Thursday, January 19, 2017

Nintendo Switch, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and all that jazz

the screen and box

I’m sorry Nintendo, but nothing would please me more than playing your games on the Playstation 4. I get why that would hurt your pride, but seriously, the Switch is not at all what I want as a consumer. You make amazing, polished games, why not put them on amazing, polished hardware? Imagine how much money Nintendo would make putting games on XboxOne, PS4, and Steam.

I will not pay more for the Switch than I did for my 3DS, just so you know. It looks like a smaller Wii U with detachable buttons. I mean, it is, right? Instead of playing off TV, you can just play anywhere. I doubt anyone will even bother to hook it up to a TV, too. Also, the controllers and extra stuff is priced ridiculously. I’ll wait until Gamestop has them used, thank you very much.

Much like the PS4 Pro is to PS4, the Switch looks like the Wii U Pro to the Wii U, and that’s not a good thing. At least the PS4 Pro is compatible with PS4 games! Sheesh!



the games

I’m a Wii U owner. I highly enjoyed Splatoon, Mario Maker, Smash Bros., and 3D World. I will likely buy a Switch someday, but I will definitely skip the launch, and likely the launch year and maybe even 2-3 years after.

You see, I already own Wii U. I bought Mario Kart 8 and all the DLC packs and played the crap out of them (btw, there’s NO reason the new characters/modes couldn’t be DLC for Wii U except that Nintendo wants us to pay full price to rebuy it on a new system and also buy their online fee) I beat Skyrim already. Minecraft is great but I’ve put hundreds of hours into it on my computer. Splatoon 2 looks like a meagerly upgraded port, too, sorry to say. Maybe it’s not, but yeah… The new boxing game looks good, Arms, right? Also reminds me of Wii Sports. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t buy it, but I can see the appeal.

I’ll be honest, I fear that Nintendo will soon announce Deluxe versions of Smash Bros. and Mario Maker. That’s not okay. I don’t buy new systems to play old games.




online

Nintendo has decided to make players shell out the bucks to play their games online. Fine. I pay for Playstation Plus. What do I get from Sony? I get seamless connections, little to no lag, voice chat support in-game and in-party, the ability to interact with players met online, trophies shared with all my friends to document my accomplishments, games designed for fantastic multiplayer by developers who care about what players want, streaming video whenever I want, and to top it all off free games every single month that I get to keep as long as I have PS+.

Historically, Nintendo games require long “sign in” screens for online, don’t support voice, don’t allow interactions with people who are not my friends, don’t have trophies, don’t have multiplayer focused games, and no streaming.

Nintendo has said we’ll get free games each month, but they’ll all be old games and you can’t keep them after the month is up, even if you still pay for online. I love that Playstation gives me new, fresh games, like Journey. I don’t want old games, Nintendo. I want new.

I should also mention what I mean by, “games designed for fantastic multiplayer by developers who care about what players want.” Let’s look at Smash Bros. for Wii U. First off, you must “log in” to online, which is the stone age of gaming as far as I’m concerned. Games like Watch_Dogs 2, seamlessly integrate online into the games. Players just pop on and off, no big deal. No long loading screens. Once you log in, there are no lobbies, no ranks or leveling, no online unlocks, and no customized fights with random rivals. If I want to stop fighting one stranger and go to the next, the game boots me out to the menus, which I have to aggravatingly navigate all over. I want to do 1 on 1 fights with no items with strangers, but I don’t want to ONLY play on Final Destination. I can’t customize something as basic as that? That’s ridic. Why did they mess that up so bad? Imagine if Rocket League only let you play on 1 pitch online. Then I can’t tell the other player “gg” or anything, certainly not with voice. I’m not allowed to interact with strangers in Nintendo games because they haven’t figured out how to do parental controls, apparently. In Smash, the most communication I get with strangers with taunted or ducking down repeatedly to acknowledge them. Pathetic. Also, 50-60% of the matches I played online in Smash were laggy to the point at which I could not play. Online on Nintendo is regularly (and literally) unplayable. Finally, Nintendo has a very slim playerbase that plays online. I have a hard time finding anyone to play with. Games are empty, devoid of life as it is.

Now let’s look at Rocket League. I’m online as soon as my game starts. I can play any mode with any player online, trade items with them or do custom matches. I can chat with them through voice, text, or pre-set messages. I can invite strangers to continue playing with me through the Playstation’s “recently met players” section. Lobbies easily get me to the games I want to be in, with very little screens or loading between matches. There is no lag.

Nintendo has historically ignored features that make online great, the number 1 feature being interaction. If you think about it, interacting with people is the entire point of online. And Nintendo has this problem with ALL of their games, even Mario Kart 8, which only supported voice chat with friends (not anyone) and in between matches. Ridic! You might as well play against bots.

And now Nintendo wants me to pay a fee to play online? Hah! Not gonna happen. Unless it’s a dollar a month, nobody but the biggest Nintendo fan will do that. They just don’t offer enough to justify pricing it. Especially since they’re really just putting old games out, anyway. I can’t imagine Nintendo’s already slim online playerbase will be very large once the price barrier is in place. Who will even be around to participate in matches? Not me!


sum up

I’m mad. The Switch is likely going to fail, because it appears to be doubling down on what the Wii U was, and also they’re charging fees to play online when they are crappy online. I want Nintendo to quit making hardware and focus on software for Playstation systems. Also, the new Zelda doesn’t look good, sorry. Looks like a big empty world with nothing to do but cook mushrooms.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Some of the big things I did in 2016

My last post focused on the future, so this one will look at the past. Here is a list of stuff I did with this past year:

Went to a Lord of the Rings marathon.
Enjoyed Shovel Knight on a snow day.
Was sad over having a neighbor die.
Went to Silvercreek several times with coworkers.
Paid off my car.
Reread Deathly Hallows on a snow day.
Got rear-ended on my way to work.
Voted in the primaries.
Rewrote several chapters of my novel.
Had a date where she was being stalked.
Went into a black barber shop and got stares.
Saw White Collar Recession (local band) play at the Fairview Lounge.
Went through a school’s “field day” stuck inside for rain.
Participated in Art on the Square.
Went to SOHO Music Festival.
Played a ton of The Witcher 3 DLC.
Enjoyed E3 presentations.
Attended a birthday celebration for my aunt where they rented out a box for the Grizzlies.
A witch gave me an evil monkey charm.
I went to my friend’s birthday party.
Sung the Golden Girls theme, while pushing a guy out in a wheelchair on his last day of work before retiring.
Chatted with my friend Joe at Gamestop and caught up.
Went to a Retro Gaming Convention with my cousin.
Went to Archon convention.
Went to Pixelpop convention.
Bought a cell phone.
I cut my long hair off, first time my hairs been this short in about 8 years.
Wrote consistently in a journal everyday.
Took a solo trip to Ren Fest.
Watched presidential debates.
Took a solo trip to Eckert’s farm and fed goats.
Had a train derail near my house.
Went on a field trip with my school to an orchard.
Acted as a monster on a haunted trail.
Went to a one man circus show.
Participated in a 24-hour new play festival with PRIME.
Voted and lost.
Saw Fantastic Beasts and loved it.
Went to Thanksgiving with my cousin and played with his kids.
Went to Mexican lunch the day after Thanksgiving with my friends, and then went to a party with my other friends after.
Had a fun moment where my mother and I both bought each other the same book because we both thought the other would like it.
Got inspired by a coworker to do better.
Enjoyed Christmas where my uncle surprised everyone by coming in as Santa.
Played PS VR Batman when my friend let me borrow it.
Went to Rogue One with the fam.
I wrote 48+ blog posts.
Spent New Years helping a friend get his computer fixed.
Went an entire year without MacDonalds or Taco Bell or much fast food at all.

 
2016 was not the best year, but it had highlights. I kept busy. I had adventures and enjoyed time with friends and family. I got stuck in routine, though, and I need to work on that. I’m not happy with the election results, obviously, but at least it will be interesting. 


 Looks forward to 2017, I hope to make some big changes. Also, I MUST finish editing my book. No question, I will. I’m almost there. I hate how much my job gets in the way at me doing something I’m legit good at. I’m an artist, and that’s what I want to focus on this next year.
2015's accomplishments

Sunday, January 8, 2017

New Look, Inspiration, and a Tribute

As I hope you're able to tell, this website has undergone a few aesthetic changes. Also, the mobile version now more aligns with the browser. I'm trying some new stuff, still playing around with ideas. Yeah, and I added my crows. Blogger made some changes to how their templates work, and so my old look needed revamping pretty badly. I'm probably going to be going through the entire site and cleaning up dusty pages while I'm at it. It's 2017, right? Time for change?
Inspiration is the next thing I want to talk about now, since it's a fresh new year and all. Someone I work with told me I should be doing more, and she's right. I sometimes get down that my ambition to write and publish novels isn't immediately rewarding me. I work at a school for autistic kids, and it's rough on me. I'm constantly bruised up, hurt. I'm dead tired at the end of the day, constantly sick. I believe that I have the creative power to make money writing stories. It's just that editing a novel, for a new writer, is a lot of work. I'm not G.R.R. Martin, but what I've crafted is fairly complex. Anyway, what I'm saying is that I do believe in myself, but it's nice to have someone else say that they too believe in me. I've had that luxury a few times lately, out of nowhere. Another random friend I haven't seen in years messaged me saying that they always thought I'd do something amazing. I need to live up to that expectation. I need to make that my own.




Another thing that happened recently is the death of one of my high school English teachers. I wanted to post what I wrote on Facebook here so that I will remember her when I write. She was very important to my aspirations, you see.

Ms. Bielong inspired me to become a reader. I definitely wouldn't have gotten an English degree if it hadn't been for her. 


I hated English, as a subject. I thought reading was boring. 

Somehow, I ended up in a lit class with Ms. Bielong, and she kept putting astoundingly good book after astoundingly good book in front of me. Logan's Run, Ender's Game, The Giver, Alas Babylon, 1984, and The Good Earth are still some of my all-time favorites, ever, and I was given them all in one Appreciation Of Literature class. I tore through those books. I know I read a few of them in a night. 

I remember that she handed out copies of Pride And Prejudice for homework. I could barely stand to read it. The next day, she collected up all the copies saying something along the lines of, "I couldn't make it to page 5, so I don't expect you to." Then she handed us 1984 instead... which I destroyed. I remember reading in class, having the books she gave me at my feet during choir practice. Man, I might never have read Harry Potter if not for her sparking my interest in reading. I certainly would have never begun writing novels for myself, which is now my biggest passion. I think about her from time to time, when I'm remembering how I got to be where I am. 

So, I'm not just saying this because she passed. She really did have a profound effect on my life. She made me a reader. All that said, I should also mention that I did theatre, and she was a major part of that. I was in the audience for her last play at Belleville West. I've been reading what other classmates have said, and many others feel the same about how much of an influence she was to her students. 

Thank you, Ms. Bielong. I hope you rest well.