July 10, 2017

Switch-Ports


In the past, I have been salty about the fact that the Nintendo Switch has gotten so many wii u games ported over to it. I understand that the wii u 'failed.' I personally quite enjoy mine and myself and my lady have a decent selection of games on it. So, to us, it wasn't a 'fail.' The wii u was essentially....a half and half, or an in between - it shares things in common with both the wii and the switch, but it just couldn't decide what type of console it wanted to be. This was mostly due to the marketing, also responsible for naming it "wii u." However, I can sort of see why it is. Heck, even trying to figure what games need the gamepad in terms of multiplayer is confusing. It honestly does vary game by game.

So, for me as a wii u owner, I kept saying "Why would I want a Switch?? So far it has all the games the wii u does!"After all, we buy new gaming consoles to play new games. That said, because a few people missed out on the wii u's games, I'm going to suggest some. This list, from a wii u owner, shows the console's strengths. Of course, any parts of the game that feature or make use of the gamepad would have to be removed.

 

New Mario Bros. U + New Luigi U

If one were to port this over to the switch, it obviously wouldn't have the "u" in the title. "New Mario Bros. Switch" implies that it is a whole new game, just for the Switch. I propose that if it makes it over to the Switch, to call it "New Mario Bros. 3." The reason behind this is, on the DS we had New Mario Bros. Then, on the wii, we had New Mario Bros. wii. After that, on the 3DS, came New Mario Bros. 2. Then of course, New Mario Bros. U for the wii u. So calling it the 3rd one makes sense, naming-wise to me. Unless they come up with a better title. And hey, why not throw in New Luigi U in there as well?? On the other hand, "New Mario Bros. Switch" [all new] would also be a welcome addition.

Sure many are looking forward to Mario Odyssey, however having this game on the Switch would a great opportunity for more Mario - especially if one isn't fond of 3D Mario games.



Mario 3D World + Captain Toad

Ah, Mario 3D, one of the reasons why I bought my wii u.... it's similar in design and engine to the 3D Mario game on the 3DS. This was one of the games I was hoping would sell a lot of consoles. The game is fairly large, offers multiplayer a la the New Mario games [all players all at once]. This is a 3D Mario game, but not really. You can move in and out of the background, but the levels do follow the 'left to right' pattern for the most part. It would also be neat if they included Captain Toad in the same game cart, or made it a 2-in-1 deal. 

This game was one of the wii u's strongest games, and I think it would do well on the Switch.
Possible title on the Switch: Mario 3D World DX, Mario 3DX World, Mario 3D World + Captain Toad

 

Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze

One of the wii u's best games. Nothing says "Nintendo" like classic Donkey Kong action! Due to the nature and sales of the wii u, this is somewhat of a 'hidden gem', even though it's part of a larger franchise - Donkey Kong!
Possible title on the Switch: Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze DX
Also welcome: a new Donkey Kong game, in the vein of Donkey Kong Returns, as well as this title.


Xenoblade X

Sure, the Switch is getting Xenoblade 2, however, to build up hype, offer a bundle etc, I see that as a perfect chance for Xenoblade X to get transferred over to the Switch. It could include all DLC. Prior to Zelda: Breat hof the Wild, this was one of the best, most-recent open-world games there were.
Possible title on the Switch: Xenoblade DX, Xenoblade X - Complete Edition

 


These (this?) game(s) I discovered while attempting to obtain an NES Classic. At that point, I knew that the wii u wasn't doing so well, and that there wouldn't be a whole lot more games coming out for it....which meant even less for me to get. So, I used some of my eshop balance and got both NES Remix and NES Remix 2. They were two games, available only on the wii u's eshop at first, and then on the 3DS as Ultimate NES Remix, and a physical disc copy for the wii u called NES  Remix Pack.

The games are a series of speed-challenges taken from a selection of games that were on the NES. There are some challenges that mixes them together, such as using Link in a Mario level.
Possible title on Switch: NES Remix Deluxe
Also welcome: Super NES Remix and possibly even Nintendo 64 Remix  

 


The Legend of Zelda HD Collection [Wind Waker + Twilight Princess]

The HD version of Wind Waker really showed what the wii u could do. It was colourful, vibrant, and the use of the gamepad was top notch. The imagine with the HD version of Twilight Princess HD left a bit to desired, but it was a vast improvement over the original - just not vast enough. I think dual release of the remasters would be great on the Switch, offering those who enjoyed Breath of the Wild a little bit more of a sampling from the Zelda series, if Breath of the Wild was their first Zelda game.
 


Smash Bros U

As much as I'd like there to be a "Smash Switch", I would not argue with the wii u version coming over - as long as the Switch will get a new installment.

The Switch edition can contain everything from the wii u edition [and perhaps the 3DS, as well??] making it a complete edition.
Possible title on Switch: Smash Bros: Championship Edition, Smash Bros. Ultra [or some such]

I will close off with some ideas. First up.....


The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD [remake??]

It seems that the next Zelda game to be remastered on the check-list would be Skyward Sword. However...that game was built on motion controls, which is its downfall. One of a few. Nintendo could work around forcing motion controls, in favor of having it playable on the Switch. On the other hand, they could also re-build the game, as well.....

Some other full on remakes I'd like to see would be:
Zelda 87
Zelda: A Link to the Past
Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

When I say full-on remake, I'm not talking about remastering or enhancing what is already there, but essentially an all-new game, in that aspect. much like Square Enix is doing with Final Fantasy VII. It is still "Final Fantasy VII" but the game is completely redone.

As mentioned above, I'll recap some of my ideas here:

- Super NES Remix
- New Mario Bros. Switch
- Captain Toad 2
- Donkey Kong Switch
- F-Zero Switch
, or a HD version of the Gamecube game.
- Earthbound Collection
- Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door HD, or a new game
- perhaps a few more Gamecube and wii games!

July 5, 2017

The Legend of Zelda: Master Trials [Trial of the Sword] Hints and Tips


So I won't spoil or give anything away here, but I was one of the lucky, or first few, to complete The Trial of the Sword, part of the new DLC for Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

I managed to complete it on July 2nd. I didn't do it my first attempt, either. Due to my experience of trying it a few times, as well as how I play the game, I have general hints to help any who may still be struggling, as well as those who have yet to make an attempt:

- practice cooking. I'm sure you know how to cook, but I'm saying this so you can practice getting the most out of what you put into your dishes, as well as types of dishes. Just remember that a dish can't have two 'effects'.
- When possible, use your bombs. This will keep your weapons strong and going. Also, bombs are useful for fighting, as well as knocking over trees.
- knock over as many trees as you can. You'll get acorns and apples, which you can later cook with.
- thoroughly check each section before moving onto the next. In the final trials, I had a total of 9 Ancient Arrows. You can too, if you search hard enough.
- practice shield-parrying against Guardians. With your weakest shield, it's possible to one-shot the stationary variety with a successful deflection.
- try and save any ancient arrows you get for really though foes....such as lynels and Guardians
 - make sure you have Bombs+ and Stasis+. Stasis+ is great for un-horsing mounted foes, as well as temporarily freezing some foes for you to get 'that' shot in.
- try to 'pull' singular enemies towards you
- take your time, and carefully observe each room (floor, whatever) before you proceed.
- use the mid-air effect with your bow when possible. This allows for greater aim, which in turn saves you arrows, and weapon durability.
- do your best not to get hit. Weapons and arrows seem plentiful enough. But clothes, not so much.
- the trial is somewhat a mix of Eventide Island, and the all-star mode from Smash Bros, to give you an idea. You bring nothing with you, and come out with nothing, in terms of items you find. HOWEVER: before you begin the Trial, choose the Rito-down bed, or the full spa treatment to get additional hearts and stamina. ALSO, make and eat a dish that grants high defense seconds before starting the trial to give yourself a boost. These effects will still be active upon beginning of the trial.

Be patient, use your wits and your head, and best of luck!!

July 4, 2017

Tolkien Tuesday: Major Events


I discovered, and began a Tolkien fan, in 2001-2002. Because of that, I'm a little bit new to the game. That also means, in the years since, I've witnessed a few major events in the Tolkien area. Or, major publications if you will: deluxe editions and calendars celebrating a new book, or a new version of one.

Here they are, since when I became a fan:

2005: The Lord of the Rings 50th Anniversary. The book was corrected and reset, the new text has now become the new standard. The initial publications consisted of hardbacks, deluxe editions and calendars, among other items.

2007: The Children of Hurin. In a story that has been told before, in such place as The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales, The Tale of The Children got its own stand-alone release in 2007. Initial publications consisted of hardbacks, deluxe editions, and calendars for 2008.

2009: The Silmarillion illustrated by Ted Nasmith: calendar. It was high-time that Ted Nasmith's artwork from The Silmarillion, which he illustrated and was published in 2004, got released in calendar forma. It's a few years after the initial publication of the book itself (Ted Nasmith's illustrated edition, I mean) but it is fantastic and fits perfectly beside Alan Lee's illustrated The Hobbit and also Lee's The Lord of the Rings boxed set.

2013: The Hobbit illustrated by Jemima Catlin. As much as I adore Alan Lee's artwork, Jemima Catlin's bring a fresh, whimsical and enchanting take on "Tolkien art"; and it suits the book quite well. Many consider The Hobbit to be a "children's book." If that's the case, then Catlin's artwork blends in perfectly with the charming text. Her artwork, and the way it's incorporated into the text, will remind you of classic 'story books', or books such as The Wind in the Willows. The event was celebrated with hardbacks, a deluxe edition edition, and a calendar for 2014.

2017: The Hobbit 80th Anniversary. The 80th anniversary was celebrated with the release of The Hobbit facsimile first edition boxed, as well as a calendar of Tolkien's black and white artwork he illustrated himself for the book.

2017: Beren and Luthien. Possibly the last Middle-earth book (not counting future anniversary (example: The Lord of the Rings 75th anniversary edition) or illustrated editions) to ever be released, the event was celebrated by way of publishing the book in hardback, deluxe edition, and a calendar for 2018. 

So there you have it! As you can see, since becoming a Tolkien fan, I've seen quite a few interesting publication events. Who knows what'll come in the years to come....

Canada 150 Weekend

Well this weekend was quite a blast.

Lots of cities this past weekend were hosting large extravagant events for Canada 150 (the 150th anniversary of our country becoming a country). However, to the vast amount of traffic, as well as the fact that my lady and I missed out on The Epic New Year's Party, we decided to keep it small(er) and hang around the neighbourhood.

Some really good friends of the family (I consider them family, in fact) hosted their annual Canada Day BBQ Pool Party which they've been doing for the most part since they got their pool put in.....geez, quite a few years ago now. It was loads of fun.

Thanks to Red racer's two mix packs, Across the Nation (East and West) I took a drinking tour of Canada! I went from West to East. Sunday was recovery day (which should be renamed unofficially to Day of the Dead) and Monday was just lounging around. Today was back to reality.

So thank you Canada, and here's to another 150 years.

Oh, and that 150 logo? "The official emblem of the sesquicentennial was designed by Ariana Cuvin, a then-19-year-old student in the University of Waterloo's global business and digital arts program. It consists of 13 multi-coloured diamonds forming a maple leaf; Cuvin stated that the four diamonds forming the emblem's base represented Canada's four original provinces, while the others represented the provinces and territories that had joined since. The government officially described the emblem as reflecting Canada's unity and diversity."

June 26, 2017

"The Philosopher's Stone" 20th Anniversary


On this day 20 years ago, The Philosopher's Stone, the first book in the 7-book Harry Potter series was published.

I cannot say what others have already, or say it any better. I'm just going to acknowledge that thought in my post.

There really is nothing to say; other than thank-you to my sister, for persuading me to give them a try, to Jo for writing 7 amazing books, and for Bloomsbury / Raincoast for publishing them (and for putting out those nice, sleek, black dustjacket editions).

And:
 



If you never read the books before, or are in dire need of a complete set, let me help you: (search by copying + pasting these ISBN's)

- 7 book paperback boxed set ISBN:  9781408856772
- 7 book hardback boxed set ISBN: 
9781408856789

Do Not Buy This: "The Name of The Wind" 10th Anniversary Edition

Hey all.

So, this is sort of a pet-peeve of mine: anniversary editions of books in an incomplete book series. This isn't targeted at any series or author in genera;, but today I'm going to showcase one such example: The Name of the Wind 10th Anniversary Edition by Patrick Rothfuss. Here's why. And, no, it's not because "it's not book 3."

Pat has outlined the details about the book in his blog post here: http://blog.patrickrothfuss.com/2017/06/10th-anniversary-edition-cover-reveal/ . My problems with books like this, come from three different angles, as someone who likes complete and matching sets:

1) Will the second book, The Wise Man's Fear, also be release din this format?? If not, why have a book that will stick out like a sore thumb, compared to the other two?

2) Why not wait and do an anniversary set for the entire series? If there's an anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings, guess what - you'll get all three parts in that style! Although, here's hoping the publisher of those also does The Hobbit and The Silmarillion, and maybe Unfinished Tales, as well...

3) Will this content only be available as the anniversary edition, or can we expect it to come later, possibly in another form? Possibly in the complete boxed set? Possibly in a 'collected' volume that includes short stories related to the setting the main trilogy has taken place in etc.

So I'm not trying to dissuade you from buying, or reading Patrick Rothfuss books; or even donating to his various charities - by all means, donate if you wish! And the original version of The Name of the Wind hasn't gone anywhere. If you want to read the books, pick that instead. I'm just trying to convince you not to buy this product in particular. Besides - you know something sweet will come along once the trilogy boxed set rolls out...

Oh, and if you're wondering what the other instance of a similar scenario of a book like this that I try and convince people not to buy, it's the 20th Anniversary Edition of A Game of Thrones. So far there seems to be plans to publish the other books in the series in that style. And, again - who knows what they have planned for the complete series boxed set? Buy the original editions, or wait for the complete set.

Whether or not you agree with me, I hope you understand what I'm getting at.

June 24, 2017

It's Not "The Elder Scrolls VI" But.....


The Elder Scrolls VI is still a ways off. By now, most likely anyone who has had an interested in Skyrim (The Elder Scrolls V) will have played it by now. It seems that Bethseda has been giving that game everything it's worth.

The game originally launched in November 2011 on PC, X360 and PS3. It followed with DLC later on with Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn. And, not to mention the hi-res texture pack for PC as well. Naturally, all this was eventually collected into a 'complete' release; as is usually common with games once developers are completely finished with them. In the fall of 2016, to celebrate its 5th anniversary, the game was remastered. This was primarily for the console players, as the game out on XBONE, and PS4. Steam users that already have the game and all of its content got the remaster added to their library free of charge. Because the PC users had the hi res texture pack (plus, not to mention mods) the remaster seemed unneccesary for PC gamers. But still, there it was.

Now, Skyrim is coming to Nintendo Switch, as well as getting a VR release.

If, however, you are tired of Skyrim, and want The Elder Scrolls VI, I sort of have a middle-ground suggestion: the MMO known as The Elder Scrolls Online

The game was made without the intention of being a main entry in the Elder Scrolls series (sort of like the Final Fantasy games and their online games, despite the fact the online Final Fantasy games are numbered...). It isn't a "proper" Elder Scrolls game BECAUSE it's an MMO. And then there's the issue of Zenimax.... but if you are truly hankering for more romps through Tamriel, give The Elder Scrolls Online a shot.

It's free to play (however, if you want to you can subscribe to get more out of the game but it's not neccessary), and is available for XBONE, PS4 (although I should add that yo need XBOX Live or PS Plus for it) as well as PC.

And it's great time too because the first major expansion has just come out recently: The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind. That game requires the 'main' Elder Scrolls Online, which you can get in the redesigned 'base' game called The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited or The Elder Scrolls Online: Gold Edition. There are numerous bundles, and deluxe editions etc, as you can see from looking it in the Steam store, for example.

So that's an option for quenching your Elder Scrolls online thirst. However, if you thirst for beer (the main Elder Scrolls series, for example) and I'm suggesting wine (The Elder Scrolls Online) then I can understand not accepting the drink.       



June 16, 2017

I'll Netflix That: "Big Hero 6"


Next up on my "I'll Netflix That" series is a movie that I wanted to see in cinemas, but misse dout on. Maybe it was a busy time in my life? Maybe there were quite a few other movies in cinemas, and this one made the cut....either way, Big Hero 6 became a Netflix title for me. But not for the 'usual' reasons.

I quite enjoyed it! I'm somewhat glad I didn't pay the big bucks for the cinema experience but it was what I expected: the origin story reminded me of Iron Man a bit, the 'fun' element reminded me of The Incredibles or The Avengers, and the humor of Meet the Robinsons.

It's definitely a "Disney movie" in the truest sense of the word, while also being "Marvel Lite." If you enjoyed The Incredibles as well as Dragons from Dreamworks; you'll most likely find something to like here. There's something for everyone if you like animated films and / or superhero movies. It has an adventure element seen in such films such as the Dragons series by Dreamworks, The Incredibles, while brining the humor seen in Meet the Robinsons or Zootopia. It's not exactly ground-breaking, nor offers anything new or special we haven't seen before. The Disney charm has a spark in this one, and thus it's worth seeing. Just don't expect too much.

7.5 / 10  

June 15, 2017

E3 2017 Thoughts

Well another E3 has come and gone.

This is the big annual event where developers and designers get to showcase upcoming major releases for all the video game platforms. There were some surprises, both good and bad.

The systems I have, and follow, are PS4, PC (Steam) and 3DS. I have a wii u, but that's been discontinued in favor the Switch; which I don't have.

Nintendo has unveiled two upcoming Metroid games: Metroid: Samus Returns for 3DS, and Metroid Prime 4 for the Switch. We also got a look at some of the Zelda DLC. The first of two, coming on June 30, is called The Master Trials. The final set, The Champions' Balad, will be out "Holiday" 2017.

Of interest to me from Playstation, is the first set of DLC for Horizon: Zero Dawn called Horizon: The Frozen Wilds. It's of interest to me because I'm looking forward to playing Horizon, but will await the 'complete' edition.

Bethseda has announced Wolftenstein 2, which will be a sequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order. Nothing whatsoever in regards to The Elder Scrolls VI. I wasn't much if there was anaying - about the same sort of tease or reveal we got for Metroid Prime 4.

So it wasn't an overly spectacular E3 for me, though it's good to know there's some good things on the way. I wish Bethseda would leave Skyrim alone. I realize it takes time and energy to work on a game, but enough's enough. All we need is a brief tease / announcement to say that you're working on it like what Nintendo did with Metroid Prime 4. Or that you plan to work on it. Of all the games Nintendo is bring over to the Switch that already exist on other systems, I was hoping Mario Maker would make it over. You never know, perhaps someday in a direct or something. I say this because, I don't intend to get it, but it'll keep the servers going longer.

So those are pretty much my thoughts. Looking forward to: Metroid on 3DS, The Legend of Zelda: The Master Trials and The Legend of Zelda: The Champions' Balad for the wii u (also will be for the Switch), Horizon: Zero Dawn tog et it's 'full' ("Game of the Year") edition, and Wolfenstein 2 to get likewise for PC - if there will be any DLC, that is.   

June 11, 2017

Birthday is Coming


Well, it's about that time again! One month to go!

In a few weeks I shall age. In fact, following Tolkien's custom of a hobbit, I will come of age [33]. I definitely don't think I feel, or act, that way....try closer to 27-29.

I've always been glad that my birthday is in the summer. Summer is generally a fun time, despite the occasional heat and humidity. I usually opt for something BBQ'ed in the traditional sense: meaty, sticky, and smoky! It's also about half-way through the year.

Anyway, I try not to make a fuss. I don't expect much. A few close people, some good food, some good drink.

Truly, I'm not fussy about the gifts. There isn't anything I "ask" for; but there are some things I have my eye on. I'm trying to move past making and giving out wishlists.

So this post will showcase a few items that I have my eye on' so that my readers may "connect" with who I am. Please note that I am saving up for, and intending to buy a stereo system with a turntble sometime this summer.

GIFT CARDS

- Netflix
- LCBO
- Chapters iTunes

I find I'm constantly buying from those sources. Not meant as a bad thing, but I would not object to a bit of assistance with some of the expenses.

Other Items

- Hyrule Warriors for 3DS

- The Penguin Book of Norse Mythshttps://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-penguin-book-of-norse/9780241953211-item.html

- A History of Wales: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/a-history-of-wales/9780140284751-item.html

- Exploring The Hobbit : https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/exploring-j-r-r-tolkiens/9780544106635-item.html

- The Languages of Tolkien: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-languages-of-tolkiens-middleaearth/9780395291306-item.html 

- Rumours by Fleetwood Mac on vinyl: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B004OKFISQ/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_img?_encoding=UTF8&colid=F68MQXZEZHSG&coliid=I3GNYI951Y316P 

- Quadrophenia by The Who on vinyl: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B005M17KFU/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=F68MQXZEZHSG&coliid=I9YHHR15O7IA3

- Game of Thrones beer steins. I'd love to get both of these at once, which would complete my set. They are:

Lannister: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00BFZ3O5C/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=334OHARFDHZKQ&coliid=I3MEV33UR3HZL0

Baratheon: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B009Z07U40/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=334OHARFDHZKQ&coliid=I2TJYH6U2I4T54

A decent mixed bag. There's a few books I'd like to receive that have peaked my interest. One or two vinyl albums; as I am intending to purchase a stereo system this summer sometime. I already have a few vinyls, as some of them may be harder to find over time; whereas the hardware equipment will always be around. Finally, a few more Game of Thrones beer mugs to close out my collection, which is fitting seeing as the show is headed towards its endgame.