Hands On with the Nintendo Switch!

Woo what a weekend! Everyone has been talking about the Nintendo Switch ever since the presentation last Thursday, which introduced the system and showcased the new Joy Cons – the convertible controllers that come with the Nintendo Switch system. But I felt lucky because I had a ticket for the Nintendo Switch Preview Event in NYC! I was able to get a hands-on demonstration of the Nintendo Switch system, the Joy Cons, software and more!

The event was held at a secret off-site location in midtown, open only to invited ticket holders. (I was able to get a ticket by logging into my MyNintendo account when they first announced the event. This apparently triggered an event invite to be sent to me at the time. So what have we learned? Log into MyNintendo once in a while!) I went with one of my besties, CarneyVorous. We braved the cold wintery weather and it was SO worth it!

20170114_185030As we approached the entrance, we were surprised to see that Link from Breath of the Wild was guarding the door. Well, Link and a dozen event coordinators. Everything was very organized, which was nice. They checked our tickets and finally after long last… WE WERE INSIDE THE SNEAK PREVIEW EVENT!

The event consisted of two large rooms. The first room had a glamorous setup with a main stage, glass windowed demo cubicle setups, and a third of the room dedicated to Legend of Zelda demo stations. The second room had a huge area dedicated to Splatoon 2 demos, as well as third-party titles and a Super Mario Odyssey photo-op station! It was a lot to take in. We didn’t even know where to start! Sadly, the Zelda line got ridiculously long in a short amount of time, so we decided to make the most of our time by trying as many fun demos as we could.

Our first stop was Splatoon 2. Who could resist? To make the experience even more *new*, the demo we played was done on the Nintendo Switch in hand-held mode. This means the player is watching the Switch screen with the Joy Cons attached to the sides. This mode is pretty similar to playing on the Wii U Game Pad, which I personally enjoy a lot. The Splatoon controls were set to use the gyroscope. It can be tricky if you’re not used to playing that way, but the Switch console is light and easy to move around as needed. I also decided to try out the new Splatoon weapon which was introduced in this latest title – the Splat Dualies! I thought they were pretty sweet. They shoot fast and it’s easy to aim. I played very well, got second place in my winning team with those Splat Dualies! (Did much more terribly with the Splat Roller in the second round. Sad face.)

Splatoon 2 on the Nintendo Switch in hand-held mode.

Next, we wanted to get an up-close look at the Nintendo Switch Joy Cons by checking out the glass cubicle 1-2-Switch Demo Stations! The 1-2-Switch game utilizes the Joy Cons in a way that showcases all of the new features it has to offer, including HD Rumble technology. This game is unique in that you don’t really need to look at the screen to play – it’s all about playing with other people, making eye contact, interacting with humans… you know, scary stuff.

The 1-2-Switch Demo consisted of Quick Draw, Milking Cows (yep) and Counting Marbles. Each game showed a different feature of the Joy Con controllers. I will note that the Nintendo reps insisted on using the wrist straps with the Joy Cons for this game. Very sensible – and side note! – the wrist strap adds an extra half inch of width to the controller, which makes it even easier to hold.

Quick Draw showcased the Joy Con’s basics, such as motion control. Milking Cows introduced new ways to feel awkward around your friends (because yes, the game is exactly what you think it is) and also makes use of the L and R buttons that have been incorporated into the new controllers. Counting Marbles was the most interesting game in the 1-2-Switch Demo, because it featured the new HD Rumble effects. The Joy Con simulated the feeling of small marbles rolling around inside of it (and does an EXTREMELY CONVINCING JOB doing so) and you have to guess how many marbles are “inside.” You determine this by moving the Joy Con and “feeling” the marbles sliding around and clicking against one another. It was pretty amazing! The HD Rumble is very responsive and I am very interested to see how other games will incorporate this new technology.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Demo Stations

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Demo Stations

One of my all-time favorite games has always been Mario Kart. I would play after school with my friends on the N64 back in the day, and I haven’t stopped since! Playing MK on the go has always been a strong selling point… so being able to play MK8 Deluxe in full HD while on the move is going to be AH-MAY-ZING! To give us the full experience, Nintendo set up some fun ‘simulation’ demo stations. In the picture above, you see a fake diner with demo stations, as well as some guys in what looks like an RV? Or some kind of van?

Playing MK8 at

Playing MK8 at “the diner”!

Here I am “at the diner” enjoying some MK8 Battle Mode in handheld mode – which I won with Bowser, btw! It’s great to have some authentic battle mode back in the mix.

We also tried out a demo station that was set up to look like we were playing on an airplane. (Awesome idea!!) They set up the chairs to have those awful tray tables, and placed the Nintendo Switch in tabletop mode for us to play. Tabletop mode is when you have the screen standing up with the kickstand, and the Joy Cons are removed from the sides so that two people can use them and play while watching the screen. I will say that as a veteran MK player, I did not mind the Joy Cons for this game. Yes, if you’re using the Jon Cons, it is a small controller. Like I mentioned before, the wrist strap helps a lot with that issue. It takes some slight ‘getting used to’ but it’s not bad at all, and having usable L and R buttons meant that my game play was as good as ever! Please note that in this side photo, we were also trying out Mario Kart with the Joy Cons in what I am calling “nunchuck mode,” which is similar to the old Wii nunchuck and Wii Remote setup… without that cumbersome cord connecting them together! You can play with the Joy Cons as nunchucks, yet sit however you prefer, so that you can play comfortably. So much easier! Imagine how much better air travel will be when you’re challenging the random stranger sitting next to you to a Grand Prix!

We also tried out some other games, such as Street Fighter, Just Dance 2017, and PuyoPuyo Tetris. We got some cool swag – Nintendo Switch hats, pins, cookies, water bottles… It was a really good event. I wish they would host events like this every week! *sob*

Only 44 days until Nintendo Switch is released in stores!! Comment if you’ve got it preordered! What are you excited to play? I’ll leave you with a few more photos from the event…

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Battle Mode

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Battle Mode

Joy Con [puppy] Controller

Joy Con [puppy] Controller

Tetris!!

PuyoPuyo Tetris!!

Nintendo Switch and Accessories

Nintendo Switch and Accessories

Nintendo Switch Main Stage

Nintendo Switch Main Stage

Super Mario Odyssey Photo Op!

Super Mario Odyssey Photo Op!

Game Review: Return to Popolocrois

Well, I’ve never been to Popolocrois before, but this game Return to Popolocrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale has been impressing me from the minute I started playing!

This game was a little treat I bought for myself while holiday shopping. I bought it ‘used’ from GameFly using member coupons, so it only cost me $6! Not too shabby, not to mention that ‘used’ is a status that doesn’t really matter with 3DS cartridges, so it’s basically a brand new game for cheeeeap! Awesome.

Anyway, if you’ve been following my blog for a long time, you’ll know I’ve been a fan of Harvest Moon games for several years. It’s my kind of game, low key collection and simulation – great for “escapist” gamers like me! However, sometimes HM games (and the new Story of Seasons title, which is the newest iteration from XSEED games) can get a little… bland. The most action you normally can get in a farming game is the mining dungeon crawl. However, Return to Popolocrois fixes this with a new twist!

In Return to Popolocrois, you are a young prince who has been sent to a world that has been taken over by an evil Dark Lord, while the prince’s home kingdom is now at risk of being the Dark Lord’s latest victim. Prince Pietro must now save BOTH kingdoms because it is the right thing to do! And of course, what is deeply affected by the Dark Lord’s evil ways? Farmlands, of course! How can the people survive if their farmland is not able to grow crops? (And there we have our tie-in to the Story of Seasons background lol!) In order to save the farming lands, we must work with the local fairies, battle evil enemies, and explore dungeons to clear out the Dark Lord’s hold on the land. Then you can use this freshly cleared land to plant crops!

What’s great about this game is that the farming is much easier than in SoS or older HM titles. The crops won’t wilt, and the game will even give you notifications on when the crops need to be watered or harvested. Same goes for farm animals (available later in the game) who won’t die but simply get hungry if you forget about them. There aren’t any fancy ‘maker’ machines (so far) in RTP – yes I’m going w/that abbreviation lol – but you can Synthesize different crops and other items to create cooked dishes, new weapons, etc. The only thing I really miss is the seed maker. At least at the point I am in the game, the only way to get seeds for crops is to buy them, earn them, or receive them in an item drop after defeating enemies in the right region.

If farming isn’t really your thing, you can do the bare minimum to get by. But if you don’t like farming, what are you doing playing an XSEED game lol? Anyway, the battle system is pretty fun. You can move around the battle field, similar to “Fire Emblem” games. The battles look and feel very similar to the game “My Fantasy Life.” You can level up your characters, purchase or synthesize new armor and weapons, and each character has special skills. These skills have elemental powers, and if certain characters are playing in the same team, there are also Partner Skills that can be unlocked. If that wasn’t cool enough, in the game settings you can adjust the frequency of the random battles, so if you want to grind and level up you can change the number of enemy encounters to high! (Or if you want to just run through an area without being bombarded, change it to low and/or use a special item to ward off these enemies.)

Fans of the Story of Seasons/Harvest Moon franchise will also be happy to learn that you can also have a significant other (kinda) in this game. Prince Pietro is only 13 after all, and won’t be getting married anytime soon. But he does have little ‘girlfriends’ across all of the in-game regions, and you can visit them and give them gifts. The game even gives you a notification if one of them is missing you! Cute!

So far I’ve really been enjoying the game. The only thing that makes me nervous is that since this was a used game, the cartridge I received already had a completed save file. And that completed game save file only had 53 hours played in total. This tells me that the game is fairly quick to beat, and possibly doesn’t have much post game. I haven’t completed the game yet myself, so maybe this person wasn’t a hardcore farmer. (I can’t say for sure, because I refuse to play that game file and see spoilers lol!) Once I finish the game, maybe I’ll report back. But to play it safe, if you’re interested in trying out this game, I recommend buying it used like I did. I think the game is SERIOUSLY fun and if you like cute farming games with some fun action and battles, definitely give this game a try!

Cosplay Planning: Guzma Gender-Bend

Cosplaying is awesome because you can be whoever you want to be. Forget about who you are at your day job – when you cosplay you can be a super hero! Or a super VILLAIN (my preference)!

My latest villain crush is the great Guzma from Pokemon Sun and Moon. He’s the boss of Team Skull, with an over-the-top persona and a fragile ego. He has a signature squat! He’s the whipping boy of… (redacted to prevent spoilers!!)

Anyway, I’m really into Guzma and I’ve decided I’m going to explore the idea of doing a gender-bend cosplay of Guzma because it seems like a fun DIY concept. Guzma’s outfit consists of mostly ‘normal’ clothes which makes for a much less intimidating cosplay idea. Let’s break down the costume into parts!

Clothing:

  • black hoodie (short sleeves?!) with zig-zag accent on sides and Team Skull logo on the backside
  • black sweatpants with white cross stripes
  • white tanktop

These are all easily obtainable items, if I don’t have them already. I think to add a slight touch of sexiness to the gender-bend cosplay, I will wear a tight fit white tank showing some cleavage, but I’ll keep the sweat suit baggy. (Oooh I love comfy cosplay!!) The biggest challenge here is the zigzag stripe on the hoodie and the criss-cross stripes on the pants. I can either try to do this myself using felt and some hot glue or basic sewing skills (dicey) or have the design commissioned by someone a little more professional. I found this sweatsuit that I think would work well. I wonder if it’s worth it to cut the sleeves, or should I just roll them up? Hmm…

Accessories:

All of these accessories are purchase-able, which makes life a lot easier. I find that sometimes it’s more cost-effective to just buy something that looks authentic, than for me to spend time and money on materials only to end up with something looking shoddy. (Yeah I guess my crafting abilities are sub-par lol.)

I am struggling to figure out what to do about Guzma’s tattoo. It looks like a purple S from the Team Skull logo. I doubt I’ll find a temp tattoo to use. Should I just draw it on with marker?? If anyone can enlighten me on that, I’m all ears.

As far as makeup, I think this would be a lot of fun. I can wear dark eye shadow, go crazy w/black eyeliner and keep everything else very simple.

Does anyone have any other ideas or input? Where are all the Plumeria and Team Skull Grunt cosplayers? Let’s get organized!!

 

Pokemon Go!!

I haven’t blogged about games in a while. I’m going to blog about Pokemon GO!! It’s my favorite mobile game. I don’t care that people are hacking, or boycotting due to the lack of radar, or whatever else people are trying to complain about these days. I think this game is amazing – I can catch them all! In real life! By EXPLORING!! That’s my jam!

Unfortunately, my home town is overwhelmed with crappy Drowzee, Hypno and Jynx Pokemon. And poor me without a car. So I do what I can, and tell myself that I don’t need to be the FIRST to complete my Pokedex. I just need to do it at my own pace. If I stay determined, someday I will catch them all! I go on road trips, take the train to the city, all in the effort of catching them all. I joined various fb groups that discuss spawning locations of certain Pokemon. Over the summer I even made some new friends by hanging around the Pokemon Gym near work! Now we talk strategy and work together to help each other be the very best, like no one ever was.

On top of that, the fitness merits of this app outweigh everything else. I’m walking about 3 miles on average every day (with some days going closer to 7+ miles…!) and I love how the game motivates me to go the distance. Though I do worry what it will be like in the winter… maybe I’ll just hide inside playing Pokemon Sun & Moon when it’s snowing!

I’m up to 101 in my Pokemon GO Pokedex. I’m making a list of what I still need, just for reference. Got any hot tips where I can find these missing mons in the NY Metro Area?? (Those marked with asterisk are unavailable in the USA as of today, but I still want em.)

  • 002 – Ivysaur
  • 003 – Venusaur
  • 005 – Charmeleon
  • 006 – Charizard
  • 009 – Blastoise
  • 026 – Raichu
  • 028 – Sandslash
  • 031 – Nidoqueen
  • 034 – Nidoking
  • 036 – Clefable
  • 040 – Wigglytuff
  • 051 – Dugtrio
  • 057 – Primeape
  • 059 – Arcanine
  • 062 – Poliwrath
  • 064 – Kadabra
  • 065 – Alakazam
  • 068 – Machamp
  • 076 – Golem
  • 078 – Rapidash
  • 080 – Slowbro
  • 083 – Farfetch’d*
  • 089 – Muk
  • 094 – Gengar
  • 105 – Marowak
  • 106 – Hitmonlee
  • 107 – Hitmonchan
  • 110 – Weezing
  • 112 – Rhydon
  • 113 – Chansey
  • 114 – Tangela
  • 115 – Kangaskhan*
  • 122 – Mr. Mime*
  • 126 – Magmar
  • 130 – Gyarados
  • 131 – Lapras
  • 132 – Ditto*
  • 137 – Porygon
  • 138 – Omanyte
  • 139 – Omastar
  • 140 – Kabuto
  • 141 – Kabutops
  • 142 – Aerodactyl
  • 144 – Articuno*
  • 145 – Zapdos*
  • 146 – Moltres*
  • 148 – Dragonair
  • 149 – Dragonite
  • 150 – Mewtwo*
  • 151 – Mew*

Comment or message me any hot tips yo! I gotta catch em all! Also, just for fun, I started working on some song parodies for Pokemon Go. Want to hear a raw sample rough cut?? Click here!!

Also, to further show my enthusiasm for Pokemon Go, I’m working on a cosplay of my in-game avatar! I’ll post pics as it gets closer to completion. I’m psyched! Should be ready for Comic Con, hopefully. 🙂

Glux Reviews: ZzzQuil

IMG_20160706_193508Recently I received a free product sample (provided by the great folks at Influenster for review purposes) of ZzzQuil, which is a nighttime sleep-aid made by Vicks. I’ve never used a sleeping pill before, I’m weary of them despite their “non-habit forming” label. I don’t have horrible sleep issues, but sometimes I have trouble falling back asleep if my cat wakes me up in the early AM. I was curious to give this sample a try, so I picked a night to go to sleep extra early (10PM) and took the 2 LiquiCaps.

It might have taken more than 20 minutes to fall asleep, but it was fairly quick. I slept soundly, but my cat still managed to wake me up at 6AM as usual. I fell back asleep, but when I finally got up I felt very groggy and crouchy. I don’t know if that’s just my personal reaction to a sleeping pill, since I’m not used to taking them… but honestly, I probably wouldn’t use this again unless I was really suffering from insomnia. I didn’t like the grogginess in the morning at all. I’d rather wake up feeling tired!

However, if you find that sleeping pills are effective for you (which is fine – everyone is different!!) then this might be a good option. It certainly did knock me out when I took the pills, so if falling asleep is your problem then ZzzQuil is worth consideration.

Try ZzzQuil if you are a cosplayer suffering from post-con sickness! If you haven’t slept in 3 days, then it might be helpful to take a sleep aid to catch up on some Zzz’s lol!

Trainer May at Pokemon Day!

On February 28th, there was a lot of commotion at the Nintendo NY store! They were hosting a big event to celebrate the re-release of the original Pokemon GameBoy games (Red, Blue, and Yellow) on Virtual Console. People came out and waited on a line for HOURS just to gain access to the exclusive event!

I didn’t do that. I hate waiting on those lines. However, I did show up at the event because there was a Pokemon Cosplay Meetup happening in the Rockefeller Concourse underneath the store! Since I had been Pikachu at MAGfest, I opted to go as Trainer May from Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire. It was a lot of fun! I posted a ton of photos on my Mayor Gluxie & Cosplay facebook page and my Gluxbox Cosplay site, so please follow my page to see the whole photo shoot. But I wanted to share with my blog readers the fun Photoshop compositions that I whipped up, inserting myself into the world of Pokemon! Check out my photos below to see me fighting Team Magma at Mt. Chimney!

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Pikachu at MAGfest 2016

Whoops I should have posted this a while ago… like right after MAGfest. Oh well!

Those who follow me on social media already know that I ended up switching my cosplay at the last minute. I’ll probably do Link next month at PAX East instead. (More on that coming in a future blog post…!) I opted to bring my Pikachu cosplay to MAGfest instead, since it’s easier to transport. Plus I brought extra Pikachu ears so my little sister could join me in the cosplay fun, even tho her version was a little more casual lol!

The event itself was a lot of fun. I tend to enjoy smaller cons more because they aren’t as intensely crowded and you don’t feel so lost. But I was disappointed that the amazing musical group Triforce Quartet had not been invited to perform this year. But my friend introduced me to a funny metal group called Psycho Stick, so that kind of made up for it. I recommend that everyone look up both of these acts because they’re both great for their own reasons!

Here are some photos of my Pikachu cosplay from MAGfest! Enjoy!

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