What other Zelda games should I play?

Breath of the Wild has ignited an interest in Zelda games that no other game has been able to do. As I’ve said before, my first experience with Zelda came from renting Ocarina of Time as a pre-teen and being completely confused about what I was supposed to be doing. Even then, part of me was mesmerized by the art and music, and I enjoyed running around the world so much that I rented it twice and just poked around in other people’s saves, not really getting anywhere in the game.

I tried to go back to Ocarina of Time once or twice in recent years, and but I ultimately got put off by the clunky feeling controls and my inability to competently fight off most enemies. I also didn’t have the patience to try to figure out what exactly I was supposed to be doing as the game didn’t make it very clear (yet unlike Breath of the Wild there are many roadblocks preventing you from doing anything you want at any time).

Now, however, I’m interested in checking out a few of the other Zelda games. I don’t really want to try out Majora’s Mask as it seems too much like Ocarina, which, unlike a majority of gamers, I’m just not into. Instead, I’m somewhat curious about Windwaker and Twilight Princess. I figure these games could allow me to get some more use out of my Wii U after I finish Breath of the Wild, and I’ll be able to see how the series has matured into its more modern state.

Windwaker HD sure looks pretty

Which game do you think I should start with after Breath of the Wild? Which is the most accessible? I understand the recent games are often looked down upon, but part of me wonders if the negative perception is more from fans of the series and could easily be looked past from an outsider like me.

Should I dive into Zelda’s past, or will playing anything after Breath of the Wild only disappoint?

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Pokemon X: Finally finished Santalune City gym

Santalune City gym

So last night I finally made it to the first gym in Pokemon X, the Santalune City gym led by Viola. I’ve played the game very little since Vanessa got me a 2DS for Christmas this year, but I’ve been curious about the appeal of Pokemon.

The only other Pokemon game I’ve played is Pokemon Red, back in middle school when I played on an original Game Boy with no color. I remember enjoying the game, however I would often get lost and have no clue where I was supposed to go (especially after not playing for awhile) and at one point I got stuck and never returned to the game.

I jumped into Pokemon X last December and began exploring the world, slowly leveling up my various Pokemon. I not only played the game casually (two hours over six months) but also inattentively. I know very little about the Pokemon universe and have little patience to learn how to efficiently play the game. I honestly barely know what the different abilities do, and it often seems like in each fight I’m just going through the motions without much thought.

As I approached the first Pokemon gym I expected to be met with a challenge.

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The puzzle like navigation over the spider web was interesting, and certainly different from how I remember the Pokemon gyms being. It seemed cool at first, but overall I think navigating the web just ended up being a hassle.

Pokemon X screenshot

I made the mistake of not healing my Pokemon before entering the gym (I didn’t realize they were hurt as the last time I played was months ago) and I thought this might doom me. However, I made it through the first battle without any trouble and used some potions to heal up the rest of my Pokemon (minus Pidgey of course. Poor Pidgey!). I then finished out the gym quite easily and Weedle and Caterpie evolved along the way.

I’m sure there will be more challenges to come and I’m hoping I can get myself more into the game. I have a long bus trip coming up next week so hopefully I’ll make some progress during that.

Do you have any advice for a Pokemon newbie? Is Pokemon X a good entry point into the series?

A look at the newer 3DS Streetpass features

Not too long ago Nintendo rolled out some new content for 3DS streetpass users to enjoy. Streetpass is one of my favorite features on the 3DS (or 2DS in my case) so I was pretty excited to check out the new features.

First up is a $4.99 upgrade that adds a couple of features to the streetpass experience.

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The upgrade allows you to collect the birthdays of the Mii’s you meet via streetpass (in the form of month and day only). When you great Mii’s at your Plaza Gate they’ll now mention their birthday (if they’re sharing that information) and you’re challenged to collect a birthday for every day of the year. At first look this seemed pretty cool, as I thought it would be interesting to learn more about the people I StreetPass with. It would be interesting if the year were included to get an idea of the age variation of all the Mii’s you’ve collected, but I can’t imagine Nintendo including such a feature.

For your $5 what else do you get? Well you can now hold the shoulder button to make Mii’s move faster at the start of StreetPass games, and you can permanently save Mii’s to your VIP room if you want them to stick around forever. Ultimately the $5 purchase isn’t really worth it, unfortunately I got excited and bought it before realizing it wasn’t valuable. I honestly believe Nintendo should’ve included this updated functionality for free and I’m quite puzzled as to why they decided to charge for something that is equivalent to a patch.

battleground z, ultimate angler

Nintendo also introduced two new premium StreetPass games: Battleground Z and Ultimate Angler. They’re $4.99 each or $7.99 if purchased together. Since I enjoy fooling around with StreetPass I ended up buying them together.

The first thing I can say is that both of these games are much more time consuming than Find Mii or Puzzle Swap. So far that’s not necessarily a terrible thing, but I could see the tasks getting tedious in the long run.

In Battleground Z you collect Mii’s who are equipped with a weapon based on their interests (for example a Mii that enjoys playing video games wields a Wii controller as a weapon). You’ll then be tasked with defending an area from a zombie invasion. You’ll be able to find the Mii’s you’ve StreetPassed hanging around and they’ll either join you or give you their weapon to use. Each of the weapons functions differently, however I haven’t yet really needed to collect more than one weapon to finish a task.

battleground z 3ds

I’ve had a decent amount of fun with Battleground Z and I like how it populates leaderboards with those you’ve StreetPassed. I’m not sure how enjoyable the game will be in the long run, but for now it’s not bad.

Ultimate Angler is also a little more demanding if your attention than the other StreetPass games. You’ll collect bait from Mii’s you StreetPass and are tasked with catching certain fish in a given area. Each type of fish is attracted to a different type of bait and you can mix baits to create advanced baits that will attract larger fish.

ultimate angler 3ds bait

ultimate angler 3ds

You cast your line and wait for a fish to bite and you’ll then have to hook it and reel it in. You can reel with the touch screen or by cycling the analog stick (I find the latter to be much easier) and the difficulty of the process will depend on the size of the fish. You generally want to let the line run when the fish is fighting and reel when the fish is resting. If you reel too hard your line can break, however if you’re not making enough progress the fish will escape.

ultimate angler 3ds

Ultimate Angler has also been somewhat enjoyable, but it is quite repetitive and I’m not sure if I’ll end up playing it too much longer.

ultimate angler 3ds

ultimate angler 3ds

Have you checked out the new 3DS StreetPass games? What do you think of them?

 

I’m still alive, I promise! (Persona 4, Shin Megami Tensei IV and more!)

Hey there, haven’t posted a whole lot lately and just wanted to apologize for that. It’s been a busy week and I’ve been getting dragged into a Persona 4 wormhole of sorts lately. I’m enjoying the game a lot on the Playstation TV and have probably spent more time playing it after work than I should.

teddie angry persona 4

I love Teddie’s facial expressions!

I am a bit sad that Persona 4 feels like it’s slowing down a bit now that the game is starting to open up. I miss the fast pace and voice acting of the first few hours. Now all of a sudden most of the dialogue is no longer voice acted and there’s not a whole lot going on. Trying to figure out what to do after school hasn’t really been appealing. I’ve just been doing the first thing available and skipping through dialogue hoping for something cool to happen soon.

I haven’t played any Dying Light since getting sucked into Persona 4, but I hope to spend more time with it this weekend. I’ve played a little Shin Megami Tensei IV and have made some slight progress, but I feel like the game has started to slow down now that I’m in Tokyo and I’m finding it difficult to stay interested.

shin megami tensei iv angel transform

I have had The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds sitting around for a few weeks and haven’t gotten around to trying it out yet. I also have barely put any time into Fantasy Life, and my town in Animal Crossing is probably burning to the ground right about now.

drinking surge

Consuming Surge and playing Persona 4 has pretty much been my after work routine this week.

There’s been just so much going on and not enough time to get into any of it (besides Persona) lately. I’m taking three weeks of leave starting on February 28th so hopefully I’ll have some time to make some progress on a whole list of things (I really should finish Dragon Age!).

Hopefully I’ll be able to post a few things this weekend! Don’t hate me, okay?

See you soon!

Teddie fo sho persona 4

 

Medusa, I will defeat you (one day). Shin Megami Tensei IV

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So a few nights ago I hit my first roadblock in Shin Megami Tensei IV, in the form of the Medusa boss battle. Up until that point I had been cruising along, never facing any particularly challenging moments. I was enjoying the progression of the story and the flow of the gameplay, when all of a sudden the cruel and monstrous Medusa showed up and stopped me in my tracks.

The fight felt like it was going well, until the first dialogue choice came about. Medusa asked my opinion of her statues and I said that they were ugly….Oops! This enraged her, thus increasing her attack power and she wiped out my entire party on the very next turn. Not cool.

So I walked myself out of Hades, determined to put an end to Medusa’s treachery. The next battle went about as smoothly as the first, and when presented with a dialogue option, this time I praised her statues which in turn lowered her attack power. “Hooray!” I thought, this is going to be easy now.

Not so much. I made it to the second dialogue exchange, which from what I understand marks the 2/3 point of the fight (or at least 2 out of the 3 dialogue exchanges) but soon after my character was killed which left me unable to swap my creatures out for fresh ones and also left me unable to use items to heal them. I wiped again.

I tried the fight two or three more times with no success, and decided it was time to grind. I brought all my creatures up an additional two levels (to the 12-13 level range) but fared no better in the fight. So I went back to the grind and got my Gremlin to transform into a level 18 Raiju once it hit 14. I’m hoping this will give me an edge when I return to Medusa’s chamber again later tonight and finally attempt to finish her off. Wish me luck!

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I apologize for the glare, was grinding away in my car earlier as I had some downtime and it was bright outside.

 

Looking forward to checking out Fantasy Life on 3DS

Fantasy Life cover

I finally picked up Fantasy Life today and I’m quite excited to dig into it sometime this weekend. I don’t know a whole lot about it, but I’ve heard that a lot of players who enjoy Animal Crossing also enjoy Fantasy Life, and I’ve heard it described as an Animal Crossing – RPG mix, which sounds appealing. It looks rather light hearted and seems like something I’ll enjoy while taking a break from Shin Megami Tensei IV (which I’m enjoying quite a bit right now!).

I set up my character and chose the Paladin life, but I haven’t left my character’s house yet. Looking forward to stepping out into the world! If you have any advice for a beginner, please feel free to leave it in the comments!

Fantasy Life back

Did you get all that? –Shin Megami Tensei IV

Did you get all that?

I don’t know what made me want to check out Shin Megami Tensei IV. I’ve never understood the appeal of anime and most of the time try to avoid everything that comes out of Japan like it’s the plague. There’s just a weirdness about most Japanese things that I can never wrap my head around.

Yet here I was last night playing one of the most strange and absurd video games I’d ever come across. I had never even heard of Atlus, the company behind the game. Heck I’d only heard the name spoken once before, and that was while listening to a Joystiq podcast in which one of the podcasters spoke of Persona Q (I think), and games with such weird titles as Etrian Odyssey and Shin Megami Tensei came up in the conversation. Maybe that planted a seed of curiosity?

Somehow or other, Shin Megami Tensei IV made its way into my GameFly Queue and recently arrived in my mailbox. I started playing it, and as much as I detest anime I felt a drive to see what the game was all about. It certainly starts off in a strange manner. Heck, I think the Final Fantasy games rest just barely over an acceptable level of weirdness, so the dialogue and scenes early in Shin Megami Tensei IV definitely rest below my usual tolerance level.

Eyepatched Man

After an hour or so of gameplay, I’m still not quite sure what to think of the game. I think the travel system is a little weird (where you just select a destination from a list and magically teleport there), but I guess there’s a simplicity to it that may actually be appealing. The enemies I’ve encountered in the initiation cave were certainly interesting and the ability to have conversations with the enemies is appealing and entertaining (though the dialogue is off the wall strange).

The game feels like a mix between Pokemon and Final Fantasy which feels a little familiar while also intriguing. Collecting demons to fight alongside you feels fun so far, and I’m interested to see what other types of enemies I’ll stumble across as I progress. I have to admit I’m not very good at video games in general, so after I died a few times I was happy to be presented with the option to lower the difficulty (otherwise I probably would have already given up).

If there’s one major downside to the game so far, it’s Burroughs character / AI / whatever it is. Over and over and over again you’re presented with the same, annoying “Did you get all that?” after every explanation / tutorial item. I’m not sure whether it’s some sort of inside joke, but if not it’s incredibly annoying and downright lazy to repeat the same line so many times.

I’m hoping I can continue to enjoy the game, though I’m a little worried it’ll start to get more complex and I wont have the patience to try to understand everything. Until then I’ll keep chugging along.