Saturday, January 14, 2017

Waiting for Breath of the Wild

Sooooo... the Switch presentation yesterday. That was a thing. I ended up watching it with a couple friends on voice chat on Discord. Sadly, voice chat means I didn't get a real chat log of it, but... it doesn't really matter. I was honestly... silent, for all the parts that really mattered to me.

I spent the majority of the presentation making fun of the Switch. Don't get me wrong: I'm SO hyped for this console. And guys... PORTABLE SKYRIM. PORTABLE FREAKING SKYRIM. You have NO IDEA how much I freaking love Skyrim. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Skyrim is easily my favorite non-Zelda game. And with my recent love of Oblivion (CAN WE JUST TALK ABOUT HOW GOOD SHIVERING ISLES IS I CAN'T STOP PLAYING IT), Elder Scrolls is probably easily my favorite non-Zelda series. (Past Sierra: "I'VE NEVER PLAYED SKYRIM AND I LIKELY NEVER WILL...") So you can imagine how hyped I am to play it on the Switch. Although I'll miss my... poorly named level 83 High Elf. (Zeruda... a perfect combination of weaboo and fangirl. Lovely.)

But yeah. I spent a lot of time making fun of the Switch, because they made it really easy. But when freaking Breath of the Wild showed up, I just fell... completely silent. With this dumb, stupid grin on my face.

I feel so dangerously optimistic about this game. I'm honestly really scared. The problem is, while Breath of the Wild is a full reboot (more or less), I'm being promised so many things that I was promised before and never received. And it's scaring me. But I'm excited at the prospect of those things coming true, too... does that make sense?

First of all, let me say why I love this game. It's beautiful. It's different. It's... okay, it's basically SKYRIM ZELDA. I literally just went on and on about how much I love Skyrim. AND THIS IS ZELDA WITH A SKYRIM WORLD. I probably can't, you know, murder everyone in town with a fireball when they group up on a Christmas-themed mod-initiated holiday and cause my daughter to run from me in terror while my husband fights my dog and my housecarl cheers them on, but... it's an open world Zelda!!! And it's absolutely GORGEOUS man. And the voice acting is so amazing! And... And Zelda... she seems like she might actually have a personality? Will we get Skyward Sword's type of Zelda, where she has her own tale to tell? Will she even accompany Link on his quest? What about Link? Can he get more emotions (again like Skyward Sword, which was an excellent step in the right direction for storytelling if not so much for other things)? Can Link be more customizable? There are horses and sand walruses and adorable yawning white foxes and Gorons and Zoras and Koroks and FREAKING SHEIKAH and FREAKING GERUDO... and... and...




So, yes. I'm freaking hyped as heck. I honestly didn't even realize how hyped I was until I started typing and the caps lock came out.

I would, however, like to throw out a few points of caution, however. I have a lot of faith in Breath of the Wild, but I do think it's hilarious -- if nothing else -- that Nintendo has promised the things it is promising with BotW before and they did not deliver.

I spent a lot of time hyping Skyward Sword. In fact, I would venture to say that the MAJORITY of this blog is, in fact, Skyward Sword hype. This blog was in its prime in 2011, the year of SS's release, and most of my posts were just my excitement over how great of a game it was going to be. I was near desperate for SS to be the flagship Zelda game, the game that put a dent in Ocarina of Time's infallible reputation as the groundbreaking, amazing, best-game-of-all-time representative for the series. After all, it was Zelda's 25th anniversary; surely they could make a good game for it?

Skyward Sword was nothing like it was promised. We were told we would get a non-linear, personal Zelda experience. We were told it would be groundbreaking and unique and unlike anything the Zelda series has done before. But no... it was another Zelda game. Without block puzzles -- except, you know, for the few block puzzles in the game. With a brand new stamina meter, and a brand new Zelda design, and a fantastic open sky world! -- that has virtually nothing in it. With immersive 1 to 1 motion controls! Which, yes, they worked, but... you had no option but to use them, even if for whatever reason, your controls weren't working as expected, or you had a hard time moving the controller around. It was... not what fans had hoped for, and many people wound up disappointed.

Obviously, we're being promised many of the same things here. Now, I don't really doubt that BotW will deliver on most of what they promised, as far as switching up the formula (pun not intended). Obviously we've been shown the open world, we've been shown the new races and gameplay features... it looks amazing. But I've been burned before. I approached Skyward Sword with so much fangirl loyalty that I was completely blinded and wanted so badly to love it. I... do love it still. I do. I love the story of it, I love love LOVE Zelda and Groose, the cutscenes are gorgeous, and the motion controls, for me personally, made the game so much more fun. But it's not what I thought it was. It has its problems. The sky was barren. The game was linear, with very little to do on the Surface aside from follow the main story progression. There was pointless backtracking. And for the love of nyan why did they switch the item controls from TP? How can I play both games if in one game B uses the item and in the other B cancels it?!?!

Speaking of Twilight Princess, it's also very much worth mentioning that this is more or less a port. Just like TP, the game was originally made for the previous gen, but it was brought to the next gen console due to numerous delays. For Twilight Princess, that didn't work so well. Most still consider the GameCube version to be the "real version" more or less. Again, I think they've handled it better with this game release. I wasn't around for TP's release, so I can't say much about fan reactions at the time, but it seems like BotW is really taking advantage of the Switch's enhanced power. Not to mention that the fact that the Switch makes it portable is worth it. (Trying not to make comparisons to people who might have said "but the fact that you can play with MOTION CONTROLS makes the Wii version worth it!")

Also, a note about the delays. It only just now hit me exactly how many delays we've had. I wanted to reread my original reaction to the first ever reveal of Zelda Wii U, and I found it in my unpublished E3 2014 post (which I finally published, in case you're curious for some reason). I then realized that... we got this trailer in 2014. Three years ago! Not to mention that, as I say in that 2014 post, that trailer was supposed to be unveiled in 2013. My goodness. And Skyward Sword came out in 2011, for goodness's sake. And then, that 2014 trailer tells us it'll be out in 2015. But noooope, it'll have to be 2016! But wait, Nintendo's new console comes out in 2017... guess we'll just wait until then!

I'm just... I'm scared. I have such, SUCH high hopes for Breath of the Wild. I really really don't want to be disappointed.

I've been playing Skyrim and Oblivion nonstop these past few weeks (okay, well, I've honestly been downloading mods probably more than I've been playing, but whatever). I've got over 600 hours in Skyrim and 100 in Oblivion, so I LOVE some good open world fantasy games. I really, really pray that Breath of the Wild can capture that same magic, that sense of freedom, that feeling that you're part of a world that's truly ALIVE and you can do whatever you want in it. And I hope they still bring back what I love about Zelda: touching, classic tales and characters, a huge arsenal of unique items, fun and challenging puzzles, and of course memorable dungeon design. The fact that so many races are coming back is a great sign to me -- I just hope they don't screw them up. I also hope they attempt to be at least somewhat lore-friendly with the rest of the series, although I kinda doubt it considering Nintendo's track record.

And for the love of Hylia, I really honest to goodness hope that the world isn't boring to explore. I'm so scared about that. Skyrim's world is fun to explore because of random encounters throughout it, the beautiful scenery, and the fact that you can find caves, crypts, camps, villages, and tiny stories everywhere. Breath of the Wild has shown a lot of... enemies in the fields. I hope it's not just enemy after enemy, with the occasional award or village or dungeon. I hope the Sheikah caves or whatever you call them don't get repetitive, because if that's the only thing I'm able to find out there and there are like a hundred of them... That sounds like it could get old fast.

tl;dr I am extremely hyped for Breath of the Wild, but I'm also worried that my faith will be misplaced. All we can do now really is wait and see what Nintendo has in store for us, and hope that they can really pull through with a game that not only meets my expectations, but exceeds them.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

So, Breath of the Wild's Japanese Logo...

What the nyan is with this Japanese logo?

I mean, okay, I don't live in Japan obviously. I spent a month there but I didn't spend much time in game stores (because I was so busy playing Maimai at the arcades and buying Magic Kaito merchandise COUGH COUGH). But... I'm preeetty sure the few copies of Zelda games I saw there used the English Zelda logo for the "Legend of Zelda" part with a Japanese subtitle. A quick Google search kinda confirms that, with all of the Zelda logos showing Japanese subtitles except for the first few games.

(Stolen from Pintrest.)

Now, of course, most of them have the classic "ゼルダの伝説 (Zeruda no densetsu)" written below so that Japanse people can understand too. But... let's take a look at Breath of the Wild's logo.

I saw the Breath of the Wild logo and I was... immensely confused for a second. I mean, why was there giant Japanese text at the top? Why was the English at the bottom? WHY ARE THE WORDS "THE LEGEND OF ZELDA" SO SMALL?

Of course, once I figured out that the kanji there means LEGEND, I was blown away. They're using the Japanese "Zeruda no densetsu" as the main portion of the logo this time? Look, the English title is so small in comparison, and doesn't even use the typical word layout that we've seen since Ocarina of Time!

I mean, I probably only find this interesting because I'm a linguistics major who is currently learning Japanse, haha. But I find it so fascinating that... even in their Japanese logo, Nintendo is really sticking to their promise of "returning to Zelda's roots". Compare it to the original Zelda logo. Isn't it fascinating how they're even going back to that original Japanese dominance? I think it's so cool!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

E3 in... Dang it, Five Hours?

So. Uh. E3 starts in 5 hours.

I am... unbearably disappointed this year. Why? Because I grew up. And now I have a stupid job. And that stupid job is requiring me to work every morning on weekdays. And in the evenings as well on Tuesday. I will be working all freaking day... on the day that Zelda Wii U is being unveiled.

Growing older sucks.

So here I am, awake at 4 in the morning when I have to work at seven, mourning my inability for the first time since my watching E3 tradition started in 2010 to watch it live. It's funny how I never once considered that I might not actually be able to watch it live some day? I mean, it's summer, shouldn't I be totally free? ...No, no I am not. Means I don't get to play any Splatoon ever either, dangit...

But yeah. My tradition is screwed. And I'm screwed. One of my favorite parts of E3 was the Skype conversations I would have with my friends online, live as it happened. I have all my Skype conversations from E3 streams in the past saved somewhere on my computer. It's so awesome to look back on them and see my intial reactions. I won't have that this year. Perhaps I can write down my responses live elsewhere? ...But it's no fun when you're not doing it with someone else. :(

Oh well. But yeah. Figured I'd come on here and share my salt with the internet.

...Oh. Oh. Wait. This is my first post of 2016? This is my first post in a YEAR? Seriously???? Holy nyan. Well uh... I'd say I'm sorry, but... I don't really care and I kinda doubt there's anyone out there who does so, yeah. This blog is dead. Might come on here again after Zelda Wii U's reveal if I work up the motivation but otherwise, it's pretty dead. The only thing I could blog about these days are Magic Kaito fanfics! ...Because that's all I do. All day. At least when I'm not playing Splatoon. I could blog about Splatoon, but it'd probably just be me complaining about losing my S rank for the thousandth time.

Well, that's enough of that. じゃあ、また!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

E3 2015 in a half hour!

It's tradition. Even after, what, nine months of not posting... I can't break that!

I know I've been gone. But at least I'm here now for the most important gaming event of the year, am I right? There are indeed reasons -- pretty good reasons -- behind why I haven't posted, not the least of which is the... surprising and somewhat difficult-to-admit fact that I'm just not that interested in Zelda anymore.

There. I said it. I'm not really a Zelda super-fan anymore... :/

...But enough of that. I started writing a post talking about all that about a week ago, so maybe I'll work up the courage to post it soon. Maybe. Either way, we've got E3 to look forward to!

I'm honestly not that excited about it this year. They delayed Zelda Wii U, if you haven't heard, so that we won't be hearing anything about that in the upcoming presentation. Thus, the chances of anything Zelda-related are exceedingly slim. And there's really not much else I care about at all.

The only other game I can pray for at this point is a Kid Icarus installment, but that's EXTREMELY unlikely. Probably even less likely than a new Zelda game being announced.

Nonetheless, I'm here to watch, because, like I said, it's tradition. Even running on four hours of sleep couldn't keep me away. (No good excuse for that, really, unless you count Magic Kaito fanfics and trying to beat my Rhythm Thief scores... Those are practically my life now. XD But this is at 9 AM, to be fair, which is the latest I remember their presentation being since I started this tradition in 2010, so I don't think I have much of a right to complain.)

So here's hoping Nintendo will surprise me. Maybe they'll announce a game I never knew I wanted! We'll just have to see! And if all else fails, at least I got to enjoy this fabulous Super Mario Galaxy music before the show begins. ;)

(And maybe Sega will announce a Rhythm Thief sequel! They don't have their own booth apparently, but maybe it'll be announced with Nintendo? ...COME ON SEGA, YOU CAN DO IT! I WANT IT SO BADLY!)

Monday, September 29, 2014

My First Hyrule Warriors Experience - Button Mashing, Fountain Smashing, and Lana Thrashing

Hey there. Bet you weren't expecting to hear from me.

It's been a hectic past couple of months, and this is simply the result of a loss of interest in blogging that has been plaguing me since the end of 2011. I'll still keep Medli's Messages up and running, but it's certainly not going to be as frequent as it could be, and I'm not even bothering to post once per month anymore. I've got too much to worry about. (Such as the fact that I learned there are other fandoms besides Zelda that have really amazing fanfictions...)

Regardless, if there's anything that could bring me back to blogging... It's the release of a new Zelda title!

Or, erm, a Zelda spin-off title. Hyrule Warriors makes itself abundantly clear from the very beginning that this is not your typical Zelda game. Or, perhaps I should say that it really doesn't make it clear. It doesn't make anything clear. It throws you into this unfamiliar menu with unfamiliar controls before you start an unfamiliar game with no explanation whatsoever. The first thing it asks you is, "Warriors or Zelda?" which could really mean absolutely anything. I chose Zelda, but it took me forever to figure out HOW to choose Zelda, since they wouldn't let you select and option with the analog stick and instead forced you to use the D-pad. Also, it told me about a bunch of updates, such as adding "Challenge Mode". Excuse me, Koei Tecmo, but I just GOT this game. I don't care about what you added. You're probably not even going to let me play it right off the bat, and I certainly wouldn't want to START my Hyrule Warriors experience with a challenge. Just getting to the title screen was challenge enough.

And it doesn't stop there. I only had 15 minutes to play this game after picking it up; I had an event at school that I had to be at in the morning, so I really was just sneaking in as much time as I could. As a result, I didn't bother exploring the menu screen, where I would have found helpful things like a "controls" menu in the Settings area, which would have informed me of the Guard button that I didn't realize existed until I was six levels into the Legend Mode, or a "Tutorial", which I actually still haven't even looked at, because I'm totally a pro at this game now. I was taught by a lovely teacher called "trial and error".

So I booted up Legend Mode, started the first level, and let the events unfold.

The first thing I noted was the intro. I actually had already seen the intro a few weeks prior to the game's release. I actually started writing a blog post about it, but it developed into a 2000 word analysis and criticism of the Zelda fandom as a whole that I think would have had many fanboys angry at me so I never published it. It's... ehhh. I actually was pretty bewildered by its low quality when I first saw it. The beginning of that unpublished post, BEFORE I started complaining about Zelda fanboys, was a rant about how awful it was. It just... it made me laugh with its terribleness. I really could write a separate post about it. Maybe some day I will. I mean, really... Why is Impa staring out of Zelda's window while she's sleeping? Why is she even sleeping during the day time? Why is the very first thing out of Zelda's mouth "I keep having the same nightmare over and over again" and Impa immediately assumes, "Oh, it's obviously a prophecy, even though you probably haven't even told me what the dream's about yet!" There's no preamble. There's no build up. It's just, "I just woke up, but we need to look for the Hero!"

Though I must commend them for actually bothering to look for the Hero instead of letting him come to them as he always does. Points for being proactive!

Also, the guards imply that Link isn't supposed to have that sword that he leaves with, or that he isn't supposed to help out on the battlefield. Um, why, exactly? Is it because he's a trainee, I guess? Considering how many Bokoblins I inadvertently managed to take out in my furious button mashing on the first stage compared to how many Hyrulean Soldiers I caught just standing there doing nothing, I'd say Link is DEFINITELY worthy of fighting alongside the regular soldiers. And really, are they going to complain about having a helping hand?

Anyway. I was going to talk about the actual gameplay. I was expecting an explanation, a tutorial, a manual, ANYTHING -- but when I hit "Start Battle" it literally meant "Start Battle." I received no tips. No convenient NPC characters popped out to tell me that moving the analog stick makes you move forward or B is to attack or Y is your special attack. I was thrown in, head first, with no idea what was going on. I did what any experienced gamer would do in this situation and started mashing buttons, which quickly allowed me to figure out some of the button uses. Eventually, a fairy showed up and DID start helping me, but I was on my own at the beginning.

It was... kind of nice, actually. Zelda games don't usually let you figure things out for yourself nowadays.

I did some exploring in the pause screen and found the combo list, but... I didn't know how to read it, what with all the seemingly random arrows, and I just saw "B" and "Y" and a bunch of arrows, so every single one of my attacks was BYBYBYBYBYBYBY. And occasionally X once I figured out what that did, and eventually A to dodge because Volga was kicking my butt before I knew how to avoid him.

I began feeling more confident in my abilities after this. I still got buttons mixed up a lot (I always, always, ALWAYS pressed the item button to try and Focus Spirit) but I felt like I was finally carving my way through the forces of evil. There was only one really big annoying mishap. Zelda told me to go to the Fairy Fountain, so I followed her to where it supposedly was located. There was a cracked wall there, so, of course, my Zelda dungeon explorer instincts honed from years of experience kicked in and I instinctively threw bombs at it. The rock easily broke, and I wandered inside the newly opened Fairy Fountain.

And I stood there and waited. Finally, Zelda appeared in the doorway. She didn't enter. Confused, I wandered back out next to her.

She finally sighs and says, "Oh no! The path to the Fairy Fountain is blocked! If only we had bombs..."

A message popped up on the screen with a new mission: "Open the path to the Fairy Fountain!"

I was, of course, very confused at this point, since I had clearly already opened the fountain a full minute ago. I started running around in circles, wondering if I'd broken the game, before finally, FINALLY, a message popped up saying, "You opened the path to the Fairy Fountain!"

Seriously, game? I did that like an hour ago!

So THEN I hurried inside the fountain and stood on the obviously important glowing circle on the ground. Zelda STILL doesn't move. Groaning in frustration, I ran in circles again, before she finally says, "Quickly, follow me!" despite the fact that I'm already IN the fountain, way ahead of her, and have been IN the fountain for literally three minutes at this point. And then she says, "Now, stand on the Magic Circle!" and I desperately want to point out that I HAVE BEEN STANDING ON THE STUPID CIRCLE THE WHOLE TIME AND CAN'T WE JUST GET THIS OVER WITH?

Zelda expert instincts cause me simultaneous amusement and frustration in this game, apparently.

This isn't the first time the game practically punishes the player for working ahead. In fact, it was far more literal when something similar happened to my sister and myself while playing co-op. I suppose we're TOO good of a team, because while playing the Lake Hylia level, myself as Sheik and her as Midna, we overtook all of the enemies' keeps long before we were supposed to. What was meant to happen was that shortly after Ruto entered the Water Temple, she would get captured, and we would be instructed to capture the two southern keeps so that the water levels could be lowered. Unfortuantely, we captured those keeps, as well as every single other keep and enemy outpost accessible in the entire stage, long before Ruto finished her dialogue. This evidently confused the game and caused nothing to happen for a good four minutes with us merely running around like idiots on an empty stage before we realized something was seriously wrong. I actually looked up a walkthrough before figuring out that we'd messed something up and we were forced to reset.

Anyway, enough about that for the moment. What do I think of the game as a whole?

Well, I have not yet finished the game. I have had very little time these past few days (probably because I do stupid things like writing this blog post while I have, let's say, a Spanish essay to write), so I'm still on the... um... level after you get the Master Sword. Heck if I remember what it was called. Temple of the Something or Other, probably. I still haven't unlocked any extra characters in Adventure Mode, either, though I have played a little bit of Adventure Mode.

The game is fun. Especially when you play it with a friend. The story is pretty decent, too, once you get past the awful intro. Perhaps it's a bit repetitive, but it's certainly enjoyable. I finally figured out how to use combos and got a basic understanding of the how the Bazaar worked after my first two levels. And I learned that a guard button existed. Would've been nice to know.

I've played only on Normal difficulty so far. I only died twice, both times to Volga because apparently when he powers up you're not SUPPOSED to attack him, and you should listen when your allies are screaming at you to leave him alone and head to the Fairy Fountain instead. Oh well.

My favorite character so far is by far Fi. Her BBBY combo is so, so awesome for clearing enemies -- my favorite move in the game! I loved it the moment I accidentally used it. I also love the combo you get by constantly pounding B. She gracefully spins through hordes of enemies, knocking them down effortlessly. It's immensely satisfying. Link and Impa aren't bad, but I don't particularly like Midna. Sheik's okay, though I'm not very good playing as her, haha.

I tried very hard to like Lana, since she's absolutely adorable, but I just can't. Her Deku Spear is alright, but I hate using her Spell Tome. Hate it. When my sister and I did co-op, her as Link, me as Lana, she got to 1000 KO's before I hit 500, and this is considering the fact that I was using the stage's recommended element and she was not. I just can't get the hang of her moveset... except that one combo where you jump on a box and roll over a bunch of enemies. That's so much fun.

Speaking of Lana, she was the first character I played as in a Legend Mode co-op session with my sister. We were at the Temple of the Sacred Sword. The required character was Link, but I was complaining that I didn't particularly want to play as him, so my sister offered to take Player 1 and I took up Player 2, who could select whatever character they wanted. Lana's Spell Tome was recommended, and I hadn't played as her for a while, so I thought, "Why not? I'll give it a shot."

As we started the battle, though, the screen proclaimed, "Lana is searching for a statue!" I thought, I am? My sister laughed at it too... until she suddenly pointed out that if I was Lana, what would happen? Was I supposed to carry out the CPU's actions? Or...

Or was there another Lana?

The latter proved to be true. There really was a computer-controlled other Lana running around. So I naturally had to swear to take her down and prove I was the one true ultimate Lana. (That didn't go well, since I already explained that I'm absolutely horrendous at playing as her.)

And then something interesting happened. Lana, as the story required, started uncharacteristically ordering people around, and Zelda commented that she didn't sound like herself. My sister and I joked that it was me, that the real Lana was merely impersonating me!

And then it turned out that there really WAS an imposter Lana.

No, seriously. That's how the stage's plot went. A fake Lana was running around the stage.

There were three Lanas. THREE.

So when Lana said, "That's not me! That person is a fake!" I had to scream out, "Oh no! They're on to me! I have to hide!"

Instead of hiding, though, I ended up hurrying over to my sister, who was already fighting the imposter Lana, and proceeded to crush her under my box of doom, the only combo I actually know how to control with Lana. I insisted on dealing the final blow, a request which my sister easily ignored due to how much I loved sniping her KO's just as she was using a Special Attack on them.

So. That was entertaining.

If you have read this entire post, I congratulate you. I'm not sure how you managed it, but you're probably some kind of Legendary Hero of Reading yourself. I'm not so certain this post is even readable, but I sure as heck am not proofreading it to find out. After all, mentioning that Spanish essay earlier wasn't exactly a joke...

I've exhausted my immediate reserve of fun Hyrule Warriors stories, though I'm sure I'll create new ones in the coming weeks. Or maybe I'll have Smash Bros. tales instead. Either way, you might be hearing from me again soon. (Or maybe I'll publish that E3 post that I wrote forever ago. It's there. The Hyrule Warriors and Smash Bros. sections are complete. It's just the Zelda Wii U part I have trouble with, because I originally wrote it under the incorrect assumption that the main character in the trailer was not Link. Curse you, Aonuma...)

I hope you all go out and buy Hyrule Warriors. It's definitely fun. Not as good as a full Zelda game, but certainly an experience that you don't want to miss.

Have a wonderful day/night! See you next time, whenever that may be!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Smash-Fest Experience!

Okay, I know I still need to write an E3 post. I have one that's about halfway done, but... I've been considering breaking it up into parts for Zelda Wii U, Hyrule Warriors, and Super Smash Bros., because there's so much to talk about for all of them! But we'll see.

What I want to talk about right now is Smash-Fest! I am extremely lucky that there was a Best Buy in my state that I was able to go to in order to play Smash Bros. before its release! It certainly wasn't nearby, but it was close enough that I was willing to take the time. It was definitely worth it, too. So I just wanted to kind of talk about my experience for a bit.

I went with my sister and a good friend of mine. The event started at 4, but we arrived at 2:45 or so... and I was stunned to see that there was already a huge line of people extending all the way around the side of the building. So, of course, we had to sit in the hot summer sun and regret the fact that we didn't bring umbrellas and chairs like some of the smarter people in the line. Regardless, the waiting wasn't too bad. We waited for 4 to come by starting a 20-round Mario Party DS game. (I won, by the way. Serves them right. I was in last place until round 5 or so, when I won a Battle mini-game, got a TON of coins, and bought three different Star Pipes from the shop and used them to go to the star three times to get ahead. XD)

We even ended up kind of talking to the guy in line behind us. He asked what we were playing and we told him. He ended up watching us and kind of laughing about everything that happened in the game. It was pretty fun!

Finally, at long last, at 4 pm, we were allowed in the air-conditioned store. Luckily, despite behind around the side of the building, we actually were among the first group to enter the store. ...But that's not saying much. We had another three hours of waiting ahead of us still. That's right. Three. Four hours total including the time we spent outside. That's how many people came to this Smash Bros. event. The line extended way ahead of us. The store associates weaved the line in between all the shelves of merchandise, so we couldn't even see the back of Smash Bros. monitor for at least the first hour. The TV itself was facing the wall, so we had to be something like third in line to actually watch the battles.

Eventually, after the fabulous Princess Peach won our Mario Party game, my sister left to check out the monitor and see what was going on. I then asked the guy behind us if he wanted to play Spirit Tracks with my friend and I, and one of the guys right in front of us yelled, "Did someone say Spirit Tracks?" and held up the case to the game, which he had brought with him. So we invited him to play with us as well! Unfortunately, apparently everyone forgot to charge their DS or 3DS except for me, so our battles didn't last as long as they could have, but they did get us through 45 minutes or so. My friend won the first round, but I won all the others. (She and I have a lot of experience playing multiplayer Spirit Tracks... we used to play it every week at Pokémon League, so we're both pretty good. The other two guys had never even played it before, so you can't blame them for losing.)

Halfway through our battles, my sister returned and told us, "There's a rumor going around that a woman is passing around the 3DS version of the game." One of the guys playing with us joked that that's the kind of rumor he'd spread just to make everyone excited for nothing.

However, it was kind of good news that their DS systems died pretty soon, because we were actually approaching the woman with the 3DS! She had two of them that were connected to her belt and were playing Smash Bros. Excited, we all pushed ahead to get a chance to play it.

Me and the first guy that was behind us in line were up against each other... but we got confused with the Smash Run and regular modes and realized that Smash Run wasn't multiplayer in the demo. So I told him we should just do Smash Run separately because you couldn't do that on the Wii U version that we'd eventually be trying.

So we did, and I chose Zelda. Smash Run, if somehow you haven't seen it yet, is like Kirby's Air Ride, a game for the GameCube that my sister and I played to death as kids. You collect power-ups that boost things like Defense, Jump, and so on while running around an enormous stage and fighting enemies from various franchises. Roturrets suck. I'm just gonna say that.

At one point during my Smash Run, I actually found a Cucco, but it looked like its A Link to the Past sprite, which makes me think that the 3DS version might use that kind of Cucco instead of the Ocarina of Time one shown in Wii U screenshots. Either that or Smash Run is special. Anyway, I accidentally hit it, and immediately a swarm of them appeared and killed me. I was screaming the whole time, "I HIT A CUCCO! OH NO! I'M DEAD!"

After collecting the power-ups, which I received woefully few of, we entered a regular Smash battle with the abilities we'd gained. I think the types of battles you do vary; for example, my sister got a Stamina battle at one point. But I didn't notice if there was anything different about this particular one. It took place on the Reset Bomb Forest stage, and I failed miserably. I think... Zelda's either been powered down, or maybe it's something about the 3DS that just made it hard for me to play. Or maybe I'm just not as good as I thought I was, haha! Either way, I lost. I didn't get a chance to see my score -- I passed it off as soon as the match was over. But I was at least third or fourth, because two of the CPUs -- both Pikachu, by the way -- got into a Sudden Death. I think the other CPU was Fox.

For the record, all of Zelda's moves seemed the same, except her Down-B. That's now a Phantom. And uh, I never used it. Partially because I forgot about it (I'm so used to never transforming into Sheik!) and partially because in the Practice Stage that I waited in momentarily while initially trying to battle that other guy, I didn't like it very much. It seemed slow and had a delay before you could take it out again. It didn't even appear to do that much damage. Maybe I'll figure out some use for it when I have the chance to get my hands on the real game and experiment a bit, but for now, I didn't like it much.

After this, it was another long period of waiting. We talked with the guys in front of us about a variety of topics -- Zelda games (especially The Wind Waker), StarFox games (which actually convinced me to buy StarFox 64 3D a few weeks later), Portal (and how much I suck at it), and even Doctor Who (although I have never seen that show so I contributed very little to that conversation). It was quite fun, and before we knew it, we were close to the Wii U. And to our surprise, what did we find there?

Another sales associate with a 3DS! We got the chance to play the 3DS Super Smash Bros. for a SECOND time! This particular version ONLY allowed Smash Run and multiplayer was not available, so I was forced to do it for the second time. This time around, I chose to use a new character. Rosalina, who I'd been wanting to try for quite a while, wasn't there in the 3DS version, so I went with the Wii Fit Trainer.

Again, it was just basic Smash Run. I fought a whole lot of Koffings, which frustratingly did a ton of damage when I didn't kill them in time. But I just did better in general, and when time was up for collecting our power ups, we entered a battle where we all started at 300% damage on the Animal Island stage from Animal Crossing. And please, extended 300% damage battles are my specialty. The CPUs didn't stand a chance. Despite having never played as the Wii Fit Trainer before, I spammed the heck out of my Smash Attacks and won the battle.

Now it was time for the main event, the thing we'd waited in line for four hours to see. The Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. 4!

Rosalina WAS on the roster of the Wii U version, so I played as her. I don't remember who my friends chose. I believe my sister was Mega Man, but I don't know who my friend was. But I do know that the fourth guy who played with us, some slightly younger kid that we did not know, was Sonic.

I convinced everyone to fight on the Skyloft course, and the battle began to a wonderful electric guitar cover of Ballad of the Goddess. I don't remember much of it, except that I never really figured out how to control Luma, haha. It wasn't really hard; I just didn't have experience with it. I kept getting confused as how to throw Luma and then bring him back. It's B to throw, but I kept hitting side B instead for whatever reason.

And that's what threw me off. Much to my shock, myself and Sonic got into a Sudden Death at the end, even though I felt like I'd done absolutely nothing throughout the battle since I didn't understand Rosalina at all. And I got it into my head that I'd be super creative and kill Sonic with Luma. So I tried my hardest to throw him, but I couldn't figure it out, kept hitting the wrong buttons, and eventually... I threw him in the air and Sonic took me out while I was stunned.

Oh well. Can't win everything, huh? At least I won once with Wii Fit Trainer! And second's not too bad...

We also got free stuff from the event! They gave everyone coupons and stickers, and then you were allowed to choose one other object. There were Bravely Default AR cards (I wish they had been Kid Icarus: Uprising instead), Mario Kart 8 flags, and some other small knick-knacks. I took a Super Smash Bros. pin and my sister grabbed some Kirby erasers. Pretty neat!

I really loved the new Smash Bros. I can't say I'm a huge fan of Smash Run, unfortunately; something about it just doesn't really appeal to me. I loved Air Ride and Subspace Emissary, but... I just had a lot of trouble with it for some reason. Enemies were hard to hit, platforms were hard to reach, and I was very lost. I came across some kind of bonus room at one point when I was Wii Fit Trainer, too, but I think I died there... Anyway. Maybe I'm just not used to the new physics and everything in the game, though, so I won't be too quick to judge it.

The other thing that really threw me off that I forgot to mention sooner is that the shield and the grab are now on different buttons. I've always used the L-trigger for both of these actions; I've just gotten used to it for some reason. As a result, I was very confused in my first battle as Zelda when my character kept making the grabbing motion instead of dodging. You may even contribute this confusion to part of the reason I lost that battle so badly. It took me at least halfway through to realize that they'd put the shield on the R-trigger, and grab was L. I was completely unused to it, so I had a lot of trouble dodging. Even after figuring it out, I would instinctively hit the L-trigger to dodge. This was slightly better on the Wii U, because there were both the L trigger and the ZL. One was grab, and the other was shield. That wasn't as hard to figure out, though I did frequently forget which was which still. But at least I didn't have to use the right side anymore; both actions could be found on the left.

Regardless, I am immensely happy that I had the privilege to attend this event. I'm very excited for the new Smash Bros., and I can't wait to play it on my own time and get more used to the new mechanics!

I'll see you in my next post, which will hopefully be about E3! Stay tuned and have a great night!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

E3 2014 - Super Smash Bros., Zelda Wii U, Hyrule Warriors, and more!

January 14th, 2016: This post was written back in 2014 in response to E3 at the time. However, I never ended up publishing it simply because I never finished the Hyrule Warriors section of the post. With the new Breath of the Wild trailer from the Nintendo Switch presentation, I wanted to revist what I thought about the original trailer, which led me back to this post. I figured that despite the title not matching the content of the post, I might as well publish this, since it has some fun reactions to Palutena and BotW's first reveals. Everything below is exactly as it was written back then; I didn't bother editing anything.

Here I am, as promised! I expect that you're here because you either clicked on this page by accident, thought you stumbled upon something useful, or you are interested in hearing my opinion! If you are in one of the first two groups, you are sorely mistaken, and you might as well leave now. (But... but you can stay if you want! That'd be awesome!)

So, as you know from my earlier post, I was very, very hyped up for E3. I was expecting great things from Nintendo. Great things! The best since E3 2011, I proudly proclaimed! But did they deliver?

Short answer: not really. I was kind of disappointed.

BUT... I highly suggest you still read the long answer. Because my gosh, this WAS one of the better E3 years, in my opinion. Not as good as 2011. But I think second place suits it well out of the E3 years I've bothered to watch (which are 2010 to present). So it's not bad at all, but I was definitely over-hyped.

Let's start with Smash Bros.! I was strongly hoping for some cool new villain reveals... like, maybe a Zelda villain reveal? Ganondorf hasn't been announced, so all we have are Sheik, Zelda, Toon Link, and Link. And that's kind of like only two characters if you really think about it. (Even if none of them really play the same...) I really would have loved to see something new for everyone's favorite franchise.

Alas, it was not to be... BUT WE GOT PALUTENA WOOOOO! ...Yes. I was so happy when Palutena showed up. To give you an idea, here's how Skype was just after Reggie said they were wrapping up their digital event (with only a few minor typo corrections -- such as changing "It" to "Pit" -- and removals of irrelevant comments):
[9:41:34 AM] Herine f Time: We still didn't get all the info I wanted. ;(
[9:41:45 AM] Herine f Time: I wanted new Smash Bros. characters
[9:41:56 AM] Herine f Time: Real characters that aren't a freaking Mii
[9:42:16 AM] odd300: One more little teaser........
[9:42:20 AM] Herine f Time: Metroid or StarFox
[9:42:24 AM] odd300: Nopeee
*Palutena appears on screen*
[9:42:27 AM] Herine f Time: PALUTENA
[9:42:29 AM] Herine f Time: PALUTENA
[9:42:34 AM] Herine f Time: YES PLEASE!
[9:42:37 AM] Herine f Time: YES YES YES!
[9:42:41 AM] Herine f Time: YEAH!
[9:42:45 AM] Herine f Time: PALUTENA!
[9:42:55 AM] Herine f Time: PLEASE PALUTENA I LOVE YOU
[9:43:12 AM] odd300: Pit, you suck.
[9:43:22 AM] Herine f Time: ALL MY FAVORITE CHARACTERS
[9:43:43 AM] Herine f Time: YESSSSSS
[9:43:47 AM] Herine f Time: SH
[9:43:53 AM] Herine f Time: Sh?
[9:44:10 AM] Herine f Time: YOUR FACE SUCKS
[9:44:26 AM] Herine f Time: Auto-reticle. XD
[9:44:40 AM] Herine f Time: Dude Mega Laser is my thing bro
[9:45:04 AM] Herine f Time: Dark Pit?
[9:45:08 AM] odd300: Well then.
[9:45:10 AM] Herine f Time: Lol okay
[9:46:28 AM] Herine f Time: I'm so happy
[9:46:34 AM] Herine f Time: I'm sooooo happy I love Palutenaaaaaa

Yeah. Heroine of Time (with the odd symbols) is obviously me.

I was hoping for Palutena to appear in Super Smash Bros. after all of this time! I'm not surprised in the slightest -- I thought we had pretty good chances, especially considering the very realistic supposed leak of her as a character back in January, and the other small indications, like the Pseudo-Palutena trophy, or the removal of Palutena from Pit's final smash. Also, Pac Man and Miis are characters, but I don't care. Aside from Zelda characters, I just wanted Palutena, and I got Palutena. I'm content as far as Smash Bros. goes.

I still would have liked more, though... the figurines were cool, but I wanted some info about what they're planning on doing specially for the Wii U version. The 3DS has... Smash Run? Is that what it's called? And that's an exclusive to that console. But the Wii U, so far, has not really been announced to have anything.

I also watched the whole Smash Invitational. I was rooting for Wii Fit Trainer but she didn't win. D: Ah, well, Zero Suit Samus won, and I was kind of cheering for her, too, but I liked the guy playing Kirby more than the guy playing Samus...

Anyway. How about we move on to Zelda Wii U?

Now, I wanted a trailer. A full trailer. Something gorgeous. I was expecting something mind-blowing, something beautiful... something I could rewatch a thousand times over and enjoy it every time, spot something new every time. Like the Skyward Sword trailers, or even the Hyrule Warriors trailers.

The Zelda Wii U presentation started off beautifully. They showed us a still image of the background -- and my breath almost left me. It was... so, so, SO incredible.

My first thought was immediately Skyrim. Skyrim has the large, swooping open fantasy world. The hut behind Link (or whoever that is -- we'll get to that) definitely gave me a Skyrim feel, as well as the mountains behind him. For anyone who plays Skyrim, they know JUST how often mountains get in your way. This is what I wanted. This is exactly what EVERYONE wanted! An open-world Zelda game! As long as they don't sacrifice story for this... this could be the best Zelda yet!

And then the actual footage they had planned began playing... and I think everyone had a rather similar reaction to me. But I'll let my Skype conversation give you an idea of everything once again:
[9:22:06 AM] Herine f Time: :D
[9:22:15 AM] Herine f Time: What
[9:22:19 AM] Herine f Time: Why is there a robot
[9:22:34 AM] Herine f Time: OKAY WHO IS THAT
[9:22:41 AM] Herine f Time: IS HE WEARING BLUE
[9:22:44 AM] Herine f Time: WHY
[9:22:45 AM] Herine f Time: WHAT
[9:22:51 AM] Herine f Time: HE LOOKS LIKE A GIRL
[9:23:10 AM] Herine f Time: He looks like older TWW Link in his freaking pajamas
[9:23:28 AM] Herine f Time: Dangit that was nothing Nintendo. XD

Yes, these comments could pretty much sum up the entirety of the reactions of the Zelda fandom.

I'll address each comment separately. The robot was really, really strange. We haven't seen very many things like it in The Legend of Zelda. I don't necessarily mind adding in some giant robots or anything, but it was still kind of surprising. And then... the character on the horse showed up. Of course, up until now, we were expecting our typical green-garbed hero... but instead he pulls back the cloak to reveal a head completely devoid of a hat, with hair much longer than Link's normally is (except in the Ocarina of Time manga -- that's actually EXACTLY what it looked like from behind in the Ocarina of Time manga), and wearing completely unfamiliar clothes. And Link... he looked different, too! He was wielding some kind of peculiar bow as well. It looked like the Hero's Bow, but then it did some... weird mechanical thing that caused an explosion. And his clothes were BLUE. As I pointed out, he strongly resembled The Wind Waker Link and his clothes, and, upon reviewing the footage, I think I'm reminded of Skyward Sword Link's outfit as well. Never mind that, all in all he looked NOTHING like our favorite hero. It was very odd.

Let me also point out that that horse does NOT look like Epona up close. I've rewatched this footage several times and I'm relatively sure that's not Epona.

I'm all open to change, of course. I do consider myself somewhat traditional, but hey, if Nintendo wants to try something new, I'll probably buy it anyway if it has Zelda on the cover. But I'm looking for a Zelda experience when I buy a Zelda game. And allowing you to play as customized characters... doesn't sound very Zelda.

Then again, neither does an open-world anymore, but oh my goodness am I excited to see where that goes!

Also they didn't give me a good picture of Link to put as my header on my blog or use for a signature/avatar on Zelda Dungeon, dangit. I don't even know if that's Link. I can't use his/her picture anywhere.

And this "trailer"'s biggest flaw is that it's so short. Shame on you, Nintendo. You supposedly had this ready last year. You could have shown us more! It was majorly disappointing.

Next... Hyrule Warriors!