In other words I’ve already consumed a large chunk of the required materials.
The stuff I haven’t yet consumed seems plenty interesting in its own right, even outside of the bias that comes from knowing they stand in a pantheon of enjoyable media.
Hell there’s even a day where we’re just going to spend our three-hour class just playing Dungeons and Dragons. How sweet is that?
Another objectively cool element of the class is that essays are replaced by a long-form research project where we get to choose a game to analyze. Then the three papers we write will be pulled into one mega-paper as our final.
As someone who writes pseudo-game reviews on this blog and actual reviews for papers like the Daily Titan (big Nintendo hitters like Mario and Kirby at that), I should arguably be the most excited for this portion.
Yet I’ve hit a conundrum.
How the hell do I pick just ONE video game to analyze when I could arguably do it for any of my favorites?
Should I analyze one of my favorite nostalgic games of all time, like Pokémon Crystal?
Or for that matter one of the objectively better Pokémon games, given it is my favorite video game series. Perhaps Heartgold and Soulsilver or Black and White 2?
Maybe I should pick a game with more of a cultural impact considering I’ll need to write about its wider historical context. I could potentially use Ocarina of Time (or its 3DS remake), as much as games of that caliber have been analyzed to death in the past.
The Nintendo fanboy in me could downplay itself as well, leading me to analyze a game I enjoy but haven’t spent quite as much time with. Kingdom Hearts 2 or Simpson’s Hit and Run on the Playstation or even something like Don’t Starve or FTL as indie representation out of Steam.
That said, I could pick a game I straight up haven’t played before just to get a fresh take. Final Fantasy 7 has been gathering dust in my Steam library for a long time, and I do want an excuse to finally play it.
Even with all those options in the abstract, my mind did immediately wander in a particular direction when I found out about the assignment.
Recently, especially with the advent of the third Choose your Legends event in Fire Emblem Heroes, I’ve had the desire to go back and play Sacred Stones. My first and favorite Fire Emblem game.
Part of me couldn’t help but think about an interesting analysis coming out of Sacred Stones due to it being the first title released after Fire Emblem’s western debut.
That’s my most developed idea at the moment, but frankly I’m more than open to coming up with more in the weeks to come.
There are simply too many good games out there in need of analysis.
So I suppose that brings me to a call to arms of sorts. If any of you have ideas for a game I should try to analyze for my research paper (assuming it’s within my means), let me know somewhere on the Internet.
It’ll definitely be taking an unreasonable amount of my brain power for a good long time.
It’s never a bad day when you get home at 3:00 p.m. Especially when there’s enough of an endorphin rush from getting a solid grade on that Sensation and Perception research paper rough draft to counteract the dejection of finding out thefinal exam won’t be curved like the midterms were.
I’m not at all bitter about being told about it just two weeks before the exam.
You can tell by the way I definitely did not start this post off with a paragraph-long rant.
But hey that being said, at least I got home early right? Which means I had plenty of extra time to get started on my homework for the weekend.
Ahaha, haha, ha.
Yeah no, I just watched YouTube all afternoon.
Don’t give me that look, viewing public. It was a long week, okay? I just wanted to go home and veg out a little.
Oh boy, here I am arguing with the empty void that I’m pretending is a robust audience.
Let’s just stop filling in empty space on this post and get to the point.
For instance, the YouTube videos I’ve been watching.
Yeah that’s right this is another recommending YouTube channels post. Don’t pretend like you didn’t see that coming.
Even if this is a makeshift post thanks to events I had planned getting cancelled, it is based on something I was thinking about in the shower this morning.
See I recently discovered a new video game reviewing YouTuber who has sent me down the rabbit hole of binging every old video out of sheer love for the great new entertainment.
His name is RadicalSoda, and for the most part he does a lot of Sonic-related stuff from what I’ve seen. But also his Kingdom Hearts 2 and bad Pixar PS2 games videos have stood out to me.
The reason why he’s relevant in the conversation I set up for myself is because a few videos in I found out that my new favorite long-haired dudebro is from New Zealand.
Land of the Hobbit and… Usurping old Zealanders. I guess.
I don’t know anything about New Zealand.
But that’s kind of the point! I know literally nothing about New Zealand, yet thanks to the magic of an open content creation platform like YouTube I’m able to see his creative energy and sense of humor come to life.
It’s kind of awesome to imagine, and I’m not sure I would have thought about it too much if I wasn’t already primed by seeing my own blog’s analytics.
Naturally I couldn’t help but think about other YouTube personalities I watch who aren’t based in the United States, because this would have been a very boring post if it was just lots of rambling only to have one recommendation at the end.
So I have other recommendations. For instance, Caddicarus is a channel I’ve been following for some time that’s based in England and also does video game-related content more often than not.
In a similar vein I’ve gotten very into watching another British YouTuber, I Hate Everything. He has a massive backlog of interesting videos just talking about dumb things in general or talking about dumb movies specifically.
His channel also got me introduced to Ralphthemoviemaker, who also does some fantastic movie reviews… But he’s in the U.S. so I’m not counting that right now.
The only other big international name I can think off the top of my head is RANK10YGO, but he’s arguably the most niche suggestion I can offer to a general audience.
All he does is Yu-Gi-Oh! videos. Specifically informational videos about different card archetypes in the game.
Which are fantastic if you want to find out more about the game like I did after getting real into Duel Links. But I imagine it isn’t for everything.
Unless you happen to like somewhat deadpan, meme-ridden humor. In which case he’s your man!
Also he’s apparently from Montenegro. Just in case you were wondering why he fit into this whole international shindig.
So yeah, there’s a bunch of (mostly) international YouTube suggestions that you can check out if you’re interested. For me it’s a pretty great reminder that the Internet isn’t just a cesspool of dumb crap.
It’s a place where people from literally all over the world can share their creativity for even random Joe’s like me to see.
Even if their creativity is just dumb crap, it’s still pretty awesome to think about.
If you have any international content creators you want to recommend, I’d be happy to hear all about them!
Once again I spent all day today with some friends off on a friendventure. So instead of a long, intricate post, I just figured I would do a real quick run through of all the photos I took as something fun.
We went well off the beaten path for our usual hangouts by going to the Glendale Galleria, a large mall in… Well, Glendale. It was somewhere Juan and I had been to before but nobody else had, so we figured it would be a good place to just explore since it’s a real big area.
Plus Juan wanted to go to the LEGO store to buy something, and it was either there or Downtown Disney.
After an almost hour-and-a-half drive (both there and back I might add, with all five of us packed into my car just chatting and having a good time), we wound up in a totally different world, surrounded by so many fancy cars that we decided to affectionately title our trip “Detroit becomes Glendale” after the current future-set David Cage experience everyone’s pretty into right now.
The first store we went into was this place called Box Lunch, which seemed to be the less angst-ridden version of Hot Topic. While there we discovered, among other things, this figure of Sora from Kingdom Hearts:
He’s seen some things, man.
I also decided to snap this photo of a Guardians of the Galaxy t-shirt to share with Aly, since it seemed right up her alley.
Needless to say she was a fan:
Then we started to really wander the place. One of the things that stood out was this absolutely incredible advertisement starring Johnny Depp:
He’s straight up about to be eaten by that wolf.
Also, we had a very long debate on whether or not the name of the cologne was someone misspelling “sausage” or “savage.” Either way someone definitely should have been fired, we decided.
Soon enough we made it to the LEGO store for the first time, because we were going to confirm they had the set Juan wanted before coming back later to buy it so he didn’t have to carry the whole thing around all day.
Here he is playing with the machine that makes sets build in front of you in augmented reality:
Mitchell, Jonathan and I can be seen off in the background of the video screen by the way. Fun fact, I suppose.
We also discovered a number of things. First, the fact that porg LEGOs exist. Second, that the Millennium Falcon LEGO set is 800 god damn dollars.
I’m honestly not sure which of those facts is more shocking, even hours later.
From there a lot of the journey was relatively uneventful. Mostly just walking and talking.
Eventually we wound up in an area with a Japanese pop culture store that had awfully suggested figurines to an almost comic degree, as well as plenty of stores under construction.
Including a place called PLAYlive Nation, which is apparently just a lounge that people can come in and play video games together.
Another fun fact, the second selling point on the place’s website is that it gets gamers out of the house to make friends.
Seems like an awfully savage thing to put so high on the features list in my opinion, especially since just across the street was an icon of gamer hangout spots:
A R E. Y O U. G A M E?
Also this was a place.
I’m just not going to say anything, because we thought it was suggestive enough on its own.
Speaking of food, however, that was what we did next. Juan got Blaze Pizza, Tiana got Boba, Jonathan and I got Five Guys, and Mitchell…
Well he didn’t get anything.
Except the pleasure of enjoying this New Yorker article about Incredibles 2 that Tiana introduced us to because WOW it’s just unreasonably suggestive of all the sexual baggage the movie leaves with the parents who go to see it.
It’s absolutely incredible and worth a read.
We also discovered this Build-A-Bear Workshop kiosk which was… Odd. To say the least.
Seems like the kind of place that makes infinitely more sense as a store, but oh well. This serves the purpose just as well, I suppose.
By that point we had essentially circled the entire mall, so of course our last stop was the LEGO store redux. Juan bought himself a giant set while the rest of us goofed off a little.
Tiana and I had a pretty good time just building with LEGO pieces at one of the builder stations. I even made this neat mini house!
I guess it kind of looks more like a car than a house… But still.
Are you proud of me yet, internet?
I sure hope so. Because some much younger kids came to play with the LEGO pieces and we just sort of backed away awkwardly as the grown adults we are.
Once the set was bought, we made our way home again. An hour-and-a-half worth of a drive later we were back in Redondo, where we got to play video games and watch the second live action Scooby Doo movie.
E3 was a tricky thing for me this year. See… A lot of it just isn’t for me.
That’s not me saying I’m not interested in a lot of the developers and what they’re working on, I mean literally there are barriers to me playing most games.
Like yeah I would love to play Kingdom Hearts 3, and I thought having three trailers across three different conferences that all featured different content was dope. But it’s on Xbox One and Playstation 4. Not the Switch.
Unfortunately I’m just limited in what I can access, and money is a severely limiting factor when it comes to getting consoles.
So to sum up 90 percent of E3 this year I’ll say this: It was better than a lot of other years prior, and I had a great time watching my friends freak out about what’s coming out soonish. And it has been cool seeing YouTube ads get replaced by E3 trailers
But frankly the only thing I can really have any authority or hype to discuss is the big N. So today, I’m dedicating my blog post to the Nintendo E3 2018 Direct conference.
If you want something more in-depth about the other conferences, there’s plenty of opinions out there. Might I recommend ProJared? He didn’t go to the conference in person this year it looks like, but I still respect his opinion quite a bit.
That said, let’s jump right in with what we got out of Nintendo this year.
So the Direct starts with this hype game about mechs battling called DAEMON X MACHINA. Super action-y music, real Justice League-esque color scheme.
It looks cool, and I get why they would start with something that has such a high-octane feel… But it’s not a very ‘Nintendo’-looking game. I just kind of spent half of it staring at the screen wondering why we started with this and not one of the classic IPs.
But then it very jarringly cuts to silence and awkwardly moves into the next thing.
That next thing happens to be Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC. Which is something I would probably care about more if I’d played either of the Xenoblade Chronicles games.
Okay that’s not fair, it’s nice to see the game getting more love since I know it’s a series plenty of people love. I just literally don’t know enough about it to offer an opinion.
But hey, then our boy Reggie Fils-Aimé comes in to kick things up to 100 for me by showing off that Pokémon goodness.
Except he doesn’t really, since it’s mostly just a recap of the trailer we saw the other day. No new footage or anything. So I guess if you want my over-extensive rumination on that, check it out through this link.
One thing he does let us know that’s new is the fact that the Pokeball Plus accessory allows you to get Mew in Let’s Go. That… Actually does make them feel much more worthwhile than I had originally thought.
Damn you clever marketing tactics. Damn you…
After that brief aside comes a return to form that feels much-needed on the Switch:
Super Mario Party.
That’s right, everyone’s favorite friendship killer is back. But this time it looks like Nintendo made a lot of good choices just based on the footage we can see.
For one, no more cars. Everyone wanders around on the game board on their own again. God bless.
They also show off the fact that the Switch consoles themselves will be well-integrated into the mini games, allowing players to do things like rearrange battlefields for tank fights.
Everything looks colorful and has branching pathways again, and there seems to be a wide variety of mini games to play. On top of that, they clearly pushed the fact that this is a Mario Party you can take literally anywhere thanks to it being on the Switch, which is a good selling point.
Plus Rosalina is there as a playable character. So honestly I can find no reason to complain. Come October, my friends and I are going to be all over it I’m sure.
Once Mario is finished, we move into the next thing. Yet another highly anticipated interest of mine:
Fire Emblem Switch finally has a name. Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
It seems the one thing Intelligent Systems learned from Fates is the fact that they can sell more games if they split them up, so instead of two main versions now there are three!
Alright no that’s a joke, don’t believe that fake news. I think it’s just three Lord characters from feuding lands or something along those lines.
The game honestly looks gorgeous from what we can see in the trailer. The environments look realistic more in-line with Fire Emblem Warriors than the somewhat cartoonish fantasy worlds of Awakening and Fates. Which is a plus or a minus depending on who you are, but I dig the art style personally.
It also seems to retain the same stylized cutscene art as Echoes, and the in-game character models are full body, more in-line with those cutscenes.
There are a number of new mechanics showcased in the trailer as well. For one, all individual units appear to have their own troop of units surrounding them when you zoom in close enough. Honestly, this makes a lot of sense to embody the feeling of controlling an army, something older titles had to kind of awkwardly skirt around due to the conflicts with its core gameplay mechanics.
The extra troops don’t appear to be able to take hits for each individual main unit, but they can be put into formations to direct attacks whichever way the player wants.
Also introduced as a step-up from previous titles is what looks like semi-open world portions where the game’s lords can explore expansive towns and castles. It’s as if the free-roaming home base feature from Fates used the third person camera style from dungeon exploring that came in Echoes, but it has a massive graphical overhaul.
Beyond that there are a few extra vague things shown that won’t necessarily make sense until we learn more/see the game. There are character choices that may affect what weapons the Lord units specialize in, the evil king uses an electrical whip like that villain from Iron Man 2 (so whips confirmed as weapons?), there are big mechanical people who seem to be units or at least bosses…
And then lore stuff that isn’t exactly clear.
They give a Spring 2019 release date, but that’s about all we can gleam before the next few trailers hit rapid-fire. For anyone who watched the presentation, there’s a pretty big light at the end of the tunnel so I’ll move through them quick.
Fortnite on Switch: I couldn’t really care less. But it’s free I suppose?
Reggie comes back to introduce Indie games. Starting with the sequel to Overcooked — a game that I’ve been forced to play with my friends and regret every minute of. Why Reggie. Why.
Killer Queen Black looks like a strange 16-bit inspired clone of Joust, just updated for 2018 mayhem. Apparently it’s a port of a game Reggie says was really popular… But I’ve never heard of it. So we’ll see.
Hollow Knight, meanwhile, is a game I’ve heard plenty about. I’ve heard it’s gorgeous and fun, one of my friend Kyle’s favorites from 2017. I’ll actually consider downloading it given the fact it’s out today.
The super stylized Square Enix RPG Octopath Traveler received an official June 14th release date. I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the game but it looks cool and my friends are hyped for it, so I’m sure I’ll play it eventually.
After those announcements, there’s a montage of games that are either coming out or have come out. The one that stood out most, frankly, is Dragonball FighterZ. Something I’ve been looking for on Switch for forever.
Plus Dark Souls and Monster Hunter Gen Ultimate. And The World Ends with You, coming this Fall apparently.
Just… Give it to me already Nintendo, I need all of your games.
But wait, that montage must be the end of the Direct, right? How can there still be a half hour left?
We begin this long examination of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with the biggest announcement it has to offer. Every single fighter from every previous Smash game is back.
Ice Climbers? In the game.
Solid Snake? In the game.
Pichu? Young Link? Wolf? Pokemon Trainer? In the game.
But more than that, a few characters have received overhauls. Most notably Link, who now sports his Breath of the Wild look, as well as Zelda, from Link Between Worlds, and Ganon, from Ocarina of Time. The clashing art styles there are a bit jarring for me personally, but it’s cool to get a wider breadth of representation for the series!
Oh and let’s not forget the new characters: the Inklings from Splatoon, Princess Daisy and… Oh.
Ridley is actually in the game.
Our memes have become our reality, folks. End of the line.
Many of the characters also appear to have adjusted move sets. Notably final smash attacks. For example, Pac-Man now seems to rain down like meteors in his, rather than just moving semi-quick across the screen. King Dedede’s smash is based on the Masked Dedede cage fight now. Bowser’s is based on the Yoshi’s Island boss fight.
There’s a whole long section in the video going over the different ways characters have changed, and I’d recommend going to watch that. It does a way better job summing things up than I could.
I’ll just say… RIP Landmaster. Your legacy will always be remembered.
Sakurai himself says they made the impossible possible because it’s what players want, and by god is he right. What a beautiful, amazing man.
Eight-player Smash matches are also returning, as are a billion fan-favorite maps. On top of that, there are little quality of life changes like seeing gauges for Cloud and Robin’s abilities, which makes it easier to track everything on one screen.
Oh and let’s not forget. Assist trophies have been added, like the Squid Sisters. Many can be knocked out too New Pokémon assists have been added, like Solgaleo from Sun and Moon.
… Also Bomberman is there. Because why not?
Everything emphasized by Sakurai seems to suggest the game’s development was focused on making everything more beautiful, more intimately connected to the individual fighters showcased and more quick and fun as a brawler for players.
It’s honestly a greatest hits album for Smash Bros., and I really can’t argue with how amazing it looks.
I just hope we get a lot more new characters in the lead-up to the game. I want the roster for Smash Ultimate to look like one of those silly rom hack Smash games. After all, the Inkling fighters and Ridley both look like really fun additions.
But mostly I want more characters because then we get more amazing reveal trailers.
In Ridley’s trailer, he straight up murders Mario and Mega Man.
Like holy shit it’s so intense and real like for no reason. And I love it.
Plus they say he finally ‘hits the big time.’ I see what you did there Sakurai.
With Smash coming out in December, it’s heard up to be a perfect holiday present for all the kiddos. I’m certainly looking forward to it!
I can understand why people might have been disappointed by Nintendo’s E3 Direct this year.
As a fan of Fire Emblem, Pokémon and Smash Bros., I had a great time watching the Direct. It does help that the Switch is the only console I own, so it was kind of a look at the only games I can get in the near future… But still.
I felt much more hype walking out of the Direct than I did walking in.
Despite that, the lack of discussion regarding things like Metroid Prime 4, which was teased last year, and other such misses are easy jabs to make at the conference. Everything was very focused on a select number of games, with not too much else branching out.
Of course there was (and I believe still is as I write this) the Treehouse Live going on that talked about more Pokémon details and stuff like that… But I didn’t have the patience or time to sit through it, so I’m going to leave those topics for another day.
Probably not, I don’t know. We’ll see.
In the meantime, let me know what you thought of Nintendo’s E3 conference this year!
Or, further than that, let me know what you thought of E3 in general this year. I may only have a Nintendo console, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t games in the other spheres that I didn’t find interesting. I’d love to hear what you’re looking forward to coming soon to consoles everywhere!
From here on out, my Entertainment Reporting class assignments are primarily going to be weekly updates on some of the major things that are happening in the video game industry.
I got some of my friends who tend to pay more attention to gaming news aggregates to help out on compiling a small list of some of the big things that happened this week, so my first attempt at doing this is probably going to resemble a listicle more than anything else. Just a few headlines, links and some summary paragraphs. Might wind up changing things later depending on how much I like that, but for now I think it’ll work out pretty well as an easy way for me to approach these.
That said, let’s get on with the news.
Overwatch League Stage one concludes with New York on top
Blizzard’s widely popular first person shooter has been driving the eSports scene lately with a competition between the game’s top teams from all around the world.
However, in the overall standings, New York is on top with 9 wins and only 1 loss. This puts them over the next four teams, who are all tied in their 7 win to 3 loss records, but have different standings overall.
I’ll admit, I’m not personally a huge Overwatch buff, but I know all of my friends adore it. They certainly aren’t the only ones either, as the game has been hugely popular since it’s release.
I actually wrote on this topic for our Mock Newsroom this week, which took me down a deep dive into the world of competative Overwatch. It’s definitely not a world I travel in often, so it was an interesting experience to say the least. If nothing else, I suppose I like seeing eSports get a lot of traction – which is something I’ll touch on in a bit.
Labo, for those of you who are unaware, are essentially special holsters for the Nintendo Switch that give players new control schemes to play specific games. The twist is that you create the holsters — called “Toy Cons” in a fun little allusion to the consoles main controllers, the “Joy Cons” — yourself with cardboard cutout sheets and auxiliary pieces like rubber bands in activities reminiscent of arts and crafts projects.
When they were first announced, I know I personally had some concerns regarding how in-depth of an experience these somewhat gimmicky additions to the Switch were going to be, but it seems like they have some promise to be more than just tech demos based on what the newest video shows.
The first Variety Pack will contain five Labo projects: An RC car, a fishing rod, a house, a motorbike and a piano.
The RC car seems well thought out, with the Switch’s portable touch screen being used as a controller while the detached Joy Cons control how the car you’ve created moves. Not only does it show how impressive the “HD rumble” tech can be, it also makes use of the Joy Con night vision capable camera to promote self-propelled movement toward certain stimuli.
The fishing rod uses the Switch’s screen to simulate an ocean environment that you drop a fishing line into using a fairly complex looking cardboard fishing rod. The rod has Joy Con holsters in two major areas that allow you to simulate the act of reeling in fish, with the aforementioned HD rumble simulating the feeling of fish tugging on the hook. The game itself looks to be a rather simple fishing simulator, but has a nice and pretty looking aesthetic that I think will make it worth trying at least once.
Personally, I just hope this kind of functionality comes back for games like Animal Crossing and the Legend of Zelda, which are fairly well-known for their fishing side-games.
The house Toy Con seems to be used for the 2018 equivalent of a Tamagotchi. You remember those, right? The little key chains that would grow a creature inside and was later somewhat co-opted by Nintendo for the Pokéwalker in HeartGold and SoulSilver? Hell you don’t have to look very far for the allusion, there’s basically an 8-bit guy similar to Tamagotchi in the background of the house.
There’s a cute amount of interactivity with the house itself, where doing things like shaking the screen will create an earthquake inside, and the Joy Cons can inhabit different plug-in additions for the house that do things like change the time of day or the environment inside.
Oh, also there’s a portal reference in there. Can’t argue with that.
The overall experience seems simple, but there appears to be a good amount of depth with mixing and matching the plug-ins, and I do enjoy the aesthetic. So… We’ll see how good it is in execution.
The motorbike reminds me of one of those arcade cabinet racing games where you sit down in what’s essentially a simulated car or motorcycle. The controls appear to be fairly realistic and more complex than one might expect for a children’s console arts and crafts project, but Mario Kart Wii didn’t exactly handle the “realistic steering” thing well, so I’m reserving judgement on this one. There’s also a sandbox mode where you can create your own open lot driving areas with a scanner using the Joy Con camera and a track by simulating how you’d want to drive in real life.
Those additions are pretty cool, honestly.
Though… Now that I’m thinking about it, why isn’t this a Mario Kart game? More than any other object creation here, I think this one feels the most like a tech demo just in the sense that it seems like exactly what Mario Kart 9 should be. Another thing I hope we’ll see functionality return for later, I suppose.
Finally, the piano looks like a simple version of an actual keyboard you could go out and buy. It even does that thing where you can make each note play a silly sound if you plug-in a Joy Con knob. Apparently you can also make sounds through the vibration of a Joy Con by placing it on different objects, which is interesting… But not necessarily interesting enough to save this from being a little too simple to look that appealing. For me anyway.
My sister will probably love it though. Plus, I did used to mess around on Garage Band a lot… So who knows.
I’ll admit, I’m personally more excited about this technology after watching what Nintendo has planned. Now we just have to wait and see how successful it is on the market.
Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer shows Sora will visit worlds of Toy Story, Monsters Inc.
Now here’s something that’s right up my alley. As much as Monster Hunter World and Dragon Ball FighterZ have given me that mad heartache for a PS4, they likely won’t be as big a system seller as something like Kingdom Hearts 3.
We see through the trailer that Sora, Donald and Goofy will be turned into toy-sized Warriors and into monstrous versions of themselves when the visit the classic Disney and Pixar properties of Toy Story and Monsters Inc.
I’ll be honest with you, I don’t necessarily have a lot to say about this trailer right now. Don’t get me wrong, the game looks just as beautiful and fun as it has in earlier trailers we’ve seen. Hell, I even have some great things to say about it regarding the return of the dream creatures from Dream Drop Distance and the incredibly transcendent experience of hearing Woody and Buzz talk like they’re in a Japanese anime.
It’s fascinating to me that something like this can happen with how enmeshed in our culture things like CNN are. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of watching people play video games, so I understand the appeal. But it’s still impressive to see that Twitch had 962,000 average concurrent viewers compared to CNN’s 783,000 and MSNBC’s 885,000.
The article stipulates that a good amount of this attention is coming from popular competitive games like League of Legends and, conveniently enough, the debut of Blizzard’s Overwatch League.
They say over 10 million unique viewers tuned into the League during its first week, which is honestly kind of hard to fathom.
I don’t have much personal insight to throw into this story, I just think the numbers are fascinating and I wanted to share them. If anything, I think this might make for a good entertainment news story, something I have to write soon.
So stay tuned for that.
These four things weren’t the only things that happened in gaming this week, of course.
There’s plenty going on out there if you’re looking for it, so keep watching for the latest news. I’ll be back next week with more, so look forward to that!
If you enjoyed this kind of post format, let me know. After all, I’m still trying to work out exactly how I want to do this whole Entertainment Reporting beat notes thing, and there’s a bunch of weeks left in the semester to iron it out.
I’ve been busy the last couple of days between training for the Daily Titan, working on three stories for our first issue of the semester, writing some stuff for Gladeo and plenty of other little time consuming things, so I didn’t have time to really write something extended on the Nintendo Direct Mini that premiered earlier.
After watching through it again, however, I decided I didn’t exactly have a lot to say about the games they talked about in the first place. As a result I figured I could just run though a couple of quick fire thoughts here before working on writing my Fire Emblem Heroes post for tomorrow. It shouldn’t take all that long ideally, and I am interested in putting some of my mind on paper.
The 14 minute direct came completely unbeknownst to me, but I’m glad my friends let me know to stumble upon it because there are a few things on the list of announcements that I’m really glad I found out about now.
Of course there were a few throwaway things for me throughout. Namely the Pokkén Tournament expansion, the Dragon Quest Builders demo, Ys VIII, SNK Heroines, Art of Fighting 2, Fe and Celeste. For one reason or another none of those games really spoke to me, so if you’re hoping I talk about them then you’re probably going to be a bit disappointed.
Beyond those there were quite a few things mentioned that I’m quite excited about. For example, I’m really looking forward to jumping back into Kirby with Kirby Star Allies.
The game seems to be combining the art style of Triple Deluxe (one of my favorites in the series) and an extended version of the ability combination from Kirby 64 and Squeak Squad. The thing that got me more excited about this title is the fact that it’s coming out on March 16.
I had no idea it was going to be that early, but I’m very excited knowing there’s at least one game to look forward to early on this year.
Seriously Kirby is one of my favorite Nintendo properties. Even if the games tend to be on the easier side, they’re never not fun. They’re always a blast to play and this one promises to be a blast to play on a system that has already given us the amazing next steps of Mario and the Legend of Zelda.
So yeah can we just skip ahead to March? Maybe?
Nintendo also promises a port of Hyrule Warriors definitive edition in the spring featuring a combined roster of all the main and DLC characters from both the Wii U and 3DS versions. It seems like this could be a good opportunity for me to go back and get that game since I missed out on it during its first run of popularity, which is an especially promising idea considering it’s going to be a more complete package.
Plus, I still haven’t gotten Fire Emblem Warriors either… So I really need to dip my toes in the Warriors series eventually.
Another Nintendo game making a return on the Switch is Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
I don’t know that I’m as excited for this title coming back as I am for Hyrule Warriors, but if nothing else both of these games returning sets a promising precedent for something like… Say… Super Smash Brothers 4 to get a definitive version on the Switch.
One can dream.
Also, playing Mario Odyssey and spending an obsessive amount of time in New Donk City has rekindled some of my love for the big ape. Add in Funky Kong as a new playable character and I’m probably a little more open-minded for Tropical Freeze as a result.
Speaking of Mario Odyssey, it’s one of three games getting an update soon. The others are Pokkén Tournament, which I already said I don’t feel too strongly about since I really have no intent to own that game, and Mario + Rabbids which is another game I don’t own despite being more interested in it.
But hey, Donkey Kong is being added to that game. So… Tropical Freeze callback? Or something…
Anyway, in the Odyssey update Nintendo will be adding a new mode called Luigi’s Balloon World.
First of all, Luigi. Adding him into the game makes this already a win in my book.
Beyond Luigi just being amazing, the minigame the update adds does seem interesting in its own right. Essentially there are two aspects to it. The first had players able to choose to hide a balloon somewhere in the Kingdom they’re playing on. The second lets players choose to hunt down a balloon that has been hidden by another player.
The catch is that both modes must be completed in 30 seconds.
As the announcer talks about in the Direct, this encourages a speedrun-centric style of gameplay where the players who know the most about the map around them can create the best hiding places that might be hard for more casual players to reach. It’s a really interesting way to approach Odyssey that I never would have considered implementing, but one that also feels ingeniously perfect for an on-the-go console like the Switch thanks to the short time limits.
If I’m being completely honest, that little addition to an already great game frankly seems more interesting than the entirety of Mario Tennis Aces.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Mario Tennis games. Mario Power Tennis was one of my favorite GameCube games. From what I understand the most recent Wii U Mario Tennis game was somewhat disappointing, however. As a result of that and the strangely real-world tennis outfits characters are wearing (like Mario up above) I’m fairly skeptical.
Interested, but skeptical.
The last major theme of this Direct that caught my interest was the amount of games being ported to the Switch that seem like unusual candidates.
First is Payday 2, a game which feels like it has been around forever but has never necessarily caught my interest. Even so, it just seems strange to me that Nintendo would sanction a game about (somewhat) realistic gun play and bank heists being put on their system.
Though that brings me to the second game, Dark Souls.
Somehow the meme that was Dark Souls on the Nintendo Switch came true. From Software’s dark, demented and incredibly difficult action adventure is finally coming to a platform that I can play it on. To be honest, as much as I’m fairly intimidated by the game, I think it’s going to be worth trying it out if for no other reason than to appreciate the cult classic status.
If I actually get around to doing that, it should be quite the adventure.
Third on the list is The World Ends with You, arguably the game I’m the most interested in.
I have no prior experience with the Nintendo DS classic – unless you count the characters appearance in Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance that is. Yet, basically every person I know or follow online seems eager to put TWEWY way high up on their ‘best DS games of all time’ lists.
Just from what I’ve seen, I can imagine why. The game has a really cool anime-pixel art style and an interesting gameplay mechanic in its original form involving two characters fighting at once with players using the touch screen to control one and buttons to control the other.
That will presumably shift to being one joy con controlling each character on the Switch version, but I could be wrong on that. I don’t know what the control scheme is going to look like.
That’s just another part of what makes it so exciting for me.
Not only will it be a game with an interesting story and control scheme, it’s also going to be an extended edition with more content similar to Hyrule Warriors.
Though TWEWY has no official release date beyond coming this year, it’s honestly going to be at the top of my ‘to get’ list whenever it arrives.
Those are about my off-the-cuff thoughts on the Nintendo Direct Mini. So, I leave things at this (as usual). What did you think of the Direct? Which games are you looking forward to?
Is it tacky to start off two blog posts in a row with the same kind of title?
While I’ve spent some time working on a few video game-themed posts today that I want to get out this week, I wound up taking a little personal detour. As we begin 2018, I figured why not start the year off right by straightening up my room?
Okay so this is definitely a weird set-up for something to write about, I’ll admit. But I’m not putting together because I want to write about cleaning my room necessarily.
Rather, I’m looking to use this post to fill the sort of secret third purpose of my blog. Outside of archiving my professional work and giving me a space to blather on about video games, I also like to think I’ll be able to one day use this place as a time capsule. You know, look back to see how things were or take inspiration from my past or… I don’t know, anything like that I suppose.
So, why not take a little look at my bedroom as it is now? After all, this point of my life is likely not too far away from the point where I’m going to wind up moving out on my own, abandoning it as a result.
If anyone is interested in seeing the place where I spend most of my time, I guess this is your chance to do so while I feel good about it looking nice. But if not, just know that this one is more for me.
So let’s start out with the place I see the most: My desk.
Overlooking my desk are some nice collectible posters of mine, which you’ll find are a frequent sight in this little tour. Super Mario Galaxy and the region maps for Kalos and Alola are the prime examples here.
There’s also a photo of my high school class up top, opposite the photo I have of my middle school class as a matter of fact. I was pretty proud of the way I laid that out when it first came about.
Some of the most notable things on my desk itself are a Kirby plush bought by my friend Jonathan in Japan and my Rowlet McDonalds toy next to the desktop computer I admittedly don’t really use. There’s also a four-star dragonball that Megan gave me for the holidays in 2016 when we were news editors together, a very dried out flower that I wore at my high school prom, a newton’s cradle that has some written out Pokémon team ideas on top and a piece of quartz that… I don’t remember where I got.
I just really like how it looks, honestly. So its been there for about as long as I can remember.
On the other side of the entryway in is my bed.
The bed itself obviously isn’t much to talk about, but above it are a number of posters and pictures and such. Among them are a map of the Hoenn region, an XKCD webcomic, a table of elements and a Terminator-inspired self portrait I drew for my high school art class.
Oh, and you can see the laundry room outside too.
Meanwhile, in the other corner…
Right now there are some more self-explanatory posters on the leftmost wall, but probably some more interesting things on display for the rest of the space.
I have my original Twilight Princess poster from an issue of Nintendo Power in 2016 – still arguably my favorite Zelda game I might add – and the Pikachu/Mimikyu picture I got for my birthday last year that’s usually up in the Newsroom is currently housed here.
Gotta go back and watch that again one of these days.
The floor space in that corner is also what I like to call “the piles of no return.” It’s more or less all of the binders I’ve used for different school subjects going all the way back to middle school. I say that I keep them around on the off chance I ever need the information inside again, but frankly I think I just don’t know what to do with it all since throwing it out would be a waste.
In my opinion at least.
Moving on, we get to to the next corner of my room, notably featuring my over-stuffed book shelf and the papasan that winds up being extra storage space rather than a seat more often than not.
From this angle, you can also see the orange hat I wore when I dressed as Willy Wonka for Halloween in 2016, the Porg I got as a secret Santa gift from my assistant Breanna this semester, a piece of artwork I bought of one of my favorite Pokémon Gym Leaders (Roxie, from Black 2 and White 2) and the second half of my school-year class photos. On the opposite side of the room as promised.
A little more interesting to me are some of the things hanging up on the wall here.
The Star Wars poster is pretty self-explanatory, it’s just a cool Star Wars poster.
On the other wall, stuck to the closet door, is a painting my friend Tiana made for me showcasing my favorite Pokémon, Gardevoir. There’s a whole set that she made for each of my other friends in our little group too, which is pretty sweet. Above the closet is also also an award I got in 2014 for “Excellence in Newswriting” at a Journalism Education Association Write-Off Competition. Pretty cool stuff.
Oh, and I’m sure some people must have noticed the metal weapons hanging up on the jutting out part of the wall too.
Yeah… I don’t have too much of a story for these. Basically, I’ve been the Anime Expo a couple of times, and one of my favorite things to see there is the video game weapon re-creations with real metal.
So I got myself a Master Sword and a Keyblade. And they look dope.
Next up, around the room’s one window, are my main display sources.
These two pieces of furniture are combined drawer and display spaces, and are obviously part of a set with my desk that are some of the oldest things I own.
The main drawers, with my longtime backpack resting in front of it, has a couple of notable mainstay items, including a collector’s Tanuki Suit Mario figure wearing the special Mickey Mouse ears that I got during our senior end-of-ear trip there in 2015, my high school yearbooks and diploma and my Amiibo collection.
Because yeah, I have a bit of an Amiibo collection.
Don’t ask me how this got to where it is now, because frankly I’m not totally sure. I started with Smash Brothers Link, but enjoyed the display value enough that I kept it boxed, and eventually I got it in my head that I wanted to collect every single Smash Brothers Amiibo to make a nice set.
However, I have neither the space nor the resources to really do that, so for now it’s just a little wall of Amiibo that my sister likes to make fun of me for.
The T.V. cabinet and drawer space has a good amount of collectibles on top of it as well. I have a series of trophies from my time doing chess tournaments back in elementary school that are cool because they’re shaped like chess pieces, I have some goodies themed after my favorite mythical Pokémon Jirachi – including a cardboard art piece that I made in my senior high school art class, I have some Lego builds from some time ago of the Fallingwater building, Obi Wan Kenobi’s ship from the Star Wars prequels (Episode III namely) and of the Space Needle in Seattle.
The last one in particular fits in well with some of the other landmark/history-themed goods, like a model of the White House I picked up during a trip to Washington D.C. for a journalism conference some years back and a Ronald Reagan diorama of sorts dating way back to the days of a President report in elementary school. Still proud of how nice that one looks to this day.
There are a bunch of other things I like to keep out on display which mean a lot to me, but that piece of furniture is also where I keep my yearly calendar. Though I often wind up falling a week or so behind when it comes to changing the month over, it’s definitely helpful to keep it so close by in my main workspace so I can jot down important dates if necessary.
Plus, I always like to have something theming the calendar that keeps me happy. For instance, between 2017 and 2018, I went from this:
Because how can you ever be truly stressed out when you can just turn your head to the left and see some dogs being adorable?
That just about concludes my tour. I could probably go into more depth about a ton of little items strewn throughout the room, but that would honestly take forever.
I do have stories about a lot of stuff, so who knows. Maybe I’ll get to that another day.
Now, as a final note. Is this the silliest thing I’ve ever written about on my blog? Or the dumbest thing? I’ll leave that up to you likely few viewers out there to decide.
On top of that, as a side final note, if this is me from the future looking at this while going through a small nostalgia trip, I hope you enjoyed it most of all.