Now You’re Playing With (Less) Power

As gee-whizzy the tech of the Vita is, I’ve always been fond of a significantly less powerful handheld as compared to their home console counterparts.

I suppose it comes from the notion of lessons learned. While home consoles represent what can be done, their handheld alternatives exemplify what has been. While that sounds negative, I find it comforting. There’s always a learning curve associated with developing for the big boys. New techniques to grapple, and untested methods to attain previously impossible results. But the best of what home consoles can achieve is in the future. With handhelds, those strides had been made already. But instead of the best being behind them, these exemplary works serve as a stepping stone for what comes next.

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I’m hardly an expert of the technical side of this argument, but it’s not much of a stretch to equate the DS to the Nintendo 64. The dawn of the latter brought along aspects of design that weren’t a concern before, shifting from sprites to polygons obviously carries a price.

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I Think I’m In Louvre

Thanks to my buds at Nintendo World Report, I was given the opportunity to write about the Nintendo 3DS Guide: Louvre. It’s a bit of software developed by folks at indieszero (a studio with one of the most eclectic catalogs I’ve ever seen; from DualPenSports, to NES Remix) that acts as both a virtual experience of the famed art museum, and as a companion piece for an actual trip. 

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Here’s an excerpt, where I put forward the notion that Nintendo itself could learn from the Louvre in regards to preserving history.

Perhaps there remains a lesson to be learned here after all. Before all else, the Louvre functions as a keeper of history. The facility and its staff educate, maintain, and enable the study of artwork so that visitors may understand the importance of expression. Nintendo, too, can and should preserve its own history. Their efforts are made visible through the Virtual Console and various software releases like Kirby’s Dream Collection and Super Mario All-Stars. While Nintendo’s intentions thus far have been good, there is a lot of work left to be done. Not knowing if or when I will be able to play Yoshi’s Island on the Virtual Console is a shame, and Nintendo must remedy that. Nontheless, it’s undeniable that Nintendo has a rich history that goes far beyond video games. Nintendo should reflect on its roots and consider novel ways in which gamers may learn about how the company came to be what it is today.

 

I hope you can find the time to check it out, as well as other Nintendo World Report works.

 

Deadly Premonition

The following is a discussion of how I ruined the ending of A Link Between Worlds for myself. My self loathing does not extend to you, dear reader, so worry not of spoilers. This is a spoiler free zone.

I guessed the ending to The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Unlike most of my attempts (“That guy is totally the killer!), I was actually correct this time.

Now, this isn’t a backdoor brag. I’m an idiot when it comes to this kind of stuff. Disney films blow me away (“WHAT?! The evil sorcerer fell down a cliff!?), and my daughter’s bedtime stories leave me stunned.

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And let’s not discredit A Link Between Worlds; its ending has some nice twists. I just couldn’t help myself, and I let my brain run the show and formulate some theories. This has only happened once before; Nicole Kidman’s The Others. But that movie was junk (sorry, Nicole), so it’s not as if I cared. But A Link Between Worlds. is rad as hell, so I was pretty let down. The ending was spoiled by myself of all people!

Do yourself a favour and don’t think about A Link Between Worlds.Turn off your noggin, ignore the signs, and don’t extrapolate anything from anybody. Or else you’ll hate yourself forever and suck the joy out of the best handheld game of the year.

Shit. That last part is a spoiler. Act surprised when I reveal my 2013 Stickies…please?

Not A Christmas Gift Guide

Whether we care to admit it or not, not everyone cares about video games. Weird, I know, as they’re pretty rad. But, some people just can’t see their brilliance. Sadly, this also means they don’t want to hear about it either. So while they are standing there, fully aware you’re addressing them, your Mom, Dad, or whoever isn’t really listening.

This is why we end up with weird gifts. You say one thing and they hear (if you’re lucky) another.

The following are some examples (and possibly warnings) of what you may encounter this Christmas season.

What You’ll Ask For:
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Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Nintendo 3DS

What You’ll Get:
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Funky Barn 3D, Nintendo 3DS

Thanks a lot for that devoted attention there, Aunt Carol. You always wondered why your parents wouldn’t let her babysit. It’s clear now that she can’t follow verbal instructions. The best thing you can hope for is that the 3DS Miiverse contains a community for this monstrosity, allowing the traditions of poor drawings and crude jokes from its Wii U counterpart to carry on.

Maybe she’s trying to send you a message. Are great games taking up too much of your time? Is Animal Crossing so engrossing that she fears she will lose you? I’d believe that if she managed to correctly spell your name in the card. Until then, get used to these half hearted attempts.

What You’ll Ask For:
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Tearaway, PlayStation Vita

What You’ll Almost Get:
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R.I.P.D: The Game, PSN and XBLA

Wow. If this was a prank I’d commend your in-laws for the creativity on display here. However, their note of apology for being unable to provide R.I.P.D.: The Game displays how honest an attempt they made.

Although, it is important to give credit where it’s due; upon your father-in-laws request for ‘Ripped’, a rather ingenious GameStop employee assumed he was speaking of the digital only title, R.I.P.D.: The Game.

A PSN card of any value would have made for a nice replacement, but you should happily accept these Mario themed underwear in its place.

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