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Posts Tagged ‘Nintendo’

Playing Games?

September 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Yes, I have been playing games. I know it’s been a while for any type of update here on Player 2 but I’m back to do a little chit chatting about what I’ve been playing and some of my impressions on them. In my last post I’ve said I was really excited about Darksiders 2. How did that turn out? What else have I been playing? Also, I’ll give some WiiU thoughts from a person who doesn’t like Nintendo really at all. Keep reading for one of my first updates in weeks.
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Nintendo’s E3 Press Conference: All About The Games Baby!

Today was a big day for Nintendo. It was the first day that we got to see how games will look and work on the Nintendo Wii U. We got to see the different ways that the WiiU Game Pad will enhance our game play in a myriad of unique ways. The first new game to be shown today was Pikmin 3, A RTS/Action management game in which the player uses up to 100 plant like creatures called Pikmin to complete different task to advance the game. The game uses the Game Pad monitor to show a map of the surrounding area and allows you control over where the Pikmin can go. The game can also be played with just the Game Pad, giving you a top down view of the world, allowing for more deeper strategy game play. The original Wii Remote can also be used. It allows you to aim the Pikmin and throw them at basically anywhere you can aim at. Shaking the nunchuk will make the Pikmin charge up before attacking.

The next game to be announced was Batman Arkham City Armored Edition. It’s the same game that was released in 2011 with all the DLC, but with the additions that Game Pad add to enhance the experience. The Game Pad allows for all the menu’s to be accessed on the touch screen, such as the map always up while playing, quick access to change your gadgets on the fly, upgrade your skills and gadgets, scan the surrounding area for clues, and show a meter called Battle Armor Tech (BAT…I see what you did there). BAT allows Batman to do more damage during combat. What all this does is allow the player to stay in the action, while all the menu interactions are taken care of on the Game Pad.
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Track of the Week: “Eryth Sea” (Xenoblade Chronicles)

When it comes to music in video games, RPGs are usually up there with the best of them. Be it memorable battle or boss music, the music from your favorite town or zone, or that from a certain section of the game that carried some weight with you, the music in RPGs tends to stick with you long after you stop playing the game. Xenoblade Chronicles is the current RPG I’ve been finding myself getting lost in, and it is definitely up there in terms of the amazing quality (and quantity) of music that I certainly will not be forgetting any time soon. Since writing an article about every piece of music that I enjoy from this game would take just about as much time as I have put into the game itself (currently clocked in at 120 hours…..shut up, it’s a long game), I think it would be best to pick the one piece that I found myself not only going back to the game to listen to, but also going on YouTube to hear.

To keep this spoiler-free, this song is from a zone that’s a good 20-30 hours into the game itself. The music hits a strange note with me. At different points in the song, it switches between a sort of haunted feel when the string sections are dominating the score, to a more calming feel when the piano is introduced and takes up the melody by itself. It’s a nice contrast that also fits well with the zone it is played in. It’s a very beautiful area, one that is also full of contrasting elements. Like its theme, the zone has both a calming and a haunting feel to it. Its calming features come from the fact that it is made up mostly of water, with a couple of islands washed with the simple colors of foliage and beaches. It is also haunting in the way the floating islands cover the eponymous sea. There is also a massive city in the distance that has a design unlike anything seen in the game to this point, giving it a very surreal feeling when you first lay eyes on it. The zone itself helps elevate the music due to how well they mesh together, making it become all the more memorable not only because of its stunning visuals, but also in the way it makes what might normally be good, simple background music into one of the better pieces of gaming music that I can say I have ever heard.

The Top 100 Nintendo Games

You’ll have to excuse us if things get a little quiet around here; I still have a lot I need to do to prepare for this year’s E3 (not to mention a few articles I still need to write before the event), so I won’t have much free time to contribute to Player-2. I’m sure my colleagues will do a fantastic job of picking up my slack while I’m gone (especially considering how well they’ve kept the blog running these past few weeks), but given how few contributors P-2 has, it’s inevitable that one person’s absence will have an impact on its output.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share with you all some of the most recent happenings at Nintendojo. As you may not know, last week the website celebrated its 100th issue since its relaunch two years ago, and to commemorate the event we put together a list of the top 100 Nintendo games of all time. Of course, it would be impossible to objectively rank games that span over seven console generations, so rather than try to organize them by overall quality, we divided the list up into five smaller sub-lists that each covered a specific time period. I was in charge of organizing the top 20 games of 1996-2000 (with a little help from Nintendojo’s co-editor-in-chief, Andrew Hsieh), but I also made a small contribution to the top 20 games of 2006-2011. I have to say, looking back on all of the great games to have graced Nintendo platforms, I’m glad I was fortunate enough to experience many of them at the height of their importance. I hope you enjoy our little trip down memory lane as well, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks!

Chronicling Xenoblade: An Ongoing Review, Part 1

It’s no secret that Xenoblade Chronicles may very well be the last big Wii game (both in terms of scope and importance) to hit the console before it is inevitably pushed aside for the next generation, so I thought it’d be a fitting tribute of sorts to record my thoughts on the game as I delved ever deeper into it. Like 1UP’s coverage of Star Wars: The Old Republic, this feature will be written in lieu of a traditional review (as Xenoblade is simply too large to properly critique in a single article) and will detail my journey through the game’s storyline. I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum so as to not ruin the experience for anyone who wishes to play it for themselves, but given the very nature of this exercise, it’s inevitable that a few will slip through the editing process. That being said, I hope you’ll stick with me over the course of the next month or so as I make my way through Nintendo’s sprawling techno-fantasy, which is shaping up to be one of the finest RPGs the company has ever published.

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Not So New Anymore

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed when Nintendo announced New Super Mario Bros. 2 during its Nintendo Direct presentation last week. I knew another New Super Mario game was inevitable (given the remarkable success of the previous titles), but like many others, I had assumed the upcoming Wii U iteration (which was confirmed to be based on last year’s New Super Mario Bros. Mii demo) would fill that role. I did not expect the company would be developing a second one simultaneously (let alone releasing both of them in the same year), which is why the news came more as a shock to me than as a pleasant surprise.

That being said, my disappointment is born out of much deeper concerns than the one I mentioned above, which is why I’d like to take this opportunity to explain some of the reasons I’m not particularly excited about New Super Mario Bros. 2. You’ll find that none of them has anything to do with the actual quality of the game (as I have no doubt it will ultimately be fun), but rather with its implications for the series (and the state of Nintendo as a whole).

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A Trip Down TCG Lane

Like every child who grew up during the height of Pokémon’s popularity, I was very big into the Pokémon Trading Card Game. I was never particularly interested in playing the card game, though; my obsession was in collecting them. Every few weeks my sister and I would pool our allowances together and beg our dad to take us to the local comic book shop, spending what little money we had on the latest packs and figurines from Japan.

Of course, we eventually outgrew this phase of our lives, but for nostalgia’s sake (and to give my sister an excuse to procrastinate on her term paper), she and I went to another comic book shop (the one we had frequented so often in our childhood had, sadly, closed its doors many years ago) this weekend and purchased a few new packs of cards. It had been well over a decade since we’d last done anything of the sort, but standing there amongst the comic books and other assorted nerdery, it was hard not to think back to those carefree days of when the franchise was still new and exciting. This was a way for us to relive our youth, if only for a brief moment.

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