Well, the efforts of Operation Rainfall have finally payed off and Xenoblade Chronicles has hit North America! Consequently, after months of hype, this game is taking up a lot of gaming time for many of the writers here at Nintendojo. Be sure to let us know in the comments if you’ll be spending the weekend with Xenoblade Chronicles, and share anything else you that may be playing!
For me, this weekend is all about Xenoblade Chronicles baby! We Americans have been deprived for far too long, but now I finally get to play it! I’m picking up my preorder copy on Friday night, along with the snazzy art book. Here’s hoping that Easter family time doesn’t cut into my game time too much.
Aside from my anticipation of Xenoblade, I’ve been dabbling in Pikmin 2 for GameCube. I got it for a really great price last week and started playing the other day. It’s the first time I have really spent too much time with a Pikmin game before this, and so far it’s pretty tough! I really enjoy the strategy aspects of the game, and the tiny buggers are just too cute. The bug-eyed poisonous white Pikmin are definitely my favorite. I can’t stand it when I end up losing the little guys in battle. Their screams of demise are simply heart-rending.
It looks like I’ll be the only American on the staff not playing Xenoblade Chronicles this weekend as my copy has yet to arrive in the mail (I ordered it directly from Nintendo’s website because I’d do anything to not support GameStop). I’m a bit disappointed that I won’t get the chance to delve into the game when everyone else does (especially after Katharine has been hyping it up for what seems like forever), but I suppose I’ve already waited eight months for it. What’s a few more days?
In the meantime, I’ll be playing some more Kid Icarus: Uprising. I completed the story earlier this week, but I’d really like to go back and play through each stage on a higher intensity. I’ll keep my impressions of the game purposely vague as I’ll be reviewing it sometime next week, but suffice it to say it far exceeded my wildest expectations. That’s all you’ll get out of me for now!
This Easter weekend could have been about Xenoblade Chronicles, but I am headed two-hundred miles northwest of Queens, New York to Binghamton. Tonight I will squeeze in some time for Wii. Right now I am playing Tatsunoku vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, GoldenEye 007 (Now playing with Classic Controller Pro), New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars for the Virtual Console.
While I am upstate, I will be sure to look at the Sunday ads for any good deals on games. Also, I would like to find a tranquil game that fills a unique niche. Has anyone played Rune Factory: Frontier? I currently have an eye on that one. My new friend is the Classic Controller Pro. I love how Nintendo offers different options for controls. Allons-y!
I finally finished Donkey Kong Country Returns this week. Hooray! Man, that was hard. I was slightly disappointed though that the final boss was the rather generic “big face with two glowing, floating hands”. Seriously, how many games have a boss fight with this kind of bad guy? Zelda, Mario, Star Fox, Kirby, Zack and Wiki… The list goes on. At least DKCR‘s floating hands were a little bit more tricky to defeat than some of his other disembodied brethren, but still. I won’t be clambering to unlock the Golden Temple either, not when the reward is simply playing the entire game again in reverse. Once was quite enough, thank you, at least for the time being. That said, it was certainly a journey and a half round Kong Island, and one which I thoroughly enjoyed too. It brought back so many great memories of the original Donkey Kong Country, which I still hold as one of the finest platformers ever made, and despite several numerous deaths, it was still an absolute joy to play.
But now that Donkey Kong Country Returns is all done and dusted, the next game to cross off my list is Half-Life. I’m about two thirds of the way through so far, and the long Easter weekend is a perfect opportunity to catch up with some more head-crab target practice. Kid Icarus: Uprising finally arrived in the post the other day too, so I’ll probably be cracking that one open as well at some point, but for now it’s all about Black Mesa.
This weekend revolves around Xenoblade Chronicles for me as well. I’ve put in about two hours so far, and honestly, I’m kind of questioning the ridiculous amount of hype surrounding it. My initial complaints pertain to the camera and menu system. Even after speeding up the camera controls, it still feels like I’m wrangling around with it to get my desired viewpoint. And in regard to the menu, why can’t I equip items when buying and selling them? Don’t get me wrong, I’m still enjoying myself. I’ve just found the game a bit more frustrating than I expected.
Kid Icarus Uprising, however, far exceeded my expectations and continues to eat up my gaming time. I’ve finished the single-player portion, so I plan to beat each chapter at higher difficulties and work on the treasure hunt. I’ll also jump online for some Light vs. Dark matches, which are incredibly fun. Seriously, I can’t recommend the game enough.
Excited to hear people getting into Xenoblade Chronicles this weekend (and hopeful that Evan grows on the game as I did). I’m still too close to last fall’s playthrough to venture back into Bionis, but I have to admit that Katharine’s recent piece gave me a bit of the itch. We’ll see if a second playthrough is in my gaming future later this year.
In the meantime, I’m about 40 hours into Final Fantasy XIII and while the latter chapters of the game actually are a bit like Xenoblade’s expansive Gaur Plain, Square-Enix’s flagship franchise still has yet to prove more endearing than Monolith Soft’s Little Epic that Could. I’ve also been playing Major League Baseball 2K12 for Wii in advance of a review for Nintendojo. More on that game in the days to come.
The time has finally come when I’m forced to leave the beautiful State of Maine and head back to western Canada. I’ll miss the wonderful surroundings, the friendly people, the excellent seafood, and the relatively cheap pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (it’s about twice the price in Alberta). Video game-wise, I’ll definitely miss the great selection available to US residents on eBay and say hello to higher shipping prices and waiting forever for things to arrive. At least Amazon Canada is quite decent when it comes to video game prices.
Since I only have a few days before I leave, my Wii, PS3, and every other console I have (along with almost all of my games) will be packed in boxes for the long trip across North America. But I won’t be completely without games, as I’ll have Mario Kart 7, Donkey Kong, and Mutant Mudds for 3DS to keep me company, along with several DS Game Cards and a PSP go (I bought it when I had more disposable income than brains). I’ve even chosen a game to play on the flight– Jumping Flash! 2 (never heard of it? Neither had I), a PSone classic. Way back in late 2009 I downloaded this game on a whim, and I’m looking forward to finally experiencing it.