Friday, February 24, 2017

Zeldapalooza Day 3

Today marks officially one week away from the launch of the Nintendo Switch and Zelda: Breath of the Wild. So today, to celebrate, I will be recounting my favorite dungeons of the Legend of Zelda series. This list was very difficult to make, so I expanded it to top five instead of top three.

Honorable Mentions:

Arbiter's Grounds (Twilight Princess)
Lanayru Mining Facility (Skyward Sword)
Snowpeak Ruins (Twilight Princess)

5. Sandship (Skyward Sword)

This dungeon and Lanayru Mining Facility alike I was a huge fan of because of their time shifting mechanic that allowed Link to manipulate the landscape and solve puzzles both in the present and in the distant past. Sandship takes the cake over Lanayru Facility though because of the sheer wackiness of this dungeon. Link is sailing on a small boat searching for this ship when he must shoot it with a cannon to make it visible. From there he boards the ship and uses time shifts to solve the various puzzles and eventually fights a gigantic gorgon-esque beast while the sandship sails on violent seas.

4. Earth Temple (Wind Waker)

A rather unique dungeon in the series in the sense that it is traversed with a partner: Medli, a small Rito girl who plays the harp and will fly Link short distances. The bulk of the temple's puzzles rely on reflecting light in the right way to open doors and disintegrate objects in Link's path. Although most "escort missions" get annoying, this temple is done right and is an overall enjoyable and fun experience.

3. Stone Tower (Majora's Mask)

A fine culmination of most everything Majora's Mask had to offer. A very challenging dungeon that manages to incorporate Link's different masks in fun yet difficult puzzles. As it is the final dungeon of the game, of course there is a twist. After Link has traversed through what he believes to be the whole dungeon, the Stone Tower flips and Link now must solve the rest of the dungeon upside down. This new take on the same dungeon offers a surprising amount of new puzzles while maintaining the same feel and mood of the dungeon.

2. Shadow Temple (Ocarina of Time)

The Shadow Temple stands out to me for a few reasons, one of which is the reliance on the Lens of Truth to seek out invisible floors and distinguish fake walls from the real ones. Another reason this temple is so well remembered and cherished is because of the disturbing ReDead that infest its hallways. These characters are remarked as some of the most disturbing and freakish characters in the whole Zelda franchise. The boss of the temple, Bongo Bongo, is a fitting end to the temple and is a neat boss to fight in of itself.

1. Ancient Cistern (Skyward Sword)

Skyward Sword, in my opinion, had the best overall dungeons, and the peak of the dungeons in the Zelda series for me is Ancient Cistern. Everything about this place is incredibly well done. The entry floor is a beautiful Buddhist-inspired level. A large head sits in the middle of the room and several lily pads are scattered throughout the water. After solving the top floors puzzles, you descend into the bottom of the Ancient Cistern. This is where the dungeon receives its praise. The lower floor is a stark contrast to the upper floor, with nasty water flowing through the floor and cursed bokoblinks roaming around, this contrast is so well done that the two appear to be of two completely separate dungeons. And, to wrap it all up, the boss of Ancient Cistern is oft the receiver of high praise as well: Koloktos. But you'll hear more about him next time.

Dungeons in Breath of the Wild

Dungeons in Breath of the Wild are in two categories: dungeons and shrines. Shrines are the smaller puzzles scattered throughout the over world which will range in difficulty and time to complete. As for dungeons, it has been all but confirmed that the four Sheikah Divine Beasts will also be the only four dungeons in the game. Nintendo has confirmed that dungeons in Breath of the Wild will be shorter and more straightforward that recent games. This is a bit of a disappointment to me, but I'm sure they will turn out just fine.

Next time we'll go over my favorite bosses of the Legend of Zelda franchise, and spoiler, I've already mentioned one. Until next time, kcduckling out.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Zeldapalooza Day 2

Heyheyhey it's only eight days away from the release of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild so here I am again to continue the Zelda festivities. Today's featured list is for my favorite characters of the franchise. Just a quick note before beginning: this was a very difficult list to make because I had to decide what characters were and were not allowed on the list. Obviously, Link and Zelda and Ganon are all such well-known and awesome characters but I made the decision to exclude them from the list because I wanted to focus on the smaller characters.

Honorable Mentions:


3. Happy Mask Salesman

Is it wrong to put the happy mask salesman ahead of Midna on this list? Kind of. But the happy mask salesman is such a memorable character mostly because of how unnerving he is. He is most well known for his role in Majora's Mask and Ocarina of Time, giving Link various masks for his adventure, seemingly a happy fellow he will go berserk if you upset him. I mean, look at this face and tell me you won't be seeing this in your sleep tonight:

2. Linebeck

Linebeck is the self-centered, greedy, arrogant asshole who Link travels with in Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. Linebeck is a treasure hunter who travels the sea on his ship, the SS Linebeck. Throughout the adventure, Linebeck remains behind on every island Link goes to, coming up with various different excuses as to why he cannot help Link. However, by the end of the journey, Linebeck has showed that he is a changed man and he eventually overcomes his greedy nature to help Link. Linebeck's legacy lives on in Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, where Link gets to meet Linebeck III.

1. Beedle

Hands down my favorite character of the series. Beedle makes several appearances all across the different Zelda games: Wind Waker, Minish Cap, Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks, and Skyward Sword. Beedle is a travelling salesman who is always keen to help Link out. My personal favorite iteration of Beedle is his Skyward Sword character. Beedle is seen in his air shop that floats above Skyloft. Beedle keeps this shop in the air by pedaling a bicycle in the back of the shop. Beedle also has his own island in Skyward Sword where you can help him find his lost beetle. Just listen to this guy! He's the best!

Characters in Breath of the Wild:

As already mentioned, Beedle will be returning in Breath of the Wild. Also in Breath of the Wild will be a whole variety of races, Gorons, Zoras, Gerudos, and Ritos will all make an appearance in the game, with one leader of each race that may help Link in his quest. Zelda will play a much larger role in this game than she has been in recent games, and it appears as if the Great Deku Tree will also be making a return, along with his Koroks.

Next time I return, I'll be counting down my favorite Legend of Zelda dungeons. Stay tuned because this next one is gonna be juicy! Until then, kcduckling out.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

It's Officially Zeldapalooza

As promised, I'm back with some Legend of Zelda festivities. The launch of Breath of the Wild is just 12 days away and I've been doing a little looking back on this magnificent series and composing some lists to commemorate the franchise. They will be:

kcduckling's favorite:

  • items
  • characters
  • dungeons
  • bosses
  • games
Today's will be first on that list, my favorite Legend of Zelda items. These are both the practical and the fun to use. Although, this was actually one of the tougher lists I made because there are so many different items represented throughout all of the various games. But, I ended up with these:

Honorable Mentions:

Roc's Cape
Pegasus Boots
Bow and Arrow

3. Boomerang

The boomerang has made its appearance in several different games, but the boomerang I want to talk about is the version that we see in Phantom Hourglass. Many people are split on Phantom Hourglass being good or not, but I absolutely loved it and one of the reasons was the touch screen controls that allowed fluid and easy game play. One of the best examples of this was with the boomerang item. Trace any path on the touchscreen and the boomerang would follow that path before returning back to Link. This allowed some complex puzzles and was also useful for chucking through a room and stunning several different enemies all with one toss.

2. Bombchu

The bombchu hasn't seen quite as much screen time as the boomerang, but it is a blast (ha) to use when you do receive it. The bombchu is available in Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Oracle of Ages/Seasons, and Phantom Hourglass. Ocarina of Time bombchus travel in straight lines, will home on enemies, and can even scale up walls. All pretty cool, but once again the usefulness of the DS's touch screen shows with the bombchus. Trace a path for the bombchu to follow, and let it do the rest. They can go through holes in the wall and Link can move simultaenously. Quite handy for a whole plethora of tasks.

1. Beetle

The beetle is special in that it is exclusive to one Zelda title: Skyward Sword. The beetle was a fairly early-game item that could be used to scout out upcoming areas, retrieve hearts and rupees, cut down rope or string, and activate switches. A later upgrade allows the beetle to be away from Link for longer and to carry and drop bombs on enemies and switches. The beetle is one of the most outrageously useful items in any Zelda game, simply because of its versatility. That is why the beetle takes the top spot on the items countdown.

Items in Breath of the Wild

After each list, I'll do a quick summary of what that subject is going to look like in the upcoming Breath of the Wild. 
Not too much has been shown of traditional items in Breath of the Wild. Link will have a bow and his sword, and other than that there are tons of other items that can be used for similar purposes, like sticks and spears. We do know that the days of attaining an item and then using that one item to move through a temple or dungeon are gone, so the number of items could be down.
However, Link now has access to runes, which are similar in some ways to Link's old items. For example, one of his runes allows him to set down or throw bombs while another allows him to raise ice blocks out of water to jump on. It appears these runes will take the place of his more traditional items. 

I'll see you all pretty soon for the next installment: favorite Legend of Zelda minor characters. Until then, kcduckling out.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Legend of Zelda hype

Tomorrow marks two weeks from the American release of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Needless to say, I, along with most other gaming folks in the world are pretty damn excited. So, starting in the next couple days and continuing until the release of the Nintendo Switch and Legend of Zelda, I will be commemorating the franchise as a whole with some fun little posts: favorite dungeons, favorite items, favorite characters, favorite games, and maybe other stuff too. Stay posted and until next time, kcduckling out.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Actual hatred for Overwatch

Warning: this article contains the words shit, fuck, and retard(ed). Enjoy.

If you have ever read anything I've ever said on Overwatch, then you know that I'm not too fond of the 2016 hit game. Why? Jesus, a lot of reasons. Not fun/lack of content/pretending like people care about their roster's personal lives/other assorted nitpicky things. Today I was watching my brother play some Overwatch and I don't know how, but Overwatch keeps finding retarded new shit for me to talk about.

Emotes, man.

But Overwatch doesn't even stop at emotes, each character additionally has access to 4 stickers to place on the map and 4 voice lines to say during the match. So what happens is you have a bunch of retards standing around for the 40 seconds before a match begins placing their stickers on the wall and shooting it and then doing some dance moves or some other stupid shit and spamming their stupid voice lines. This causes me physical pain every time I witness this.
But this isn't just an Overwatch problem, it's just really bad with Overwatch. Destiny and Call of Duty have similar problems where their players have the ability to really channel their inner 6th grader and bust out some mad dabs after their round or match. Now, some, possibly even most, of these players are actually 6th graders, so that's perfectly normal for kids to be kids and be doing stupid shit, but Jesus think about that for a second. It's Call of Duty. You're a soldier. You go out on the battlefield and murder several dozen people. And then you fucking whip? What the dick and balls, man? "wahoo murder is fun and my friends and I shot more people dead than the other team let's fucking celebrate" *whip, whip, nae nae* And I'm not saying that these video games need to be hyper realistic and give their players PTSD, but emotes add zero substance to the game. Completely unnecessary.
Take my personal favorite FPS: Halo. Here's how it goes. The game begins with a quick 3-second animation of your team. They're simply walking up towards the camera. No added moves or gestures. You play the game. The game ends. Another 3 second animation of the winning team. There are no whips, dabs, nae naes, or other stupid crap. It simply shows who the winning team was and what their players look like. That is how to do it! No added glam or over-the-top attempts to incorporate pop culture into their game. And, honestly, that's the way it should be. Now, by no means are these games impacted hugely by these little additions but it's more of a detractor than if the game had not included them at all.
All I'm saying is keep the stupid shit to a minimum. As in, don't have emotes, stickers, and stupid voice lines in one game. Oh shit, too late Overwatch. Fuck you.

Enjoy this profane and decently well-written article? Well you my friend not only have great taste in articles, but also are in luck! I will be back by the end of the week to talk about Overwatch's pseudodiversity. Until then, kcduckling out.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Nintendo on App Fire!

Title pun very much intended.

A few weeks ago I had popped back onto the ole bloggarooski to let you know what I thought about Pokemon Duel. And now, just a few weeks later, Nintendo has released an app of their own: Fire Emblem Heroes. And let me tell you, this app is awesome.

Now the first thing to understand about this impression is that I am a Nintendo fan who has never played any of the Fire Emblem games. Yeah, yeah, I feel bad about it, and I'm not saying this will please you if you're a hardcore fan, but there is a lot to like about this app.
First of all, the app is very well done and is very comfortable to use. The controls make a lot of sense as all of the gameplay is set in a grid so utilizing the phone's touchscreen is natural and super easy. The game is loaded to the brim with Fire Emblem characters, so even I could recognize Roy, Ike, Marth, and Robin, among some others while my friends who had actually played the Fire Emblem games pointed out to me that Eliwood is a badass and not just some ginger shmuck who rides a dope horse.
Second, the game offers a variety of modes to try out. There is training, special duels, the game's story mode of sorts, and player vs. player. I have tried each and every one of these modes out and have had a good time with all of them. And there's plenty of incentive to rack up wins online in player vs. player as a counter keeps track of your streak, providing you bonuses up to 7 games in a row.
Now, as is the case with most free apps, the game does offer micro-transactions, but from my experience, these are definitely not needed and would only provide a diminutive advantage as the characters that you purchase with the in-game currency are randomly given to you, so even if you pay, there is no way of assuring that you get that 5 star Marth character.

As of now, I have played the game for about 6 hours and I'm very impressed so far. After seeing how Nintendo handled this app, I'm even more excited to see what they will do with their 2017 release Animal Crossing app. Because I've only played 6 hours, what I say is by no means definitive, but if you've got a smartphone or tablet, be sure to check out Nintendo's latest release: Fire Emblem Heroes.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Pokemon Duel First Impressions

So there I was sitting on the toilet the other day, watching some YouTube videos when I see a trailer for a new Pokemon game is up, so obviously I'm going to watch it. After watching about a minute of some rather interesting board game-style Pokemon, it was revealed that the game was available for download immediately! So I downloaded it and played it for a bit and soon came to realize that this game was actually a lot of fun. So here's what I thought.

First of all, the game had a horrible, horrendous, horrifying first day. The servers were slammed with everyone trying out this new game, because for some reason, the Pokemon Company can't figure out that Pokemon is popular in the U.S. too? Crazy. So, if you played the day it came out, you had a bad time because you could boot up the up for a few minutes and then be sent back to the home screen over and over until you got a black screen or you closed the app altogether. Bad times.
However, these server issues were mostly fixed with a hot little maintenance that night and now I would give the app a 95% smoothosity rating. Finding a game online can still take a few minutes, but that's not a takeaway in any sort of fashion. Merely a small problem.

Now, for the gameplay. The game is a strategy game with a very large luck element to it as well. Two players play with six Pokemon each on a small board. The goal of the game is to get your Pokemon to the other player's back side of the board, which will trigger a victory. There are other ways of winning as well, although those are more difficult to achieve. When a Pokemon encounters another Pokemon on the board, they begin a battle. Battles are determined by the spin of a wheel, with slots on the wheel being attacks, special attacks, priority attacks, defend, or miss. Each of these components takes up a different percentage of the wheel, and as you level up your Pokemon, you can grow these sections while simultaneously shrinking your miss section.

There is an extensive amount of single player levels to play as well as a fair amount of tutorial levels while also having the online mode, and all of this in a free-to-play app with payments.
Overall, so far I am definitely impressed with the app and will be continuing to play it for the foreseeable future. After I get a little more time under my belt, I might do a review, but you should check it out for yourself. It's free.

Until next time, kcduckling out.