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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!

Winterscapes Countdown #1 – Frozen Zora’s Domain (Ocarina of Time)

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

And we’ve reached the end! How fitting that my number one Winterscape is from my number one game. That game, of course, being The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

If you think this one is a bit of an odd choice, you’re quite correct. It’s not even a “winterscape,” per se – regardless, it’s one of my favorite environments of all time, and it’s definitely cold enough.

After the unforgettable turning point at the Temple of Time, Link wakes up to a decidedly different Hyrule. His home in Kokiri Forest lies in the shadow of a evil spirit, the Gorons are being held captive in their own mountain, but the worst fate, it seems, was reserved for the water-dwelling Zoras.  As you draw closer and closer to their watery cave-home, it becomes fairly obvious that something’s wrong. Snow is falling, and Navi warns of a cold wind. Regardless, it does nothing to dampen the initial shock when you step through the waterfall and back into the Zora’s Domain, seven years after Link’s initial visit.

Just... imagine this, except frozen.

Just... imagine this, except frozen.

And of course, after serving my needs for the first four picks, Google Image fails at finding a proper image. This entire countdown is now ruined, and I hate my life.

Kidding, just kidding. To sum up, Link’s second visit to Zora’s Domain is one of the more memorable moments that Ocarina of Time creates. The ice is hauntingly beautiful in spite of its malicious nature, and in a strangely dark twist, it remains even after the evil spirit in the Water Temple is defeated. I recognize what an oddball this pick may be, but I stand by it.

That concludes my silly Winterscapes Countdown, gents and ladies. Let the comments fly below, and if you can find a decent image of the frozen Zora’s Domain, be a good chap and send it my way.

Or a good lass. We don’t discriminate.

Addendum

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

wakerlinkWell last night surprised me a bit. I booted up my Wii for the first time since I started the Metroid Prime Trilogy and picked up a recent-ish Ocarina of Time save. That didn’t surprise me. I planned to do that. It was the moments after. Now don’t get me wrong, Ocarina didn’t seem like any less of a powerful experience. Nostalgia still filled my veins as I stepped out of the Temple of Time to foreboding silence. And although the Fire Temple was next and it’s probably one of my least favourite dungeons (although I still like it), I still had a strong desire and genuine excitement to play it. However, a very strange feeling crept over me. I wanted to play Wind Waker.

Now – I like Wind Waker. I beat it and had a good time with it. I really only speak ill of it in relation to other Zelda games, and I think the art style is fantastic, but when all is said and done, I don’t often reflect on it fondly. So it’s a little bizarre that I had an overwhelming desire to play it. But – I thought – why not capitalize on this desire? We’ll likely have an Ocarina of Time Week some time or another, so I should save the N64 classic for then. So I popped Wind Waker into my Wii, said “yes” to progressive scan mode, and played all the way up to Windfall Island. It was easily the best time I’ve had with the game. Perhaps it was because I knew what to expect, or perhaps it was because I didn’t anticipate being particularly overwhelmed, but I had a blast romping around the world and progressing through the cute story. I still don’t think it has the thematic weight of Ocarina nor the twisted deep mood of Majora’s Mask, and I still think that Forbidden Fortress bit at the beginning kinda stinks, but the game really is a lot of fun. Also, it still looks great after all this time, even in 4:3. I’m actually excited to go home and play more tonight. But more Impressions 2.0 later. For now, I need to re-instate my epic proverb. No words will change, but there will be a small correction to the legend.

“When life takes away your lemons, play Ocarina of Time.”
(refer to legend below to fully understand)
Legend

New Theme Week, New Saying.

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Like Riddles astutely stated, he and I will very unfortunately not be able to pick up Dragon Age: Origins this week barring some miracle. But, the theme week presses on, and it has brought a new saying with it that will likely live on through the ages (although sadly not through the Dragon Ages) -

“When life takes away your lemons, play Ocarina of Time.”
(refer to legend below to fully understand)
Legend

The Honourable Mentions

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Well well well, the official lists are done, and after such rigorous activity, I feel like I need a little wind down. Here are some stupid shits that were either too stupid too make the list, or perhaps there were too many variables. This will be a lot more brief than I anticipated, but I got places to BE!

talesThe Cleanup (Misses)-
Be careful. These are ALL from the Tales series…

Lloyd and Sheena: Sure, Lloyd was an idiot, but Sheena single-handedly made the game worth playing with the best voice acting of the bunch and a rockin’ bod. Because of all the multiple endings, you pretty much can end up with Sheena, but like I said: Lloyd’s a dumbass and deserves nobody.

Genus and Presea: Riddles hates me for this one, but I think Genus’ sweet childhood crush on what he thinks is a girl his age, but is really an adult trapped in a girl’s body could make way for some incredibly twisted and cool plot developments. Presea might be an adult on the inside, but how much does that matter if she is always treated like a child and eventually gives into her fate? I think it could have been pleasantly fucked up, but of course Tales of Symphonia teased and then dropped it.

Yuri and Judith: Judith is like a slightly less cool Sheena, but Yuri is like a NOT THE COMPLETELY INCOMPETENT BORING JACKASS THAT LLOYD IS. So something should have happened between this hot couple! And when they first meet, it’s amazing. There is sexual tension and flirting through the ear. Then they meet up with the rest of the gang and BLAMMO. It’s gone. Namco Bandai MUST be aware that they’re getting a rise and not finishing the job. Maybe that’s their fucked up fetish.

They really were sweet in an odd way...

They really were sweet in an odd way...

Friends With Benefits (Hits)-
Riddles wants Tifa and Cloud on the list, and I agree, but I’ll leave it to him if he has the time. If he doesn’t, know that we both have a soft spot for the guy with the over sized sword hooking up with the chick with over sized breasts.

Jack and Ridley: This couple very well could have made the official list if I had played the game more recently or more often. As it stands, I don’t quite remember the story enough to support their spot against the other romances. I just remember that Jack was a stupid but really sweet character that showcased some of the pure innocent emotions in young love. There’s a particular scene near one of the endings by a tree when Ridley has become far more robot-like, and Jack is just trying to admit feelings for Ridley. Jack was comic relief, but he was a far more honest character than one might anticipate.

Link and Malon: Screw Zelda, she’s annoying and hideous anyway, save Twilight Princess. Riddles was right was he talked me out of this because no romance is really ever explicitly implied except for when Malon’s dad says you can marry his daughter. And that doesn’t really count. But Link is such a stud that you can’t help but assume that Saria, Ilia, Ruto, Malon, Zelda, and even Nabooru all have the hots for him. So since I, in turn, assume that Link has his pick, I pick Malon. She’s feisty, smart, and hot. ‘Nuff said.

What do you think? You guys have been giving great feedback already listing many of your own choices: Elena and Nathan, Cole and Sasha, even Wander and Agro…
But no matter how twisted you are, keep ‘em coming. Who did miss, and what did we get wrong in your opinion?

King Ethos’ Top Five Games of All Time List: Number 1

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Well the dust has settled, predictions have been made on which Zelda would take the COVETED number 1 spot on this UNPRECEDENTED list. And although you can just jot your eyes down to the picture for the answer, I’m still going to give you a quick bit of trivia before I reveal it:
Did you notice that every single title on this list is from a different console? It surprised me too!
5 – Xbox360
4 – PS3/PSN
3 – PS2
2 – PSX
1 – N64
Ridiculous! Anyway, on to reveal Ocarina of Time.

1 – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Yes, I do adore Majora’s Mask, and yes, it would probably sneak its way onto a top ten list, but Ocarina of Time still takes the cake.
11 years after its release, I’m finally starting to find people who admit they don’t like it or never liked it, but I remain in the set who claim this game changed the face of gaming. On a personal level, of course. Ocarina of Time proved to me that a game didn’t need a good plot to tell a powerful story. It proved that you don’t need a massive overworld for the game universe to feel infinite. It proved that not just Nobuo Uematsu could write a catchy, but also very impactful musical score. Few moments in gaming have created such a sensation of raw inspiration as when I first stepped out into Hyrule Field. It’s a clichéd moment, but I think it is that way for a reason. I have yet to play an adventure game with such tight design and inspired direction. It’s especially impressive that OoT continues to be the best 3D Zelda game even though Twilight Princess controls noticably better. I also kinda hate the main Zelda Theme, so I’m glad it wasn’t in the game.
oot