Miitopia thoughts

It’s been forever since I’ve even thought about Tomodachi Life. Kind of surprising, considering how well it did and how much I’ve liked it, but one of Sakamoto’s real, core problems as a developer is that he makes these really, really, really fun games… that don’t last long at all. This is probably most obvious with the Wario Ware series, but I would argue that a lot of his other work, including Metroid,  suffers from that as well.

And Tomodachi Life, in spite of all the cool stuff it does, simply has one really crippling issue: you don’t feel involved enough in the lives of your Miis. I LOVED seeing really bizarre relationships develop between Miis I would make. Samus Aran and Voldemort starting a family together has to be the stand out moment for me. Writing cheesy love songs about how she taught him how to overcome his desire for world conquest was an absolute blast.

But I didn’t stick with it. And I believe I haven’t touched the game at all since March of last year. Why? Because there’s no reason to. The game feels way too repetitive, in spite of it’s really cool features, and that sort of turned me away from it. It’s still a fun game, and I’m anxious to see how it evolves in the future, but Nintendo needs to give it more features.

And I think Miitopia, as weird as it sounds, is a step in the right direction.

The tech behind Tomodachi Life is incredibly flexible. Miis can end up saying whatever you want, to any character you can imagine. Making this into an RPG is, to me, an extremely interesting idea because it becomes an RPG that is entirely built on the things and people most important in your life.

People are saying Miitopia is too Japanese to come over here, but they said the same thing about Tomodachi before it was revealed out of the blue. I think Miitopia, like Tomodachi Life, will have a surprisingly large audience over here. Especially if it manages to have a real reason to play through it, over and over again.

It’d be funny for me to see Samus Aran, Ashitaka, Maribelle from Fire Emblem teaming up to fight Voldemort. And I think that sort of appeal is what’s going to make the game a success.




Donkey Kong Jungle Beat: First impressions!

I decided to take some time off of Dragon Quest VII to play something else for once, and today, I happened to come across something I’ve been looking for the chance to play for a long time: Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat!

It’s one of those games, I feel, that I always kind of wanted to try, but was scared of by complaints from people who had tried it. On the surface, it’s not hard to understand why. At the time, Donkey Kong was still suffering from an identity crisis following the downfall of RareWare. The team that brought us the classic DKC games was no more, and Nintendo was suddenly in a position where one of their most beloved IPs had no development team to work on it.

So that meant a lot of experimental titles.

Donkey Konga, Donkey Kong Jungle Climber, Donkey Kong Barrel Blast… lots of different games from lots of different teams didn’t do a whole lot to fill in the gap DKC left behind. And a lot of these games, whether they deserved it or not, were criticized for it.

Sound familiar? It should. This is sort of what’s happening with Metroid now. DKC didn’t get a ‘real’ sequel until 2011… over a decade after DKC3 launched. Returns was a fantastic return to form for the classic formula and honestly one of the best games on the Wii.

So it’s kind of surprising, for me, who grew up thinking that all of the experimental DK titles were complete garbage, to experience them now. I’ve already played Jungle Climber, and I believe I described it as being something I would have hated if I had paid full price for it, but found it a fun little novelty to spend time with on the VC.

Jungle Beat, however, is a completely different beast entirely. I’m suddenly VERY interested in learning more about this game now that I’ve spent a little bit of time with it, because there’s actually quite a lot about it that other fans have seriously overlooked. Namely, just how much of an influence THIS game in particular had on the Returns reboot, even if it in and of itself wasn’t a real sequel to DKC for a number of reasons I’ll get into shortly.

One of the first things I noticed when I booted the game up was the fact that, incredibly, this game had the same aesthetic as Returns, despite being released several years earlier. DK looks the same and has the same voice, the environments look similar, DK beats on his enemies the same way he does on bosses in Returns (It’s only a lot cooler here, by the way) and the visuals have the same sort of style to them.

The similarities are definitely present, and I’m kind of amazed that I’ve never seen any one else ever address this. This game clearly influenced Returns development quite a lot. I’m starting to wonder if the barrel rocket levels from Returns came from Barrel Blast as well. Returns took a lot of influences from a lot of different Donkey Kong games. Not just the original trilogy.

So what does this mean for Jungle Beat?

It manages to take an already existing character and do a number of interesting new things with him, despite his already existing catalog of high quality games. For example, many players, such as myself, were surprised at how high quality the boss fights in Returns were. The boss fights in the original trilogy, generally speaking, were not all that impressive.

As it turns out, the boss fights for Returns seem to have been strongly influenced by Jungle Beat in particular. They aren’t the exact same, and I will say the Returns formula is a huge improvement, but putting the beat down on the bosses in this game is still incredibly satisfying regardless. One boss will fly above you, and you will have to catapault yourself up to it to attack. Something about it works really well in spite of how much easier they are than the typical Returns boss. This game feels very much like an arcade game, actually. Levels are over quickly, but always offer some kind of depth to them. You’re always messing around with some kind of new mechanic, always fighting a completely different boss, and then always moving on to something new. It’s very refreshing after trying to struggle through Dragon Quest VII.

Is Jungle Beat better than the original Trilogy, or Returns? Well… no, I don’t think anyone is saying that. Again, as much as I like Jungle Beat for trying something new, it suffers from feeling a little too arcadey in some ways at times. I’m already starting to worry that the game will be over before I know it, which is a shame because I really am enjoying it. I also feel as if the gameplay doesn’t have nearly the same amount of depth as DKCR does. I think a MERE level in DKCR has more depth to it than Jungle Beat’s weird kingdom system, where you play a number of short levels to get to the boss.

Returns is definitely better, I feel, but I also don’t think Jungle Beat is all that bad in spite of it. Much like Jungle Climber, I think it’s an interesting spin off title that hardcore fans of the series will love.


Dragon Quest VII’s incredibly slow pace ‘nearly’ kills it for me!

I apologize for spamming a whole lot of Dragon Quest articles. Usually when I play a game as much as I have for Dragon Quest VII in the past couple of weeks, I have  a fairly good idea of what I’m dealing with. However, Dragon Quest VII is proving itself to be a bit of an oddity, and I feel as I’m having a hard time describing how I really feel about it. And a big reason for that is the most glaring issue I find with the game: the INCREDIBLY slow paced nature of the game.

I’ve beaten RPGs in the amount of time it takes you to unlock the vocation systems in Dragon Quest VII. In fact, if the tutorial of the original release really was two hours long like I’ve been told it was, I’ve beaten games like Super Metroid faster than that.

There is no getting around it: Dragon Quest VII is a game padded to last over a hundred hours, and boy does it show. I feel like I’m playing a game that revolves around the filler content in other RPGs. It’d be like if you HAD to get everything in the Golden Saucer to move past the first disc in Final Fantasy VII. I feel like I’m forced to work way too much for something.

But somehow, it sort of works. The various new scenarios and challenges constantly keep me interested despite the tedious nature of what I’m doing, but I have to say that playing a game really should never ‘feel’ tedious.

Take for example, Final Fantasy VI. You raid Narshe, meet Locke, get to Figaro, meet Edgar, escape Figaro, meet Sabin, and then the routes split. I believe all of that can take place within two hours. In fact, I believe getting to the World of Ruin takes about twenty, although I haven’t gotten that far in the game recently to say for sure.

Keep in mind, by the time I reached hour twenty in DQVII, I had only just unlocked the vocation system. What? Why did something like that take so long? FFVI takes a while to get espers and, by extension, unlock magic… but the characters have natural growth cycles that make them useful and fun to use without it. In DQVII, I swear I just ended up mashing attack up until I got the vocations, and BY THE WAY, DQVII will absolutely MURDER YOU if you assume that it will be a good idea to go into Alltrade Abbeys without the best possible equipment.

Fuck that area.

I feel like something like Final Fantasy handles pacing much better. It’s quick, concise, easy to understand, and has a lot of room for taking different approaches. In the early game of DQVII, I honestly don’t see HOW I could have done anything differently. Much like Earthbound Beginnings, it’s slow paced for no real benefit. I feel like I’m just as attached to the various towns and communities in FFVI as I am in Dragon Quest VII while spending… probably not even a hundreth of the amount time while there.

Final Fantasy VI proves that all you really need for heart breaking story telling is Celes and Cid living along together on a deserted island. That segment lasts maybe ten minutes, but it works, really well, and helped cement Celes as one of my all time favorite Final Fantasy heroines.

Final Fantasy in general, I feel, manages to do a lot more with it’s actual gameplay much sooner, which I think is really important for games in general. I’m twenty hours into Dragon Quest VII now, and still feel as if I’ve barely even gotten started. It’s exhausting, and the recent news that DQVIII is coming out in January, a lot sooner than I was expecting, does not help matters.

Despite my issues with the game’s pacing, I do feel attached to pretty much everything I do see and everyone I do meet. I just feel like it takes too much time to get there.

What games do you want to see on the Switch?

The big January reveal is only a couple of months away, and I thought it would be fun to make an article speculating about things we want to see.

A Star Fox Zero sequel

Definitely one of the disappointment’s this year was Star Fox Zero’s… reception. The game really did not catch among fans due to a number of Youtubers crying about how much it sucked which scared away Wii U owners. The game itself is a lot of fun despite the nonsensical complaints lobbied towards it. I want to see more of that.

I don’t care what retards like Arlo or Emily Rogers think: Zero was a step in the right direction and we need more of that.

An F-Zero X sequel

Much like Metroid and Star Fox, F-Zero is one of those franchises that people pretend to like and then won’t actually buy when a sequel gets made. I’m not like them, and I have been hotly anticipating a true successor to F-Zero X since I completely cleared everything the game had to offer several years ago.

The one thing I absolutely do NOT want is those hacks at Sega getting another crack at it. GX, despite it’s following of dedicated fans who think broken gameplay = challenging, I think it sucks and is one of the all time worst entries in an established Nintendo franchise. X, on the other hand, still looks and plays great.

Mario Kart 8 made me realize that the talent to make a truly great F-Zero game is still there, they just need to go out and do it.

Fast Racing NEO is great, but it’s not what I’m looking for in my futuristic racer.

Devil’s Third Black

It’s pretty much an open secret that Devil’s Third is not the disaster that YouTubers liked to pretend it was. Despite it’s technical shortcomings in visuals, the game offered a lot of creative mechanics and memorable moments. It just didn’t have that chance to be as polished as it should have been due to it’s extremely lengthy and troubled development cycle.

I, however, still really liked the game and it really made me interested in Itagaki’s past work. I have not had the chance to try Ninja Gaiden Black yet due to Xbox’s retarded backwards compatibility policy, but it will be a day one purchase for me when it does launch.

So why not rerelease Devil’s Third with more polish? The game itself is perfectly fine, it was just a victim of an insane string of coincidences that really killed off any interest in the game before launch. A lot of the game’s backstory and characters were untapped by the main story. I would really like to see stages where you can, say, get to know the people you are sent to kill. And again, the multiplayer remains great. You could even release the F2P version of the multiplayer on Switch, and update it every once in a while to keep people playing, like they’re doing now with Lost Reavers.

I really would like to see this game expanded on in some way, because I really feel like there’s a lot of things the devs can do with it.

Kirby 64 2

One of the things that amazes me about Kirby games these days is that the mechanic that I grew up with, the mix and match power ups of 64, was not a series staple and was merely a gimmick of a few games of that area. This is really mind blowing to me, because one of my favorite past times playing through that game was mixing and matching all these different power ups and trying to see which ones did what.

I still haven’t beaten the true final boss of 64 to this day, as I was young and stupid and didn’t realize that there was a true ending, but the recent 3DS entries, fun as they are, don’t use that mechanic at all, instead focusing on giving more moves to traditional powers. That’s fine… I really liked both Triple Deluxe and Planet Robobot, but I think the next one should incorporate combining powers again.

A 3D Yoshi game

To this day, we have never gotten a true 3D Yoshi game. Yoshi’s Island is my personal all time favorite game, and I always felt like a lot of the mechanics would be really interesting to see in 3D environments.

A Wario Land and WarioWare sequels

I think following this recent crying about how New Super Mario Bros games are rehashes, now is a great time to reintroduce the Wario Land games. Imagine the game starting up with a Princess getting kidnapped, only for Wario to raid her castle for treasure? Hilarious.

Bonus points if the Princess from Shake It! is involved. Honestly, I really wish she had become a Wario staple. I love her design and could see her coming back for revenge against Wario for taking her treasure.

WarioWare, on the other hand, needs to find a way to pad the games out. I love these games, I think they’re great, but like Rhythm Heaven they are way too short and generally best used as party games.

Speaking of party games…

Bring back Nintendoland!

I don’t care what anyone says. Nintendoland was a fantastic launch title that kept us playing all year. It’s an absolute crime that the game was overlooked as it was because the game, to this day, offers the best gamepad multiplayer on the console.

I love how people were fine with the Federation Force when it was called Metroid Blast, by the way.

Launching a new title in the series to promote the real life Nintendoland they are working on RIGHT NOW would be a brilliant move. Imagine running around a virtual recreation of the actual park to select your attraction? It would get people hyped to see the real thing someday!

Codename S.T.E.A.M. 

We all know it’s coming, even if there are those in denial about it. Codename S.T.E.A.M was a stellar strategy game and it would be a shame to not see it return in some form on the Switch with an expanded cast, a new story, and new features. I think it has the potential to be a cult hit, personally.

I wouldn’t say no to a new Advance or Battalion Wars either, but I have a soft spot for Codename S.T.E.A.M.


This goes without saying, but a lot of the best new games released so far this generation have been from new talent. Splatoon, the upcoming Ever Oasis, and others have really charmed a lot of people due to their unique gameplay. I want to see more people brought onboard to work on games like that.

What would you like to see? Please, please, please let me know!



Dragon Quest has strongly influenced Nintendo RPGs

Being a Nintendo fan, I know Nintendo typically innovates rather than imitates. It is, quite honestly one of their defining traits as a company and one of the reasons they have such a strong catalog of IPs. I am finding, however, that there are the occasional exception to this rule. Take, for example, Dragon Quest. And how it has influenced a number of Nintendo RPG franchises. Most interestingly, the Mother Trilogy and the Golden Sun games.

It’s kind of interesting for me, as someone who is much more familiar with the Nintendo games, take from Golden Sun. For example, the revival mechanic. Unlike Final Fantasy, you cannot revive comrades using a simple item from your inventory. Instead you have to seek out a NPC who will do it for you.

I feel like a lot of Earthbound’s humor, in hindsight, is based heavily on Dragon Quest, which I think was completely lost on western players. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone describe Earthbound as being Nintendo’s take on Dragon Quest, which I think is kind of a shame.

Obviously, I still have’t completed Dragon Quest VII, and at the pace I’m going at I don’t think I will until next year, but it’s kind of fascinating just noticing how much of this series is present in Nintendo’s work. Nintendo were not a company known for RPGs, at least until their renaissance in the Wii/DS era, so it’s really interesting to me to see just how their RPGs evolved from humble clones to the best in the industry. Mario and Luigi, Xenoblade, The Last Story, the list goes on and on!

I’m not sure if I would consider myself a Dragon Quest fan yet, but I do like the games and want to see them do well. And I think Nintendo does too. Look at all the effort they put into trying to get these games ported and noticed in America despite a history of us not giving a fuck. Sean Malstrom may laugh at their efforts, but I applaud them. Getting niche games out there is an important part of getting them noticed.

When was the last time you won over a girl by sitting in a corner alone? It just doesn’t happen. Dragon Quest will, and in some ways already has, gain an audience in the west. It just needs one really big success story for it to blow up, and then Nintendo will have an entire catalog of high quality games that there will be real demand for.



Greatness Awaits: The big list of PS4 bombs!

You may not know this, but Playstation 4 is shaping up to be a disaster.

This may come as a bit of a shock to certain readers, but Playstation 4 is not doing nearly as well as Sony wants to pretend it is. To this day, there has never truly been a ‘great’ game for the PS4. Instead fans have been told, every E3, that the next gen starts ‘now’ but it never does. Most of the games that Sony showed in E3 2015, the one they ‘obviously’ one were no where to be seen in E3 2016.

The one game that is generally agreed on as being great is Bloodborne, and that’s only one game. People mock the Wii U for supposedly not having anything great, but in the first year we had Nintendoland, NSMBU, Pikmin 3, Super Mario 3D World, and a number of other great games.

All PS4 has is Bloodborne and a number of games you can also get on older hardware. I, personally, was shocked when I learned like Dragon Ball Xenoverse got a port to last gen hardware. But we’re not talking about good games today. Today, we are talking about the worst. The games that the industry has curiously completely forgotten in the years following the bad taste in all of our mouths.

As a bit of an aside, calling this the ‘big’ list of disappointing PS4 games specifically is resulting in… lackluster results. Because nearly all the games I see on this list of PS4 releases, such as Assassin’s Creed Unity, The Division, Destiny, and countless others were multiplats. This really goes to show just how little PS4 really brought to the table this gen.

Nearly all of the exclusives I did find are some of the worst titles put out this gen.


Remember back when the PS4 launched and the two games people were most stoked about were Knack and Octodad? Years later, Octodad has been ported to Wii U (I FUCKING HATED IT WHY DOES IT HAVE A FOLLOWING?) and Knack has been completely forgotten entirely.

There is a good reason for that. Despite being touted as a return to the Crash Bandicoot style, players found the game extremely tedious, simplistic, and boring. I personally played it at a demo station at launch and marveled at how bad it was.From what I remember, it was being pushed by Sony to try and compete with Super Mario 3D World, and despite lots of ‘journalists’ claiming that Knack actually far outsold 3D World, that turned out to not be the case and Knack went on to become a bit of a joke among the communtiy. For about a year after the PS4 launched, Knack was the game most often associated with the PS4’s lack of quality content.


People would rather have no games at all than play Knack. Let that sink in. 

Attitudes towards the PS4 changed around the time that Bloodborne came out and people were able to pretend that it was ‘good enough,’ but the stigma towards Knack itself stayed. The game is commonly thought of as one of the most poorly received launch titles this generation, and a pretty strong indication of what was to come for the PS4.

No Man’s Sky

What about No Man’s Sky hasn’t already been said? I think the gaming community has arrived at a consensus at this point and finally came to the conclusion I arrived at from the very beginning. This game was all hype, no substance.

I could sit here all day and talk about all the missing features, content, and outright lies about how the game works from the developers, but  there is a perfectly functional blog for that.


The list of outright lies the developers came up with regarding the game are disgusting, and I am certainly not denying that Hello Games is made up of frauds. I do believe, however, that people are overlooking another guilty party. Those responsible for promoting the game in the first place.


Hello Games weren’t forking over millions of dollars to promote their game on talk shows like Colbert. They weren’t the ones ‘encouraging’ journalists to talk about how exciting the game was without presenting any actual gameplay. They weren’t behind any of the shady, actual marketing.That was all on Sony.

People vastly underestimate just how much faith Sony had in NMS doing well. This was one of the first big PS4 exclusives I remember them trying to promote, before even Bloodborne was announced. I remember seeing them showing it off at the VGX and mocking it for looking like shit.

The fact that it was Tropical Freeze that got attacked at that show for being ‘underwhelming’ infuriates me to this day.

No Man’s Sky is very possibly the biggest gaming blunder of the decade, and one of the very few that the gaming public is acknowledging. I hope that you will start to connect the dots soon. Hello Games are not the ONLY ones responsible for lying to you.

Street Fighter V

This is definitely one of the big bombs for the platform, one that not a whole lot of people are talking about due to Sony successful managing to brush the issue under the rug.

Our friends at Capcom thought it would be a brilliant idea to release an unfinished game for full price. Now, I am not a Street Fighter fan, but even I was amazed at the sheer amount of bullshit that people who bought the game day one had to go through. Modes were missing, the game didn’t play well, long time favorite characters weren’t playable, and there wasn’t even a single player mode.

How did the fanboys brush this under the rug, you ask? They acted as if Capcom releasing the game in this state was to give tournament players the time they needed to practice and put on a good show at EVO. Yes, really. According to these people, the game would update with free new content periodically. It was no different than what Nintendo did with Splatoon.

Except keep in mind that Splatoon’s devs were very forthcoming in describing how the game’s content would be released. They said that the ranking mode wouldn’t be released until a set number of players hit a certain level, and then released new stage and weapons frequently over a matter of months to keep players invested. Street Fighter V’s ‘update plan’ wasn’t a plan. It was a scam, meant to cajole players into buying an unfinished game at full price.

Thankfully, it seems that the majority of players have not bought into it. Sales for the game screeched to a halt after launch, and even having their precious EVO shown on television didn’t do a lot to win over new fans. Capcom is stuck in a position where they have to keep supporting a game that has a terrible reputation. I do not see them salvaging this game unless they do a complete re-release, but even then I think they’ll have to go above and beyond to win back the fans. This is very possibly franchise killer material, Capcom can NOT afford fuck ups like this.

The Order: 1886

A game so bad, wikipedia completely forgot it exists. It’s not on either of the lists of PS4 games, and there is a good reason for that. It can’t really be considered a ‘game’ in the traditional sense of the word.

Much like other player reviled titles like David Cage’s works, the Order 1886 is a cutscene driven mess. Playstation is quickly becoming a brand that film school dropouts who can’t hack it in actual film making circles are drawn too, and boy does it show. I’ve been very vocal about my distaste for Naughty Dog’s recent output (Including Uncharted 4 and TLOU) but smaller studios, like Ready at Dawn, do the same thing but much worse.

Whereas Uncharted 4’s gameplay is boring and uninspired, The Order’s gameplay is practically non existent. And I do mean non existent. At most, you will press buttons during QTEs and move from location to location. It’s short, boring, and not even a good film.

Until Dawn

The same thing but worse. I know some YouTubers are fond of the game because of it’s appeal for streamers (Much like FNAF or Undertale) But among actual players it’s generally regarded as not being much different than The Order.

It’s kind of amazing to look through an official release list of PS4 games and see just how bare bones the library really is. Keep in mind this list was geared towards Playstation exclusives specifically. I didn’t even touch the big disasters this gen like Destiny or Watch Dogs.

This is ‘winning’ a generation? Please. People were just tricked into believing there weren’t better options.







SteamWorld Heist is probably my indie GOTY

There’s something about these steam powered strategy games that just makes my heart melt.

I’ve spoken before but how much I loved last year’s Codename S.T.E.A.M and considered it one of the highlights of the year. It was a surprisingly deep, engaging new strategy game filled with characters from a time period I am very fond of. I felt like the game was made just for me, in a lot of ways, and really enjoyed my time with it.

It bombed, sadly, due to the press trying their hardest to make it look underwhelming and a stubborn refusal to talk about how creative it was. I, personally, felt it was a breath of fresh air after Awakening, as S.T.E.A.M was much more challenging and had a lot more mission variety. Obviously, I really loved both, I think Intelligent Systems has proven itself to be one of my favorite developers this gen, but Codename S.T.E.A.M sadly didn’t sell too well due to the actions of the corrupt gaming press, who are desperate to pretend that Nintendo doesn’t make interesting new IPs.

But never fear, a very similar indie game is here! Steamworld Heist is something Codename S.T.E.A.M fans like myself can use to pretend that Codename S.T.E.A.M is popular enough to warrant a spiritual successor. They are quite different, of course,  but the similarities they do share are uncanny. Both are turn based strategy games featuring steam powered protagonists.

They are, however, clearly completely different games. The settings are different (One historical fiction, one post apocalyptic) The dimensions are different (2D and 3D) and the mechanics are different. I absolutely cannot get enough of the ricochet system in Steamworld Heist: It makes me feel like Revolver Ocelot whenever I make a tricky shot to nail an enemy bot some distance away.

I was really surprised at how fun SteamWorld Dig was despite it’s simplicity compared to other games like it, and I feel like Heist is an improvement on that. I think the SteamWorld devs are really good at keeping their ideas simple, but really fleshed out. That feeling of mystery and wonder as I tried to tunnel my way downward in a three hour long game was something else entirely. I really wasn’t expecting that feeling from a game like that, and although Heist hasn’t quite hooked me in the same way, at least not yet, it is an absolute joy to play. Like Dig, I am really enjoying the characters in spite of their simplicity. It’s hard not to like Faraday and the way she handles her situation.

It’s simple, but I think that’s what gives it it’s charm. It really gives you that old school gaming feel of exploring a world you don’t know a whole lot about. I think the SteamWorld devs are becoming a favorite indie dev of mine because I feel like they make really interesting settings and games revolving around these Steam powered robots. I wonder if this was the same sort of appeal Oddworld had back in the day.

Anyway, I would highly suggest you check out SteamWorld Heist, especially if you are one of the six people who bought Codename S.T.E.A.M. It’s an enjoyable, creative strategy game that’s sure to keep you coming back for more.