Sunday, June 6, 2010

6/6/10 - Unmasked

Hello everybody, SlimKirby here!

Welcome back once again to my weekly blog entries, and of course, the first entry of June. This has been a very busy week and weekend for SlimKirby, and not just in real life. I have a lot of stuff to cover in this entry, and I believe I even had a review planned.

First off, as I mentioned, I had a very busy week this past week, as the case for many families who have high school and college graduations and grad parties around the clock. Although there was nobody really in my household who was graduating, my first cousin (who also lives right next door) did, so my family has been pretty busy cleaning up around the house and such since we had the party at our house. It's been pretty hectic, but now it is over. =)

Also this past week, as I think I mentioned in my last entry, or in another entry, or possibly in my videos, I had to help my mom this week at the elementary school she works at. She is a librarian and every year she has to scan and do inventory on all 15,0000+ books. It's a very long and tedious process and I don't mind helping her with it. At this time I've scanned about 10,000 of them, so in a way, it's like I have scanned 1 book for every Youtube subscriber I have. I may have to go back this next week for a little while too.

As for games I've been playing (besides for Youtube and UStream), the big thing going around the Blargg Pit and our game systems is the reawakening of Animal Crossing, mostly brought on by MadameWario's Let's Play of the Gamecube version. I hadn't touched any of my games in a good while, so I decided to start anew in my Gamecube version and then go back in time to the last time I played in my Wii version (leaving the DS version untouched). I have a pretty nice City Folk town at this point, and I'm still working on the GCN town. Another game I have randomly picked up (this one brought on by a game that has been released in the last year) was the first New Super Mario Bros. on the DS. While the game is inferior to it's Wii counterpart, I forgot how much I loved the game and how much fun it is. I will admit that if I ever had the ability to LP DS games (again, NOT USING EMULATORS), New Super Mario Bros. would probably be the first candidate (behind Mario Party DS, since I'd kinda be forced to do that due to the nature of my channel).


Let's Play The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

I knew this LP was going to happen on my channel eventually, but despite how weird this will sound, I'm kind of in disbelief that I am doing this game. I've always convinced myself that this game was just too long and would be too much of a commitment to keep up with, but now I think I am ready to handle it, no matter how many freaking parts it will take to finish.

For those who know nothing about Majora's Mask, I am not kidding you; this game is is a big one. It has less dungeons than Ocarina of Time and the in-game area is a lot smaller, but the dungeons are more complex, and sometimes even getting to the dungeons can be a chore. Also, don't even get me started on all of the different sidequests. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if this game ends up taking me 80 parts (I don't think it will be that long though). I've seen someone complete this game in 64 videos, however, to the extent of what the individual covered, I am unsure. Either way, I'm up for the challenge, and I'll try not to disappoint.

At the time I am writing this entry, I have fully recorded the beginning part (first 3 days as a Deku Scrub), and it ended up taking me about 6 or 7 videos (some of the footage which will be edited out). I think editing will more than likely be the biggest issue with the project, and also the day-to-day scheduling of the game itself, since there are many events in the game that happen on a pretty strict timeframe. I pretty much know how I am going to handle all of the edits and stuff, but I really need to sit down with a guide and plan my movements, especially since I want to cover 100% in the most efficient way (maybe not the most efficient, but most efficient with some degree of improvisation).

Either way, I hope you guys enjoy the project.


Mario Party 6: Castaway Bay
(Warning! Spoilers for those who may have not watched yet)

I may be walking out of Castaway Bay with a sense of defeat, but I am definitely taking solace in the fact that it wasn't a big defeat. I think I handled the game pretty well from the standpoint of which I could handle it. I was pretty sharp when it came to the mini-games, my strategy was pretty much on was really the luck factor that screwed me (once again) this time.

First thing's first....the whole identify crisis fail, I'm really not sure what happened there. Basically for those who are in the dark, or who simply forgot, I went into such a tirade about mistaking myself for Toad at various points in the game, quickly releasing it and calling attention to my stupidity. However, during a particular coin hoarding mini-game (Cash Flow), I went the entire mini-game without realizing my character was kicked out close to the very beginning. I seriously must have been drained or completely out of it to make a mistake like that, but there it was, clear as day. When I read the comments, I thought people were just being assholes or trying to make me look stupid......turns out I'm the only one who made myself look stupid there.

As for the loss itself......meh. That is really all I have to say about it. Toad only won the mini-game star because of either the high yield of the battle game (another game where I kind of showed my stupidity), or the Duel mini-game where he pretty much crippled all of Toadette's funds. That was pretty much a win I don't think he deserved. Another thing that pissed me off was the fact that I was pretty much forced to go see Bowser at the very end. Losing that one star pretty much took me out of the game after leading in stars (or co-leading with stars) during 90% of the game itself. The only advantage Toad really had on me was the fact that he had so many coins from that one battle game.

Anyways, next up we have Faire Square, a board I'm kind of looking forward to. Faire Square has always been one of my favorite boards in the entire Mario Party franchise, and while it seems to be built on some degree of luck, coin hoarders can go into the board and dominate with ease. For those wondering why, you will just have to wait and see.


June 4th Stream Event:

Last Friday I had a stream event, and as usual, I thought I would talk about it briefly. The coverage won't be as extensive as it was in the past. Really, my goal for this stream was to finish the two on-going stream projects I was working on since December. Unfortunately I was unable to achieve this goal, but I did come pretty close. I started off playing New Super Mario Bros. Wii for awhile, collecting star coins needed to finish off the game. While I was able to get through most of it, the need to switch to something else was high, so I figured I would just get Banjo Tooie out of the way since it was the longer game. Despite starting at 6 PM, I wasn't able to finish what I had left until the very early hours of the of the next day, so I stopped after finishing Tooie.

Besides the decent progress, the stream went pretty well. There were a few problems here and there with spammers and people complaining about things for no reason, but that is to be expected. Also, I made another stupid error with the recording of the stream, but this time I just forgot to start the recording. I do apologize to those who hoped to see the entire thing, but there is not much I can do about it. I just wish UStream would be a bit more reasonable with this stuff........


Super Mario Galaxy 2 Thoughts


Ok, well, first off, I want to clarify that this won't exactly be a "review." I will broadcast my opinions on the game and will mostly be talking about how the game compares with Super Mario Galaxy 1, so don't expect me to cover every exact detail of the game. Really I will just be covering a few different, key topics.

Now, as you would expect, the game itself isn't much different (gameplay-wise) from the first game, so I won't have to go into much detail about that. I will say that they improved a lot of the old mechanics, and a lot of the new mechanics and power-ups that were added were very well implemented. Many people I knew thought the game would just be rejected and unused Super Mario Galaxy 1 concepts, which I thought it was far from. Cloud Mario, although it had the capacity to completely break the game, was a very fun power-up to use, and the beat blocks were also a unique and fun obstacle to interact with. Another thing I was impressed with was how well Yoshi worked out for the game. I honestly didn't like Yoshi in Super Mario Sunshine and felt he was kind of awkward to control. In this game, it almost felt like I was controlling Yoshi back in good old Super Mario World again.

Game length was another thing I was concerned with...although I guess "concerned" isn't necessarily the right word to use here (interested is more appropriate). I thought the first game had an acceptable length and amount of content, although I was dissatisfied with their definition of "242 stars." Their definition was more, "121 stars twice," rather than a full 242. When I heard that Super Mario Galaxy 2 would have 242 stars, I just figured it would be the same thing, however, as rumors went on and as I finished the first part of the game, I found out that the game actually did have 242 unique stars. Now, when I say unique, I mean that there is no star that is the same (no duplicates), but in reality, the 2nd half/set of 120 (the cosmic jewels) are just simply going through old missions and doing repetitive seek-out quests. It makes the game a bit longer, but some may not consider them to be actual missions (due to their short and repetitive nature). However, they do count for the star amount, and getting them all definitely yields a closing act that hardcore players would be proud of. Also, you can't deny that at least they did something else instead of just making you play the same game twice with barely any difference for a very unrewarding finale.

Replayability is something else I am very big on when it comes to video games, and I think that is where this game actually has a few downfalls, but for very understandable reasons. The game itself is huge.....and once you beat it, you probably won't have the drive to beat it a 2nd time so shortly after. However, the game does have a few things people might be interested in, like mission time trials and speed runs (speedrunners would eat this up, especially with possible sequence breaking). For the most part though, I have no desire to play the game for a little awhile, but the game itself was still very enjoyable, so don't get me wrong there.

All in all, how would I compare this game to the first? Honestly, I would say they are about equal. Now, while that may turn off a few people, let me remind you that there have been some who claimed that despite disliking the first Galaxy, they loved the 2nd. Also, some of the major reviewing sites who give Nintendo a hard time with their games have given the game some amazing scores, some of them being perfect 10s. So if you fit into that uncertain category, don't let the fact that the game is a very similar sequel turn you off at all. For me, it's really hard to say. In some ways I think the first game is a little better for creating the concept, while I think the 2nd game could be considered a bit better for improving the gameplay and coming up with more unique and original features. I think the fact that the 2nd game was able to at least match the enjoyment of the first really shows that the game isn't just a game filled with rejected Galaxy 1 concepts...that's just not true, and I think the game proves that.

Among other things, such as graphics and music, and controls, I don't think much really needs to be said about it. I will definitely give credit to Super Mario Galaxy 2 for its soundtrack though, as I will admit that I was very impressed with some of the musical scores.

If I had to give some suggestions to Nintendo about how to improve the formula if they ever did a Super Mario Galaxy 3, well, first I would encourage them to put a hold on the Galaxy name and focus on maybe making a Mario game more like Super Mario 64 and Sunshine (obviously with less emphasis on water pumps). I mean, in a way, the Galaxy games are like that too, but in a way, I think they make those games a bit too linear (Galaxy 2 is a lot less linear than 1 though, I will admit). I mean, one of the things that really made me love Super Mario 64 as a kid was the fact that I could explore these giant worlds (giant at the time) and just walk around without a care in the world. In the Galaxy games, once I advance to the next planet, I'm pretty much stuck unless I can backwards-sequence break. Basically, I think they should maybe focus on a less linear game and maybe take a break with the whole planet hopping and space traveling. Also, as mentioned earlier, while the cosmic jewels were an improvement, I think that maybe the games are restricting themselves a bit too much with the whole 120/ stars concept. In a way, it kind of felt like parts of Galaxy 2 could have been in Galaxy 1 (which makes the "unused and rejected concepts" theory more plausible) and it almost seems like they held back a little just to reach that number. I don't think Nintendo should try to restrict themselves like that and maybe get a little more ambitious with the amount of content for the game. I honestly wouldn't mind having a big game every 5 years rather than 2 restricted games every 2 1/2, and I don't think others would mind either.

Anyways, great job Nintendo on a great sequel. I really enjoyed playing the game, and I'm sure I will enjoy it in many of my future concurrent playthroughs. Keep up the good work, and remember that there is nothing wrong with being a bit more ambitious in some of your games.


Anyways, that took a lot longer than I expected, so I'm going to end this entry in a very sudden manner.


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