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by Ethos

The Adventures of Ethos in New York: The System Itself

Monday, January 31st, 2011

*If you notice, it’s not Friday when this article was posted. However, I don’t want to change it, so just keep in mind that half of this was written before the weekend and half on Monday*

I’m sitting at work on a Friday (this isn’t a common occurrence for me, I’m spoiled), but I’m so behind on Riddlethos that I’m determined to write something anyway. It’s officially Dead Space 2 Week (as evidenced by Riddles’ awesome impressions/comparisons below), but that doesn’t mean that the Riddlethos Awards are over! Oh no, they’re over when we say they’re over, damn it! (See, Riddles, I can do hilarious parenthetical comedy too).

Anyhoo, I’d love to tell you more of my ridiculous adventures in New York, and my plan was to do that first, but I might as well talk about my experience with the 3DS before I flat-out forget about it.

I apologize in advance for those annoying red bars. I'd be scared of Nintendo's wrath if I edited them.

Ocarina of Time

This is the biggie. I played this demo 3 times. The first girl told me I wasn’t allowed headphones, but by the third time I was able to gleefully listen to the Kokori theme loudly in my ears. Although that made me smile even more, I actually don’t think the music got any sort of upgrade. In fact, I’m almost certain the music is exactly the same.

But everything else did. The upgraded graphics look so nice in motion, yet still instill the exact mood of the original. I still have every corner memorized, and anticipate every rupee placement. If anything felt different at all it was Link’s sidejump and backflip.

The animation is definitely smoother, so I’m not sure if it was that difference playing tricks on me, but the aforementioned actions seemed to take a little longer to perform. This isn’t necessarily a positive or negative if it’s even the case. It’s just a (potential) observation.

One other big plus: touch screen menus. Easier to access and maneuver. You still set two items to two buttons, but you can assign two more to touch-only buttons. Very convenient and it has been confirmed to work with the iron boots. Old news, maybe, but good news.

It probably doesn’t even need to be said that the gyro-sensor-to-aim stuff is really dumb, but you can luckily just use the analog stick. Although it seems to move annoyingly slowly. Hopefully there’ll be an option for that in the game. Options were disabled in the demo.

The 3D looks great, although I imagine I’ll only be using 3D about 25% of my total time with the 3DS. It’s just a bit more exhausting. Impressive, yes, but not necessary all the time.

Of course, that experience could be because of my lack of sleep, breakfast, and potentially even sober state of mind. BUT MORE ON THAT LATER.

Conclusion: Ocarina of Time’s awesome.

Can't wait for this.

Pilot Wings Resort

This was my second favourite demo. I don’t think I’ve ever sung my praises to Pilot Wings 64 on this site, but I fucking love that game. I’ve sunk countless hours into it. I miss the days when I’d only have one game to intimately get to know. I would try and retry those missions over and over. My brothers and I would compete for better scores. It’s all the game I needed for a long time. Yeah, it looks like shit, but it plays wonderfully.

The 3DS game seems to be exactly the same. It was easily the worst looking game there from a graphical standpoint, but just from a short demo, my addiction to the N64 version started to resurface.

I only played the jetpack demo, but trying to softly land on targets as quickly as possible is still the challenge it was before. You have to manage speed and height as well as fight against the wind. In addition to those same challenges from the N64 game, there are new bonus point balls to fly through in transit to your next target. The possibilities for high scores and speed runs with this simple addition made me very excited.

Pilot Wings is the only game that I played in which the 3D truly provides a benefit. Judging the distance to a target took no guesswork. Only skill with the jetpack’s boosters. And I guess I lost most of that skill since 1996, but I’ll get it back.

Another picture of OoT because why not?

The Other Stuff

Street Fighter IV looked really good. The animations were nice and it controlled well. The 3D is completely pointless in a 2D fighter. If anything it just made me distracted by the popping backgrounds. I’d play with 3D off if I were a Street Fighter guy.

Madden. Who cares? But again, a game to show that the 3DS can make some nice looking images.

Kid Icarus. Yes, this goes in “The Other Stuff”. It was incredibly underwhelming. It was flashy and fast and a complete bitch to control. I only played 5 minutes or so, but still: Big meh.

Some other demo stuff. There was some submarine game played with the gyroscope. It was accurate, but who cares? I’m not going to be spinning around in my chair to play a demo.

Also something called “AR Games”. Meaning Augmented Reality Games. Another thing I don’t care about, but it definitely made for a better demo. Basically you put a card on a table and the 3DS camera shoots that card and the screens show the output. Then the system interacts with the card to make it look like shit is coming out of it. Because the screen of the system is actually showing what’s in front of you, it is pretty cool to see a dragon come out of nowhere. But it’s a total gimmick with no legs to make any sort of full game. Fun for the day, but nothing more.

Didn't get to play this unfortunately

The System Itself

It’s basically a DS in design. Same basic size as a DSi. Better stylus (extendable), and a great analog stick. Truly. It’s smooth and accurate. Miles better than the PSP nub. Although the NGP ones are looking slick too even if I have no interest in that system yet.

The 3D is what everybody says. It works. It looks good. And except for the single aforementioned instance, there’s no examples for its necessity yet.

However, let it be said that while in the Deku Tree – jumping over a ledge while looking down a big drop with the 3D turned on all the way – the effect was very impressive. I spent about 30 seconds just jumping back and forth over a ledge. So there is at least potential for very visually appealing stuff.

What I Wish Was There

Paper Mario. Star Fox. Mario Kart. Even Kingdom Hearts: Dumber Name. Was disappointed that it wasn’t there.

OH RIGHT!

They also were playing movie trailers in 3D. And let me tell you, watching the trailer for Yogi Bear in 3D without glasses was the most confusing experience ever. I was so simultaneously impressed and disgusted that I truly didn’t know what to feel.

But it’s Monday now! I have to attach pictures to this shit and finally post it before Riddles murders me in my sleep!

The Adventures of Ethos in New York: Preview

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

In case you forgot what it looks like.

I’m quite sick from my New York trip (you’ll have a better idea why in the pieces to come), and so I tried to get today off work to rest and have more time to write-up stuff for you guys. No dice, soldier. And I’m remembering a lot of plans for this weekend, so I’m going to be way more busy than I’d like.

STILL! I have much to discuss from my trip, and while I don’t have much time now, I’m going to at least paste the notes I took in the press conference. I didn’t even know it was going to be a press conference at all, much less one with Reggie, so it took me by surprise. So I decided to take notes like a liveblog even though it wasn’t one. So here’s the copy/paste of that:

-presentation about to start. Cramped seating. Two presentation
screens. GET IT?! Isn’t Ninty clever?

-recapping e3 reveal. News clips.

-Reggie!!

-blahblah

-talking about Mario64?

-talking about waggle “and that brings us to today.” Yikes.

-talking about taking 3D pictures of my kids. I don’t have kids, Reggie.

-Announcing price today. Launch date. Launch games.

-2gig card with system.

-Showing home menu. Looks like the Wii

-green light: local connectivity.

-”It’s a game changer” is their big thing.

-talking games now.

-Pilot Wings at launch!

-nintendogcatsblahblah

-The tech for the game actually sounds cool. Face recognition. Still don’t really care.

-Steel Diver game? Just a tech demo before. Full game now.

-I get to play Zelda today. Booya!

-kid Icarus too. But I hear that controls like crap.

-3rd party now. Dead or Alive. Developer video. I love the Japanese language.

-Sports games lalala. Peter Moore video.

-okay, feeling hungover now. Street Fighter IV video.

-ooo, spectator mode! Online play.

-price coming…

-between launch and e3: 30 games available. Apparently.

-ooo! Built-in stats! And a pedometer? That gives me in-game currency? What?

-New Mii creator with picture import.

-Finally seems a little more social. Miis will swap in Street Pass
including ‘last game played’.

-talking about AR games? I missed that.

-change to friend codes. No more software-specific codes. Make friends
online, no need to necessarily enter codes. You can see which friends
are online. Way more community than anything Nintendo has done, that’s for sure.

-For me, this is makes the Wii even more irrelevant.

-easier digital game downloads. New and virtual console titles. New
store looks improved for Nintendo. Don’t know if it’ll be the psn
store, but definitely better than before.

-cost isssssss…

-$250! Not 300.

-March 27 launch.

150 ds stations. I’mma go play!

And that’s all I wrote! Spoilers: Kid Icarus DOES control like crap. More in this series as soon as I can.