It’s amazing how time flies by. Starting a blog focused on video games was something of a passion project for me, all those years ago in 2013. Looking back on it though, I’m not too surprised I didn’t make it a full year. I had pulled myself in too many different directions, wanting to be all things and do everything all at once.
Needless to say, it didn’t work. On top of a large handful of health related issues, I simply lost interest in the whole deal. I burned myself out by trying to do everything, stay up to date with all the big releases, and on top of all that, I eventually just didn’t want to deal with the negativity I found in video game media. And that was back in 2014. Before all the shady and dirty devs really started hitting the spotlight, before loot boxes were the biggest point of contention in video games. Hell, before Tracer’s ass was controversial.
But, I want to try it all again. I’ve got an idea of what I want to do, and part of me has that little hook in the back of my mind telling me to just go out and do it again. And the best part of failing before is, as the cliche goes, learning from it. But I’m at a bit of a crossroads of what to do with the site that came before, or hell, if anyone that has viewed or liked this page in the meantime is even still interested. But, I’ve got something coming.
Maybe I’ll start writing about all the biggest controversies in gaming (lord knows I’ll always have things to write about) Maybe I’ll try my hand at more detailed and proper game reviews. Looking back, all my writing was a bit all over the place grammatically and I really needed to work on my edits. But I’ve got an idea. Might as well just do it.
Normally I try to say something cheesy here, but this is not the movie for that, it’s serious business with part 1 of The Hunger Games MockingJay!
of course, you can download the podcast Here!
of course, you can download the podcast Here!
The Three Guys are back again to check out Disney’s newest animated movie, Big Hero 6! Is this the start of a new series, or is it a limited run? Find out within!
of course, you can download the podcast Here!
The Three Guys celebrate the day of the dead with the Book of Life! Is it a celebration worth visiting? Find out within!
Well, maybe drama post isn’t the correct phrase to use, but it feels appropriate, so I’m gonna go with it. Time for a quick update!
First, the blog is gonna go on a little bit of a hiatus. Not for too long I hope, but at least for the rest of month of October. The reason? Two fold, first, I’m moving! My roommate bought a house, and we are moving into it! Horray! It has confusing light switches! Seriously, I have never been in a house with more confusing or awkward light switches. Ever. So it shall be a challenge. Moving is never fun, though.
And the other reason? Well, It’s a bit more personal than that, but to make a long story short, I may be dealing with depression again. It’s something that happens, but I’m beginning to think that it might be time to consult a doctor or something, as I keep going in and out of this funk, and what I normally do to combat it like writing or doing my podcast is just no longer doing it. So, yeah, little worried. I’ve been feeling this way for about a week now, and I think it’s time to get some help. It may just be doom and gloom from the move (heh, it rhymes. kinda) but… I dunno.
So, here’s what is going to happen. We currently have one more podcast to be done before the month ends, it’s being edited now, so I should have it out soon-ish. Not 100% on the actual date, but it will get out. Then, a bit of a break to finish the move, and then we go from there. I’ll still be around on Twitter and such, so it’s not like I am disappearing. Just a bit of a break from writing to get the move done.
And now you know!
Well, it seems that Rocksteady studios can’t get away from the Dark Knight. While the jury is out on Arkham City Origins ( a game designed only to make money) , as I havn’t played it yet, I was always worried that Rocksteady would walk away from Batman before they could finish the story properly. And if for some reason you didn’t check out Arkham City back in 2011, I strongly advise you do, as I’m about to SPOIL THE HELL OUT OF IT! It was probably one of the best games that year though, so hopefully I’m not spoiling it for anybody. But that was your warning.
Arkham City ends with the most interesting setup in a Batman story. Joker’s dead? The city is bound to believe that Batman finally did it. How will the other villain’s in Batman’s rogue gallery react? The Harley Quinn’s Revenge DLC sort of teased a revenge idea, but never really went through with it. But did lay some strong hints for a future idea. I admit, after seeing it all, I got hyped knowing that I was good hands and Rocksteady would surly see this story to its epic conclusion in a matter of years.
Imagine my disappointment when Origin’s was announced, looking back to Batman’s… well, origins, allowing it to ignore the story fans wanted to see in favor of a more traditional Batman story. I was worried the series would soon fall into the footsteps of Assassin’s Creed, and would before long forgot or ignore it’s most interesting idea. The fact that Rocksteady Studios were not making it also lead me to worry, that if they were to go back to the idea, another company would probably make it worse. But it appears my fears were all for naught.
It’s great to see that Rocksteady were in fact making that Batman game I wanted. A conclusion was greatly needed, and it appears at some point this year, we will get it. It’s way to early to say anything specific about the game’s design, other than the announcement that A) it’s a next gen game, meaning unless your on the PC, you need a PS4 or XBONE. and B) Apparently the city will be big enough to warrant taking the Batmobile out for a cruise. Hell yeah.
This is another reason for me to upgrade to a PS4, and I’ll be perfectly frank, I’m excited as hell for it. I’ll be sure to keep my eye on this one.
Now, I have to go back to playing South Park Stick of Truth.
I’ve been working through my backlog of games, trying to whittle it down slowly. It’s a fight I’ll probably never win, but that won’t stop me from trying. One of the games on that long list was a N64 RPG that I remembered fondly called Paper Mario. I hadn’t played it in years, and I always meant to sit down and play it again. So, now that I mark that one off as beaten, how well does it hold up?
Paper Mario is the spiritual sequel to the SNES classic Super Mario RPG. The story places you in the role of Mario, who is trying to save Princess Peach after Bowser kinaps her with the power of the Star Rod, a magic wand that is used by the stars to grant wishes for people. Bowser stole it and kidnapped the 7 Star Spirits, and it’s to Mario to save the day. Standard Mario fare, of course. Fans wanted a true sequel, but due to trademarks held by Square, that was never going to happen, especially after Square decided to make games exclusively for the Playstation after 1996. The game did start development as Super Mario RPG 2, but was changed to the Paper Mario we know today. Why? Well, because someone in development had an amazing idea.
this is still my favorite ad for a game. Ever.
Everything is drawn in a way to make it look like a paper cut out. That’s actually a rather ingenious way to cheat the graphical limitations of the time, while still having a 3d environment. It instantly makes it pop out against not only the 64 stock of RPGS, but even the Playstation library of RPGS. It’s the game’s biggest hook easily, it’s bright and colorful world standing out against the darker and angst-y Teen rated RPG’s that populated the Playstation era. It’s meant to be enjoyed by all ages, and keeps that idea going by being a very forgiving and easy RPG.
Gameplay is divided the same way all RPG’s are. You explore the over world, talking to people and make your way from chapter to chapter saving the star spirits. Unlike a lot of RPGs at the time, you can see all the monsters in the overworld, so you can choose to avoid combat, or make use of a preemptive strike to give yourself the advantage in combat, although monsters can hit you to do the same. In battle, Mario can jump on enemies; hit them with his hammer, use items and special abilities granted to him by badges he can wear. Badges work like equipment in this game, each costing a specific amount of Badge points to wear. As you level up, you can choose to increase either your HP, your FP(flower points, for special attacks) or the amount of Badge points you have. Mario isn’t alone on his journey either, as you find 8 different partners that can be used to get past obstacles in the over world, but also in battle. Partners are technically invincible, in the sense they cannot be killed, however a few attacks that the monsters use can hit your partners, stunning them for a turn or two. Attack actions return from SMRPG, allowing skilled players to block damage from attacks and do more damage with their own. On paper, it sounds like a lot, but any RPG vet will tell you that in truth this all rather simple stuff, but it’s well implemented. The game is divided into chapters, which end when you save a Star Spirit, and inbetween, you actually play as Peach, trapped in Bowser’s floating castle, as she sneaks around to get Mario information, but in honesty, I would rather this be a cut scene, as Peach gameplay is just as boring now as it was then.
Mario gets to have all the fun
I felt the Peach sections dragged on a little too long, and didn’t add a whole lot to the game, and I can’t say I ever cared for it. It’s all small things that bug me about this game. Things like the story being more or less a copy of Super Mario RPG, minus the final fantasy style characters. Replace Smithy with Bowser, and by the numbers, it’s basically the same. There also isn’t a whole ton of secrets in the game to find either, or a whole lot in the way of challenge. Battles eventually become boring and not worth the small amount of experience you acquire, and there is no point to grinding because at a certain level you are simply not given any experience for battles in older areas. Item space can also be an issue, as Mario cannot carry a lot of items, and you can upgrade how many you can carry, having to store items at the shops, but even that is limited. The biggest disappointment I had was that there isn’t a great deal of use when it comes to the very unique design. Later games, like Thousand year door and Super Paper Mario, make great use of the 2d character in a 3d world idea, by making it possible to manipulate Mario or the world to make certain obstacles passable. Admittedly, this is part of the growing pains of a new franchise, and the sequels do make up for it, but the original will probably leave you wanting more.
Really, I think the few problems I have with Paper Mario come from the fact that I’ve gotten older. Weird as it sounds; I truly think Paper Mario is an excellent, if not too easy RPG. It feels like it was made for a younger generation to ease themselves into RPGs. It’s not as offensive or hand holding as Mystic Quest was, but make no mistake about it, RPG vets will blow through this game in probably 15-20 hours. I spent a great deal of my time in Bowser’s Castle at the end of the game avoiding battles because they gave so little experience and only wasted items in my limited item space. But despite those facts, I can’t ignore the charm this game has. It does make great use of Mario style ideas in a RPG, like stomping koopas to flip on their backs, where they are stunned and they take more damage. It’s a bright, imaginative, and cute in a way, game, and it’s easy to see why the Paper Mario series has continued to this day. Looking back on it, Paper Mario did not hold up as well as I hoped it would. It’s not a terrible game however, and in fact might be the best N64 RPG. Granted, that list of games is only 8 games big, so take of that what you will.