spider-Verse officially kicked off last Wed, now they have been building to it for a few months now with extra issues they put out of Superior Spider-Man, the Edge of Spider-Verse mini, and backups in Amazing Spider-Man. Now I'm a huge Dan Slott supporter, and I wasn't necesarily sure about this one. The idea of using every version/costume of Spider-Man there has ever been is kind of crazy. Plus they have also been introducing new Spider-People from other dimensions and some of them are pretty cool, but the villains hadn't really clicked with me yet. The villains go from Dimension to dimension, killing Spider/Animal totems for sustenance. They just seemed to have no trouble taking out these various versions of Spider-Man to the point of how could our Spider-Man getting involved possibly make a difference. And some of them were downright annoying to read. So like i said I wasn't going into it very confident.

But then Amazing Spider-Man #9 came out, and it all made sense, it all worked for me. First I was just surprised that Olivier Coipel was drawing it, didn't realize he was doing this event, so honestly I don't know whether I liked it so much because Coipel is just such a good artist, or its actually a good story, also don't care. I loved this book so much and I can't wait for the next issue. First they bring all the Marvel Universe Spider-People together, then the multiverse gets involved. It was a serious story and also fun to read. Slott is teetering on the edge of lighthearted and humorous and also going to some really dark places, which is where I think he likes to be. Plus the group of villains they have been showing, this issue focused on Morlun, who was introduced and was a main character in Straczynski's run(where I started reading Spider-Man). But now Slott has gone a bit bigger with it, introducing his whole family, but bringing him back into focus was really interesting to me. Since while this family goes about the Multiverse killing Spiders, our Spider-Man is the only one who ever defeated one of them and he did it twice.

I picked up Spider-Verse Team-Up and Spider-Verse(anthology) books, was originally going to skip them like i did with Spider-Island, but gonna give them a chance. In other Spider-News, Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man, has been a great read the last few months and I feel its not getting any attention. But in a week where Axis also came out, the one I was most excited about was Ultimate Spider-Man. They are doing crazy stuff in that book and I like it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Toku - Tokkyuger

So my Tokkyu-Oh! arrived today, he is the first and primary fighting Mecha of Ressha Sentai Tokkyuger(Train Force ToQger). They are this years incarnation of Super Sentai, which is the show Power Rangers is made from. Obviously they are Train themed, and that follows to the Mecha. The show is very kid friendly, and very goofy. And at first I wasn't sure I liked the design of this Mech, but it has grown on me as the show has. Unlike a lot of other ones, I think the more upgrades and additional combinations they get, the better it looks. Right now I just have Tokkyu-Oh, but eventually I plan to get Diesel-Oh and Build-Dai-Oh. On his own he's a little simplistic, but snaps together super easily, satisfying way.

Other than Gokaiger I havn't gotten too much into the Mecha of the various teams, usually I'm just interested in the Changers and some of their gimmick items. Whats cool about Tokkyu-Oh, is that the gimmick they sell this years are little trains, and thats what the Tokkyugers use to transform. So all of the parts of Tokkyu-Oh can also be used in the Tokkyu-Changer to activate different sounds. So in addition to having the mecha I also have the gimmicks for all the main Tokkyuger transformations.
This is also my last buy of the year. I gotta stop and save up for Christmas gifts. Plenty of updates still I'm sure once the show pics up again.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Games - Super Mario 3D Land

So I attacked Super Mario 3D Land on Saturday, determined to finish the last couple worlds. I did worlds 6-8 and defeated Bowser, it went by pretty quickly. Some of the levels have been pretty fun, pretty easy to get through. I finished the main game with over 90 lives left, not because I'm super good, but that the game is very forgiving and especially with the Super Tanooki Suit that appears whenever you die a few times in a level.
So you die a few times and gives you an ability to have tanooki powers to help jumping and also makes you invincible, but its an option it doesn't force it on you. I'm not afraid to say I used it a couple times. Also just how much fun the final battle with Bowser was, it had a lot of variety. If that's what I can expect out of the Special World levels, I'm pretty excited. Also this is the only game where I've felt I wasn't doing well because I didn't have the 3D, since I just have a 2DS, but I still had no significant trouble.

So now that I've finished the "main" game and defeated Bowser and saved the Princess, I now have access to the Special Worlds. Which appears to be another set of 8 worlds, and more or less another entire new set of levels. I've heard from others that this is where the game gets really challenging and rewarding. Now I had fun with it already, but if this is more fun then I can't wait. If these levels are significantly harder it makes sense, cause it makes the first 8 worlds training, and gives you a large stock of lives, because I may need all those to survive in the Special Worlds.

I also think I'm gonna try and get back to TIE Fighter this week, also thinking about my 2D Platformer Catch Up - A World a Day. I may do this starting Christmas break or after New Year. Where I play at least 1 level of Super Mario 3D World, Rayman Legends, Doney Kong Country Returns, and maybe one or 2 more depending. I'll make it a thing.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Toku - Tokkyuger

So after waiting and wondering where that Paypal money went after I tried to transfer it to my account, it got bounced back to Paypal. So I had to straighten out my Paypal/Bank connection. But long story short, I ordered Tokkyu-Oh and the Gokaiger Ressha!!!...but I forgot to use my giftcard, which did make me a little mad, but its not that big of a deal. But I also decided since I was gonna get home on Friday afternoon and we might have things going on Saturday, so I opted to get the 1-Day Shipping, instead of free Prime shipping. So I get home on Friday, not there yet but eventually I get a doorbell ring from the FedEx guy. It was only the Gokaiger Ressha.
Aparently the big guy(Tokkyu-Oh) was coming through UPS. They never came, which sent me into a tizzy of looking online to see what happened. Then I thought no biggie it will just get here tomorrow. Next day still nothing then I was just mad cause if I had just done Prime shipping they both would have got here Saturday. UPS is closed even for onsite pickup on Saturday, so I was a bit grumbled that morning. I'm supposed to get it Monday now, and I am damn well getting at least my shipping refunded for this kerfuffle!
(sorry for the strong language)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Games - Pokemon Y / Super Mario 3D Land

So I was traveling again this week, so I was pretty much just playing 2DS this week. I kind of felt I had let my Pokemon to squander since Smash Bros came out. So I decided to get back into that, and after working out where the hell I was going, I finally got to the next main area in the game. Now so far I only had 2 badges, the first 2 Pokemon Gyms are extremely far apart. But I got to the town with the 3rd Gym, and I learned the secret of Mega-Evolution, the "gimmick" of this version. So if you have specific pokemon, and a specific stone that pokemon. They become a Mega-Version. In my case my Wartortle "Duke" had just evolved into a Blastoise, and I have had a item called Blastoisenite. So now that I've unlocked this ability, I can temporarilly change Duke into MegaBlastoise during battle. He looks pretty fierce with his 3 Water Cannons.

They also just give you a Lucario, and he comes with some Lucarionite. This game really likes to just give out fantastic pokemon, you get your starter, you can get one of the starters from red/blue, and now they give me a Lucario. Also I just realized I've only finished the 3rd Gym, and my 2 starters have fully evolved already. I started making my way to the next area but the game was making me a little sleepy on the plane.

So I decided to switch it up, and busted out Super Mario 3D Land. I got it last year when I first got my 2DS and played it a bunch at first, but I quickly got sucked into Zelda. From listening to the Giant Bombcast, I know the game starts out simple, but after the 1st 8 worlds the game really becomes interesting and challanging. So I started to make my way towards that goal, and I actually cleared about from world 3 to world 6. Thats game is cool, I already love Mario games, and while its not hard the game is fun. I'm already enjoying it a lot, so I can't wait to get to the 2nd half.

I kinda realized that I have a bunch of great 2D platformers I have to finish. Rayman Legends, Super Mario 3D Land and World, and Donkey Kong Country Returns. I may try to make an active effort to play 1 level in each game every day for a while. I'll see when I can start I'm never gonna get back to Shadow of Mordor at this rate.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Games - Costume Quest / Transistor

Well I did a little more game playing this weekend. I ended up going back into Costume Quest for the Expansion "Grubbins on Ice". Which I got through in mostly one sitting, its probably 2 or so hours long. In the main game there are 3 main areas, the expansion is like adding one more area, but its a pretty big area. You bring all the costumes and their abilities from the regular game and they add 3 more costumes, which brings the total to about 14.

The setting is different, but still acts the same as previous ones. Its more Costume Quest, and I enjoyed that. That being said, I will wait a while before I go for the sequel.

I also finally purchased Transistor, a game I intended to get when it first came out, but had no time for it or any other game at the time.

Gave it a quick go, I'm not sure but I think I accidentally skipped something. I got no explanation and it just dumped me into the game, like I had missed the opening cutscene. Battle system was unique, think I need to spend some time with it to figure it out. This game is by the same people who made Bastion, which was one of my favorites, so I want to give it a fair shake. But damn it looks pretty and sounds great so far.

Toku - Kamen Rider Fourze / Tokkyuger / Power Rangers

Alright so my long journey is almost over with Kamen Rider Fourze Astroswitches. I ordered Burgermeal(Hamburger Transformer) for about $20 with shipping off Ebay on Thurs, and he comes with the last main switch I need #6 - Camera.
I will then have all 40 main switches. After that I'm just gonna wait till I see S1 - Super Rocket for a reasonable price, and then be totally done. This will be the first collection of toku toys I will "finish", and I'll be happy about it. I started with Ranger Keys, and I will continue though I know its a fools errand. There was no real hunt with OOOs and the Medals, for about $100 I got the Superbest Henshin Belt OOOs Driver and the OOOs Medal Set SP, which gave me all the main medals. With Fourze I actually had to look, and took a good amount of time, but not too long and got all these switches. It was fun and expensive, now I need to find a cool way to display them. I think it arrives today!

So with some additional funds from trying to kill myself to win a DietBet I was in, and a nice Halloween gift card to Amazon, I should be purchasing Tokkyu-Oh this week. Amazon has had him slightly less that $70 for a while now, doesn't seem like its gonna get a lot lower anytime soon. Now that I'm caught up on Tokkyuger, I'm more and more interested in getting him, as well as Diesel-Oh, and Build-Oh?.
I just like the way they all look when they form together. Plus having those will give me more stuff to use in the TokkyuChanger. The show has been fun as well, really enjoyed catching up. I know its very silly and "kiddy" but its just been fun to watch and they have had some funny monsters lately.

Also when I got back from my work trip, I put the last $20 on my Legacy Dragon Dagger.
It is super pretty, hefty, and just looks awesome. Its so big, I kind of don't have a good place to put it, it hides the Legacy Morpher, but I'll think of something. Since I put money down of that, I saw ToysRUs had one Import Shinken-Oh left for $10 cheaper. So I put that on layaway and will slowly pick away at that now.