Gaming Post 34: Xenoblade Chronicles (3DS)

The random number generator has chosen a very good game for me to write about, but it’s a very long game that some people may intend to play eventually, so I’ll try not to spoil too much about the story.

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The game I’m going to be writing about this time is Xenoblade Chronicles 3D for the New Nintendo 3DS. It was originally released for the Nintendo Wii. If you’re scrolling through Zelgerath.com, everything after this paragraph is concealed behind a “Continue reading” tag, but if you’ve clicked straight into this article, there is no such protection from minor spoilers.

Continue reading

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Gaming Post 27: Ice Climber

The random number generator has chosen for me to write about the first game I finished after starting this website. The game I finished right after I purchased Zelgerath.com was Ice Climber!

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Right after “beating Duck Hunt” (See my article about the endeavor) I was in an NES Virtual Console mood. Most NES games weren’t designed to be beaten, but to go on indefinitely like an arcade game, yet I am still able to find ways of defining for myself when I have beaten a game like that. I’m also pretty lax about it; Barring the occasional exception, I’m not really into beating games to 100% completion anymore, and I also use restore points when they are available if they make a difficult task much more possible for me to overcome.

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I say this to note that I am not actually good at Ice Climber, but I was patient enough to struggle through the 32 mountains in the game using the Wii U Virtual Console’s restore point feature.

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As daunting a task as beating all of the Nintendo games might be, it’s best to think about it one character/series at a time. Part of why I beat Duck Hunt in such an enthusiastic rush was that Duck Hunt is the only game in its series, so when I finished the game I also finished all of the games associated with an entire fighter in Super Smash Brothers. Following my Duck Hunt achievement, I remembered that the Ice Climbers were cut from the most recent version of Super Smash Brothers, so I decided that it was time to take on the entire Ice Climber series (which is only one game long) to avenge them.

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And avenge them I did… Ice Climber is essentially a vertical Mario game. Instead of going from left to right, the Ice Climber goes from bottom to top. His weapon is a hammer, which helps a little bit, but most of the challenge is very precise platforming. I found the platforming to be archaic and difficult; The jumping in the first Super Mario Bros. was much better. There were many times in Ice Climber when I had to jump a gap and it looked like I made it, but didn’t because the visual area of the ice climber didn’t correspond with what the game considered his location to be. Luckily, I knew this was a problem with the game and so I used lots of restore points at moments like that and at other dangerous parts.

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In the course of a few days, I slowly made my way to the summit of every mountain in the game, always successfully reaching the bonus Pterodactyl at the top because my use of restore points made me the master of time and space.

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Yes, I know. I’m a total cheater.

The mountains got more and more treacherous the further I went, but after I climbed the 32nd mountain, I was brought back to the first one. Like an arcade game, Ice Climber never ends until you get a Game Over, but I knew I was done and so added Ice Climber to my list of beaten games.

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Also, concerning the Ice Climbers’ absence in the newest Super Smash Bros. game, I think that they will come back, if not as DLC then in the next installment. The only reason they were cut from Smash Bros. 4 is that presumably the original 3DS couldn’t handle 4 players playing as 4 different sets of Ice Climbers fighting at the same time without significant lag, which could potentially happen if players were allowed to fight as them in the game. I’m sure the Wii U could handle even 8 sets of Ice Climbers fighting, but Nintendo probably wanted the same fighters in the Wii U version to be available in the 3DS version, so they canceled their appearance this time.

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But once they bring the Ice Climbers back to Smash Bros (and they will), I’m sure they’ll also make an Ice Climbers Amiibo.

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Thanks for Reading! I appreciate it! =D

Gaming Post 8: Super Mario Bros.

I’m having all the luck lately! The random number generator has determined that my next gaming post will be about Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)!

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This is a classic video game. It’s the first installment of the Super Mario series. The objective is to run and jump through levels from left to right, defeat Bowser the Koopa King, and save Princess Toadstool.

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Here’s the world record speed run of the game.

Now, you may have noticed that this game is full of shortcuts. Without shortcuts, the game is 32 stages long.

Because you can not save in this game, I never thought that I would ever beat it. I always beat the 3D Super Mario games, but the 2D ones I considered to be hopeless for a really long time. What changed my mind about it was something called Restore Points, which were introduced for Virtual Console games on the 3DS and Wii U. Basically, with Restore Points, you can save whenever you want, and return to that point if something bad happens. With such a tool, you basically control the flow of time itself. That said, you never want to create a restore point unless you are sure that your character is safe, otherwise returning to that restore point might only result in losing.

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So, I decided to use Restore Points to run through all 32 stages in the game (without using any of the warp pipe level skips). Though I started by only using Restore Points after each stage, I gradually ended up using them during the stages at moments when I felt that Mario was safe. In that way, I completely finished Super Mario Bros in a relatively short amount of time.

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Though the way I did it was probably not the way it was intended, I finally finished Super Mario Bros. and went on to take on the other 2D installments. I figure that since Restore Points have been implemented by Nintendo itself, it is a legitimate method to complete games if it’s available. That said, just because Restore Points are possible to create, it doesn’t mean that it’s always a good idea to use them. I use them in some games and not in others. In my opinion, using Restore Points to beat a difficult old game often outweighs never completing that game.

So, until the next Gaming Post, Thanks for reading! =)

Gaming Post 4: The Legend of Zelda

Oh snap! The random number generator wants me to write about Zelda 1!

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I first played this game as a part of a Legend of Zelda Collector’s Edition which I had (borrowed) for the GameCube.

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At the time, I was most familiar with the Legend of Zelda series via the Nintendo 64 title Ocarina of Time. The collectors edition featured a demo for the newest Zelda game, called The Wind Waker as well as the full versions of Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, Zelda 1 and Zelda 2. I played Zelda 1 for a little while simply because it was on the disc.

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My first impression of it was that the game was really old. That observation was not inaccurate. Zelda 1 came out in 1987 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and was one of the first video games that allowed the player to save their progress and continue playing later, which is now the norm for most video games.  Though the game was historically important, I couldn’t take the game seriously due to its outdated graphics. That is, until I finished Wind Waker, Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask and decided to beat all of the Legend of Zelda games.

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This was my inspirational poster.

What I realized then was how fun the original Legend of Zelda can be. Essentially, the point of the game is to find and complete 8 dungeons in the relatively small country of Hyrule. Each dungeon has a fragment of the Triforce of Wisdom, and once the entire Triforce is assembled, you can fight Ganon, the Prince of Darkness.

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When you defeat Ganon, you save the princess, whose name is Zelda. The character you play as is not named Zelda. His name is Link. Link is the hero.

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I know a lot of trivia about this game. For example, the game first came out in Japan for a system called the Famicom. If one had a second controller for the Famicom, the game could use its microphone controls to kill the large bunny enemies.

It was made by Shigeru Miyamoto based on his childhood memories of getting lost in the woods and inside of his family’s house. And finally, Zelda was named after the wife of the novelist F Scott Fitzgerald, who wrote a pretty good book called The Great Gatsby.

If you want to play this game, I recommend getting it on the Virtual Console for either the Wii, the Wii U or the 3DS. The Wii U and 3DS versions allow you to use restore points, but I would personally recommend not using them. My friend Nick used restore points and regretted it because the game is so short. I can beat this game now in probably less than 3 hours if I remember what I’m doing.

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Also, there is a harder version of the game available after you beat the first version, called the second quest, but I would only recommend playing that if you are bored and have an online guide. I used an online guide for both the regular quest and the second quest. It’s possible that some day I’ll post an abridged “lets play” of this game, but I’m not sure when or if that will happen.

On to the next Gaming Post!