Crystal Dreams

June 30, 2015

My Biggest Issues with Splatoon

Splatoon has been out for about a month now and while I covered this a bit in my review, I wanted to talk about it in more detail–especially considering my frustration with the fact that the date chosen for Splatfest is July 4th which is a pretty big day in the USA. While I know the USA isn’t the only country in North America, it does have the most sales of the game and was just an incredibly poor choice.

Before I get to the biggest part of the rant, I do want to say I have a lot of issues with the fact that Splatfest is only one day (If it was 2-3 days, the fact that it’s date is poor wouldn’t matter as you’d still have two other options). You literally have 24 hours to try and get enough points which can take nearly half the day of playing straight to earn them. Also, we still only have one outfit with a skirt. :( And the new Cat vs Dog artwork still stinks.

With these out of the way, it is now on to the thing that inspired this entry: I really hate everything involving the customization and skills in the game. Despite talking about how “fashion focused” the Inklings are, the fact that it’s all preset-skills is really stupid. Even more so with the ones you unlock being random. Even though there’s mixed opinions on how much skills help, due to my poor aim I generally find them really helpful. Some skills aren’t great though and other skills just won’t work well with certain weapons.

It just feels so silly to me. I can understand them being random at first, but at least let people actually be able to select them if they pay snails. Let them pay more snails to do so–even more so if it’s for a main ability. I just feel that can add so much more to the game with customization and skill sets versus it being random and stuck with certain things.

I still wish weapons also let you pick their abilities over being pre-set, but I do feel they do have pretty good sets at least and knowing what you will be getting ahead of time is nice.

It’s just so hard for me to fully enjoy any of Nintendo’s games with customization lately because it’s almost always tied to stats and it’s just really disheartening.

Frustrations with Nintendo’s Regions

There is a reason region locking can be frustrating and part of it has to do with how much release dates can vary. While some are a bit more understandable (Such as games with a lot of dialogue or ones that may need to be censored quite a bit–something that also has mixed opinions), others are just… incredibly odd. One big example is with the recently released Woolly World in PAL regions. Considering those games are in English, the fact that the US isn’t also getting it is rather odd.

And the fact that Japan is getting it 2-3 weeks after the PAL regions stands out a bit in itself. There’s no explanations as to why and the fact that North America isn’t receiving it for nearly 3 months after Japan is really odd.

A smaller example is what happened with the Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright game–there was one explanation in the fact that they could have been redubbing Luke as his voice varies between PAL and North American regions (although, everyone else is the same)… except Luke kept his voice from those games so it’s another 3 month discrepancy. A smaller delay was with Fantasy Life where we received it a month later–several terms were changed which could be why, but it’s still a question of why that was needed to.

But in general, as long as we get the games eventually, it isn’t really the end of the world as disappointing as it can be when you know most of the world is playing a game you’re super excited for. What I think really gets me though is when it comes to physical goods. Both Japan and PAL regions tend to get such amazing preorders. I mean, seriously:
hyrule-warriors-japanese-limited-edition-treasure-box-clock-chest-contents-of-boxset
We only got the scarf and that wasn’t even through preorders. And generally, it feels if we do somehow get something, it’s either exclusive to Gamestop (which after several bad experiences, I just don’t feel comfortable using) or Nintendo World. I live in NYC and this is still so frustrating. In general, if you want to go to a Nintendo World Event, you need to get there the early hours of a day or late the night before–possibly even earlier depending on what. With the Amiibo craze, it’s gotten even worse.

And just… I can’t help but wonder why. Why North America seems to constantly be left out of the loop with physical stuff? Even with Club Nintendo closing, PAL Regions and Japan received so many great things that were never shown here. And I mean, look at the most recent item that as appeared on the PAL region Club Nintendo:
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On one hand, even if this showed up on the North America site, I wouldn’t be able to afford it as I already used my coins, today is the last day, and you can no longer register things.

It’s just disappointing and frustrating to see so many amazing things and knowing the only way to get them is if you know someone who’d be willing to grab one for you or buying them overpriced on Ebay. I just wish I understood why. It’s bad enough when so many games are stuck being region specific (STILL WAITING FOR A LOCALIZATION ANNOUNCEMENT ON GIRLS MODE 3), but there’s an extra heartbreaking punch when you see beautiful things for a series you love and know that it’s constantly out of your reach.

June 22, 2015

Last Day of E3: Trying Little Orbit’s Line-up

So, this is the final post I’ll be doing that is related to E3! After this, it’ll just be updating the game list 😛 But yes, one of the cool things we did get to do was try Little Orbit‘s E3 Line-up one-on-one. I’m going to go through all four games we were shown and give my opinion on each. Zero will also be putting up his opinions on the first two games over on his website soon too.

The first game up was Kung Fu Panda: Showdown of Legendary Legends which was essentially a brawler game similar to Smash Brothers.
kungfupanda
The game is coming out due to the upcoming movie and all roles will be reprised in the game. 20 characters will be available at launch along with 4 DLC characters coming. Not all were available for us to be picked (as some can’t be announced yet), but there was still a good amount there already.

I ended up choosing Tigress while Zero chose Tai Lung. All the stages were lovely and certain objects and areas of the stage could be used to damage your opponents. I would say the hardest part is I never really felt I had gotten the controls down–I feel like I mostly just ended up jumping/floating around regardless of what I pressed and rarely actually did any damage.

Characters also had a special attack that pretty much guarantees knocking out an opponent that can only be used when your “Awesome meter” fills up. Tigress’ unfortunately was not working, but Tai Lung’s special was pretty cool. While the modes, different characters, and mechanics seemed interesting enough, there was just something off about the controls the entire time.

The next game was probably the game we enjoyed the most (and also the one that felt the most “done”). I will start by saying I’m not really an Adventure Time fan–I’ve only seen a few episodes, I know a good amount due to friends, but it’s never been my thing. That said, this game made me want to watch the show and I actually really want to get it regardless.
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Adventure Time: Finn & Jake Investigations caught my eye just due to my love of mysteries. The characters are all voiced by the same people in the show and you’re essentially trying to find out what happened. You also can find/earn treasure to fill up a familiar now-empty room.

Despite the fact that the game is in 3D over the usual 2D of the show, it actually works quite nicely.
AT4_CandyRoad
You can find various clues/interact with many objects (usually shown by a sparkling animation) and hear the characters comment on it. There’s also fight scenes that are done both creatively and fit well into the game’s story.
AT4_JakeSuit_3
It’s just a really fun game–my only “complaint” is I’d have loved to see more of it, but if it looks as good as it was when we saw it, I expect the game to do really well.

The employee we spoke to also mentioned that the game is really good on the Wii U so I’m guessing the mystery function works quite well on the GamePad. They didn’t have a WiiU set-up for us to see, but it made me excited regardless.

The next two games are still in Alpha so I won’t have as much to say, but we did get to see both so I want to at least mention them.
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Monster High: New Ghoul in School. While it’s not the only Monster High game that introduces the “Design your own Monster and Enroll in Monster High” gameplay, I feel it’s done much better than Ghoul Spirit. There are tons more options, lots of customization things, and much better gameplay. The school is huge, there’s all kinds of cool jump puzzles and puzzles in general, and the writing fits the characters well. While I only have a few Monster High Dolls and you could tell it was still in Alpha, I’m pretty excited to see what they may do with it.

No idea on if you’ll be able to customize your room in the game as well, but I’m hoping!

In an even earlier Alpha Phase than the above, we have the final game we were shown:
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Barbie & Her Sisters Puppy Rescue. The game features Barbie, Skipper, Stacie, and Kelly Chelsea (why, Mattel T__T) rescuing adorable Puppies around town. After you clean/heal/take care of the puppy, you can find their owner! Some Puppies may have an owner already that you will be reuniting them with while those without an owner you can find a good home from a list or even keep yourself and have your own puppy army. I will be doing the latter for many puppies.

The game’s main focus is really to teach kids how much work having a dog is as you will have to do things like cut their nails or brush their teeth. The game was still in very early Alpha so most of it wasn’t done yet, but it’s being made in honor of the upcoming movie and will have the same voice cast. There are currently 6 different dog breeds each with 3 different colors/patterns. I’m hoping they will add a lot more than that as even counting color patterns, 18 doesn’t seem like that much (For reference, Nintendogs plus Cats has 19 different dogs before you even go into color/pattern variations).

June 21, 2015

Reasons to be excited for Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer

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There’s been so much hate over Happy Home Designer–“why is it a price of a full game”, “we don’t want spin-off games”, “what is the point” and while I can understand some frustration on the Wii U game (although, I personally still think it looks fun), I don’t feel Happy Home Designer deserves it. I feel like if it’s successful, it could bring a lot of really awesome things to the Animal Crossing series. Because I really want to get people looking at a bigger picture (and maybe I’m the only AC fan who didn’t expect to hear about a new AC game just yet), I wanted to list some of the reasons that not only makes me excited for Happy Home Designer, but makes me excited thinking of what this could mean for the next Animal Crossing game.

  • You’re in charge of people’s houses. Maybe it’s just me, but there was something super disheartening about setting up an area and then having someone plop their house in the center of it. Finally getting to decide where people go is such a relief. And if this is in this game and the Mayor Function continues, what’s to say this kind of thing won’t be in the next “main” Animal Crossing game?
  • You can still do a lot of things from normal Animal Crossing games. The big things that are gone are fishing & bug catching along with a “smaller” area, but you still build the town up.
    oldtown
    newtown
    newertown
    hospitalgif
    flowergif
    You still help villagers.
    villagerhelping
    You still decorate houses (even if it may not be for you).
    housedecorating
    And you still make friends as you fill up the town. While it may be a bit lessened in some ways, the fun is still there in a lot of areas. And maybe it’s just me, but the home decorating was always my favorite part too.
  • You have a company car.
    screenshot1
    Just imagine being the Mayor of multiple villages nearby and being able to use some kind of travel to help out in each one. You can have your own Animal Crossing World and not just a town.
  • You can place Villager’s Houses.
    screenshot5
    As mentioned above, this is a beautiful feature and I hope it makes it in the new game.
  • You can decorate the exterior of various buildings…
    schoolsetup
    …around your Villager’s houses….
    exteriordecorating
    and pick various environments to place it in.

    While the latter will probably never make it into the main game, so much more exterior customization in various areas can really help make a town more unique.
  • The new character!
    lottie

    Lottie is adorable.
  • You can set up houses for the NPCs!
    isabellehouse
    Wouldn’t it be nice to have an area where the NPCs live?
  • You can finally decorate houses how you want–no more needing to send furniture and hope they use it and don’t replace something you wanted them to keep.
  • You can help out all your favorite villagers. Have more than 10-12 favorites? No worries about needing to send one away for another as they can all come and get their house decorated. And even come party:
    acparty
    party2
  • New furniture items:
    newitems
  • Plus the ability to place things on the ceiling!:
    ceilingitems
    moreceilingitems
  • You no longer need a full space in front–you can squeeze through and place chairs and couches at appropriate lengths away from a table:
    squeezethrough
  • Furniture items can be placed outside like Public Works. Furniture is not exclusively for interiors:
    furnitureoutside
  • And vice versa, things that may have only been able to go outside can be inside too:
    publicworksinside
  • Villagers can have jobs! They can be students, they can be a cook, they can be a doctor. No longer will they just bum around and ask you for things.
    villagerjobs
    waiterjob
  • Villagers can have bigger houses.
  • Villagers houses in general have much more customization with the ability to pick the style and color:
    houseexteriorgif
    And even decorate their fences:
    fencechoices
    And switch things near their houses like bridges:
    bridgechoices
  • There are separate carpets and floors:
    carpetfloor
    And you can even choose what size you want them to be:
    carpets
    carpets2
  • Easy rotating without having to be up against the object.
  • Items can be moved in bulk:
    bulkmovement
  • There’s different room sizes–they aren’t all perfectly square/cubes. Some can be rectangular.
  • You can select Nature sounds if you don’t want music.
  • Villagers can wear head accessories/hats.
    villagerhats

In short: Besides so many of these features being great in themselves, many (obviously, not all) of these same things could be previews of what’s to come (and what could happen) with a newer Animal Crossing game as well. And maybe it’s just me, but if I can be the Mayor and work at various places with the NPCs, I think that’d be pretty amazing. And when it comes to your character, they can still dress-up too and change their appearance!

Give the game a try–while it’s still missing some features of a “normal” Animal Crossing game, it brings so many amazing things that could make the next full Animal Crossing game phenomenal. Happy Home Designer is so much more than just interior decorating–you just need to take the time to look.

The Showfloor: Everything else

We pretty much got a mixed bag of everything else and other than a bit of stuff at Sony’s, it’s pretty varied. I’ll start with Sony’s though as it is the biggest and there’s adorable Mascot Parades (that we took lots of photos of).

Like my last entry, due to all the photos please click below to continue reading!

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June 20, 2015

The Show Floor: Nintendo & Amiibo

So, as we spent a lot of time in Nintendo’s booth (it was one of the biggest areas and most other booths did not actually have too much we wanted to wait in line for 2+ hours to try) and took tons of pictures including two videos so I figured this would be a good place to start. I will say that I was disappointed by one thing though… No Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer on the showfloor! I was looking forward to playing it so much and was heart broken to see it nowhere to be found. Regardless, enjoy these pictures of the showfloor of Nintendo’s Area along with other fun Nintendo things such as some cool stands and controllers by PDP! Due to the amount of pictures, please click the Read More to see them all!

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June 17, 2015

Last Day of Press Conferences

So, today was the last day of press conferences and before I get to Nintendo, I want to say I sadly don’t have much to say about Square Enix or PC Gaming. In general, anything that interested me had already been shown at another press conference. Just Cause 3 from Square Enix looked okay and it was nice seeing more footage of Beyond Eyes during the PC Gaming conference, but I wish there was more that really grabbed my attention (though, I’ll admit my attention/hopes for the latter were drained once we saw how they started with all the gore).

Nintendo, despite what a lot of people seem to saying, I feel did a good job for the most part. I really enjoyed it, I’m hyped up, and while I think some concerns are completely valid, I think throwing a fit because “omgthisgamewasn’tsaidanditshouldhavebeen” is incredibly silly. I’m disappointed Style Savvy 3 was not mentioned at all (and at this point, probably won’t be until shortly before the game comes out like Girls Mode 3 did in Japan where it was announced only about a month and a half prior), but that doesn’t make Nintendo any worse. Unravel does remain my “new game announced hype”, but Nintendo easily continues to have the most games I’m truly excited about.

I will say my one big issue with Nintendo though is just… it’s a digital event. There’s no reason they need to be as short as they are with several games only being tossed onto the Youtube channel as trailers. I know some eventually get brought up on the Treehouse, but I’d love to see the Treehouse used more just for gameplay and questions and showing features of things versus announcements and even then, some never get mentioned at all. I’m guessing the main thing is because these things didn’t work with the Digital Presentation’s “theme” this year, but I honestly think they still could’ve pulled it off in a good way. And as much as I enjoyed the silliness of both last year’s and this year’s Nintendo conferences, if it’d be easier for them to have more time and show off more without doing things like that, I’d probably prefer it. I do love dancing Miyamoto, Iwata, and Reggie muppets though:

This will never cease to be amusing to me.

Getting on to the actual games, rather than going in order I’m actually going to go by system. This is because a lot of games, despite being playable at E3, were only sent to trailers and I feel this will be a better way to get them organized. Some games will easily have more comments than others. I also quickly want to bring up the LetsSuperMario–It’s such a neat way to celebrate the anniversary and even helps a great charity so I think it was a really nice feature of the stream, even if the transition felt a bit sudden. I think it was a nice finisher in a way though. Now, onto the games! Or well, the ones that grabbed my attention enough for me to say anything 😛

Wii U

  • Super Mario Maker: This is a game I thought looked okay originally and just figured it’d be fun, so why not? But as newer and newer things are shown and more crazy levels are made and features grow, I just get more and more excited by it. Knowing this kind of formula is actually how some of the original stages were made is pretty unbelieveable in itself. I generally have felt I wouldn’t be able to make anything interesting, but knowing that makes me feel like maybe I can make something cool. Or at least something much happier and peaceful in comparison to the terrifying levels we’ve seen the Treehouse employees make. I also adore how they did the Amiibo feature. First of all, these old-styled Mario Amiibo look amazing:
    classicmarioamiibo
    I honestly want both. I hope they won’t be too hard to get. Maybe one will be sold solo and the other will only be sold with the game? I just hope the supply is much higher when they come out. As for the other Amiibo feature, I’m not sure what character I will play as in Mario Maker–it’ll be hard to decide! But knowing that using other Amiibo can make it so you can play levels as Link or Isabelle is just really amazing. I mean, look how cute they look:
    mmothercharacters
  • Yoshi’s Woolly World: In a similar boat, Yoshi’s Woolly World also gets me more excited as I see more of it. The Amiibo for it look adorable, all the Amiibo are great, and I’m just very excited for it. My biggest issue is the fact that Europe & Australia get the game in June, Japan gets it in July, and we do not get it until October… This just makes no sense for me? It’s done. The Amiibo are ready. It’s in English… so why the delay? :( This is like the delay with Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney–there were no dub or line changes or puzzle changes and they didn’t even redo Luke’s voice so the delay made no sense.
  • Star Fox: Zero: I will admit I’m not a big Star Fox fan–it’s not that I dislike it, but it’s a game that while I enjoyed, I never felt the need to play any additional games. My first and only Star Fox game was the one for the Nintendo 64. While I still feel kind of similar for this game, I really love the transforming Arwing:
    transformingarwing
    I can’t decide if it’s more cute or cool.
  • Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival: This game seems to have angered a lot of people and for the most part, I’m not entirely sure why. I do think the start of it was a bit of a tease (though, the fact that they only showed NPCs and not a Villager meant it wasn’t as bad as it could have been in my opinion), but as someone who really enjoys Mario Party (and preferred it when there wasn’t a car), the fact that they are doing an Animal Crossing party type of game actually has me really excited. Plus, the Amiibo are adorable:

    acamiibo
    I need them all. I really hope the Villager Amiibo will be useable as well and let you pick a Villager or something. That said, I do think it’s messed up that an Amiibo is required to play the game. Part of why I didn’t get into Skylanders and Disney Infinity is because so much of the game is locked unless you get these figures. I liked how Amiibo were bonuses if anything versus the main core of the gameplay so seeing a game that requires them is really disheartening–especially as the supply hasn’t been great either.

  • Genei Ibun Roku #FE: I’ll be honest, I don’t really have much interest in the game. However, this intrigues me and I’m really curious about it:
    chromwaitwhat
  • Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash: Mario Tennis is actually my favorite Mario Sports title. That said, I’ve felt the Mario sport titles just haven’t been as good as new iterations are made so I’m not sure how to feel about it just yet.

3DS

  • Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes: In a similar reign to Star Fox, while I liked Four Swords, it was never one of my top favorites so this game doesn’t jump out at me either. Besides my concerns about what happened to purple!Link, I think the main way to sum up my feelings right now is intrigued. I have mixed feelings on the outfits due to my usual issues with tying skills/stats to outfits, but as I see them more as power-ups in this game, I find it doesn’t take as much away from it. Also, Link can wear Zelda’s dress:

    zeldadresslink
    It makes me wonder what other outfits they may give him too (if there is a Cucco outfit, Link better be able to control an army of them.)

  • Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer: When it comes to games I’ve already been excited about, Happy Home Designer is still #1. The more I hear about it, the more excited I get. I just love so much about it. So many people are criticizing it and the thing is, this shows so many opportunities for when we do get the next Animal Crossing game. We can place houses. We can set up exteriors. We can do so much more with interiors (and there are some new items in there and not to mention the new character that was shown). For all we know, we may be able to make the next town from the ground up. I feel people are focusing so much on the “but this isn’t a real Animal Crossing game” and not enough on what it could mean for a full Animal Crossing game. And personally, I have nothing against the spin-off. It focuses on my favorite parts of Animal Crossing and I couldn’t be more excited for it. I will say I am very worried about the cards though. There are 100 in the first set, it’s already been confirmed more sets are planned, and there are already over 330 different characters in Animal Crossing: New Leaf alone. Collecting them is going to be hard and I really hope there will be a large supply of them and I can find people to trade with. And also places to buy boxes of cards because I will need them. The card packs are also adorable:
    accards
  • YO-KAI WATCH: This is one of those games where I’m just not sure how I will like it or not, but it looks cute and seems like a combination of Pokemon and Puzzles/Quests and those are two things I enjoy very much so I am looking forward to playing it at some point.
  • Fire Emblem Fates: As long as Casual mode is back, I’m positive I will be getting this. I really enjoyed Awakening and it reminds me of Awakening a lot. I’m guessing there is no marriage in the game due to the fact that half the cast is your family or step-family, but I still find the characters interesting. I just wish I could decide which side to go with. Still super excited about the StreetPass feature too.
  • Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam: I wish I could be excited about this game, but I mostly feel apprehensive. I’ve never been too big on the Mario & Luigi RPG series and the Paper Mario stuff in the game looks like it is more out of Sticker Star which I really didn’t enjoy. I think it would’ve been better throwing normal Mario & Luigi into the Paper Mario World instead if they wanted to do a crossover.
  • Hyrule Warriors Legends: I’m still not fully bought over when it comes to Hyrule Warriors (though, I still love Zelda’s attire), but the ocarina at the end makes me hopeful Saria and the other sages will end up making an appearance in the game too at some point. I do hope they will let people buy the new characters as DLC if they have the Wii U version though.
  • Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon: It has all the Pokemon and the personality quiz back so I’m pretty excited. I’m still sad that they didn’t add a few more options beyond the starters (Riolu is the only one and I don’t really count Pikachu)–I think adding other Pokemon who could Mega Evolve along with old PMD classics like Skitty, Meowth, and Eevee would’ve been nice.

Misc.

  • Skylanders Amiibo: Honestly, the fact that they can be used for both games is really really cool. I also love the stands. But besides being official, they just feel like customs–they’re nearly the same Amiibo with some armor and a different base. I am curious if they will do more though. Maybe Skylanders can at least help with the stock problem. I do wonder what aisle they will be in though.
  • I’ve already spoke about the other Amiibo in my last post so I won’t go over them again.

And finally, while technically mentioned over in Japan and not really part of all this:
dmc2omg
I AM SO EXCITED THIS IS GETTING A SEQUEL AND I REALLY HOPE IT COMES OVER HERE!

And that’s it for Nintendo! Like I said, I really did enjoy a lot of their presentation and I feel most of the complaints were either because people assumed they’d talk about something they already said they wouldn’t or due to thinking too far ahead about rumors.

Anyway, expect show floor pictures sometime soon! I haven’t decided yet if I want to do them in parts or all at once–I think it’ll depend on just how many pictures there are. I am leaning towards putting them all together though.

June 16, 2015

The Second Day of Press Conferences

So, it is the second day of press conferences! Before I start, I did want to mention that I officially got my E3 Pass today!:
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I absolutely adore the lanyard. We also took quite a few photos of of the Los Angeles Convention Center’s exterior all set up.
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I look forward to taking lots of photos inside tomorrow!

Getting back to the main subject, I know I didn’t say anything about Bethesda yesterday, but there really wasn’t anything more for me to say beyond what I said on Twitter. I’ll admit, I wasn’t expecting to have much to say for Microsoft either, but I was still pretty hopeful as my Xbox One is kind of lonely when the only gave we have is Sunset Overdrive.

While only a few games caught my eye, I think the biggest thing was with the features announced such as backwards compatibility (although, it seems to only be a certain amount of digital games right now–really hoping this increases), EA Access, and the new controller that will work for both Xbox One and PCs/Windows 10. As for the previously mentioned games, it was mostly a mixed bag for me. Halo has gone downhill for me for a long time–I’m still a bit intrigued, but not enough to really give it another shot so I didn’t really think much about Halo 5. Maybe one day though. The plot does seem interesting in itself, but at the same time I just feel kind of mixed overall.

Recore came up next and the main highlight for me was cute Robot dog:
recoredog
Look how cute it is. I was really upset what happened as it went (please stop doing that to dogs, games. Seriously, these three things need to stop: Post Apocolyptic settings (it’s one thing if it’s just a brief history lesson–it’s another if it is essentially the entire basis of the game), Zombies, and hurting innocent animals/people/things), but was happy to see it “revive” into a Bigger Cute Robot Dog:
recoredog2
You live on, cute Robot Dog. From the ending/title shot, it looks like you’ll get many Robot friends (including little Robot dog back) which seems pretty neat:
recorelogo
But it’s hard to tell how I’ll feel about the game without truly knowing what it’s about. I will, however, take an actual little robot dog. Just saying.

Forza always manages to look fancy, but Forza has just never been my car/racing game of choice. It does look nice though, but I’d really have to see more before I decided anything–graphics are generally the last thing on my list unless something genuinely freaks me out. Cuphead is another example of a game that does a great job fitting its style, but I’m not sure how much I’d enjoy actually playing it. Tomb Raider was shown next which I AM excited for, but was disappointed that they focused much more on a lot of Ice Climbing and Running over puzzles and actual Tomb Raiding:
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I also really want to know what happened to her friend? Please stop making Lara lose more friends and family. She’s been hurt enough.

Anyway, this brings us to the next game that ended up getting a good amount of my attention, Beyond Eyes:
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It looks very pretty and I’m interested in how the game plays. And the last game that caught my attention during Microsoft’s –Sea of Thieves:
seaofthieves
It looks pretty and interesting so I’m looking to see more of it. Rare Replay also looks pretty cool, but as someone who still has all her consoles and old games, I just don’t have a need for it. But yes, that finishes up my interests with Microsoft’s conference!

Next up was EA’s. I didn’t really know what to expect nor did I have high hopes, but EA actually had the game that excited me most today–we’ll get to it though. The new Need for Speed looks interesting–I feel the last couple have kind of depended on various gimmicks so it’s nice to see one that may have finally let those go. SWTOR’s next expansion was shown next and I always end up feeling a bit sad when it comes to that MMO–I actually really enjoyed it before it went Free to Play and it makes me sad that the Free to Play was handled as poorly as it was. Supposedly it’s gotten “better”, but I don’t think most of my issues will ever be fixed. For now, please enjoy this lovely artwork of mine and Zero’s SWTOR characters before we stopped playing:
marileamargon
(Beautiful Artwork by sakonma)

Following the bittersweetness of the above, the game I spoke to at the beginning started–Unravel:
unravelomg
An adorable game that follows the adventures of Yarny. Look at him:
yarnyflower
Look how cute he is. I need a Yarny Doll so badly. The game reminds me of both LittleBigPlanet and Yoshi’s Woolly World and I just already love it to pieces. If no new games are shown by Nintendo and Square Enix tomorrow, this definitely wins the game I am most excited for out of new games I’ve heard (and even high up there overall). And even if they do show new games, Unravel will easily still have a top spot, if not tied with another game to first.

EA didn’t get anymore of my attention after that, but it was okay. Yarny’s awesomeness in Unravel was enough.

Ubisoft’s started next and I’ll be honest, Ubisoft is probably going to be my least favorite panel of the year. That isn’t to say it had nothing I was interested in (though, it didn’t have much), but I just am… tired of Ubisoft’s atmosphere at E3 lately. I don’t like the random concerts for Just Dance, I don’t find their host funny, I feel like the vulgarity goes up during their conferences (along with rather gory/awkward trailers), and I just find it rather uncomfortable and disappointing. It feels like I’m watching a Frat Party. As for the only thing that did catch my attention fully with Ubisoft, it was Trackmania Turbo:
trackmaniaturbo
I never played the original but it looks pretty fun. I also was a bit intrigued by Ghost Recon Wildlands. I think the idea of a Black Ops-kind of team taking down bad guys is pretty interesting, but I don’t think I’ll end up getting it–the game just looks way too gory for my tastes.

And while I have no interest in the game itself, this was still kind of cool:
unicornrainbowcat

Finally, this brings us over to Sony. Sony had quite a few bombshell announcements, but nothing that was really enough to get me too excited. While I think Trico (the cute Puppy-Gryffindor) is adorable, I never had much interest in The Last Guardian. Horizon: Zero Dawn seemed a bit interesting, but most likely isn’t my kind of game. Media Molecule’s game was next though and it’s something I’m still debating on. It’s hard to describe so if you haven’t seen it, I’d recommend watching it yourself. These were probably my favorite parts:
polarbears
pianodreams
I loved the remix of Row Row Row Your Boat during the Bear-Zombie fight too though. The game almost sounds like a more free form of LittleBigPlanet. Unfortunately, I just don’t know if I’d ever be able to create much of anything, but maybe it’d still be fun just to explore others’ creations. And I would love to have plushies that looked like that little Polar Bear and the cute Teddy Bear on the Piano at the end.

We then moved onto Firewatch which is apparently a pretty cool mystery game and I am quite excited! Plus you can hold a cute turtle:
turtleholding
That is awesome in itself. I hope the turtle plays a part somehow. It’s too cute not to. Next was a very cute Final Fantasy game called World of Final Fantasy. I really love the chibi graphics they used and actually think it looks better than when they switch them off:
worldoffinalfantasy
I mean, look at them. Look how cute they are.

This was then followed by the announcement of an HD Remake of Final Fantasy VII which is a very special game to me. However, I don’t see myself picking up the HD remake. Aerith is my favorite character and considering what happens to her (and that it’s likely never going to change), I’d rather not see that in HD. I do hope there will be lots of videos of Chocobo Races. That was really the main focuses for me, but I do want to bring up Shenmue III and the next Arkham game. I don’t recall ever playing Shenmue, but the characters seemed familiar to me. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about Sony essentially advertising the game’s Kickstarter like that. Not that they shouldn’t advertise, but I feel they could’ve easily covered the game itself over showing a Kickstarter for it and telling everyone to go pledge. It was just kind of surprising to me and I wonder how that could effect things for other games in the future. Going back to the game itself, it does look nice, but I’ll need to see more and look up a bit of the past games before I make up my mind on it. As for the Arkham series, that trailer was incredibly creepy. Kind of like the Dead Rising 2 trailer from last year, it was just incredibly unsettling and I wish I didn’t see it.

The last two things to catch my attention were Disney Infinity and Uncharted. Despite my love of Disney, I just can not seem to get into Disney Infinity and I’m not sure I ever will–so many exclusives between consoles honestly doesn’t help. As for Uncharted, I’ve never actually played one, but they just make me more and more curious. Maybe one day.

Anyway, I am looking forward to the press conferences tomorrow and my first day on the Show Floor! ^__^

June 15, 2015

Smash Direct & Nintendo World Championships

So, today was a pretty exciting day! To kick off the morning was a fun Smash announcement of many things coming today or really soon. While some people leaked certain aspects, I feel it was still incredibly hyped up to actually see everything introduced. I especially enjoyed the introduction videos. Roy hitting Koopaling Roy out still amuses me.

Despite not being a big fan of Roy or Ryu, I was impressed with what they did with both characters. Roy definitely seems like an improvement (and different enough) and Ryu obviously had a lot of work put into him.

All the costumes look great, though, I don’t think any will replace the ones I’m using. Isabelle’s is a little odd, but I love that they made the party popper her “gun”–plus, Nintendo made such cute screenshots for it:
isabellesmash

I also really like the stage Ryu comes with and was happy to see the Kirby Dreamland Stage back (now please bring back Fountain of Dreams). The big highlight for me though was everything involving Amiibo. For one, all DLC fighters have been confirmed to get Amiibo–I always figured this would be the case, but so many people seemed to think otherwise. Zero especially is quite happy as he wants Roy. Plus, all of this is available today! …Which would be great if I wasn’t here in California 😛 But I’m happy for those who have been able to buy/download the new DLC already. The really happy announcement, for me anyway, though was that Mii Fighters are getting Amiibo!:
omgamiibo
While I am excited for all three, one complaint I noticed a lot is something I still need to agree with–why not have the ability for people to order custom ones? With all the parts being already known, it’d just be a matter of making the faces. I remember during an old Nintendo Minute, there was a contest to win a Mario Kart 8 3D Printed Sculpture of your Mii in a kart or on a Bike and that they would later be available to be bought. That is something I’ve been looking forward to and have been pretty disappointed that it seems to have not happened yet (if it ever is going to happen). I’d love something of my Mii (with the Peach suit) in the Prancer Kart with the Cloud Glider and Wooden Wheels.

Going back to the Mii Fighters though, it almost feels like a missed opportunity. I’ll still get them in hopes of customizing one day, but I think it’d be great if Nintendo ended up doing that. Moving on to the other Amiibo announced, it seems we’ll be getting them with our wave scheduled for the Fall. I’m not too interested in Falco, but I am pretty excited for these three:
omgamiibo2
While I was mostly only planning to get the first two, we decided to get Mr. Game & Watch too after seeing all his poses:
gameandwatch
It’s just something really cool to do. Of course, he isn’t the only one with “variants”–R.O.B.’s appearance is different in Japan:
japanrob
I really want to get both this one and the version for the other regions. I’ll probably customize the latter to the pink version, but I love the Famicom coloring and will be keeping that one as is. There were a few other Amiibo leaks after the announcement, but I’m sure they will be announced on the 16th so I will save those until then–short version is I want them all though.

Going back to stages, I’m super excited to see stages reappearing from the original game. I kind of wish Saffron City would come back too as I’d love to see another Pokemon stage beyond stadium, but seeing Hyrule Castle and Peach’s Castle back is really awesome. It makes me sad more stages may not be able to be added, but I hope maybe they will find a way to add more. The Miiverse Stage is also pretty cool and I love how the support messages work–though, I don’t know if they will manage to stay supportive. I think they will end up needing a lot of modding…

While I don’t expect to use the Tourneys mode much, it was nice to see it brought back up. It seems to be scehduled for August at the moment just like a lot of the Splatoon stuff. I feel like August is going to be pretty crazy. I am pretty excited for the Youtube functionality though–I have a few fun replays that I look forward to uploading to my Youtube channel. There’s no date for it yet, but I hope it manages to come out this year.

After that, we headed to Nokia Theater to line up for the Nintendo World Championships. We even got to see some E3 banners along the way:
E3banner
Despite getting there somewhat early, the line was already quite long and we were already around the corner from the theater… We did get to see how close the Los Angeles Convention Center is though!:
conventioncenter
We’ll be picking up our passes there tomorrow.

Despite when we got in line, we ended up being mostly towards the early-middle if anything. The line grew a lot:
nwcline
And there were quite a good amount of people in front of us:
nwcline2
As for the front of the line, these people lined up the night before:
nwclinestart
The person at the End of the Line had a sign in the same style.

In general, waiting on the line wasn’t too bad. People were nice, tons of StreetPasses, weather was good (cloudy with a breeze), and it was a nice time. Someone even set up all their Amiibo:
amiibodisplay
The only real issue was once the clouds parted and the Sun shown through–the temperature shot up very quickly and a nice relaxing time in line turned into hoping not to get completely sunburned. The delay in letting people in just made it a bit worse. They at least sold shirts though!:
shirtsforsale
They were $25 each. We made sure to buy one:
shirtupclose

Regardless, it was a really fun time. I won’t talk to much about the actual Championship beyond a few highlights so if you haven’t watched it yet, I’d highly recommend doing so:

The stage looked pretty amazing:
nwcstage
The lights gave the stage a really neat effect, but I could’ve lived without having them flashing me in the eyes every so often or the blinking near the end which caused a bit of a headache.

There was even a cool sign someone made:
mariosign

The 16 Contestants all had pretty cool black versions of the shirts with the logo and lettering in a shimmery gold:
contestants

As for the events themselves, it was honestly all really exciting. Splatoon made me cringe at times due to seeing how many spots they didn’t ink, but besides that… 😛 We even received two new announcements with Earthbound Beginnings (Mother 1) and Blast Ball. I know some people were really hoping for Mother 3 over Mother 1, but there’s still a chance we could hear something on Wednesday.

There was also finally the match challenged last year during the Smash Brothers Tournament between Reggie and an awesome Jigglypuff player, Hungrybox:
hungryboxvsreggie

I will say the biggest thing that ended up getting me really excited though was the final round on Mario Maker. The levels were absolutely insane and both John and Cosmo did an amazing job.
mariomakerlevel
I think those levels would have made me cry. I’m kind of scared what levels the Treehouse may have put into the game, if any, after seeing these.

And the Champion trophy is pretty awesome:
trophywinneryay

Finally, I shall end this with the awesome Thank You screen:
thankyounwc

Super Mario World is my favorite 2D Mario game to this day so seeing that picture made me really happy. I really hope Nintendo does the Championship again next year and continues with it rather than once every 25 years 😛 I was only one when the first Championship happened and after getting to experience this one, I just really want to see it back again.

June 7, 2015

A Busy Weekend – E3 & Pokemon Symphonic Evolutions

I didn’t expect things to be so crazy ahead of time, but out of nowhere, things just got really busy. Here I was, just preparing for E3 streams, setting up things for future posts, and even trying to figure out where some would be more fitting (please vote if you haven’t yet!) when I actually received the opportunity to go to E3 which was exciting in itself. To receive a response of actually being able to go, I was ecstatic and thus, all plans began. I have not yet decided if I want to focus on writing or videos while at E3 (I may do both), but I’m just so happy I get to go! I hope we might be able to stop by the Nintendo Championships at the Nokia Theater as well. I’m still trying to figure out how I should prepare more, what to bring, where to go, what I have access to (probably just the showfloor but still!)… Regardless, I’m super excited.

As for yesterday’s excitement, it was the Pokemon Symphony!
symphonic
I had been wanting to go since the day it was announced and was super sad I couldn’t try to go to Pokemon Worlds last year to see it (we just had too much happening at once). It would’ve also been my first time going to Pokemon Worlds–I don’t know if I’ll go this year (Boston is further away than DC and we have a lot going on this year with Wedding plans), but I hope to go one day.

This was the second time I’ve been to one of Nintendo’s symphonies with the first one being the Zelda one (Symphony of the Goddesses). The one thing I’ve realized while I generally love a lot more Zelda music than Pokemon, Pokemon is a stronger game of my childhood so it was two vastly different experiences in a way. Both times though, we’ve been kind of unlucky with where we sat… Our seats themselves were great:
CG2fGiDXAAApFtP
But most of the people around us were… iffy. While we just had people behind us in the Zelda Symphony talking annoyingly behind us the entire time, this time we had two people in front of us who like encouraging people to start screaming at the screen for Who the Pokemon was which encouraged the little boy behind us to start screaming in our ears with who was on the screen. It was fine when people were saying it, but maybe be polite to the people around you? Just saying.

I will say one thing we had to deal with in both symphonies though were people who felt the need to start cheering while a song was going. And just… if people are going to the symphony–they want to hear the music–not you cheering and whistling. >> It’s one thing if audience participation is asked, but it’s another when someone just feels like cheering loudly because of what song it may be.

Moving on, one thing that surprised me is I didn’t feel as connected/strongly about any songs from the first generation. Kanto & Johto are generally the regions that strike the most nostalgia for me for many reasons, but when it comes down to it, a lot of my favorite songs from those regions are ones that stayed around like the Pokemon Center theme and the Bike theme (though, that has changed up a bit recently unfortunately). I didn’t expect the first song to really grab me to be the Routes of Sinnoh which I found really beautiful. That isn’t to say I didn’t like anything from the earlier gens–Ancients of Hoenn and Falling Ashes were nice. I also liked Ecuteak City and Born to be a Champion. And Pallet Town is always nice to listen to.

Similarly, despite not being a big fan of N, I really enjoyed Farewell and N-counter:
CG3CRE8WwAAMSFS

I was very sad my favorite Black & White theme was not included though: The Rival Theme. Similarly, I don’t think anything was included from Black 2 & White 2 and I would’ve loved to hear the Champion Iris Battle Music.

And when it came to X/Y, An Eternal Prison made me cry. Of course, they did show the same scenes that made me cry in the game which may have added to it. In general, I really liked all of the music used for Gen 6/Kalos which surprised me as beyond certain features (like customization), the region itself wasn’t too special to me.

I was so excited for the two bonus songs though. “Gotta Catch ’em All” while not being my favorite opening is still very special to me and I love hearing it. I was surprised that so few people sang to it and even more so, it felt like maybe less than 50 people even knew the second verse. So, here it is for all of you who did not realize the first opening has a second verse:

Every challenge along the way
with courage I will face
I will battle everyday
to claim my rightful place.

Come with me; the time is right
There’s no better team.
Arm in Arm we’ll win the fight
It’s always been our dream.

After that, Kiseki started which is easily one of my all-time favorites (and always makes me cry). It was so nice actually getting to hear it be sung. I really want to hear it in all the different languages in a beautiful medley of awesome and unity. And each version separate. And just, we need a CD for the Pokemon Symphonic Evolutions that also includes that. Thank you. 😛


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