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BREATH OF THE WILD IS LEGEND OF ZELDA


So, I’ve played through Breath of the Wild, and now that I’ve had
time to digest the many aspects of this fantastic game, I can really
write more about it. The first and best thing I can say is that it
made me feel like a kid again. I haven’t felt that way since _Wind
Waker_, and that is really, really saying something. The game designer
in my head will often nitpick things as I play, and while he wasn’t
entirely silent, he was mostly as enthralled as I was. _Majora’s
Mask_ might still be my favorite Legend of Zelda, but it’s very,
very close. Hell, maybe they’re tied. I can’t really say.

My opinion of _Twilight Princess_ is basically that it’s an
extended, episodic Ocarina of Time ripoff that exceeds it in most
aspects of control/graphics/music, etc., but ultimately fails to
exceed it as a whole, and I really, really dislike _Skyward Sword_,
which I’ll write about another time. But I haven’t had something
take me back to Hyrule and keep me there in a very, very long time,
and even though I invoke Wind Waker, even that didn’t bring me there
like this game did.

What is perhaps most impressive to me is that while characters can
enrich an experience, I feel like I’d enjoy this game with any face.
The enchanting characterization and development of smaller parts of
the world is just Zelda bonus to what was already a great game. I
think one way it really succeeds is in that it lets you go in
virtually any direction from the start, and you just sort of find your
way. It does openness very, very well, and Link’s ability to climb
and interact with the world around him exceeds that of any other Zelda
to date.

However, it does have some minor drawbacks that I cannot help but
address:

A big thing going through my head thinking this is comparing it to
_Skyrim_. And while Skyrim ultimately feels more grounded — even for
a “you’re the chosen one, epic dragon-slayer game — that isn’t
what anyone’s looking for in Zelda. We want the ascendent chord, the
come-up — our noble hero on a divine quest. And while we definitely
get that, one aspect of its execution here is a world that remains
largely unfilled. In Skyrim, you will find remnants of the lives of
others, be it mini-quests to find some drunk’s ale, sidequests to
rescue a kidnapped child, or even just an old letter detailing the
death of the former occupant of a now-empty house. A lot of times in
_Breath of the Wild_ there’s just a lot of land, colored with
whatever biome you happen to be in. A great deal of care was put into
creating this world, but I feel like they forgot to fill many parts of
it, and once you’re used to the ebb and flow of the game, it can
often create a sense of ennui that pulls you out of the world until
you find the next “thing”. My inkling is much the same as with
Skyward Sword — they created a beautiful world and tried to fill it
after the fact, and stopped before they were finished. I think they
might be better off filling small parts as they expand, to really give
life to what they create, as opposed to it simply being the home to a
shrine puzzle and a couple of Korok seeds. That is what made Skyloft
feel so much more alive in Skyward Sword compared to, well, the rest
of the game. Breath of the Wild has plenty of liveliness despite this,
however, and this bit of emptiness only becomes apparent when you’ve
spent a considerable amount of time in this most recent incarnation of
Hyrule.

The story, while incredibly engaging, and telling us a tale that
allows us to climb up after the fall, largely feels to be only
half-complete. I’m reserving judgment on this aspect for now, as
there’s apparently DLC coming out to flesh out the first half of the
story, which, if done in a satisfying way, may make this game’s
story feel more complete. Obviously, I’m not a fan of DLC being done
this way, but, better than not existing.

Something I think the game does very well is its sense of scale. And
an area I think it falls short on is when it takes itself a bit too
seriously and tries to draw your attention to that scale. I like when
the gameplay itself shows you the grandeur of the world before you,
rather than a mini-cutscene or fixed camera angle that is basically
“HEY LOOK AT THIS THING!”

For once, the music did not floor me. It was charming in many places,
and I like how there wasn’t always music, but sometimes I felt it
was too light a touch for when I really wanted a theme going in the
background.

Ultimately, I don’t think any of these things really _takes away_
from the game enough to remove its status as a masterpiece. It’s one
of my absolutely favorite games to date, and I can only hope this is
the new starting point for future titles in the Legend of Zelda
series. The beauty of this game’s scenery, atmosphere, the driving
_feeling_ of playing this game, its satisfying difficulty, engaging
puzzles… I could go on. I would rate this game 10/10, easy, and I
don’t think its shortcomings come close to affecting my impression
of it. I’ll flesh this out a bit more once all DLC has been
released, and I’ve had time to complete it.
This entry was posted in Web on November
14th, 2017
by Mopsy
.
Leave a reply


YOOKA-LAYLEE IS… INCONSISTENT.


Banjo Tooie remains one of my favorite games of all time. Some people
seem to prefer Kazooie, but I have no idea what they’re seeing. To
me, Banjo Tooie perfected the recipe, and it made collection fun and
rewarding without ever feeling dull or tedious. I have replayed that
game over 15 times over the years — I love it so much.

I realize getting the ol’ gang back together might leave a bit of
rust to be shaken off, but my understanding here is that they’re
missing the original game designer, and it _really_ shows.

The greatest thing I would call this game so far is inconsistent. I
almost want to say unfinished, but there is polish in certain areas
that doesn’t let me really give it that. The music so far is mostly
brilliant, but at times it feels obnoxious, and I wonder how it got
through quality control. Controls sometimes don’t make sense, and
the camera is mostly fine, but sometimes fixes itself to specific
spots like it knows better than I do. Some of the character designs
are outright brilliant, while some are downright uninspired. And then
it just reuses the characters everywhere, so that gets old fast. It
feels a lot different than Banjo games where you’d feel like “Hey,
I know that camel!” Instead it’s “Great, here’s the fridge.
Again.”

I feel like maybe they underestimated how long it would take, or how
much money it would take, or something. A lot of things just feel like
stand-ins without refreshing the ideas in their own right. Ghost
writers — but why? Jinjos felt so inspired, what the hell is a ghost
writer? “Pagies”!? Are you kidding me? Jiggies worked because
“jigsaw” is not a frequently used term, and so it felt
imaginative. “Pagie” just sounds patronizing. Banjo wanted to save
his sister, and stop the witch who tried to kidnap her, respectively.
Yooka and Laylee want to stop some bee from controlling reality with a
book, but mostly, it was their book. They don’t even know what
they’re doing.

Banjo was goofy, but his character was lent a lot from his being a
bear. He was strong and intimidating, but was mostly just a friendly,
bumpkin-ey bear. The juxtaposition of that was delightful. Kazooie, on
the other hand, was a piss-and-vingear bird of some species no one’s
every heard of with everything to prove. I’m not even sure Yooka has
a personality, and Laylee just seems to want to sort of be Kazooie,
but isn’t trying very hard, and isn’t funny.

And don’t get me started on the villain. Gruntilda was almost
playful, like a dragon who wants to toy with her food. She had the
important part down, the girl was kidnapped, but she almost wanted to
_mess_ with Banjo and Kazooie in the meantime. Her rhymes, her
puzzles, the quiz show, it was great. This bee is like, driven by
profit margins or something. We just elected a reality show star as
our president, we don’t want to play that in a game!

Through all of that, I can tell this is a labor of love. I’m going
to keep playing this game, but it’s really just making me yearn for
another Banjo Tooie playthrough. I’d skip it if you’re not super
interested in playing for yourself. I’m really looking forward to
Yooka-Laylee 2, though. I think they could really polish these things
out and make a fantastic game if they learn from their mistakes here.
This entry was posted in Gaming on May
15th, 2017 by
Mopsy .
Leave a reply


HOLY SHIT I LOVE UNDERTALE SO MUCH


I seriously fucking love this game. I’ve done three playthroughs of
it already (multiple endings), and it’s just so amazing. And you
should all go out and buy it and play it yourself because it’s
amazing.

In all seriousness, Undertale is an absolutely stellar game. It
invokes the charm of Earthbound alongside the atmosphere of Cave
Story, while still having plenty of its own style to offer. Undertale
is one of those games where you want to talk about to get people to
play it, but a good deal of what people will enjoy will come from
having no preconceptions about the game. I _will_ say that Undertale
will bring a certain brand of morality into the game, intersecting
with the way you would traditionally play RPGs, and will condition you
to expect consequences for your actions… like, all of them. And
that’s really all I want to say about the actual content of the
game, and some people may even say that was too much. But honestly,
it’s a fantastic game, and if you’ve got the extra $10, I
recommend grabbing it. And if not, I hear it might be in a Humble
Bundle in the near future. ;D

Continue reading →
This entry was posted in Gaming on
October 19th, 2015 by Mopsy
.
Leave a reply

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