Friday, June 7, 2019

Paper Mario: Sticker Star



To claim that I "hate" any game adorned with Mario's name -- one that personally translates to "God" in no less than thirteen different languages -- is not an action I'd ever take lightly. Not that any mainline games haven't ever fallen below expectations or there haven't been less-than-stellar spin-offs, but my reverence for Nintendo's mascot doesn't stop at his being responsible for getting me into gaming; nay, it's how both the character and his endless gaming catalog represent, to me, wholesome appeals into innate accessibility. However, as crass as I fear such overt distaste would come across, it is said devotion to the portly plumber that requires further diligence and honest criticism on my end, for I cannot possibly turn a blind eye to whenever my idol takes a misstep lest he ever grow arrogant with pride. With both respect and duty in mind, that is precisely why I declare the following:

I hate Paper Mario Sticker Star. I abhor it as if it killed my cats, that it's the source of the suffocating nihilism greeting me every morning with further news of climate change and Orwellian fascism, and that, yes, as if it's the primary culprit behind stealing my pencil sharpeners in 5th Grade. That I'm hardly alone in this opinion is my lone sense of comfort: while the game isn't without its ardent defenders, Sticker Star has drawn no sense of passionate ire following its release; enough, even, to make me steer clear for years after launch, and yet I still wasn't ready for when I finally sat down with it. To claim it is Nintendo's worst modern product might be disingenuous in a world where something as anti-consumer as Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival exists, yet even that vile, tone-deaf consumerist filth has something resembling an easily-gleaned purpose. (That, and well, I'm willing to let bygones be bygones with how they turned its failed amiibo line around with Animal Crossing: New Leaf's Welcome amiibo update.) Sticker Star has nothing to justify its impenetrable design, let alone be worthy of the Mario brand: we may laugh at a line or two, ooh and aah at some shiny colors courtesy of 3DS's 3D feature, but any fleeting joys are instantly smothered by patently obstructive puzzles, actively mocking the very ideas of telegraphs and progression as we rack our brains at how anyone in development thought this could provide entertainment.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Yoshi's Crafted World Guide (Hey Poor Player)



I'm way late in sharing this here, the reason being I initially wanted to archive it after all the relevant work was complete. However, with the missteps and lessons involved, we still got a ways to go on that, so here we are.

And yet for all our trials and tribulations, we still struck gold -- I'm just as shocked as you to learn our Yoshi's Crafted World guide has, in total, accumulated over 100,000 views. It's a unprecedented milestone for Hey Poor Player, as the site's never reached this level of consistent traffic. Heck it's even earned the site another much-needed Google search suggestion! 

I had previously discussed my apprehensions towards this blog's future, but more than anything else, this project has rendered my presence on Hey Poor Player a top priority. Much as my passion lies within meditative escapism and retrospections regarding video games, I'm further recognizing just how vital it is to market myself via a constant presence within the public sphere, and as it currently stands, Leave Luck to Heaven cannot provide that.

Again, this is hardly to say it's curtains for the blog, let alone further contributions for said retrospection -- let's not forget I'm currently covering 80's gaming! -- but for the moment, I'm still evaluating what it truly means to be a gaming enthusiast/blogger, and so I have no choice but to re-prioritize my output here. Putting it this way: when I'm also juggling reading, political studies, exercise, and self-studying Japanese, I can't afford to beat myself up over unrealistic goals for the sake of writing for myself.

What this new direction will entail remains in gestation, but for the moment, you can expect some page re-structuring over the summer. I'll also probably establish a Mission Statement/About Me section or something that'll further outline my goals, so look forward to that.

8-Bit Chronicles: Dragon Buster (Hey Poor Player)



Behold the new rating found in the tags below: So Bad It's Good. Granted, I don't know if that's entirely applicable to Dragon Buster, but I always kept laughing at its brutally unfair gameplay, so uh, there ya go.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Snow White with the Red Hair Vol. 1 Review (Hey Poor Player)



We're now entering convention season, so expect some delays in manga reviews as Viz invests their time into panels and whatnot. 

Anyway, this is my first shojo review! I enjoyed it, but I was entering uncharted territories here, so you may see signs of my grappling with it. I'm planning to at least cover the second volume.

Friday, May 17, 2019

8-Bit Chronicles: Twinbee (Hey Poor Player)



As noted in the article, Twinbee's already the first game in this column to stonewall me. I wonder how many will follow suit?

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Luigi's Mansion



The Nintendo GameCube -- alongside Sony's PlayStation 2 and Microsoft's Xbox -- wouldn't just represent the next generational shift in 3D gaming, but Nintendo finally stepping outside their comfort-zone. While their stubbornness towards online gaming would endure, their embracing of disk-based media allowed for seemingly countless new possibilities. A flagship game was necessary to prove its power, and with Super Mario Sunshine set to launch the year after, why not go with his overlooked brother?

Enter Luigi's Mansion: initially designed as a tech demo showing off the GameCube's capabilities, the decision to build upon that as a game would render it Luigi's first game -- well, the first one actually involving Nintendo, anyway -- wherein he'd search a haunted mansion for Mario and suck up ghosts with a modified vacuum cleaner. Unlike the 1993 mishap Mario is Missing!, however, Luigi's Mansion would not only deign it fit to put the poor plumber's name into the title, but have actual Nintendo designers, including Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto himself, make it a reality. It would finally vindicate Luigi -- the second fiddle to Mario's spotlight; the eternal understudy to the first player.