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Edwin Garcia's blog

9:24 PM on 02.03.2014

Rumors, Rumors, Rumors

Everyone hates rumors, especially in the video game journalism world. How can any self respected journalist try to make news out of rumors? Well I think that is a bit unfair and honestly kind of hypocritical.†

Journalism is a highly competitive field and it is no different with video game journalism. In order to stay on top of your game, you need to make sure that you are prepared for the biggest news stories. It is a career in which you are just waiting for that big news story to propel you to the next level.†

If the rumor does end up being true and you do not report on it then you are looked down on and get hate for being "late". There is a lot of hindsight bias; Because the rumor turned out being true, in your head you knew it was always going to be true.†

There was a rumor that Watch Dogs was either being cancelled or getting a name change. It turned out to be false and just a misunderstanding but those that reported on it got a lot of unearned hate. The reader should take some responsibility and read the news story instead of just instantly challenging the writers integrity. Most sites are pretty good about reporting it as a rumor.†

As someone that has been on both sides, consumer and producer of news, I believe that readers are smart and therefore should act like intelligent people. If it is reported as a rumor then take it for what it is and understand that it must be reported.   read

2:05 PM on 02.01.2014

Why A Link Between Worlds Stands Out

The Legend of Zelda is known for its excellence. Lately though, it has felt like there has been a large focus on trying to prove what Nintendoís hardware is all about instead of focusing on trying to make the game the best that it can be. Skyward Sword got a lot of love from critics but it was lacking in the gameplay department. †The same goes for the DS Zelda games. †It was all about proving why the hardware exists.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds very quickly became one of my favorite games in the series. This was the first Zelda game that wasnít trying to prove why the hardware exists. You could play the whole game without the 3D on. It was all about the gameplay.

The game does not bore you with any lengthy intros, instead opting to throw you right into the action. Five minutes in and you are already off on your mission. It is the first Zelda game in a while that lets you roam free in the world. They give you dungeons and let you go wherever you want. †It may not be a new world to explore since we did see it in A Link Between Worlds but the dungeons are completely different and the charm is still there.

All that is fine and dandy but the main reason A Link Between Worlds has become one of my favorites in the series is because the new ability to merge to the wall. Recently I was playing The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD and without realizing, attempted to merge on to the wall. That is what I call revolutionary! This is the first new feature that I want to be in all the future games.

The game is a lot of fun and has changed the series forever with the ability to merge with the wall.   read

7:43 PM on 01.30.2014

Wii U Gamepad, Personal Dislikes

I currently own every "Next Gen" system or now current gen. It may seem unnecessary and in reality it is almost unnecessary but I do love me some video games. With all that in mind I can honestly say the Wii U Gamepad is one of my least liked controllers of maybe all time. Now that may seem harsh and unwarranted but simply put, it is pointless. Most Wii U owners will claim you must use it in order to really love it like they do but in my case it had the opposite effect. After purchasing the console a month from launch, I realized how useless the gamepad really was. I hoped for some incredible multitasking abilities.†

Before you go off claiming I am just another hater/ fanboy give me a chance to explain. First lets break the myth that the Wii U is a great deal because you get a console and a tablet. The gamepad is always tethered to the console so it is useless ten feet away from the console. Everything that is happening on your big screen is also happening on the gamepad. It would have been pretty sweet if it actually did act like a tablet and allowed you to play some Netflix while playing a game but alas it is a missed opportunity. You are better off purchasing a cheap tablet that is capable of doing a lot more than the gamepad.

Just wait for the next Zelda they say, having your inventory or map on a second screen is revolutionary. How about actually using good game design to create a less abrasive hub. Nintendo believes that there should be new ways of playing old games. Instead Nintendo should use their creativity to change the formula of old games. Just look at games like The Last of Us and Dead Space in which the inventories are cleverly integrated into the experience, adding to the tension of both games. The inventory and hub became integral parts of the game design. Looking away from the television screen really takes you away from the experience and the whole point is to make a really immersive experience.†

None of the games currently out use the gamepad in any meaningful way. The best use of it comes from ZombiU in which going into your backpack means having to look at the gamepad. Like I mentioned before, looking away from the television screen takes you out of the experience. The Legend of Zelda:†Wind Waker HD and Darksiders 2 both use the gamepad for inventory but does it make the experience that much better? Some argue that it does make a huge difference but does that justify having the gamepad exist? I think not. At the end of the Wii U's life cycle there may only be about a handful of games that take real advantage of the gamepad and that is just not enough.†

The last reason I dislike the gamepad is the layout. Now this is problem that is not exclusive to the gamepad. It is also a problem with the Wii U Pro Controller. Having the analogue sticks placed above the face buttons is a huge annoyance. Granted this is more of a personal annoyance, but it is just another thing that Nintendo must do to be "different".

Of course these are just my opinions so feel free to disagree.   read

7:33 PM on 01.29.2014

Nintendo Missing an Opportunity?

Itís been pretty easy to pile on the Nintendo criticism as of late, especially after they announced that their expected sales of the Wii U would not be reached. Truthfully, Nintendo is in no real financial trouble like most doomsayers would lead you to believe. There are plenty of ways that Nintendo could pull themselves out of this rut they are in. There is one however that seems to make a lot of sense. Why not introduce a whole new generation of gamers to the large library of classics that Nintendo has in their back pocket by adding a virtual console to Android and IOS devices?

That may sound blasphemous to some but Nintendo is the one company creative enough to make it work. The first thing that Nintendoís higher ups will tell you is that software sells consoles not the other way around. So, the goal should be to get as many people to play your games as possible.

The biggest Nintendo loyalists are now in their mid-twenties to early thirties. Young kids are no more interested in playing Angry Birds on their iPads than on dedicated handhelds. You put the virtual console on IOS and Android and once again get the opportunity to captivate youthís imagination. It should be about gaining more followers that never cared about the Marios and the Zeldas. Show them what they are missing out on while still making boat loads of money.

The argument against this is that Nintendo would be hurting the Nintendo 3DS/ Wii U by undermining one of the one of the handheld/consoles main appeals. This is where I adamantly disagree. No one that wanted a Wii U/ 3DS wanted it just to play old games. So, it should not diminish their interest from that aspect. Conversely those people that wanted to play these old classic games would not purchase a $200-300 console just to do so.

The point is to get people into the ecosystem. The best way Nintendo can do that is to put out a legitimate emulator. Nintendo could add some extra incentives to purchase the games on the 3DS or Wii U, maybe even create a cross-buy program like the one in the Playstation ecosystem.

The other argument is that no one wants to play classics without physical buttons. To this I say, people already do! There are a bunch of emulators on Android that thousands of people download and use. Put out a legitimate Nintendo branded emulator and watch that number skyrocket. Then people that enjoy the classics will want to play the newest games that are only available on the Wii U and 3DS.

Nintendo marches to the beat of their own drums but this could be a huge opportunity that they are missing out on. It is not about making a quick buck, itís about bridging generations by introducing more people to the great rich history of Nintendo.   read

9:05 PM on 01.27.2014

Metroid Prime- My Love

Into the vast galaxy we go-Metroid Prime. It is incredible to see such a creative and masterful space game that neither needs nor uses a story as a crutch to propel the game forward. This game is all about the gameplay, no lame hand holding here! The evolution from 2d to 3d playing field also worked better than I thought it would.

The first thing that grabbed me was the music. The soundtrack heavily lends itself to the futuristic tone of the game. It made me feel like I was in a world where Tron and The Matrix were interwoven. Definitely a match made in heaven.

Then, there is the fantastic pacing of the game. You get this great feeling of progression as you open up new areas that were previously unreachable. This leads to a great discussion point, backtracking. Is it a problem? †Maybe. Personally there were a few times where it did feel like a hassle but for the most part it felt like a perfect marriage between backtracking and new exploration. †I would have appreciated a quicker way to bounce around the map.

The level design is another fantastic part of the game. It is done in such a way that it makes the world you are exploring feel a lot larger than it is. The level of detail is also something to marvel at. I did experience some crazy, holy moly moments strictly based on the attention to detail. There was a point where my facemask fogged up and what did I see? SAMUSí REFLECTION! Who thinks these things up? It blew my mind and this amount of attention to detail is the reason why the game has aged so well.

I have always had a grudge against the wagfest that is the Wii remote but using it is the way to go on this one. It made the game so much more enjoyable. I could look around and move around during battles much more efficiently, taking away frustrating moments.

If you havenít figured it out yet, I did absolutely love this game. It is a great start to my New Year Resolution and Metroid Prime has now climbed onto my list of of the greatest games of all time.   read

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