Friday, December 29, 2017

Worldly Weekend: Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (GBA)

Not even one game later, and we arrive at the embryonic stage of Kingdom Hearts' ultimate folly: "bridge" games released across multiple platforms. The Disney/Square-Enix saga was not to continue just through numbered mainline entries, but through what series director Tetsuya Nomura described as games that would "bridge" -- or rather, set the stage for -- said numbered entries together. Kooky executive antics and Nomura's own over-ambition would eventually drive this direction out of control, as evidenced by the fact it's been twelve years since Kingdom Hearts II first launched in Japan and we've only just recently received a tentative date for the long-awaited third entry.

But we'll get to that mess when it comes. Really, what I want to talk about is how undeserving Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories -- the first of these bridge games, which arrived on Game Boy Advance in 2004 -- is of this blame, for I daresay it is perhaps the very finest title under the Kingdom Hearts banner. Not because it possesses the very highest highs of the series -- although quite a few are present here -- but rather in how it is the most consistent: what we have here is a game that not only recognizes its purpose, but is aware of its limitations and tries its damnedest to work around them to provide one of the most compelling JRPGs on the platform.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King Review (Hey Poor Player)

Question: was 4/5 too low? I come across as quite positive throughout the review, and I kept going back and forth on that and 4.5. I felt 4/5 was appropriate for a game of this caliber, but it just does so much right; actually, I'd say it's easily the best indie I've played all year.

Let me put it this way: if Zelda: A Link to the Past was your childhood jam, you'll love Blossom Tales. And you'll like it regardless. Play it!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: The Champions' Ballad Review (Hey Poor Player)

I procrastinated on this one a little longer than I would've liked. Do you think it turned out okay? Still not entirely satisfied with it, but it had to come out.

Regardless, the bike is amazing. A well-deserved GOTY for Nintendo!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Astra Lost In Space Vol. 1 Review (Hey Poor Player)

So stoked to finally discuss my love for this series! Astra Lost In Space is really one of those series that just keeps getting better as it goes on, so I hope you'll join me on the Astra's adventure.

Anyway, Worldly Weekend may or may not arrive this weekend, so keep your eyes peeled.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Promised Neverland Vol. 1 Review (Hey Poor Player)

My first manga review!!! I put my all into this, so be sure to give it a look. I consider The Promised Neverland an modern classic, so I highly recommend the actual manga, too.

Astra Lost in Space will be arriving tomorrow.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

Ah, now there's the smile we know and love! As expected, Kirby's preciousness shines especially well through clay, and there is perhaps no better representative to bear it than Kirby and the Rainbow Curse: a claymation-based title matched only by Kirby's Epic Yarn in sheer cuteness. Even now, we must continue cherishing this pure countenance, for it is the last time Kirby bared this visage for an international audience.

Anywho, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is not only the one Wii U Kirby game, but is a sequel to 2005's Kirby: Canvas Curse, the one series entry notable for captivating non-fans. Hailed as Nintendo's first truly original concept for Nintendo DS, Canvas Curse remains the handheld's hallmark for touchscreen play: drawing rainbow strokes for Kirby to coast along played unlike anything else in the market, and combined with a techno soundtrack and mish-mash of abstract aesthetics so alien to Kirby, it's little wonder it succeeded as it did.

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

As this review's been nearly six years in the making, it's only fair I cut to the chase: I still intend to bury The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Admittedly, I embark on this task with some trepidation: it is not a game that is outright terrible, as I have implied in the past. This is not the so-called sorcery of the previously-discussed Zelda Cycle; a carefully-evaluated 100% run does reveal it is a professionally-designed title with your typical Nintendo polish and all that, and like Twilight Princess before it, there are some good moments I dare not wish to minimize.

That does not, unfortunately, dissuade me from believing Skyward Sword is possibly the most underwhelming output from Nintendo's own studios in their entire history of game development. This is not to say it is the worst -- Donkey Kong Jr. Math and Urban Champion have endured three decades of mud-slinging for a reason -- and this excludes second-party efforts and third-party collaborations (Metroid: Other M, being worse in every way that matters, would obviously be the runaway winner).

Friday, November 17, 2017

On Leave Luck to Heaven's Future, Twitter, and Hey Poor Player

Hello. Given the lack of reviews and whatnot for Leave Luck to Heaven, it's time I shared my upcoming plans for the blog, so you'd better sit down.

While much of the recent drama has come and past, the blog has fallen to the wayside as Hey Poor Player and my real-life job have taken priority. This has induced some heavy guilt upon me, although it's hardly a new feeling: for years now, I've struggled to maintain a consistent output, all the while deadlines were missed and numerous announced projects and plans never came to be. This isn't the first time I've had this discussion, either, so for readers who have been frustrated with my droughts and broken promises, all I can say is that I truly am sorry.

Over the past several months, I've done some deep introspection over my writing habits and came to realize my evolution with writing: you know how waaaay back when I first started, I felt it necessary to write numerous posts just for one game? As Leave Luck to Heaven started out as an experimental platform, I felt that direction was necessary to establish my unique, but I came to recognize a year later that was far too excessive and time-consuming. Since then, my singular reviews have gradually evolved not just beyond syntax and grammatical improvements: reviews are no longer book-sized, and I've since done away with embedding game music via YouTube.

Upon reflecting on all that, I've come to the conclusion that if I truly desire a consistent schedule, then I'll have to make concessions with my key writing habit -- that is to say, review sizes will now be firmly within 1500-2000 word territory. Having spent the past two months trying to get my next Nintendo review out, it's become evident I can no longer sustain this gargantuan model anymore. Hammering this point is how I have way too many games lined up for review, and I cannot afford to write 3000+ word essays for them all.

At the same time, though, I understand it's my wordy prose that's a huge appeal of Leave Luck to Heaven, and so I'd like to reiterate this is not to say extra-meaty reviews are gone for good. I may be willing to stretch to 2500+ words for certain games, but I'll probably only reserve that for games I deem especially worthy of such deep analysis (off the top of my head, only The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and most of the Super Smash Bros. games come to mind). I'd like to also mention that 2000 words won't be a strict limit; if a review just happens to surpass that with 2150 or so, then, well, that happens.

Regardless, a monthly four Nintendo/two Worldly Weekend review model is still my goal, and adjustments are already being made to accommodate this process: games will no longer be subject to 100% completion before reviewing, for instance, so as to quicken the process for review (bear in mind this was only applied for Nintendo games).  Meanwhile, I must also announce Biweekly Music Wednesday! will be going on hiatus until I maintain an acceptable review output. While disappointing, that column has admittedly been interfering with said output, so I'll definitely bring it back once things are steady.

In the meantime, I'd also like to announce my final decision regarding Twitter. After much going back-and-forth on the matter, I've decided to remain on the platform. While not an easy decision, like the rest of social media Twitter is simply far too intertwined with interaction and my profession to simply chuck away, so barring any public statements condoning the racists/bigots on the platform, it looks like I'm here to stay. However, in exchange, I will certainly be active in voicing my displeasure with said bigotry, and I'd like to call upon you to do the same.

Finally, I'd like to announce an exciting development with Hey Poor Player: starting next month, I will be reviewing manga! Those who follow the site have noticed we've covered movies and Netflix shows and the like, and as a huge consumer of manga, I figured that wouldn't be a stranger to the lineup! Having read manga for thirteen years, it's only natural I'd want to discuss my second favorite medium. We're still working out the details, but I'm aiming for two reviews per month, and I'll be beginning with the first volumes for Astra Lost in Space and The Promised Neverland, both fantastic series I've been following on Viz's Shonen Jump subscription. I've already been studying manga reviews, so needless to say, I'm quite excited!

Anyway, that's all I have to share. My next review is finally wrapping up, so I may be seeing you shortly. "Till then!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Cat Quest Review (Hey Poor Player)

What, you didn't think I was gonna play this?!? Hardly one of my longer reviews, but perhaps the short length complements the game?

Anyway, please stay tuned for an important post tomorrow detailing Leave Luck to Heaven's immediate future, as well as my decision regarding Twitter. Also, some fun news regarding Hey Poor Player!

On Mario Odyssey's Photo Mode And Its Expression of Freedom (Hey Poor Player)


A bit late posting this up, but here's something I wrote about Super Mario Odyssey's wondrous Photo Mode? Why did I use such a dreary-looking pic for the header? Only one way to find out!

A game review for Switch will also be up on Hey Poor Player today, so look forward to that, too.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Checking In + Review Updates

Look at me, I'm a mess! I said tomorrow and I ended up posting this four days later. Unfortunately, I had some bad allergies and been lacking stamina, so we'll chalk it up to that and move on.

As far as good news goes, my cousin's wife is now cancer-free and on the road to recovery, although we did have an unexpected bump when we had to put down my dog not even two days before her operation. We've been prepared since he'd been growing deaf all year, but it's not like you can predict a stroke, sadly. I've been going through some drama lately, haven't I?

As far as the blog goes, I'd like to announce that I'll be going back to certain reviews and making grammatical/spelling updates. Most changes (and there won't be many) will be minuscule alterations, although my Sonic the Hedgehog review will include something I can't believe I forgot to mention. This is why review notes are important!

Speaking of reviews, I've been making strides in my review schedules and balancing that with personal game time. I'd rather go into detail in case it falls through (again..), but if it goes well, I may share some insight on the process!

Anyway, I'll be seeing y'all soon.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Fire Emblem Warriors Review (Hey Poor Player)

Woops! I was so distracted by the drama from last week that I forgot to put this up here! In case you didn't know, I think it's been up for nearly a week now, ahaha.

Anyway, I'll be providing a quick update tomorrow, so stay tuned for that.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Regarding This Month's Drought and My Social Media Presence

Hey, all. Things have been quite slow this October, and when also factoring in some recent Twitter comments of mine about leaving the platform, I figure I should clue y'all in on what's going on.

First and foremost, I desperately wish this drought could be explained by it being a really busy work month (although it certainly has been that), but I'm afraid that's not the case. Earlier this month, my cousin's wife was diagnosed with an especially rare form of the paraganglioma, a cancer that's already rare in itself. While we've since approached this situation with optimism -- this isn't the first time a close family member had a brush with cancer -- as I'm extremely close with the family in question, it's naturally still on my mind 24/7, and we won't know the cancer's severity until the operation on Halloween. As two (very) young children are involved, needless to say it's a scary time.

Not to mention...honestly, it's already been an overloaded month as it is. Never mind all the hours of work, I took an insane amount of workload for Hey Poor Player earlier this month (three feature articles in three straight days), and I've been working beyond my limits to raise awareness for the site and match my monthly post quota. Furthermore, my next review...well, I won't spoil it for those waiting, but it's been a long time coming and given the massive size involved, it's been a huge stress factor as well.

In short, things may stay Hey Poor Player-only for a little while until I get my scheduling/life in order. It's a huge bummer personally since I finally set a proper set-up in penning my reviews and whatnot, but the extra workload has prevented me from carrying it out. Regardless, I hope you understand.

There's also the issue of Twitter; for the uninitiated, I have expressed a desire to drop the platform entirely. Over the past year, I have felt immense guilt associating myself with a site that, thanks to piss-poor moderation, has allowed the likes of racists, Neo-Nazis, misogynists and harassers on their platform, and I could no longer in good conscience tolerate their presence. It's immensely useful tool for sharing my work, yes, but would I be any better than those who value ad revenue over their users' safety?

However, a certain...incident threw a monkey wrench in my plans. NeoGAF, a forum I frequented for four years, underwent chaotic anarchy following sexual assault allegations against the owner, and I, like many others, did not wish any more association with the site. The exodus was immensely disheartening for everyone involved, and Twitter was the only reliable tool we had to stay in touch with old friends. In many ways, there was truly nothing like NeoGAF, it being one of the final gaming bastions of progressive ideology and a zero-tolerance policy towards any any of the alt-right rhetoric that's plagued our medium for the past several years.

Thankfully, since then we've made a smooth transition towards spiritual successor ResetEra, and while I personally couldn't be happier with how that's turned out, I'm still a little shaken by what happened. NeoGAF was set to be my one and only social internet connection once I left Twitter, and with that suddenly ripped from the equation, I'd be left with nothing else. Again, ResetEra's shaping up to be a worthy replacement, but that whole incident forced me to reconsider all my internet-related plan, and so that's why I'll be giving Twitter one last shot to redeem itself while being more proactive in calling out the filth plaguing the platform. This may, however, change depending on any further scandals with the service, so please bear that in mind.

Anyway, that's about it. I'll probably be spending the next week sorting this all out. Reset assured, Leave Luck to Heaven has some big plans in the future.

 In the meantime, it's time for me to Do the Odyssey. See ya soon!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Fire Emblem Warriors Beginner's Guide (Hey Poor Player)

This one's already caught up to my Star Fox 2 guide in views: over 700! Looks like you'll be seeing more guides from me in the future!

Only problem is...what would the next suitable game be? Super Mario Odyssey (COMING TOMORROW!!!) should be as accessible as any other Mario game, Skyrim's six years old, and I'm getting Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for Christmas...will I have to wait until Kirby Battle Royale?!?

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Star Fox 2 Review (Hey Poor Player)

This week just about killed me, so I wasn't able to go too in-depth in this review. Perhaps you can view this and The Beginner's Guide as two parts of a whole?

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Super Nintendo Classic Review (Hey Poor Player)

Another thousand in a day. I think I'm getting better at this, but as I'm working the next two days, the Star Fox 2 one is gonna be a doozy.

Regardless, two down, one to go.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Star Fox 2 Beginner's Guide (Hey Poor Player)

That's the second time this year I've written an extraordinary amount of words (over 1700!) in one day for a Hey Poor Player article! Seeing as how I'll also be reviewing BOTH the SNES Classic and Star Fox 2 this week...well, it goes without saying Leave Luck to Heaven won't be seeing much action for a while.

By the way, this is the first guide in some time for the site. I was surprised to discover how much attention my Kirby: Planet Robobot guide for GameSkinny received after a year later, so I figured a game everyone's asking questions about would draw similar attention. Did I make the right call?

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Biweekly Music Wednesday! No. 54 ~The Great Cave Offensive: Crystal Field and Mystery Paradise~ (Kirby Super Star)

Origin: Kirby Super Star
Plays In: Crystal Field and Mystery Paradise areas of The Great Cave Offensive
Status: Arrangement
Composed by: Jun Ishikawa, Dan Miyakawa

The Super Nintendo Classic Edition is finally coming!!! In just two days, we'll be reliving twenty classics from Nintendo's greatest system, as well as the never-before released Star Fox 2! Has such a package ever blended the nostalgic and the new so perfectly? Needless to say, if you call yourself a Nintendo fan, you know you gotta get one.

But with so many incredible games featured, which one could I possibly play first? Those who know me could rule it down to two titles: EarthBound and Star Fox 2. Both are great guesses, but they aren't what I've decided upon. Humbling as it is to know EarthBound, the greatest game ever made, will be on it (let us have a moment of silence for our Japanese brothers and sisters), I know I probably won't be able to stop playing it and as I wish to play at least a little bit of every game just once, I may save it for last. I suppose that's fitting for the best game ever, yes?

Vaporum Review (Hey Poor Player)

This was a bit of a scary one to write: Vaporum isn't exactly a high-profile release, but it's still an entirely new IP, so it's unknown how the press and public will take to it until the embargo breaks and release occurs. Not that I would ever align my views to the general consensus, of course, but suppose I was the lone voice of dissent in a sea of 8s and 9s? That's certainly a bone-chilling thought.

However, it doesn't seem too many reviews are coming out for the game, and so despite my low score, I can't help but feel a little bad for the's loaded with flaws, but the passion involved certainly deserves at least one look.

I wonder if dungeon crawlers aren't for me? I did enjoy the original Pokemon Mystery Dungeon on Game Boy Advance, so I suppose it's not completely out of the question...

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Kirby: Triple Deluxe

My friends, as you all certainly learned back in 2014, we lost the Angry Kirby war. What you see above is not just the cover for American audiences, but for worldwide consumers; sadly, this includes Kirby's native homeland of Japan. Whether it be HAL's belief that this was the best way to show off the new Hypernova power or them being sick of adjusting the cover nearly every time Kirby leaves his Eastern shores, it proves he's not safe even in his home country. While the above cover is hardly among the worst Angry Kirby offenders -- that it's at least designed from the ground up renders it not nearly as awkward-- what it represents proves it won't be going away anytime soon.

Let it be reminded that Angry Kirby is an aesthetic paradox at odds with the presentation and spirit of Kirby, yet I can't think of any case more true than Kirby: Triple Deluxe,  which is such a downright pleasant game that very nearly reaches the heights of Epic Yarn, Dream Land 3 and Rainbow Curse. This is not an exaggeration; every time we start the game, the main menu greets us with an assortment of blue skies, vines hosting collectible keychains of old Kirby sprites dangling accordingly to the 3DS's gyroscope, and a mandolin-accompanied arrangement of the gentle Save Hut theme from Kirby Super Star. Coaxing us into that warm, heart-gooey nostalgia that traps us into reverie, we're immediately at home.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Biweekly Music Wednesday! No. 53 ~Now or Never!~ (Splatoon)

Origin: Splatoon
Plays In: Last minute of a Turf War match
Status: Original Composition
Composed By:
Toru Minegishi

A new Nintendo Direct is upon us!! In less than three hours, we'll be basking in the afterglow of newly-announced Nintendo games, all contained in a 45-minute package. We'll certainly see that "multiplayer action" 3DS Kirby game, and Super Mario Odyssey is confirmed for an appearance, but that's hardly a fraction of what's to come. Will we see more of the Kirby and Yoshi Switch games? Is Retro Studios' next game finally around the corner? Is this possible mistake a hint towards Super Smash Bros. for Switch, something I should've put behind me some time ago? Oh, the suspense is too much!

Much in the same way E3 is Christmas for video game fans, we Nintendo fans feel the same about these mouth-watering Nintendo Directs. Announced out of the blue and typically with only two days to spare, our minds race at the possibilities of what's to come. Sure, there's been a disappointing Direct here and there, but how packed this holiday season and even early 2018 are, there's little reason this Direct will leave us with frowns.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Coming Soon: Worldy Weekend Pages!

Hey, all! With Sonic the Hedgehog, Worldly Weekend has finally reached its tenth installment, and with that goal comes some changes. Those who frequent The Archives may've noticed Worldly Weekend -- as in, all the non-Nintendo reviews -- doesn't have its own dedicated section/page, instead being laid out with a simple list of reviews. Obviously, I can't keep that going forever, so I've decided it's finally time to divide it into its own pages!

This will work much like the pages for my Nintendo reviews in that they'll separated via System, Chronology, and Series. The first two will operate identically to the Nintendo version, although with how many one-off games there are out there, I can't just separate, say, J-Stars Victory Vs+ underneath its own series logo, so I'll be coming up with ways to divide such games for the Series section.

(Oh, wait, Nintendo has many titles like that too, don't they? I'll think of something for that when the times comes...)

In any case, you can expect the new pages to arrive throughout the week. Watch this space for further updates!

September 2nd Update: All finished! Busy week, so it took a little longer than I expected. Enjoy!

Wordly Weekend: Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis)

Imagine, if you will, blast processing. Not that any sane individual would be able to define what exactly it meant -- for the uninformed, it was a tacky marketing buzzword to describe the speedy processing of Sega Genesis -- but doesn't it just sound cool as all hell? To the young consumers of the 16-bit era, it was a nebulous term that exuded an impressionable coolness, undoubtedly due to how it rolled off the tongue and was an easy referral to why the Genesis' graphics were so good. Or how its games were so fast. Or whatever.

Naturally, the poster boy for this gimmick would also match said coolness; hence Sonic the Hedgehog, featuring a cocky animal mascot of the same name, an acidic blend of colors and backgrounds and, most of all, an emphasis on speed. Billed as the fastest thing alive, Sonic the Hedgehog was designed to surpass Super Mario through lightning-fast running, setting the portly plumber's meticulous platforming to shame via eye-catching movement. On a surface level, the concept is, in retrospect, something only designed to impress a 90's audience through the 90's philosophy of "too cool for school" appeal to kids through eye-bleeding use of 90's aesthetics and character design.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)

Note: While this isn't the original version of Twilight Princess, since the Wii version was the one released first and remains the only one I've played, this will serve as the "main" review of the game for this blog. Reviews for the GameCube version and the Wii U remaster are scheduled for the future.

Within the bowels of the The Legend of Zelda fandom lies a little theory known as the "Zelda Cycle," a belief pushed by those who cannot comprehend anyone not liking the newest Zelda game. The theory goes in how people will unreasonably lob hate against the latest Zelda title, comparing its mishaps to the impeccable heights of the previous entry despite that game suffering from the same treatment at release. No one quite knows why this cycle of people magically changing their minds  takes place -- it may have to do with overzealous keyboard warriors unable to discern they're reading different opinions from different people over time -- but regardless, it's a rather pervasive theory, right down to being referenced by Nintendo's top brass themselves in an Iwata Asks installment.

If my biting sarcasm wasn't telling enough, I think the Zelda Cycle is a load of bollocks. The idea that Zelda games are prone to hosting some sort of nebulous hivemind is nothing less than fanboy drivel, and that aforementioned Iwata Asks thing is one of the more notable examples of second-hand Nintendo embarrassment. True, we could make an exception for The Wind Waker, but only in the case that people cooled on the controversial graphics switch over time; much as I love it, the game received plenty of legitimate criticism upon release.

And yet, I can't help but admit I've never been able to nail my feelings on 2006's Twilight Princess, the series' best-selling game despite being one of its more divided entries. Bear in mind this opinion has never fluctuated wildly, but...well, I'll let the evolution of my 11-year thought process speak for itself:

Upon Completion in 2006: "Well, that was pretty good, I suppose."

A Year Later: " know, actually, that was kinda disappointing."

Upon Replaying it in 2009: "Hmm, actually, this is better than I remember it being."

Upon a 100% Completion Replay Last Year:
"Eh, it's good, I guess."

So perhaps there is some mystical force responsible for my lukewarm feelings towards Twilight Princess, but regardless, that they exist at all is something I admit with the heaviest of hearts: can you imagine anything more soul-crushing than the game responsible for the greatest reaction in E3 history causing such a divided reaction? This is, after all, the Zelda game practically every Western fan wanted: a realistic Zelda echoing Lord of the Rings aesthetics and a brooding story, and for it to miss the mark still makes me feel...neutral? It's hard to describe.

Let us make this clear: any notions of Twilight Princess being "bad" should be immediately dispelled -- there is a considerable amount of things I enjoy about it, in fact, and I will absolutely call them to attention -- yet there are undeniably bad things in it that not only undermine what should be a legitimately spectacular game into merely a good one, but are largely embryonic in what would devolve into Zelda's worst habits. Much of Twilight Princess' strongest moments are isolated, surrounded by a sea of deafening bloat that smothers any ambitions it so rightly deserves.

There's really no better place to start than at the game's beginning, and it's here I ask the reader what comes to mind regarding Zelda's great opening sequences. Undoubtedly, you have the rainstorm prelude in A Link to the Past, the dreamy mystery of Link's Awakening, the giddy experimentation in Breath of the Wild, and Kokiri Forest's snappy introduction in Ocarina of Time. Majora's Mask and The Wind Waker likely wouldn't rank among said openings, as those were when Zelda began elongating intros for the sake of context, yet even those could be defended on the grounds that they're neither patronizing nor pointless.

Twilight Princess's opening is, sadly, both of those things, choosing to crank up its own beginning by forcing you to spend three days inside a sleepy little village and experience all of its mundane routines. It should be reminded that out of those three days, the first two bear little to no importance in how they force poor Link into herding cows, cat-searching, fishing, rescuing baby cradles, testing your new slingshot or solving monkey kidnappings.

Admittedly, not all of these are terrible -- herding cows while riding Epona makes for an entertaining mini-game, at least -- but they are only brief, faint flashes of enjoyment in a never-ending swamp of boringness. The duality of the cat-searching/fishing strikes as an immediate down-point: you have to fish for a cat to send it home, see, but the game neglects to mention you have to do this twice, and I still recall begging that cat to eat the greengill I'd just caught. As dedicated readers should know, if I am not enjoying anything involving cats, you are undoubtedly doing something wrong. (On a related note, as we're discussing the Wii version, this particular segment is compounded by awful, unintuitive fishing controls I still can't get the hang of a decade later, although thankfully it's the only time the motion controls reach such a nadir)

Needless to say, the Ordon Village segment is hardly anything more than a convoluted mess of errands and fetch quests -- would you believe the cat fishing thing concludes a particularly tangled order of events just to obtain a slingshot? -- and yet it's amazing how much of that seeps into the rest of the game. Even when stuff finally happens on the third day --  mainly Link's transformation into a wolf and the introductions of Midna and Princess Zelda -- it insists you partake on tedious bug hunts and the like.

Consequently, Twilight Princess' padding suffocates not merely the pacing but dulls the impact from what are incredibly effective moments. Take the meeting with Faron, the very first Spirit of Light you encounter: a chilling choir greets the Faron Woods' freedom from twilight, the camera panning over Link's granting of the iconic green garb we fell in love with all those years ago. Finally, we're about to dive into the sword-swinging action we've been craving since 2004...only to be deflated shortly afterwards when we enter the Forest Temple, which holds the honor of simultaneously being the first and worst dungeon in the game, largely not due to being anything more than hunting down monkeys.

The first entry into Hyrule Field also stumbles. While the kingdom is several times bigger than it was in Ocarina of Time, it cannot hope to emulate that awe-inducing feeling we felt back in 1998, as the grand scope is shortly cut off by another bug hunt, which I neglected to give context to before. See, much of Hyrule is drowned in Twilight thanks to the Twilight King's invasion, and only through destroying the Shadow Insects within can you obtain enough Tears of Light to dispel the shadowy fog plaguing Hyrule. A decent enough context, but it's married to gameplay not suited for Zelda: they're tedious, tiresome scavenger hunts that go on and on, and while Skyward Sword was the first Zelda advertised as having level-based progression zones and whatnot, these segments are embryonic of an overtly linear, railroaded system that doesn't match with Zelda's exploration at all (the worst being by far the one for the Lanaryu region; perhaps it's just me, but I've never been able to make sense of the interconnected mazes of rivers and lakes, and I always get lost).

To summarize, it's all blatant, exhaustive padding that not only deters replays but undermines the introductions of their respective locations (and not just because they're all drowned within a boring aesthetic, but we'll get to that later) . I won't deny there are highlights -- the grim sheltering of the survivors of Kakariko Village in twilight is appropriately chilling, and the Goron sumo-wrestling bits, sabotaged as they are by all the backtracking, are joyfully absurd to watch and engage in, not the least in how they come out of nowhere -- but that even awesome moments like the Bridge of Eldin duel are clumsily inserted within all this backtracking is just all the more frustrating.

The point isn't to say Twilight Princess isn't utterly blameless outside of its padding -- we'll get to its other mishaps as we go along -- but the deluge of tutorials and handholding and whatnot make it a lot harder to appreciate what it does do right. The swordplay, for one; while hardly a difficult game, I can think of few Zelda games on par with or surpass Twilight Princess in terms of quality sword control. There's a great heft to every slice, and that I say this despite the presence of Wii controls is something of a miracle. Not that I'm opposed to motion controls or anything, but a gyro-based control scheme from 2006 is hardly going to be as impressive in 2017, and make no mistake: it does feel a little clunky by today's standards (and the less we say about the "thank god I can turn this gimmicky shit off" in the form of Midna's cackling from the speakers, the happier I'll be), but the distinct pleasure of moving your arms around to initiate sword slicing and shielding is undeniable. Even the Navi pointer on-screen is surprisingly unobtrusive, and it too can be turned off.

Really, when you're not being bogged down by worthless drivel, Twilight Princess does feel great to play. Look no further than horseback riding: Twilight Princess's iteration of Epona remains the series highpoint, surpassing the acceptable clunkiness, Ocarina of Time and avoiding the surprising stiffness of Breath of the Wild. The controls are on point, the horse feeling substantially weighty and thrilling horseback sword battles abound. (I only just wish the Horse Call came far earlier than it did; as anyone who's played the game knows, relying on stray patches of Horse Grass to summon your horse is hardly ideal)

This also extends to the items, although the missteps are present here as well. Not because of any motion control mishaps, mind; if anything, I suspect the comparisons to Spider-Man via the Double Hookshots come from all the manual pointing and aiming. But as cool as new items like the Ball and Chain and the Spinner are, Twilight Princess makes the mistake of only utilizing them within their respective dungeons as opposed to rendering them as organic tools that continually complement the world around Link. Yes, there are quick puzzles decorating the overworld here and there, but they're more or less dumped after their respective dungeons.

But those dungeons! Those are where Twilight Princess is at its A-game. Forest Temple aside, much of the dungeons evoke the best of the organic Zelda dungeon design and "wow" moments, be they the gravity-defying magnetism of Goron Mines, the "oh, wait, this is a dungeon?" for a certain location in Snowpeak or the nostalgia-fueled setting behind the sixth dungeon. Most feel appropriately huge, and with how often these dungeons bank themselves on awe and surprise, it's wonderful how often it genuinely, honestly works.

One example from the sandy depths of Arbiter's Grounds readily comes to mind. Hailing from my first playthrough, I was navigating a room impeded by falling chandeliers, with one particular road obstructed by a chain-activated candelabrum. Pulling the chain to raise it up, I quickly dashed across the bridge before it fell down, but it was too late: I yelped as the rickety structure came crashing down...yet I wasn't dead. Spotting a small indent on the floor, I deduced that since it was too quick otherwise, the entire point was to let it fall around me. A more observant player might've figured that out ahead of time, but I can hardly recall any other puzzle that so quickly shifted fear into an "aha!" moment.

In terms of general engrossment, however, Lakebed Temple and City in the Sky are the obvious highlights, what with how they engage the player in gradually shifting their geography through waterslides and falling towers. All are initiated through the Clawshot, which have Link zipping across both dungeons and instill a true "hands-on" sense of satisfaction in altering your surroundings. And let us not forget their thrilling boss fights of giant eels and armored dragons, which have you riding for dear life within deep watery grottos and treacherous rainy skies.

It's a shame Twilight Princess only shines in segmented locafions, too, as I do like what this iteration of Hyrule is trying to do. Yes, it is rather empty, but let us not dismiss its more inspired concepts; namely, the labyrinths. Interconnected throughout Hyrule, these mazes are blindingly dark, haunted by Skulltulas and endless pits, and only through careful use of your lantern will you successfully navigate their depths. It's the one element of the overworld that comes across as an organic component, and I'd certainly would've liked to experience more challenging terrain akin to those.

And yet, I can't help but notice just how lame the civilizations are. I'm not going to sit here and pretend the likes of Goron City or Dragon Roost Island were accurate depictions of lived-in cities, but surely they were better than the one-room circles that house the Gorons and Zoras! This game's iterations of Kakariko Village and Hyrule Castle Town might provide better arguments here, but the former remains its most dismal iteration to date: a boring, dusty canyon town that, context aside, is utterly lifeless.

 There lies the source of Twilight Princess's sluggishness. I cannot claim it is entirely full of ugly sights -- the towering emptiness of Morpheel's lair after its' defeat, for one, or the gloomy melancholy of the Lost Woods -- but so much of the game's aesthetic lies within dull, washed out colors that often settle for hues of brown, and it's never very enthralling to look at. While it's understandable that bold colors wouldn't be emphasized within a realistic-driven title -- it's not as if Ocarina of Time or Majora's Mask were particularly colorful, either --- it's hard to get caught up visually when so much of it looks this inert, and I figure this is why the Twilight Realms feel as sluggish as they do.

The character designs also suffer in their attempt to carry over Zelda-esque figures. Consider how we've had some goofy-looking designs in the past (with occasional missteps; look no further than the portly women NPCs in Ocarina of Time), but they generally served the purposes of their respective artstyles; namely, Tingle in Majora's Mask and the snot-filled Zill in The Wind Waker. Twilight Princess forgets that if you just carry this on within a realistic direction without a hint of irony, you're going to have some real grotesque-looking figures.This isn't to say there aren't some inspired concepts -- that the Goron Elders house steaming miniature volcanoes on their backs is too cool -- but it's not that uncommon encountering characters which look like this:

or run across critters that I cannot imagine were created as anything but the most eye-burning of nightmare fuel, as evidenced by Link's expression at meeting Ooccoo.

Really, it's hard not to see where one's distaste with the artstyle would hail from. It wouldn't be until Breath of the Wild that Nintendo would find a nice middle ground between colorful fantasy and grounded character design, but alas, that took some eleven years...

Even the music is only memorable in fragmented occasions, and it kinds of breaks my heart to say that. Toru Minegishi heads the soundtrack with Asuka Ohta -- and the legendary Koji Kondo supervising -- and when they do nail it, they nail it: the utter despair of Midna's Theme/Midna's Lament, the chilling power of the Light Spirit theme, and the heartpounding finale of the Final Boss theme. (I'd also cite the sheer adventure of the Hyrule Field theme, but as evidenced by the Wii U remaster and Super Smash Bros. Brawl's rip, it was obviously constrained by system limitations)

But they're surrounded by songs that don't evoke much of anything. I have earlier praised atmospheric songs in Zelda, but the problem with Twilight Princess it focuses too much on that particular direction and not many of the songs stick to memory. One can see this in, say, the dungeons: the previous Zelda games interchangeably used atmospheric and songs with a stronger melody to create a stunning ear-grabbing blend of ambience. Compare the haunting hypnosis of Ocarina of Time's Forest Temple to Twilight Princess's iteration and note which one absorbs you more. Only City in the Sky matches this quality very late into the game, and it's disappointing nothing else even so much as echoes this quality.

It's all enough to make one walk away from Twilight Princess not feeling much of anything, even when considering all the good things it accomplishes. Running around in the wolf form is cool, for instance, and I like the attacks involved with it, but that so much of it is associated with the boring Twilight Realms renders it "eh". Even the story falls into this trap, as what should otherwise be a strong tale is imbalanced through the strength of its characters. I enjoy seeing Colin grow via his admiration for Link, for instance, but I struggle in recalling the names and personalities of the Resistance members. The yetis are adorably hilarious and absolutely make the fifth dungeon, but I care not for the Zora prince Ralis and his grief, which can be chalked up to his precious little screen time.

In particular, I can't help but note the balance between the two Twili. Anyone can agree Midna is a fiercely engaging sidekick to the extent one could even say she's the true protagonist of this Zelda, yet I cannot help but feel Zant is wasted as a villain. Unlike many, I'm actually rather fond of the personality shift in his last appearance, but only in concept; juxtaposed with the calm ruthlessness displayed beforehand, it's far too abrupt and I've never been convinced it was a facade all along. Had there been some effective foreshadowing beforehand, I'd likely think differently. (That he gets sidelined by a certain other villain is also unfortunate, but I'm already too deep in spoiler territory as it is)

There are other things I enjoy in isolation. Naturally, I enjoy the emphasis on cats being Hyrule's animal of choice this time around, and take great amusement in one particular sidequest involving a wild west showdown. Despite what I mentioned previously about the realistic style not meshing with more absurd Zelda character designs, Malo -- the shrewd toddler who discovers the joys of capitalism --  is the one delightful exception, and I can't help but notice how he expertly dodges sword swings should the player swing their sword in his vicinity. Seeing as how he opens his own market empire (complete with theme song!), perhaps he's the true villain of this tale. 

More than anything, however, Twilight Princess feels tired. While not without merit, even underneath all its successes lies a tired familiarity, a fatigue that makes one go "I've done this before." When married to bloated padding, dismal aesthetics and handholding and all, it culminates into this bizarre paradox of being too much Zelda and yet not very much like Zelda all. It certainly looks like Zelda, what with Link and Princess Zelda and the first three dungeons being forest, fire and water, and even before we groan at the same tired twists and formulas, the actual look for it is as tiring to watch as being reminded you've picked up a blue rupee every time you start up the game. Sad to say, any ambitions it has are quashed underneath this crushing misdirection, one that would come to erroneously define the next few years of Zelda.

Friday, August 18, 2017

5 Game Characters We Saw Ourselves In (Hey Poor Player)

Article Here

While this article includes five entries from five separate writers, I happen to be the first one featured, so you don't have to wait to read mine. But the entire thing's worth reading!

Luke fon Fabre -- the protagonist of Tales of the Abyss -- was my instant go-to choice for this collaboration. While he certainly doesn't have autism, he does reflect a certain frustration I've dealt with in my life due to that condition, and I've always wanted to write about that. Perhaps I'm biased in saying he's the most realized Tales protagonist? Regardless, for anyone who's wanted me to get in-depth regarding my Asperger's, I'd recommend reading this.

(By the way, I'm not the one who selected that picture; that was the editor. While it's from the anime adaption, it's certainly a clever choice when considering the subject matter!)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Biweekly Music Wednesday! No. 52 ~N市L街A~ (Xenoblade Chronicles: X)

Origin: Xenoblade Chronicles: X
Plays In: New Los Angeles at night
Status: Original Composition
Composed By:
Hiroyuki Sawano

I intended to begin this installment with a question, yet now that I've actually sat down to listen to our song for today, it's now that I realize the night theme for New Los Angeles -- the central hub for Wii U's Xenoblade Chronicles: X -- really is annoying. Just notice how the head-ache inducing nausea begins instantly, as an obnoxious chain of "YEAH! UH! UH YEAH! UH! UH! UH!" never ceases in their assault on our eardrums. 

And yet, for over the past half-year since I began playing the game, I can't recall a single instance where such an effect happened as I strolled down the nighttime streets of New Los Angeles. In other words, hearing it in-game was perfectly fine, yet I can't stand listening to it by itself. How odd!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Hey! Pikmin Review (Hey Poor Player)

I had faith in Arzest all along they'd be able to redeem themselves with this Pikmin spin-off, and I was right! Needless to say, I think I loved Hey! Pikmin more than most reviewers did. At the very least, it and Pikmin 3's Mission Mode should keep me entertained until Pikmin 4 arrives, so I can't ask for more., if Pikmin 4 takes forever again, though...

Monday, July 31, 2017


I feel as if I've been confessing my inexperience with certain genres a little too much recently, but regardless, I can't say I particularly care for shooters. It's not because I'm squeamish or don't even find them fun, but they feel, more than anything, absolutely tired. The assembly-line identity of Call of Duty and its ilk certainly contribute to that, but that's not even getting how many frame themselves within wars, zombies or alien invasions. The claim that they're creatively bankrupt feels a little unfair when considering recent hits like Overwatch, but it cannot be stressed enough that a) I am really goddamn sick of zombies and b) I wish that maybe shooters would step out of their comfort zone a little.

Perhaps this is why for the past two years I have been absolutely taken with Nintendo's own attempt in Splatoon, which as the game itself would say is absolutely "fresh" in every way that matters. That I'm "taken" with it probably won't last much longer, seeing as how Splatoon 2 came out just the other day, but it's not hard to see how it made such a splash: while turf war and paintball games and the like have been around for some time, none reach the inspired heights of Splatoon's "kids who turn into squids" concept, married to a 90's-inspired dwelling in downtown Shibuya where the kids ("Inklings") splatter each other with Nickelodeon-esque ink, follow idols and dress themselves in "fresh" clothing.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Kirby Concert Available For Streaming on NicoNico (Limited Time!) (Hey Poor Player)

It's been two days and I still can't get over it: I watched a Kirby concert!! I may not have been there, but thanks to the benevolence of NicoNico, I got see an incredible livestream I keep watching again and again.

In particular, that part with Kirby on-stage, the entire hall singing Happy Birthday to him, him begging for cake ("ke-ki!") is just...just too cute for words! Ah, for that alone, I demand a DVD release! A CD would be just fine, too; it's not that I don't expect one, but this moment must be immortalized for all time.

If I had to pick three of the best suites, they would be ones for Kirby's Adventure, Air Ride and Triple Deluxe. While I was sad Rainbow Resort didn't make the cut for the Kirby's Adventure medley, Grape Garden took its place as the gentle lullaby quite wonderfully, and the whole suite was just as sugary sweet and nostalgic as the original game! Meanwhile, Air Ride and Triple Deluxe were delightfully bombastic, and it was delightful to witness Shogo Sakai conducting the former! (By the way, I bungled my Japanese when I reached out to him on Twitter afterwards, ahaha. Thankfully, he was quite polite about it!)

Needless to say, you must watch this! Immediately! Now! If you can't, then join me and the rest of the NicoNico commentators on hoping for a CD!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Super Mario 64

Dear reader, should you be the gaming type--and I'm assuming you are, considering you're reading a video game blog-- let me ask you this: if you could, would you take on the impossible task of playing a game forever? Personally, there would be far too many earthly pleasures to give up for such a venture: while the luxuries of drinking Welch's White Grape Juice and stroking cats could simply be delivered to me, the simple pleasures of taking afternoon walks, watching cat videos and reading weathered One Piece and Eyeshield 21 volumes would simply be too much to give up.

And yet, a number of games pop readily to mind. I remain endlessly entertained by Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, for example, and I've yet to grow bored of Splatoon even on the eve of its sequel. I've never tired of the cathartic seas found in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and my fascination with Bubble Bobble on my beloved NES Classic Mini hasn't ceased. I've lost count of how many times I've completed Star Fox 64 and Tales of Symphonia; in fact, I'm at the tailend of a playthrough for the latter right now.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Biweekly Music Wednesday! No. 51 ~Main Theme~ (Star Fox)

Origin: Star Fox
Plays In: Credits
Status: Original Composition
Composed By: Hajime Hirasawa

The SNES Classic Edition -- it's been two weeks since its announcement, and it's all I've been able to think about. It's the first time Star Fox and Yoshi's Island will be officially available via emulated form. I've been checking the listings on Amazon and Best Buy every day in scant hopes I'll be able to pre-order. Thoughts and prayers are sent out to the universe every day that we'll see these games unfiltered, just like the glorious NES Classic Mini before it. (My kingdom to have a bright, unglitched Kirby Super Star!) An equal amount of thoughts and prayers sent out in hopes I'll secure one.

Most of all, I think about how we will witness the very first release, to my memory of a cancelled game in Nintendo history: Star Fox 2.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

ARMS Review (Hey Poor Player)

ARMS is pretty neat, although its flaws are more evident than Nintendo's other recent debuts. We'll see how Nintendo's future support improves the game, but as it stands, it's still worthwhile.

As far as other blog-related stuff goes...since I had most of my week off from work, I did want to use it to write out a review I've wanted to do since forever, but this article and other priorities overtook it; actually, I still haven't even done my E3 impressions yet! At this rate, that may not become a reality... I'll give it my all this weekend!

Oh, and I've been neglecting to update my game journalism section in The Archives, haven't I? I'll get right on that.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Metroid Prime 4 and Metroid: Samus Returns: What They Mean (Hey Poor Player)

This took longer than I expected! I had a crazy busy weekend, and I was only able to squeeze out this just last night...oh well.

Anyway, this contains pretty much all my thoughts on the Metroid games announced at E3. I'll go in-depth into everything else this weekend instead, but before that, you can expect a Hey Poor Player review this week!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Biweekly Music Wednesday! No. 50 ~Main Tunnel~ (Metroid II: Return of Samus)

Origin: Metroid II: Return of Samus
Plays In: Main Tunnel
Status: Original Composition
Composed By: Ryoji Yoshitomi

Where do I even begin with this E3? The pseudo-3D sequel to Yoshi's Woolly World? The "best-of" approach to the new Kirby Switch game? The remake of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga that comes packed with a hilarious sidestory? The genuine, infectious passion behind Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, which is as unpredictable as the concept itself? The DLC for Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which I desire to play this very instant? The explosion of ideas, presentation and joy that is Super Mario Odyssey, which I believe without a doubt will be GOTY?

Well, I think my selection for today speaks for itself. Out of all the wonderful announcements and previews from yesterday, there was nothing more exciting, blissful and cathartic than the news of not one, but TWO new Metroid titles: Metroid Prime 4 and Metroid: Samus Returns. As a fan of the original Prime trilogy, I let out something resembling an inhuman scream of joy upon the announcement for the former, so that should tell you how excited I am for that.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Worldly Weekend: Kingdom Hearts (PS2)

Note: Please excuse the imbalance of quality for screenshots here; for whatever reason, viable screenshots of earlier PS2 game are especially hard to find. 

Dear readers not familiar with Kingdom Hearts, I implore you to look, just look, at the cover above. Yes, that is Goofy and Donald Duck of Disney fame chilling in the moody, moonlit sky alongside three anime teenagers. Their normally-cheery faces are now solemn, decorated with such wistful melancholy that does away with their kid-friendly personas, evoking an aura of maturity never before displayed to the public eye.

Needless to say, Kingdom Hearts was one of the most bizarre debuts of the PS2/GC/Xbox era, and yet somehow it ended up being one of the most beloved. A collaboration between Disney and famed RPG developer Squaresoft (now Square-Enix), the 2002 action-RPG's outlandish concept of pitting Disney icons and zipper-laden, key-wielding adolescents against Disney villains in command of heart-harvesting shadows--a tale bookended by Hikaru Utada pop songs, mind--is so uniquely ludicrous that it demands your attention. But why?

My theory? By framing itself as a "darker" take on Disney, Kingdom Hearts ropes in the nostalgic RPG player who once associated with their films in early youth. I am no exception to this: the game was responsible for restarting my fervent following in Disney animation, the soundtrack never left my CD player and I clocked out the "Hours Played" stat in the course of a year. Since then, my association with Kingdom Hearts has floundered over the years: it birthed as an obsession that required a near-intervention, followed by a burning hate that wanted nothing more to do with the series, and am now settled as a casual fan who partakes in it like the finest of junk food.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Ten Weird Nintendo Commercials (Hey Poor Player)

As you may expect, this was a real fun piece to write. If you're acquainted with other similar lists, you may spot several commonly-cited examples, but I made sure to include some...let's say, "unique" commercials I don't see mentioned often. 

At the very least, the first one's certainly a bit scary, eh? Ah, Japan!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Legend of Zelda

When Super Mario Bros. launched in 1985, it captivated a worldwide audience through subtle accessibility and an addicting idealism that made players say, "I can do that." It was a game that fed upon muscle memory via carefully crafted physics and manipulation of Mario's surrounding environment, all nuances anyone could enjoy thanks to its accessibility. It was a pick-up-and-play game of the best kind, with level design fine-tuned as subtle tutorials and music that manipulated us to try, try again.

In contrast, its wombmate The Legend of Zelda offers relatively fewer cues, doesn't involve as much exertion, and requires a dedicated commitment for full enjoyment, but it captivates us through a slightly different ideal: "I can do it this way." Its world of Hyrule entices us with an open world, one where we can explore anywhere and are rewarded for doing so. Much like Super Mario Bros. before it, it becomes "our game": Shigeru Miyamoto's personalized garden can be tackled any way we wish, even if it's not bound by a set order.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Biweekly Music Wednesday! No. 49 ~Overworld Theme~ (The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past)

Origin: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Plays In: Hyrule (Light World)
Status: Arrangement

Arranged By: Koji Kondo


For two months, Zelda has graced us with its glorious presence. Breath of the Wild made the gaming public fall in love with the series all over again, with an avalanche of perfect scores (including my own!) from the media and players still being overwhelmed by its massive world. I am no exception to the latter: even now, nearly two weeks later and having already beaten the final boss, I still feel like I haven't so much as scratched the game's surface.

Of course, Breath of the Wild is not without its criticisms: be it the oversights found in the "Blood Moon" mechanic, the difficulties in rain patterns, or people's woes with weapon durability, it just goes to show no game is perfect. Personally, I find the "drop and switch" nature of the weapon durability to be the most interesting gameplay Zelda's utilized in over a decade, and I find most of the voice acting complaints to be rather overblown; really, I've found the game to be a near-perfect experience.

Monday, May 22, 2017

My NYC May Haul!

Wow, to think I'd be back at New York City in only six months! It just sorta spurred from a conversation between me and Dad, and before you knew it...there we were!

Anyway, I didn't take too many pictures this time. There was a launch event at Nintendo NY for Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (which, by the way, HASN'T ARRIVED YET *cough* *cough*), but aside from a couple cosplayers there wasn't a whole lot of visual spectacle for it. I did get to play a demo, however.

Anyway, here's the two sides of a really cool Zelda display.

The Master Sword statue from the Breath of the Wild Master Edition is bigger than I thought it was! Huh, now I regret not picking that one up...

The Arwing and Ganondorf statues...I want them.

This Meta Knight one, too. This and a Cat Mario statue are on display at the Midtown Comic store as well.
I own a couple of these Game & Watches, actually: Mario's Cement Factory and Mario Bros. Will I ever scrape up the funds to own a complete collection...?

Cool box.

I've never seen a Color TV Game in my life, so this was pretty cool to see. Kudos to having Kirby's Adventure representing the NES!

Easily my best shot. Here we see Mario contemplating his downfall in relevance as everyone swarms around the Naked Cowboy. Just what is going on underneath that cost-er, I mean inside that jolly ol' head of his?

Anyway, here's my loot.

That's right: six posters! The first two are from Majora's Mask 3D and Star Fox 64 3D. Can you guess what the other four are?

Wow, how much manga is that?!? Best of all, all but two are in Japanese! For those curious, from top to bottom are Dragon Ball (Kanzenban edition), Dr. Slump, Straighten Up!, Spring Weapon Number One, Gintama, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure and One Piece.

I knew I'd be pickin gup Super Bomberman R eventually, but I had such a blast playing the demo with folks at Nintendo NY that I just had to grab it! It's pretty good, but definitely hard even with the CPU.

Larry, Ludwig and Wendy. Finally, the Koopalings are complete!

Koopalings, assemble!!

Meta Knight, proud as ever.

Two Zelda puzzles. I've been picking up some gaming-related puzzles in the past several years, but I've yet to work on them...I should fix that.

Finally got Pink Yarn Yoshi. Now, where can I pick up a Mega one for a good price...?


Oh, by the way, this arrived today, too.

Wow, if it isn't Kirby as he appears in Kirby's Dream Land's promotional art! This was made to celebrate his 25th Anniversary. I wanted the Super Star variant, too, but I didn't have the funds...

In any rate, I like his whisker-esque cheeks. I also wasn't expecting him to be that fuzzy.

I wonder what I can use his bag for.