Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Superstar Saga DX Apparently Leaked

Hey, dudes! Sorry for my elongated absence, I've been a little busy with school and such, and I've also been lacking things to talk about.
However, recently, a dataminer by the name of SciresM found eShop data for a mysterious little game called Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga DX, alongside Ever Oasis. The dataminer even found icons for the two. Since Ever Oasis is already a confirmed game, it's actually rather likely that SSDX might be a reality.
The Mario and Luigi series is a highly entertaining and enjoyable RPG starring the two plumber bros and their comedic adventures, and it kicked off with Superstar Saga on the GBA. While a solid game as it is, a remake would not only make it accessible to more people, but it can also polish the game off and make it better. One can only hope that the remake keeps the simplicity and comedy of the original.
Rumours have surfaced before about many other different games and such, but they've all been false. However, there's a surprising amount of evidence to suggest SSDX may be a reality. For example, as stated earlier, it was found within the data of the eShop alongside an existing game, and it even had an icon to go with it. There's other bits and pieces too, such as people from Kotaku who found the same Ever Oasis icon as shown in the tweet on the home menu of a display 2DS XL at an expo, meaning that the SSDX icon could be real. Also, in recent Mario and Luigi games, various elements have been borrowed from Superstar Saga (Popple and other Beanish people appearing in Dream Team Bros, as well as Hooskis, who are based off the Hoohooligans from SS, and the battle theme from the game appearing in Paper Jam Bros, albeit before Paper Mario is added to the party).

All in all, there's a lot of speculation and hope in the air, and all we can do is wait for E3 and see if Nintendo announces this.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

The NES Classic Edition - My Thoughts

Hello after a long time, everyone!

Sorry for my elongated absence. I haven't gone anywhere, I've just been out of things to talk about. However, recently, Nintendo has announced that they're going to release the "NES Classic Edition", and when I saw it, I instantly fell in love.
Look at this. It's beautiful.
Being on the younger side, I've never been able to truly experience the beauty of classic consoles such as the NES (which isn't really a good thing, considering I'm a HUGE fan of classic games). I've always had to resort to emulators and the Virtual Console on my 3DS. When this releases in November, however, I will finally be able to play the classics in their true form, as they were meant to be played. It's not the original system, but it's about as close as I'll get to owning an NES, or any retro gaming console in general.

The NES Classic Edition comes with one controller (more will be available for purchase) and 30 games, which is pretty darn good, because it means that when the console is bought, games will not have to be purchased for it. It comes with updated cables for today's modern televisions, which is a lifesaver considering that the real cables of the NES were only really good for the TVs at the time. Also, the NES Classic Edition will have "suspend points", which means that the next time you start the game, you won't need to mess around with passwords. The controllers of the NES Classic Edition will be able to connect to Wii Remotes, so they can be used as Classic Controllers for Virtual Console games on the Wii and Wii U.

When I look at this console and its 30 games, I can't help but think of that SEGA Mega Drive that was released a while back, since they're both retro consoles bundled with classic games, although the games bundled with the NES Classic Edition are almost all of the well-known titles that many people grew up with, as opposed to having some of the rather obscure titles of the system, like the 80-game Mega Drive.
Sadly, it's missing Sonic the Hedgehog 3, but hey, we're not COMPLETELY deprived of Sonic. Also, it's got cartridge functionality, so you can still play it if you have the cartridge for it.
The only issue I can think of with this "new" console is that it doesn't look like it will be able to take any more games than the 30 it already has (like how the Mega Drive shown above has a cartridge slot), but we never know, there could be something to change that.

In short, I'm all for the NES Classic Edition. I don't think it's some uncreative money-grab by Nintendo, but I actually think it could be a good way to introduce younger gamers to the traditional Nintendo games that made them so great, and a good way for anyone to play classic Nintendo games without going through emulator installations or eBay purchases. Who knows, we might even get an SNES Classic Edition! Wild speculation, of course, but one can always dream, can't they?

Goodbye for now!
~ SGoM

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

(LATE) STAGE SUNDAY: EarthBound - Moonside

MINOR SPOILERS - Enter with caution, if you're looking to avoid EarthBound spoilers. Also, there is a PRETTY BIG SPOILER for Link's Awakening lurking around in this post.

Greetings!

First off, allow me to apologise for missing Stage Sunday. I was kind of busy, and I missed it. But here I am again, with that Stage Sunday, although very late.

EarthBound is a game about a kid named Ness going on a quest to gather two other kids and a prince who unite to stop an alien force. One of the game's locations is Moonside, which is sort of like a darker version of the town of Fourside, accessed by checking one corner of the cafe in Fourside. You might notice that this town is where the last part of my name came from.
The Moonside version of the cafe.
Moonside is filled with all sorts of weird-looking enemies, including abstract artworks, "Dali's Clocks", which resemble the melting clocks from some of Salvador Dali's artworks, gas pumps and rampant fire hydrants. The people here aren't any better, as they flip around the meanings of "Yes" and "No" for the entire area, meaning that one always means the opposite of the other.
An example of the oddities that occur in Moonside.
Located around the town are people that look a lot like Lt. Surge from the Pokemon series that teleport you around the area. This is the only way to access certain points in the town, including the Monotoli Building, where the Evil Mani Mani Statue resides, waiting to be defeated. Defeating the Mani Mani Statue is the only way to escape Moonside, which is similar to how Link escapes from Koholint Island in Link's Awakening.
Because there's a "good" Mani Mani waiting to be found somewhere?
There is this invisible border located around the Monotoli Building of Moonside that you're unable to really pass until you find an "invisible" man (who's said to have a gold tooth) and take him to his friend next to the right-hand side of the Monotoli Building (in the Japanese version, they leave to have alcohol).
STAHP RIGHT THERE
The music for Moonside seems to have been sampled from "Keep on Laughing" by Ric Ocasek. This isn't the only case of sampled music being in EarthBound, as there are many other instances of this, and other general musical similarities, such as Onett's Arcade having some of its background music from the arcade game Xevious.
XeviantArt?
I don't have too many strange experiences with this stage, but I thought I'd cover it for Stage Sunday because I just find it really interesting. So that's about it, but keep checking back for more posts and hopefully, Stage Sunday will come on Sunday. For now, though, bye!

Sunday, 29 May 2016

My Top 5 Least Favourite Stars in Super Mario 64

Hello, all! I apologise for my lack of posts lately, so here's a slightly lengthy one to make up for it.

Ahh, Super Mario 64. One of my all-time favourite video games. But there's some stars that aren't what you'd exactly call "fun". So here, I'll be listing 5 of my least favourite stars to get in Super Mario 64, in no particular order. I'm not including any 100-coin stars, because it's pretty obvious that people don't like the 100-coin stars, and I'm also not including any extra stars that were added in Super Mario 64 DS. Also, keep in mind that this is my opinion.

5)
Name: Chests in the Current
Stage: Dire, Dire Docks
Reason for Dislike: The underwater controls in Super Mario 64 aren't really the best, especially when you need to make sharp turns to get to the front of the chests when you accidentally approach them from the back. This is one of the main reasons I really don't like Chests in the Current. I know the simplest solution is to make a large U-turn to reach the front of the chest, but that's not exactly the easiest thing to do when there's a huge whirlpool smack in the middle of the area, with one of the chests being right next to the thing. Also, the chests must be opened in a specific order, which I can understand being easy for people who've played the game twenty times over, but I'm not one of those people.
Approaching the chest from behind? Bad luck...
4)
Name: Tower of the Wing Cap
Stage: Castle Secret Star
Reason for Dislike: When you enter the stage, make sure you follow the spiral of coins that leads you to each pair of Red Coins. If you miss even one of the first six Red Coins, you might as well just ground-pound to your death, since once you lower, it's extremely difficult to regain altitude, especially in the time limit of the Wing Cap.
Nice job with the altitude there.
3)
Name: Elevate for 8 Red Coins
Stage: Hazy Maze Cave
Reason for Dislike: The Red Coins in Hazy Maze Cave are all in one room. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. Unless you're a super expert at this game, moving the platform to get the first four Red Coins is a nightmare. Falling off the platform is a guaranteed thing, as you accidentally run too far off of the platform, or slide off of it when it crashes, or any of those things. When you're attempting to grab the Red Coins in the higher portion of the room, it's pretty bad, too. The platforms are really narrow, leading to you falling off of the platform a lot. In short, getting the coins in this room means a lot of falling.
See that Mr. I over there? Enough said.
2)
Name: Mystery of the Monkey Cage
Stage: Tall, Tall Mountain
Reason for Dislike: Imagine the secret stars obtained by catching MIPS the Rabbit in the basement. Now imagine having to catch something more obnoxious, and having to do it with death lurking all around you. That's how it feels to have to catch the monkey on top of the mountain in this star. It jumps over you, it runs around, and you can't really dive, since there's a likely chance of accidentally flinging yourself all the way down the mountain. In fact, I only ended up catching it when it got itself stuck in a wall and stopped running around.
All I can say is, at least it doesn't steal your hat when you pick it up.
1)
Name: Snowman's Lost his Head
Stage: Cool, Cool Mountain
Reason for Dislike: When you initiate the conversation with the Snowman's body, it immediately sets off, leaving you to trail behind it, in an attempt to overtake it. The problem is, you HAVE to be in front of it, so you can guide it to the Snowman, because if you're not, it rolls straight past the Snowman and plummets off the stage. It's not exactly made any easier with the fact that you can't take any shortcuts when guiding the snowball down the mountainside.
It begins.
That's about it for now, but before I go, allow me to make a few honourable mentions.

Honourable Mentions: In the Talons of the Big Bird, Bully the Bullies, Coins Amassed in a Maze.

Remember, this list wasn't in any particular order.


See you all later, and check back here for today's Stage Sunday!

Sunday, 22 May 2016

STAGE SUNDAY: Sonic 3 & Knuckles - Ice Cap Zone, Act 1

Hello!

Yes, I'm not dead, I was just away for a while, doing assignments and homework. And playing Rollercoaster Tycoon 2.

But that's not what I'm here to talk about today. Last Stage Sunday, we took a short look at a dark, spooky place from Ocarina of Time, and at the end, I mentioned that the next one will be a snowy level from a game split into two. And here it is!
All the cool kids are snowboarding down hills.
This level is fast-paced, like a Sonic level should be, although there are one or two bits where you have to wait around, but then again, a lot of classic Sonic stages do that. The stage begins with Sonic snowboarding down a large hill before colliding with a wall at the end of the slope and falling into a cave (or, in the Knuckles route, you simply enter the main cave from a tunnel). From there, it's pretty standard Sonic stuff, until about halfway through, where there's a large chunk of ice that slides infinitely downwards until you jump off at the right spot. Then, it's more standard platforming, until you reach the boss, which is Big Icedus, a spherical contraption with ice chunks orbiting it.
The three dots near the top of Big Icedus make it look like a fat, robot Shy Guy.
Then, the stage ends. Something interesting to note is that if you touch the checkpoint before Big Icedus, die, and continue the level, the game starts playing Act 2's music instead of Act 1. This is due to the game loading all the necessary assets for the exterior section of Ice Cap, and Act 2 mostly takes place on the exterior.

Ice Cap also made an appearance as a Sonic Drift 2 stage and more notably in Sonic Adventure, where snowboarding was also involved.

I don't have many noteworthy experiences with this zone in particular, but I will mention that the PC version (yes, there was a PC version of S3&K) changed the music for a few zones in the game, including this one, due to some controversy surrounding the music and Michael Jackson.

That's about it from me about this level, but don't forget to check back for more Stage Sundays, and more posts in general. The next Stage Sunday will be a trippy, confusing place from an SNES RPG.

Goodbye, and stay tuned for more!

Monday, 16 May 2016

SNES Virtual Console Games being New 3DS Exclusive: My Thoughts

Hello, once again!

For a while now, the 3DS e-Shop has gained SNES titles! When I'd first heard this, I was absolutely ecstatic. However, disaster struck. I continued reading the email I had received and when it said it was New 3DS exclusive, I was kind of crushed, more so when I found out that EarthBound, one of my favourite SNES titles, was a "launch title" of sorts for the SNES Virtual Console releases. I only have an original blue 3DS, which means I have to stick with NES and Game Boy/Game Boy Colour games for some retro gaming action. At least Nintendo released the three classic Pokemon games, which means I'm not completely sapped of a new retro game to play. I know I can still emulate SNES games, which I occasionally do, but it's always nice to have a semi-legitimate copy, especially a portable one.

Now, the main issue here is that Nintendo has said that they only made SNES titles exclusive to the New 3DS Virtual Console due to the fact that the older 3DS's hardware wasn't up to their standard for running the SNES games. What confuses me here is that Nintendo has still released Hyrule Warriors Legends as a game that can be played on the normal 3DS, even though the framerate gets cut down greatly when it's played on the original model. You'd think that Nintendo has guidelines for that, but apparently not.

This was an interesting experience. I haven't tried making a (semi) rant before. Well, that's about all I want to say, so stay tuned for more posts of mine. Hopefully, the next post will be a bit more light-hearted. For now, goodbye!

Sunday, 15 May 2016

STAGE SUNDAYS: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Bottom of the Well

MINOR SPOILERS

Ah, Ocarina of Time. I've only completed the game once, a few years ago, on the 3DS version. There was one area, specifically, that I tried my best to rush through as quickly as I could, and not for speedrunning purposes. That area was the Bottom of the Well. See, back then, I found this dungeon and the Shadow Temple quite scary, and the music, torture devices, bloody walls and enemies did not help at all. I feel like the scariness factor was toned down but raised at the same time in the 3DS version, because the wall blood is way lighter, but the updated graphics just improve upon the overall creepiness.
I mean, just look at this place. It's creepy.
Now, let's talk about the dungeon itself. It's normally accessed when the player plays the Song of Storms for Guru-Guru in the Kakariko Windmill as Child Link, emptying out the Well and enabling access to its depths. And what lies there... is pure nightmare fuel. All over the place, there's blood and bones, and the whole place looks like some underground torture chamber (don't forget that huge X-shaped device in the middle of one of the rooms), and it probably is, considering that the Shadow Temple is, too. The music doesn't lighten the mood one bit, but it definitely isn't the scariest part of the whole experience. The key item for this dungeon is the Lens of Truth, which means it's probably not necessary to enter this area at all, if you've memorised the entire Shadow Temple, where it's mainly used.

I remember my first time in here. I'd actually watched the Sheikah Stone vision multiple times to make sure there weren't any ReDeads or Gibdos on the way to the Dead Hand fight, and luckily, there weren't, which meant I was able to run straight to Dead Hand, kill it, pick up the Lens of Truth and get the heck out of there. But that was before I saw the Master Quest version. The original location of the Lens of Truth was moved to the very last floor, which is arguably one of the creepiest features of this dungeon. It's home to a huge pit of acid, many ReDeads and multiple pairs of hands extending from the acid pit.
Rated E for Everyone...
You bet, Nintendo.
And the worst part? In the Master Quest, the Lens of Truth was moved to the very back of a large group of ReDeads. Hope you picked up the Sun's Song!

These days, I'm able to run down to the Bottom of the Well and have a jolly old time, mostly because Majora's Mask (the 3DS version, again, is the only version I finished) completely vanquished my fears of ReDeads and Gibdos. I mean, just look at them dance!
How can anyone be afraid of this?
That about wraps up today's Stage Sunday, but stay tuned for next week, where I'll be taking a look at a more light-hearted stage! HINT: It's snowy, and it's from a game that's split in two.
And don't forget to check back for more posts in general, where I ramble about other stuff!

Well, looks like I'll be seeing you all next time. Bye!