Masterpiece of the Year?

Greetings to all my Nintendo nerds! I can’t believe it’s November already. Maybe I should dust off my 3DS and check in on my Animal Crossing town sometime, grab some mushroom furniture. But who has time when we have been blessed with some amazing new games in 2017?

As the year comes to a close, I have been reflecting on which games were really groundbreaking in 2017. We certainly needed some escape from reality this year! Personally, as someone who went to art school and really appreciates the artistic design of video games, I felt there were two titles that I could qualify as “masterpieces.” Which was the best of the year? I am going to try to decide right now! lol

The first game I’m considering for Masterpiece of 2017 is the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. A long anticipated title, BotW launched with the Nintendo Switch at the start of the year. Fans were astounded by the new open world approach to their beloved Zelda franchise.

The art style was even more impressive. Using an updated approach similar to Wind Waker, the design of BotW uses what I’d describe as cel-shading with water colors. It’s not overly cartoony, and it’s very much high definition. Individual blades of grass bend in the wind. Wispy strands of hair blow in the breeze. For the amount of time that fans waited for the latest Zelda title, it’s clear that it was worth the delays.

My personal opinion: If you really follow my blog, you’ll see that I don’t talk about Zelda a lot… b/c I never really beat these games. The only game I even got close to beating was Phantom Hourglass. Since BotW was basically the big name launch title for the Switch, I got it mostly b/c everyone else was playing it, and not b/c I had been desperately waiting to play it. However, when I did start playing it I was completely obsessed! It’s a very immersive experience, and I really loved the freedom of the open world. 

The second game in contention for Masterpiece of 2017 is *gasp* NOT A NINTENDO GAME. I know – it’s hard to believe that I play games on other systems. And honestly, I usually don’t. But there’s an indie game called Cuphead that FINALLY came out on Xbox 1 and Steam this year, and as far as art style is concerned… it’s a doozy!!

Now I realize that not everyone had the same upbringing as me, and may not realize the nostalgia factor in Cuphead. But I was raised watching Betty Boop and Silly Symphonies cartoons on loop ad nauseam. The creators of Cuphead took every step necessary to produce their videogame with the same exact art style that was popular in the 1930’s. This includes the hand drawn animation, 24 fps frame rate, the use of lampshade effect and much more.

Cuphead is a standard 2D platformer style game, and initially had been designed to have a Mega-Man-esque Boss Battles setup. But when the hype train rolled in, the creators expanded the game to have some standard platformer stages in addition to the boss battles. That’s all well and good… except they made the game insanely challenging. Many casual gamers find themselves unable to fully appreciate the game due to not being able to progress and see all of the stages.

My personal opinion: I was literally waiting YEARS for this game to be released. Delays and more delays pushed the game back several times and I waited patiently. When the game FINALLY released, I downloaded it right away and was so excited! Unfortunately, I haven’t actually been able to experience much of the game. I guess I’m just one of those lame casual gamers who isn’t good enough at platformers to progress in the game. It makes me very sad that after years of anticipation, and having loved this art style my ENTIRE LIFE… I can’t even see all of the gorgeously designed stages hiding in this game. 

You can probably guess which game gets my vote by now. As much as I wanted to love Cuphead soooo much… it fails b/c I can’t actually play it. The game does not forgive anyone who isn’t at ‘their level’ which I feel is kind of mean and makes me feel excluded and alienated. And it makes me not want to buy another game by Studio MDHR. First they made me wait, then the gameplay drops the ball… so they blew it with me. Being the belle of the ball doesn’t get you everywhere in life!! In Breath of the Wild I am free to explore the entire world, appreciate all of it’s beauty and play at my speed. And it’s darn pretty too.

SIDE NOTE:

Most people will want to interject – HEY WHAT ABOUT SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY?? That game is glorious too! I will give it an honorable mention. I don’t think that it’s a masterpiece, in that the art style of Odyssey is basically on par with every other 3D Mario game, albeit updated to the latest HD graphics, of course. New abilities and game functionality, plus the awesome smoothness of the controls thanks to the Joy Con and Pro Controller, make this game awesome! No doubt about that. But masterpiece? Not exactly. What makes Super Mario Odyssey a contender in this category is that the game truly allows you to create YOUR OWN MASTERPIECE. This game goes way beyond taking screenshots. You can change the camera angles, zoom, blur, add filters, add text if you want… it’s a meme gold mine. I created several masterpieces of my own:

Screenshot by @gluxbox

Screenshot by @gluxbox

Any game that lets ME make my own art gets a thumbs up from the Glux Box!

This is just my opinion, of course. Which game would YOU consider to be the Masterpiece of 2017??

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The Countdown Begins!

It’s time for a regular blog post.  I know I’ve been doing a lot of Wasabi News and random posts about Nintendo and body wash, and for those looking for a bit more… well, I apologize.  Life keeps me busy but I try to make time to post what I know the majority of my readers want to see, at least once a week.  Today I want to make some announcements, so here’s a BONUS REGULAR POST!!

ANNOUNCEMENT 1:

There’s only 30 more days to wait until the release of Animal Crossing: New Leaf!  I’m sure it’s no surprise that I am SUPER EXCITED!  I’ll be downloading the digital version of this game at 12AM on 6/9.  I’ve waited long enough, dammit!  I don’t really care about the box art, yes I’m sure it’s very nice but it’s just more important to me to have AC:NL with me at all times, and I don’t have to worry about finding/losing the game cartridge.  (Yes, I’ll still have to worry about losing my 3DS…  lol!  But that’s always a concern.  I keep it close to me always!)  I can’t wait until I won’t have to carry about both my Pikachu 3DS XL and my JP 3DS daily.  I’ll still play in Wasabi occasionally but my new game will be my “main game.”  Wasabi, most of the time, will be staying at home, unless there’s a big AC:NL event to attend and I’ll bring it with me to get extra StreetPasses!

Speaking of which… I am still toying with names for my US AC:NL town.  I’m pretty much decided that I want to use a Pokemon town name.  Keep in mind that preliminary underground press is reporting that you might not be able to have a town name that is longer than 7 characters.  So I’m trying to find the perfect, short Pokemon town name for my game.  Wanna help me pick the town name?  Here’s what I’m toying with:

  • Azalea [Town] – Johto
  • Eterna [City] – Sinnoh
  • Jubilife [City] – Sinnoh (I really love this one but I’m pretty sure it’s too long!  Wahhh!)
  • Nimbasa [City] – Unova
  • Olivine [City] – Johto
  • Pallet [Town] – Kanto

For those wondering, all the Hoenn region town names are really long, so those are pretty much out.  What do you think?  Any suggestions?

ANNOUNCEMENT 2:

Today begins the registration from the latest Pokemon B/W/B2/W2 WIFI Tournament, called the 2013 Spring Friendly.  Since I missed the past couple of WIFI Tournaments, I do plan to participate in this one.  Registration is open from 5/9 – 5/16.  The actual Tournament will be held via WIFI from 5/17 – 5/20.  For those interested, here’s the Ruleset:

  • Battle Format: Single Battle
  • Rankings will be decided based on player Ratings at the end of the competition.
  • Players may use only Pokémon found in the Unova Pokédex of Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2.
  • Pokémon may not hold the item Soul Dew.
  • Pokémon may not use the move Sky Drop or Dark Void during battle.
  • For details, check the Rules section.

I will have to double check the Unova Pokedex for B&W2.  There are some older gen Pokemon in that Unova ‘Dex.  I need a refresher!  I haven’t even looked at my Pokemon game since the PVGC…

Also, quick reminder that there is an ongoing Deoxys WiFi Mystery Gift Event right now!  Don’t forget to download Deoxys to your game – he’s level 100!  The Mystery Gift event ends on May 31st so don’t delay!

ANNOUNCEMENT 3: THE BIG ONE!!

OK I’ve been saving the best for last.  Guess what, Glux Blog readers?  I am taking a trip next month.  From June 10 – June 15th I’ll be on the west coast, visiting Los Angeles and Las Vegas.  What am I doing over there, you might ask?  Well…

That’s right!  JDubz and I are going to E3!!!

I am SOO EXCITED!  Not only will this be my first trip to the west coast, but JDubz and I will be attending the E3 Conference as interns for Island Officials.  We’re also going to be meeting up with Jenn (aka Vella) from sosostris.com to see the “Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses” concert once again!  And after the conference, we’re going to road trip it up and drive through the desert to visit Las Vegas!  OMG!  I am beyond excited!  I can’t wait to report to you all, EXCLUSIVELY, about all the latest upcoming games, gadgets and electronics at E3!  What’s amazing is that the Glux Blog is not owned by any major corporation, and I don’t have to answer to anybody.  What does that mean for you?  Unedited, uncensored, instant reporting for you!  No waiting for an editor to approve my news updates.  No big brother company making me sway my opinions to fit a corporate agenda.  So when you are looking for the latest news from E3, forget Kotaku!  Check the Glux Blog, or more likely my Facebook and Twitter accounts, for up-to-the-minute updates, news and photos!  I’ll do my best to blog daily as well.

So now the Countdown begins!  30 Days Until Animal Crossing: New Leaf!  31 Days Until E3!!  June is going to be the BEST MONTH EVARRRR!!!

Big News from Nintendo Direct!

Did you catch today’s Nintendo Direct video?  There were a lot of big announcements made, so if you haven’t already, be sure to check it out!

 

Here’s what I’m excited about:

  • Subcommunities in Miiverse!  Seems like a perfect place for my StreetPass Long Island group to set up shop…
  • Miiverse is coming to Smartphones.  And in the future, a Miiverse App is coming!
  • Virtual Console games (including GBA) coming to the Wii U!
  • OMG there’s a cool camera feature in Pikmin 3!  I can’t wait to take high res alien forest creature photos and share them on Miiverse!  lol
  • BIG NEWS – The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is being re-rendered in HD and is coming to the Wii U this year!
  • BIG NEWS – The newest Legend of Zelda game (I think slated for 2014) is going to break all the Zelda rules and bring a brand new gameplay experience!

 

Who’s excited??  What was your favorite part of today’s Nintendo Direct?  😀

 

Prelude to the Goddesses Concert

Yesterday I attended the Legend of Zelda: Prelude to the Goddesses Concert at the Nintendo World Store!

Now, I know what you might be thinking. “Wait, what? Didn’t Glux already attend the Symphony of the Goddesses concert earlier this summer? Doesn’t the word prelude mean something that precedes, or comes before something else?” Well, you are correct! However, the concert I went to was in Philadelphia. The Symphony of the Goddesses is coming to NYC in November, so this was a little teaser event to get people excited about the show. This was a free event that was going to start at 6PM.

Prelude to the Goddesses Ticket

Of course, since this was an official Nintendo event in NYC, that means you have to get there really early just to get in! JDubz and I got there around 3:15 and they had already given out wristbands to the front of the line. Luckily we got in on the next batch that they handed out, but we weren’t able to get inside until well after 6PM. The Nintendo World Store is actually fairly small, and was pretty much at capacity with about 200 attendees.

The first part of the event was an Ocarina Workshop and a merchandise stand on the ground floor selling concert t-shirts, posters and even ocarinas! The workshop was pretty interesting; I have some videos of it up on YouTube. The quality isn’t great but I recorded it with my 3DS so… oh well! 😛

Ocarina Guy starts playing Zelda music!

The guy giving the lecture was pretty kickass at playing Ocarina too! It was very interesting, but we had to rush upstairs because we wanted to get a decent spot for the concert. We ended up off to the side, but I tried my best to get as close as possible to the action!

The concert itself was very cool. The ensemble was only 6 instruments, compared to the full orchestra in the real Symphony. Since the store is small, the concert had a more intimate vibe. They played some Zelda staples, and also added some exclusive arrangements, like the theme from Beedle’s Shop, which isn’t in the set list of the Symphony of the Goddesses. (That I can remember anyway lol!)

Show Time!

I have to admit it was a long day of standing around and we were so beat that we ducked out of the concert early. But it was a lot of fun, we got to hang out with our friends at StreetPass NYC. I got a ton of StreetPasses of course, and I got all the puzzle pieces that I needed to complete the Kirby’s 20th Anniversary and New Super Mario Bros. 2 puzzles. Sweet!

In other news, I officially preordered Pokemon Black 2 and a Wii U! I was disappointed though, we tried to preorder the Wii U at GameStop and they said they were sold out already! So we did preorders at Best Buy, but that store isn’t as reliable, and they don’t do cool things like midnight launches. So if I hear that GameStop is accepting preorders again, I’ll switch my reservation. 😛

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses

On July 25th, I went down to Philadelphia, PA with JDubz to attend the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses concert!  I was super psyched.  Philly seems to host all the cool video game related events lately.  Although there is a concert date in November for NYC, I’m not sure if I’m going to go to that one.

Philadelphia is a pretty nice city.  It has a good mix of historical and modern architecture.  Plus who doesn’t love a hot, sizzling Philly cheesesteak?  We got down to the Mann Field just before showtime.  The venue was outdoors, but had a covered main seating area.  There was also a great lawn behind the regular seats, but we didn’t get a chance to go back there.  We heard some dog barking from back in the grass area though… guess even doggies like Zelda!

I tried to take pictures, but we were a little too far to get any kind of cool photos with my 3DS.  However, I did get some nice video clips!  The sound quality is pretty good too.  I wish I could share this in 3D, but you can’t send videos via Swapnote!  😦

Symphony of the Goddesses Video 1

Symphony of the Goddesses Video 2

Symphony of the Goddesses Video 3

That last video was taken by my cell phone.  Surprisingly, the audio and video quality is better on the 3DS!  (Maybe it’s just that my cell phone sucks tho lol!)  I’m not going to bother posting the photos that I took… they came out like crap.  Maybe next time I’ll bring a REAL camera that can actually zoom.  And that has a flash.  Yeah….

The big news of the day, other than the amazing concert of course, was that I reached a new StreetPass milestone!  I had been hoping to unlock this achievement, and I finally did…  100 StreetPass tags in one day!  Seriously this show was a StreetPass frenzy.  My 3DS was blinking green ALL NIGHT LONG!  In fact, JDubz and I stood by the exit after the show just to get extra StreetPass tags.  My StreetPass Plaza population is over 600 now.  Wahoo!!

In case you were wondering… Yes they do sell some merchandise at the show.  They were selling t-shirts for $25, as well as poster and t-shirt bundles for $35.  (I think.  I don’t recall exactly what the prices were.)  If you are going to a Symphony of the Goddesses show and intend to buy some merch, be sure to do so fairly early on.  When we went to purchase our t-shirts, they only had size small or extra large left.  These shirts sell out fast!

There will be another show in my area in November.  The symphony will be playing at Madison Square Garden in NYC.  The tickets for that show are pretty overpriced, so JDubz and I are considering just going to the venue and standing outside to get more StreetPass tags.  Are we crazy/hardcore or what??  😛

Getting Ready for the Goddesses!

The time has finally come!  You might remember that months ago, I’d written about buying tickets for the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses tour.  Well, the concert date is finally [almost] here!  On Wednesday, JDubz and I will be driving down to Philly to see the music of Zelda in all of it’s symphonic glory!  It’s gonna be so awesome!

Symphony of the Goddesses

When I was in school I was always interested in music, though I didn’t actually play an instrument. But I’ve always appreciated things like live orchestra performances.  So I’m really excited to see a classical music interpretation of the soundtrack of the Zelda series.  There better be some awesome ocarina solos!

Another thing that I’m looking forward to is the potential for a StreetPass frenzy on my 3DS!  What better place to find a ton of other people who might be carrying a 3DS on them, than a show like this!  I already have over 400 Mii’s in my StreetPass Plaza, but there’s still a lot of achievements to go.  (One of them being getting a StreetPass from 5 girls in a row.  I think that one is gonna be a toughie!)  I’ll be sure to post all about the event, and you can always follow me on my Twitter (@gluxbox) for live updates!  I’ll try to post pics too if my phone cooperates!

In other news, there’s a lot of new cool stuff going on in the land of Pokemon.  There’s a Porygon promotion going on where you can get a Porygon from the PGL, as well as a Porygon-Z C-Gear skin.  Serebii has all the info.

I know I said I wasn’t going to post about my Japanese White 2 game, but it’s just so freaking awesome that I can’t keep quiet!  In addition to the awesome feeling of being able to download a Pokemon that’s exclusively available for Japanese games (currently there’s a special WIFI Event Piplup available for download), I recently just beat the main storyline.  Even though the game is completely in Japanese (except for conveniently located English words on the bottom screen’s C-Gear and during battles) I still feel like I had a good idea of what was going on so I could stay motivated to finish the game.  And since I don’t speak Japanese, I still will have plenty to enjoy as I play the game again in English when it comes out in October – I’ll finally learn what everyone was saying!  lol

Before I go, I just wanna say that I’m super psyched for the new 3DS XL.  I think I might pre-order it, but I don’t know where I should do it!  Should I just pre-order from the nearby GameStop, or should I see if there will be a launch event at Nintendo World in NYC?  What do you guys think I should do?  😛  Is anyone else planning on buying a 3DS XL, or the New Super Mario Bros. 2 game that is being released on the same day?  I’m super excited for both!

Excitement Abounds!

Nintendo certainly knows how to build up anticipation!  I’m excited about so many things right now, I don’t know what to do with myself!

First of all, I received a Swapnote via SpotPass yesterday from Reggie Fils-Aime, CEO of Nintendo of America.  His note said to check nintendo.com today for a special announcement.  So I logged in this morning to see what was going on.  Apparently there was a new Nintendo Direct video to watch!  Check it out online or via the 3DS eShop!  There wasn’t anything about my favorite games (where’s my damn Animal Crossing news???) but there were some more reveals for Kid Icarus and a couple of other games.  I’m still undecided about Kid Icarus.  Do I want to get it?  Or rent it?  It’s going to have StreetPass features, and the 3D visuals look kickass.  Maybe I should at least rent it.  What do you guys think?

In addition to that, there’s been a lot of buzz that the Pokémon Company is going to make a special announcement on the Japanese TV show “Pokémon Smash” about an upcoming game.  If this is true, then there could be BIG news on Sunday!  There’s been mixed opinions on whether or not this is for real… but I’m certainly hoping for the best!  If you want to see where I got this info, check out PokemonBlackandWhite.net and let me know what you think about all this.

If that wasn’t enough for you, I have SUPER EXCITING news too!  I just bought tickets to attend “The Legend of Zelda – Symphony of the Goddesses” concert!

You lucky ducks will get a full report on this super cool symphonic display of Zelda fandom!  I’ll be sure to take as many photos and videos as I can from my swanky Orchestra seats!  JDubz and I will be attending in July, at the Mann Center in Philadelphia, PA.  (No tour dates were announced for the NY area, but if they decide to come to NY at some point, we’ll probably get tickets for that too lol!)  It’s gonna be a kickass Zelda-themed ROADTRIP!  Should we get into cosplay for this show?

Join me at the Glux Blog Facebook Page and let me know what you think about all these exciting prospects!