Friday, January 30, 2015

Games - Wario Lands / Donkey Kong / Rhythm Heaven / Imports?

So as it turns out Club Nintendo is being closed as of later this year. Before they close the doors on it they are letting you spend your Nintendo Coins on some virtual console games, and they plan on adding another bunch of them in February. I got Donkey Kong for the original Gameboy on the 3DS, which was one of my favorite games on that system. It starts out like classic arcade Donkey Kong, and then once you defeat the fourth stage, the game opens up. Kong steals Pauline and runs off, then the real stages begin. They have a bunch of stages broken into 9 Worlds with a varying amount of stages in each one. In each level there is a key and a door, the trouble comes in getting the two of them together. They start out easy, and get progressively difficult, it becomes more puzzle game than platformer. They add in all kinds of mechanics not in the original Donkey Kong, in addition to jumping and the hammers you now can pick up certain enemies a la Super Mario Bros 2, you can swing on wires to reach new heights, also they have blocks that let you place platforms/spring boards/ladders/blocks wherever you can in the world for a limited amount of time. Its also the first time Mario can do his reverse jump that's higher than his regular jump. There are also levers in some levels that extend and retract bridges.

If you can't tell I really like this game. I spent a LOT of time with it as a kid. The game is fiendish in some spots, I really hope I'm smart enough to finish it now. It was also the first game that had extra features for the Super Game Boy, which was the cartridge for the SNES that let you play Gameboy Games on the TV. But I am currently in level 6.

Also on the Nintendo Club is Super Mario Land for Gameboy, which is alright and has some fantastic music. But it made me want to play Super Mario Land 2: The 6 Golden Coins, so I bought that on the eShop, and played through it in about 2 hours or so. That game is also the first appearance of Wario, in that game he is the Final Boss. Finishing that game made me want to play Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land. Which is another game I played a TON of as a kid. So I purchased that game on the eShop as well as Wario Land 2 and 3. I have never played 2 or 3 before, but I hear they are very interesting. So depending on how fast I get through the first Wario game, I may tackle that. I actually have a bit of travel coming up so there will time on airplanes for me to do some serious progression.

Nintendo did one of their "Nintendo Direct" videos talking about the games coming out this year. Then mentioned a new Rhythm Heaven game coming to the 3DS. Which got me revisit the DS version of Rhythm Heaven, which I like a lot. If you have not played it before its a bunch of timing based mini levels, all animated in some cool styles, and you end up making some fun little music diddies by playing them. All the levels are pretty weird in the way WarioWare is weird(made by the same team). Its reminded me how much I like these games, and in some of those levels the music is so infectious, but that game gets kind of hard especially the farther you get into it. I'm a former drummer and I think my timing is pretty good, but the game has 2 main ways of input, tapping the screen and flicking it, and I'm terrible at flicking for some reason. This also made me wanna play more of Rhythm Heaven Fever on the Wii, which I bought and played for only about 30mins. The animated style in that game looks fantastic on a bigger screen, so crisp! After spending more time with that, Its totally the same as the other games but some new games, and more crazy animated stuff. The one I've liked the most so far is Its a guy wearing a wrist watch, but it zooms in and on the end of the second hand of the watch is a little monkey and that is your guy, then at each second hand of the watch is a little door and other monkeys pop out. The game is you have to hit the A-Button to high-five them as you go past them.

I also found out that the first game in the Rhythm Heaven series wasn't released outside of Japan, it was for the GBA and known as Rhythm Tengoku. I found one on eBay for $17, and because of the gameplay I don't need to speak Japanese. So this will be my first import game! Probably the first of not many...but potentially a few. Mario and Wario, I'm looking at you.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Games - It All Falls Apart(Dragon Age: Inquisition / Captain Toad)

Well I tried to get back on track with my level a day and promptly failed. The wife started playing Dragon Age, so I was with her while she played for a bit curious about how that game opens up. Then I was going to play some games of my own on the WiiU Gamepad. I also got a bit lazy, and Captain Toad was already in the WiiU, so I have just continued to play that over the weekend, last night, this morning. I got to the last 2 levels in it last night. Now each level has 3 gems that are sometimes hidden, and a secret objective. That objective may be to find a hidden gold mushroom or collect a certain amount of coins, take no damage, etc. Well I have done all of those in every level so far...but this morning I did the last two. One of them they do the thing I hate, which is a lava rising level, but the objective in this level is to get some obscene amount of coins. Most of the other levels you can kind of do at your own pace, but this one you really gotta truck through. So that was the first level I ever bypassed the hidden objective. Then in the final level I found a hidden golden mushroom really early on, thinking sweet deal I found it by accident without trying. But of course in that level it wasn't the hidden objective, it was coins again. But I beat it, rolled credits, and like the last few games there is still a bunch of Bonus stuff to do, though I still think Super Mario 3D World is the King of that (so many Bonus levels). But with having rolled credits on this game, I'm gonna move onto Donkey Kong Country Returns and focus on that.

Also this weekend I convinced my wife to allow me to start Dragon Age: Inquisition. To be different, at least for me, I chose a Quinari Lady Warrior named Aria. I havn't seen a Quinari lady before, and horns are cool, so I went that route. She is TALL, moreso that I thought. They do not let you choose body type, so all Quinari ladies have the same body apparently. I'm playing her like I played my Shepard in Mass Effect, a bitch with a heart of gold. As a Quinari that makes sense they are pretty brusque, trying to be good, but not taking any shit. They don't go into the history of your own character at all like they have in Dragon Age 1 and 2. The Mages and Templars were having a conclave to resolve their issue, but a massive explosion goes off, killing everyone there but you, igniting lots of hate on both sides. But the real question is...what reason would my character even have to be there. She's not a Mage, nor a Templar, so other than that little plot hole, the story progresses from there. I'm only a few hours in right now. The explosion opened a giant rift in the Fade, the world of Demons and where magic power comes from (I believe). My character the only one left alive, has been left with a mark on my hand that has the power to close Fade Rifts, while I can't close the giant one I can close the smaller ones that are appearing all over the land. While I couldn't close the giant one, I was able to stabilize it so it would stop getting any bigger. They theorize if I have enough power I could close the Rift. I did stumble across my first Dragon, which killed me in about 10 I figure I'm not ready for that yet.

The controls are a bit different from DA1&2 but getting the general hang of it. There seem to be a lot more systems, and the menus and general seem more disorganized than in previous games. DA:Origins was very bare bones and just kind of showed you everything, DA2 simplified and presented the information a bit better, now it feels like a mash of the two and I just wish that part of it was better, but it gets the job done.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Toku - Tokkyuger / Gaim / Drive Toys

Been a while since I had a Toku update, a few little things have come in the door.

The first thing I got was a Christmas gift to myself via an Amazon gift card from my parents. I purchased the Tokkyuger Build Dai-Oh. This is the Mecha/Train of Tokkyu-Rokugo, the 6th Ranger of this team. It was either this or Diesel-Oh, and Build just looked waay more rad than Diesel. I still plan on getting Diesel but for now Build is pretty cool. The Train Mode is a bit unweildy, but damn if that robot mode isn't cool as hell.

Since I got the Drive Driver for Christmas, and my newfound enjoyment of the Kamen Rider Drive show. I picked up the DX Shift Car Set 01. These sets are pretty cheap only about $12, and I get 3 new Shift Cars.
- Justice Hunter, a Patrol Car
- Spin Mixer, a Cement Truck
- Massive Monster, a crazy looking race car?
They all maintain the gimmick of the flick/swivel of one end of the car, which is still very satisfying. The Shift Car Sets are so cheap I may get a few more. Of course the Shift Cars that correspond to the bigger Type changes like Wild and Technique all come with the additional weapons, like the Handle Sword, and the Door Gun. I don't know if i'll get that deep into it, but we shall see.

Lastly I received my first Premium Bandai product, the Yomitseguri Lockseed Set. This set comes with the Yomi Lockseed, and Faceplate for the Sengoku Driver. In the show this was a super dangerous lockseed that granted great power at the cost of the users life if they used it for too long. This lockseed is kind of like a replacement for Ryugen's Budou Lockseed, which is hard to come by and more expensive than this one was. Comes in a fancy box, very high quality, the new sounds and stuff sound really cool, plus now I have a faceplate that plays Ryugen's Henshin Theme.

Monday, January 19, 2015

New Years Game Project Week 3.75 (Jan 15 - 18)

This weekend I fell waay off the horse, skipping or going around some of the games.

Super Mario 3D World
So I figured once this special world was done, that would be it...I was wrong. So I spent time on Sat/Sun finishing the last few levels in the Star World, and then the last one I needed 210 Green Stars to unlock. So I went back to a bunch of stages looking for additional green stars and after a good 45 minutes to an hour of that, I unlocked it. I then beat the level, which caused a rocketship to appear taking me to the next and even bigger Mushroom World. So now I'm not sure how many more levels there even are. Maybe there is a 3rd Bonus area *shrugs*. I was kind of sad that wasn't the end.

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker
So after the realization that I was not close to being done on Mario, I switched to Toad. And I played about 5 or 6 levels in that which finished Episode 2. We had 18 levels in Episode 1, and 18 in Episode 2, apparently there is 28 in Episode 3, so that has started.

I didn't play any Donkey Kong or Giana Sisters...but plan to get back into those 2 this week

Friday, January 16, 2015

New Years Game Project Week 2-3.5 (Jan 5 - 14)

So I've been pretty lax lately, busy at work and home, as well as an additional blog that I had to write unexpectedly.

I have been progressing pretty well in all the games. Missed one day, so i had to do 2 levels the next day. Some are getting harder, a few cases frustrating, other continue to be a joy.

Donkey Kong Country Returns
I made it past the Ruins, boss was fun not too bad. Now I'm in the Caves and with it a bunch of Minecart levels. Now the minecart levels were among my favorite in the old DKC games. They have proven to be a bit more difficult/frustrating in this game. Its very sensitive to how long the jump button is pushed to do either a long/high jump or a short/low jump. The game seemed to have a hard time telling the difference, I've been jumping in games for over 20years now, and I pride myself on my platforming, and have no issues like this with other games. This made a few levels take a long time, because they have a lot of hazards on the top, so if you jump that high, you just die. This is the first level where I used all of my lives, and in fact had to come back to the next day. But finished it got through the rest ok, and as of last night finished the boss. Which was another level like that first one which I had to do a LOT, most levels have checkpoints, the boss levels do not. But now I'm off to the Jungle.

Rayman Legends
I had a good time with the Musical level played it a few times once I had gotten all the way through it, bringing 20,000 Lums Under the Sea to a close. Then I moved onto the next area Olympus Maximus. This game does a good job of using the gamepad controls of the WiiU, the have levels where you control a little guy named Murphey, and the game is controlling one of the normal characters, your job as Murphey is to protect and in some cases guide the other Player through the level. Setting up platforms, blocking attacks, or even spinning aspects of the level to make the character able to get around, they pretty fun and something very different. So I got through all the levels in Olympus Maximus. Then the game rolled credits, bit their is still another world, I just don't have enough Lums to open it up yet. It needs 200, and I have like 175. Seems like a lot of work, a lot of backtracking, so I'm debating going forward any more in that game.

Super Mario 3D World
So here is another one which I just finished, the last few levels were a bitch, but the boss wasn't too hard. I had to fight CatBowser and feed the little people he kidnapped. Roll Credits. Then after reopening the game, you have access to a Star World. I've played a few of those now, much more challenging, also I unlocked Rosalina as a playable character, so that cool. She actually plays similar to Luigi, she has a higher than average jump, but a bit more controlled than Luigi. The end of the area doesn't have a castle that I can see yet. I wonder if this is it, or if there are any more special worlds.

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker
I just really like this game, the short but fun levels, the adorable art style, and all the little things that make this game feel so polished. I've finished what they count as "Episode 1" which they didn't tell me it was called that until you finish it. So now I'm in Episode 2, where in 1 you were Captain Toad trying to rescue Toadette, this time she's rescuing him. Its still starting to get more challenging, I'm doing 2 puzzle rooms a day so I'm progressing fairly quickly. I wonder if there is a Episode 3, or even 4. already done over 30 puzzle rooms. Its so charming, and so fun, I really like figuring out all these little puzzles.

Giana Sisters
I am behind, need to catch up on it! I tried recording myself playing and posting on Youtube so I could link it here, but now for my Account level I can't load videos over 15mins. Turns out with a little intro at the start it took me 25minutes to finish one level. Its much more time consuming than the others. Just mad about the Youtube thing.

1 Game down, 4 to go. Super Mario 3D World is the next one that will be finished. I think I might have 10-15 levels in DKCR left. No idea how many Captain Toad levels left.

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Years Game Project Week 1 (Jan 1 - 4)

So my New Years Project this year is to try and finish a bunch of games I have been sitting on for a bit in some cases. Donkey Kong Country Returns for Wii, Rayman Legends for WiiU, Super Mario 3D World for WiiU, Captain Toad Treasure Tracker for WiiU, and Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams on Steam. Some of these games I had started before or forgot exactly where I was, just knew I didn't finish them. I will be playing 1 level a day in all these games till they are complete. I had originally hoped to stream or post video each day but I aparently don't have the equipment for that. I may do it for Giana Sisters going foreward, just because thats a PC game and I can record that easilly.

Donkey Kong Country Returns(DKCR)
I discovered I had gotten to the 3rd Main Area of DKCR, the Ruins, so I started going at it getting used to the controls again. One thing I remembered was that unlike the SNES DKC games, Kongs can't do any roll attacks, which feels very limiting, there are a lot of enemies that you can't jump on, so I really want to roll into them. General platforming has been good, and the levels are challenging. Now I was a big fan of the original DKC on SNES, and I got just about everything in that original game. This game collects the 4 KONG letters as well as I think 9 puzzle pieces in each stage. While the KONG letters aren't too hard to find, though they can be tricky, the puzzle pieces make me feel stupid. I look all over for those pieces and only come accross maybe 3, though the worst is when they show you the pieces in the level and you jump around and look all over with no way to see how to get it, which can be very frusterating. But overall good so far, if I had to play more time in one sitting I might get annoyed.

Rayman Legends
In this game I had gotten to the 4th World entitled "20,000 Lums under the Sea". So first I forgot how to run, also I usually play as the viking girl, she has an axe, and looks rad. Just in general I find her way less annoying than globox and cooler than rayman himself. I was near the end of that section after playing my one level a day, I'm excited for tomorrow because the next one is the final level of this section and the Musical level which are always pretty fun. The ones before this were 2 boss levels basically, I thought it was weird they did one after another. The first one is a Chase level, Dragon chasing me underwater and though some tunnels. I died a lot, but made it. The next one was against a Robot Dragon who looked fantastic. You walk on him like a platform at first, then after you land on a button he comes to life and you see him uncoil in forground and then in the background. That whole game just looks fantastic, its challenging as heck, and when you pull on big chains in that game you feel like a total boss.

Super Mario 3D World
So I didn't realize how far I was in this game. I was at the Castle level and I didn't have enough Green Stars to unlock the boss castle. So I spent the first 2 days playing more than 1 level in the game playing previous levels to try and get my Green Star count high enough to finish, I needed 16. After Jan 1st and 2nd, on the 3rd I was able to finally do the new level, which I kind of thought was the final level in the game, and the game re-enforces that by showing you all the previously rescued pixies all together, and you even defeat bowser and then goto the flagpole. Then after the level finish screen pops up and the score comes up, it then peels back and you see Bowser snatch all the pixies again and then takes off. The game then leads you from the Castle level to the Bowser level, which now makes me think this is the last world in the game. Another challenging game, still a lot of fun, I normally used Princess as my character in most of that game previously, but right now I'm using Mario and liking it, makes the game feel more difficult and even more pure. These are in theory the final levels so I expect them to be hard, and the first one was pretty hard, but in a good way.

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker
Now unlike the rest this is a new game, and has the shortest levels so I have been doing 2 of these levels each day. That game looks soooo good, the Nintendo art style is just fabulous, and freakin adorable. Unlike the rest, I actually started from the beginning so this might be the last game standing after I finish the rest. The levels havn't gotten too challenging yet, but they are fun, and I enjoy going back to do the secret objective in each level. Super simple, super fun, super adorbs. This game I couldn't wait on and actually played more levels than I was supposed to, but now I'm slowing down.

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams
This is the the roughest of all the games I'm playing, the levels are long and due to the nature of the art style can be hard to determine exactly what can hurt you. Another game like Rayman that I died a LOT in. You play as 2 sisters who you switch between on the fly, the art style changes depending on which sister your using, the switching between is the most impressive part, the world morphs from one style to another from demons to happy birds from fire to an swamp and all the backgrounds as well. Each sister has a unique ability, one does a fire dash in the direction your holding which can kill enemies and bounce you around the level, the other does a spin jump and can slowly float towards the ground. I had played the first 2 or 3 levels before, so these few days got me to the first boss, who was a bitch and a half, took a lot of dying and patterns watching to even figure out how I was supposed to hurt this thing, but I'm in the second set of levels now powering ahead. This game has a lot of secret area, even when I find a bunch of them, end of the level tells me I still missed a bunch but in that regard its still less annoying than DKCR, cause it doesn't taunt me with things in plain view.

I plan to keep updating as I go along, daily or weekly depending on how things go tonight.