Monday, November 8, 2010

11/7/10 - The Yarn Has Been Spun!

Hello everybody, SlimKirby here, and welcome to another week of the blog!

This entry will probably go up a bit late, but give me break. At least I’m getting it done every week. Besides, it’s not like I get paid for the blog, and it’s not like I’m off my goal of one per week or anything like that. But alas….I’m sure you guys don’t want to read sentence after sentence of me giving excuses or explaining my actions, so I’ll just move on.

We’re finally down to the last two months of the year. I can’t believe how fast time has flown. It only seems like a few days ago that I was running around a tree in Majora’s Mask and seeing glitched Donkey Kong Country platforms, but the time just seems to fly by anymore. If only the Inverted Song of Time had real life application! But on the other hand….then things would be going too slow.

Anyways, this past week has been pretty kind to me I ask. School has been hitting me pretty hard, but that’s the way it goes sometime. In my Advanced Programming class, we are working on a final six-week group project which is coming along great! I don’t feel like talking about what exactly we are doing, but perhaps that is something I can talk about in a future entry, or possibly even show it off. But yeah, I’m working with a pretty solid team. I’m not the main programmer (and I have the least experience with coding), but it’s my job to make sure everyone is on task and organized, and I usually take care of the group homework and busy work that we get on the side of the project. That’s really the only good class for me right now (and ironically the one that should be the hardest class X_X), as all my other classes seem to try and throw something stupid in my direction at random intervals of time. I’m doing everything I can though, and I guess that is what is important.

In Youtube news this week, I saw the end of a project today (technically tomorrow since I have one extra video to post), but my replay of Donkey Kong 64 is officially over. I clocked in at 55 videos (most of them lengthed at 15 minutes, the later ones at random numbers in between 15 and 20). Overall, it was a great project. I don’t consider it my best, but this has possibly been my best of the year (followed closely behind Majora and Yoshi’s Island (not that any of my other projects were bad…just not as memorable)). Which is weird….. I’ve started to notice that I do a lot of my big, well-known LPs during the Fall. Anyways, thanks for spending another gameplay session with me Donkey Kong 64! You’ve been a great game to have and play, for a Youtube project or not. =P

Mario Party 7 this week….kind of a different story. Honestly, I thought the board went fine…it was just the nature of the board that made it a mess (in the sense of my personal performance on the board). Pyramid Park was never one of my favorites, mainly because of the star mechanic. I liked the mechanic a bit more in Snowflake Lake (MP6) just because of the chain chomp locations. In Pyramid Park, 75% of them are on one side of the board and aren’t really evenly-spaced at all. My objective was to stay cautious and remain on the left side (the safe side) and only wander over when it was convenient, which was a good plan in retrospect. The only downside was that Boo had a 5 or 6 course meal on stars while I was playing it safe. I think if the computer players played more like they normally did (or should do), I think I would have won that board, no doubts about it. Once again though, it just seemed like they were all naturally working against me in every possible way from every possible angle. You saw the way they dueled everybody except Boo. =P Any way, next week is Neon Heights, a board I like a little bit more, but with a big emphasis on the word “little.”

As for other Youtube stuff, I need to start getting ready for my November 15th project as well as think of something to do for 20,000 subscribers, because that is still something I haven’t done yet. I really should just not worry about it, but I feel a bit obligated now that I mentioned it in my last update video. Meh…if it gets to be too much of a hassle, I just won’t do it, but thankfully my week shouldn’t be too hectic, so maybe I can sit down and come up with something.

Anyways, on to the game discussion!


Game Chat:

Kirby’s Epic Yarn

Yes! I promised you guys that I would give this game a final….review of sorts once I got done observing and admiring the cuteness that is this game, and that is a promise I plan to keep.

I admit, I didn’t know what to think of this game when I first saw the trailer at E3. In fact, if you have been readers and watchers since E3 2010, you would know that I had a really hard time getting past the name at first. Thankfully though, I looked past the name and at the game itself and I liked what I saw, gameplay wise. I knew that we were going to have a pretty solid game on our hands. Plus, it’s the first CONSOLE Kirby ADVENTURE since Kirby 64 (keep in mind, I said CONSOLE and ADVENTURE…not counting GBA and DS games, not counting Air Ride =P), so that alone was something to get excited about. Any way, over time, the name did start to grow on me, and now I can’t picture the game without it. So now, I officially take back everything I said about saying the game name was too weird! It’s official! Put it in writing, inform the mayor, get out all of your “I Told Ya So!” messages….whatever! I apologize for being weird about it before because I love it now (although I never really said it was bad…I just thought it was odd as a name).

Now for the actual game itself, a lot of the things people were criticizing the game about in its early stages was how drastically the game was changing from past Kirby titles. For one, Kirby no longer has his trademark copy ability or his floating around ability. Another interesting mechanic is that Kirby can’t actually die in this game. Instead of death, whenever you get hit or fall into lava or an endless abyss, you lose beads, in-level collectables used for individual level ranks (gold/silver/bronze) and currency used to purchase things from the main hub store (mostly small little trinkets and souvenirs). You can kind of compare this to some of the Wario Land games where if you got damaged, you would lose coins. Because of this mechanic, the difficulty of the general game is definitely quite easy, but if you are a perfectionist player, and someone who likes to give themselves a challenge, don’t underestimate the difficulty. And although they got rid of the copy abilities, they left in some pretty unique Kirby transformations that are shown throughout specific parts of some levels. These transformations range from a robot, to a U.F.O., to a mole, to a dolphin, and even to a fire truck. Most of these segments can be really fun….just don’t be surprised if they don’t last very long.

So as you can see, Kirby’s new, yarny form has actually changed things around quite a bit. In a bad way or in a good way….I am honestly neutral in the matter. I will admit that it did feel different at first, just because it is Kirby and I am naturally expecting to see him swallow every enemy in sight or float above them for the entire stage, but that’s not what the game developers were going for here. They were going for a unique gameplay experience and I think they succeeded at that. In fact, I think they succeeded so much that the game almost feels like a different game altogether (again, that can be seen as a positive or a negative). I mean, you still have a lot of the familiar Kirby faces and enemies, but the atmosphere itself is just so different and unique (and I’ll get into that more later).

The game itself is still a classic Kirby platformer at heart. You make your way through side-scrolling levels, trying to survive the onslaught of enemies and obstacles in your path, sometimes using level-specific gimmicks or transformations to reach the end. And like Kirby Squeak Squad, you will also find treasures scattered across each level, some of them just stranded along the beaten path, others stashed away in hidden areas, and some that may seem right in front of you, but require you to find or do something a bit earlier on it the level. These treasures aren’t necessary for the completion of the game, and really only offer you some small bonus features (sound test selections, and stuff to decorate your apartment with (something else I’ll talk about later), but finding them does definitely add some extra game time and replayability if you get into the “gotta collect them all” mindset, which I am always in whenever I’m gaming! =P

As for game length, if you just want to play through the game and get it done, the game itself is not very long. However, I don’t necessarily think the game too short either. If anything, I feel like the game has just the right amount of length, for both a normal and 100% playthrough. I have seen quite a few people complain about the length, especially considering how “easy” they think the game is, but honestly, in my mind, those people are not gamers….just complainers. There is no perfect game people…especially in an unbiased sense. The sooner you learn that, the better off you will be. I mean seriously though….what do you want? A game that is 20 worlds long, each world having 10 levels? If that isn’t pushing the envelope, I don’t know what is. But alas, I’m not going to get into a whole rant on that. As for extra stuff you can do in the game, aside from collecting all of the treasures in each level and getting high bead scores on all the stages, there are a few other things you can do and accomplish as well. For one, there are actually quite a few mini-games you can play that actually stack-up with the 100% game completion. These mini-games are just simple “find this,” “collect or destroy this much in the time limit,” and “get to the goal first,” type mini-games that you play over certain segments of each level, but they at least add a bit of variety to the game. My only suggestion to you is that you probably shouldn’t play all of these games at once. They are better left to do in small spurts during the main quest. I actually ended up waiting until the very end of the game and easily spent around two hours just working on that. Some of them can be quite fun and interesting though. Another thing you can do, as I briefly mentioned earlier, is that you can decorate your own apartment, a small living space for Kirby that plays no practical purpose during the course of the game, but something fun you can do (if you find decorating a useless room fun). You can decorate your room with a wide assortment of souvenirs/furniture/figurines and different wallpaper and carpet fabrics you unlock during the course of the game (through treasure chests, mini-games, and the in-game shops). My only gripe about this, aside from the fact that it just seems pointless, is that there is not very much functionality at all. Now, don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying the idea was bad or stupid, or anything like that. I know there are a few people out there who might find this fun, or at the very least, something interesting to try and do just because it’s there, and in that right, the idea is sensible. But the game doesn’t really encourage you to do any of it. They mention it once during the entire game, and I never really found myself going back there at all after that first time. I just wish they would have tried something else to make that feature just a bit more interactive with the game itself, considering how much time you can potentially spend getting beads to purchase all of the different furniture and fabrics, and just collecting them in general. After all, you do have to collect all the items if you want your file to say “100% Completed.”

As for the game controls, I think they work pretty well, considering how much of the Kirby formula was changed for this title. Movement and reaction time is usually pretty solid for the most part. Just make sure you don’t forget that you aren’t playing an older Kirby game where he can fly. Try to remember the yarn you are working with. =P

Now, one thing that really impressed me about this game, which is strange because normally I’m not as affected by this, was the graphics and music. I’ve always been a gameplay > graphics/music type of guy, but if there was one game that got me thinking otherwise (or at least “close to otherwise, because I love the gameplay here too), this game would be first on the list. The environments in this game are just beautiful, and the music fits so well with those environments. You normally wouldn’t think a world made out of yarn and fabric could be so appealing to the eye, but for this game…I just felt the opposite. I got the feeling that I was literally just staring into a work of art the entire time. Everything seemed just so aesthetically pleasing, and I loved just walking around and admiring the all of the environments and really getting into the music. Seriously….whoever created the graphics and the music…..I want to give you either a hand-shake or a hug after the amazing work you put into this game.

Another thing worth noting is that this game does have a 2-Player option for co-op. I will admit though, I haven’t exactly tested this out yet. I was kind of hoping to find someone to play this game with before I had to write about it, but the jerk never showed up. =\ Bah, he is a loser anyways. =P From what I have seen from videos, basically it’s a way where you can team-up with your partner to make some sections of the game a bit easier (for example, I saw a video where you could use your partner as a projectile against bigger enemies, and another part where you could use him/her as a stepping stone to jump to a higher place). It’s a pretty cool concept.I only wish I could have experienced it a bit before writing this. Oh well, I'm sure there is someone out there in this state who would play co-op with me...maybe even a cute girl wearing Wario clothes. ;) =P

Well, the only thing I really have to talk about now is replayability. Honestly, I wouldn’t say there is THAT much, in the sense that it’s probably not a game you want to immediately play again right after you finish , but I’m sure it’s definitely a game I will want to revisit to see some of the levels again and get WOWed once more by the amazing atmosphere the game presents many times in the future.

Overall, Feel Good did an amazing job creating this game and I give them major props for releasing a new, exciting, and eye-appealing chapter to the Kirby series, a very unique chapter at that. The game definitely excelled in its presentation and the execution was pretty damn good as well. It may not feel like a Kirby game, and there may be a few things in the game that kept it from being a perfect title (in my opinion anyway), but as a stand-alone game, it did just that… stood out. If I had to give it a score, I would give it a 4 or 4.5 out of 5.

LP Possibility: Hell Yes! Just stop asking me if it will be soon. I will LP the game when I’m ready to LP it. =P


Well, I think I’ve rambled on enough about stuffz and epic yarnz for the week….at least for this blog entry anyways…considering I’m up to 5 pages in Microsoft Word now. So I guess I will leave it at that and bid you guys and gals adieu! See you next week!

Later folks!

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