In a bit of news that is unlikely to interest anyone but myself (but I like telling you about this stuff regardless), last Monday Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands announced her abdication from the throne as per next April.
Beatrix addressing the nation last Monday
On April 30th, ďKoninginnedagĒ (ďQueenís DayĒ), she will hand over her royal duties to the current crown prince Willem-Alexander, who will become the first king of the Netherlands in over 120 years. (The husband of the queen is called a ďprinceĒ, assumedly to emphasize that the queen is the monarch rather than her husband). His wife MŠxima, who won the hearts of the Dutch people at an extraordinary rate back in 2001 (it was the smile), will become queen but will not have any official duties like Beatrix had. Their first-born daughter, princess Catharina-Amalia, will become crown princess. Finally, as of next year Queenís Day will be redated and redubbed ďKingís DayĒ.
Itís a strange thing to see Beatrix go. See has been on the throne for exactly 33 years when her abdication date comes around, so she has literally longer been queen than I have been alive. Since we are a constitutional monarchy, the queen holds little political power (note that I say ďlittleĒ, not ďnoĒ, she does do a few important things), but to me she is a symbol, and a valuable one at that. She has been there for us through good times and bad, has always had a good head on her shoulders and unites us in a way that a President could never hope to match. Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau is the Netherlands. Sheís the Dutch people and the Dutch culture. Sheís all of us.
Fortunately, she chose the best possible date to abdicate. Today was her 75th birthday, and on top of that 2013 marks the 200-year anniversary of the Netherlands becoming a kingdom after gaining our independence from Napoleonís France. Finally, I have all the faith that our new king will perform his duties, both political and symbolic, admirably. So to close this topic off Iím going to say a line that I donít believe any of you have ever heard said legitimately. Youíll have heard it in fantasy movies or video games, and perhaps you have said it ironically to your boss or your parents at one point or another. But Iím going to say it now in all seriousness:
Long live the king.
Okay, so itís not actually anywhere near this awesome.
With that little tidbit of news out of the way: video games. The past week Iíve been spending lots of time with my WiiU, and weíre quickly becoming the best of friends. Whereas last week my options were limited to demos and Nintendo Land, now Iíve been able to play some actual games, which is good. To be fair though, those demos were all fantastic and Nintendo Land is surprisingly fun in short bursts.
The two games I got with my WiiU are New Super Mario Bros. U and Darksiders II, both of which Iíve been playing quite a lot of. What I find most interesting about these games is the different ways they make me feel about the GamePad. Both can be played off-TV, but Iíve found that it doesnít really work for Darksiders. And yet I actually prefer playing Mario on the controller, because youíre much closer to the action and can judge jumps more accurately. Which, to my surprise, you actually need. Itís not the most difficult game Iíve ever seen, but it still offers a decent challenge, and having the game in your hands actually gives you a nice little advantage. Props to Nintendo for that. Thereís some clever level design in here too, as well as nice new powerups, and it says something about the strengths of WiiU that, in a sense, theyíre best experienced on the controller.
Thomas knows what heís talking about
Darksiders on the controller doesnít work as well, I find. Itís a more mature game, and much more epic in scale, and I donít feel that translates very well to the GamePad. You do lose out a little bit of you canít play this on a TV. Luckily, I donít share my TV with anyone, so playing it on the GamePad was more of an experiment than anything in the first place. I do like that it gives you the option to keep it simple. You can opt to have some of the more important menus on the GamePad, and honestly thatís all I need, although I do wish you could turn off the on-screen minimap. For some reason thatís still there despite the fact that you have the option of having the map on the controller; not sure what thatís about.
Other than that Iíve been really enjoying the game. Deathís a nice character, thereís good exploration (to the point that from the get-go I could already reach an optional boss I had no chance of beating yet; havenít seen that since Xenoblade), the item system is a neat little addition to the formula and the combat is at the very least decent. As far as graphics go, my roommate tells me that itís not all that, but I honestly wouldnít know, because ďgraphicsĒ do little for me. The gameís got good character design and art direction, and I donít give a shit about anything else. It couldíve run on Gamecube and I wouldíve been fine with it. But for what itís worth, the game does look good to me. Finally, so far Iím getting the sneaking suspicion that Darksiders II wonít feature the angels and stuff, which would be a huge shame because I loved them in the original. Hopefully Iím wrong and theyíll show up later somehow. At least I hope to see other characters than the Makers, because all the cool races and characters and the design on these guys is definitely where the Darksiders IP shines.
Pictured: Character design. But mostly boobs.
So thatís it for my time with the WiiU. My belief that itís a very solid console stands more than ever. Right now Iím still considering buying a few more games, either retail or smaller downloadable games on the eShop: mostly, Iím thinking about Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing Transformed, ZombiU, Mighty Switch Force and Trine 2: Directorís Cut. Iím especially surprised by how much I like the Sonic demo. SEGA characters have never been my bread and butter, but the racing actually feels much more fun to me than Mario Kart has in a long time. I think itís really the emphasis on actual racing, rather than hoping that you get lucky with items, that serves to make this game much more fun than I thought itíd be. The fact that you get to play as Vyse and Wreck-it Ralph may very well be the final nudge I need for the purchase (although what the hell is up with including Danica Patrick? Oh. Right. Well never mind then). If anyoneís got opinions on this game, by all means share them, because Iím still a little on the fence. The same goes for the other titles, actually. Shoot!
This month's bloggers wanted prompt is something we stole. You see, by stealing this idea, you have no idea how truly inept I actually am. By pretending to know what I'm doing, I have clearly used my ill-gotten status to meet such big-time celebrities as Darlington Woolie "Pie Stealer" Madden or Sara from [insert pixel indie game studio here].
This month's bloggers wanted was inspired by the internal enjoyment we had at reading TheBlondeBass' promoted blog on faking conversational anime knowledge. And now it seems as good a time as ever to pretend to know what's going on since the new Fate/Grand Order game launched and qtoid is talking about it. I am a big fan of the character design of Artoria in the blue dress, or Artoria in the suit, or Artoria in the red dress. But seriously, we enjoyed the format so much that we want to ask the community for their own ideas at faking it at all sorts of things.
But this prompt is not just for anime, of course. The video game industry is fractured with all sorts of niche interests that only an insane rich person with no job could realistically know everything about. This month's bloggers wanted is about taking a subject you want to offer advice on faking knowledge about in order to help the greater community, for better or for worse. If this doesn't sound serious, don't worry, you're not supposed to take it seriously. You don't have to be an expert in whatever you talk about any more than Bass is an expert in anime.
I seriously don't know if that was a compliment or an insult.
Offer advice on anything you can expand your mind on. Want to help people get into character action games? The more Ss you put into its grading system, the cooler it is! Want to convince people to get into the Neptunia series? Just say "Nep-Nep!" and you're all set to convince people of your technical knowledge! Can you get someone into RTS game by just talking about your APM? Someone's bound to believe some random technical jargon you made up!
To get started, start a blog and title it "Faking it: [your blog title here]." Then you can be as serious or facetious as you want as you provide advice on any number of things: learning how to play fighting games, trying a long-running franchise you've probably neglected, or even explaining a game's timeline. Heck, you can probably seriously try on that last one and we still wouldn't believe you.
Good luck this month. Only true cowards rely on facts. Real heroes pretend to know what they're doing!
Good Morning/Evening/Yesterday, my Friends/Robots/INSERT WAIFU HERE,
More or less a week ago, the Master Gaming List turned one year old. I had a speech prepared, but the blog editor ate it four or five times over the last few days, so I'm kind of winging it now.
Despite all of the threatening and cajoling I initially made to get you all on the list, I never imagined I'd still be adding names a year later (and by "you all", I mostly mean GajKnight). It was kind of a ridiculous undertaking at first, trying to make a semi-permanent, easily-updatable list of everyone's contact info. I'm not even sure what everyone was being hyped over last year that got me to do this.
That said, I'm glad it came together, and this list has lead to many other things for me on Destructoid; whether it was me becoming our laziest, cuddliest Community Manager, or our laziest, cuddliest Reviews-type-person, I have always enjoyed the full love and support of this community.
In thanks, and with the assistance of quite a few others, I've gathered up a number of game keys to give away to you all.
I've never run a contest before, so let's keep things simple. Write me a haiku about your favorite game.
1. The haiku must not include the title of the game.
2. I will accept any other form of structured poetry if you are unable to haiku but can iambic pantameter (you monster).
3. Please state what key you are going for, and a backup if that one is taken (admittedly, it's quantity over variety here)
4. The tentative end date of the contest will be August 13th, and will be bumped at least once during that time.
-Aporia: Beyond The Valley (Multiple Keys)
-Citadel: Forged With Fire (Multiple Keys)
Thank you to all 282 of you who have made the Master List a successful project over the past year! I will continue updating it into the forseeable future.
Community Announcements We have a Twitter account! @CblogRecaps Help us spread the word out on these recaps and in turn, everyone's blogs too! (These tweets appear on Dtoid's official accounts as well)