February 23, 2017

The Wii U’s Dying Breath




We are now days away from the release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for both the wii u and the Switch.

It is a game many have been looking forward to for a while. Heck, it’s the reason why some got a wii u to begin with. That wasn’t the only reason why I got mine, but it is definitely a reason. It has been in development for the wii u, however, it’s launching on both the wii u and the Switch. It’s unfortunate that the wii u does not have a Zelda game on it exclusively. There are actually a few unfortunate things about the wii u:

- how multiplayer is handled. With the Gamepad, things got overly confusing in regards to how many extra controllers you need, etc.

- reliance on wii motes. There are a few games that actually required wii motes. Here’s the thing: the wii motes are the controllers from the previous system, the wii. This is the wii u, a whole new console. It just got poorly named. Anyway, wii motes should have not been supported on this system, aside from playing wii games on it [backwards compatibility]. The “actual” wii u controllers are the pro controller, and the game pad.

- the name. The name of thing confused people right off the bat. Some didn’t know what it was, or if it worked with the wii, or what have you. This, combined with the poor marketing ads led to it not selling well.

- the hard drive. I'm sorry, 32GB is not a lot of storage these days. We shouldn't be 'expected' to get an external, because the console doesn't ship with a hard drive suited to its needs. After the first year or so, Nintendo should have made a "wii u pro" with a built in 64GB one.
- too many gaps between notable games.

- lack of third party support.

I'm sure there's more as well, but the wii u could have been so much better than it was. It had some really good games on it. Sadly, most of them are being ported over to the Switch, or have been ported over to the 3DS. That fact itself doesn't like the wii u is worth owning anymore. It is therefore, fitting, that Zelda is the last game coming out for it. The wii u is dying, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is its dying breath.

 


The game will keep me playing for quite a bit, as there will be DLC coming for Zelda in the summer, and the fall / "holiday".

Also, my Nintendo buying days are beginning to come to an end. I wills till play games (Steam, and the Ps4), but I'm clsoe to being done with Nintendo. There have a been a few reasons that has led me to this decision:

- unable to get the Majora's Mask themed New 3DSXL

- unable to get the Fire Emblem: Fates Special Edition

- amiibo shortages

- NES Classic shortages

- Nintendo never announcing themselves announcing when specialty items are actually able for pre-order

It's very hard to support a company that I find treats it's fans so poorly....especially the wii u owners: "the wii u failed...buy our switch isntead!" What if the switch fails as well? With XBONES and the Ps4 Pro coming out, as a wii u owner, I sort of hoped something simialr would have happened with the wii u to get it 'on track.' Not only that, but how can a pre-order for an item that's not limited (or, for that matter, numbered) be sold out??? I've been through this before, and with the end of the wii u and the beginning of the switch, I see no reason to go through it again.

But I could eat my words.

We'll see how this Switch does. For all I know, this Christmas (at the very earliest) I could up wanting one.

For The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild though; I'm getting it on the wii u. It's one of the reasons why I bought my wii u, and seems like a very good way to end it's life. In regards to other purchases for the wii u, I'll essentially turn it into an emulation machine. I'll buy and download some virtual console games off the eshop.

As for future Nintendo purchases, here is what I predict I will get:

- a few more 3DS games, depending on what comes out. There could be 1 or 2 more Fire Emblem games coming out. I say this because the full title of the May release is "Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadow of Valentia. With the previous games, they were called: "Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright, Conquest and Revelation. Is it possible that we may get more games under the "Fire Emblem Echoes" title?? [Sacred Stones, perhaps??] 

- the Corrin amiibo

- NES Classic + 2nd controller

- [because you never know....] Nintendo Switch + 2 pro controllers. It would be awesome if the Switch got a new Mario Kart game [not a deluxe version of one that exists already], same with Smash, and a Zelda game designed for the switch, not a dual-release title. I would constantly keep the console docked, as the portability aspect of it does not appeal to me. I want to give it to see how it does, and what comes out for it. But if Nintendo disappoints as per the examples I gave beforehand, I won't even consider getting it. I should also add that I do not intend to get it at launch, nor am expecting to. The earliest I'd get it would Black Friday.
         

February 22, 2017

A Fantasy Update

There are a few updates on some fantasy books which I’ll mention in this post.

 



Assassin’s Fate
, the finale of Robin Hobb’s latest Fitz-related trilogy, is due out in May. I’ve been trying to find out whether or not this is the final Fitz-related book, period. I’ve heard of Robin and her works going about as far back as when I discovered Tolkien, but have not read any – yet.

 


This spring also marks the beginning of the end of the Shannara series. The final Shannara series [which will be 4 books] is called “The Fall of Shannara.” The first of those four is titled The Black Elfstone.

 


I have also discovered another fantasy author, who seems quite promising. The author’s name is Michael J. Sullivan. I’ll be keeping a close eye on him and follow his publications. I say this because; George R.R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss are the final authors that I’ll follow as their books come out. If an author is writing a fantasy series, I’ll wait until the series is completed before buying any of them. Still no word yet on either The Winds of Winter or The Doors of Stone. Nothing against other authors or publishing houses, but I'd rather wait until a series is written and published in full before getting involved, and having supremely long wait times during the publication of the series.

 


Another author that I’ve discovered that I’m waiting until his series is completed before purchasing, is Scott Lynch.  

 


Steven Erikson is also at work on Walk in Shadow, the third book in his Malazan prequel trilogy. It’s publication date is currently unknown, but I have noticed that books 1 and 2 of the trilogy are about 4 years apart. Forge of Darkness arrived in 2012, and Fall of Light was 2016.

 


This year also sees the publication of Stormlight book 3, called Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson. This one is due out in the fall.

 


Finally, Philip Pullman will also be publishing the first of 3 volumes in an “equel” trilogy to His Dark Materials. The name of that trilogy is “The Book of Dust.” He dubbed the term himself, as it’s neither a prequel, sequel, or even an “interquel.” [an interquel is what Stephen King’s The Wind Through the Keyhole is].Again, I’ll wait until the trilogy is completed before purchasing it. I may go for: all individual titles in hardback, a hardback boxed set, or an omnibus edition [hopefully one will be offered by Everyman’s Library to match my edition of His Dark Materials].

Looks like 2017 is beginning to shape up to be a great year for fantasy! And that's not counting the Tolkien or Tolkien related books, either....

February 13, 2017

Tolkien 2017 Wish List

2017 may already be set in stone for Harper Collins and their Tolkien publications. Assuming that it isn't, here are some things that would be neat to come out. There are a few events of note: Tolkien's 125th birthday, the 80th anniversary of The Hobbit and the 40th anniversary of The Silmarillion. I've sort of made a "wishlist" or a "wouldn't it be nice?" post of some items I think would be neat to see, as well as what some items would contain.

So let's get to it...



The Hobbit: 80th anniversary edition illustrated by Alan Lee


- transparent slipcase
- re-scanned paintings
- chalk-white paper
(original text?)
- unjacketed book: the iconic image of Smaug on the front cover, Gandalf leaving the company at Mirkwood on the back cover
- Thror's map as front endpaper [reverse of board] and Map of Wilderland as rear endpaper [reverse of board]
- 1/4 bound burgundy ["spine colourization"]
- ribbon marker bound in [same coloour as the 1/4 binding]
- dimensions would match the 60th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings illustrated by Alan Lee


The Silmarillion: 40th anniversary edition illustrated by Ted Nasmith

- transparent slipcase
- re-scanned paintings
- all of Ted Nasmith's artwork from The Silmarillion (1998 and 2004) included
- the most recent, and accurate, text setting of The Silmarillion [including Tolkien's letter]
- chalk-white paper
- unjacketed book: the iconic image of Maglor casting a Silmaril into the Sea on the front cover, Beren and Luthien being flown to safety on the back cover.
- features the full-colour map of Beleriand (and the lands to the North) on the endpapers. (This one also appeared in the 1998 edition)
- 1/4 bound bright terra cotta ["spine colourization"]
- ribbon marker bound in [same colour as the 1/4 binding]
dimensions would match the 60th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings illustrated by Alan Le
e

"The Annotated Silmarillion" or "The Silmarillion Reader's Comapnion"

This is somewhat based on the fact that there is an Annotated Hobbit, as well as a Reader's Companion to The Lord of the Rings. a similar book in either vein would be welcome for The Silmarillion.

"The Art of the Silmarillion"

We've had The Art of the Hobbit and The Art of the Lord of the Rings; so naturally, it may be possible to do "The Art of the Silmarillion." Question is, if there's enough content to make a book dedicated to Silmarillion related artwork by Tolkien himself.

So those are the books that I feel are "missing" or it would be great if they existed. There isn't too much else I can think of that I would want to publish. My other wish would be The Fall of Gondolin, edited by Christopher Tolkien and illustrated by Alan Lee.

That basically sums up what would be neat to see from Harper Collins this year...or at some point.