Saturday, December 31, 2011

A tale of two games

Two games came out last November that really caught my attention.  One thing that has piqued my interest is how remarkably similar they are.

Official Zelda Timeline

Wait, I didn't post about this yet?

For the 25th anniversary of the Zelda series, Nintendo has released the "Hyrule Historia," a book detailing development, official art, and most importantly, the relation of the games to one another.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I'm in a movie!

A no-budget, supposed-to-be-under-8-minutes-but-is-over-10, student film!

It's IT Bob! (otherwise known as why I'm going into Digital Media and not acting.)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Miyamoto Retires!

It's time to party!

Or maybe rock...

...dare I say, party rock?

Every fan of Nintendo should be rejoicing.  Every non fan of Nintendo should be rejoicing.  Every cynical, jaded, former Nintendo fan should be rejoicing.

Miyamoto is stepping down to work on personal projects.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The trolls are funny.

It's been a blast, not only hearing about Mists of Pandaria, but looking around the WoW forums at all the people complaining.

Why do I get the feeling there's a meeting somewhere that goes like this:

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's official

Blizzard is still awesome.

That is all.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gravitus News!

I made a post earlier about Gravitus, a video game currently in development. You may be wondering, what is Gravitus?

Gravitus is a 2D side-scrolling space-shooter. I describe it as "Starfox, but in 2D," though in reality I draw inspiration from many different shoot-em-up games (shmups).

While still very early in development, I do have an exclusive super-secret-special-pre-alpha gameplay screenshot!

It's not much, I know, but I do wish to improve.  I've got actual plans for this game. I don't want this to simply be something that I run out of steam halfway through and ends up not happening.  I want this to be a complete and full game, and I plan on actually trying to sell this thing.  For money.  To this end, I've actually written down my ideas for what I want to do with this game, and have included them below.  This list is extremely tentative and subject to change on a whim.

Goals for Gravitus

blue for alpha, red for beta, black for final

-new sprite
-fix physics
-Shooting mechanics
--bullet sprite
--'fire' sound effect
--as many as you can fire when you hit the button, but slower fire for holding down button
-death event
-'Do a barrel roll'

Level 1
--New image
--More enemies, better sprites
--Yet More enemies, better sprites, and more variety
--Stuff you can crash into
--Stuff that will just sort of push you away
–main attack
--able to kill him
--able to attack him
--Entrance animation
--Possibly new robot/sprite

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Oh dear lord...

I just... ugh...

While the 25th anniversary of the Legend of Zelda series had a prominent presence at the beginning of Nintendo’s E3 press conference, Skyward Sword was barely mentioned. Due out this year, we haven’t  heard much lately on the progress of Link’s next adventure
Oh, of course not, that would ruin the "surprise."

Sorry, please continue.
While the 25th anniversary of the Legend of Zelda series had a prominent presence at the beginning of Nintendo’s E3 press conference, Skyward Sword was barely mentioned. Due out this year, we haven’t  heard much lately on the progress of Link’s next adventure. Despite the lack of updates, the upcoming Wii title was playable on the show floor in the form of a new demo. I got a chance today to try out three different sections of the game - a bird riding race, a dungeon area, and a boss fight.

Bird riding was a fun segment that featured Link out of his standard adventuring garb. He resembled the farmer version from Twilight Princess, and was participating in a high-flying race for a trophy. It starts with the four participants diving off a cliff, followed by grasping and mounting a giant bird. Shaking the Wii remote makes the bird fly higher into the clouds, and the A button activates a speed boost system not unlike Epona’s carrots from previous games. Your objective is to reach a bird that’s carrying a trophy before any of your opponents, and they’ll eventually get more aggressive. After my first win, my fellow riders started shooting eggs back at me in an effort to slow my progress. Upon catching it the second time, I was treated to a cutscene of Link and an impressed Zelda flying off atop the bird.
And then they break out into song!
I can show you the woooorld...

Yes, I've missed impressing an non-princess Zelda by flying around on a bird.  I haven't done that in a Zelda game since... 

Wait, what?

Second on the agenda was the dungeon demo. This allowed me to experience more traditional Zelda gameplay, with a focus on finding keys, using items to solve puzzles, and defeating enemies. Like in Ocarina of Time’s Deku Tree, giant Skulltulas drop down from the ceiling if you get too close. Unlike those, however, there’s no immediate way to attack their weak spot. Destroying them is a mini-puzzle in itself, and it first requires you to snip their line of web with the flying beetle item. Once they’ve fallen to the ground, they’re still protected by their hard shell. Thanks to the added control afforded by MotionPlus, you can hold the sword near the ground and pop the enemy up to expose their weak point. A few stabs and a dramatic finishing move later, and they’ll be defeated.
You read that right, folks, flip it over and attack it's weak spot for massive damage!
Giant Enemy Spider! Actually happened in ancient Hyrule

After disposing of several of these Skulltulas, I started searching for a key. Flying my beetle around exposed a switch that opened a door, leading me to another puzzle. A gate guarded a treasure chest, and three ominous wall-mounted eyes watched me as I got close. They’d follow the movements of my sword like a haunted house portrait, but would quickly shut if I aimed at them with my bow. Looking around the room, I spotted a box hanging from the ceiling. I cut it down with the beetle, shoved it near the eyes, and stood on top. Now that I was close enough, all three eyes were open and following my sword. I still couldn’t shoot at them, so I spun my sword around in circles. After a few rotations, the eyes got dizzy, turned red, and disappeared. The gate opened, and I received the key I was looking for.
Such innovation! I haven's seen something like this since...


Mario 64!
And it was obvious then, too!

The final section of the demo was a boss battle that relied very heavily on directional sword swipes and well-timed blocks. It was a ghostly white female, although it wasn’t clear what species in the Zelda universe she was. Rather than the immediate action of many Zelda boss fights, this woman slowly made her way towards Link. Her hand followed the movements of my blade, and she would catch it whenever I attempted to strike her. I learned that I had to get her hand set in a specific location, then quickly alter the direction of my swipe and get the upper hand.
 Okay, first things first.
That's a dude.  I know because in Japanese media there's generally two indicators of gender.  Usually rather large, round, and obvious indicators.

Secondly, I assume the 'species' is the same as the sword-fairy-master sword-girl from the concept art.

After striking her numerous times in this manner, she started backing up and throwing projectiles at me in lines of five. I initially dodged them by jumping to the side, but you can also deflect them with your sword if you swipe accurately enough to hit all of them at once. The boss started charging me, and I got another chance to get some hits in after parrying with my shield as the strike approached. When she finally fell, it felt like I had played an entirely different boss fight than any of the dozens I’ve encountered before in the Zelda series.
See, this sounds fun, and it very well could surprise me, but really it just sounds annoying and boring.  Why can't  I have more than one way to attack enemies?
Gamers have complained for years that Zelda is a franchise content to rely on an age-old formula. You may be collecting keys, taking on bosses, exploring dungeons, and pushing blocks again in Skyward Sword, but the 1:1 MotionPlus swordplay really does make a difference. Many encounters with standard enemies feel like miniature puzzles in their own right, as you have to perform actions like flipping the spider on his back before you can take it out. With a new take on enemy encounters, a visually pleasing art style, real-time weapon switching, and fantastic motion controls, Skyward Sword looks to be a great addition to the Zelda lineage.
Why would I want enemy encounters to be miniature puzzles?  I don't want puzzles, I want mechanics.  Like raid bosses in World of Warcraft.  Like a good boss fight.

Why is it that people complain about the boring dungeons, (because they're full of boring, tedious puzzles) so the solution Aonuma comes up with is to make the overworld like one giant dungeon?  To make the boring puzzles into enemy encounters?

Why is it that the solution to 'you only use items once' is to make that stupid flying Beetleborg morpher used for everything?  It's like the seagulls in Wind Waker, and I didn't think that those were worth revisiting.

I really don't think motion controls will impact the gameplay that much (considering how most of the complaints about the formula aren't centered around pushing B to swing your sword) and I sincerely hope that this game bombs just as bad or worse than the atrocity known as Spirit Tracks.

I don't know if I should be screaming in rage or laughing my head off about this game.  At least Spirit Tracks made that distinction obvious.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

And another thing...

-In this game, Zelda starts out as a childhood friend of Link's -- and not royalty. "She's not a princess this time," Aonuma said, "which is something I'll pretty much have to put forth right now in order to talk about this title. She's a childhood friend, but she goes away in the midst of the game and it's Link's job to search for her."
...Nintendo's trolling me, right?
- The starting plot unfolds quite a bit differently from other Zeldas. "This game's plot is something like a school drama, you could say," Aonuma noted with a laugh. "The flying sequence at the E3 demo is Link competing against his classmates. One of them looks kind of a like a bad guy, as you saw, and he shows up in other ways in the game too, since he has a major thing for Zelda."
Yes, that's exactly what we need in Zelda, bad high-school drama ala Kingdom Hearts!

- Despite this, though, the game progresses in a somewhat similar fashion to a previous Zelda title. "The game starts in Skyloft, this city that's floating in the air, and you'll come back to this town multiple times," Aonuma said. "Things are always proceeding along in town, and in that respect it's very much like Majora's Mask. Like with Majora, there are a lot of game events involving the townspeople that get intertwined with the main story. Link, Zelda and their other friends all go to the same boarding school, and you've got teachers and a principal as well. It's a bit of a different setting from previous Zeldas."
 Um...almost all of that stuff in Majora's Mask was optional.(i.e. not part of the main story)  This sounds more like Wind Waker, or Twilight Princess, will all these stupid NPCs that nobody cares about.
- Aonuma's team is making a deliberate effort to give Link new items -- like the boomerang-beetle in the E3 demo -- early on in Skyward Sword. "With previous Zeldas," he said, "the common pattern was that the really neat items wouldn't show up until later on in the game. You need to have the basic item set or it wouldn't be Zelda, so the new items tended to get shunted to the latter part of the game. [Shigeru] Miyamoto said that had to change, like 'This is neat, let's bring it out from the start.' So a lot of neat new items will show up pretty early on."

- Is Skyloft the entire 'world' in this game? "Yes, it's only the people in Skyloft," Aonuma responded. "Nobody on there thinks anything of it, though, because living in Skyloft and flying around on birds is normal to them. They don't have any awareness of there being a mainland beneath the clouds and so forth -- that gets expanded upon once Zelda goes missing, and you get access to the areas under the clouds."
 So...It's like Final Fantasy III (not 6)? Or Baten Kaitos?
- Does everyone in Skyloft have their own personal avian transport? "It's the custom for each person to have one bird. Link has a red one, and it's actually a special and very rare breed of bird -- which is something that makes him get picked on, like 'Why do you get this fancy bird and we don't?!' But it turns out that you need that red bird in order to access the mainland. So the hand of fate gets involved here, like it always does in Zelda games sooner or later."
 Oh, poor picked-on Link, is this supposed to be meta or something?
- Ghiraham, the enemy Link fought in the E3 demo's boss battle, is definitely going to be an important character in Skyward Sword. "The demo shows when you first meet him, and plainly he's looking down at Link, stopping his sword with his fingers and so forth," Aonuma noted. "In terms of story image he's kind of like Dark Link [from Ocarina of Time]; he sees right through Link's moves in battle. You can sort of swing your sword wildly and still hold your own against a lot of foes, but there's no way you can beat Ghiraham like that. You need to keep your distance and watch his moves, and it's something you'll need to change your strategy for. I think he's a pretty good change of pace as bosses go, and he'll change gradually throughout the game."
 He's kind of like Dark Link? you beat him by not using Z-targeting?  And what does "in terms of story" mean, anyway?  Dark Link was just kind of...there.
"This game talks about the birth of the Master Sword, and it touches on why Ganondorf showed up. If you play it, I think you'll get some understanding on that. It connects to Ocarina, so if you play Ocarina of Time 3D and move on to this game, I think you'll catch on to a lot of things."
 "Please, play this other, better, game, first.  That way you can know what everyone else has for the past 13 years."
- How's development going along? "The whole game is complete, and we're fine-tuning the balance right now. We were going to have it wholly done by around E3, but there's so much volume to it, neither I nor Miyamoto have gotten to fully play out every aspect. The non-English localizations are proceeding along now, and we're trying to make this a simultaneous worldwide release. You have to put Zelda all out at once or else the story's going to get spoiled -- although, really, there's a ton to enjoy here even if you know a little about the story beforehand."
Oh, yes, this sounds like a fantastic story.  I wouldn't want it spoiled.

This makes absolutely no sense.  Why is it that Nintendo is so intent on changing absolutely everything about Zelda except for the one, small thing we want them to?  Not only that, why do they get to completely destroy the lore that's been set up?  I haven't seen such blatant mockery of the lore (and the fans) since Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and the Star Wars prequels.

I've finally figured out what Malstrom has known ever since Yoshi's Island, Nintendo has absolutely no intention of giving us the games that we want.  They insist on finding ways to buy the games that they want, and yet New Super Mario Brothers still manages to be in the top 40

I'm not going to get a true, spiritual sequel to Ocarina of Time, I'm not going to get a New! Legend of Zelda.  I'm not even going to get The Last Story.

Screw you, Nintendo.  I'll be giving my money to people who deserve it.  People who know how to listen to customers, like Blizzard.

Or maybe I'll just make the games you refuse to, and get your money.

Even More Zelda Without Zelda

I might do more of these if Nintendo's going to just do all the work for me.

 No Zelda to see here, move along.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Well, I've certainly been putting this off for a while. I have an announcement to make. I am making a video game! I've been working on it for a while, and it has mostly been in the concept stages, but I've finally started work on the game itself. This is all thanks to GameMaker, though ideally I would like to have my game (and future ones) programmed by themselves.

Regardless, it's started, and I plan to post my progress here (as well as versions of the game as they come.)  This is something new for me, so I don't know how well this will go.  I'm trying to at least get something done, and have a 'complete' game for an alpha version.

More details to come (tell your friends!)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Spoony's thoughts on Nintendo

I love watching videos at The Spoony Experiment, though due to his use of particular language, I can't in good conscience recommend it to anyone.

This video is great though, and I'm pretty sure it's clean to boot!

I really listened in when he was talking about Zelda and Nintendo in general (about 10 minutes in)

There's so much to love in what he says in only a few minutes. I love the way he talks about how the Zelda games feel like they're in parallel universes, about how they have such a great backlog of world and characters and yet always have to do something radically different. I love how he compares Ocarina of Time to steak and the later games as "steak and potatoes," "steak with garlic bread," and so on. He just really hits the nail on the head, and I had to stop myself from cheering out loud at one point.

Anyway, his videos are great, and if language isn't an issue, I'd say check his website out. He's got a fantastic set of videos.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Link to the Future!

I'm a fan of the Legend of Zelda series. Less so in recent years, but still. I'm also a fan of the Back to the Future series.

Naturally, I enjoyed this thoroughly.

Best. Crossover. Ever.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Nyan Cat



Oh, pachter...

Not everyone is convinced that a new Wii would even sell all that well if it did hit store shelves in 2011. In an interview with IndustryGamers earlier this year, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said that the chances of the Wii 2 succeeding after a late 2011 launch would be slim. One of the key additions would be HD suppport, which the Xbox 360 and PS3 have had since launch. Pachter sees Nintendo as jumping aboard that train much, much too late.

"I just think Nintendo's blown it; I think by the time they launch [their next console] if it's Christmas 2011, it's two years too late, and for sure one year too late," Pachter said in the interview. "So it's over--I don't think they can ever recover. Wii sales will continue to decline and I think Wii 2 will not sell well." (right at the end)

Given that history has shown Michael Pachter to say the complete opposite of the truth, the logical conclusion would be that Nintendo will not release a new console until at least next year, that they're right on time with releasing an HD console (or perhaps a year or two early), that Wii sales can expect a drastic turnaround, and that the Wii 2 (Project cafe) will sell fantastically.

At least he's not calling it a Wii HD.

Wii2/Project Cafe

What is Wii 2/Project Cafe? Here's a starter.

This is exactly what happened with the 3DS, Nintendo leaked information about a new console, it was showcased at the following E3, and came out the following year.  I expect something similar here.

Those who speculate a release for late this year are probably blind, stupid, misinterpreting the facts, misinformed, or purposefully misinforming. (I'll let you decide.)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Why you should play World of Warcraft

Now, I know that there are many, many negative things to say about World of Warcraft (WoW.) It's a time sink.  It will ruin your life.  It's addictive and you can't stop.  Now, I'm not going to argue against any of those things, since for the most part they can be true.  WoW is not a game that you want to play undisciplined.  You must have a strict regiment of how long you're going to play if you expect to get anything else done that day.

There's also a lot of good things to say about World of Warcraft.  It's a social experience.  It encourages people to work together and play with friends.  It's fun.  Now, while all of these are valid reasons to play, especially since the recent Cataclysm expansion has made things a lot better, there's one thing in particular that I think should be adressed.

You get to punch Deathwing in the Face.
Yes, that Deathwing.

In the Face!

Just like that.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Metal Man: Stage Select

For a change, today I can't think of anything in particular that inspired this song.

This is an interesting song.  I had thought while writing it that it would be Fire Hawk's theme, but when it ended up around 10 seconds long, I decided to use it for something else.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Metal Man bosses

I am working on a theme for the boss fights in Metal Man: Rock and Roll, but this is not it.  This is a list of the names I've decided on for the 8 bosses (and thus their level music.)

  • Aether Falcon
  • Tempest Triceratops
  • Rampage Rhinoceros
  • Flash Bat
  • Ion Butterfly
  • Thunder wolf
  • Turbo Squid
  • Fire Hawk
These are the ones that I thought best represented the 'feel' of names that I was going for.  I have several other names that I thought didn't have that same power to them, were too silly, or just not quite as good as these.

These include:
  • Quake Hippopotamus
  • Thunder Rhinoceros
  • Cyber Shark
  • Nuclear Gorilla
  • Saber Tiger
  • Alpine Yeti
I would like to see someone make Cyber Shark vs. Nuclear Gorilla, though.  It sounds like a great so-bad-it's-good movie.  (just don't let The Asylum have it. I think Dark Maze Studios would be a better pick.)

A Writing Exercise

So I'm a little behind the curve, but I've decided to do a writing exercise  suggested by Brandon Sanderson in which you write a story using only dialog, and no tags.  Mine's only half what he suggested (around 500 of 1000 words) but I feel it's good.  For now at least.
“Yes, what is it Jhonson?”
“Well, sir, there's this boy--”
“Ooh, another one claiming to be the legendary hero?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Well, show him in then.”
“He...He's not here, sir, he just left the village of Hearthglen.”
“Oh, well, get darkcharger ready, we can intercept him on the way to--”
“um, sir?”
“Yes, Jhonson?
“You need to get ready--”
“Ah, of course. How silly of me. Fetch my sword and armor. My best set, I want to make an impression, now.”
“I've already got some grogs on that, sir, but--”
“Excellent, I like your gumption Jhonson. I'm glad I decided not to--”
“Sir, it's--”
“Stop interrupting me Jhonson, that's getting annoyiong.”
“--It's the anniversary. Sir. You need to get ready.”
“Anniversary? That's today? No, no, the anniversary is next week, I'm sure of it.”
“It is, sir, but we need to leave today if we're going to get to Magatha's before--”
“I thought she was coming here.”
“That was last year, sir. It's your turn.”
“Last year? Well what was all that cleaning you had the grogs doing earlier, then?”
“It needed it sir.”
“Yes...yes, I suppose it did. What about Migrane? Is she ready yet?”
Morgan said to stop calling her that.”
“Oh, just ignore her, Jhonson.”
“She also said that she'll be ready 'as soon as these insufferable creatures fetch me proper shoes,' and that she hates you very much.”
“Oh, she's just upset because we have to go meet her mother. I can't say I blame her.”
“Sir, I don't think it's just--”
“Oh, not this again. Is she still upset about the tower?”
“Very. Sir, if I may...”
“You may not.”
“...Maybe it would be better to let her out more than once or twice a year?
“I've told you Jhonson...”
“I mean, she is your wife and all...”
“You've been listening to her again, haven't you Jhonson?”
“Well, sir, she--”
“Enough! That Insufferable Woman; I give her the world, I let her have anything she wishes and all the time in which to do it, and she still does nothing but complain that I keep her locked up in that tower.”
“If you'd just--”
“Do you have any idea what it would be like if I let her loose? That woman would have all my grogs, my entire empire slaving away to make her a dress! 'What's the point in being an empress if you can't look the part?' bah! Enough of her, bring her up again and I'll have you fed to the dragon.”
“Yes, sir.”
“Now was there anything else, Jhonson?”
“Well, sir, there is still the matter of the boy.”
“Oh, just send a few dozen grogs to deal with him. If he's still alive when we get back I'll deal with him myself. Yorg knows I need something to look forward to.”
“Yes, sir.”

The 'dark overlord' character is definitely inspired by Count Vile of Press Start, and I see his mannerisms in my head.  I'm curious how just this dialogue reads to someone who doesn't have the picture in their head, though.

And yes, I'm actually putting writing up here. I'm not sure what to do.

Friday, March 4, 2011

More Zelda without Zelda

This time Wind Waker gets the treatment


Malstrom answered my email!

Zelda is a little more absurd as the fans will buy a Zelda, be very unhappy with it, and say to themselves, “This is an outlier. The next Zelda will be as amazing as Ocarina of Time / Link to the Past /Zelda I and II/ etc.” After the next bad Zelda, they say the same thing. And the cycle goes on and on. If anything is going to change in Zelda, this cycle must end.
  I can't emphasize enough how true this is.  I assume this is what Highlander fans feel like.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Zelda without Zelda

Spirit Tracks is not a Zelda game, and I have proof.

Can someone please tell me what part of this says "Legend of Zelda?"

How about this one?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Metal Man: Tempest Triceratops

The level music for Tempest Triceratops, as inspired by Megaman X's stage clear.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

WARNING: Your head may explode

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda, an artist known as Ag+ created this little (heh) picture. (not for the faint of bandwidth)
The most amazing Zelda art ever.

I have 2 questions:
1)Where do I get this as a poster?
2)When is Nintendo hiring this guy as an art director?

It is also worth noting that this is a looping picture.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Metal Man: Title Screen

The title screen music for Metal Man: Rock & Roll as inspired by Spark Mandrill

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Aether Falcon

I've mentioned in a previous post Metal Man: Rock and Roll, and have just now figured out how to post music to my blog!  I apologize for the extreme delay, but I now present to you the first of my songs: Aether Falcon, as inspired by Megaman X's Storm Eagle.

(concept art will be up shortly)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

By the way...

This was one of the trailers before TRON.

I have to see this movie.  The fact that the Asylum didn't make it is always a good sign.

Not tron, but still awesome

If you've cared enough to read past my review-in-a-title, then I congratulate you, dear sir or madam.

I want to make this perfectly clear to anyone who hasn't seen this movie yet: this movie is not TRON.  It's got a lot of the same things in common (and technically counts as a sequel) but it might as well be a completely different movie.  It has a different feel, and probably the only emotion that will come from fans of the old  movie will be fanboy rage.

Now that I've established that, this movie is awesome.  It's an 80s style sci-fi movie with an excellent soundtrack.  It also rips off movies left and right in a way that rivals World of Warcraft.  In this movie I noticed elements of:

-Star Wars
-5th element
-David bowie

And that's just a few off the top of my head.  There are quite a few moments that had me and my brother laughing, but I hesitate to call them unintentionally hilarious.  The more I think about them, there's no way it's unintentional.

If you want a good 80s style sci-fi flick that you can just sit back and enjoy, this is a movie for you.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I see...

They call it "Power Metal."

Blind guardian takes its lyrics from fantasy books like The Wheel of Time, The Lord of the Rings, The Song of Fire and Ice, and Dragonlance.