Retro Game Friday: Mario Golf

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a Mario sub-series that is fairly obscure. It’s Mario Golf!

Plot Synopsis: Wait you’re expecting a plot to a game about Golf? Seriously?

Gameplay: The gameplay is pretty boring, in fact this is a pretty lame game. The game was all about hitting the “sweet spot” by tapping the A button at the correct time while aiming towards the hole. If you could do that successfully and repeatedly, the game quickly devolved into a really boring repetition of that single “mini-game”. Now that isn’t to say this was a terrible game, by all accounts it was great for multiplayer, although I never did convince my friends to play the game with me, because “Golf is boring”, so I can’t confirm or deny that.

Art: The art is quite a bit like it came out of Mario 64, which shouldn’t be a surprise to be honest. That means it’s aged incredibly poorly, and the game looks like crap now a days.

Music: It’s Mario music, but toned down because you’re playing “Golf”.

Overall: Skip this game, it’s really, really not worth going out of your way to even bother playing it.

For those who like: Golf, Sports, Mario, Repetitive Minigames.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

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Video Game Tuesday: Bungie’s at it Again

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with a warning against holding high expectations for a company that doesn’t deserve your patronage. Bungie’s at it Again, and this crap is getting old.

Again? Really?!?: We’ve been here before, many, many times. I’m almost considering making an entirely separate category on my Blog for Tuesday posts that deal with me bashing Bungie. I’d name it Bungie Bashing Tuesdays, or something like that. The fact that I’m even jokingly considering this is mind blowing. I won’t because I’m much too lazy and unwilling to give Bungie the even minimal respect that such a column would give them, even if it’s disrespectful on the most part. So when they made an announcement this last week with their plans for 2018 I’m not going to give them the time of day anymore. I don’t care that they are trying to make up for their mistakes. The fact is really simple, we’ve done this crap before every freaking year since Vanilla Destiny has launched.

We’ve been locked out of content before, with the Dark Below “expansion”. We’ve had massive changes occur for gear before, with House of Wolves and than the Spring Updates (seriously every freaking year). We’ve had all our gear become essentially useless with The Taken King, and the following Spring Update. They’ve promised to listen to their fans, they’ve promised to be more transparent, they’ve promised to not make really freaking stupid mistakes like Legendary Engrams not dropping Legendary Gear, Pushing Atheon of the edge, or their Public Events being worthwhile #TwoTokensAndABlue. We’ve had this told to us so many times that even Kotaku, whose writers are pretty forgiving compared to me, is getting tired of their bullshit.

So please, don’t spend that Holiday gift money, on Destiny 2. Stop buying or pre-ordering their content. They don’t have a reliable track record anymore when it comes to actually delivering a lasting solution to problems their games have. The fact people have started making shirts clearly ridiculing them is not a good sign for the games they make. But hey, at least I have content to bash every year around this time.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday.

Retro Game Friday: Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering the sequel to Paper Mario. It’s Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door!

Plot Synopsis: The game opens with an introduction about a seaside town which was damaged by a cataclysm and consequently sunk into the depths of the earth. A town named Rogueport was later built at this site, with the fortunes of the lost kingdom fabled to exist behind the eponymous Thousand-Year Door, located in the ruins of the old town. Mario becomes involved when Princess Peach contacts him about a treasure map that she bought in Rogueport…

Plot: The plot is okay, but this isn’t anything like a Final Fantasy game in terms of story telling. The story is definitely aimed at a younger audience, which is fine because this is a Mario game. If you’re expecting gritty and hardcore violence, I’m sure any Mario game will not be what you’re looking for.

Gameplay: It plays a lot like the original Paper Mario, with most of the differences coming outside of battle in the forms of powers Mario gets to explore and solve puzzles with his partners. In fact that fact is probably the only downside to this game, it’s really not that much different from the original Paper Mario.

Art: It’s aged pretty well, but the art style of the Paper Mario series has always lent itself a timeless quality.

Music: The music is very much a Mario score, but that again isn’t surprising, this is a Mario game. It’s going to have familiar sounds.

Overall: This is a good sequel, but not a great one. If you really loved the first game, then Thousand-Year Door will probably be something you’ll want to play. Otherwise this can be a skippable game.

For those who like: Mario, RPGs, Turn-Based Combat, Puzzles, Good Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

 

Video Game Tuesday: Swatting is Stupid

This week for Video Game Tuesday I wish I wasn’t writing this post.  Swatting is Stupid, among many other things.

Wait what?: So a little less than two weeks ago there was an incident in Wichita, Kansas (which is part of the US if you are unaware) where some asshole swatted a completely unrelated man who was fatally shot. Andrew Finch was the victim, and in respect to him and his family I won’t be naming the bastard who did the actual call.  I’ll just be referring to him as the “Asshole” from now on in this post.

What is Swatting?: Well I’m not talking about a playful slap or trying to squash a bug. I’m referring to the practice that has become a trend in recent years that has people falsely calling in highly dangerous situations into law enforcement agencies to interrupt other people. Whether they be streamers who regularly broadcast on Twitch to some poor sap who just handed someone else their ass, all these people are victims of an incredibly stupid stunt. I’m not going to call it a prank, because pranks don’t get people killed. It was really just a matter of time until this occurred, but the fact that it happened at all is incredibly telling of how toxic the online world can get.

Andrew Finch was a father and husband who didn’t even play online. So when Asshole lost in a game of Call of Duty he proceeded to Swat someone else thinking it was the person who had just beat him. It wasn’t, and it’s a very sad situation that occurred. Law Enforcement teams that are often termed as SWAT are frequently some of the mostly highly trained people in their respective forces, but even they make mistakes which can lead to tragic consequences.  In addition to actually taking care of situations where innocent lives can be lost because they didn’t act on a subtle cue on a regular basis, these teams are often among the first responders to arrive at a mass shooting situation. So they are under huge amounts of stress. While a portion of the blame goes towards the Law Enforcement teams of Wichita, it wouldn’t have even occurred if Asshole wasn’t being such a childish prick.

Asshole is now in custody and awaiting extradition to Kansas where he’ll be tried on multiple felony charges.

Wait you can get arrested for this?: Of course you’ll get arrested for pulling shit like Swatting. Making a false emergency call is a misdemeanor in the US according to a quick Google search while writing this post, but it can become a felony in certain situations. Such situations include calling in false threats, which is the main way Swatting occurs. For those unaware what the difference is, the general rule of thumb is that a misdemeanor is a crime in which you will go to jail, but not prison. Felonies on the other hand are crimes in which if you are found guilty of said crime you’ll go to a prison. There are differences, jails are short term while prisons are long term. So the general rule of thumb is that you go to jail for less than a year with a misdemeanor and you’ll be enjoying prison food for over a year if you commit a felony.

So moral of the story is really simple. DON’T SWAT. It’s stupid, dangerous and highly illegal.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. I’ll hopefully be back to a more regular post next week.

 

Retro Game Friday: Opoona

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a really obscure game. It’s Opoona!

Plot Synopsis: The planet Landroll was impacted by a large meteorite composed of crystallized dark energy. Half of the star, once lush and verdant, died from the impact, becoming the Deadlands. Life for the survivors changed drastically; the impact caused a shift in gravity, causing the sun to become tidally locked to the planet. Species died and vegetation withered in the heat; mysterious creatures, known as Rogues, emerged from the meteorite and began to attack people. Humans eventually built sturdy glass domes over Landroll’s surviving cities. Sanctuary, an island floating above the northern pole, was unaffected and habitable areas outside the domes became the wild lands.

Several hundred years after the meteorite impact, Opoona and his siblings, Copoona and Poleena, are on a family vacation from the star Tizia with their parents, Momeena, Dadeena and co-pilots Troc and Noix, travelling in a spaceship to Landroll. Momeena tells Opoona that her brother, Roidman, lives on the planet doing research on how to reduce the Rogue population. Shortly after, the spaceship is attacked by mysterious dark energy, and the three children are placed into separate escape pods before the spaceship crashes on Landroll.

Three days after the crash landing, Opoona awakens from a coma in Tokione Dome and is informed of the incident, and told that his parents are being treated by Sages in Sanctuary.

Plot: The plot is okay, but rather simplistic. It’s not super amazing or terrible, but mediocre. That’s probably why this game is so damn obscure.

Gameplay: The gameplay isn’t a classic turn based combat like you might expect of a JRPG. It’s closer to a Tales of Game, although maybe comparing it to Ni no Kuni would be better. If Ni no Kuni had no minions.

Art: The art hasn’t aged well, which is to be expected of both a game that was made in 3D and a game made for the Wii. Sorry Nintendo lovers, but almost every third party Wii game looked like crap.

Music: I don’t remember a whit of it, sorry.

Overall: An easily skippable game, that being said if you get the chance to play it for cheap or free, you might as well give it a shot right?

For those who like: JRPGs, Simplistic Art Styles, Real Time Combat Systems.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Video Game Tuesday: Things to Improve in 2018 Edition

Happy New Year everyone! I hope all is going well and you’re enjoying the first day of this New Year as much as I will be, hopefully. I’m back with a couple topics that could really use some attention for this week’s Video Game Tuesday.

Transparency: Lots of games failed to do this and made the players do this on their own. When games start treating players like tools and walking cash cows, they need to be stopped. Destiny 2 has had repeated failures on this part, and frankly it’s insulting at this point. Having your game limit you and tell you it’s doing otherwise when it comes to something as basic as earning experience points is unacceptable. It’s exploitation of gamers and everyone knows it. Doesn’t matter how many PR sprinkles you put on it, it’s still a pile of horse shit.

Communication:  If you are running a game that is getting content updates, regularly or not (I’m looking at you Destiny and Bungie), there needs to be a lot more discussion into future plans so people can A. Look forward to it and B. Know that the developers aren’t just taking their money and running off. Final Fantasy XIV and it’s Dev Team headed by Naoki Yoshida is an often used example of mine of how to do this right. So again please take some freaking notes!

Loot Boxes: Let’s all agree that these need to follow some simple guidelines in the future. First way of doing this is that all things in Loot Boxes are cosmetic in nature. Nothing earned from a Loot Box affects gameplay at all, in any way, shape, or form.  The second way of doing this is the Fate Grand Order example, where it can affect gameplay, but you just have to re-roll for a decent 5 star servant that you want. However the kicker is that you can’t have any form of competitive modes AT ALL. Finally and this applies to both ways of doing this, it has to be potentially attainable through purely gameplay means, which means that if you grind or wait it out long enough you could potentially get what you want from these loot boxes.

Net Neutrality: I’m trying to make this horse into so fine a paste that it could be sipped in through a fancy twisty straw like those you see used by kids who just had dental surgery. This shit matters, please don’t let it die. And hey I’m not saying riots in the street are necessary, it might be justified but it’s not necessary. Check both of of my two links in the this paragraph to see some simple things you could do.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. Happy New Year!

Retro Game Friday: Panzer Dragoon

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a real classic. It’s Panzer Dragoon!

Plot Synopsis: In the distant future, thousands of years after a great war between humans and their biologically engineered weapons, humans live in everything from small tribes to large nations. One nation, the Empire, has discovered a black tower in the middle of a lake near their capital, which gave them access to large amounts of ancient weapons which they used to beat back and control the ever present monsters in the world. The Imperials were corrupted by this power and became conquerors of others as opposed to liberators from a violent world.

Keil Fluge (unnamed in the North American version), is hunting in a canyon. After seeing an Imperial flying battleship in the sky, he is attacked by two creatures and chases one of them to a large, ancient complex built directly into the rock. He explores the ruin, and sees relics of old technology still hanging from the ceilings. Another gigantic creature suddenly attacks him, and though his weapon is useless against the armored creature, a rumbling triggers a cave in, which crushes the monster and saves Keil. From the newly created hole, an armored, blue dragon flies down the cavern with a rider across its shoulders, being chased by an even bigger black dragon as the cavern is destroyed in an explosion. Regaining consciousness outside, Keil sees the two dragons locked in combat in the air before him. Dodging a blast from the black dragon, the blue dragon’s rider is then hit by single shot to the chest, and the black dragon flies away. The blue dragon flies towards Keil. A psychic connection is made between the rider and Keil, who is told not to let the black dragon reach the black tower. The rider then dies and Keil picks up his fallen gun, climbs atop the dragon and flies away, determined to finish the rider’s quest.

Plot: The plot is okay, not super amazing though.

Gameplay: This plays a lot like a Star Fox game, by which I mean it plays like any Rail Shooter game.

Art: The art has aged terribly, but that isn’t a surprise considering it’s a 3D game.

Overall: Worth a play if you really want to, but you could probably skip this.

For those who like: Rail Shooters, Star Fox, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Dragons

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.