It’s been another exciting week at Nintendojo but we’re not quite finished yet. Price drops and dragons may come and go but your Saturday will always have Week: End Game: On, the weekly round table where the Nintendojo staff discuss what they’re going to be levelling up over their two days of respite. Read on to find out what the staff are getting up to and be sure to let us know in the comments!
I was talking to my brother yesterday about our favorite Nintendo 64 games, and of course Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards came to mind, and of course we immediately set about to looking for it. And of course it turned out that we had actually donated it to our cousin, along with our copy of Yoshi’s Story, thinking we’d never play these games again. Yes, we were sad. We may even have cried a little bit.
But thank Iwata for the Virtual Console! Yes, I’ve downloaded Kirby 64 on my Wii, though not Yoshi’s Story (sorry, just don’t think it’s worth it), and now I’m turning Kirby into all sorts of Jedi- and magi-inspired nonsense all over again. And when I’m not doing that, I’m making sure my brother and I are getting all of our inner hatred for each other out there, with the (actually extremely engaging) minigames. There’s just so much catharsis you can get out of trying to get falling fruit before someone else can.
Can Kirby 64 last me the whole weekend, though? Admittedly, I have less and less time to play games, but that’s just what’s so great about the Kirby series– you can just do a single level and feel totally fulfilled, what with the elegance of copy powers and the silly things that can happen whenever Kirby, Waddle Dee, or Dedede are involved. So even if all I get through this weekend is two levels of this game, I’ll still be happy.
I spent the better part of this week playing a little game called Go to Work. It is exactly as tedious as it sounds: aside from being bookended by two mildly entertaining driving portions, the game largely consists of fetch quests in the form of customer service and a liberal helping of stealth segments when the boss is around. Every now and then the monotony is broken up by a random battle, but these all generally play out in the same fashion: the only thing you can really do is just stand there helplessly while the unholy creature that besets you whittles away your health with an unrelenting barrage of complaints and insults. Fortunately, these battles always increase your defensive capabilities, and you’ll notice yourself growing increasingly resiliant to these kinds of verbal assaults the next time a confrontation invariably ensues. It’s not a particularly rewarding experience, but it does offer up about thirty hours of gameplay a week. I still wouldn’t recommend it, though.
I never thought I would see the day, but somehow I’ve nearly managed to clear my entire DS backlog. For a time it seemed like I had a never-ending line of handheld games to complete, ranging from old GBC titles like The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons right through to the aforementioned deluge of DS games. But when you’re away at university without a TV (and are too stingy to pay the extortionate licence fee) for five years, that pile of unfinished games quickly becomes a haven of ripe opportunity.
The only games now standing in my way are Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy: 4 Heroes of Light, and having mentioned last week that Chrono Trigger was feeling a bit underappreciated, I plan to rectify that situation this weekend.
I’m still baffled as to why I never actually bought Chrono Trigger (or Final Fantasy IV for that matter) when it was initially released for DS. I acquired both games second-hand only earlier this year, and given that RPGs are my second favourite genre I feel ever so slightly ashamed that I overlooked these two titles. Thankfully, Amazon Marketplace obliged and I eventually managed to find each game for a very reasonable price, despite my Chrono Trigger seller accidentally just sending me the case the first time round! In retrospect I probably should have waited to get them both on Virtual Console, but going down the DS route was definitely the best option at the time given my long distance relationship with my Wii!
With Xenoblade Chronicles a few weeks away from release (I’ve preordered the PAL version), I’ve decided to bide my time with another title that never got the North America treatment: Mother 3, or EarthBound 2 for the rest of you. Thanks to the wonders of fan translation, this GBA release can be patched to glorious English. That said, since I haven’t played EarthBound in some time, I’ve decided to give Mother 2 a playthrough before plunging into its handheld sequel. It’s been fun to revisit EarthBound, and I was surprised how well the game has held up. The combat, the music, the wit — it’s just a great game all-around. My wife has noted that the game looks and sounds (much of the time, at least) a good deal like Animal Crossing, and she’s got a point… minus all the hallucinogenic sweets, of course…
After a great deal of effort, I beat Ivy the Kiwi? for DS. That means I collected five hundred red feathers! Somehow World 10 was much easier than Worlds 7-9. I heartily recommend Ivy the Kiwi? Mini for DSiWare to anyone interested in the flightless bird; it includes the main 50 levels but doesn’t have the 50 bonus levels or multiplayer. I purchased the retail version, which is a good buy if you don’t have a DSi/3DS. Now I’m playing Elebits: The Adventures of Kai and Zero for DS. Like I expected, it’s easy and relaxing (for the most part). Collecting Elebits with the stylus is addictive, and it’s fun to make combos and get tons of watts. Of course, I always manage to find some way to get stumped on a level.
Mega Man Legends 2 for PlayStation continues to progress. I conquered the lava-filled Saul Kada Ruins and got my third Key (for what that’s worth). After that, I had a heated train battle with the Bonnes (Servbots lobbing explosives included). Now I’m just before the boss in the icy Calinca Ruins, which was pretty challenging. Using the maps on GameFAQs makes life so much easier. I have just about every weapon available in the game; however, to build a certain weapon requires becoming Dark MegaMan, which I don’t plan to do yet.
The end is very, very close in Mega Man Network Transmission! I mopped the floor with PharaohMan, who wasn’t so tough despite his 1000 hp. After that, I fought the dreaded ProtoMan! Despite taking quite a bit of damage, I defeated him on my first try. However, getting Protoman’s Navi chip is another story altogether. My method was to use PopUp (invincibility for over 20 seconds) and hit him over and over with my charged Mega Buster. Interestingly, one of ProtoMan’s attacks can still cause damage while invisible, but it’s easily prevented. Lastly, I went through the rigamarole of getting another PopUp chip for a very special battle… I’ll let you use your imagination (or look online).
Well, my Nintendo exodus has continued for a second week. Ploughing through inFamous and completing Demon’s Souls have been top of the agenda and deservedly so, given the quality of these titles. Admittedly, had it not been for the inconvenience of PSN’s outage a couple of months back, I would probably never have owned Infamous, but after playing the original, I am tempted into buying its sequel somewhere down the line (something Sony undoubtedly wanted to happen)
Between bouts of the aforementioned games, are bouts of the bloodier kind, in the form of Mortal Kombat, which I would highly reccomend to fight fans ( if you are yet to purchase). Online is a little shoddy, with lag more than common, but there is still enough here to warrant a significant chunk of time to be dedicated to separating limbs, necks and jaws from their biologically correct positions. On a (literally) brighter note the odd foray into Pac–Man Championship Edition DX is still common place, though the thought process of “Just a couple of games” never works, and an hour later I’m still there trying to rectify a stupid mistake which kept me from beating the high score.
I’ve recently come across several great sales at Sears (they sell games?) and K-Mart. Just last weekend I finally snatched up Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn and Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box at K-Mart for only $20 apiece. I haven’t had the time to play either of them, though… they’ve just been added to my stockpiled collection of unplayed titles, which is totally an iconoclastic thing for me to have.
Anyway, yesterday I was organizing my gaming collection and virtual Pokémon boxes (finally) when I stumbled upon Super Mario Land. I’ve never really played the game before, so I popped it in the ol’ SP and started it up for the first time in ages. And I gotta say, it was terrible – worst Mario game I’ve ever touched (and that includes Mario’s Time Machine). I mean, the controls are awful, Mario drops like a brick, and the preliminary final boss is a cloud that shoots chickens… yeah, I’ll just end it with that.
As for this weekend, I’m hoping to get in a little more Donkey Kong Country Returns. That game is like, harder than adamantium – especially on two-player mode. But it’s one of the few games that’s worth playing just to feel like a noob over your frequent game overs. Seriously, we’ve been getting one on practically every stage.
Now it’s your turn! What are you playing this weekend? Let us know in the comments.