Thursday, June 26, 2014

Nintendo Digital Event 2014: Not-so-live Impressions

So it's currently 9:47 BST on the 11 June. Nintendo's E3 Direct aired over 24 hours ago now. I was a bit too tired to delve into it last night though so I've been desperately avoiding any spoilers all day. (Yes, I've become that guy now. :D) Right now I've got the video queued up, ready to go, and yes, it's far too late, but I'll be damned if I'm not going to get some predictions in before I hit play, so...
  • Prediction 1: No Zelda. Well, besides Hyrule Warriors any way. I don't think the Wii U Zelda is far along enough to be shown yet. I could maybe see some sort of Four Swords game coming to the Wii, but that's about it.
  • Prediction 2: Definitely more Mario. I don't think they'll show another 2D or 3D platformer this time, but I really wouldn't be surprised to see a new Mario Party. Mario Maker, I don't know. It's a great idea, and kind of a no-brainer. It has been for a long time. But, I'm not totally sold on that photo and I can't think of the last time a Nintendo E3 leak turned out to be real. Overall, I'm just about erring on the side of:
  • Prediction 3: Mario Maker is real.
  • Prediction 4: NFC! I think NFC is going to be a big focus of this Direct. I'm guessing Smash Bros will have some kind of NFC functionality, but I'm also expecting....
  • Prediction 5: A new NFC-based Nintendo title. Which I strongly suspect is going to be a very Nintendo Land-esque, casual-friendly mash up of various Nintendo properties.
  • Prediction 6: More HD Remasters. Turns out HD development is slow and those third parties aren't around to pick up the slack any more, so I'm expecting to see Nintendo delve into it's back cataloge to pad out the Wii U release list a bit. I'm thinking maybe not Gamecube again, but maybe some stuff from the Wii, or even the 3DS.
  • Prediction 7: 3DS eShop games coming to the Wii U. On a related note, I think we'll see at least one more port or quickly turned around sequel to a 3DS eShop game popping up, and maybe more to come in future directs. I'm thinking the likes of HarmoKnight, Nintendo Football Club, Rusty's Real Deal Baseball et cetra. That release schedule needs to get filled up somehow, and right now I don't think they're going to do it by money-hatting third party titles or splashing out in a bunch of acquisitions. But having said that...
  • Prediction 8: At least one unannounced, major Japanese third party game, published by Nintendo. Maybe this is more a wish than a prediction, but I really hope we see a bit more Japanese support for the Wii U here. At this point I think this is the only way it'll come.
  • Prediction 9: DS Virtual Console is available NOW! But it'll just be Brain Training, so meh.
  • Prediction 10: No Star Fox or F-Zero. At this point I think these two, especially F-Zero have shifted into becoming dormant franchises like Kid Icarus was for a long time. There will be sequels one day, but only when incessant fan demand basically wills them into existance. i can't see Nintendo returning to either on their own volition at this point.
  • Prediction 11: Definitely, definitely no Eternal Darkness sequel, expiring trademarks be damned. :D

3DS? Eh, probably another Layton game. :D

Overall, I'm not expecting a barnstormer from Nintendo this year. I'm expecting a bunch of games that I'll moan about now, but ultimately pick up end enjoy even if I'll really wish I was playing a Treasure-developed Star Fox reboot. Because well, that's what's happened every other year.

Well, I guess I'll find out soon enough:

  • 00:00 - Pegi 16. Bayonetta footage confirmed.
  • 00:15 - Wow, they're really going low budget this year. :D
  • 00:19 - Yeah, Reggie's name is somewhat difficult to pronounce. Topical.
  • 00:28 - "Not my problem". Jeez, what's next? Gangnam Style? Lime Cat? The Hamster Dance?
  • 00:37 - "Another Mario game". Okay, now that's some self-awareness I can get behind. :D Plus, calling it: this is Mario Maker.
  • 00:51 - Fox backstage, Young Link hate. Okay, probably Robot Chicken, okay.
  • 01:14 - Is this an Iwata terminator, because that, I could also get behind.
  • 01:32 - AHHHHH! No, I think this is some kind of bizarre Smash Bros. trailer.
  • 01:39 - Torpedo Ted eat your heart out.
  • 02:07 - Matrix homages. And we're back into the realm of horribly dated references again. If someone pulls out a lightsabre knock-off here, I'm done. :D
  • 02:11 - Yep, Iwata knows what's up.
  • 02:19 - Yes, it's a Smash Bros trailer. Bloody hell, Reggie's expressions are really starting to unnerve me now. :D
  • 02:25 - Still Smash Bros. for Wii U? I guess it makes things pretty clear. But it's such a bad name!
  • 02:42 - Reggie can't believe it; It's like watching an acting master class. Though to be fair, this would be so much worse with the type of actors who usually turn up in these things.
  • 02:58 - What? What the fuck was that expression Reggie just made?!
  • 03:01 - NFC, bitch!
  • 03:08 - So that's what that square under the d-pad is for. Oh man, you don't think the characters are only available through figurenes only, do you? That would be Microsoft in 2013 levels of fucked-up. :D
  • 03:34 - Sakuraaaaaai!
  • 03:58 - I don't want to blow your mind, guys, but you can play as a Mii, in a Nintendo game. 
  • 04:06 - "...but who gives a shit about Miis any more. Right, guys"?
  • 04:49 - Yep, Miis. Got it. Damn it, Sakurai.
  • 05:24 - So the Gunner basically plays like Samus then? 
  • 05:33 - Another three character slots gone. :D I'm never going to see Paper Mario added Smash Bros., am I?
  • 05:40 - The customisation is kind of cool though. Still, I have zero interest in playing as a Mii, in anything.
  • 05:56 - "... and now all you fuckers can make your own damn Geno"!
  • 06:50 - Some 3DS Smash Bros. now. Don't know if it's just the fact that it's always blown up, but I'm not really digging the look of this. It's like the character models don't really blend in with the stages. Reminds me a bit of how Mario Kart 64 looked with the weird pre-rendered sprites as characters.
  • 07:02 - Anyway. Some Smash Bros. 3DS modes now. 
    • 07:17 - Oh, you can turn off the character outlines. That looks way better.
    • 08:11 - Yep, that sure looks like Smash Bros. That might well be the least informative thing I've seen yet during E3, and I sat through the whole EA press conference.
    • 08:15 - The 3DS version is launching in October over here then? That would be a bit close for comfort to the Wii U one even if it's coming out in say, early December. Maybe it's getting pushed to next year.
    • 08:19 - Winter 2014 huh? That a pretty vague date to be giving this late in the game. Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see it slipping into next year.
    • 08:48 - Oh man, here comes the the NFC stuff. Not crazy about the look of this Mario one, but man, am I down to buy some freaking Nintendo figurines.
    • 09:15 - Amiibo? Is it just me or does that sound like a fake pharmaceutical company.
    • 09:34 - What? Are they going to have unlockable amiibo stuff in Skylanders and Disney Infinity?  That'd be a pretty cleaver move actually.
    • 10:17- Yeah, this is really high-level, conceptual stuff, and probably mostly BS. Who wants to bet that nothing exists of Amiibo besides this prototype figurene. No new NFC game here I'd imagine.
    • 11:00 - Mario Galaxy stage woo! Also, this is sounding scarily like my nightmare vision from earlier coming to fruition.
    • 11:18 - The Luigi death stare. Nintendo's gone meme crazy!
    • 11:22 - "... but god knows we don't having any answers, so moving on..."
    • 12:08 - Yeah, Super Mario World!
    • 13:02  - "... or indeed, a little bump n' grind."
    • 13:21 - Yarn Yoshi? Damn it, I really should have made that a prediction!
    • 13:43 -  Yes! Looking forward to this. Kirby's Epic Yarn was rad.
    • 13:49 -  Yoshi's Woolly World! Yes!
    • 14:06 - Yarn eggs!
    • 14:21 - Oh man, that music!. Exclamation marks!
    • 14:35 - This IS going to look great in HD.
    • 16:33 - The egg block is a basket, people. Hnnnnggg.
    • 16:45 - 2-player mode. Still packing in that casual appeal.
    • 17:25 - Man, I really hope there's a a yarn Yoshi as a pre-order bonus. I'm dead serious. 
    • 17:57 - Is that a Yoshi doll in your pocket or...
    • 18:10 - Booo! 2015.
    • 18:24 - Huh? Is this a Captain Toad spin-off game? Liked those levels well enough in 3D World, but I can't say I'm eager for a whole game full of them.
    • 18:56 - Was that a turnip he pulled out of the ground?! How much cooler would a real New Super Mario Bros 2 be?
    • 19:16 - Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. Winter 2014. Not a Wii or 3DS game, but that's some quickly turned around schedule filler if I ever saw it. :)
    • 19:54 - Nope, probably Robot Chicken, we're back into stale old video game references again now. No thank you.
    • 19:55 - Ooh, Zelda. Having been messing around with it Dolphin recently, that's totally the title music from Twilight Princess. Oh man, how good would it be if this was just a BS tease that went right into Hyrule Warriors. :D Though a Twilight Princess HD remaster? Sign me up.
    • 20:11 - Whoa. Anouma is talking like they might actually be showing some Zelda today. Damn.
    • 21:03 - I would be all for a massive, seamless overworld. Certainly don't need a repeat of Skyward Sword's weird, broken-up dungeon world.
    • 21:15 - Damn, The Wind Waker HD is pretty. Still haven't picked that up. Urge to go back on all my promises and take advantage of Mario Kart 8's free game rising.
    • 21:24 - "Today, I will talk about the latest Zelda game for Wii U" Tetra's Trackers 2.
    • 21:36 - Damn! Shit just got real. Looks cool. Really like how... organic the the world looks.
    • 22:10 - Plotting your route through the world as a kind of puzzle solving. Sounds intriguing.
    • 22:29 - Maybe I'm getting my hopes up too soon, but this sounds almost Elder Scrolls ish.
    • 23:11 - Looks like we're getting a trailer now. Link's being chased by a giant robot squid thing, causing utter fiery devastation everywhere.
    • 23:15 - Looks like Link's wearing his farmboy get up here. Hope everyone's ready for more yak herding. :D
    • 23:21 - Wh-what? Is Link a girl? 
    • 23:33 - No. I think he just has his hair tied up. Insecure fanboys everywhere breathe a sigh of relief. :D Also, cyber weapons?

    Friday, June 20, 2014

    deviantArt Update 20/04/14

    Another Bloody Reblog: Pickups 26/05/14

    (Originally posted on Tumblr)

    Holy crap! As far as retro collecting goes, I am in deep at the moment. Really need to put together a proper blog post when I get the chance, but for now let’s just take a look at today’s haul.

    WWF Wrestlemania 2000 (N64, PAL) £3

    Kirby Air Ride (Gamecube, US) £5

    So Kirby’s basically the reason for this entire package. :D After searching fruitlessly for months for a cheap US copy I could run on my Wii in 480p, I came across this disc only one on Retrogames, a site I used to buy SNES and N64 stuff back in the early 00’s. Having already saved a good €20-25 on that, I decided I’d have a poke around their Bargain Basement section. It was all downhill from there. :D

    Wrestling’s never something I’ve been into, but the glowing reviews for the N64’s WWF games in particular always had me curious to try one of that era’s games out. Eh, can’t go too far wrong for £3 anyway.

    Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (N64, PAL) £4

    Another N64 game I’ve been eager to get my hands for ages. Haven’t had too much experience of the Goemon games, but I’ve heard very good things about this one and it looks completely bonkers, which is always a plus. £4 is a great price for this too. I’ve never seen it go for less than €16-17 on eBay. Mind you, this was listed as having a non-working battery. Pretty sure this doesn’t have even have on-cartridge saves, so I’m hoping that just a mistake.

    Excite Bike 64 (N64, PAL) £7

    Wave Race: Blue Storm (Gamecube, JPN) £5

    And the last N64 game, Excitebike 64. Don’t really know too about this one to be honest. I guess it kind of passed me by in the midst of my fervent Gamecube anticipation back in the day. It’s always been on my list to check out though and £7 wasn’t a bad price at all.

    (Though the contacts in all of them could do with a clean.)

    In another case of chasing that 480p dream, I also picked up a Japanese copy of Wace Race to replace a PAL copy I bought back in January only to immediately regret it once I saw it in action. Yeah, 480i isn’t a huge step down in image quality, but having played a bunch of NTSC games through component on my Wii now, it’s hard to go back.

    Ninja Gaiden (Xbox, PAL) £3

    Finally, a copy Ninja Gaiden for the OG Xbox. Not really sure I’m up to the challenge of this, but for £3, I couldn’t resist. I hear the NES games are unlockable here too, but I imagine there’s a pretty good chance I’ll never even get that far. :D

    Tumblr Doodles: January/February '14

    More doodley nonsense over at

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

    Gardening with JiliK - Escape from the Propagator of DOOM

    So, yeah; the propagator: not a huge success. Mind you, things didn't look that way at first.

    Back in mid-March I started to see my gardening efforts show their first signs of life with rosemary...

    ...and then chive seedlings starting to emerge out of the compost.

    Followed soon after by the sage. And a little later by some aubergine seeds I'd planted after the last post (along with some tomatoes and chillies). The aubergines especially, needing a hotter environment to grow, I took as a real sign that I was heading in the right direction here.

    But then, everything went south real fast. I started getting a bit worried when weeks after the first seedlings emerged, and well after their germination periods should have ended, there wasn't a peep out of any of the other cells. Then, a couple of the aubergine seedlings started wilting. A temporary side effect of a bit too much heat under the plastic I thought. Nope, they all fucking died. :D

    So, totally dismayed and with nothing to left alive at this point but a little sage plant and a couple of chives (yep, the rosemary didn't grow either) , I set another batch of herbs in another propagator; this time one of the big open ones (alongside some pumpkin and courgette seeds I was hoping to get started inside), and prepared their inevitable failure.

    But this time...

    This isn't the propagator in question though. I transplanted the herbs into a window box after I planted the pumpkins outside. Oh. Spoiler alert.

    ...they fucking grew! All of them. Same seeds, same compost, but this time I was even more restrictive with the amount of water I put on them. That, I was suspecting was the cause of the first propagator's demise after an excavation of the one of the cells unveiled a seriously mouldy-looking sage seed.

    Now that I knew that I had finally some herbs, I rescued the few surviving plants and set about investigating the rest of the cells. While there were a couple of mouldy ones, actually, most of seeds looked fine. Aside from the fact that they hadn't stirred since the day I planted them any way. The compost was all pretty wet though, so over-watering still seemed like the most likely culprit.

    Serving sug..... I'll get me coat.

    To be honest, if that second batch of seeds failed, I think that would have pretty much been it for my gardening efforts, but with a windowsill now bursting to life with herbs and rapidly-expanding pumpkin plants (which of course I have no pictures of. Good job, JiliK.), I was confident it was time to move on to the next phase.