Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Fire Emblem: Fates is a good game

Playing through Conquest right now and have got to say the amount of improvements they have made is tremendous; there are playstayles fitting any type of person whether you want things to be easy and enjoy the story or are up for an incredible challenge this new entry in the series has got it all.

There are three modes to choose from:

Classic - Which "retires" your defeated units for good once they die in combat.
Casual - Like Awakening where your defeated units return on the next map.

and one more addition which was not in the last game...

Phoenix - Revives your troops as soon as they are defeated.

With that being included you could easily say this is the easiest Fire Emblem game yet. There is no benefit from playing Classic over the other two modes that I am aware of however the satisfaction is still there. Furthermore, this game's multiplayer features have taken a step to the next level. You can now visit other player's castles to gather resources and materials as well as battle them either on their turf or yours.

If you defeat them in their castle with No Handicap activated you will be given the choice to recruit one of their members(however they will not develop social ranks with you) or to inherit one of their skills at a discounted price. This makes multiplayer something beneficial to all players, even those who don't usually delve into those aspects of the games they play.

You can either visit by streetpassing, entering a castle address, getting a recommendation, or searching through top rated castles based on feedback left by other players.

I have yet to try out Birthright or get to Revelations. However, if you are wondering what the differences are... here they are according to what I read in-game:

Birthright: More chances for gaining EXP and Leveling up. Defend Hoshido.
Conquest: More challenging maps with better treasure but more risk. Best for those used to Classic
Fire Emblem. Defend Nohr.
Revelations: The final chapter in Fire Emblem: Fates. Meant to be played after both Birthright and Conquest.

Oh, and this goes without saying - but you will have different units based on your choices as well.

With castles you can customize, vastly different playstyles between the two choices, and a heaping helping of supportive multiplayer content - I highly recommend this game as being the most fun Fire Emblem title to date.

The only thing I can say against the game is that your character (the Avatar) will mostly speak for himself - but you will hardly be inclined to disagree with any of it. Let the clash between these two neighboring countries...  BEGIN!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Streetpass Insanity

I have been very very busy with Streetpass Mii Plaza. This is incredibly addicting. It has seriously gotten out of hand for me and one other. It has gotten to the point we both stop through our local Home Depot just to get tags. What? Oh, I'm getting ahead of myself. You see - the Mii Plaza has this thing it interacts with called a "Nintendo Zone" and in various locations working in conjunction with Nintendo - they have set up these zones with a wifi connection. When your 3DS/2DS/Handheld of the 3DS family is within range of one of these zones, you get a "streetpass". What this does is send Miis from other people's 3DS console to YOUR console and lets you play games with their Mii.

Of course this isn't active - it's passive stored data that you interact with after the fact that somebody has already been there. Someone could be using your Mii across the world in an entirely separate game. The thing is, you can only Streetpass up to 10 Miis at a time. So you have to play ALL your Mii Plaza games before letting anymore in or you'll waste them. Thankfully you can store up to 10 more Miis at your "gate" before it reaches max capacity.

The problem? In high density areas such as cities and local conventions you will probably max out before getting to play even a single game. You don't want to have to sit there and play all your games while you have other stuff to do! Unless that was your sole reason for coming there. To make matters even worse, Nintendo has "National Streetpass Weekends" where you can collect people's Miis from all over the country.

This helps people who live in rural areas(like me) to get the passes we need for that last puzzle piece, soldiers for our army, fishing bait and so on. What bothers me is that they can do this and decide to make it event only and not permanent. What's the drawback? Is Nintendo afraid people would lose interest too quick? I know I would be far less addicted and have been finished with my streetpass games long ago if they weren't so darn -rare-.

I love Streetpass games. I really do. I love dressing up my Mii in silly hats and communicating with other players. Maybe even being the one person they needed to help them win a game. But there are other games I would like to get to. Triple A titles and even OTHER 3DS games that I enjoy. I wish it hadn't become such a grind although I am so close to having everything I can get (All hats, birthdays, accomplishments... not so much) I don't feel like I can stop now.

I need a major boost. One that hopefully Nintendo can provide.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Ultimate NES Remix

Ahh... the NES Remix series. It has held it's place on the WiiU until finally making it's way to the 3DS. Now you can take challenges from your favorite NES games with you on the go and compete with online scores provided you have a connection to Wi-Fi. Additionally, you may see a replay of how the person achieved their score to get tips on how to improve your performance or see which exploits may have been used to get to where they're at.

The premise of this game is simple - you select a game from an NES series from Mario, to Zelda and even Punch-Out!! where you are given a task to complete. If you complete the task, you finish the level. However, you can earn up to 3 stars on each level and the faster you complete your task(s) the more stars you will get. Essentially... the game is a speedrun with the fastest person scoring the highest on the board. Additionally - gaining stars on levels can unlock new games and even sometimes secrets - giving you extra incentive to reach for those lofty times.

I recommend this game to NES fans & veterans alike looking for an extra challenge in their favorite games of yesteryear. Just one warning - there are no full-versions to unlock for any of the games included. What this boils down to is a score-attack type game where you can show off online and to your friends. Even so, it remains excellent and the games are still what you remember after all these years.

                            Super Mario Bros. 3


Special thanks to:
xboxwarrior for the +1!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

3DS hardware [Updated as of 12/1/2015]

If you've been a Nintendo fan as long as I have, you know they like to try reinventing their products from time to time while they still have shelf life. What you see above is a comparison between the normal 3DS(Left) and the 3DS XL(Right). While I have no experience with the original model, I can say without a doubt that the XL has served me well. In fact - I have since upgraded to a New Nintendo 3DS XL (Hyrule Edition!) and am entirely pleased with the improvement in hardware.

Here is an image:

As you can see, they have added colors to the buttons (in reference to the famicom/super famicom systems) and a much-requested second control stick for moving the camera. From personal experience I can say it works quite well but it does take some time getting used to. There is not much space around the small pad unlike the big circle pad and when you put your finger on it you may think you aren't having any input at all. Fortunately, this isn't true and when you get to experience it in-game you know your thumb is actually having an effect.

This new c-stick is especially effective in games like Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate where moving the camera is essential to gameplay. A slight movement of the camera could mean the difference between you and victory. Which is why it makes all the more sense that at the time of release it was bundled with the game to make more sales.

The design is nice and silver but very simplistic. I feel as though it could have done with some more representation of it's series although "blue dragon with a circle body" is nice too. Now, with the advent of the new 3DS, there wasn't just one bundle. You can also get the New Nintendo 3DS XL bundled with Zelda: Tri Force Heroes and even though it isn't a bundle there is even a Yoshi version of the new handheld.

I personally own the Hyrule Edition and have been loving it since I got it. There is increased performance in games - which means faster loading times - and the 3D face tracking recognition has been beyond improved. If you thought the previous XL had good 3D effects at time... just wait until you try this one. I am happy to say that this is a worthwhile investment for any Nintendo 3DS fan if you are considering upgrading or trading in your old 3DS for a new one.

Love it!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Louvre 3DS Guide

I don't know how many of you are familiar with the Louvre Museum in France but tonight I have something big to show to all of you. At €5 per rental, you can have an audio guide pre-loaded onto a 3DS accompany you through the museum. This is a truly phenomenal use of video game technology in this age. Not only does the built-in application give you a tour of the museum but also tracks your location using GPS and offers a map so you will never get lost. This is the advent of something truly remarkable in gaming technology - we have proven that not can we just use this hardware for playing games out of pure enjoyment - but for educative reasons that can take us to higher learning too.

If more places start incorporating these type of features into their buildings, I believe it will not only be a fun distraction but help us in our educational pursuits as well. I would love to see more and hope gaming companies like Nintendo continue this trend.

Super Mario 3D Land

Let's start with Super Mario 3D Land. This was one of the first titles for the 3DS and an excellent one at that. Not to be confused with 3D World for the Wii U, 3D Land is a solely single-player experience. In the vein of 64 or Galaxy it is a completely open map with standard Mario series enemies and power-ups galore. The difference this time is that you aren't collecting stars - your goal is to make it to the end of the level and grab the flagpole ala Super Mario Bros. for the NES. That doesn't mean there aren't collectibles to be found along the way. Each level consists of 3 hidden star coins for an added extra challenge. In total, there are 329 star coins tucked away for you to hunt down and gather. In classic Mario style there are 8 worlds for you to jump your way through to find Bowser and rescue the princess. Joining Bowser this time are his 7 Koopa Kids from Super Mario Brothers 3, fan favorites that make boss battles for each world unique and refreshing. Of course - Bowser himself is in this too waiting for you at the very end to give you a fierce showdown.

As well as the 8 normal worlds - there are 8 Special worlds for you to work your way through that are incredibly challenging and Mario experts or veterans will consider a welcome challenge. As an added bonus, once you complete the requirement for it, a secret will be unlocked. Speaking of secrets - there are a TON of them. Little throwbacks here and there to past Mario games (The timing of the flagpole, the warpzone, and so on). Longtime fans of the games in the Super Mario series will be pleased.

One last thing - the 3D feature in this game is excellent. Depending on your hardware you may experience otherwise (I've tried it with a 3DS XL and New 3DS XL) but the game looks amazing and the levels truly come to life in 3D mode. It's something that has to be seen for yourself to truly appreciate - but take my word for it... the 3D in 3D Land (How appropriate) is better than most games on the handheld.

If you're going to get one Mario game or even just one game for the 3DS - this should be it. It has everything a fan wants - Excellent platforming, secrets, nostalgia, varied bossfights, every power-up you could want and collectibles for added challenge. I highly recommend this for any first time 3DS owner and 3DS owner in general. If you don't have this yet, get it now. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Who am I?

 I'm a guy with a passionate love for the 3DS (especially the XL). One who happens to love the 3DS as a handheld more than anything. ....Almost anything. If there is a National Streetpass Weekend, I'm there. If there is a price drop on any games I want in the eShop, I'm sold.

On my 3DS I go by my Mii's name for StreetPassing and Spotpassing events. If you ever run into a a Mii that has all the puzzle pieces and holds high records in all the Streetpass Plaza games... that is most likely me. I am an addict. An unashamed puzzle piece collecting virtual fish loving addict.

My favorite genre is... anything as long as it's exceptional. I tend to frequent traditional console RPGs more than anything and count action games as a close second.  Although it wouldn't stop me from playing pretty much anything. I like variety.

I have a small background in computer programming and writing freelance reviews. My hobbies include getting exercise, fishing, and watching good TV shows/movies.

I'm hoping to have fun with this project and spread that enjoyment to anyone I encounter along the way. Thanks for stopping by to read the writing of a humble man.

I hope you can find something you like!