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Minishdriveby Blog

I am the Tin Man

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This is a copy and paste from a thread post I made in the PUSH Union's Now Playing thread. I finished Ni No Kuni tonight, so I thought I'd take this chance to talk about it. Unfortunately it wasn't all I thought it was cracked up to be. I'd place it in the category of games where they have a beautiful direction, but are flawed in some way or another.

"Well it took 40 hours, but I finally finished Ni No Kuni tonight. Impressions: Disappointing. I was touting it as my most anticipated game of 2013, and I thought it would be contender for GotY. It got the presentation right. It has some of the most beautiful scenes in a game this generation; however, there were a lot of small annoyances from many different apects of the game that brought down my experience.

Combat system -- The combat system I found rather frustrating, especially towards the beginning. Towards the end it still wasn't great, but I had moved onto defensive tanks where I didn't really need to worry about how bad the battle mechanics were and could just go around hitting shit. The main problem I have with the battle mechanic is the lack of a proper defense button, especially early on when you don't have the all-out defense command for your teammates. Battles can be extremely frustrating when you're told you have the option to defend against enemy special command attacks, but in practice you rarely ever get the chance to. This is due to the fast casting times of these types of spells. If you're in another command wheel window, executing an attack, or controlling a character that doesn't have defend/evade command then you're practically screwed and will take massive damage. The amount of time it takes to cancel what you're doing to get to the defend command is almost always slower than the amount of time it takes for the enemy to cast their super attack. Of course if you're over leveled this doesn't really become an issue, but it's an annoying feature that they tell you is there, but doesn't work too well.

I would also say although the familiar system is neat and it's cool being able to befriend so many different creatures alot of them are useless, and by the time the game was over I was using only 1 familiar in combat (Dinoceros).

Pacing -- The amount of time it takes to unlock all the abilities that should be there from early on is mildly to very annoying. You can't catch familiars until 8 hours in. You're entire party doesn't have a defend command until 15 hours. You can't fast travel until 20 hours in. Then you'll get a boat, fast travel spell, and a dragon in rapid succession. There are also a lot of random spikes in the difficulty. 

Verbose Dialog bubbles/Handholding - It's sad to see that voice acting was almost nonexistant. The majority of the game is just reading through text. Which there is nothing inherently wrong with this, but when the text is "Olver this man seems to be missing a piece of heart." "Jeepers you think?" "Yes, he's missing a piece of heart. Go find some heart, so we can restore this guys heart because he's missing a piece of his heart, and you can restore his heart. Did I tell you that you can restore this man's heart? Oh also let me tell you where to find this guy's heart. This guy's heart is here." It's great if you want to give me directions or a clue to tell me where to go. But the amount of verbosity and handholding in this game can become overbaring. It's annoying when something that should take 1 or 2 sentences takes up parapgraphs. Luckily you're able to turn off some of the handholding features, like the giant star that marks your map telling you where to go.

Side Quest Strucutre - Half of the side quests were -- Talk to NPC ---> Go to another NPC to get heart ---> Go back to orginal NPC to give heart. That said, I did like the bounty hunts just to see the cool stronger unique monsters. And there were a couple NPC sidequests that didn't follow the Take/Give Heart Formula.

 

I did like the game, and once you were given Tengri, around the 25-ish hour mark, the game started to pick up, but once again I don't think it got better because the core combat/gameplay got better. I think it got better because around that time I got better perks due to all the stamp cards I collected (+100 HP and MP) and due to getting a Dinoceros familar which destroyed everything in its wake, effectively making the bad combat more bareable."


Also I'm going to start the Song of the Blog feature back up again. I think this song is appropriate for this blog since the major theme of NNK was brokenheartedness.

Song of the Blog:
"Tin Man" by Future Islands 

What I've Learned Today.

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I was going to talk about how I beat Machinarium over the weekend, and am currently 14 hours into Ni No Kuni. I could have talked about how I'm towards the end of Super Meat Boy or pre-ordered Animal Crossing New Leaf despite learning that Animal Tracks are in the game again; however, I have been enlightened today my what must be one of the greatest reveals in history.

The Xbox One. Here's what I've learned:

1. It's Always Watching You

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Oh Kinect. Why would I ever want to turn you off? You're my best friend. You're my only friend -- after you sent that one guy adrift into the voids of space. I trust you are keeping me safe and watching over my oxygen supply while I sleep.

2. Using Bing to find pictures of "Xbox One" gives you pictures of Xbox (2001)

Really I couldn't think of a more perfect name for the console. It harkens back to older days when Microsoft was in their prime. When men mention the name Xbox One it will cause resentment to fester in the hearts of those who were not able to play the original. Microsoft is using psychological warfare here. It's a great name and typing it into Bing gives you images of a console that you could have had at sometime in the past if only you weren't so foolish. Don't make the same mistake twice.

3. XOne has a lot of TV and Sports

As a college student TV is a must. If I'm not up to date on my series knowledge well I'm just a plain loser. How is Breaking Bad going to end? How different will Game of Thrones be from the books -- which everyone started the series on the second one because why bother reading the first one after watching the first season, am I right? -- this season. How will Twin Peaks end? Is Lucy going to appear on BoardWalk Empire again? How will I know this if I don't have cable, netflix, or a internet connection?

What about my favorite Sports game pastimes? What will I do if I don't find out if the Miami Heat went to the World Series? How do I know where Wimbledon takes place this year? Did my favorite NHL team make it to the Superbowl this year?

I now have all the answers I need thanks to Xbox One. 

  

4. It's not Always On-line

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Why were you people worrying so much? Jeeze. Conformation right here: XOne isn't Always Online. It's just a requirement to use the console. Duh! #DealWithIt.

5. Call of Duty has advance fish physics

 

So the new engine now allows for fish to swim away as you come near them among other improvements including and possibly limited to:

  • Dogs with Tattoos and Scars
  • Sliding
  • Leaning out from cover
  • Jumping over walls

laptop brokedown

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After 4.5 years and 2 days before summer semester starts my laptops harddrive bit the dust. One second it was working the next it wouldnt turn on. I'm now in the predicament of deciding whether it's worth paying $200 to get it fixed or if I should just shell out some extra money to get a better laptop or possibly invest in a gaming pc. Typing this on my phone is a nuisance.

Hello There Strangers

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I took about a 4 month hiatus from posting blogs, but alas I'm back with a plethora of actual news.

The Spring smester ended last week and I somehow manged to get straight A's again, keeping my 4.0 GPA feels great. I really thought I wouldn't get an A in Intermediate German, but somehow I managed to without studying for the class at all. All my time went towards Organic Chemistry; my grade going into the final for organic chemistry was a 98%. Unfortunately I have a week off and then have to go back and start the Summer Semester.

I bought a car during Spring Break, so I've been able to go places outside of my apartment and campus which is extremely refreshing. Because of this and lack of time I really haven't bought any videogames outside of Ni No Kuni and Fire Emblem Awakening in the past 4 months.

I've never actually played a Fire Emblem game. My girlfriend convinced me to buy it because she love the series, and I needed to breath life into my 3DS. It's one of the best games on the system at the moment. It's hard as hell though, especially when you're trying to keep everyone from perma death. I'm only on chapter 10 because I actually didn't start playing it until Finals week (last week).

Most of my gaming time has been devoted to the phenomenal RPG known as Xenoblade Chronicles. I've been playing that for about four months whenever I got a chance; however, I can finally happily say that I've finished the game tonight at 69 hours 11 minutes. Thanks to this break I've managed to play about 30 hours in 4 days. After about 50 hours I tend to get fatigue with JRPGs, so I'm happy to finally finish although that's not to say I didn't love the game.

My plan now is to finally get around to Ni No Kuni, a game I've been wanting to play since 2010.

Besides my Xenoblade marathon. I got a new flat screen because my old 19" died. This one is a fairly large improvement (32") and I only got it for $160. I've managed to see some local friends. We went to the beach yesterday and later played some mario kart. Hilarity ensued

Photo: Just the cutest <3

Videogame Soundtracks on my iTunes playlist

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Maybe it's just the games I've been playing recently, but I've come to find videogame soundtracks more and more appealing in the past couple of months. Nothing really makes a graet game amazing like an awesome soundtrack, so I now present to you what I think to be some of the best soundtracks and songs from videogames!

5. No More Heroes

4.Rayman Origins

3. SuperBrothers: Swords & Sworcery EP

2. Hotline Miami

1. Botanicula

I really wish I had played Botanicula last year because my award for Best Soundtrack probably would have gone to it. So there you have it. These are the games that have impressed me the most with their musical soundtrack, so much so that I had to put them in my itunes library.

Also got a 100% on my Orgo Quiz that I took Monday.

The Over Abundance of Nintendo News and Piecing Together a Timeline for Releases

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So Nintendo dropped a bomb today. A plethora of games were announced, yet one thing must be noted. Just because they were announced in 2013 doesn't mean they'll release in 2013.

So let me first go through what was announced today, and then I'll piece together a time line of when I think these announced games will be released.

First off Nintendo started with the boring stuff, i.e. Not games. They told us about how if you want VC games that you already bought, you'd need to pay a transfer fee to redownload them. Great job nintendo. There's a reason I never bought DD from you on the wii. I figured they'd pull something like this.

But now to the games. We got info on:

  • Bayonetta 2 (Some footage of devs working on environments)
  • Wonderful 101 (New trailer)
  • Mario Kart Wii-U (info will be unveiled at e3)
  • Super Smash Bros Wii-U (info will be unveiled at e3)
  • Yoshi Wii-U (Kirby Epic Yarn with Yoshi instead)
  • Super Mario U-niverse (Untitled but for lack of a better name; more info at e3)
  • Zelda Wind Waker HD (beautiful
  • Zelda Wii-U (piqued interest because they're getting away from linear quest)
  • Wii-U Party
  • X Project Monolith (Amazing)

Here's how I think things will go down in terms of releases:

2013

Q1-Q2

  • Pikmin 3
  • Wonderful 101
  • Rayman Legends
  • Monster Hunter Tri

Q3-Q4

  • Yoshi Wii-U
  • Zelda Wind Waker HD
  • Wii-U Party

2014
Q1-Q2

  • Super Smash Bros Wii-U
  • Mario Kart Wii-U
  • Bayonetta 2

Q3-Q4

  • Super Mario U-niverse
  • X Monolith's Project

2015/2016

  • Zelda Wii-U

Pokemon X/Y is sex

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I've EDITED this blog because I was rushing to post it during the afternoon hours between classes.

So Pokemon X/Y were announced today. The naming apparently comes from the X & Y chromosome as hinted at by the Japanese logos, DNA strand can be seen. Many people were also thinking it stood for the coordinate axes (X,Y) with Z being the third title; the third title (sequels like B2/W2) could also be called XX and XY if sticking with the human sex chromsomes. There is also a Z sex chromsome found in animals, so this doesn't rule out Z in that case either. It could also mean both things if Z is made the third game: X,Y,Z as in 3D space and X,Y,Z as in chromosomal DNA found in organisms (although this would leave out W chromsome which is paired with the Z in Females). I digress though there's no need to talk of the inevitable 3rd game yet when the most exciting news of today was the announcement of Generation VI.

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Double Helix can be seen in this picture indicating the X/Y represent chromosomes.


Watching the trailer reveals a 3D models which I have never been an advocate of. I always thought without the wonderful 2D artwork we would get stuck with rather drab 3D models, yet GameFreak managed to create beautiful 3D pokemon models with the help of Cellshading artstyle that was hinted at in B/W. The pokemon even manage to keep a somewhat 2D appearance by not accentuating their roundness at times, but the camera during the battle seems to turn and change direction all the time highlighting the action and the models. It also appears that the battles will have some very nice looking 2D backdrops. I find the contrast of 2D and 3D to be very appealing.

Luckily the models aren't as bland as the Pokemon Battle Revolution models. The cellshading flair really makes a difference.

With each new generation comes brand new Pokemon and this is no exception we were shown the starters and they look rather good. I'm hoping the final Evolutions will look better than Gen V though. I'll most likely go with Froakie the frog. We were also introduced to the two mascot legendaries -- personally I thought it should have been Unknown X & Y :P.

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Fennekin; Froakie; Chespin

The Y legendary looks like the 5th Colossus from SotC. The X legendary looks like the Spirit of the Forest from Princess Mononoke


I think the main concern I have is the region itself. The main character seems to be wearing clothes similar to Gen V's protagonist which may mean nothing and may even be changed later. The region looks like it's based more on Frnace with an Eiffel tower in the background of one shot and what appears to be a Versailles like palace in another. I just hope that the 3D doesn't hinder the exploration in Gneration VI. I felt that Generation V was way too streamlined.

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What looks like it could be a Versailles like Palace

I'm also excited about the colors of the game. The Red Y and the Blue X remind me of the GBA titles (Ruby & Sapphire) which were my favorite.

However, the most exciting thing of all is a universal release date of October 2013. 2013 is finally the year I can be excited to own a 3DS.

Didn't cry but I can now time travel

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I have finally finished The Walking Dead Season 1 from TellTale Games. I played through all 5 episodes today, 11 hours. The game did the same sh*t to me as last time, but I tinkered with my files in the computer and figured out how to fix the problem to be able to pay episode 4. Then it did it again to me for episode 5, but I fixed it too. I felt Episode 4 was kind of dragging its feet. I didn't enjoy it too much. Episode 5 has a much better pacing to it. It's the shortest one out of the five, but that's not a negative. Every moment had a purpose and most of it was very endearing. The thing I felt worst about were the couple in their bed. I really liked the end game antagonist too. I didn't cry though like many people said they did... I thought it was endearing but that's about it; maybe it's because of the situation I'd had with the game. After I had played 9 hours and had to restart my whole game, I was a little emotionally disconnected.

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I also bought Radiant Historia at Gamestop today. As you can see the going price on amazon is as low as $55 (used) and as high as $120 (used). I managed to get it for $26; however, it came caseless. OreoMilkShake was able to scan an image of his box so I could make my own make shift cover. I had an extra DS case lying around too. Thanks Oreo.

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