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Best Zelda Game Ever?

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Possibly the best game Nintendo has released, ever. Yeah, I know, that’s a heavy claim. But it might be true.

Now for years, I’ve been a staunch supporter of “A Link to the Past” as the best Zelda game ever. There are plenty of people that say that “Ocarina of Time” is the best. I’m not even willing to entertain those people. I will accept arguments for other Zelda titles holding spots above “A Link to the Past”, but not Ocarina. The problem with “Ocarina of Time” is that it’s a flawed game, development-wise. A Link to the Past has no flaws (we can argue that another time).

But that’s not what this is about! This is about “Breath of the Wild” being the best Zelda game ever made. Is it? I don’t know yet. But after only playing for about 30 minutes, I found myself uttering that statement to myself. I couldn’t believe the thoughts and feelings I was having. I felt like I was cheating on myself somehow; that somehow these thoughts weren’t true and were simply alien in nature, placed there by outside forces. After 25+ years, has something finally trumped the vaunted The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past? I don’t know. I’m still figuring it out. Either way, I can’t get enough of this game.

 

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Mother Coming to Lock City CC

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Been putting together some Mother 25th Anniversary carts to come with me to the Lock City Comic Con in CT this July. Hopefully a Slurpee will be coming with me as well. Mother 25th Anniversary Edition is basically a big overhaul of the Mother/Earthbound Zero prototype that was never released for the original NES.

Come check out the GamesquadSquad booth if you happen to be in the area. I’ll have this and a bunch of other NES repros, custom cases, and perler art and hopefully a special guest with some hand-made, knitted, wearable nerdery.

Fire Emblem for NES

Perfectly timed completion of this project with the release of Fire Emblem Fates on the 3DS. I finally got my famicom converters so I could assemble some Fire Emblem repros for the NES in english. I’m far from the first to have done these, but I’ve wanted to for some time now and I just finally got around to it.

This series had been around in Japan for over a decade before it finally saw an international release on the Game Boy Advance. There were two for the Famicom – Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, and Fire Emblem Gaiden. I just finished the original today and I’ll be wrapping up Gaiden soon.

I’ll be making these by request if anyone wants one. Though the cart will be standard grey. I just used this clear one for myself to show all the nifty bits inside.

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Fire Emblem: Dark Dragon and the Sword of Light

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I also put one of these together just because I felt like it.

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X

I’ve been playing Xenoblade Chronicles X a lot lately and I think it’s a great game, though not without its flaws. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. Today, it’s about censorship. There’s really no point to anything I have to say. It’s just some stuff that crossed my mind, so if you’re busy, or looking for a more socially relevant story, feel free to go read something else. But if you came on the internet today, like so many others, to waste time, then please, read on.

Now when a game gets localized here from Japan, I expect there to be a good deal of changes and aspects censored because of this country’s outdated puritanical beliefs that the human body is shameful and that seeing any parts of it exposed is a corrupting force.

Typical mother of an 11 year-old boy – “Oh no way! This game has nudity in it. You can’t play that. What about this one though? This just has offensive language and mindless violence. That is far less offensive than the body nature gave us”

Anyway…the 2 main things that I discovered they censored are what drove me to write this.

1) During character creation of a female avatar, in the Japanese release, aside from changing their height, you can also adjust their bust size. Why remove this? Why have it in there in the first place for that matter? Well that one I can answer rather easily – It’s either fan service or if you’re creating an avatar for a game where you have a ton of customization options, why not have a wider range of options you can customize? But in this case, since there are really not too many options for character customization I would say it’s purely for fan service. Still though, why remove it? Probably because someone out there would complain that it “gives girls an unrealistic image of what the female form is supposed to look like,” or some other BS like that. Whatever. Get over it. It’s a video game. It’s a fantasy world where people can escape to. If some lonely, “hopeless romantic” gets his or her (let’s not discriminate now, women love tits too) jollies by running around an alien planet as a big busted bombshell, then let them have their fantasy.

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Japan – that 2nd bar is for the bust size

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America

2) The female characters in the game all have “armor” sets that are basically strips of fabric passing for underwear. One of the main characters in the game, Lin, is a 13 year-old, young girl. In the Japanese version, she, just like the other female characters, has this revealing armor. Her avatar was censored so that when equipping these particular pieces of armor, it would have a more modest appearance. As much as I think that censoring things is stupid, I also think that sexualizing 13 year olds is awful. I don’t see the point in censoring something in a video game, but then again I also don’t see the point of programming young girls to have sexy clothing unless you’re a sick pervert….but #japan

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Neo Geo Goodness!

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Look at all these classic Neo Geo games now available from Humble Bundle!

This is perhaps the best bundle they’ve put together. Especially with what you can get for just $10!

TG-16 Nearing Completion

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There were a total of 94 games released in America for the Turbografx 16. Years ago I made it a mission to go about getting the entire library and it looks like I’m nearing completion.  It just so happens that the last dozen or so I need are ridiculously expensive for the most part.
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Bomberman ’93
Bonk 3
Darkwing Duck
Falcon
Hit the Ice
Legend of Hero Tonma – maybe possible one day? If I happen to catch someone off guard or they don’t realize what they have. I’ve seen it sell for up to $1,500 though and that’s way out of my range.
Magical Chase – never going to happen. I have never seen this game sell for less than $5,000. Unless someone bequeaths it to me or I murder someone for it, it’s never going into my collection.
Neutopia II
Parasol Stars
Soldier Blade
Somer Assault
Space Harrier
And lastly, manuals for  Samurai Ghost, Chase HQ, Air Zonk, and Shockman.
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The Future of Gaming is in the Past

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Recently an article came up in my feed  called, “The 20 Greatest Things About to happen to Your PS4.” http://www.gamespot.com/gallery/the-20-greatest-things-about-to-happen-to-your-ps4/2900-197/

Granted there were about 3 or 4 games on that list that I am genuinely excited about (the Final Fantasy VII Remake is not one of them, just in case there was any confusion). But it made me realize how completely ho-hum I feel about this current console cycle. A few of my friends have talked about how both the PS4 and the Xbox One have been big wastes of money and I’m almost always an optimist about the potential gaming consoles can have, but this is it? We should totally be in full swing of a new console cycle and I can’t get excited for more than just a few games?

I still play my old cartridge games way more than any of this next gen stuff.  Luckily, there has been a huge influx if indie-developed, retro-style games released as of late. However, they always feel like they take backseat to their high profile cousins. I miss the majesty of opening a new game. Yes it’s friggin majestic! I miss not having to install a game for a half hour before I can play it. I miss not having another 15 minutes of updates and then a 5 minute loading screen thereafter. I MISS INSTRUCTION MANUALS! If you’re going to make me wait 30 minutes to play the game I just got, at least give me a manual to read while I take a dump and wait.

Some months ago I heard about the Retro Video Game System; Something I thought was a joke based on the name alone. Turns out it’s a thing that’s actually happening and they’re going to be starting up a Kickstarter campaign in September. What is Retro VGS you ask? Retro VGS is a full cartridge based console with brand new games being developed for it that the big publishers hopefully will be keeping their hands off of. I’ll repeat that again: Brand new game IPs produced in cart format.

At first I was a little skeptical, and still am to be honest. There are 3 things I can see as hurdles for this system really gaining traction.

1) I’m still worried about price. Not of the console itself, but the games. Cart games cost more to physically manufacture than disc games. But we’ll see. I’m sure they know that in order to be relevant, they can’t have restrictive pricing.

2) Retro and cart gaming is really a niche market. I’m not sure I see this really gaining mainstream success. Even those that consider themselves retro gamers tend to download and emulate the software.

3) It’s modeled after the Jaguar. To be more specific, they actually acquired the tooling from Atari for both the console and the game shells.  This saved money and explains why it looks this way. But modelling it after a failed system is like asking a known sex offender to babysit for you – it might turn out OK, but why take that risk?

Either way, I’m super excited for this console. There’s already been a handful of games announced and it’s even going to get a pack-in game – another long dead tradition. Barring an absurdly Neo-Geo-like price tag, there’s nothing that would keep me from hopping on the Kickstarter campaign. The only way to get one of the custom colored consoles mind you. You can head to the official web page here: http://www.retrovgs.com/ to check out the systems specs and get a look at some of the games planned.

Fun With Beads!

perlerMore are coming….

Crushing Double Dragon

I’m pretty sure everyone has fond memories of Double Dragon, especially the arcade original. Double Dragon is essentially the reason we have the brawler/beat ’em up genre, which next to RPGs, is my favorite type of game.  In the arcade, you might not have ever realized how unforgiving the game can be because you can always just keep dumping more quarters into it until you win. The NES versions of I, II, and III give you a good taste of what “Nintendo hard” means. I and II – 3 lives with no continues. And they both have stupid platforming parts. WHY?! Why does a brawler have platforming? If there was at least a singular jump button, maybe I could understand. But you have to press both punch and kick together to jump and it’s just not conducive accurate timing. III gives you 1 life. There have been many times I wasn’t even able to get past stage 1. At least after stage 2, you get additional characters.

Up until these longplays, I had NEVER in my life beaten the original Double Dragon for NES. Would always make it to the 4th mission and those stupid blocks would kill me. Or do enough damage there’s no way I could get past that last set of Abobo’s.






 

Gamergate – who cares?

Yeah I know I’m a little late on this. Haven’t really cared to keep up with current events since I’ve been so preoccupied with my newborn.

I only just learned about gamergate a few days ago and all I can say is, holy shit, what’s the fuss about? So some chick allegedly fucked someone to improve her position. Like this has never been done before. And it’s not like good reviews haven’t been bought off in various ways before. Since when is journalism about integrity and ethics? I always assume that any review that comes from a reviewer that isn’t completely independent is a paid for review anyway. Someone wants to fuck their way to the top – who cares? The only thing that makes Zoe Quinn a bad person is that she supposedly cheated on her partner, which should remain out of public scrutiny anyway since that in itself has not a god damn thing to do with video games, so ultimately, who cares?

And as I understand it, this became a whole big male vs female thing. Why? Is there some imagined slight that women feel they need to constantly prove themselves as gamers? Or does this really happen? Are guys really such assholes that they can’t offer some wiggle room to allow the girls a shot at the controller? Video games are neutral gender. That’s something that I’ve always enjoyed about them. Why was there fighting over this bullshit? The only fights with video games that ever really mattered are Nintendo vs Sega and Sony vs Microsoft, and even those are complete bullshit arguments. The point of video games and being a gamer is as follows: HAVE FUN AND ENJOY THE ENTERTAINMENT. That’s it. That’s all video games need to be about, put as succinctly as possible. And if you disagree, then you’re in the wrong medium.

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