Sunday, February 25, 2018

On Shadow of the Colossus PS4’s Photo Mode And Its Expression of Storytelling (Hey Poor Player)

Ah, it's always nice to talk about my favorite non-Nintendo games! While unfortunately plans to discuss the original Shadow of the Colossus for Worldly Weekend before the PS4 version's release didn't pan out, I thought I'd at least make up for it by discussing the remake's best feature: the Photo Mode.

Unfortunately, as expected, it was a tough article to write, and it ended up bumping out a Worldly Weekend review from this weekend. However, that was probably inevitable anyway since that review ballooned to a bigger size than expected; in fact, it'll end up being roughly the size of my old elongated reviews. Hey, I never said I'd stop doing those!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

My Hero Academia Vol. 11 Review (Hey Poor Player)

Yes, your eyes aren't fooling you: this is the first time I've ever provided TWO REVIEWS in the same day! Praise be my hard work!

Regardless, I understand this might be a bit inconvenient for my first My Hero Academia review, but it's absolutely impossible to discuss the events within this volume without diving into spoiler territory, so heed caution!

Worldly Weekend: Dragon Quest II (Dragon Warrior II) (NES)

It's really hard for me to look at the above cover. While hardly problematic in itself, something about this localized box art for Dragon Quest II -- Dragon Warrior II in the States -- irks me more than the one for the first, which is mighty odd considering they both subscribe to the 80's style of realistic medieval fantasy. Could it be the exaggerated chest for the Princess of Moonbrooke, or that at this point I'm far, far too accustomed to Akira Toriyama's signature artwork for the series?

Ah, yes, that's more like it. And the answer is apparent as well: as much as the NES Dragon Warrior covers attempt to present the games as no-nonsense affairs, the goofy enemies obviously suggest a more tongue-in-cheek affair, and thus it's insanely difficult imagining the American art having any agency in our imaginations. Naturally, Toriyama's art is the way to go, so let us not tarry upon such incongruities.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Monday, February 12, 2018

One Piece Vol. 85 Review (Hey Poor Player)

Waaaaaay back when I first started this blog, I mentioned I may deviate from games to talk about how much I love One Piece, and now I finally can! Of course, I reviewed One Piece: Unlimited World Red a few years back, but that's not quite the same.

Anyway, expect The Promised Neverland and My Hero Academia this week. I'm also planning to review Hiromu Arakawa's Silver Spoon at this month's end; so excited that's finally coming here!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Donkey Kong Country

I don't typically touch upon my Asperger's in these reviews, but there's a certain memory regarding Donkey Kong Country that must be shared. By far the most prominent of my preschooler-age quirks were made-up words: nonsense given purpose only to the mind of a self-absorbed child. Often taking the form of onomatopoeia, one such term -- "BWAH BWAH!" -- was born from the powerful opening visual of Donkey Kong barreling through his tree house's front door and slamming into the ground below. A ritual was born every time I replayed that level, that guttural cry erupting from my throat in very same shrill ferocity of Baby Animal from Muppet Babies.

The point being, the visual prominence of Donkey Kong Country inspired people to the point of babbling nonsense at the sight of its pre-rendered 3D visuals, myself included. And why shouldn't they, when it was not only the Super Nintendo's greatest technical marvel but groundbreaking enough to ensure the 16-bit market wasn't done just yet? Of course, there are those who believe Donkey Kong Country's only claim to fame was its graphics and not its actual gameplay, which is often perceived as inferior to the likes of Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island

Monday, February 5, 2018

Introducing a New Feature: Tier Lists!

Hello, all! If you'll look below this post, you'll see the first entry for a new feature I've been wanting to do for quite some time now! As it happens, I've always enjoyed ranking things, and I've always thought it would be fun if I presented gaming-related lists and whatnot to the world. We've seen this before in my Top 15 Mario Kart 8 Tracks list, but how about, say, a ranked list of Nintendo 64 games, or what's my personal pecking order for The Legend of Zelda?

To satisfy that craving, I now introduce Leave Luck to Heaven's very first Tier List, featuring a subject we're all intimately familiar with: Kirby! Now that all the mainline games have finally been reviewed, I thought I'd celebrate by finally presenting my personal rankings for the series. Naturally, it follows the blog's score system, so you shouldn't have a hard time following it. As mentioned within its respective post, these lists are also subject to change over time, but I'll let you know whenever that happens.

Regardless, more are to come, although my plan is to split between plentiful franchises (which will also include certain series featured within Worldly Weekend)  and Nintendo consoles (which will exclusively focused on Nintendo-developed/published games). To clarify on "plentiful," while you'll be certainly be seeing lists based on Zelda, Mario and even Final Fantasy, you shouldn't expect one for Super Smash Bros., as there's only fives game and they'd only rank at Really Great at worst.

Furthermore, you won't have to wait until I've reviewed, say, every Mario or SNES game until their respective lists come out; I haven't fully planned this out yet, but I'm thinking I'd only wait until I've reviewed maybe half of their libraries and gradually fill them in afterwards. Consequently, they may feel incomplete, but I suppose it'd be fun to watch them evolve over time, eh?

Unfortunately, the introduction of Tier Lists comes at an expense: after putting more thought into it, I've realized it's probably very unlikely Biweekly Music Wednesday! will be returning. With everything I have to juggle including this blog, Hey Poor Player, and other personal endeavors, it frankly obstructed much of my output and I'd be unable to maintain it without making serious concessions to my lifestyle, which I simply can't afford for a blog column.

I know it's disappointing news; personally, I'll miss injecting a different sense of game-related discussion every couple of weeks, but I've come to recognize more infrequent projects like this will be more suitable for the blog moving forward. As I ask you to please understand this development, you can also expect to witness appropriate changes to its placement within The Archives alongside Tier Lists and a much-needed Game Journalism upgrade.

Anyway, expect this week to be a meaty one regarding reviews for both Leave Luck to Heaven and Hey Poor Player, so stay tuned!

The Kirby Tier List

After years and years of gushing about how much I love Kirby, it's only natural I pit the games together to compile thoughts on which is better than which, and so I present to you Leave Luck to Heaven's very first Tier List; in other words, a list ranking the Kirby games. All games are ranked according to this  accompanied by links to their respective reviews and brief blurbs detailing their majesty (or un-majesty, but in the case of Kirby, that's few and far between).

Do note, however, this list is subject to change over time, with the first update scheduled in March when I review Kirby: Star Allies for Hey Poor Player. I'm planning to embark on a 100% run of the Kirby series over the next year or so, so expect the first changes within that time -- the Great/Good categories are especially shaky, so you may see certain titles shift about.

Please also bear in mind the reviews for Kirby's Dream Land and Kirby's Dream Land 2 do not reflect my current writing standards, so expect updated versions in the future. Finally, spin-offs (Kirby Air Ride) and compilations (Kirby's Dream Collection) are not included; this is strictly for the mainline games, although the two remakes are included.