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    So let me admit right here, that I am a big fan of Zelda. I bought both the Wii and Zelda at launch and have spent 40+ hours playing it. Being the young and determined person I am, I beat the game in 35 hours. My Dad on the other hand, is not even half way through yet and has spent 100+ hours (according to his save file). Here begins my story.

“God Dammit!” “Shit!” “Oh fuck! I have to do it again?!” These are the sounds that emanate from the downstairs living room. My Dad is playing Zelda again. My Dad is well into his mid fifties and wasn’t born into a generation where video games existed, but even with that said it still doesn’t stop him from swearing up a storm when he gets knocked off his horse or when he dies in a boss battle. My Dad is truly determined to do whatever it takes to beat Zelda. He calls me when I’m out with friends (true story) and asks me, “Hey Jeff, how do you do a Shield Attack? It keeps asking me to do a shield attack and I have no CLUE (with emphasis) what the hell its talking about!” Then I will have to tell him how to do it, and chances are he probably still won’t get it, but by some chance, he discovers how to do it by pure luck accident (aka wave around the controllers).

            His sense of direction is alright in real life, but for some odd reason, real-life doesn’t transfer to what I call, “A Virtual Sense of Direction”(a term coined by me). He always runs around in circles and goes back into rooms he has already been in and wonders why everything looks familiar. It’s a true test of patience, I’ll have to say. I really have to try and not point out what he has to do, or beg him to let me do it for him. It is painful to watch, in fact I’m pretty sure that if you wanted to torture someone, all one would have to do is tie them down and make him/her watch my Dad play Zelda (I can hear their screams of frustration as I type this, “Oh God! You already did that temple!! Somebody, please, I’ll do anything! Get this man a strategy guide!!”). That’s why I usually bring a book with me so I don’t have to silently weep while watching him play (in fact when my brothers came down from LA, my brother Michael pointed out that that we all started reading books when my Dad began to play Zelda).

            Dad, I love you, but your navigation skills I’m afraid are in another castle.

 -Neverhitboxes

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So relating back to my good friend’s post, I will give a second look into Zelda:PH- I wont really go into the game mechanics since he and every other game review site out there has covered it. Let me just start out by saying that I loved- LOVED the style and cell shaded look of Windwaker. Much so that much of the time I consider it to overshadow the ever loved Ocarina of Time. I just thing that the cartoon look really gives the overall game personality and style. So back to the game, my over all opinion of it is that it is awesome. There can be no question that it is truly a must have for adventure/puzzle fanatics- not to mention fans of Zelda:WW. The trademark dungeon puzzles are great! Especially since the whole game is played with the touch screen, its really interactive and clever.

I would agree that the world in the game isn’t HUGE or anything, but considering how many hours I’ve put into it; I haven’t even revealed half the map. I like how they kept that feeling of exploration. That to me is what made Windwaker so great, was because there were tons of islands all around the world ready to be explored, and I think they really kept that feeling as best they could when they scaled it down to the handheld.

When I learned that the game was going to be released with a online multiplayer function, I was curious as to what they were going to do with it. Nothing too crazy- as it turns out- but its not bad either. The multiplayer function they put into Zelda:PH is actually pretty addicting and competitive. To sum up how it works- I will quote Skoh-Fley because I think he did a pretty good job of summing it up.

“There’re no tools to use from single-player; it’s actually more of a game of cat-and-mouse. One player controls Link, and the other controls three Phantoms. Phantoms cannot be killed, and a single blow from them will kill Link, but they are somewhat slow and more sluggish to control — instead of a standard go-to-where-the-stylus-is-pointing movement system, they rely on the player to draw them paths on the map (which is on the lower screen for this player) to travel along. The player of Link must carry force gems (kinda like Triforce shards) to their designated zone to earn points. The bigger the force gem, the more points it’s worth, but the slower you walk while carrying it. Players switch off roles every round.”

After playing about 6 rounds of it, I can safely say that the multiplayer is REALLY fun. Not only is it super competitive, but its actually got a lot of strategy behind it. You really have to think on your toes and move quickly, because you have 120 seconds to score as many points against your opponent. There are also items- that balance out both sides- link and the phantoms. Link can pick up items that boost his time 30 seconds- phantoms can get an item that takes away 30 seconds from Link’s time. Link can pick up items that make him run faster and vice versa. So both sides can benefit from the items. If this game had voice chat, there would be so much trash talk, it would make Xbox live seem like a pristine haven for children.

Overall, I am very pleased in how the game turned out. I liked the fact that the stylus only system works, I like that the view is a top down 3D look, I like just about every aspect of this game- except for one thing. At multiple points in the game, one must have to go through the very same dungeon 3 times. Its extremely repetitive and it makes me wonder why they even decided to do that in the first place. But looking through that- this game gets an A in my book, and I don’t give out A’s willy-nilly. Its a must have for DS.

-Neverhitboxes

So we learned about a…disease, if you could call it that, in AP Psych today. It’s called Phantom Limb Syndrome, and imagine this: it occurs when you have a missing limb (which is enough for me) and you have an itch on it.

But you can’t scratch it. Because it’s not there.

TALK ABOUT ANNOYING!!!

You can also feel pain in it sometimes, usually something that feels like it’s being held in a flame. Ouch. This occurs because sensation is completely located in the brain; not the body part. So if something goes wrong in the transfer of information in your brain (or something like that), you feel stuff in a body part that doesn’t exist.

And speaking of ice cream, I’ve been playing The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass for DS recently, which came out the day before yesterday. It rocks! I never thought a game that uses virtually only the stylus could be comfortable, but it feels pretty natural (there’s always that position you have to find where you’re holding your DS with only your left hand and/or leaning it up against something so you can freely use your right hand for the stylus, though). The world and the exploration of it isn’t as needlessly huge as Wind Waker‘s was (not that I’m complaining), but still makes good use of the boat you have at your disposal (draw a route to take, let your captain/partner do the driving (boating?) and take care of baddies and obstacles by shooting and jumping (I’m still in a complete daze as to how boats can jump, but hey, if you’ve gotta jump something, you’ve gotta jump it)).

I actually just finished a multiplayer session with my fellow blogger (and got owned), which is also a lot better than I thought it’d be the first time I tried it. There’re no tools to use from single-player; it’s actually more of a game of cat-and-mouse. One player controls Link, and the other controls three Phantoms. Phantoms cannot be killed, and a single blow from them will kill Link, but they are somewhat slow and more sluggish to control — instead of a standard go-to-where-the-stylus-is-pointing movement system, they rely on the player to draw them paths on the map (which is on the lower screen for this player) to travel along. The player of Link must carry force gems (kinda like Triforce shards) to their designated zone to earn points. The bigger the force gem, the more points it’s worth, but the slower you walk while carrying it. Players switch off roles every round.

Anyways, it’s a pretty sweet setup, and if you’ve got a DS, you need this game — Zelda fan or not (although the former would probably appreciate it more). But beware, ornamentalists — this game sports the cel-shaded goodness of Wind Waker (my favorite kind).

I should probably start collecting the condensation from my soda…it’s starting to pool.

Oh, and one more thing — Valve just triggered preloads for Portal and Half-Life 2: Episode Two, so I’m pumped to start playing them come release. Nothing’s better — and nothing’s worse — than being as close as possible to your goal (having the games on my computer!) and not being able to reach it.

OMGSOEXCITED

Well, I would have to state at this point that I am very shocked of the turnout of this blog so far. Me and Skoh-Fley (the other writer on this blog, who is also a good friend of mine, who is probably busy playing Zelda:PH), started this blog about 3 days ago, and so far we are actually surprised that we are being read! 30+ views as of 3:49pm PST! If you are a reader, reading this (as readers do) please leave a comment! I really appreciate the views we get and I would like to pass that appreciation down onto the readers themselves. [Appreciation Skill +1]

Thank you my dear readers, I will be sure to post more ridiculous stories!

Now I will close with a picture to represent my happiness!

Suddenly....HAPPINESS!


-Neverhitboxes