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Cblogs of 01/09/14 + FREEDUMZ! + 3DS-isms


Itís been a long time coming, longer than I wouldíve liked, but Iíve finally got some free time again. Yesterday I took my last exam for the semester, and while that doesnít mean Iím completely done with everything (I still have four papers to finish, one presentation to prepare, an oral exam to study for and a foreign exchange application to write) at the very least I donít have to be stuck in my book all day anymore. As much as I like Human Rights Law, two weeks of just that starts to wear on you. And thatís not even going into the two weeks of just Competition Law.

So, to celebrate, letís talk about something I havenít talked about in ages: video games.

You see, even though I told you all about Sinterklaas about a month ago, I forgot to mention one crucial detail. What was that? My presents, of course!

Because while I did get plenty of video games for Sinterklaas, I havenít actually had time to play time until now, so there wasnít much I could tell you about them. So letís do that right now!

First of all, I got Rayman Legends for the WiiU. Itís good! Iíve only played a little of it by now, but what I played was definitely fun. I have Origins on Steam already, and I loved that as well. Iím a huge fan of platformers, what can I say? I have been getting the idea that the controls in Legends are ever so slightly worse than in the first one, but I think itís easy enough to get used to after a while. After all, the rest of the game is just as great as ever, and it looks absolutely positively gorgeous on the console. Moreover, it seems to be chockfull of content, which is always a good sign to me. Especially since Platformers, while my favorite genre, tend to be rather short. At the end of the day I would still take Super Mario 3D World over this game, but that says more about how incredibly fucking brilliant 3D World is than anything. It was all of my games of the year, after all! And for good reason, I might add.

Speaking of 3D, I also got another wonderful gift for Sinterklaas. You see, my grandparents tend to give all of their grandchildren (of which theyíve got 5, so you do the math) a good chunk of cash during the December holiday season, in the range of 250 Ė 300 euros, which I think would be about 350-ish dollars. Itís pretty much always the best gift of the year.

So I used my newly gained funds to buy myself something Iíve been eyeing for the longest time: a 3DS!

Now I know what youíre thinking. ďShade you, Nintendo-fanboy extraordinaire, did not have a 3DS yet?Ē Unfortunately, itís the shameful truth. What can I say, video games are expensive! But 2013 was such a phenomenal year for the little handheld that could, that I just couldnít bring myself to ignore it anymore. Fire Emblem Awakening, Pokťmon, A Link Between Worlds, Phoenix Wright 5, Luigiís Mansion 2, Mario & Luigi Dream Team, Bravely Default, the list goes on. How could I possibly continue to live with myself without a 3DS?! I couldnít.

I didnít waste a single second, and the moment I got home I went online and I ordered a new shiny The Legend of Zelda Special Edition 3DS XL. †

- This one.

It came with The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, which Iíve been enjoying a lot. Moreover, during the holiday season Nintendo of Europe was holding a special promotion; everyone who registered a 3DS to Club Nintendo along with one of a list of eligible games (all great ones, I might add) would receive a free download code of Super Mario 3D Land. Unsurprisingly, A Link Between Worlds was among that list, so with my special edition 3DS I immediately had everything I needed to snatch that game as well.

By now, I can definitely say that Iíve fallen in love with the snazzy little device. The 3D effect is a little gimmicky but still cool, and both of the games Iíve got for it already have been great. 3D Land is quite clearly inferior to 3D World which somehow seems to have a sort of magic to it that the handheld one doesnít, but itís still a fun platformer in its own right. It has lots of levels to it as well, so thatís always a plus. †

A †Link Between Worlds, meanwhile, is kind of a weird one. By now everyone would be aware that in this installment you donít find your items in the dungeons but have to buy (technically rent) them instead. I find that this has a positive and a negative side to it. On the one hand, being able to get all of your items at the start (and I did indeed get them all at the start, because theyíre not that expensive and I donít plan on dying anyway) means that you can explore most of the overworld from the get-go. Myself, Iím a complete sucker for exploration in video games (whaddup, Xenoblade?), so this appeals to me something fierce. And indeed Iíve been making good use of my newfound FREEDUMZ in more ways than one.

On the other hand, I got the feeling that it makes the dungeon designs a little less inspired. At least for the first three dungeons, as long as you made sure to bring the item you were going to need, you could blaze through them in about 15 minutes, which is quite a way from the full hour I usually take in console Zelda games. Moreover, there are no clear minibosses anymore and you just donít get the satisfaction of finding a new item. My favorite moment in past Zelda games was always the anticipation just before getting a new item. Youíve seen some switches around the dungeon you couldnít activate, so you already got some little hints as to what the new item is going to be. Then you walk into a room, the door locks behind you and you have to face whatever asshole is trying to make your life miserable. After which, of course, a chest appears and you can finally snatch your new item! All of that is gone in favor of ďHi. That Ice Rod will be 100 Rupees.Ē

All in all, though, Iím still enjoying the heck out of A Link Between Worlds. Yesterday I did my first dungeon in the Dark World (Lorule, whichever; the one with Princess Hilda) which was miles better than any of the first few I did, so things are definitely looking up.

As of right now, Iím deciding which other games to get for my lovely new device. I got a 2+1 free coupon for a games retailer, which I plan to be using very soon. Right now, I have my eyes on Fire Emblem Awakening, Pokťmon and either Bravely Default or Etrian Odyssey IV, definitely JRPG-ing it up in this mother, but Iíd love to hear from you for other suggestions!

Wait a minute, Princess Zelda and Princess Hilda? Where have I heard this before?

- Oh Nintendo you cheeky bastards.

A - With the latest Hitman games not having been that great, FoolproofAdam takes inspiration from the movie Colleteral to make it great again.

A - Headless97 looks at the Steam Box and what it means for a more open PC market.

A - A response to a blog (somewhere else) on "judging" gamers. Let's just, you know, maybe, not judge each other at all?

C - A counterpoint to the allegation that Fighting Game Communities are full of toxic people.

R - Better On Holliday gave the game Fear Effect a try, from his backlog. It beat him. It beat him into a bloody pulp.

N - The 3DS' region locking has been cracked.

A - Like last year, Reinhold Hoffmann's site Game-art-HQ is hosting a bunch of great Zelda art next month!

V - I don't know the first thing about coding, but judging by the comments here is a good video for those who are into that sort of thing.

C - posted a hidden blog from back in 2012? Well, that's one way to do it I guess.

F - Je ne parle pas Francais. (I haven't taken French since high school, what do you want from me?)

- ShadeOfLight
May you always find water and shade

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About CblogRecapsone of us since 11:27 PM on 07.02.2008

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Current "Bloggers Wanted" assignment

It feels like it's been a decade since we've seen the rise of the crowdfunded game. I'm always surprised when I remind myself that crowdfunding has been a thing long before the first crowdfunded video game, but nowadays a crowdfunded game seems like a dime a dozen.

Of course such a phrase is an incredible disservice to some of the great games that have come out thanks to websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Games like FTL, Shovel Knight, and even Undertale are around thanks to crowdfunding; thanks to people gathering around and literally putting their money where their mouth is, a game they want gets funded and inevitably the greater landscape of gaming benefits from it. Most of the time the landscape gets to benefit from it anyways.

Don't worry though, this month's bloggers wanted prompt isn't an exploratory thesis on the effects of crowdfunding on video game development. We just want you to talk about your favorite games, as long as they were crowdfunded. This topic can be simultaneously broad and narrow, because you can talk about whatever game you want, however you want, as long as it was crowdfunded.
For me, FTL is the original crowdfunded game, and it was great. It was somehow minimalist and incredibly detailed at the same time, and it was all done because a man wanted to do it, but needed the money, and thousands of other people wanted to see where his idea would go. Shovel Knight to me feels like this natural evolution of the classic 8-bit gaming of yore without also throwing myself back to a time when gaming was honestly comparatively archaic. And everyone's talked to death about Undertale, so we all know where I'd go with that.

To participate in this month's bloggers wanted, just start a blog! Oh, and title it "Crowdfunded: [your blog title here]." I bet this month is going to be pretty diverse, since it's basically writing about your favorite crowdfunded game. So I hope to hear about some good games revisited or amazing games no one has heard about.

Remember: Persona 5 was not crowdfunded, but excuse me as I plow through it.

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