Posts Tagged ‘hd’

The Nintendo Switch “Halfway” Report Card

*Ahem* It’s nice to have Nintendo back.

Yes, they’ve been “back” now for a good couple years, and it’s getting easier by the day to forget the wildly uncertain videogame landscape in which the Nintendo Switch made its debut on March 3rd, 2017. And yet, it somehow also feels like only yesterday that this thing hit the market – at least to me. If you find yourself in the same boat, I hope you’re ready for the rest of the Switch’s life to blink past in a heartbeat. After all, time flies when you have far too many games to play.

I feel if I don’t somehow mark this point in time right now, at the exact halfway mark* in Nintendo’s traditional five-year console life cycle, I won’t be able to truly appreciate the Switch before Nintendo messes up a new console again. And thus, if you’re so inclined, please join me on yet another (very) deep dive into a minor electronic miracle.
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*Oh, did I say halfway mark? Well, I was going to post this on September 3rd to be all neat and tidy, but then Nintendo had to announce two new versions of the Switch for imminent release, then a 40 minute Nintendo Direct presentation packed to the gills with new game announcements, meaning this post was about to be all kinds of outdated in record time. But more on all that shortly. Please read on…

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Revisiting The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess – In High Definition & High Detail

Well this looks a bit weirdly-timed now, but I have been working on it for almost two months, so here we go. Strap yourself in.

It’s been a while, old friend.

Ten years ago, in 2006, I picked up The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess alongside my brand new Nintendo Wii console at the system’s launch. After years of hype and a string of exemplary prior Zelda games, I could barely contain my excitement. 80 hours of gameplay (and weeks of real-world time juggling Wii Sports) later, I had completed it very close to 100%. And what a rollercoaster it had been.

Twilight Princess promised a lot, as the Zelda series’ long-awaited return to the dark, “realistic” aesthetic made popular by Ocarina of Time following a controversial – at least at the time – stylistic sidestep with The Wind Waker. And in fairness, it delivered a lot – sensational dungeons, standout set pieces built on fan wish fulfilment, a breakout companion character and bosses on a truly grand scale, mainly.

Ooh baby.

Yet the game also came in for its fair share of criticism for its slow and inconsequential opening, largely empty world, bland colour palette, litany of rupee-related annoyances, relative lack of difficulty and slavish devotion to aping Ocarina at the expense of the freshness offered by predecessors Majora’s Mask and the aforementioned Wind Waker. Though I remember plenty of moments from Twilight Princess fondly, it came in at Number 7 on the Top 10 Zelda games list I wrote back in 2013.

And yet early last month, it received a new lease on life.

Link makes a triumphant return with a new HD sheen.

With help from little-known Australian studio Tantalus Media, Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD for Wii U here on March 5th. Based on the “waggle-free” Gamecube version of Twilight Princess, which I never touched, and boasting quite a few tweaks and supposed improvements, it marked the perfect opportunity for me to revisit the classic adventure with a critical eye, separated somewhat from the perhaps exaggerated criticisms the internet has whipped up over the last decade. Now that I have finally finished TP in its newest iteration, here is what I have to say about it.

Prepare yourself – this will be a long one. A very long one.

Be aware that this post contains a huge amount of spoilers – worth mentioning if you haven’t played the game before. All you need to know if you’re a Twilight Princess newcomer is that yes, I believe this HD version is definitively the best version of the classic title, and yes, you really should play it. If you really want to read on, continue at your own risk, but you should know that what follows is so exhaustive that you may not even feel like you need to play it by the end.
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Obligatory Post-April Fools’ Post

FFX_5zip

Yes, that last review had an April Fools’ theme. I don’t really play Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster just for the Blitzball and yes, I do realise that reviewing the game without even bringing in the X-2 part is unfair. In truth I’m not very far into the FF X part of the game (not much further than the part when you can first play Blitzball freely, actually) but I am thoroughly enjoying just about every aspect of the experience. The sphere grid is clever, the hands-off weapon system is refreshing and most of the characters are pretty cool. Being able to take an RPG that still features so many unique design elements with me on the go on my PS Vita is a real treat. Based on what I’ve played so far there’s no way I’d give the game just 3.5 out of 5. It seems the game is highly regarded for a reason, and that reason goes beyond the fanboy and fangirl rants I used to hear way back in the day.

But yeah, Blitzball is still awesome.

Game Review: Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster

I’ve been playing a whole lot of this one since it came out in Australia on March 20th.

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Platform:
PS3, PSV
Developer: Square Enix

Rating: M
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X-2 is download-only on the Vita version, but you won't be playing that anyway.

X-2 is download-only on the Vita version, but you won’t be playing it anyway.

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Those Al Bhed bastards.

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They have the most annoying goalkeeper I have ever seen, ever, in anything. I just want to take his polygon-encrusted face and slam it into a locker until he decides never to play Blitzball again. Ugh. But the game from which he hails is great fun.

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