Welcome to another Nintendojo chat about our gaming aspirations for the coming weekend; a little segment we like to call Week: End Game: On. Kirby takes the cake, and most likely inhales it, for being the biggest Nintendo launch of the week, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re all rearing a ready to jump into the puffball’s shoes.
M. Noah Ward
Under duress of an apparent shortage, and Gamestop taking advantage of so-called shortage with a $5 price premium, I bought Kirby Mass Attack a little sooner than planned (at Best Buy, where there was no $5 premium). Yes, I still have Monster Tale to finish, but I’m going to attempt to play them both, at the same time! On two different DSs! Alright, there’s no way my multitasking skills could handle that, but I will not be able to resist spawning and flicking ten little Kirbys, no matter how fantastic Monster Tale is.
So many Kirbys, so litle time!
Some may interpret this as me being a total Kirby fan, but I’m actually a little light in my collection: my first Kirby game was the terrific Tilt & Tumble on GBA, followed by DS’s Canvas Curse, which I couldn’t get into, succeeded by Epic Yarn, a top ten Wii game of mine, and now this creepy, viral outbreak type of Kirby. Translation: I love novel gameplay ideas, and of all of Nintendo’s first party series, Kirby seems to be the most experimental, Wario micro-games and Donkey Kong crapola-games aside.
As it has been for the past month: Xenoblade Chronicles. I’m closing in on 70 hours now and I remain amazed not only at the game’s legs, but the capacity of the game to continue to add wrinkles. When you get a huge plot twist at 60 hours and you know there is still a lot of game to be played, you know the game is long. The variety, too, remains boundless, with so many things to do that every play session feels fresh and different. It really is like an MMORPG, only without the people, the fees, and the lengthy gameplay session time commitment. I’m also now getting to a point where I can begin to consider challenging high level enemies in previous domains (although the key word is “consider:” I’m not there yet). I’m on the cusp of a whole new world in the game, literally speaking, and I still have no idea how much further the rabbit hole goes. Maybe 20-30 more hours?
Also, I’ve given some thought about where I go next. When a game is this epic and huge, it leaves little time for any other games — for me at least — and I have to admit that I’ll be pretty bummed when it’s over. I’ve still got Shadow of the Colossus, purchased for a few bucks at a yard sale, and an unfinished Mother 3 as possible follow-ups.
About a week ago I received my NES clone (Retron FC Loader), and thankfully (as well as almost surprisingly), it works great! I dove right into Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers and reached the last level, where I was utterly destroyed by a gauntlet of enemies that I’ll have to figure out the best way to pass. Playing through the game once more to get to the end doesn’t get boring– this game definitely has some NES charm.
Tomorrow I’m going to nab a copy of Darkwing Duck off of eBay and relive more of my childhood. The only difference is that this time I know to press down+A to hop to a lower platform, so I can actually, you know, progress in the game. (If you want to relive even more Disney gaming memories, why not check out our very own retrospective on these much loved games? -Ed.)
Just about an hour ago, I completed Mega Man & Bass for GBA with good ol’ Mega Man! Dr. Wily always seems so daunting and impossible to beat at first, but after a while reflexes and memory set in. Admittedly, I finished with one little bit of energy left, so it was an epic battle. The game’s stages are littered with paths that only Bass can take, while Mega Man is forced to follow the difficult road. On the other hand, Bass is at a serious disadvantage for the final bosses, but I’m sure it’s still much easier overall to use Bass throughout the game. Now I look forward to doing it all over again with Fort– I mean, Bass!
I’m on the second heist of Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus in The Sly Collection for PS3– hopefully I can make some actual progress this weekend. For some reason, my ability to lock on to clues and breakable things has disappeared; maybe it would make the game too easy. I hear the first Sly game is short, so I’ll be collecting all the clues to flesh out the experience.
And for PSP, I will finally start Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley this weekend. It looks like I might even play a second time for a different ending with this one. Of course, there’s no way I’ll be playing a DS game with anthropomorphic animals and floating islands, say, this Tuesday… right?
I’m going to be a bit of broken record again this week, with Xenoblade Chronicles once again at the forefront of my weekend gaming agenda. I’m also hoping to finish Hotel Dusk: Room 215 as well, as I’ve only got a few more chapters to go now. It’s definitely picked up the pace a little, but I’m still not particularly overwhelmed by the story or its characters. Still, I always loathe to leave games unfinished, so I’m going to push through the tedium and see it through.
But putting present games aside for the moment, what I’m most looking forward to (and by that I mean bouncing off the walls excited about) playing this weekend is The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
Nope, Europe hasn’t suddenly got it two months early (although I wish it would). Rather, I’m going to the Eurogamer Expo in London today, spending my Saturday standing in long, long queues so I can get my hands on Nintendo’s golden and highly anticipated winter line-up. Other Nintendo delights I’m hoping to sample include Super Mario 3D Land, Sonic Generations, Resident Evil: Revelations, Mario Kart 7, Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D, and Kid Icarus: Uprising.
But I might also break the habit of a lifetime and join the lines for R.A.G.E, Mass Effect 3, Journey, Bastion and El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron if I get time. That’s a lot of games to cram into eight hours, but one thing’s for sure– as soon as those doors open, that Skyward Sword booth will be mine!
It is with great regret that I must inform my comrades that my Nintendo hardware will most likely be collecting dust this weekend. You see, as much as I might love strategically ordering around Japanese teenagers as they do battle with demons in Tokyo and letting certain amphibian pilots get blasted out of the sky by a maniacal monkey’s merciless minions, I have become quite smitten with the competitors offerings this week. No, rather than participate in such family friendly fun, I have decided to embrace my more sadistic and brutal side for the time being.
I am of course talking about Gears of War 3. Epic’s popular Xbox-only franchise has definitely achieved a new level of of sheer ridiculous awesomeness. Rather than hiring a group of capable writers to flesh out plot and characters, Epic went ahead and invested in cloning an army of Michael Bays and taught them how to make games. Every single moment of Gear of War 3 is a set piece of impressive proportions that amazingly falls just short of overkill. So far the game has been almost a constant crescendo of action, with just enough respites to keep the whole thing from bursting at the seams.
On another non-Nintendo related note, I need to give some major credit to Driver: San Francisco. When it comes to pure fun in video games, this entry in the long dormant series is a huge success. Every aspect of the game, from the soundtrack to the vehicle swapping/possessing mechanic, has a fantastic sense of joy and insanity to it. For a surprisingly good time, give Driver a try.
Well folks, that is what we will be up to this weekend. Feel free to chime in with you gaming plans in the comments section!