SEGA

Simpler Times

Every now and then I get into this weird mood where I feel like I own too much crap and wish I hadn’t bought half the things I own today. Most of this is related to my consoles/games/collectibles. I always feel like I’m buying stuff that I don’t use/play and I tend to buy things on impulse, thus making me accumulate a bit of a collection of things.

Today I’ve been having one of these moods and it’s even made worse by the nagging feeling that things used to be “simpler”. You see when I was a kid I wasn’t heavily spoiled. I couldn’t ask my parents for everything and there were a lot of things that I wanted but never owned. I’m fine with that. It taught me how to appreciate the things that I did have and there wasn’t a toy that I got that did not see a certain amount of playtime.
The same went for my games. When I was 6 years old I remember my dad getting me my first console. It was a Sega Genesis, my dad found the games to look prettier on that compared to the Nintendo systems, and it came with the original Sonic game. The console was in the living room and even though it was connected to my own little TV I was monitored and didn’t spend too much time gaming on it. I didn’t know it at the time but my dad frequently bought me games for the console that would then mysteriously appear, netting me a total of about 20 games in the end. And I played all of them to some degree. Most of them were Disney games but I also own a few sports games, a Jurassic Park game and ofcourse the various Sonic games that were available at the time.

A few years later I got my very own dark blue Gameboy Pocket. We travelled a lot for birthdays and it gave me something to do during the car rides that took up over an hour. When we visited my dad’s side of the family it also gave me something to do over there because there were no kids my age to play with. So I had my Gameboy and the games they gave me for Christmas and my Birthday and I was happy. I played all the games, finished most of them, and never felt like I wanted or needed more.

I still have my old console and my old Gameboy and every now and then I turn them on for the nostalgia. The games may not look as good as I thought they did and some cartridges require a few good blows before they work. But they remind me of a simpler time when I was a kid who only had what she was given and who was happy to have just that. And right now I would give up everything I own just to recapture that feeling again. Sitting with my Gameboy in the back of my parents’ car, glued to a game and hoping we weren’t there yet so I could keep playing…

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.

The Elephant In The Room

As I got home on Wednesday evening I browsed Steam for a bit. I always check out what games are on offer, even though most of them are really not my thing. Whilst doing this a game with a rather peculiar title caught my eye: Tembo the Badass Elephant. It was on sale for €3,24 and it looked to be some sort of silly platform game. I went to check it out for some fun and giggles, looked at some screenshots, looked at the trailer… And was hooked.
This game essentially brings me back to the 16-bit console days that I experienced as I was growing up. I had a Sega Genesis (called Mega Drive here in Holland) as a child, a present I got for my sixth birthday. My dad has always been a bit of a technology geek and he had seen the rise of video games early on. I’m pretty sure we still have a very old Atari game system in the attic somewhere… My mum wasn’t very much an avid gamer but she liked puzzles and eventually got one of those wannabe Gameboy type things that only had Tetris on it, which she was actually quite addicted too (and quite good at aswell I might add). Anyway, they decided to gift me a Sega which at the time came with the first Sonic the Hedgehog game. I’m not really sure how many hours I spent infront of this console, but it must have been quite a lot. I had a few Sonic games, a ton of Disney games and even a Jurassic Park game. My heart broke when eventually you couldn’t get any new games for the console anymore, even though I’ve only really finished a few of them.
Looking at Tembo, and the developing/production companies (SEGA and Game Freak, yes that company that developed the Pokémon franchise, that Game Freak) I felt like I needed to have this game, even if only it was on sale now so I could get it cheap.
The story of the game is simple. You are a Rambo type military elephant that needs to save Shell City from an organisation called Phantom. You do this in a platform type, sidescrolling game setting where the companies have tried their best to combine a lot of fun 16-bit game mechanics. It has the speed of Sonic, there’s some Donkey Kong and Yoshi’s world elements in it… And it’s just overall seriously hilarious. A level takes about 5-10 minutes to play through, depending on if you just want to finish the level or also want to complete all the objectives for that level. It’s simple fun, the style used in the game itself is very colourful with a lot of comic book elements (see picture below).
All in all I only have very good things to say about this game, except for the one flaw that is resolutions. In settings you can’t go higher than 1920x1080p, which is fine for me… But for people with higher resolution screens it obviously isn’t. Personally I would recommend just playing windowed, since fullscreen can be a bit buggy when shutting down (ie. I had it crash on me a few times) but if you’re looking for a fun sidescroller with a lot of 16-bit elements, this might just be the game for you.
MMORPG shenanigans
Season 5 of Diablo 3 has started yesterday and for the first time since the first season I’ve immediatly started to play at launch. I rebirthed my existing Monk and am well on my way to 70 already. If I didn’t have to go out today I would’ve been 70 before dinner easily, but alas. My monk is “stuck” on level 61.5 and I’m having a blast so far. You can notice Blizzard overhauled a lot of things with the latest patch and so far I’m having fun playing.
I’ve also been poking about in FFXIV a lot, leveling my Bard, my Astrologian and since Friday my Botanist. Endgame Gathering and Crafting has been the one area in FFXIV I haven’t poked my nose into yet and I really want to with this expansion. Seeing as the only crafter I have on 50 is Weaver… And the mats I need are gathered by Botanists… I figured why not just level that up and start working towards that level 60. So right now I’m doing about an hour or less a day of BTN leveling. It’s quite soothing in a way. Doing levequests to just gather things, doing a “get me X materials” quest every 5 levels. It allows me to zone out a bit and still feel useful. I hope I can get my BTN to 50 by the end of this week atleast, but seeing as I’ll be having a lot of free time, that shouldn’t be too big of a deal. Especially considering that my only other goal ingame right now is to finish my Dragoon Zeta. Which shouldn’t take very long either.