The darkness to every light, the shadow to every shine, the dusk to every dawn, the Luna to every Sol.
And vice versa.
I'm a Dutch law student who loves to game. I'm a Nintendo-fanboy at heart, but I don't feel that I'm blinded by that, at least not very often. I am also currently on the Cblog Recaps team for Thursdays, so if for some voyeuristic reason you want to know more about me, check out my weekly Shadeisms.
I'm obsessed with the Monolith Soft RPGs Xenoblade Chronicles and the Baten Kaitos series. I will not pass up the opportunity to mention them, ever, and I consider myself Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean's biggest fan. Finally, as is to be expected I'm super excited for the new WiiU "Xeno-" game!
The Wii is one of my favorite systems of all time, and my favorite games on this system include, but are most certainly not limited to;
Xenoblade Chronicles (see also: Baten Kaitos - Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean for GC)
Zelda: Twilight Princess / Skyward Sword
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Muramasa - The Demon Blade
Wario Land: Shake it!
and Metroid Prime Trilogy.
I love my WiiU as well, and even though there aren't that many games out for it right now, I'm having tons of fun with:
New Super Mario Bros. U
Mighty Switch Force: Hyper Drive Edition
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
Apart from Nintendo, I'm a huge indie game enthousiast. Give me a game like Trine, VVVVVV, Sequence or Recettear, and you've made me a happy camper for sure. You can keep your shooters to yourself.
Favorite indie game round-up:
Trine (+ Trine 2)
Super Meat Boy
The Binding of Isaac
Dungeons of Dredmor
Thomas Was Alone
Mark of the Ninja
Cthulhu Saves the World
Recettear - An Item Shop's Tale
To The Moon
Orcs Must Die! 2
The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom
and many, many more!
Besides gaming itself, I like reading up on gaming-related news on my favorite website in the whole wide world: Destructoid. I love all the people here, and I'm glad that I get to be a part of this. Wouldn't know what to do without you!
This is not a blog I was planning to do, really. But holy shit does this feel awesome. If there was ever a thing I wanted to share with you guys, this is it.
So, I just got mail. Normally this wouldn't be anything special, but today is different. Just now, I received my new favorite pieces of video game swag. I'm psyched! Here, let me guide you through it. Also, excuse the quality of my massively shitty camera phone. I was way too excited to take the time to look for a better camera.
So this was the first thing I saw. At first I wasn't exactly sure what it was, because I didn't remember ordering anything from Club Nintendo.
But it started to dawn on me soon enough.
Which is to say it hit me right around here. I hadn't ordered anything recently. But there was still something special I was waiting for. Something I had already ordered months ago. Something exclusive as fuck. This had to be that something.
So, a little backstory. I'm pretty sure that everyone still knows what Operation Rainfall was all about. Three JRPGs: Xenoblade, The Last Story and Pandora's Tower, which were already out in Japan to great reviews, weren't going to make it to the US or Europe. However, RPG fans everywhere weren't going to take this. Operation Rainfall was launched to get these games overseas. In a stunning turn of events, it worked, and in an even more stunning turn of events, Nintendo of Europe just ran with the entire thing. Europe was the first, after Japan and way before the US, to receive Xenoblade and The Last Story, and as of yet is the only one to receive Pandora's Tower. But NoE, infamous for not getting several great games released over here, decided that this wasn't enough. Almost as if they had something to make up for (they did), they went further than ever expected. They hosted a Let's Play-contest for Xenoblade, for one thing, and even seemed to support Pandora's Tower, the least requested game, quite a lot.
But they weren't done.
As a final measure of good will, they decided to go all out. They knew that there were still hardcore JRPG fans out there, fans who weren't waiting for one of these games, or even two, but all of them. Nintendo of Europe had something in store for those exact people.
This is that something. They were going to give away an exclusive set of coins based on all three of the Operation Rainfall games to the first people who would register all three games on Club Nintendo. As far as I know, this was only done in Europe (although US may still follow, I guess?), and I'm not sure how many exactly were made, although I don't expect more than a couple thousand.
Either way, you have already guessed it: I'm one of those people.
Did I mention I'm excited as fuck right now? Because that's what I am.
So, what next? Roll call!
First up is Xenoblade Chronicles. As far as the three games go, this is definitely my favorite. I was the most excited for this one, and it did not disappoint in the slightest. The story's great, the characters are pretty good, the combat is great, the art direction and music is great, I just love this game to death and then some. This side of the coin has the title logo, which you can barely see because I suck at this. That's going to be a theme here. Also, each coin is going to have a title logo side and a symbol side. You'll see what I mean in a second.
This is Xenoblade's symbol side. The design isn't all that special, as it's just a Japanese character, but this is still my favorite. I've already said that Xenoblade is my favorite game of the three, and if you love the game, this symbol is really clever. The game's combat is completely focused on so-called "Arts". These are basically special attacks which you can perform during combat. It's difficult to explain, but it works fantastically. Shulk, the main character (with a stupid name, can't be helped), gets a set of extra-special Arts, which are activated by using his legendary sword. Upon activation, the sword will show a different symbol depending on which power is used. This is one of those symbols. It's the symbol for "Monado Enchant", which powers up your teammates and allows them to hurt the otherwise-impervious "mechon". It's the first power you gain, and completely vital from start to finish.
Artwork of Shulk performing Monado Enchant
So yeah, a great choice for this coin's symbol. Off to a good start here!
The Last Story's title side. Of the three, this was my least favorite game, although I really wanted to love it. The combat didn't feel right for me, and the story was only so-so. I did like the characters though, and overall I still consider this a good game.
While I really like the design of this one, it actually took me a while to figure out where this symbol came from. I don't remember The Last Story as well as Xenoblade, for obvious reasons, and the symbol isn't as clear as the one coming up. I finally worked it out though. At the start of this game, Zael, the main character with a much less stupid name, gets a power called "Gathering". With this power he can pull the enemy's attention to him and he can command his allies more effectively. When that power is activated, this symbol appears on his hand. The flame actually technically isn't part of the symbol, but you can see blue "flames" rising from his hand whenever he uses Gathering, so that's where it came from. It's quite difficult to see in-game, but this pic should show what I mean:
Note the blue crap in the middle
I think there probably would have been better choices for this one, but it's still cool in my book!
This game was actually quite a bit better than expected. The story's quite good, despite that fact that this is the least "RPG-ish" of the three. The girl you have to rescue from a horrible curse, Elena, is the sweetest damn thing ever seen in video games (to the point that I felt just as strongly about saving her as the protagonist did), and other characters are good as well. The bossfights are nice and cool, and the dungeons have some interesting ideas behind them. This game does have some problems with the camera and combat, but I otherwise found it to be a very solid game, although I was expecting this to be the least good of the three.
If you've played this game, or have even just seen some official art, this symbol should be instantly familiar to you. Of the three, this must've been by far the easiest choice for the designers as well. This symbol is featured in the game's logo, for one thing. But more importantly: this is the symbol of the curse that has been put on Elena, the one you're trying to rid her off. The symbol on her back shows that she's still under the curse, which basically means that the entire story revolves around it. It actually has a double meaning as well if you've played the game all the way through, but that's not something I'm going to spoil here.
It was a no-brainer of the best kind
By your powers combined, we are:
Fucking awesome is what we are. So yeah, this is basically what I wanted to show you guys. I'm probably one of the first people to receive these, and as far as I'm aware there aren't that many to go around in the first place, so this is completely sweet. And considering that I like each of the three games to a more or lesser extent, these commemorative coins are just icing on the cake. Well played, Nintendo of Europe, and keep up the good work!
...Wait a minute, did I miss something?
This is a poster I won several months ago, signed by Hironobu Sakaguchi, who created a little something called Final Fantasy. Like I said, The Last Story definitely isn't my favorite game by any means, but I do really like the art here. Besides, that's not the least of names on the bottom there. Unfortunately I never managed to get my hands on Xenoblade posters, which I know are going around, because that would've been even more awesome.
Anyway, that was basically it. I'm going to find a nice place for these three coins, because these are going to get me all the ladies. I mean, ladies are into that, right?