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waZelda Blog

Awesome Ganon picture

Not a long this one, but I felt this picture deserved its own blog because it is one of the more 3-dimensional Zelda models I've made in Minecraft and I was so happy with how it turned out.


Feel free to comment if you like it. If you don't, feel free not to say anything.

I guess when I'm first blogging I could give you my over-all thoughts on the Avengers movie. I thought it was really funny and had great action scenes and it is cool to have a movie universe with continuity like the one Marvel is making. I do think though that there are a bit too many entriguing relationships and they don't take time to do justice to either of them. I wish they had just decided whether to focus on Thors half-brotherly relationship to Loki, the hostility between Captain America and Iron-man, the mutual respect between Hawkeye and the Black Widdow or Bruce Banners relationship to "the other guy".

Also, it had a bit too much Iron Man for my tastes.

Anyway, see you guys later. As for Minecraft pictures, here is a hint to what the next section is:


The League that Never came to be

There is something I've been following for quite some time and I had a plan to post about it when the first tournament started, but on Friday the message came that the whole thing had to be scrapped because both the organizers and the contestants are doing it on their spare time and it was too much scheduling conflicts for them to handle. I still really want to blog about it, so here we go.

The professional minecraft league started in late January with scrim games on Robert Moran's channel on twitch. Back then there was only one map - Gunship - and the few of the teams could play it very well. After that the scrims continued and after a while there were six maps and teams who could play them really well.

I really liked the pml because Minecraft has so many different features that it was possible o make maps with great variety and with many different and clever plays on them. For instance there is one map, Bankheist, which was a two round map where the goal is for the attacking team to steal as many cakes from the bank as possible. There were maps in which the goal was to destroy the opponents core and maps where you had to get three differently covered pieces of wool. On one map there was a dispenser that spawned items, including ender eye which you had to collect and cap in the enemy's base.

Most exciting of all was the arc that the teams had. From early on there was one team that dominated. Sheningan's had one early loss, but then went undefeated for well over a month. Their favorite map was double helix on which they defeated several teams. On the other hand there was Team Science, a team that became the laughing stock. One commentator Tom used to call them Rob's favorite team as a joke. And duble helix was the worst map for team Science.

Then, on the first day that they started recording stats Shenigans was suddenly beaten on two out of three maps in a match against Spicy Chicken Cleave, while Team Science won on three out of the five maps that day. After that Shenanigan's did go back to winning while Team Science was improving to the point that they were looking like contestants for the top 3 in the tournament. They even came close to beating Shenanigan's on double helix. However someone who did manage to beat Shenanigan's on DH was the League of Extrordinary Gentlemen that had come close to in several games and then suddenly 2-0d Shenanigans in one of the last scrim games, proving that the tournament wouldn't just be a walk in the park for Shen.

And then it became silent. Rob started streaming a different thing called Dwarves vs Zombies while everyone waited patiently for weeks until the message came that the tournament wasn't happening. Still, I have fond memories of them. I advice checking out some of the old scrim games. Here are some links to my favorites (gamespot is buggy, so I can't insert them properly):

Sneakiest spy you'll ever meet:



One of the reasons team science was a laughing stock:


Record-breaking bankheist game:



Example of Shenanigans dominance:



First day of recorded stats:


17:00-46:25 Spicy Chicken Cleave vs Shenanigans

59:40-1:23:50 LXG vs Morphing Time

1:34:20-1:52-40 First 2 maps of TF2 vs Team Science (rest of the day isn't available)

Science wins epic showdown on Antfarm:



Exciting finish of Science v Cipher



Team Science finally wins on Double Helix



Shenanigans gets beaten 2-0:



Warning: Watching too much pml has potential side-effect of making you sad the tournament won't happen.

EDIT: forgot the pictures.




Majora's Mask Manga

I finished Assassin's Creed II today, but that's not what I'm going to talk about.

I said in my last post that I'd heard the ending to the Majora's Mask was done without the guys having seen the ending of the game. Well, I guess I must have misunderstood. From start to end it was basically just the game, with all the steps needed to turn it into a manga, and all over not very interesting.

It is what came after the ending that made the purchase worth it. You see, the creator actually started writing something when he had only seen the demo and couldn't use anything from the actual game. He wrote a completely non-cannon origin story for Majora's Mask and the only thing tying it to the game is that the mask looks the same.

It was quite interesting and well written/drawn. If you are interested in reading it, just google Majora's mask manga and the first site that pops up will be a site where you can download any chapter as a .rar-file.





Purchases and game progress

I purchased a couple of things yesterday.

First off I went to the game store to see if they had Kid Icarus, The Last Story or RE Revelations. They had neither, so I ended up buying the DS version of Flaklypa Gran Prix, because the PC version is one of my favorite mini-games collections of all time.

After that I went to Outland and bought the Majora's Mask manga. I wasn't that interested in the Zelda mangas until I heard that the MM one was written by someone who hadn't actually seen the ending of the game, so I hope it will be interesting.

Then later I purchased colors 3D from the e-shop. I don't know how much I'll use it, but drawing in 3D does sound pretty cool.

I've also been playing a good deal of Assassin's Creed II and am rapidly approaching the end of the game. I've also beaten Kirby's Block Ball.

Short blog this one, so let's rap it up with extra many minecraft Zelda pictures.










Review (117): Assassin's Creed

From now on it will just be implied that there are minecraft pictures at the end of each blog.

Assassin's Creed (PC)

My main statement regarding Assassin's Creed is that it is a good game, but it shows clear signs of being the first game in a franchise and being a bad PC port.

The game is created by a "multicultural group of various religious faiths and beliefs", set in the time period of the crusades and loosely based on real events. Several of the character's in the game are real people, including all the targets that you have to kill and the head of the assassin's guild. You play as one of the most talented assassin's just after his been stripped of his rank for being too reckless and going against "the creed", which is their code of honor.

However there is also an over-arching story set in the present day. The main character, Desmond has been abducted and has to help the kidnappers by reliving the memories of his ancestor – the assassin. This is possible because there are memories recorded in your DNA which you can access using a machine known as the animus. They need your help because there is a particular memory they can't access and to unlock it you must play through the events leading up to that point. Trust me, it makes perfect sense as long as you don't think about it.

The team does a good job of using the context to their advantage. For instance, the health bar measures how synchronized you are. If you take damage or kill civilians, it will go down. During a time period when nothing interesting is happen, like when Altair would just be waiting for nightfall, a female computer voice tells you that you're skipping ahead to a more recent memory and then there you are.

The best part of the gameplay is climbing buildings. When you are in a city, like Jerusalem, Acre or Damascus the rule of thumb is that if it looks humanly possible to climb it than Altair can climb it. It's to the point where I might run towards wall without even looking at it, just assuming that there is something on it that I can grab onto.

The beauty of AC is that you get into a mindset where you just want to explore the city and do the small missions and it is relaxing and pleasant. The cities are beautiful and the climbing animations are cool. You climb up to the tallest tower where you can use your eagle eyes to detect nearby missions and then you go do them. The missions are very much the same all the time. Either you need too sneakily take out guards, pickpocket someone, follow someone into a quiet place and beat them up for information or save a citizen from the guards. By the end of it I was getting a bit tired of all that.

The game being the first in the series shows in a couple of ways. First of all, there are the kinds of small annoyances that are bound to be fixed in an upcoming game. For instance, there are beggars in the game that will never bother anyone but you. They will keep running up to stand in front of you and beg for money and when you are sneakily following someone it is both highly irritating and breaks the suspension of disbelief because there is no way your target wouldn't hear that. The worst part is you can't give them money because there is no monetary system in the game.

Similarly, there are crazy people that walk around and just punch you unprovoked. They are explained in context in the game, but I really wish they weren't in it. Sometimes when you are trying not to be noticed by guards they will be in an alleyway and you just can't get past them without running – which would lead the guards to see you. The worst part was when a crazy person knocked be into a guard and suddenly the entire army started chasing me.

Worst of all, the game has a really horrible ending. While the ending to the medieval part of the storyline is just a bit underwhelming, the ending in present day is straight up bad and feels more like "insert disc 2", except that disc is a different game. Actually, the beginning of AC II would have been a better ending to the game, which just seems wrong. It is sad because the game had a somewhat intriguing story in the medieval portion. Altair is struggling with morale because all his victoms seem convinced that they are doing something good and he don't know how he can say with certainty that they are wrong. Also, his master is holding part of the truth back for him, saying that him figuring it out on his own will make him stronger in spirit.

I'm not all that impressed by the combat system. It isn't particularly deep. I mean, it gets progressively more complex during the quest, but if I was going to like the game for the combat, it would have had to be as good at the start as it now is at the end and then get slightly better along the way. The combat is also harmed in the PC port. You see, you are usually surrounded by enemies and a key mechanic is to grab someone and throw them of their balance, then switch to your "hidden blade" and stab them in the neck while their down. The problem is that in the PC version there is no convenient way of switching weapons, making it just really hard to pull off without being killed by other enemies in the short amount of time they are down.

The controls when you climb aren't quite flawless either, and since it is such a large part of the game, it didn't take long before I started wishing Altair could climb just a little bit faster.

And lastly, just one more annoyance. Why does it take me ten button presses to exit to desktop? No, seriously it does.

1. Esc to enter menu
2. Select exit memory
3. Confirm that I am sure
4. Select exit the animus
5. Press Esc again
6. Select exit game
7. Confirm that I am sure
8. Press any button
10. Select exit game
11. Confirm that I am sure

Someone clearly didn't properly think that one through. Thanks heavens for alt+F4.


Lastly some minecraft pictures

What I've been up to this Easter.

So, I had almost a month long break from gameSpot between my Fire Emblem blog post and the one yesterday. Some of it is due to Minecraft, both directly and indirectly. I've continued to make Zelda fan art (and I'll have to keep posting pictures in every blog for a while). I've also been paying attention to a Minecraft project by Robert Moran, which will probably be a blog of its own.

Up until Easter I studied a lot for my midterm, which went well. During Easter I've finally gotten to write a bit and I think I've written 1000 words a day on average. I hope that once I've gotten back into it I'll be able to continue writing a bit each day.

On the social front I've spent a lot of time with my family and my cousins. We've had some walking trips in the mountains near our holiday place, played some Buzz on my cousins PS2 and had some fun.

Beside Buzz, I recently downloaded and finished Dear Esther. I'll probably review it soon, but I'll try to get my Assassin's Creed review up first, because I've delayed that for too long. I've also gotten slightly farther into AC II (up until Leonardo Da Vinci fixes the hidden blade for me).

That's pretty much it. Here is this blog's doze of Minecraft images. The section is bosses:

Statistics! For science! (and more minecraft pictures)

The 3DS has been out for over a year now, and I thought what better way to celebrate that fact than to take a look at some statistics. The system tracks how long you've played each game after all, so I had a look at the charts.

Most times played:

5th place: Rytmik - 19
It's just a neat game that I like to mess around with when I feel creative in a musical way. The average playtime isn't high.

4th place: Pokemon Black - 26
This one is just a really long game, so it scores highly on both average playtime and times played.

3rd place: Art Academy - 31
Another more creative game. It is a nice, relaxinging use of my time.

2nd place: Let's Golf 3D - 59
Less proud of this one. I did use it as my game to play while listening to podcasts for awhile and eventually got the achievement for winning 100 multiplayer matches (all of them by playing with myself).

1st place: Fire Emblem - 99
Sometimes I played it for hours, other time just minutes. The nice thing is that it auto-saves practically all the time and without bringing up a saving message.

Average playtime:

5th place: A Fairy Tale - 1:41
This game being on the list is more of a coincidence. I didn't play it for that long spurts, I guess I must have paused by closing the system a lot of the time.

4th place: Anonymous Notes 1 - 2:16
Played through it in one sitting during a bus ride recently, but with a break, so a total of 4 hours 32 minutes. That was a horrible bus ride.

3rd place:Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge - 2:30
This one I beat during another bus ride, only pausing by closing the system. It would have taken me a lot longer if I hadn't usd the save state feature as much as I did.

2nd place: Mario Kart 7 - 2:32
This one surprised me a bit, because I thought I switched between Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 quite a lot, but aparently not.

1st place: Ocarina of Time 3D - 3:43
At one point it was at over 10 hours because I only paused the game by closing the system. Since then I've gone back to play the boss battle mode a couple of times.

And for the most important category:

Total playtime:

10th place: Rayman 3D - 12:45
Not a long game, but I did play through it twice

9th place: Super Mario Bros - 13:39
I was quite insistant on finally beating it, which was such a good feeling when I did.

8th place: Art Academy - 17:19
As already mentioned, great game.

7th place: Zenonia - 19:10
Quite a good size for an RPG that cheap.

6th place: Super Mario 3D Land - 21:02
Ah, such a good game

5th place: Mario Kart 7 - 28:01
Once again, solid game

4th place: Ocarina of Time 3D - 33:28
Not much to say

3rd place: Pokemon Black - 35:55
Not much to say

2nd place: Let's Golf 3D - 56:10
Oh, the embarrassment

And no surprise

1st place: Fire Emblem: Sacret Stones - 87:54

I'm not sure how much of those hours are because the game doesn't pause when I close the system. Probably somewhere between 15 and 20 hours. Still, a solid winner, in fact I wouldn't be surprised if it remains on the top for me until the end of the 3DS's lifecycle. Right now, the only way I can see a 3DS game beating it is if they make a 3DS version of Minecraft and it is possible to send files between the 3DS version and my copy on the computer. That game would steal so much of my time.

Speaking of Minecraft, I've found a better site for uploading pictures than gamespot, so while there are many new pictures I'd like to show you, here are some awesome old ones that I didn't get to download because gamespot didn't want to (actually, some of them did eventually appear, it just took weeks, but anyhow):

Review: Fire Emblem - the Sacret Stones

Pretty long review this one, and even so I could have made it far longer.

Fire Emblem - The Sacret Stones

Score: 9.5/10
Difficulty: Just Right
Time Spent: 40 to 100 hours
CIassification: Amazing

A brilliant strategy game

This is the first tactics RPG I've played and I think it is a genre I need to check out further. While I'm not a big fan of RPGs in general and I'm not very good at most strategy games, somehow this just works for me.

Fire Emblem is very much like an anime in spirit. It is a game created in Japan, but with characters that look European and with the setting being a mixture of fantasy and the middle ages. Several of the main characters are either royalty or soldiers for royal army. On their journey they run into undead creatures on several ocassions. There are also Pegasuses that some of your party members ride and they can get Wyverns if you choose that particular cIass upgrade.

The game has an art styIe like anime and the combat animations are focused more on cool moves than moves that would actually work in battle. I mean, what does doing a double backflip as your retreating to your neutral stance really accomplish?

Fire Emblem takes place on several maps where your characters move a certain number of squares each turn. During your turn you can attack, heal, visit towns etc. One thing I love is that significant story elements like recruiting someone to your side takes place within this system.

There are several reasons why I like the combat system. First of all, it is a very predictable system. When you stand next to an enemy and choose attack, a screen pops up with your chance to hit (in percentage), how much you will potensially hit for and what your chance for a critical hit (x3 damage is). It also shows the same for your opponents, because if they can they will counter-attack. It also tells you if you will hit the enemy twice, which happens if you are much faster than it. This enables me to think everything through before deciding on a strategy.

Another aspect I like is how all the items have durability. When you select which weapon/spell to attack with, it shows how many uses you have left. This makes Fire Emblem one of those games where the in-game economy actually makes sense and money can potensially become a significant factor. On some maps you can get money if you reach a certain chest before the enemy, and it becomes an important part of the mission.

Perhaps most importantly, there is a great variety of characters and weapons. For instance, Pegasus and Wyvern Knights have crazy agility and can travel large distances, but are extremely weak to bows and don't hit very hard. Bows are nice because you can attack melee characters without them counter-attacking, but it also means that you can't counter when they attack you. There is one particular character who is crazy-strong but can only use one weapon and that weapon only be used 50 times throughout the campaign. There is another character who dances for other people enabling them to go one extra time during your turn. Then there are characters that start of really weak, but you can level them up to be the strongest of all.

In a nutshell the system is about using the strengths and weaknesses of your party members and the terrain to your advantage. For instance, most maps have some sorts of choke points you could use. Some terrain is slow to travel on, but boosts your defence and chance to avoid attack.

Returning to the anime comparissin, the story is quite generic and predictable, but the game has a rich character gallery. The dialogue is well written and quite fitting to the characteristics of the person talking. The game also manages to make me care about them due to the support system. During gameplay, if you place the right characters next to each other they will have a conversation which increases their bond, whether it be a family bond, a romantic bond or simply mutual respect between two hardy warriors. There is usually about five people a character can have conversations with and you can have a maximum of three with one person and five in total. Your decision might slightly alter the epilogue, that tells you how the characters faired after their death. Support conversations also give the characters a slight boost in combat.

My love for the game is best demonstrated by the fact that I played through it a second time on hard mode. Usually with games that have difficulty I'll choose easy or normal and think that if I like it I can play though on hard mode, but even if I enjoyed the game I won't. However I really liked the system and wanted to see how I faired on the hardest difficulty. I also had some extra incentive because of support conversations I really wanted to see. When I finally beat the game and the epilogue told me how two of my favorite characters got married I just sat with a dumb grin on my face for a while.

Anyway, the game is fairly well balanced on hard, but not perfect. I'd hope that it was so intense that I'd have to be clever with leveling people up, possibly by having the already good characters weaken bosses and have the ones needing Exp deliver the finishing blow. However duing that and using my money well rather put me a bit ahead of the curve. However there were still some difficulty spikes, particularly with maps where the goal is survival or maps with fog making it so you can't see enemies on a distance. At one map which was both survival and fog I eventually won by backing my entire party into a corner, remove all weapons from by two best defensive players, put them in achoke point with healers in second row and just wait it out.

Fire Emblem the Sacret Stone is easily the RPG and/or strategy game I've put the most time into with 80 hours and I've even started a third playthrough (which I'll play on more casually). There are some more support conversations to pursue and I've also heard that Ross becomes wicked strong if you upgrade him to the Berserker cIass.

The games I'm not playing now

1) The Diablo III Beta

Because: The game keep claiming that the username or password is incorrect while I have no problem loging onto battle net with the same account. This iss really frustrating because the internet connection at the cabin was rubbish, so it took almost two days to download, so I was really looking forward to finally playing it. I also feel bad because there are probably people who'd want to play that beta way more than I do and I'm not even getting any use of it.

2) Mass Effect series

Because: I really wanted to start with the first game, which I got for steam during the holiday sales. However, so far I have not even made it to the title screen. My computer will tell me that it is preparing to launch the game and then not do so. I have spent over two hours total searching for sollutions and I have to say I'm disappointed this crap happens with a steam game. I might have to try using the disc (which I bought back when I still had a really horrible computer that simply wouldn't run it).

3) Resident Evil Revelations and The Last Story

Because: The store didn't have them. RER was outsold and the last story they weren't even getting in the first place, which really frustrates me. I think Nintendo is doing poorly in Norway, because the number of PS3 games on the shelves are easily twice the number of Wii and 3DS games combined.

4) Bioshock, Skyrim, several games I got for steam during the holiday.

Because: Well, I'm at a point in time where training is physically exhausting while schoolwork is mentally exhausting, so I when I do have free time, I'll usually relax with, listening to podcasts, watching TV or videos at the Escapist and then often play Minecraft at the same time. With Bioshock I find it really hard to get into because FPSes tend to make me kinda nauchious when I play them on the computer - particularly in dark areas. Bioshock also blurs sometimes when you get hit and generally it prevents me from enjoying a game that I really want to get into.

So yes, for what I have been playing it's mostly Minecraft. I have finished Fire Emblem though, and I plan to get a review up on Sunday. Until then, here are some more Zelda creations. As you will notice I've moved on from NPCs to enemies.

Some familiar retro enemies

This one looks a little too cheerful when it is supposed to look dumb.

Good memories of being scared as an 8 year old.

I also have a picture of a shadow beat from TP which I really wanted to put here, but it descided not to upload properly.

Diablo III Beta testing

Haven't blogged in a while for no particular reason. Still making Zelda stuff in Minecraft, though not as obsessively as before.

At time of writing, my computer is 21 percent finished downloading the beta version of Diablo III. I got it thanks to the escapistmagazine.com, which is randomly distributing beta keys to members of the "Publisher's club" (which is a bit of a misleading name for a gold membership). So now I'm looking forwards to playing it at some point tomorrow. The download really is painfully slow because I'm spending the weekend with my parents and sisters in a cabin we've rented and the internet connection is not great.

I guess I might as well put up a few of my creations. After completing the box arts I've moved onto NPC's: