Thursday, January 11, 2018

Nintendo Direct 01/11/18: Not-so-live Impressions

Wait, what? We're just announcing that Nintendo Directs have already happened via email now - emails that spoil FREAKING EVERYTHING!!? Not even a full Direct, but a Mini??? And I thought I was upset seeing that Chibi-Robo amiibo being set ablaze on Twitter yesterday:

Hoo boy. This is what watching snuff must be like.

Hey, it's all spoiled, but I guess, let's take a look anyway? Damn it, Nintendo!!

  • 00:13 - Oh, what? No Koizumi even. Just Annoying Voice-over Guy. This sucks. :D

  • 00:22 - A Nintendo DS classic? Huh, well I guess they didn't spoil EVERYTHING in the email. The World Ends with You, maybe? I've always wanted to give that a try.

  • 00:32 - Oh shit! I'm right.

  • 00:45 - This is great. As a renowned portable hater, remaking DS games for the Switch is something I can very much get behind. This came out TEN YEARS AGO though? Holy crap, I'm old!

  • 00:59 - I was a little worried about graphics given they were only showing the game inside a frame up to now, but this actually looks pretty good.
  • 01:07 - Oh? A rare Switch touch-screen game. Regular controls too, so big screen TWEWY here we go!

  • 01:22 - 2018. Cool!

  • 01:28 - New Pokkén fighters. Who could care? :D Oh wait, hold on a sec; they've dropped the headlines list from this Direct. I won't have to be looking off-screen at random stuff to avoid spoilers any more. Hooray!
  • 01:30 - In fairness though, they did still spoil a ton of announcements in that announcement email, but I guess they're learning. Maybe?

  • 02:20 - Remember kids, this DLC is totally not a season pass. You just pay for it up front, and then it gets released in 'waves', alright? (At least they're being very upfront here though about what this season pass actually includes, unlike Breath of the Wild.)

  • 02:26 - A Dragon Quest Builders demo - another demo I'd actually download if I could. I'm still Switchless right now though. That Bayonetta 3 announcement at The Game Awards certainly moved the needle a little on that, but I'm still holding out for a better deal at the moment.

  • 02:40 - New copy abilities for Kirby? Oh boy! Please explain them all to me in excruciating detail. (Oh, I'm sure this game will be fun, but come on...)

  • 02:46 - Big fan of Kirby's Noddy Holder hat here.

  • 03:43 - A Hyrule Warriors port for the Switch. And there I was predicting back at E3 that Wii U ports were just about done. This is more than all you Wii U haters; all you casuals deserve! :D

  • 03:53 - Hell yeah, Linkle! Have to say though: the graphics here not looking especially polished-up from the Wii U; not in the slightest actually.

  • 04:16 - Breath of the Wild outfits too; along with all the DLC. This is a pretty nice package for anyone who hasn't played this yet. It's a pretty fun game. Maybe it helped that I hadn't played any Warriors games previously, and the Zelda setting certainly contributed too, but I had a blast with this.

  • 04:34 - Mario Tennis Aces. Hmm, hard to get too excited for another one given how Ultra Smash, and the last few Mario Sports games in general turned out, but who knows, maybe this will be the one to buck the trend.

  • 04:51 - I don't know This looks a lot like Ultra Smash though. Where's all the fun Mushroom Kingdom stuff?

  • 05:05 - Okay, now this is what I'm talking about! Story mode too? You have my attention, Nintendo.

  • 05:17 - Spring? Wow, they've been working on this one on the quiet for a while. Camelot back again judging by the copyright up there.

  • 05:33 - Ys VIII. These games are supposed to be really great. I have a bunch of them on Steam, of course. Unplayed, naturally.

  • 06:20 - Yikes! We're still doing this Japan, huh?

  • 06:40 - Luigi's Balloon World - well, that sure sounds like a realm of nightmares. Do go on.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Video: The Toy Show 2016 Supercut

The Late Late Toy Show - one of the TV highlights of the year here in Ireland. Having not seen one in at least thirteen years, I finally gave into the peer pressure and the FOMO and tuned into to last year's show, and boy, I don't know what I was expecting, but this is pretty much what I got. :D

I don't know, a two-hour show of kids reviewing toys I think I could get behind, but that's just not what this is. The toys are more or less a sideshow here to all the musical numbers, celebrity appearances, awkward audience interactions, and a volume of promotional tie-ins so large, it would make Geoff Keighley blush. Well, probably not, but...

Even the toy segments themselves - and I may get thrown out of the country for saying this - I think are kind of bad. Ryan just doesn't seem that that into the toys, or even particularly engaged in what the kids have to say most of the time. If he's not rushing them along to get to the next segment, he's half ignoring them while trying to score a few cheap laughs from the audience. Sometimes even at the kid's expense, which kind of shocked me to be honest. That bit in the video where he's grilling the kid about his dead pet lamb: my jaw was hanging open. And he only kept going from there! Come on, man, they're kids, and they're doing their best; you can really see in the show just how much they've prepared for their bits, and you're just blowing through them, making bad jokes? Not cool.

Overall - and I have to admit, musically talented kids didn't do anything for me even as a kid - I found watching this a gruelling experience. :D The cringe levels here were easily up there with the worst of E3. I mean, hence the video. Within minutes of watching I knew that this demanded the supercut treatment. I don't know how long this is going to stay up. I'm kind of expecting a copyright strike, but for the moment, please enjoy some of the very finest moments last year's show had to offer.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tumblr Doodles: Jul-Dec '15

For more doodley nonsense, check out

Friday, November 17, 2017

Photos: Picking Blackberries

One of the major perks in living out in countryside the middle of nowhere: blackberries! Every year from about the middle of August into October they grow in vast numbers on hedgerows all around here. I spent a fair bit of time picking them as a kid, but it's only since I got into this whole gardening thing that I've gotten back to it, stockpiling them in the freezer for pies, jam, ice cream and more. I grabbed my camera to take along with me, out into the wilderness, the last couple of times I went picking them and, of course, never got around to posting any of the pictures I took. But hey, let's take a look now:

Oh, you thought I was kidding about the wilderness part? No, this is for real the middle of nowhere.

Quite a dramatic sky, even if it is a bit spoiled by the phone lines. Hey, people out in the country need to watch E3 cringe compilations too. I assume.

So I only brought this little container for my first time out in 2014, which would have been hardly worth my while. I came back to a different spot a couple of weeks later with two huge bucket to do things right. That lot actually lasted me right up until last year...

... where I found myself replenishing my supplies, on a much more blustery day in the middle of this semi-flooded cattle path.

Very much a wellies-only job.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Nintendo Direct 14/09/2017: Not-so-live Impressions

Woo, woo! Nintendo Direct time. It's been quite a while since the last full-on, non-E3 Direct: April by my calculations - a time when if you had asked me if I'd be getting a Switch in time for Mario Odyssey, I'd have said "absolutely". Now though, now that it's nearly upon us, ehh, I'm kind of having second thoughts. I don't know, looking at how the line-up has shaken out so far for the Switch - excluding Breath of the Wild, which I've already played to death on the Wii U - there are a few nice-to-have games there, but for me, there just isn't that wealth of content, or those few must-have games right now that would justify the current price tag. Will today's Direct change anything in that department? Let's find out:

00:12 - And we're off. It's always mildly intriguing to see a PEGI 18 pop up on one of these. Much as I'd be excited for Mario + Extreme Beach Volleyball though, - much as we all would - I suspect it's for a couple of Switch game announcement that I managed to spoil myself on last night. Ooh, secrets.

- What's in store for 3DS? I know I'm being selfish here, but hopefully not much. :D Damn it, Nintendo, you have a hybrid platform now; put everything on that! Cater to my needs only. Is that so much to ask?
00:42 - Booo! They're doing the spoilerific "headlines" in this Direct again. This time I'm just going to straight-up look away.

00:50 - Not quite yet though. First we have some Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon.
01:30 - Yikes! Those graphics sure look like they're from a 3DS game

01:53 - Yep, Dawn Wings Necrozma. Definitely caught all that in the trailer.

01:42 - I have to admit, they're still killing it with these starter Pokémon designs though.

02:58 - Whoah! The last thing I expected to have announced here: new Virtual Console releases. Pokémon Gold and Silver. Not bad. (Be a lot cooler they were on the Switch though...)

03:51 - I'm not into collecting limited edition consoles, but damn, that Pokéball 2Ds is hot.

04:01 - Limited edition boxed copies of Pokémon Gold and Silver too. Kind of cool, but if they're anywhere near as limited as that freakin' Samus Returns Limited Edition, I'd extinguish any hope of getting hold of those immediately. #SaltyAsHellCommaDamnItNintendo

04:08 - Arrgh! Headlines. Looking over at my retro console cabinet instead. Damn, that's a mess. You know, I'd swear that empty Pepsi bottle's been up there for two weeks. At least. I don't even know why!

04:18 - Okay, looks like it's safe to look again. Oh, this is that Superstar Saga remake - one game I'm not really bothered about missing out on on Switch. Oh, I said it: Superstar Saga was never anything but an average, watered-down Paper Mario. But, but, Fawful! Fawful is mildly amusing for a few minutes, maybe. In a game full of bean and laughter puns. No!

04:22 - I will give it one thing though: Superstar Saga does feature Mario and Luigi doing some actual plumbing for once, which I appreciated.

05:17 - Kirby Battle Royale. Not sure if this was shown at E3, but I don't think so.

05:31 - Then again, I do remember being displeased with the announcement of a Kirby game with local 4-player multiplayer, so they must have at least announced it then. Yeah, I'll never play this. :D

06:01 - Copy ability global poll? Wow; Nintendo really celebrating Kirby's 25th anniversary in style.

06:17 - A new Layton game. I guess it won't surprise anyone to hear that I've yet to try out any of these. I was hoping that with the Switch that Layton and other Japanese DS/3DS franchises might finally make their way onto a TV screen. Hopefully soon.

06:53 - Uh, what?

07:04 - Ohh, Style Boutique. I'm kind of surprised that that series is still going. I guess they must sell okay, but it really feels like these kind of sims have all but died out since the DS era (or, more likely, moved to mobile).

07:59 - Minecraft on 3DS, because of course. Hey, you guys, I played some Minecraft. I picked up a Raspberry Pi recently, only to discover that it comes pre installed on those. So, I chopped down some trees, started digging a tunnel down into the ground and... I don't know; I can still see the appeal of it, it just doesn't really appeal to me. If it had some direction and some goals though, maybe it might. I should give Dragon Quest Builders a go.

08:52 - A compilation of the top 100 Mario Party games. Great! :D Never played Mario party back in the day tbh. I could never justify using up precious funds on these, like, weird board games. Having watched many hours of the Giant Bomb guys playing through them now though, I'm pretty confident that I made the right call. Even the mini games in these - the fun bits, allegedly - look... not great.

09:14 - Really not liking the tux, red pants and hat combo here, Mario. (Looks like someone needs to take a trip to the Style Boutique. (sorry))

09:26 - Wait, what? Why should Smash Bros. fans take notice of Samus Returns, voice-over guy?
09:44 - ...and none of those are reasons Smash Bros. fans should notice. How about "It's like the Subspace Emissary, but good". :D (Those cut scenes were pretty great though.)
09:53 - I'm so salty that I wasn't able to get the limited edition of this. But JiliK, don't you irrationaly hate playing on a handheld? Well, sure. I mean, I wasn't going to play the game. I mostly just wanted it for the soundtrack and all the other chachkies. :D Now I don't know if I'll bother until I get a really good discount on it.

10:03 - Hm, this SNES 3DS I'm not crazy about. Putting "Edition" between grey bars in the logo, where "PAL Version" was back in the SNES days is a nice touch though.

10:13 - Oh, this is good news though. I might have barley touched my 3DS since I got it, but I have been on the hunt for Luigi's Mansion 2 and Mario 3D Land for cheap since then, and they're still both freakin' full price! Which doesn't exactly bode well for getting a bargain on Samus Returns, but...
10:26 - Yep, I'll be grabbing the two of those on October 13th. Actually, you know what.... Just pre-ordered them now on Amazon. £15.99 each. Not bad.

10:43 - Alliance Alive: a new, old school JRPG from Atlus. Looks...urrgh...interesting.,....must...stop...port...begging.

11:07 - And another Ace Attorney game too. Hoping that series makes it's way to the Switch eventually as well. Even some remakes of the old ones would be great.
11:20 - That's it for the 3DS. And not just here I think. It really does look they're winding down the platform now. I get the feeling that 3DS releases are going to be few and far between next year. (Squee!!! Er, I mean how tragic. No more dedicated handhelds. Noo. Why?)

11:35 - Phew! I getting anxious that he wasn't he wasn't going to do it there. I think I'd miss it now.

11:53 - Xenoblade Chronicles 2 still looking great. Still haven't even gotten around to playing the original.
12:04 - "... on the top of it lies Elysium. Matt Damon's trying to get there. It's really boring."

14:33 - Whoah! I genuinely had no idea that this thing was talking. The lip-synching here: oh, boy.

14:45 - Shepard.