Backlog Tale – Mario Golf: Super Rush

Mario Golf: Super Rush was a fun game to play for the two weeks I spent playing it. I haven’t played a Mario Golf game since the N64 version. I enjoy that version and the Game Boy Color version as well. Super Rush is easily one of my favorite to control and understand, but I can’t help but to feel that some of the charm has been lost. When I compare this to some of the older Mario sports games in general, I can’t help but to notice the Mushroom Kingdom “charm” feels missing outside of some elements that were paste in. What I’m left with is a fun game that functions great, but doesn’t get me excited with its level design and boring plot to a story mode.

Synopsis

What if golf was Mario Kart?

A Neat Idea That Can Be Frustrating

Despite not liking most sports, I do enjoy them when you add some fun, wacky mechanics to it. To me, it makes the game more interesting when bombs are flying all over the field or you have fun characters to play as. Mario Golf: Super Rush found a way to make golf interesting by adding a new mode called Speed Golf. While I think the real world equivalent would be watching a bunch of golfers take meth and run and scream after they hit their ball, this game gives me a close equivalent to what that would be like. Speed Golf requires you to race to your ball after hitting it down the green and race your opponents to see who can sink their ball the fastest. There are different variations to this mode like just playing normally under a time limit, or earning points based on your placement. It is a fun mode and adds to the crazy chaotic fun that I enjoy in some of my games.

One thing that I don’t like is Cross Country (XC) Golf. This mode in the Adventure Mode let’s you pick which holes you want to go for in any order as long as you do them within the number of strokes. The stage that you play this mode on has a ton of cliffs that you have to send your ball upwards in order to clear. For someone who tried using the recommended methods to get past these obstacles, it made me want to send my controller down the fairway. Even worse, the game times you so you don’t feel like you can get enough time to adjust and figure out the best ways to clear the cliffs. It was aggravating and could completely be my fault for not using the right technique, but nevertheless frustrating.

The other new mode is called Battle Golf. In this mode, you compete against others sink your ball into the required amount of flags before your opponents. This is where the real chaos of Mario Golf: Super Rush comes in as the field is smaller than other maps, but with items being used everywhere and characters using their own abilities to disrupt others, it looks fun. I honestly did not spend much time in this mode, but probably will if I have friends who want to join in.

What is nice to know is that the game will be supported in the future with free updates. I know this goes into the topic of if the game was actually finished to begin with. I too wonder if the developers had more plans with the title but were force to ship it out on release day (more on that in the next section). I like this approach however for a title like this. I don’t see myself playing this every day or develop a routine with it. Giving me a reason to pick the game up once again outside of playing with friends might give me a reason to play this on occasion here and there. For a sports game, I am a little more accepting of picking it up when free updates are sent out (and not spending $60 for the same game with a different roster). If the content is worth it, then I will check it out.

As of the last update, there are 9 courses.

Adventures in Golf Land

I was excited to play the adventure mode since they were my favorite in the Game Boy entries. Adventure mode left me disappointed and honestly where I felt the most content was lacking. I know people want to say that the lack of content comes from the number of courses you can play on, but to me this is where the content was lacking. I felt like I was just going through the motions and not really caring about what was going on in the story. At the beginning it felt like some type of rivalry between you, Charging Chuck, Boo, and Toadette, but they kinda disappeared somewhere in the middle and suddenly I’m teaming up with Wario and Waluigi for “plot.” It also felt unfinished to me at the end where you save Bowser’s Castle, Toad says you can participate in Battle Mode, and then the credits just roll. You do get the ability to use your Mii in Battle Mode at that point, but I just ended up saying whatever at the end and moved on.

The other obvious complaint to adventure mode that I could make is how uncreative the areas and characters are. I know Nintendo is going through this phase of not allowing creative characters in Mario games anymore, but this game really suffered from that choice. Being surrounded by Toads and (Bowser’s) minions makes exploring and talking to them dull since you see them everywhere. I’m not saying that it could have the opposite effect if they were human characters, but making them all look the same and nothing creative about them just makes me uninterested in talking to them. I can see why they wouldn’t let Camelot use their human characters in the game, but if they were uptight about not having non-residents of the Mushroom Kingdom roaming around, then they could have used the next best thing, the Miis! If I’m allowed to run around as a Mii, then they could have easily implemented generic Miis in the adventure mode and make you go against these NPCs with an identity rather than a minion that shares the name of the others.

I can now play as my boi Koopa Troopa!

It’s Golf, but with Speed

This post feels short just because there is not a lot for me to talk about. It’s Mario Golf. You either like Mario Golf or you don’t like it. I enjoy Mario Golf games because they speak to me at my level on how to play golf. I had more fun just playing the regular golf mode with my father-in-law than anything that the adventure mode threw at me. I like some of the stages and characters, and I will most likely play through the new stages and content that come out later. If you like Mario Golf, I can recommend it to you since you will have a good time with this and the new modes that come with it. If you like golf but hate Mario and gimmicks, then you can skip this game a find a cheaper golf game to play. If you hate golf but like Mario, then play any of the other thousands of Mario games. If you hate golf and Mario, then why were you reading this in the first place? I enjoyed playing this for the time that I did, but don’t see myself playing it constantly in my rotation.

Backlog Tale – The World Ends With You: Final Remix

*DISCLAIMER! I WILL BE TALKING ABOUT SPOILERS FOR THE WORLD ENDS WITH YOU. THAT IS YOUR DISCLAIMER!*

I remember when I first heard of The World Ends With You. It was this mobile RPG that was ported to the Nintendo DS on April 22, 2008. Published by Square Enix, this weird title utilized a hybrid combat system that required the use of the touch screen and D-pad to get through its challenges. At the time, I was interested in the titles that Square was releasing, but this game never grabbed my attention. It didn’t look like an interesting RPG to me at the time, and I opted out from checking it out for some other game that was probably crappy.

Thirteen years later, I am kicking younger me for not giving this game a chance. I feel like younger Danames would have really enjoyed The World Ends With You at that time of his life. The themes of friendship, change, and acceptance would have made the final years of high school go by with a little more optimistic outlook. Nevertheless, what I experienced from this title left me with a positive experience with the game’s enjoyable story that is full of twists and turns, and short playtime that manages to not waste your time with anything. This is my experience with The World Ends With You.

Synopsis

Hell looks like a mid-2000s Japanese metropolis. Neku Sakabura wakes up in the middle of the Shibuya Crosswalk and amazed that he hasn’t been run over or trampled to death at this point. Like a true anime protagonist, Neku has lost his memories and has no idea what is going on and why people seem to be ignoring him. The only thing that he has going for him is a message and a cool clock tattoo on his hand. Young Neku must learn the rules of this altered Shibuya to survive at the end of seven days. Throughout his journey, he meets people who reluctantly enter his new life and do the young people thing of becoming friends at the end.

The Reaper’s Game

I am going to go ahead and get my biggest complaint out of the way. They turned this DS game into a Wii game for the remaster. In an attempt to keep the original gameplay and feel of the game, the game can only be played with one joycon and by pointing and clicking at the screen. This will be an immediate turn-off for some people. As you can expect, some of the motion actions that you are require to do to activate pins will sometimes not work. This would happen to me constantly with pins where I had to click and drag objects into enemies. Despite clicking the item and trying to drag it, the game would not register it and I would have one less move at my disposal. One saving grace is the option to push a button to realign your pointer to the center of the screen. If you are not position exactly center to your monitor, pushing the realign button will make wherever your joycon is pointing to the new center point. Learning how to abuse this a little bit helped me during some fights as losing my pointer happened constantly. This will not however help you for one of the most annoying minigame that I have ever played in a video game.

Let the hate flow Neku

Fuck Tin Pin Slammer. Fuck the rules, fuck the mechanics, fuck the anime protagonist who wants to be the best Tin Pin Slammer, and fuck the bonus day at the end of the game that revolves around this broken, garbage game. I hate this minigame with a passion and congratulate those with the patience to deal with it. Tin Pin Slammer is a minigame where you take the pins in your collection and use them to knock your opponent’s pins off the table. You can use any pin in your inventory since each come with their own stats for Tin Pin. There are pins however specifically designed for Tin Pin Slammer, so you want to get those if you want to be better at the game. I would argue that that is all pointless since Tin Pin Fuck has terrible controls. This is still a motion control game, so in order to slam your pins, you need to hold a button down and use your joycon to flick your pin into your opponents. The issue obviously is that the joycon can’t register what a simple flick is or you just tossing your pin across the room. Most of my matches ended with my pin going over the edge when I’m just trying to position it. What makes things worse is that you can’t see the entire board; little alone your opponent’s pin until it is close enough to yours. I haven’t gotten to the Tin Pin Slammer part in the DS version, but I imagine that it was easier to control than the unresponsive motion on the Switch. I hated Tin Pin Slammer.

Trust Your Partner

Okay so I had my beef with the motion controls. What kept me engaged with the game? If I were to tell you that this has one of the best stories that modern Square Enix has made, would you believe me? What kept me playing each day in this game was to solve answers that the game was throwing at me. I like to believe that I can see a twist in a story very earlier since some writers like to make the evidence obvious from the get go. I got most of my guesses correct, but I was surprise when the narrative took a new turn that I didn’t predict. It’s simple hooks like this that keep me invested in games and find ways to tolerate difficult controls if the game is short enough to keep me invested.

*SPOILER SECTION* SPOILER SECTION* SPOILER SECTION*

At the end of the game, you come to realize that Neku is not the unexpected hero that the game builds him up for. It turns out, Neku is meant to be the villain and bring about the destruction of Shibuya. Some of the actions that Neku does during his three week tour help lead the world to it’s destruction. Neku is an unwilling pawn in the schemes of the Conductor; who happens to be Joshua.


Early in the game, you are taught to always trust your partner. This is difficult for Neku who sees the value of friendship worthless and more of a hassle than a good thing. This makes him a perfect pawn for the Conductor (Joshua) to use in his own Reaper’s Game with the Composer of the game, Megumi Kitaniji. If Megumi can erase Joshua’s proxy in the allocated time, he can save Shibuya. If Megumi fails, both he and Shibuya will be erased. Joshua chooses Neku for his bleak perspectives of the world and believes that he is incapable of change. Things go to plan, until Neku has to replay the Reaper’s Game in order to save Shiki’s soul. On the seventh day with Shiki, Neku begins to open up the idea of letting people into his life even if they are a stranger. It’s when he has to fight for someone else’s life do we see him more concern for others than himself. Even when he has to team up with Beat in the final week, he finds a way to get along with him and earn each other’s trust. This accumulates at the end where Neku has to make a final choice and it is something Joshua was not expecting.

At the end, Neku has to make the choice of killing Joshua to save Shibuya, or be killed. As much as Neku wants to kill Joshua for everything that he put him through, he can’t find himself to pull the trigger. He instead decides to trust Joshua’s final decision on rather to erase Shibuya or not. Joshua has no hesitations of killing Neku right then and there, but is impressed with Neku’s personal growth over the previous days. Joshua declares himself the loser and revives everyone who has died and restores Shibuya. All of this is heavily implied since the final scenes are Joshua shooting Neku, Neku waking up in the real Shibuya, and all the characters live a happy life together. It is cryptic storytelling, but unlike other Square Enix games (Kingdom Hearts), it is easy to understand the events that transpired. You have all the understanding you need to know all of the character’s motivations and the story wrapped up nicely for a 15-20 hour game. The game offers some explanations in secret reports that you can get in the post game, but they serve as extra explanations in case you are still confused about the story for some reason.

This is what I loved about the game. The characters, plot, and buildup were perfect to me. Every character had a purpose to the story and there isn’t anyone that I hated (maybe except that fucking Tin Pin Slammer kid). I was left wanting more which is rare for a game to make me want. Sure I could play to get all the secret reports, but that would mean I’m playing for the gameplay and not the story that I became invested in. I want a side story where you play as Beat during the second week while he was a reaper. I want to explore Shibuya with Yashiro and Kariya and learn more of their lives before becoming reapers. Hell, I’ll take a math educational game with Minaminoto where his stupid math puns are in full scale. The World Ends With You isn’t one of my favorite games in the gameplay department, but it nails personality and character development for me that I was not expecting at all.

Tell me you wouldn’t play a math game with him

It’s So Wonderful

With everything that I loved and hated about The World Ends With You, there is one thing that was a constant plus, the soundtrack. Takeharu Ishimoto did a fantastic job of combining different genres to match the ascetic of Shibuya in the mid-2000s. There are mixes of solemn tracks with high energy hip-hop that matches the tone of each given situation. My favorite tracks from the game would have to be Hybrid, Someday, Satisfy, and Owari-Hajimari. The entire soundtrack can be found on most streaming services if you want to give it a listen.

At the moment, I am slowly playing through the DS version of the game and comparing the original to the Switch version. Immediately I can already tell you that I have mix feelings about the gameplay. The touch controls work perfectly in the DS version (shocker), but I have a problem keeping up with the different things happening on each screen. You control the characters on the top and bottom screen separately and it can get annoying sometimes. Luckily, you can switch your partner to auto-play and they will take care of themselves. You miss out on building your sync gauge quicker, but it takes some of the pressure off. That’s not to say that I’m breezing through the DS version. I have gotten more game overs just in the first chapter than I did in my entire playthrough on the Switch version. This is mostly because I am not used to your partner having a separate health gauge that I have to keep my eye on. The game looks like you share on health bar, but that is not the case. Once one character’s health reaches zero, then you immediately lose the battle and have to start from the last place you saved until you unlock the “retry battle” option later on. It made me realize that despite having issues with the motion controls, at least I was able to win most of my battles. Also if the final boss and the partner mechanics annoy you like they annoyed me, then change the difficulty level (which you can do at anytime) to easy and mop the floor with him. The final battle is not hard at all if you change the difficulty to easy.

In my playthrough of The World Ends With You: Final Remix, accomplished the following:

  • 1 full playthrough
  • ESPer Rank: Supernatural (D) – I mostly stuck to pins that didn’t give me a headache using
  • Noise Report: 65 (61.9%, B) – Some noise you can only encounter by adjusting the difficulty, which I never went above Normal
  • Item Collection: 134 types (24.6%, D) – I didn’t utilize food effects enough to make getting some clothes worth the effort.
  • ESPer Points: 201 (E) – No idea what ESPer Points are or how to you get them
  • Pin Mastery 28 types (8.6%, E) – Again, I didn’t want to bother with pins that gave me a headache trying to activate.
  • Level When Finished: 30
  • Total Game Time: Around 20 hours

I would highly recommend the story to anyone, but hesitate playing the game if you are not a fan of motion controls. If you do want to watch the story, you can either find it online or watch the anime adaptation of the game. It sticks to the story of the game and is the easiest way to enjoy it without breaking your controller or monitor. I wish I had the motivation to go back and collect everything, but that would involve playing Tin Pin Slammer and I do not have the patience for that.

Backlog Tale – Astral Chain

I finally got around to playing and finishing Astral Chain. This game was hyped up before and after its release as one of the best titles on the Nintendo Switch. Well, I’m two years late to the part and I was able to see the game to the end. What are my thoughts about it? Well….let’s get somethings out of the way first.

Synopsis

In a few years, the Earth is taken over by a red glitch in the system and monsters known as Chimeras start attacking the masses. To protect everyone, humankind borrowed a page out of the Bible and constructed an “ark” disguised as a large city to protect everyone. You play as rookie police officer Boy or Girl who have joined a special police task force called Neuron. You are assigned a Legion, humanity’s answer to gun control, by one Yoseph “completely not a evil scientist or anything” Calvert. While out on your first mission, you and your fellow Legion rangers are sent to red glitch world where your Legions experience a Persona 5 moment and break free from the shackles that bind them. Only you are able to keep your anime powers, but because it is the power of anime, your parental figure has to die. Now as humanity’s last defense against the Chimeras, you must defend the peace of the Ark and eliminate any conspiracies about what the government is hiding about the end of the world.


Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way. This is a really good game. From the moment you finish customizing your character, you are thrown into the action of this game and get a real sense of the setting. The Ark is a large metropolis that is dazzled by the cityscape enveloped in an everlasting night sky. The cyberpunk aesthetic never lets up as the entire game takes place in the city and the red digital world known as the Astral Plane. For those who like sci-fi settings, Astral Chain begs you to explore every area and envision what a futuristic city could look like one day.

The Legions that you obtain are well implemented and are balanced near perfect to fit the playstyle of your choice. The Sword Legion is great for basic combat and was my most reliable ally in most fights. The Arrow Legion is of course a great asset for long range combat, and if you want to jump off a cliff and feel miserable about your life, you can always use the Beast Legion. It wasn’t until I got the Axe Legion that I realized a barrier is one of the best abilities to have in this game. The Legions are also used for some great puzzle mechanics to get pass certain obstacles and enemy BS. You constantly have to tweak each of your Legions since you can never tell when one will be better suited for each situation.

Alongside the Legion discussion is the topic of combat. Combat in Astral Chain is fast-paced and beautiful. The way your character and the Legion work together during combos and enemy flanking, using the chain itself as a versatile tool is a smart decision, and switching between your three main weapons to deal with enemies more efficient never dulls the combat one bit. To date, this might be one of my favorite action combat system that PlatniumGames has done next to NieR: Automata. Even playing on Standard difficulty, none of the fights (minus the final boss which took three attempts) felt unfair or boring since the combat was the fun part of the game for me.

So with all of that, it is time to answer the question I was asking myself while playing Astral Chain.

Why did I find it so difficult to enjoy and finish this game?

When I first started playing this game, I was enjoying all of it. The highspeed bike sequence at the beginning set the tone for me as well as the battle on the bridge and getting control of the Sword Legion. It was fun while exploring HQ and completing side quest for the many interesting characters that needed your help (Marie is best character). Even exploring Harmony Square and cleaning up red glitch poop was fun. So why did it stop being fun?

These are all personal reasons for why my enjoyment started to fade, so please keep that in mind as I describe my flaws with the game.

The first flaw with me was the setting. I am already not the biggest fan of sci-fi elements, but there are occasions where a sci-fi setting can win me over and I can enjoy myself. The problem with Astral Chain is that its setting never changes from the two that it sticks with; the night city or the red particle world. Sure you may explore a different area like the rustic establishment of Zone 09, or the sleek interior of the UNION HQ, but at the end of the day, you are either in the city or the Astral Plane. As the game goes these areas change due to the destruction, but it is never a change of pace that gets me excited to explore the area. I need some different colors and areas to keep myself from becoming numb over repeating the same things over and over to keep me engaged. It took me by surprise at the end of the game when the sun came out that I realized that I had never seen this game with a warm light to it.

My second complaint comes from the controls. Maybe I’m just getting older and having to remember which button does what is catching up to me, but Astral Chain makes every single button important for something, and this can be frustrating at certain points. I can’t begin to rage how many times I would accidently bring up the camera (twice when fighting the final boss which yielded a good picture of it) when I was trying to switch weapons quickly. When you do bring up the camera, there are multiple button inputs that go with those controls that you have to stop and think for a moment which button is used to close the camera. This carries over to controlling your Legion, which have their own certain inputs to remember. ZL is used to summon your Legion. Pressing ZR twice will make your Legion attack automatically when targeting an enemy, but will also recall them if they are away from you. The L button activates the Legion’s ability and will lock you into the camera angle that is used for that ability. So in battle, make sure you press ZL and not L when summoning your Legion or you will lose sight of it. And then, in order to use a Legion’s battle ability, you have to hold ZL and then either X or Y to use it. If you let go without doing so, you will either change your Legion with the Y button or use an item with the X button. When you are taking your time with things, it is easy to remember this stuff, but when you are trying to keep the action going, then these simple mistakes happen frequently (or at least to me).

Another complaint I had was moving my Legion for certain things. If you wrap your chain around an enemy, you can bind them for a short time or knock them out completely. I don’t know if there is a problem with my depth perspective or I’m just really bad at controlling the camera, but there were numerous times where I would mess up simple action of making a circle around an enemy due to my field of view. This was very frustrating during the awful stealth sections of the game (why are there stealth sections in a fast-paced action game?) You can knock guards out by binding them which sounds easy. However, the game will prevent your Legion from moving in between gaps that you can absolutely get through, or the camera will adjust and show that your Legion got stuck on something that you couldn’t see. I hated the stealth sections and found them very out of place within the game.

And don’t get me started with the Beast Legion. All dogos are good, but the Beast Legion has to be the worst Legion out of the bunch. What’s bad about that is that you have to rely on it for a lot of things like tracking scents, running away from things trying to suck you in, and getting past platforms that disappear under your feet. The problem with the Beast Legion is how bad it controls with its jerky movement, unable to stop when needed, and unreliability to jump over gaps even though the instructions say that it can. I wish they spent more time working on the mechanics of the Beast Legion, but it was for sure the least used Legion that I had.

My only last nitpick of the game was the story. I liked how things were building up at the beginning with wondering what happened to your dad after he is left by himself in the Astral Plane. The game teases you that he could still be alive out there somewhere, but it is never resolved at the end. The theory is that his spirit lives on in the Axe Legion since you see his image at the end, but to me that signifies the last connection that you have with him. Things just feel exciting at the beginning, then slow down in the middle, and then picks back up around chapter 9. There are a ton of side quest to do in each chapter to help build the world and narrative, but by chapter 7 I was burnt out and just ready to see the conclusion of the main story. There were probably tons of things I missed in the later chapters if I did all of the side quest, but it wasn’t worth it to me at the end especially if I had to do one more gyro balancing quest.

Please don’t let my nitpicks discourage you from playing this game. I still think fundamentally, it is a great game with excellent combat, music, and design that is interesting to experience. Anytime I hear about this game from other people it is always in a positive way. There is a ton of replay value if you want to max out all of your Legions, earn the highest ranking for each mission and chapter, and unlock all the customization options available in the game. The game is short and could be beaten in a week, so the added content available once you finish the game is nice if you want to keep playing the game. As for me, I immediately took the game out of my system and placed it back on my shelf to maybe one day in our own red glitchy future, I may replay it once the bad taste is out of my mouth.

Thanks for reading,

DanamesX

I Am Now Ready for Monster Hunter Rise

Last year when we got the news of Monster Hunter Rise, I was excited but cautious. The trailer looked interesting and showed off a new world and ascetic for the series. The use of the new Wirebug mechanic to zip around the map looked very interesting and it made me wonder what cool tricks I could pull off. However, something was bothering me with what I was watching. It looked like Monster Hunter, but to me, it didn’t feel like Monster Hunter at base value.

I think part of it has to do with the two latest games in the series, Generations Ultimate and World. My expectations for both games were flipped when I first played them. I thought I was going to love Gen Ult since it was classic Monster Hunter that I enjoyed and I was going to hate World since it felt “dumb down” for a western audience. World ended up being a fun game that felt easier than other games, and Gen Ult felt frustrating to play. I don’t know if the influence of World had something to do with it, but even with Generations on the 3DS, something just felt “off” with the game. With Rise, I wanted to be excited but didn’t want to be disappointed with the end result.

On Wednesday, January 7th, a new showcase for the game was shown along with a demo of the game. I don’t tend to play a lot of demos, but I was really excited to play this one. This was a chance to play a version of the game and form my own opinion on it. So how was it? After playing 2 hours of the demo, I can comfortable say that all my doubts of this game are gone and it has the potential of being one of my favorite games in the series. After taking some time observing and learning some new things, I have come up with my initial things that I like a dislike so far. I expect some of my feelings may change when the full game is released.

  1. A great mix of environment detail from World that is easy to understand and navigate.

    While World was very pretty to look at, and seeing the game in HD was a treat, none of the environments stood out to me. The Ancient Forest for example was a great opening level that taught you a lot about the new mechanics. To this day though, I still get lost and confused when trying to get to places. The details felt too great at some points and I could never appreciate the small things since the world was the main attraction. Rise doesn’t have the great detail of World, but that makes it better to play in my opinion. The map is smaller so I can take the time to understand my surroundings and I can appreciate the little details when I see them. The Shrine Ruins that you have access to in the demo is more interesting than any locale in World (in my opinion). There is something about going up and down the waterfall and then viewing the desolated shrines ruins that is hidden in the forest and swamp that just feels good to be in. I can easily understand how to get to places without having to remember specific location marks that I have to constantly remind myself to follow.
  2. The return of unique and creative weapons and armor.

    Plan and simple, I love that we are getting creative weapons and armor again. It was one of the biggest things missing from World that made things a bit bland. The game feels colorful again and I’m looking forward to see the other designs in the game. From the demo, I like the Switch Axe weapon and armor since I look like a character from Kingdom Hearts, and the design for the Hunting Horn set was really impressive.
  3. Quality of life changes from World are included.

    One of the best things World did was speeding up the game. I know some people were fond of taking a victory pose after taking a potion, but I appreciate not having to stop the action to run to a different area to restore health and remove status aliments. Being able to stay in the action and take care of anything (minus resharpen your weapon) keeps me engaged and in the battle at all times.
  4. I didn’t know I needed a canine companion along with my feline, but I love it.

    So who wants to race palamutes when the full game releases? The palamute is a new companion to the series that is badass. You are able to ride it to traverse faster and use recovery items while riding. I still love Nico the Palico, but I am definitely going to do my best to create Repede from Tales of Vesperia in game.
  5. I have new things to learn and master.

    Finally, the wirebug mechanic is a fun tool that I’m still rattling my brain around. One of my complaints about Generation Ultimate was that you had several styles you could chose from, but had to take time to be familiar with all of them. With a simple, dedicated new mechanic, I can take my time to practice it and get more familiar with it over time. This new addition is something new for me to learn that is going to take hours of practice to get used to, and I find that exciting.

And now for my minor complaints. The first one is another new mechanic introduced to the game, Wyvern Riding. It feels good to pull off and being able to control any large monster you are facing. What I’m not to jazzed about are the mechanics when riding. You have to hold the R button at all times to be able to move the monster. I know realistically it is hard to tame a wild animal, but it makes the controls a bit stiff when trying to do things. Another minor complaint I have is that I feel that there are a lot more inputs to remember to do things. During my playtime, I felt like I was constantly forgetting how to do certain inputs and it was frustrating not pulling off certain things. I will take this as me being rusty and obviously not being familiar with new mechanics. Eventually that issue will be taken care of once I’m able to practice more.

So those are my initial impressions. There are other little things that I didn’t notice at first like how your character is more talkative than usual. Your character will say hints about monster behaviors that is excellent for new players if you are not observant. I am very excited to play this now, and I’m upset that I didn’t pre-order the collector’s edition when it was in stock. The demo is available until the 31st of January, so if you want to try it for yourself go for it.


Thank you for reading,

DanamesX

Fine. Let’s Talk About Animal Crossing: New Horizons

You have no doubt heard about the newest game in the Animal Crossing series. New Horizons could not have come at a better time. Everyone that I’ve seen play it have had positive responses to it. Not a big surprise since the series is about the zen of living, debt, and expanding. I’m not here to convince you that Animal Crossing is the best or that you should buy the game yourself. Everyone has different taste when it comes to Animal Crossing, and I happen to have a strong fondness of the series.

After becoming mayor of your own village in New Leaf, it is fitting that you would want to escape. It was only a matter of time before the piles of paperwork, lost of public funding due to zero taxes, and that one scandal (you know the one) to make you want to leave. A deserted island with no inhabitants sounds like the perfect place to hid and leave Isabelle with hiding the bodies. But how to get there and cover up your planned “death?”

“Hey,” Tom Nook says leering over at you with his pile of money.

“How would you like to go on a little plan that I have been working one? It would include reviving a extinct bird species and giving you the ability jump over rivers!”

You give a hard stare because you know this money hungry tanooki is staring at the bells dangling by your waste. You don’t care though. This new island has FREAKING TREES MOVING IN THE WIND! You quickly toss your Nintendo 3DS to the curbside and hop on the Switch train! RIP 3DS. You will be missed.

Animal Crossing Gaming Machine
2011 – 2020

New Horizons takes the series to Minecraftville and introduces crafting as a core mechanic. Honestly it can be fun since you can make things that you need rather than wait for it to be available in the store. Gathering materials to craft is as simple as shaking a tree and praying to RNGesus that you get normal wood or iron nuggets. The drop rate for certain materials does feel off, especially with iron nuggets. You are never guaranteed them when you are harvesting rocks, and there are a lot of items that require iron nuggets. What is harder than that however is getting normal ass wood! You will have a surplus of soft and hard wood before having normal healthy wood. Enough with the quality of your wood, what other fun things await you in this mystic land?

Checking comments on bad jokes

What do you do with those precious resources that took time to find? Time to chop down a tree and create a workbench! Along with crafting materials, You must also collect cards known as DIY recipes. DIY recipes need to be obtained and memorized because how else are you supposed to know that two sticks equals aero dynamic trajectory codes? There are recipes to create almost anything in the game. You could choose to decorate your house and environment just by using the things you create by hand. Later on, you get the ability to customize the things you make by changing the color or pattern. Finally you can fulfill your dream bringing back the kiddy furniture from the old games! There are drawbacks to this design however as the developers choose to give you the option to make your own tools. This is great except for the part where the tools break and you have to remake them. I saw no issue with this with the flimsy tools since of course this is a stick with a string, I expect it a goldfish to be able to break this. However (to my knowledge), all tools will eventually break no matter the upgrade from passable to “you know gold is not a durable metal.” Unless you carry around a portable workbench like this fool, be prepared to remake rods and nets over and over again.

Ring a ding ding this is a call from your new Nook Phone. The game’s ultimate achievement is making people believe that phone reception works in the middle of nowhere. The Nook Phone is an excellent addition to the Animal Crossing formula as it neatly presents all of the information that you need in the game. While I feel that the whole phone interface has become a common trend in games, it does make sense since people are adapted to using smartphones to access information. Things like looking up DIY recipes to seeing what friends are online make absolute since to use a phone for. I question the ability to create clothes with just a smartphone app, but give and take two years and the technology will be there for us. The criterpedia is my favorite as not only does it tell which fish and bugs I have encountered, but finally it keeps track of what you donated to the museum. It only took us five games but we finally got the feature I have listed on my “Most Wanted Features” list!

The other big addition to the game is the introduction of Nook Miles. Nook Miles are little incentives to get the players to do things they don’t want to do like talk to neighbors. This greatly motivates the player to do things in order to accumulate Nook Miles. Also included are little achievements that grant you more Nook Miles once you complete them. Some of these achievements are brutal like the 100 perfect fishing achievement and some are simple like plant a flower. Some achievements require you do something specific a lot, but that is perfect for a game like Animal Crossing since they are meant to be done over time. As fun as Nook Miles are, I feel like Nintendo missed on a big market here. Include an app for your phone that is linked to your Nintendo account to earn Nook Miles for doing IRL stuff. Got out of bed this morning? Here’s 100 point for you! Did you wash all of your dishes that have been piling up since you’ve been stuck home? Have 200 Nook Miles to celebrate the occasion! Called your mom today? Surprise her by letting her know that you earned 500 Nook Miles just by saying hi.

Progression in this game goes from museum construction speed to tarantula hunting speed once the game really opens up (like five/six days depending on play time). The game is design to make you feel like you turned this wasteland into a bustling community full of memes. No other game in the series makes you feel like you created this community since it was already established in the earlier titles. From choosing all of the locations for houses and buildings, to changing the land and water, this is your town and you have the freedom to do whatever you want. Just don’t ask about building a coffee shop, hairdresser, nightclub, founder’s tree, train station (seriously where would that go?) designer clothes store, or theater. We are on a deserted island for crying out loud. We have to keep the aesthetic.

I have been enjoying my time with New Horizons and can’t wait to see how the rest of the year goes. As of writing this, the eggstravegant event of Bunny Day has come to a close and now we can go about our lives eggless. There were things in this not mentioned like the random islands, Harvey’s non-pornogaphic home studio, the multiplayer aspect, or the sheer amount of hidden things in the game. Some of these things are best experienced on your own and form a personal opinion about. I don’t foresee myself getting bored with this game anytime soon, but as the months go by I will slowly come and visit the island when I have free time. The island of Seaside is still in development and will see constant changes over the years.

Okay Nook I did your promo now give me my Miles!!

Thanks for reading,

DanamesX