Sunday, October 17, 2010

10/17/10 - Is it Time to Spin Some Epic Yarn?

Hello everybody, SlimKirby here, and welcome to another blog update!

Lot of excitement this week and the coming week(s) with a lot of major stuff happening in the world of games and the world of SlimKirby. So much that I don't even know where to begin....

First off, if the title isn't any indication, I have purchased Kirby's Epic Yarn at this point, as well as Wii Party. I unfortunately have not played either though, because I just returned from purchasing both games, and I need to get this blog done immediately because I have a group meeting in a few hours. After that, I should get some time to at least play one of the games (probably Epic Yarn), and then the other game tomorrow. I may give some updates about game progress through Twitter, but I probably won't talk about either games on the blog for a few weeks until I'm finished with them and when I can look at them and give my final thoughts. I have finished Metroid: Other M though, and will be talking about that game at the end of this entry.

Second, as for other things going on, I really don't have much to say. Things are going well, and are kind of calming down for the time being. I expect things to pick up and get more intense really soon, just from the nature of what my life is, but I'll be ready for it when the time comes!

In Youtube news, by the time the next entry rolls around, I will have started a new project, that project being Mario Party 7. Not going to talk about it much, as I'll wait for the first board to release before I do, but it should definitely be some good times. Whether that is sarcasm or not, I don't know, I guess we'll just wait and see. =P In Donkey Kong 64 news, I'm still chugging along collecting gold bananas, continuing to get closer to the end of the game. By the time the next entry rolls around, I should be about finished (or finished) with the 6th world, ready to start the 7th, and final of the main worlds. That's really all I have to say about that project though, so I guess you pretty much get the standard "Still moving along, still going well" update I usually give for that project. =P Anyways, I also need to make an update video pretty soon. I'm not sure if I'll do it though between this update and the next. It really depends on if I can get motivated to make one. I may just wait until after I'm finished with Donkey Kong 64, because I really don't have much to discuss.

Also, speaking of Youtube, as of today, I'm sure you guys have a lot of questions and congrats for me and my channel, in regards to its current state. At this time, I am not at liberty to divulge any sort of information now, or possibly ever, so I'm going to have to keep quiet on that front. However, I will say thanks for all the congratulations I have gotten thus far and will continue to get. It means a lot to me. =)


Game Chat:

Metroid: Other M

I still remember my first reactions when this game was first revealed at E3 2009. It was right after being shown Super Mario Galaxy 2, the sequel to perhaps my favorite game of the last decade, and I was just wondering what this next big surprise was that Nintendo was going to reveal. Then entered Other M with its incredible graphics and design, unique looking gameplay and combat system, and the "Mysterious Black Dude" (as he was referred to as for several months) who asked the timeless question that hit the video game world by storm, "Remember Me?" despite him not ever showing up in a game prior to Other M. Safe to say, Other M made quite an impact on the World of Nintendo during that conference and throughout the next year.

When the next E3 rolled around, and with Other M still not ready to be released quite yet, quite a few other games ended up stealing the show and the spotlight that Other M had been comfortable in for the last several months. However, it was revealed that the game would be coming out very soon, and sure enough, it did within the next two months, so that still kept the excitement going. However, then the game reviews started coming out....

Now, let me make this straight right off the bat. First, I've NEVER been one to take game reviews with more than a grain of salt. After Nintendo Power's low score for Mario Party 8 (despite them not really saying anything negative about the game in the their review), and various other review sites' idiotic reviews and miscalculated scores for other games, I try not to listen to reviews very much until I have at least some experience with the game myself. Second, I'm not implying that Other M had any bad reviews...if anything, most of the reviews have actually been pretty positive, but with a few noticeable and almost insistent complaints and critiques. It's just that....ugh....the things they complain about sometimes, I just will never understand.

So, I'm just going to put this simply, and bluntly.....I think the game is awesome. In the long run, I think the game was made very well, the story, although somewhat odd for a Metroid game (especially in the personification of Samus), worked for what the game was, and just playing the game in general was just fun and an overall enjoyable experience. My only real gripe about the game is that it is actually pretty short. In terms of other Metroid games, it was about the same length (for a first, blind playthrough, mind you), probably even longer, but when you play those other, older games, and when you get to the end, it feels like the end. With Other M, it just didn't seem like it. I wasn't quite ready to put the controller down and I wanted more (and yes, this was after the ACTUAL ending, so I did beat the actual final boss and do the escape sequence). I guess it's because the game's story itself didn't really have much of a general direction. It was pretty much "let's sit down and watch the events unfold, and once everything does, we'll call that the end." While I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing, again, it did give me the feeling of wanting more, which you can interpret as a good thing, a bad thing, or both. In my case, it's both.

The story and the characterization of Samus Aran were the main things I've seen reviewers and game fanboys gripe about the most. As I said earlier, while I do admit that it was strange direction for Metroid and Samus Aran, I honestly think it was more strange because it was different than it was bad. I mean, if we take a look at the past, although Samus has not necessarily been a silent hero (as shown through Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion where she does have some dialogue and the journal entries), she's still a pretty quiet character, and because of this quietness, she kind of gets that "Female Badass - I'm Gonna Blow You Up Because I'm On Important Mission" kind of vibe. Other M ended up downplaying that vibe quite a bit actually, and because of that, I can kind of see why that didn't please the fans very much. On the other hand though, when you look at the facts, Samus's complete personality was still pretty much a stab in the dark, and I thought the attempt made by both Nintendo and Team Ninja ended up being a good one that worked for the game and the storyline. Yeah, Samus has some emotions, and yeah, she talks about her commanding officer and the crush she has on him for a large portion of the game, but no emotions and feelings only would have been worse. In fact, this game's characterization almost seems sensible when looking at Metroid Fusion, another Metroid game I'm really starting to appreciate after Other M, so I really don't see what the issue is. Just be thankful that Samus doesn't say "Ewwww! A Bug!" every single time she enters a room, if you are one of those complainers.

As for gameplay, obviously one of the main gimmicks is the way that you switch between 3rd-person and 1st-person perspective, and you do this by the position of the Wiimote (controller style for 3rd, remote style for 1st). This "change" is a bit awkward at first, but in the end, it works well and it is implemented pretty well. It's just something you have to get used to at first. A good thing about this feature is whenever you change into 1st-person (since you have to whenever you need to use missiles or your grappling hook), the game actually slows down a little so you can adjust yourself to the new perspective, which I think was a nice feature. You can tell that the game developers really tried to get you accustomed to the game mechanics, which I think is a plus for the gamer, and the developer.

As for extra features and replayability, since this is a Metroid game, you can expect that the game allows you to finish the game on your own terms with whatever items you have, but as a bonus, also encourages you to explore each area thoroughly to make sure you collect every item in the game. As usual, finding all of the items can be very tricky, and at times, very tedious, but keep in mind, you don't even have to play that way if you want. One of the things I noticed in this game is that whenever you leave a room, sometimes the game will mark the map if you missed something, and by the end of the game, everything is marked for you, so you don't have to worry about spending hours looking for one small indentation in the wall in each room of the game. This way, you can just go to the room where the item is in (or near) and just observe the surroundings. As for bonus features, when you fully complete the game, you get a Hard Mode that you can play, which I assume has areas with more enemies (or if not, tougher enemies that do more damage), and is just in general, harder to complete. I'm not sure if there is a prize for completing this mode (100%) or not, because I haven't attempted a 2nd playthrough yet, but I'll probably give it a try next time I decide to play through the game again. Also for unlockables, you can unlock some gallery art of the game and characters in the game, which is pretty cool, along with a Movie Gallery mode where you can watch every cutscene in the game. A cool thing about the movie gallery is that you can actually watch all of the cutscenes in one giant block, and it actually includes small little gameplay clips in between each cutscene, so it feels like you are actually watching a movie of the entire game, which I thought was a really cool feature.

Anyways, I think I've said all I needed to say about this game. Overall, it was a very neat experience and I enjoyed every bit of it, even though it was a little on the short side. Despite all of the criticism and negativity the game got (even though the reviews were generally pretty good), I don't think the "negatives" really got in the way of the actual game, if anything, I think they worked with what the game actually was and was intending to be, and that's why I enjoyed the game and could almost look past them. Although it's not a perfect game (not that any game is perfect) it's definitely one I would support, and on a review scale, I would give it a 4/5 (4.5 at most).

LP Possibility:, will I LP this game? Well, in the grand scheme of things, if I ever did do a Metroid LP, first I would probably do Super Metroid, and then Zero Mission before I would even think about doing Other M, just because I've had more nostaglic moments with those games. But in the long run, yes, if I ever felt like doing Other M sometime in the future, I would, because it's a great game. Don't expect this to happen until much later though.....I'm talking months or even years from now.


Well, that's about it for this entry! I'll talk to you guys next weekend and I'll see you throughout the week for my normal video updates and random twitter updates. Later folks!


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