Nintendo

Summer of Platformers

I am an avid Reddit browser. I enjoy the petty drama over at some subs and I think some of the gaming subs are okay aswell. As such I can keep myself entertained for hours on end just scrolling through hundreds of posts in the evening. It’s also the reason I shouldn’t take my phone to bed with me anymore because this is simply what keeps me up at night.
Anyway. On the Nintendo Reddit someone wrote a post about wanting to do a Summer of Nintendo challenge where they would tackle their Nintendo backlog this summer and it would span every Nintendo console they owned. This looked like a really good idea to me but looking at the games I own for all my Nintendo consoles (WiiU/Switch/3DS) I would never be able to fit all of that in a single summer. I have multiple long RPG’s to play through and those alone would take me forever to finish. Case in point me taking months to finish up the Final Fantasy 7 Remake.

However I did want to start tackling my backlog and as such I was suddenly inspired to tackle one of my favourite gaming categories: Platformers. I own a lot of those. It was what I grew up with on my SEGA when I was little, and I enjoy the genre till this day. I have numerous platform games both physically and digitally and for now I want to focus on completing my physical games. There are some that I have completed (and with that I mean I have seen the credits roll) and as such I have excluded them from this challenge. I purely want to focus on all the games I haven’t completed yet and bring those to a credit roll. Again, I’m only tackling my physical games for now since they’re just easier to keep track of than all the stuff I own digitally. So without further ado here’s a picture of all the games I’m planning to tackle.

This may not seem like that many games but according to Howlongtobeat completing all these games will take me roughly 200 hours in total. For this estimate I’ve used the metric of Mainstory + Extra’s since I do like to go off the beaten path and grab all the extras in a level when I can. It’s not a priority and I’m not going to go back specifically to get coins or crystals or whatever when it takes too long or is too frustrating but I do like to find most of the hidden stuff when I can. My main objective in all of these games is to defeat the “final” boss and see a credit roll. For some games it means that the game actually ends there but for some games it means bonus worlds are opened up to conquer afterwards. Depending on how much time that takes and/or how difficult it is I may tackle those aswell.

For now the plan is to start going through this backlog once I’m finished with the FF7R. I expect this to be somewhere in June which is also when summer starts. My goals is to get through all of these by the end of summer, which is September 21st. All in all this would mean I would have to complete a game per week. With the average game time per game being somewhere around 12 hours that’s not actually too bad. Furthermore there are a few games here that I already started to play and, if I still remember enough of the game, will pick up where I left off. Most notably these are Yooka Laylee and New Super Mario Bros U. Thus shaving off a bit of gametime there. For the rest I will probably start fresh and work my way from there.
Together with playing the games I will also aspire to make a blog post about every game I’ve beaten. They probably won’t be professional type reviews but mostly posts about what I thought of the game and if I enjoyed it and how long it took me to beat it. So I will have something to look back on later!

So yeah, this is my plan for this summer. Let’s see how it turns out!

A small vacation update

Seeing as how I’ve been hosting a friend for the past week I’ve not really felt like blogging. But I’m going to do it now anyhow since I want to give a small update on my progress in FFXIV.

First off I’ve finished leveling my Summoner/Scholar and have picked up Astrologian next, which is already sitting at level 76 aswell. Just doing roulettes for this one since the damage output on AST is horrible and because of that doing hunts and FATEs is just really time consuming. It’s still more fun to play than Scholar though, especially now that I’ve kind of figured out the new card mechanics.
I think I’m going to start leveling Monk next where I can do some sidequests and FATEs inbetween waiting for queues to pop. This also means I can pick up another class quest since I did the Caster one with Summoner. I can’t wait to see what the melee/ranged dps quests look like! I’m also planning to tackle Innocence Ex before my vacation comes to an end, since it’s the only endgame content I haven’t cleared yet. I did Eden the day it came out and really enjoyed the fights and the new loot mechanics.. I even won the pet from the last boss!

On the Crafter front my Goldsmith has hit level 70 (and almost 71 after finishing off all of the job quests) and my Alchemist is now firmly in Namazu dailies territory at level 61. This means I can start working on my Culinarian again and drag it through the Ixal dailies next. That’s currently sitting at level 33 by the way so I still have quite a decent way to go. I still have a goal to get all my crafters to atleast level 70 since that’s easily obtainable with the beast tribe dailies and the grand company turn-ins. Once I hit 70 on all though I’m not sure what I’ll be doing next. Maybe level them up to 80 via levequests or maybe wait untill the level 80 crafting beast tribe comes out…

On the Gathering front both my Botanist and Miner are level 76. The Crystarium hand-ins combined with the easiness of the levequests have made levelling these classes a walk in the park. I firmly believe that I can get both of them to 80 by the time the weekend rolls around since my friend will leave tomorrow so I will have more time to play. Then the only Gathering class that is behind is Fisher. I’m not really sure if I want to spend time leveling that one up yet. It’s sitting at level 48 now though so I may want to push it up to 50 and see from there.

On non FFXIV related news: I’ve bought Taiko no Tatsujin during the Nintendo E-shop sale. I love rhythm games and even though I don’t have the proper drums to play it’s still a blast so I think I’ll be spending a bit of my off time on that. I’m really tempted to pick up the Persona 3 and Persona 5 dancing games off the Playstation summer sale aswell… I still have about two days to decide on that though.

Yoshi’s Crafted World: First impressions

There’s a handful franchises of Nintendo that I really enjoy. Mario is the prime one followed closely by Kirby. However since Yoshi’s Woolly World I have to add the Yoshi franchise to the list aswell. In light of this information it should come as no surprise that I picked up Yoshi’s Crafted World aswell when it came out this week. Unfortunately the Switch screenshots aren’t always that good so my apologies for the one heading this post, I just wanted to give an impression of how the game looked.Anyway I’ve played for a few hours now and wanted to give my first impressions of this game and the things I have discovered so far. I am giving a fair warning now, I am going into some detailed things that I’ve found over the first 2-3 hours of playtime so if you want to stay spoilerfree turn away now!

“Story”
The story like in the previous Yoshi entries is a simple one. The Yoshi’s live happily on their island with the Sundream Stone who makes all their dreams come true. Ofcourse Kamek and Baby Bowser caught wind of this and try to steal the sun stone, breaking it in the process and scattering all the Dreamstones across multiple worlds. You are tasked to find the stones and make the Sundream Stone whole again. Throughout the game you are being thwarted by Kamek and Baby Bowser but you also meet new friends and come across some familiar ones!
All in all it’s  a simple setup, nothing too fancy. It’s a very kid friendly story but that’s something I’ve come to expect from the Yoshi franchise thus far.

Gameplay and levels
The gameplay for this game is the standard Yoshi gameplay. You swallow enemies with B and create eggs with most of them which you can then aim and throw at almost anything in the world. Yoshi’s still flutter when you press A for jumping a bit longer and Yoshi has a ground pound. There’s nothing too fancy about the gameplay, I guess to keep it simple for the kids aswell.
Right at the start of the game you are asked if you want to play the game on “Easy” or “Classic” mode. From what I’ve seen Easy mode doubles the amount of eggs you create when swallowing an enemy and it will let you know when a flower, one of the many collectibles in the game, is nearby. I’ve opted to play on Classic mode myself since the game is simple enough as is so I don’t need it to be even easier. You are free to chose the colour of your Yoshi, there’s 8 total, and you can switch colour any time. As seen on the above screenshot I’m currently playing with the purple variant but I’m thinking about switching to Orange or Lightblue next time I start up the game.

Collectability is a big thing in this game. The levels themselves aren’t hard and you can probably rush through them in two or three minutes but that’s not where this game shines. It shines in the collectibles and replayability of the levels themselves.
On your initial playthrough of a level there’s a few things to collect:

  • Flowers. Flowers are hidden throughout all the levels and it’s up to you to find them and obtain them. Some levels only contain five flowers but I’ve already had a level with ten aswell. Flowers are also the main currency needed to open up new sub zones within worlds, so if you lack them you need to go back to your previous levels and collect more of them if possible.
  • Hearts. Yoshi starts off with about half a heart bar. If you play the level right you end up with a full hearts bar which in turn awards you with a flower.
  • Red coins. Red coins, like flowers, are hidden throughout the level. There’s 20 to obtain each level and some of them can be really well hidden. If you obtain all 20 in a level it awards you with a flower.
  • Gold coins. Gold coins are scattered throughout the level and easy to obtain. When you meet a certain amount required per level you will be awarded with a flower. Next to collecting them for flowers Gold coins are the currency needed to obtain costumes.

Yoshi train costume

So far the collectibles have been quite standard. They’re all known from previous Yoshi franchises and shouldn’t surprise you in any way. However in Yoshi’s Crafted World there are myriads of ways to obtain collectibles and they’ve added a few more things to collect outside of the items I’ve already mentioned.

  • Costumes. Costumes are essentially “armour” that Yoshi can wear as you play through the levels with him. There’s three tiers of costumes, with the golden type being the most rare and awarding the most extra armour. Costumes are obtained from a gumball type machine at the end of each world that you need to feed Gold coins. It’s 100 Gold coins per costume and there’s ten costumes to get per sub zone. Luckily for us you’re not dependant on RNG, you can only get each costume once. You can switch between costumes freely and they are registered in your Scrapbook tab in the menu.
  • Crafts. Crafts are another collectible you can find in the levels, once you have initially played through them. You get assignments to find certain crafts within the levels and if you find (all of) them you get a flower for each turn in. They also register in your Scrapbook.
  • Poochy Pups/Flipside. Once you get a few levels into the game you run into an old friend. With this help an extra layer is added onto the levels: the Flipside. Basically it’s playing the original level in reverse. In the Flipside you are tasked to find Poochy pups and if you do that within a certain time limit you get extra rewards. Again the rewards here are flowers. Once you open up the Flipside of the levels you also get more tasks to find Crafts. The normal levels are then called “Front side”. As sidenote, it’s not possible to collect coins or flowers in the flipside of a level, only Poochy pups and Crafts.

Taking all of the above into consideration it makes the replayability of the levels high. Essentially you are sent back to a level multiple times to gather all the collectibles there are to gather. It’s not necessarily needed to complete the game but it adds an extra layer to the simplistic gameplay that is the Yoshi franchise. It also has you actually look at the levels in more detail than you normally would. Lots of things are hidden in the back (or fore) ground and especially Crafts are sometimes hard to spot. It helps you appreciate the amount of detail the developers have put into the game and it also “trains” your brain in a way because you are constantly looking for things.

Graphics and music
As I mentioned before the screenshots don’t really do it justice but the game is gorgeous and top notch as we’ve gotten used to from Nintendo. The colours are vibrant, the structures are pronounced. I can see how the Yoshi’s, who are made of felt, are in stark contrast to the cardboard world. There’s a lot of detail that has gone into each level so it’s a joy to watch and discover everything as you play through. Even the use of focus/blurring is done very well and makes for a natural flow as you move from the front to the back of a level and vice versa.
The music is cheery and simple like in most games. I like playing with the sounds and music on, it doesn’t grate on the ears so far. I’ve only played through four levels though so the music variety hasn’t been super big but so far I’m enjoying it. The sound effects do add this extra touch to the game that I think would be very bland otherwise. Hitting cardboard structures makes cardboard sounds, Yoshi itself sounds very cute and so far the enemy sounds have made sense aswell. It so far has not made me want to turn my sound off so that’s a big win.

Overall first impression
So far I’m quite happy with my purchase. Although the game is on the easy side there’s enough challenge in it to make the purchase worth while as fan of the franchise. The game is beautiful and vibrant and lifts your spirits as you play through it. The replayability of the levels is high due to the massive amount of collectibles that are present in the game. It’s the perfect game to relax to for an hour or two after work ór when you’re feeling a bit glum and need cheering up.
Is it innovative? Yes in some ways and no in others. Did Nintendo lift the franchise to a new level? Maybe, I think it’s on the same level as Yoshi’s Woolly World when it comes to visuals and gameplay even though they’ve put in some interesting gimmicks in this one and added even more reasons to replay levels.

Would I recommend this game? If you want a relaxing experience and if you think hunting for collectibles is more fun than challenging levels this is the game for you. I fear however that the game is “too easy” for the more veteran gamers who will be done with most of it in a very small timeframe. This is a game you don’t want to rush but that you want to enjoy and take your time on. For a Yoshi game it’s an excellent entry in the franchise and a day one/week one pick up for fans. If you’re on the fence about this game however I’d advise you to wait untill it eventually will be discounted and pick it up then.

Gaming Goals: February 2019

I can’t believe January is over already. Time seems to fly by these days, even if I’m spending significantly less time in games and more time watching Netflix and relaxing. Not playing as much games has also caused me to bit a bit more relaxed in my head and has gotten me going to bed earlier and fall asleep faster. The past week I’ve only played for an hour or so each night and it’s been great. I’m sure that at some point I’ll get back to gaming a bit more again but for now the game time is low and other activities time is high. I’ll see where it heads since I am going to formulate a few goals for this month. But first lets look back at January.

Gaming Goals

  • Level Dark Knight to 70 in FFXIV and complete all Job quests DONE
  • Level Samurai to 70 in FFXIV and complete all Job quests DONE
  • Nintendo GotM: Pokémon LetsGo. Technically cheating this one a bit but I want to finish it up in January
  • Playstation GotM: Spyro 2: RIpto’s Rage. I’m aiming for 100% completion and the platinum trophy here

So I’ve accomplished two of the goals on my list being the FFXIV related ones. I’ve actually spent a lot of time in January to getting these goals done and it’s taken up most of my gaming time. It’s also caused a bit of a gaming burnout to the point that I’ve not touched Spyro 2 at all and I’ve put in the bare minimum in Pokémon LetsGO. I did manage to get the 6th badge but I stalled out afterwards, which I’m actually quite disappointed about. I’m not sure what causes me to put down games and just not return to them but it’s a thing I want to stop doing.

Other goals

  • Book of the Month: Roger Daltrey – My Story (Thanks, Mr. Kibblewhite!) DONE
  • Show of the Month: Luther

So I finished up the book really early in the month and it has been a nice read. I watched the first season of Luther in full and am now halfway through season two. I have been watching other shows on Netflix however and finished “Tidying up with Marie Kondo” and “Consumed” in full so I got a bit more worth out of my Netflix for the month. I even managed to jam in “Carmen Sandiego” which I thoroughly enjoyed aswell.
All in all I’m quite happy here even though I didn’t get to finish the show I wanted to.


So now that we have January out of the way let’s look forward to February!

Gaming Goals

  • Playstation GotM: Kingdom Hearts 3.
  • Nintendo GotM: Pokémon LetsGO
  • Get all my crafters to 30 in FFXIV and complete all job quests upto and including level 30.
  • Level my Nightborne Mage in WoW

So ofcourse the game of the month for Playstation is going to be Kingdom Hearts 3. I’m about 5 hours in and I want to play through this game so much. I love the worlds, I love the fighting, I love the story. I’m itching to explore more of it and to get it completely played through by the end of the month. I’m lifting Pokémon LetsGO over to February so I can work on completing that aswell. Again I made it to the 6th gym and I really just want to get to the Elite Four atleast.

In MMO land I want to keep my goals light. The only thing I really “want” to achieve in FFXIV is to get all my crafting classes to level 30 and have all the job quests up untill that point completed aswell. I’m currently sitting on level 27 Blacksmith, level 24 Leatherworker and Level 21 Alchemist so that’s the three jobs that need to go up. I go up about two levels when doing all the Ixali dailies that I can and to complete those I only need an hour or so… So it should be a very doable goal.
As far as the leveling in WoW goes. I just really want atleast one Allied Race to max level. My Nightborne Mage is sitting at level 78 now and I’m not really setting a goal for myself level wise but I would like to be over 78 at the end of the month. Maybe I’ll get all the way to 120, maybe I’ll only make it to 85, I don’t know. I just want to spend a bit of time leveling and enjoying some of my favourite older zones again.

Other Goals

  • Book of the month: Ship of Magic (Liveship traders book 1)
  • Show of the month: Luther/Designated Survivor

I’m starting a new book and a new trilogy all in one go. It’s the second trilogy I’m going to read that’s written by Robin Hobb and it takes place in the same world as the first one only with different characters. I’m really curious how these books are compared to the ones I’ve read so I’ll report back as soon as possible when I’ve finished the book.
On the shows front I want to finish watching Luther and then start watching Designated Survivor again. I started that show at some point but kind of trailed off after ten episodes or so. I like the show and I want to watch more of it so that’s the plan.

All in all I’m mostly going to focus on the big game of the month which is Kingdom Hearts. Since I’m in a minimal gaming jam right now I’m trying to keep my goals light and attainable and will probably focus on doing other stuff instead. I guess I’ll see how far I’ve come at the end of the month!

Goals: January 2019

After my big yearly look forward post here comes the smaller monthly one. I’ll keep it short and sweet.

My Gaming Goals

  • Level Dark Knight to 70 in FFXIV and complete all Job quests
  • Level Samurai to 70 in FFXIV and complete all Job quests
  • Nintendo GotM: Pokémon LetsGo. Technically cheating this one a bit but I want to finish it up in January
  • Playstation GotM: Spyro 2: RIpto’s Rage. I’m aiming for 100% completion and the platinum trophy here

I want to finish off the big level race I started somewhere in October. I only have Dark Knight (lvl 55) and Samurai (lvl 50) left and I’m positive I can level up both jobs before the end of January. Blue Mage will get introduced into the game aswell and if I finish up leveling these last two jobs I will probably have a jab at that. I still have my leveling buddy for most evenings so chatting away while we do roulettes should, in theory, make time fly by.
As far as the Nintendo and Playstation games of the month go I gave myself some slack to get started on this. I’m well over halfway in the Pokémon game and Spyro shouldn’t take me more than 10-15 hours to complete just like the first game.

Other Goals

  • Book of the Month: Roger Daltrey – My Story (Thanks, Mr. Kibblewhite!)
  • Show of the Month: Luther

I’ve started reading Roger Daltrey’s autobiography and I want to finish it this month. My dad is an avid Who fan and has ingraineed this into me growing up. The book is actually a quite fun read and I am zooming through it with relative ease. I highly recommend people to read it if you have any affiliation with the Who as band.
A show that has been on my radar for a while now is Luther. I’ve never actively followed it when it was being broadcast over the past few years but now it’s on Netflix I may aswell watch what they have to offer. I am planning to watch all seasons this month simply because they don’t have that many episodes so this should be a walk in the park.

I could end up doing more than is on my goals list since I’m giving myself a lot of slack this month but who knows. Maybe this month will be busier for me than I think in advance.

Looking Forward: 2019

2018 is at an end and 2019 has started. The year has flown by with me accepting a new job, watching my house get built, ramping up my working hours and finally getting the contract I was hoping for. I’d say 2018 has been a quite succesful year on many fronts and I hope to carry this positivity over into 2019 in both my real life and the gaming world.
I don’t really want to make a big “look back” post but instead a big “look forward” one with what I hope to accomplish in 2019.

First off: Live a more healthy and happy lifestyle
I am the first one to admit that I’m lazy. I don’t really enjoy working out and any task I do I will take the route of the least amount of effort. It’s been eating away at me so I want to start changing this step by step so I will be calmer, healthier (both physically and mentally) and more ready to take on life and anything it throws at me. Starting now I’m going to work on the following things:

  • Seriously start losing weight. Right now I weigh in around 81kg (178,5lbs) and I want to drop down to 55kg (121lbs). This is my ideal weight and something I want to strive for to achieve and maintain. This means that I will need to really start working out and eat healthier. The second part should get much easier starting in April because by then I will be moving out and will no longer be on the junkfood heavy diet my dad maintains in his household.
  • Take better care of my skin. I have seriously dry skin almost all of the time. I tend to slack with maintaining skincare and it’s something I should step up on.
  • Plan my days better at work and at home. I tend to take things as they come which means I’m very disorganized. I want to plan my days better so that I know what I want to do on set days. It’s a way to optimize my use of time but also to help me create order in the chaos that is my brain.
  • Learn to do more with make-up and hair. Right now I basically wear mascara and do nothing with my hair except brush it. I want to do more and have different looks for myself. I like looking the best I can so I want to make work of that.

Secondly: Have a succesful move into my own home
In April it’s finally happening, I’m moving into my first self-owned home. This requires preparation on multiple fronts. I need to pick out all the furniture that goes in aswell as start sorting through my stuff here at home. Anything that I deem I don’t need anymore will either go into the trash (when it’s broken, discoloured or just plain too old), donated to either goodwill or friends or maybe sold when it still fetches a decent price. I want to take a few hours per week to focus on this and leave behind as little as possible when I move out.
Ofcourse I’m also planning a few days to pick out furniture, curtains and other necessary stuff aswell as look at insurances, internet providers and electricity companies. All in all I have a very busy time ahead with this.

Books, series and other hobbies
I want to make a goal to read atleast one book a month. I’ve set up a goodreads account and will enter this goal there aswell. I’m probably going to be focused on the Robin Hobb books for completing this but it’s whatever tickles my fancy really.
The same goes for series. I want to watch more Netflix just so I can justify paying for it. I want to discover new shows and movies and maybe blog about those a bit instead of games.
Finally I want to pick up embroidery again and finish a few pieces that I’ve started. I want to assemble all the Nintendo Labo stuff that I bought and be more creative with things in general.

Games
This is where the big focus lies beyond trying to change my lifestyle. There are a few major goals to be had for me this year:

  • In FFXIV I want to level all the available jobs to 70 before the expansion hits early summer. I only have two battle jobs left and then it’s focusing on crafters. I’d really like to be able to just dump all my old gear before the new expansion so I will probably focus a lot on this particular goal for the first six months of this year.
  • In WoW I want to play with my friends and help them at endgame. I want to level atleast one Allied Race to max level on Alliance Side and I want to give my Warrior the love she deserves. I’m sure I will post smaller goals for WoW throughout the year but the big one is to just connect and have fun with people again.
  • Nintendo: I want to pick one game per month on one of my Nintendo consoles to play through. This can be on my 3DS, Switch or WiiU. I own so many games spread across those three systems now that I just really want to start tackling the backlog. For the first few months it’s going to be either a Switch or 3DS game since my WiiU is not plugged in but after I move I want to add the WiiU to the rotation. This means I want to have atleast 12 Nintendo based games finished by the end of the year.
  • PS4: Same as Nintendo really. I want to pick one PS4 game per month to play through and hopefully end the year on 12 games finished. When it comes to games like Spyro or Crash Bandicoot I’m not counting the entire trilogy as one game but the games in the trilogy as separate games.

With bouncing back and forth between two MMO’s and taking a serious jab at my backlog I feel I should have enough material to write about each month and finally feel like I’m getting my money’s worth out of my backlog.

All of these goals will help me get a more structured year in where I can actually tell peple that I’ve made progress in life. I want 2019 to be the year where I become a better version of myself both online and offline. I want to get stuff done and I want to aim for happiness.
And I have 365 to accomplish this.

Super Mario Odyssey: Done!

Odyssey completed

After cleaning out over 300 spam messages I finally found some time to sit down and write again. I know I’ve not been active but I feel like I have to write about the game that has taken over my life for the past week: Super Mario Odyssey.
It’s funny how a game that I wasn’t even that hyped about has become the most fun game I’ve played in the entire year. From the moment I picked up the game on October 27th untill the moment I had beat Bowser I had a hard time putting it down. Nintendo did such an amazing job with this game and I’m so happy that I was able to pick it up and play it straight away. I don’t intend this post to be a review of sorts, I intend it to be a story about my journey through Super Mario Odyssey with a few screenshots added in here and there.

So where to start. I picked up the game on Friday last week and immediatly started playing it. The story for this game is obviously the classic Mario story, Peach has been kidnapped by Bowser and it’s up to you to save her. Only in this game you get a bit of help from Cappy, whose sister Tiara is also kidnapped to serve as headdress for Peach. You see, Bowser kidnapped Peach this time with the intent to marry her.
What follows is a crazy chase by Mario and Cappy through 13 kingdoms to save Peach from Bowser. Each kingdom is meaningful in it’s own way and contributes to the final wedding theme. What makes this game “unique” is mostly the Cappy capture mechanic. You can take over creatures in the world by throwing Cappy on top of them, which often leads to hilarious results. I’ve done obstacle courses as bullet Bill. I’ve built Goomba towers. I’ve taken over frogs, birds, hammer guys and in the end (SPOILER!!!!) even Bowser himself. This mechanic is important because you need it to cross levels, defeat bosses and get to moons and other collectibles in every level. Moons are the replacement of the usual Stars/Star coins and you need a minimum amount to be able to finish the game.

All of this sounds simple enough but Nintendo really overdid themselves with the level design for this game. All of the levels are 3D (with hidden 2D parts!), crazy big and open to exploration. You’re completely free to go almost anywhere and explore everything. Nintendo put in so many secrets and fun crazy little things that you won’t be done with this game for a long time if you decide to chase everything there is to get. You can collect outfits and give Mario different looks. You can collect stickers to put on your ship “the Odyssey”. You can collect interior decorations. All of this with regular coins and special currency tied to each level. And then there is the Moon chase game. There are a total of 800+ moons to collect in the world. Some will only open up post-game and there are even some worlds that are only accessible post-game. I’ve spent hours and hours just wandering through different worlds trying to discover all the secrets they had and I’m not even close (I’m currently sitting on 300 moons).

The worlds themselves are incredibly gorgeous. Obviously it’s not as realistic as say the new Assassin’s Creed but Nintendo really did their best. There are so many details. The lighting, the structures, the shadows. The water physics are gorgeous and you can take some amazing screenshots along the way.

Screenshot Mario Earth

The bossfights are innovative. I’ve had so many crazy mechanics thrown at me throughout the game and they all were a blast to play through and beat, even though I wanted to throw my Joycons through my room out of frustration sometimes. I really want to applaud the team that came up with these ridiculous fights because they ooze creativity and love for the game. It wouldn’t be a Mario game without them.

I had a hard time deciding whether I wanted to finish the mainstory and do all my collecting post-game or if I wanted to collect as many things along the way on my first time through. It eventually became a mix. Some of the smaller realms I decided to just get as much as possible when I was there the first time. For the bigger realms I decided to go for all the obvious collectibles and get back to them later for the rest. I was afraid that if I would lose myself in the collection objective that I would never see the end of the game. So I made pushing through the story, and seeing the credits roll, my main priority. And I’m glad I did.
I’ve seen all the beautiful levels, I’ve fought all the wacky bosses and I was rewarded with one of the best escape sequences I’ve seen in gaming history. I know that I’ve dumped some screenshots and some movies on my Twitter and I’m currently uploading everything to an album on Facebook aswell. I’ve taken a ton of screenshots. Shot some great movies but above all I had fun. The most fun I’ve had in a game for years. And all thanks to Nintendo and their amazing developers who made this journey a worthwhile one, and one that I won’t be done with for atleast the coming months. Because yes, I want to collect everything that’s out there in the game.

I could go on and on about this game and how great it is and go into every single detail but I won’t. I just want to tell everyone who owns a Switch to go out and get this amazing game and write of dozens of hours of your life in it. Because it’s worth it.
Especially when you meet the most adorable puppy postgame! And discover that he also can help you out in your quest towards more moons.

Mario and Dog desert world

Not Switching… Yet

I know I’m a bit late to the whole Switch hype, but I needed some time to get my thoughts in order and be able to really express what I feel about this new console, the games that Nintendo announced for it and whether or not I would want to buy it at launch.

First up: What do I think of the Switch as a whole?
So far it looks to be a good console. Nintendo needed innovation and something to compete with the PS4 and Xbox One and I think they may have hit the right angle with the Switch. Not because performance wise it’s better, but mostly because they are making console games mobile. They have tried this with the WiiU aswell, but unfortunately the concept kind of failed. Now with the Switch there’s no more need to turn off a game because you have to travel somewhere… You just take the game with you! I loved this concept the moment Nintendo showed us at first and I’m still in love with the concept as of now. The only thing I really wonder about is if Nintendo will do away with the 3DS because of the Switch… But that is something they need to decide on their own. Personally I’m still in love with my 3DS and I hope they can let the two things co-exist for a while yet.
Onto some other details. I think the price tag is too high to warrant buying a Switch at launch. It’s €309-329 here, and then you only get the console with no games. Obviously the same was the case for the PS4 and Xbox One launch. And if I didn’t already own a WiiU and a PS4 with an enormous backlog to work through I probably would have taken the bait and bought a Switch at launch (with the new Zelda game). Right now though I just can’t justify to myself to buy one so I’ll probably hold out untill the after the Summer or around the Holidays of 2017. Seeing as my plan is to make a big dent into my gaming backlog this year, I feel like I can’t invest into a new console when I barely touched it’s predecessor in the year that I’ve owned it.
The amount of games at launch is also kind of disappointing. They really hope Zelda will carry the system long enough that people will invest in it. It’s a gamble, but I hope it pays off for Nintendo. I do realize that PS4 and X1 didn’t have many launch titles either so I can’t really say something about Nintendo not having that many titles at launch either.
All in all I think this could be a succesfull console, provided Nintendo makes a steady stream of first party games for it. I could do with a new Donkey Kong, Kirby or even a cool Disney title to make this console interesting for me.

The announced games
As far as first party games go, I’m mostly excited for the new Zelda game, the Super Mario Odyssey and Splatoon 2. I’m doubting if I want Zelda on my WiiU or the Switch though. I really need to know the differences between the games before I decide. Super Mario Odyssey just looks cool. Mario sandbox games have been quite succesful so far so I hope Nintendo makes this one just as good as Galaxy was. I’ve never actually played Splatoon but maybe the Switch will draw me into the game.
Now as far as third party games go. Hell yes Dragon Quest! I fell in love with the series after purchasing DQ7 for my 3DS and I will definately purchase DQ11 for the Switch. Next to that Square announced a new RPG especially for the Switch which is always something to be excited about. I also know Yooka-Laylee comes out for the Switch and the makers promised Nintendo players something extra over the other platforms so I’m actually brought to doubt whether I want that game on my PS4 or on the Switch. There are definately some things to look forward to on this console, but I’m unsure if I will buy games for the Switch when they also come out on the PS4 which, by all means, probably has better performance.
I am kind of disappointed by the Mario Kart 8: Deluxe. It really is just a port of MK8 with some added tracks and characters and I’m not sure if I want to invest in that, owning the original one on the WiiU.

So will I buy a Switch?
Eventually, yes. I think I’ll hold off on buying a lunch model. I rather wait untill bundles appear or when it might lower in price a bit. If there’s anything I learned over the years the prices of consoles and games drop really fast so it’s probably better to wait a bit. I also want to see the library Nintendo builds around the Switch over 2017. I really hope they have more games planned than they initially let show, but I guess only time will tell. Next to that I already stated that I have a huge backlog to work through, so I can’t justify to myself to buy a new console anyway. Not when I have so many unfinished games lying around. But maybe around the Holidays… maybe I will get a Switch.

 

An Ode to Nintendo

It’s been unbearably hot where I live for the past 3-4 days. I’m happy my company has a really big airconditioned office, since that is mostly keeping me sane. However at home I’ve not been so lucky with the temperature in my room rocketing up to 30 degrees Celsius during the day. I’ve not really made use of my PC or my PS4 because of this. It’s way too warm for these machines to be on, plus they help push up the temperature even more. So it’s really not for me.
However during this time I’ve rekindled my love for my 3DS a lot. So much that I want to write an entire post dedicated to just Nintendo, in the form of a letter.

Dear Nintendo,
Thank you for being the amazing publisher that you are. Over the years your handhelds have given me a lot of joy, from the Gameboy Pocket to the New Nintendo 3DS XL, I grew up with your consoles, games and amazing community. I was sceptical when you announced your latest handheld, one with built in 3D. So I held off and held off untill I had to buy one to experience the new Pokémon game. I’ll be honest. The first generation 3DS didn’t really capture me. The 3D was decent but wonky and it would sometimes give me headaches. I didn’t buy too many games and didn’t use it too much, to my shame. Some time went by and then you annoucned your New 3DS. It had super stable 3D, a new colour scheme and was an upgrade over the old one.
I doubted, I twisted, I turned. Eventually you gave me the Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer bundle to pick up. Being a big Animal Crossing fan (New Leaf actually had me entertained for a very long time) I decided to bite the bullet and buy the New 3DS XL.
I haven’t looked back since.
The screens are amazing. The buttons are good. The content is even better. I can pick my console up and take it with me wherever I go. When it’s warm I can still game. When I’m travelling I can still game. It’s past, present and future all mixed into one.

Dear Nintendo,
I don’t know what you plan with your NX. I don’t know if you plan to replace the 3DS altogether or if you will still support it for a while to come. You still have me excited about all the games I can look forward to and all the games I can still finish. You gave me Kirby: Planet Robobot. You gave me Fire Emblem. You gave me Pokémon X and Alpha Sapphire and you will continue to give me many more amazing titles to come. Even though I know I’m miles away from obtaining all the amazing games you’ve released I know I’ll be buying more in the months and years to come. There’s so much still to discover and so much to revisit. Your 3DS has been my stalwart buddy for the last year. It travelled with me to Portugal. I take it with me to work. I’m addicted and I don’t care. You caught me in your net and I’m not planning to struggle to get out anytime soon. You satisfy my inner child. You cater to the gamer that is me. I love my 3DS till death do us part. Which I hope will never be.

Dear Nintendo,
Please don’t change your ways. Be your amazing self and give a new generation the chance to explore the amazing worlds you have created. You may not be the console king but in handheld territory you’re still number one. Keep improving what you do. Stay the best and cater to your fans (and maybe polish up the My Nintendo program a bit, please?).
Sony and Microsoft may have taken the crown in sales. But you are still the king of many gamers’ hearts.
Me and my 3DS will be around supporting you for a long while yet. So shine bright like the diamond you are and create an amazing future for many years to come.

Lots of love,
A stalwart fan.

Announcements Galore

These past two weeks have been magical. Truely and wonderfully magical. Do you want to know why? I think my inner child cried of joy after some awesome announcements that have popped up in the big bad world of gaming.
Let’s start with the most important one….

The Nintendo Classic Mini NES.
The moment I heard this console was coming out I nearly peed myself with excitement. I’ve never had a NES growing up, I was in the Sega Mega Drive (or Genesis) camp. My uncle did have an old NES but we went there only one or two times a year and I had to share the thing with atleast 5 cousins so actually playing never really happened. Imagine my surprise and excitement that Nintendo announced a special Mini NES containing 30 games out of the blue. Ofcourse I immediatly needed to have this and as we speak it’s on pre-order at my favourite gaming store. For €60 only this little console is very very cheap. Due to it also being tiny I can imagine myself dragging it along to friends to play with. I just need to get my hands on that separate second controller, which for some reason wasn’t in the system yet. I am super happy that I’ll get to experience a lot of games that I’ve only seen glimpses of and finally will be able to mesh with the “oldschool” Nintendo gaming crowd. It’s also nice to see how games have evolved from the NES to the SNES since I’ve been buying some of those on my 3DS on release (DKC 3, Megaman 7/X). Don’t even get me started on the fact that I seriously love small, simple controllers and that I will be able to use this new NES controller with my WiiU aswell. If only I would’ve known earlier, I wouldn’t have bought my WiiU Pro controller. But alas.
I really hope Nintendo doesn’t screw this up like SEGA has with some re-releases of the Mega Drive including 80 games. I’ve read horrible reviews on that…

Speaking of SEGA. They have made a few announcements of their own! Seeing as it’s Sonic’s 25th anniversary they have been working hard on some new releases in the franchise which includes a trip back to the famous 2D platformer where it all started.

Sonic Mania! Just from seeing the trailer I feel like I’m 6 years old again and starting up my Mega Drive for the first time. My mum and dad had a go at playing themselves aswell and we all thought the system was amazing and gorgeous for it’s time. For SEGA to release a major throwback like this just warms my heart and I can’t wait to get the game on either my PC or PS4. Even when rewatching the Youtube announcement while writing this post the trailer gives me a real dose of nostalgia and memories of good times.
But wait… There is more!

Hello Project Sonic 2017. Although the trailer doesn’t give away much it does hint to being able to play with other people. I don’t know if this is online or not or if this some kind of MMO or not but man… Doesn’t this look awesome? Also mark the fact that at the end of the trailer it says it will be released on the Nintendo NX aswell. Which means this is the second big gaming franchise, after the Legend of Zelda, who has a game confirmed for the NX. I know the game won’t come out untill Christmas next year but atleast I will have something to majorly look forward to.
Sonic for me is just flashbacks to my childhood when it was very popular on TV, next to being an immense hit as a game and basically the answer to Super Mario at the time. Although SEGA may have left the competition when it comes to consoles, they have one of the best franchises to their name. And although not all Sonic games have been amazing it’s nice to see them still doing so well after all these years.

All in all an amazing time to be a gamer. The only thing that could top this is Naughty Dog announcing they’re doing a new Crash Bandicoot game for the PS4. If or when that happens I think I’ll be one of the happiest gamers on the planet.