Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 5, 2017

Zelda Breath of Wild and Super Bomberman R first impressions

I’m going to post some quick impressions because this page has become a sort of time capsule. If I do not post it, I will likely forget it.

Super Bomberman R

This game has problems. The movement is strangely mapped to the analog stick (meaning you can move slowly or fast depending on how you move the stick. Why?). D pad works fine too (I  have Pro controller).

Single player keeps going ‘omg 3d’ and the camera is tilted to show the ‘omg 3d’. It is annoying. The gameplay is solidly retro, solidly Bomberman. I like it because I like the retro. You won’t find anything new here.

It is going to take FOREVER to unlock shit in this game. Each new battle stage is behind a 2500 unlock. I got like 300 coins just beating the first world.

Multiplayer has problems with lag. Everyone is synchronized so if someone is lagging, everyone lags. Other than that, the game is a blast. Hopefully Konami puts up a patch to fix this.

If you like Bomberman, you will enjoy Super Bomberman R. But if you are not a fan of Bomberman, this is not the Bomberman to play. This game is janky as hell, very rough around the edges. But I love bomberman so I am happy to have it.

When I make a game console library, I look to see what games I will be playing for decades to come. I always have to have Bomberman. I have never regretted buying Bomberman on any console. I think the nature of Bomberman is that it is a pick up and play game especially when you have friends over. You do not play Bomberman like you would play Zelda, for example.

“I will wait to buy it until price is lower.” You can do that. But be warned, the price may not be lower. The game is selling well enough (especially if it is sold out on Amazon). Also, by the time the price is lower, there will be other games out you’d rather play instead (ARMS, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Disagea 5, Splatoon 2, etc.). I think Bomberman is serving out well as my ‘not Zelda’ Switch game and my online multiplayer game until Puyo Puyo Tetris and Mario Kart 8.

There is a urge when you buy a new console to go and buy more games. It is that new console excitement. You go to E-Shop and go, “Oohhh, Shovel Knight! Ooohhh, RMX! Ooohh, I am Setsuna!” I would advise not doing that. Digital games, once bought, cannot be returned. Their quality can be very dubious (which is why they are digital only in the first place). I am already hearing people regret buying RMX (though some people like it).

Did you know that Blaster Master Zero has no Pro Controller support? How am I supposed to play it without a D-Pad? Because of that, I consider the game absolute trash. No D-pad support, no sale. Period.

I encourage the ‘poor boy NES/16-bit model’ for your Switch buying purchases. Back in the day, you couldn’t buy many games. They were very expensive then. So when you bought a game, what did you do? You played the hell out of it. You can’t do that if you have half a dozen games. You’re better off picking a couple and just playing the hell out of them until more games drop. Don’t get sucked into the ‘buy more launch games’ hype. You’ve already spend a fortune just getting the system itself. Rest your wallet.

My choice is to play the hell out of Breath of Wild and Bomberman. So far, so good.

 

Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I finally got done with the plateau part so I can talk without spoiling anything. I have been in the game for around 10 hours. I have hunted boar, made various recipes, wandered around in circles (hahaha), climbed mountains because they were there, caught fish, bombed fish (haha), did raids on goblin camps (different ways you can do this), fought skeletons, angry bats, chopped down trees, collected apples, fungi, and herbs, and took my time with everything.

This is how I would put my current feelings into context. To you PC gamers, you remember those so few times when you play a demo of an upcoming game and be totally immersed. I remember playing the Warcraft 2 demo (three stages) and being so enthralled by it that I would replay the demo again and again until I broke down and bought the full game. I remember the demo to the original Unreal Tournament and wanting to play it again and again. You love how the game plays, and you want more content. This is how I feel after the plateau. I feel like I played the demo of Breath of the Wild, and I want more.

There are not too many people who can remember how it felt playing the classics for the first time. After clearing the plateau, I feel the excitement I did when I got to the sanctuary in Link to the Past. Link to the Past’s beginning has you go to the castle, rescue Zelda, and go through underground sewers to the sanctuary. Then the game opens up and directs you to Kariko Village (but you can go almost anywhere). This is how it feels.

What it DOES NOT feel like is when I first played Zelda 1 and 2. Both of those games were heavily combat based and powering up meant stronger combat. The combat of Breath of the Wild is… odd so far. I get best results just running around with a bow and shooting things in the face.

One time, I decided to say “Hell with you Aonuma! I will play this game the way I want!” and decided to attack a skull goblin camp with nothing but my club. “Death to the philistines!” I roared as I invaded the goblin camp. There was a green goblin there who can nearly kill you with one hit. The issue was that they will not wait turns. They attack you at once. So I died. I went at it again. I died again. And the game’s tip kept taunting me. “Do not rush headlong into combat because blah blah blah.” I just cursed Aonuma, and I did it again and again. I was eventually successful by using a World of Warcraft vanilla trick. You would go in, quickly kill one guy, then run away. The mob will eventually be leashed back to their spot. Then you return, kill another guy, then run away again. With the green goblin left, then I could dispatch him.

I only have one complaint with the game so far: flags not being independent of the NPC schedules. It isn’t really a spoiler, but if you tell the old man a recipe, he gives you something. I tried to tell the old man the recipe in many different areas. Nope. He only accepts the recipe if he is sitting at his cooking pot in that one location (old man is all over the plateau. He gets around!). I thought this was stupid as there are multiple cooking pots throughout the plateau.

Overall, everything about Breath of the Wild is, so far, legit. This game strikes the right tone so far. At the very beginning, I was overwhelmed. This is an extremely immersive game. I think the design decision to get used to the systems on the plateau was a good one. Whether or not this game becomes a classic depends on how consistently fun it is when replayed. We will see.

***

Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s game engine is very good, and it should be used for a future Metroid game. In fact, Breath of the Wild FEELS like a Metroid game to me. If you describe the experience of Metroid to anyone, it would be ‘immersion, alone, in a very alien and hostile world where you are outgunned’. The temples where you get the new abilities feel like they could be Chozo temples where Samus could get new abilities (and the temple as a tutorial to how to use the item is a good design idea).

Zelda was suffocating from the Link to the Past formula of ‘kill boss, get item that opens up new area, kill boss of that area, get item that opens up next area, repeat’. This is also the problem of Metroid. Metroid’s cancer is very similar to that of Zelda’s.

Metroid’s appeal is like Zelda 1’s appeal: you can go anywhere, lots of exploration.

Super Metroid is like Link to the Past.

Metroid Prime is like Ocarina of Time. Heck, Metroid Prime 2 even has a ‘dark world’ in it!

Another Metroid Prime or 2d Metroid will not solve Metroid’s cancer (but it would be far better than the alternative of Sakamoto Metroid “baby baby” or Federation Force or some nightmarish anime Metroid storyline). The solution to Metroid has been shown with Breath of the Wild. Metroid needs a non-linear physics/systems based approach to the game world.

What makes Metroid different is, as opposed to the different alien atmosphere, Metroid is intended to be for the EXPERIENCED GAMER. Metroid isn’t supposed to sell gazillions. Metroid is the game for the experienced gamer, it is the crown that makes the Nintendo system legit for the skilled gamers (who are bored at Mario and Zelda). It would have to be hard and challenging… even beyond Breath of the Wild. But Breath of the Wild is showing us how it is done.

In that game engine, imagine the space jump or the spider ball. They would work! Instead of destroyable items, you would have decreasing energy based on how often you used your weapons (and you may need to switch to lower weapons so you do not deplete all your energy). Imagine Crateria or Brinstar with the Breath of the Wild game engine.

Above: Super Metroid’s immersiveness should be fully realized on Breath of the Wild engine. I already know the reader agrees!

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