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Old 05-19-2006, 09:26 AM   #16
Icarus4578
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I am still trying to figure out the search function. If there are other comments I will add them.
I'll PM you.
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Old 08-28-2006, 03:00 AM   #17
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Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door [GC - NTSC]
Playtime: Completed (46Hours 42mins).

Mario, one of the most approachable, marketable, adorable, miserable, whoreable and totally lovable game charater ever created. Love him or hate him, he is the foundation on which an empire was built and largely continues to star in games that set industry standards. How do we sell a soccer/kart racing/gholf/dance/...RPG game? ... Mario!!!!! "Oh yeah!"

Apparently, this franchise started life on the SNES (A Squaresoft creation). TTYD is now the 3rd (?) game in the series, and my 1st introduction. TTYD adheres to the formula for a successful RPG:
- Save the World,
- Gather a team,
- Rescue the damsel,
- Fight off the evil,
- Mindnumbing, unskippable, energy sapping speeches,
- Everyone is happy.

All of this is presented in glorious technicolor 2.5 dimensions. A lot of gamers will be put off by the happy colours and snappy tunes of this game and maybe even foolishly disregard it as "kiddy". Their loss... not really. All the standard RPG stuff is here: Health Points, Flower Points (kinda like magic points), Star Points (special attack/support moves), Badge Points (these give you options to give Mario access to his moves/jumps, or changes his luck, etc.), item management. The game does not bog you down with micromanagement of characters - there are no accesories/weapons [Mario has a hammer] to worry about. Your support characters need Shine Sprites, which are hidden in all sorts of places, to access their other moves and upgrade their stats.

Battles are all in real time, but comes with command menus, allowing you to at least use some form of tactics against the enemies. Up to two comrades can participate in battles, which also include a fanatical crowd, to spice things up: Based on your battle performance, you can entice the crowd to throw items (good or bad), shower you with star points, and even engage in the battles for a very brief time. Exciting...? Not really. The normal battles are OK, for most of the time. They are just too easy. I early on made the mistake to upgrade Mario's HP. I later realised that was totally not needed, and all subsequent upgrades to Mario were for Badge Points. My 8 year old niece finished off the 1st boss without losing a life. After completing a chapter, one is confronted with one of the most frustrating, unskippable interludes, either featuring Peach (running around doing errands) or Bowser (in 2D nostalgia trips involving classic Mario levels).

Some of the puzzles are quite interesting: Mario can aquire the attributes and properties of paper, which can be used to solve the puzzles. At times I felt like I was playing a dumbed-down version of Metroid Prime, as the game follows the same priciple as MP: Get an upgrade to your paper abilities and new areas become accessible. Unfortunately you do not really get to use the paper abilities in battle. One great addition is that you can also use your partners and their special abilities to solve some of the puzzles.

RPG die hards should maybe steer clear of this game (a bit too late for that now. Emblazoned on the cover is the "Best Seller" wording). It is not really an essential purchase, luckily I got this for $19.99.

Nintendo:
- Make games that have Auto-Difficulty-Detection. If God of War devs can do it, why can't you?
- I want varied and diverse enemies. A green kleft/Goomba/Piranha plant/..., a blue cleft/Goomba/Piranha plant/... WTF?
- Skippable speeches. I was drowning in speech bubbles.

Gameplay:
Graphics:
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Old 08-28-2006, 03:07 AM   #18
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Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: GC - NTSC
Playtime: Completed.

My 1st experience with the Legend of Zelda series was with Wind Waker. To say that I was blown away by it is and understatement. I reached a certain point in WW, and the urge got to me to get to the roots of the series. So, I bought the Collector's Edition, which comes with four games: The Legend of Zelda, Legend of Zelda: Link's Adventure, Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. Unfortunately, the SNES LttP is not on the disc. I started with OoT, and abondoned my WW session.

It is quite difficult to give an honest assesment of the game, in this day and age. I was not there when the game was first released. I totally missed being caught up in the hype and excitement for the game, as I totally missed on the N64 (and SNES ) generation. I took time for me to adjust to the game, as I had to adjust my mindset to that of someone who experienced the game in all it's glory in those days.

It beats a lot of current games in terms of camera control (unfortunately there is no way to manually control the camera with the C-stick, you use the [L] Trigger), gameplay (which still holds up remarkably well), atmosphere, sound and music. I absolutely loved playing as two different Links. Altho they are basically the same, the fact that only certain items/weapons can be used by either, was quite refreshing. I am not too big on sidequests, but these can be very rewarding at times, as new items and weapons can be obtained, which can make your life a lot easier. I was a bit dissapointed in most of the boss fights. Some was way too easy. I should never have abandoned my tennis lessons...

The one major problem I had was with the L-targeting (which is one of the greatest innovations of 3D gaming). It can be really frustrating when fighting enemies to go off at a tangent attacking the air, and be clobbered by an amused-looking enemy. The under-utilisation of Epona was also dissapointing, and judging by the screens and videos of TP, will hopefully be remedied. Unless there was a mission I missed that featured horseback fighting...?

Most of the dungeons are quite a pleasure to complete. The Water Dungeon... ... took me a long time to complete. I nearly lost my sanity, and at times thought there must have been a glitch when the game was converted to GC.

A marvelous game, that still remains fresh after all this time. Altho I have not played MM yet, I can see the similarities between this and the Wind Waker, which is quite disconcerting: WW is basically just a perfection of the formula that was created in OoT. I hope Twilight Princess adds something really new (I do not count the... additions of Wii-mote functionality as new), altho it has been mentioned that TP will be the last time we play a traditional Zelda game. It is a mammoth task, seeing as how this game set the benchmark for a whole two generations. The 1st true Wii Zelda will have a lot to live up to.

Gameplay:
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A Classic.
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Old 08-28-2006, 10:34 AM   #19
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I'm playing through Wind Waker right now (as well as RE4 again ...because there hasn't been anything good in a looooong while). WW alone makes recent software look like garbage in comparison, therefore OoT decimates everything over the past several years.
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Old 09-11-2006, 08:47 AM   #20
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The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker (NTSC)
Playtime: Completed.

Link. Ganon. Zelda. A formidable combination... I suppose saying a once formidable combination would be going too far? Unlike Mario, Link is a character that is basically held prisoner by what Hyrule and environs offer up. Mario can comfortably go from the Mushroom Kingdom, the soccer/baseball field,... to infinity and beyond... and that "short-coming" might really be Link's ultimate downfall and... death (I hope he dies an excrutiatingly slow death in Twilight Princess - so that the franchise can be rebooted a couple of console generations down the line). With that out of the way...

... Wind Waker is my 1st introduction to Link's universe, and what an eye-opener it was. I wanted to even create my own website to promote Nintendo to my fellow ZA gamers after experiencing the absolute joy that is found in this game. Wait, I am jumping the gun here. Let's try this again: I loaded up the game, selected my save file, etc. and I was greeted with an unskippable introduction that lasts for a couple of minutes. Sweet Isis, was I pissed off. I do not care one bit for all the malarky of the past, background info and whatnot. With what seems like an eternity, I was greeted with what can only be discribed as a triumph. At last, a true, living breathing virtual world. What might have been established "features" for the Link veteran, was so refreshing for me. I could swim in any water mass. I could go anywhere. I could manipulate any object: be it in a house, on a field, in a dungeon.

I had no problem with the sailing, getting treasures, even the last bit searching for that cursed thing-that-cannot-be-named. This game would have been perfect had it not been for it's difficulty: It's on the same level as Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. I have not once felt like "I am going to die now, I need to kill the boss, quickly..." There are always sufficient jars with an overabundant supply of hearts nearby. It was really a let down. Did Nintendo not playtest the game? If they did, who did they use?

This game is a disgrace to what is a legendary franchise, and should never have been released. Whereto from here, for Link? A more "mature and darker and non-cartoony" Link? More speech bubbles with angsty dialogue? A more vengefull Ganondorf? A more... fuller Zelda? As long as these things take the backseat to a more challenging game, I will be overjoyed. I dunno if Nintendo is purposely trying to ease on the difficulty of their games. If it is so, I hope they include options for difficulty settings in the future (Walk in the Park; Easy Peasy; etc). They should look at games like Super Monkey Ball to get an idea on how to correctly implement difficulty. The Capcom team responsible for Maximo: Ghost to Glory should also offer a masterclass (I doubt Nintendo will participate) on setting game difficulty... Maximo difficulty + Zelda = Gaming Goodness. One can dream...

A superb game, let down by it's difficulty.

Gameplay:
Graphics:
Sound:

What others said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarus4578
The Legend of Zelda ~ The Wind Waker - GameCube - Rating 8
Miyamoto's latest effort is a remarkable game that grabs you and simply will not let go until you've completed virtually everything.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALttP
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker - 9.6
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Old 09-11-2006, 11:37 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpfkanep
At last, a true, living breathing virtual world. What might have been established "features" for the Link veteran, was so refreshing for me. I could swim in any water mass. I could go anywhere. I could manipulate any object: be it in a house, on a field, in a dungeon.
Sounds almost like an advertisement for Shenmue, sans the dungeon bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tpfkanep
This game is a disgrace to what is a legendary franchise, and should never have been released. Whereto from here, for Link? A more "mature and darker and non-cartoony" Link? More speech bubbles with angsty dialogue? A more vengefull Ganondorf? A more... fuller Zelda? As long as these things take the backseat to a more challenging game, I will be overjoyed. I dunno if Nintendo is purposely trying to ease on the difficulty of their games. If it is so, I hope they include options for difficulty settings in the future (Walk in the Park; Easy Peasy; etc). They should look at games like Super Monkey Ball to get an idea on how to correctly implement difficulty. The Capcom team responsible for Maximo: Ghost to Glory should also offer a masterclass (I doubt Nintendo will participate) on setting game difficulty... Maximo difficulty + Zelda = Gaming Goodness. One can dream...
I couldn't disagree more. Playing the SNES version, which is cartoonish, it's easily my favorite. It's way past easy now but that doesn't stop it from being a great game. Wind Waker's major flaws, for myself, were its lack of dungeons and the Triforce fetch quest. Aside from those two things it's smooth sailing (pun = not funny).
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Old 09-12-2006, 01:45 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarus4578
Sounds almost like an advertisement for Shenmue, sans the dungeon bit.
Never played Shenmue, but I hope it's a VC downloadable.
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Old 12-06-2006, 05:13 AM   #23
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Nintendo DS Lite

I hate portable gaming. The small screen, tinny speakers, recharging of batteries, and... cramped controls. Here I sit. The (proud) owner of a DS Lite. While writing this, I tried to remember why the hell I bought this device, given my loathing of such devices. I cannot for the life of me remember what was the motivation... oh yes! It's the games.

User Interface:
When you boot up the thing, you will get a snazzy, yet simple user interface, where you can setup time, brightness, GBA options, language, username, system colours and a couple of others. All of these functions/options are accessible via the Dpad and |A| and |B| Buttons, and also the pen, which is used on the touch sensitive lower screen. When carts are present, the main UI allows you to start either a GBA or DS game. There is also an auto-start option, which allows your game to bypass the system UI and start playing immediately. Making changes some of your settings requires a reboot of the system, which is annoying.

Ergonomics & Build Quality:
Whoever decided to have a rectangle shape for the DS, needs to be institutionalised. It is hell playing GBA games. I constantly suffer from cramps in my hands and fingers while playing GBA games for more than 30 minutes. Playing with the Dpad is another pain on GBA games. Altho any Dpad is better than the GC one, I just cannot get used to the lovely DS one. Games like Fire Emblem play perfectly. Metroid Fusion and Castlevania is OK. Zelda: A link to the Past and Minnish Cap controls terribly. GBA games that utilise the |R and |L| buttons in conjunction with |A| and |B| is a real pain. I am currently awaiting the GB Player for my GC.

The DS with GBA cart inserted looks ugly. There is an ungainly protrusion in the front of the DS where the GBA cart slots in.

Playing DS specific games is a breath of fresh air. Using the pen as input method is a blast, and beats crampy controls hands down. I see the DS also has [X] and [Y] buttons: Hopefully no DS games utilise those. I have an unopened Metroid Prime: Hunters looking at me, and I am not keen to start that game, due to control fears.

Buttons and Dpad are of high quality, and have a nice and secure feel to them.

Battery Life:
Absolutely brilliant, altho a mini-nuclear plant built-in would have been even better. Charging takes ~ 3 hours from completely flat. I have no idea how playing online/multiplayer affects battery life.

Speakers:
It looks like the DS has full stereo. Better than I expected.

Touch Screen & Stylus:
So far no problems. It has a few hairline scratches due to extended Wario and Brain Training sessions, but nothing serious. I am still awaiting a screen protector, but I doubt that I will install it. The stylus takes some getting used to, but using it becomes second nature.

Connectivity:
Not used.

A neat little system (for DS specific games). Get it.
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Old 12-06-2006, 10:01 AM   #24
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Good review of the DS lite.

I agree its mega uncomfortable for traditional games. the corners dig into my palms and start to hurt after a few games of mario kart.
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Old 12-06-2006, 10:17 AM   #25
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I disagree; it's perfectly comfortable. Different hands though, I suppose.
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