Vapour Ware (Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. – 3DS)

Over a life time of gaming, I’ve reduced myself to sticking with my favourites. While the intention of the developers may have differed, when it comes to RPGs, I build a party and ride it to the end. This works for me, and when you factor in grinding, this way of playing never became an issue.

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. doesn’t let me get away with that. It boasts a cast three dozen strong, and it’s best to take each member’s strengths and weaknesses into account before throwing them into a mission. STEAM‘s difficulty is brutal, a game that isn’t afraid to flood the player with enemy forces, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be butting against an endless stream of roadblocks. What Intelligent Systems’ latest taught me is the importance of understanding when the tide has turned.

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Episode 83 – Rainbow Connection

tylerohlew:

I was able to join Ryan, John and Lindsey once again on the always incredible Nintendo Fun Club Podcast. I got to share my thoughts on Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, as well as a regrettable fashion joke during Lindsey’s Style Savvy discussion. I hope you enjoy it!

Originally posted on Nintendo Fun Club Podcast:

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Left-click here to listen in your browser or right-click, then “save link as…” to download the episode!

News:

Color Game Boy game mysteries revealed! (spoiler: it’s magic)

Rodea the Sky Soldier coming to NA on 3DS and Wii U thanks to NIS America!

Curve’s OlliOlli to offer cross buy functionality on Wii U and 3DS

Games: Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Resident Evil Revelations, Harvest Moon: A New Beginning, Pokemon Shuffle

Music:

The Bouncing Souls – We Love Fun (unofficial Nintendo Fun Club theme song)

Fifteen – Rainbow Connection

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Pixelated Puzzle Perfection (Fairune – 3DS)

There exists a want for the Zelda series to go back to where it all began, to drop players into a world without a guiding hand in sight. Despite this, it’s impossible for the Nintendo we know today to go to these lengths. But before one believes their cries will go forever unheard, know that there was someone listening. And while it may not be as robust an experience as The Legend of Zelda was, Fairune is exactly the game you’ve been begging for.

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Best Western (Gunman Clive 2 – 3DS)

Having enjoyed Gunman Clive, there was no doubt that I would enjoy it’s recently released successor. The game’s creator, Bertil Hörberg, jokingly expressed the possible loss of his “indie” credentials for the announcement of this sequel, but whether joking or not he and those involved should be proud of their work on Gunman Clive 2. From a distance it may appear that this is more of the same, but there’s something to be said of the game’s restraint from adding features and nuances just for the sake of one-upping the first game.

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Instead, GC2 manages to best the original just by being a better experience. It became a greater game by continuing the work it laid previously. Sequels can lose sight of what made the original so great, either by trying to gain a wider audience, or merely tacking on meaningless additions. Due in to its intended brevity, Gunman Clive 2 doesn’t have the time to train players on a new set of mechanics. Its focus is on delivering another fun, challenging game, and it succeeds tremendously.

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Flipnote the Script (Flipnote Studio 3D)

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Wow…I can’t believe I made a cartoon.

Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself (like, miles ahead), but I’m actually surprised by how incredible Flipnote Studio 3D is. Previously I’ve used Colors!3D for my scribblings (and will continue to do so), so I’m always hesitant when another artsy app pops up that requires me to re-learn “how to draw” under its own rules. While Flipnote is lacking some of the bells and whistles I’ve become accustomed to, it’s still quite robust (and makes up for what it lacks in other areas).

The above is my first bit of work, and while I have a ways to go, I’m happy by how quickly I got it up and running. Pretty cool. While some consider this version of Flipnote Studio 3D as neutered (any sort of online sharing directly from the 3DS has been removed, it’s all up to the user to upload wherever they please), I figure sharing over Twitter and this site is how I would have done it anyways. So whatever. Take your rage party elsewhere.

I hope I have more to share with you in the future. Oh, and I’ll work on my lip movements in the mean time.

New 3DS

After a day with the New 3DS, my most important impression is that it’s about damn time. The 3DS family finally has hardware deserving of its library and lineage.

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While the original 3DS has a nice, sturdy housing (comparisons to a hamburger merely an issue of aesthetics), its interior was lacking. I took issue with the odd membrane-esque Home/Start/Select buttons, as they never felt good to push. My purchase of the XL wasn’t due to its increased screen size (I found the original perfectly sized for portability), but because of a general dissatisfaction with the feel of its inputs, as well as how easily the top screen could be scratched by the bottom’s ridges. However, that happiness was short lived. The XL’s build quality was lacking, and the system would squeak and creak as I held it. And those scratches on the top screen persisted in this form as well.

In holding the New 3DS XL, I could breathe a sigh of relief. Not since the DSi XL has Nintendo built such a wonderful handheld.

Paramount is that it doesn’t feel like a big chunk of weak plastic. It’s beefy, and has a nice heft to it. It’s still no Vita (which feels as if it was forged, not manufactured), but it’s close. Button placement is great, with Start and Select found just below the face buttons , just as they were on the DSi. The new ZL and ZR buttons are very accessible, something that I was concerned about initially. My only issue with these buttons isn’t with, but their use in older titles that offered Circle Pad Pro support. Resident Evil Revelations was one such title, and with the CCP controls on, the aiming and firing commands are mapped to ZL and ZR which feels pretty awful on the New 3DS. Others, like Kid Icarus Uprising and Super Smash Bros., feel pretty great. While the C-Stick can’t replace the ease of the additional Circle Pad the CCP offered, it works well. Uprising‘s use of the CPP was for lefties like myself, so it’s nice that the New 3DS still allows for that same accessibility.

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Not enough can be said of the handheld’s more stable stereoscopic 3D. It works as promised, and despite months of being happy with a 2DS, I’m excited to dip back into these 3D waters. I’ve actually been using it quite a bit, realizing that losing the 3D effect in previous years was the biggest reason behind my decisions to do without it.

System performance is as significant as Nintendo said it would be. As highlighted by Super Smash Bros. dramatically reduced load times, the extra bit of power the New 3DS offers is put to good use. Applications like the eShop and Miiverse load very quickly, and the internet browser is very much worthwhile now (I used it for some Majora’s Mask help and never felt like I should have just used my phone instead).

Is it a necessary upgrade? No, I’m sure plenty will do just fine with whatever variation of the 3DS they own. The New 3DS is a suitable name for the hardware, as it’s a nice bump for Nintendo’s latest portable. It’s a collection of little things that add up to a great handheld.