jdodson1

Joined 01/23/2012

I'm an Engineer and built the video game community Cheerful Ghost and text based mini-MMO Tale of the White Wyvern.

2647 Posts

Blizzcon 2021 Online is going strong and hot off the keynote is the news of the Blizzard Arcade Collection release available today on PC, XBox, Playstation and Switch. The Blizzard Arcade Collection features old school classic Blizzard titles such as Blackthorne, Rock & Roll Racing and The Lost Vikings for $20. If you have yet to play these games this seems like the best way to relive them and they are coming home to consoles which is a solid plan considering that's how they were first released.

You can buy the Blizzard Arcade Collection today on PC as part of the Blizzard Celebration pack for $20 alongside a bunch of other DLC for Blizzard games.

https://us.shop.battle.net/en-us/product/celebration-collection

https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/19/22291771/blizzard-arcade-collection-announced-blizzcon-2021

*Update*

The Blizzard Arcade Collection is up on the Switch store: https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/blizzard-arcade-collection-switch/


Rage is a very hefty feeling but there is no need to be angry while you play it. I paid full price for Rage 2 at launch and I loved every minute of playing it but I could see a world where some people might play games angry after paying full price. If you see red after paying for things you are in luck because Rage 2 is entirely free on the Epic Games PC Store until Feb 25th. While you are there saving yourself a few bucks you can also get Absolute Drift for free too. I have no experience playing Absolute Drift but if my growing backlog is an indicator, I never will but will lament the fact I haven't.

https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/product/rage-2/home
https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/product/absolute-drift/home


Might not come as a huge surprise to anyone but I picked up Super Mario 3D World on Switch and have been enjoying it quite a bit. I've heard some folks online say that it's a bit on the easy side as a single player game and I get that. That said, I haven't found it to be that easy myself as I've been playing it co-op with a rather energetic four year old. I love the little guy but he's not great at platforming such that he dies a lot and MUST always be the first to get "the kitty suit." So yeah, it's fun playing Mario with your kids but playing Mario co-op with little kids might be the Dark Souls of trying to have fun playing video games sometimes. Let this scenario wash over you "Daddy I don't want to go there. Hey buddy ok let me carry you over there. Thanks Daddy. *he pushes a button and jumps out of my arms and falls off a cliff* Daddy I lost the kitty suit. Ok buddy hold on let me use the extra we have ok come get it. Daddy I can't come get it, Daddy I can't go over there. Ok buddy let me help you there *falls off a cliff* Ok no problem buddy let me pop the bubble there and throw you at the kitty suit. YAY I'm the kitty again, I love being the kitty. *falls off a cliff* Daddy I need the kitty suit."

Frankly I think Super Mario 3D World is the right kind of difficulty for how I play it, but I can see where some gamers might need more of a challenge. If you are a challenge seeker Super Mario 3D World might not be for you but having kids might help you get there.

Oh and we haven't played Bowsers Fury yet but I imagine we'll get there after we complete Super Mario 3D World. We just got to the mid point in World 3 even if the game feels like a continual hunt for the kitty suit.


During the Nintendo Direct today there was much in the way of interesting news from Nintendo and one such piece was that Skyward Sword was getting a re-release on Switch coming July 16th. Looks like Nintendo is honoring the legacy motion controls in Switch form but also creating a button only control scheme that many players have been asking for.

"Take to the skies, draw your sword, and experience the earliest story in the Legend of Zelda series. Join Link in his high-flying quest to save Zelda, a childhood friend who must confront her destiny. Soar between floating islands and descend to the treacherous surface world in this updated HD version of the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.

Swing your sword and angle your slashes to uncover and break through opponents’ defenses using intuitive motion controls. Link will match the angle of each strike you make with the Joy-Con controller, creating immersive swordplay that relies on strategy and accuracy. Movements feel smoother and more immediate thanks to the Nintendo Switch system’s increased processing power and HD graphics. Take advantage of the newly-added button only control scheme—perfect for playing in handheld mode or on the Nintendo Switch Lite system.
"

https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/the-legend-of-zelda-skyward-sword-hd-switch/

Now that Skyward Sword is flying to Switch is this something you are going to get?

"Take to the skies and discover the origins of Hyrule In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, reborn on #NintendoSwitch​! Draw your sword in this high-flying adventure with Joy-Con controllers or the newly added button-only controls.

Available July 16.
"


In partnership with Valve, Netflix is releasing a new show called DOTA: Dragon’s Blood which looks to be an Anime styled sword and magic show. If this is as good as the Castlevania show on Netflix, we should be in luck! Many years ago Valve announced a partnership with JJ Abraham’s where he and Gabe discussed brining Valve properties to life and nothing ever seemed to come from that so it’s good Valve is making something happen here.

Who do I send my letters to for a Portal show?

The new Valve joint comes to Netflix March 25th.

"The sweeping fantasy series tells the story of Davion, a renowned Dragon Knight devoted to wiping the scourge from the face of the world. Following encounters with a powerful, ancient eldwurm as well as the noble Princess Mirana on a secret mission of her own, Davion becomes embroiled in events much larger than he could have ever imagined.


I’m a bit late to announcing this but since it’s a very old game already why not share old news about it too. Age of Empires II Definitive Edition recently received a new expansion Lords of the West bringing longtime players a bunch of new content. Some old games really never need to go away and if they are popular, why not entirely new expansions?

* Challenge your friends with two all-new civilizations, each of which include unique units and technologies for you to explore!
* Battle across Western Europe and the Mediterranean in three new campaigns—including the British king, Edward Longshanks!
* Claim victory by means of sheer military might, diplomatic prowess, or through overwhelming economic power!
New achievements to earn on your Xbox or Steam account!

Lords of the West is out now on the Windows 10 Store, Steam and XBox Games Pass for PC.

https://www.ageofempires.com/news/pre-order-lords-of-the-west/


Quite enjoyed the latest video by MtPain27 where he admits he is Doom Save-Scum. Save-Scum refers to a play style of Doom where you save and reload to complete a level. In some hardcore circles of Doom Save-Scumming is frowned upon as playing the whole level start to finish with pistol start on incredibly high difficulty is seen as one holy grail. MtPain talks about that and admits his Save-Scumness and it's nice to hear because I am too. I don't mind challenging games these days but I play games to have fun and sometimes that means... being Save-Scum.

"Some thoughts on save-scumming, Doom difficulty, and being too hard on yourself.

"I am save-scum. When I play Doom, before, after, and sometimes during big fights, I’ll typically save my game. When I have to do pretty much any kind of platforming, I’ll save my game. When I’m low on health and don’t know if I’ll make it through the rest of the map, but don’t want to overwrite my current save file, sometimes, (gasp) I’ll save in a second slot. Even I’m when playing maps I know like the back of my hand, if I know a hard part is coming up, sometimes I’ll save my game. Why? Because I am save-scum..."
"


Puzzle Quest was one of the first match three games to add RPG mechanics creating a whole genre of games that continue to be very popular. Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords was the first game in the series that launched at time where mobile gaming was focused to handhelds like the Nintendo DS and PSP. Puzzle Quest also came out on a lot of other systems as well but these days games like Puzzle Quest typically only release on your phone. It's a fun thing to remember a time where mobile gaming meant playing on your Nintendo DS or PSP and I wonder if Puzzle Quest 3 might come out on the Switch as well as phones? Publisher 503 Games is heading up this latest Puzzle Quest game and it's also been announced as a free to play game. It makes sense that Puzzle Quest 3 is free to play but ... I haven't seen a lot of these free to play games work out too well in that the free to play mechanics are very annoying.

Still, I have the original Puzzle Quest on the DS and found it to be one of the better entries on that system and hope Puzzle Quest 3 lives up to the legacy of the original.

https://www.puzzlequest3.com/


I got a lot of Mario gifts for Christmas and one of those gifts was the Super Mario Bros. Game & Watch. To me, having this is a kind of tech is a guilty pleasure because it's a handheld that's primarily a watch that can play only three games. In a world where I have a bunch of clocks at my fingertips and every version of Super Mario Bros. the Game & Watch feels a bit redundant but in the same way many of us enjoy eating cookies. We don't need to eat cookies to survive and many times we should stop at having a couple but we don't because we love cookies even though they are bad for us. Mario isn't bad for us like cookies but somewhere in what I wrote is a point.

The Super Mario Bros. Game & Watch feels a bit small in the hand but I don't find it hard to hold or unreasonably uncomfortable. The screen is plenty bright and the one speaker seems loud enough for me so much so that I've turned the screen bright and speakers down a bit from the factory default settings. The whole user experience of the Game & Watch is well considered and the Game / Time / Pause Set buttons work quite well in navigating it.

The Game & Watch includes Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels and a digital recreation of the original Mario Game & Watch game. As an acolyte of the first Super Mario Bros. this was the biggest draw of buying the Game & Watch beyond having a fun collectors piece. In a world where one owns a Nintendo Classic, Switch -w Nintendo Online and the original Super Mario Bros. NES cart is there a reason why one would play the game on the Game & Watch? The answer is yes as just yesterday I completed a full play though of each level of Super Mario Bros. on the Game & Watch and I plan on playing it a lot more as a result. My only minor complaint about the Game & Watch controls are that the A & B buttons are smaller than the original NES controller versions. I'm not sure this amounts to really anything significant but those original controls are forever burned in my brain so I notice it whenever I play. Super Mario Bros. itself is emulated on the Game & Watch and it's done so well that I can't really tell a difference in that I don't notice any emulation lag.

The Game & Watch has a lot of fun secrets to it and I've included a link below for you to check them all out. Now that I've beaten Super Mario Bros. I've unlocked the ability to switch into hardmode when I want and start at any level I choose. This is a fun unlockable feature that was available in the original after completing the game but due to no save states would be lost when you reset your Nintendo.

https://screenrant.com/every-secret-super-mario-bros-game-watch/

If you are looking for a fun Mario collectable you'd do well to check out the Game & Watch. It's not particularly hard to find right now and Nintendo will stop manufacturing it on March 31st of 2021 so if you are interested I'd get one while you can. While the Mario Game & Watch came to usher in Mario's 35th anniversary this year will mark the 35th anniversary of the Legend of Zelda. Given how fun this handheld is, I hope Nintendo does something similar for Link!

If you want the IMMERSIVE Game & Watch experience you should consider getting the stand for it. I did and it's a great thing to have hold the watch up on your desk.

https://rosecoloredgaming.com/products/new-game-watch-super-mario-brothers-display-stand-holder-famicom-edition


One of the best parts of playing New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe on Switch is playing it alongside my 4 year old son. He gets so excited watching me play the levels and loves talking about Mario even when we aren't playing. Recently I beat the game and decided to take a bit of a break from it because he was talking about Mario a bit too much. As a kid who grew up obsessed with Nintendo, I understand how awesome video games can be to certain kids so taking a break was helpful to get him to focus back on other things for a while. Recently I decided to start playing it again as we took a path through the Cloud level and completed the game that way so now we are coming back to complete Rock Candy Mines.

How Does New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Stack Up?

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is the best New Super Mario Bros. game I've played to date. Each game in the series keeps the same core mechanics, Mario 3 styled overworld and item system but U Deluxe kicks things up a notch to a place I appreciate. One difference I didn't like at first was that U Deluxe only allows you one board of items to store. In other games, Mario 3 included, you could bank up to three or more boards of items but U Deluxe only allows one. At first this was annoying because I love banking items that I, generally speaking, never use. One benefit of not allowing you to store unlimited items is you either use them or you lose them which forced me to use items. This has changed up how I play the game in that I actually use items now which makes the whole game feel a whole lot more fun.

Lots of Secrets To Unlock

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe contains a lot of hidden secrets and unlocking them allows you to skip over levels. Just like in Super World there is a Star Road series of levels however to play them you have to find all the big coins in each level. This gives the game a lot of replay ability but is a bit annoying if you just want to jam on to the Star Road levels, like I do.

What's Next?

After completing the main game I'm focusing on completing Rock Candy Mines and then will head back and complete the levels I didn't finish on my first play through. Occasionally there are two paths you can take and I just took the one so I want to head back and complete the other path levels. After that I'm not sure but I think I'll chip away at finding the hidden coins in each level. Some of these coins are hard to get and require some epic platforming but nothing seems impossible.

New Super Luigi U?

One awesome addition to New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe on Switch is the inclusion of New Super Luigi U and I plan on starting it up sometime this year. The only thing I really know about the game is that it features Luigi as the main character as Mario seems... missing. It's also way harder, which sounds frustrating but hopefully on the fun side.


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