Almost 2 years ago, I wrote a blog that was all about excitement. I was so excited about video games that I just had to write something on how excited I was about video games. Pretty darn excited, as it turns out. But that blog feels like a long time ago. So much has happened over the past years; games have come out, the Dtoid community has changed, and we are just a tiny bit closer to the days of ultimate judgement of Ragnarök.
However, one thing has stayed very much the same; we can all still get excited about video games. So let's.
You see, despite this year's E3 being less than stellar for a Nintendo fanboy like myself (it was too safe: too much Mario, not enough everything else), there are still so many great things around that it would be a major disservice if we didn't honor them. The new 'Metroid' not what we hoped for? Well never you mind, because Yoshi's Woolly World is coming out next week!
And that's why for this month's Bloggers Wanted, I'm going to give you 10 more things I'm (still) excited about. Join me, won't you?
10. In the two years since I wrote that blog, some of my new favorite games came out
Back when I wrote the previous excited blog, I was still waiting for Super Mario 3D World. In fact, it was entry #9 back then. Of course by now it has been quite a while already since that game finally came out...but boy was it glorious. Playing 3D World with a friend in co-op (he stole Luigi from me, I retaliated by picking Toad and leaving him in the dust) was one of the most fun experiences I've had in a very long time. And then that final boss? Good lord, that was all sorts of brilliant.
But that's not all! In recent years we've gotten Bayonetta 2, Hyrule Warriors, Splatoon, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney, Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. and lots of others! Mind you, that is just a selection of games I personally played and not even counting my PC library. I'm sure if you started looking for them, you could fill out this entire blog just with great titles. These have been good years, that's for sure.
But one game that still needs its own shout-out is Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, which is legit one of the best platformers ever made.
9. ...and I still have a whole lot of more games left to play
That's right, the above is only a taste of what's to come. Despite the lackluster showing of Nintendo this E3, I still came out with things to look forward to. The obvious one is Star Fox Zero. That game has been a long time coming already, but it looks like it's going to be good times. Even before that, we've got Yoshi's Woolly World itching to go and I'm all for a game that combines Mario & Luigi with Paper Mario. And then there's that one game that deserves and entry all of its own...
Apart from the games that are still coming, I also have a huge list of games that are already out but which I haven't had the time for yet. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon is a big one there, but so are things like Etrian Odyssey, ZombiU and lots of others. There's even a whole section of my list devoted to Wii games that I missed out on for one reason or another. I mean, can you imagine that I lived all of my life without Deadly Creatures?! Okay, yeah probably. But it still looks like a decent game.
Right now, I'm very close to getting my Yoshi pre-order, and if I want to go back to the recent past I have to look no further than Kirby and the Rainbow Curse.
8. But I'm almost ready for months of video games
You might be wondering how I could possibly have missed so many great games. I mean I have no social life to speak of, so what gives? Well work, mostly. In fact I probably shouldn't even be writing this blog right now. Priorities, I suppose.
The past year or two have been crammed with writing papers and studying for exams. My trip to Washington DC broke the monotomy somewhat, but at the end of the day I still had to study there too. Fortunately I'm almost done now. I can almost taste it. And when I'm done, the first thing I'm going to do is choose the most promising backlog game and play it all nice and longlike.
And then I'm going to play another game, and another. And by that time I'll probably have new work to do so the cycle will start all over again. Such is life.
7. Let's Plays and Speedruns are my saving grace
Let's Players have a bit of a bad rap nowadays. It's probably because Youtube has been flooded with people who have no idea how to make a compelling video about video games even though video games are purposely designed to be compelling. Unless we're talking about Football Manager, I suppose.
But I don't think dismissing LPs like that is fair. There are lots of great ones out there, and if the host is interesting, funny, good at the game or even just a smooth talker, watching a Let's Play is a joy for me. As for why you would watch an LP over just playing the game yourself? Well, I like to watch LPs of games that I never had a chance to play. Other times, I just like seeing someone else experiencing some of my favorite games for the first time, or seeing them play the game in an entirely different style. Plus, watching someone else play a game is a lot more relaxing to me, especially after a hard day's procrastination work.
And then there are the really unique runs. Speedruns are almost always insanely impressive, that's a given. But how about watching a guy 100% Super Mario 64 with his feet? Or this LP here, where the guy completely breaks Pokémon Blue. And similiarly, this hilarious glitch-run of Link's Awakening where the host pretends everything is completely normal? If you know where to look, Let's Plays and speedruns have a lot to offer. If I ever find the time I'd like to make one of my own, but for now I'm really enjoying everything that's already out there!
6. You guys are excited about other things!
Let me drop a bit of a bombshell here: Final Fantasy VII remake, The Last Guardian, and Shenmue III? None of those games do anything for me. I played Final Fantasy VII only once and found it mostly unmemorable as compared to VI, so I don't understand with all the fuss is about with that game. I will believe in the Last Guardian only when I see it, but even then it might be too little too late. And lastly, I've never seen the appeal of Shenmue.
But you know what? That's fine. I may not be excited for these games in particular, but I know that a lot of you are. It seems to be common ground that Sony won this year's E3, and who am I to argue with that? I have my own games to look forward to, and you have yours.
That's okay; I'm excited that you're excited about video games.
5. Kickstarter is bringing the games producers don't think I want
I love Banjo-Kazooie. A lot of us do. Hell, I'm sure that if you asked people around here you'd find a lot that would pick it over Super Mario 64. The Rare games of old were just oozing with charm and were fun to play as well. Yet someone, somewhere, doesn't think we still want those games. They think we'd rather have gritty games starring Shooty McGruff. Well whoever you are, we do still want these games.
In fact, just this week gamers everywhere showed exactly how much we still want these games. We want them over $3.25 million much. That's a lot of fucking want right there. And the exact same thing goes for Bloodstained. That also had an amazingly successful Kickstarter, in fact it was the most successful one, showing Capcom that if they don't want to we'll just take your Castlevania and do it ourselves.
Kickstarter is not without its faults and sometimes things go wrong. Even the two games above will not see release for a while, so for now all we can do is hope. But more than anything I'm excited that this is a thing we can do now. Nowadays we can all get together and decided to screw the publishers and their games that only sell on their marketing budget. If we want a new Banjo-Kazooie as God no doubt intended, then we will fucking have our new Banjo-Kazooie. And it will feature a literal trouser snake and it will be glorious.
4. The Nindies@Home event introduced me to Typoman
Have you ever heard of Typoman? No? Well you'd be forgiven, because before this week I hadn't heard of it either. And it doesn't sound like much, does it? Some stupid word game? Wrong. So, so wrong. Fortunately, you can now download the demo on the WiiU eShop.
Typoman is one of the neatest games I've seen in recent memory. Basically, this is like LIMBO, but with words. The atmosphere feels much the same as LIMBO: You're all alone in a dark world where everything wants you dead. But what makes Typoman stand out is that everything has to do with words and letters, from the character design to the puzzles and everything inbetween. For example, the main character is a figure who is made up of the letters H, E, R and O. The O is his head, and the H his legs. Enemies are literally made from HATE. But it goes beyond that: you know how in a lot of platforming games you have to avoid falling on spikes? Well, the same is true here...only the spikes are all capital A's.
There are letters strewn about everywhere, and they even factor into the gameplay. For example, at one point you have to cross a pond that is being filled up by a rain cloud which surrounds the word RAIN. However, there's also a letter D somewhere nearby. What you do is you pick up the D (ladies) and toss it at the raincloud; now the cloud spells out DRAIN, and the pond empties so you can cross. Typoman is full of these neat little "aha!" moments, and I loved it. My favorite was the word PART, which did something that was both unexpected and very LIMBO-esque.
If you liked LIMBO definitely go check out Typoman, and make sure to buy it when it comes out. I know I will; it's a very, very neat game and currently my most anticipated indie game. Just goes to show what a demo can do.
3. Video game music gets better every day
My collection of video game soundtracks is getting larger by the day. Almost every time I play a new game I'll come to a moment where I'll just sit up and go "Wow, the music is really nice in this one!" I had it with Splatoon during the final boss, I have it with Super Smash Bros. constantly, I have it with indie games like Transistor, and I've had it with most of the music in the Xenoblade trailers.
It doesn't even have to be a video game I've played myself. Like I said, I watch a lot of Let's Plays. If you've got a good LPer on your hands, he'll know when to let the game do the talking, and that includes the music. For example, the last LPs I finished watching were Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kongquest (fun fact: I only just learned that this game isn't just called Diddy Kong's Quest). It's no secret that the DKC series has great music by master David Wise, but I've never had the chance to hear it for myself. That LP though, it introduced me to all of the good stuff.
Jib Jig, anyone?
- Also stealth midriff.
But only because I'm running out of Eevee art.
1. Metroid Prime: Federation Force
Okay, not really.
1. Xenoblade Chronicles X
Almost two years ago, I listed "X" as the thing I was the most excited for. Well, titles may change but hype is forever. Unless you're a Sonic fan. Even two years later, now that we have a solid release date and the full title of Xenoblade Chronicles X, my excitement hasn't waned in the slightest. And how could it?! Look at this:
I would argue that's not even the best trailer we've seen for this game, but it still gives me the chills. From the looks of things, X will have utterly amazing vistas, transformers fighting monsters with giant fuck-off claws, the battle system that made Xenoblade so much fun, music that you can immediately recognize Attack on Titan's composer in, and so much more.
I remember a time where nobody but me seemed to care about this weird "Xenoblade" that was due to come out. After all, it was coming right alongside The Last Story! But since then people have seen how great Xenoblade was. They've incorporated it in memes, blogs, glowing reviews, desktop wallpapers and eventually Shulk even made it into Smash Bros. despite the fact that he only had one game under his belt that was very recent to boot. I'm glad I'm not the only one who cares about Xenoblade anymore. And I hope for all our sakes that X will live up to the hype that I've been maintaining for almost two years now.
Nintendo's E3 Direct wasn't very good. And frankly, I'm getting the feeling that Nintendo is weeding out the WiiU for the NX soon. But give me Xenoblade Chronicles X, and I'll never hold grudges again. And even besides this particular game, there's a whole lot to be excited about.
Because videogames are still pretty amazing.