I celebrated Mar10 day with the newest Mario game – Bowser’s Fury! I even felt like his fury was after all evening. It rained so hard while I was driving that I could barely see. It started with a definite fury and then died down to a light rain within 10 minutes.
I’m really enjoying the game so far. As much as I loved Super Mario 64 when it released, I find that now I prefer more linear levels to open-world. This is why I loved Super Mario 3D Land and Super Mario 3D World so much, the best Mario games in the last 15 years to me. Bowser’s Fury provides a bit of a hybrid. The “levels,” or rather, the tasks to obtain specific Cat Shines, are rather abstract in design and linear (at least in the sense of having a forward direction), yet they exist in an open, although not too big, world. It’s pretty great.
Plus, I love becoming a giant cat Mario to fight Fury Bowser!
Happy Halloween! I know it’s nearly Thanksgiving, but let’s go on a tour of Luna, my island, from Halloween! This is me in my steampunk costume looking quite scary in front of my house. My house is surrounded by a river on three sides, which I find really cute. I decorated the outside a bit for the holiday.
Nook’s Cranny is looking spooky under the full moon.
From left to right, there’s Stitches, gem, Ribbot, me, and Marina in front of Resident Services. I love gem’s costume!
Stitches said he was scarier than me, so we had a scare-off.
Here’s my little pumpkin patch!
Is it spookier in black and white?
I visited gem on her island, calamansi, too! Check out her pumpkin patch. SpooOooOky! Is that a mad scientist on the ledge? A crazy doctor? gem?!
I tried to kill the zombie, but my axe wasn’t strong enough! And yeah, we decided to come take this video after Halloween had ended, haha!
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!
I wanted to scare Aurora, the cutest penguin, but her house was freezing!
Kody is so cute in his little costume!
Raymond seemed unimpressed by my attempt to scare him. For those of you don’t follow Animal Crossing info online, people kind of went crazy over Raymond. I’m not super sure why he’s so popular. He’s not even a bear or a penguin!
I’ll take a nap in Cherry’s bed while gem asks politely for candy.
Beau was definitely scared!
Come back and get scared, Boomer!
Hippeux, you look silly!
I even scared Snake before he moved out!
When I came to calamansi to trick or treat with gem’s villagers, she immediately tried to scare me!
A bunch of bears hanging out on Halloween at Poncho’s house.
I love you, Sprinkle! Come move to my island!
Merengue is one my favorite villagers of course.
Spookin’ it up wth Antonio, Kid Cat, Murphy, and Jack.
Tough cub Murphy wasn’t scared at all.
Come back, Fauna! I’m trying to scare you!
Klaus was too cool to pay attention to us.
Hanging out with Antonio in front of the museum. Not the spookiest picture, but too cute!
Patty spend Halloween walking on the beach.
Papi seemed scared, but only because he thought we were Jack.
I really like that you can trick villagers out of candy if they think you’re Jack!
Happy Halloween! (…in November. Yeah, I’m terrible at this.)
New World had a preview week back in August, and I’ve been meaning to share this gem (pun intended) of a clip that features a nude rock thief stealing gem’s rocks. (That’s less confusing when you know that ‘gem’ is the name of someone who prefers it lowercase.)
This post was originally posted to my WoW blog, Kor’kron 501st, which also covers other Blizzard games and MMOs.
Unfortunately, I only recorded her microphone and not mine because, well, I make mistakes. But somehow I think it makes it more hilarious.
In this clip, you can see me go through some of the introduction area. You can see a bit of the combat mechanics and skills as well as a gorgeous look at the island.
Last week, Amazon announced that Crucible is shutting down in a month. That’s really too bad, because I definitely enjoyed it personally. Most of all, I’ll miss Bugg, my favorite character. He’s a gardener robot who once grew food on Crucible. He was happy that everyone loved his food. But once the fighting started, he had to grow weapons (plant-based turrets) and fight even though he didn’t want to fight. I decided to capture Bugg’s lore before the servers go offline.
Here’s his War Machine skin, which I unlocked by completing the pre-season (and only) battle pass.
This video shows Bugg’s biography and all of his unlockable audio file logs, which gives a full view of his lore. I love Bugg’s voice-acting!
This second video shows all of Bugg’s customization – mostly his awesome skins. I prefer Ladybug!
Lastly, this video shows some extra dialogue that can be heard if Bugg is clicked repeatedly on the character select screen.
Whenever there’s a special item you can give to a single villager in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, I always give it to Stitches. Now I’ve given my Friendship Sparkler to him! I also reviewed all the past special items he’s given back to me as a thank you.
Bugg, the Crucible hero, is super cute, and I had to record this audio log. In game, he grows little plants that attack enemies. In lore, he used to be a gardening robot who was happy that people liked his vegetables!
This is his Honey Bee skin. I want it!
Here’s a closer look at it even though you can’t see the wings.
I joined Amazon Games a couple weeks ago as a technical writer on the Automation, Tools, and Insights team. I mentioned it on Kor’kron 501st, my other blog, where I talk about World of Warcraft and other MMOs and Blizzard games due to Amazon Games having a new MMO called New World coming out soon. I wanted to mention it here as well because I’ll talk about non-MMOs on this blog.
Crucible is a hero-based shooter released last week developed by Relentless Studios and published by Amazon Games. I don’t have much experience with this genre, but I’ve been playing it a lot this past week and really enjoying it. I included the trailer at the top!
K.K. Slider visited Luna for the first time last week! I’m excited to get him to visit!
I finally spoke to Isabelle because I was curious how my island was doing. I wasn’t focusing on anything in particular to get K.K. Slider to visit. As soon as I checked with her, K.K. Slider wanted to visit!
Now I get my buddy K.K. Slider every Saturday! I love his songs and am glad he’s back again!
Some friends visited Saturday to listen to the concert.
Sunday was supposed to be Dapper Day at Disneyland, but it was cancelled due to COVID-19. They encouraged Dapper Day at Home, so I threw a Dapper Day party on my island, Luna!
From left to right, that’s Jenn, Joe, gem, Duncan, me, Aren, and Haley! While they weren’t shown in this screenshot, Niki and Steph visited as well.
gem from calamansi was looking very dapper on her third day of owning the game!
DrAstroPhD (Joe) from Drapland was quite the striking duck.
Tarok (Aren) from Thighland was oh-so-handsome.
Duncan from Robot Isle was stylish and our second duck.
Jenn from Calico had a variety of cute outfits and was our third duck! I especially liked the outfit you can see her wearing at the top of this post. Disneybound Donald Duck!
HAywinz (Haley) from `meruem` was not only looking good, but she brought me a cherry-blossom wand, and I’m so excited to be able to transform my outfits! Thank you!
Nikē (Niki) from Avalon was fabulous and quite purple.
Stay_Fresh (Steph) from Sty’lnd was indeed looking fresh in her dapper dress!
I hosted a scavenger hut by burying a ton of junk, a few bags of bells, and two pieces of fencing around the island. The fence pieces could be redeemed with me for Nook Miles Tickets! Congratulations to Joe and Duncan (I think)!
At one point Duncan led an assault on me!
Niki, Jenn, gem, and I played in the aquarium a little.
Jenn also shared the pitfall with us so we could all learn the recipe. Plus, somehow a few of us fell in accidentally!
Happy Dapper Day! It’s too bad we didn’t get to have it in person, but I enjoyed playing on Luna with my friends!
Bunny Day was the first major holiday in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and I’m just glad it’s over. If you didn’t play it, basically everything you do could drop eggs, and those eggs were used as materials to craft items. But there were way, way too many eggs. Nintendo nerfed the drop rates a couple days into the event, which is good, but this is still a bad sign for future events.
That said, it didn’t stop me from collecting everything and creating a Bunny Day room.
Here it is with the lights off. I really like the Bunny Day lamp, which is an egg, and the garlands that can be turned on and off.
You can see a little clip showcasing my Bunny Day room above!
The stringfish was one of the fish that was going away at the end of March. It was March 31st and approaching midnight, and I still hadn’t caught it. The clocked rolled over into April. And then I saw a shadow of a fish. I ran for it, and I got the stringfish I needed!
Here I am enjoying a nice bamboo island.
When lightning strikes, the sky flashes for a brief moment.
I really love the sky in this game.
Look, a shooting star!
Lastly, my resident services and plaza got upgraded today! Hooray! Now, I need to continue searching for Stitches!
I hate Boss Challenge events in Dragon Mania Legends. Most events have a refresh period of 6 hours or so – meaning you have certain objectives you have to complete every 6 hour period. That’s nice because even if I have to play 15 minutes, I don’t have to worry about it again for a while.
Boss Challenge has a 2 hour delay delay between each part, which is much more annoying. It’s also hard to know how much of a grace period you have. If you wait three hours, you’ve wasted an hour. If you waste too much time, you probably can’t finish.
Well, I finally finished one. Yes, I had to spend some gems at the end, but I never purchase gems with real money so I’ll consider this a win! I also never needed to interrupt my sleep or anything important during the day. I just tried to be more punctual about checking the event when I was able.
For Valentine’s Day, Nintendo gave each player one best-friend confection to give to their animal of choice in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. When you give it to an animal, that animal gives you a bell-jar bouquet with a note attached. There are three types you can get, but I didn’t think about what reward I wanted. I knew I had to give my best-friend confection to Stitches! He’s the best!
I had two EX Raids to do at the same time and didn’t get a response in the Discord for the second about a later group. I went anyways, and no one was going for a second round. I figured I might as well attempt it despite neither of the two accounts with me being 40. Turns out, this raid is incredibly easy. I had about half the time remaining!
Dragon Mania Legends is a typical phone game in that there are multiple currencies in the game, and one of them is purchased using real money. Their events ramp up in difficulty in what I assume is obviously an attempt to get people to spend money to finish them. And I don’t spend real money on this game.
In this style of events, you go through multiple levels unlocking chests. A chest can contain the key to the next level or a puzzle piece toward unlocking a dragon. (Collecting dragons is the primary goal of the game.) The last level has a chest that will contain the a dragon itself, and this is basically the goal of the event. This event celebrated Chinese New Year, and the final dragon was the Nezha dragon.
For the first time, I was able to get that final dragon! The event ends tonight, and I got it this morning. And yet I did some quick math and found that it would be impossible for me to get the puzzle piece dragon at this point without spending real money. Still, I’m happy I finally got the end dragon in one of these events!
Super Mario Maker was released Friday. As the release date approached, I really thought I could resist. I know I just don’t care to devote as much time to playing games as I once did, but I cracked pretty quickly on Friday and bought a copy. Even if I barely play it, it’s more than just a game. It’s a celebration of 30 years of Mario and the culture surrounding those games.
I see it primarily as a social tool, so I designed my first level with friends. Here’s Anela, gem, and Antonio working on our level. We each took turns adding to it. The joy of Nintendo is how it brings people together and creates such rich culture around their properties. I knew gem would have fun with Super Mario Maker because we played it at SDCC this year, but what about Anela and Antonio? At least Antonio plays games and owns consoles, but I wasn’t confident Anela would have fun. However, they both did. Anela went crazy adding as many mushrooms as she could to her part of the level and then insisted I get those mushrooms when I played. Antonio and gem both set up traps in attempts to trick the players. There was a lot of laughter, so I think everybody had a great time. We’ve also been playing Super Mario 3D World. Like Super Mario Maker, even those who don’t play games often have had fun with it. Sure, Anela requests that we carry her through some parts, but she has as much fun, if not more, as the rest of us! Nintendo’s amazing at making their games accessible and enjoyable to people who don’t play games often.
Here’s our masterpiece – “Super cool friends Petanegemio.” It’s a majestic level! Okay, maybe not majestic, but I’ve played it a couple times, and I have fun when I do. Better than just enjoying some random Mario level, this one reminds me of my friends – Anela’s mushroom block maze, gem’s Money Zone of coins and trap (in which I totally fall in that video), and Antonio’s journey into the sky and trap (that I managed to avoid). It’s a masterpiece, at least to me.
“Mario Myths with Mr Miyamoto” helped push me into purchasing it. It’s such a simple video, but it helps accentuate the beauty of Nintendo and their games. It made me tear up just a little, especially the idea that it’s been 30 years since Super Mario Bros. Oh, and that hard hat Mario wears for Super Mario Maker. It’s so cute and representative of the game that’s a perfectly designed icon.
Super Mario Maker (and Super Mario 3D World and so many other Nintendo properties) are really works of art, beautifully created to bring people together accompanied by a soundtrack of their own laughter.
Thank you for the fun times Nintendo, Miyamoto, and all my friends who have played Mario with me!
Pixel Press Floors is an iOS and Android game that allows you to make your own platformer levels. I Kickstarted this around June of 2013 because of an interesting hook: you actually design by hand on paper and take a photograph of the paper to import it into the game.
There were a few hiccups, such as the Android version being significantly delayed. As an iOS user, this didn’t bother me. However, two others things did. First, the game changed from a paid game to a free game with in-app purchases. As someone who backed the game early, I got an account in the game that reflected this. Supposedly this would give me bonuses. I don’t know what those are. I thought I was supposed to be able to place enemies in my level (it’s normally an IAP), but I don’t see any option for that currently. [Update: I contacted the developer, and they fixed everything for me within a day. Great customer service!] The second, bigger problem is that the creation mode ended up being iPad only. That’s great if I owned an iPad, but I don’t.
Regardless, I finally had a chance to sit down and make some levels with gem’s iPad, and it was a ton of fun. I’m still annoyed about not being able to create on the iPhone, and I’m hoping they add it. As for the backer bonuses, I don’t know what the deal is there, but I just reached out to Pixel Press to find out.
As for making levels? Fun! You don’t get to change any of the physics or design your own sprites, but you still can set the layout of levels. Even though what initially piqued my interesting was designing on paper, I did the whole thing on the iPad. You can watch the video embedded above to see my level, appropriately named The Adventures of Peter. And hey, I published it around 1:30 today and it already has 77 plays!
If you like platformers, you might want to give this a try. As mentioned, it’s free. There are a ton of community-created levels, and you can search for mine as well.
Back in September, I wrote a piece about Osmos. I decided to try recording a slightly modified version of the article as voice-over for the video for a new idea – a collaborative YouTube channel, Fist Bump Game Videos, with a friend. It was a fun experiment, and I think I’ll do more like this.
My friend Alex showed me Osmos over a year ago, but I never got around to playing it until a couple months ago. It’s available for Steam, iOS, and Android; I played it on Steam. Osmos is heavily physics-based and deals with orbits and mass. The idea is pretty simple. You want to get larger. Running into something smaller than you allows you to absorb it. If you run into something bigger, you get absorbed. You move by expelling mass in one direction, causing you to move in the opposite direction.
Osmos starts out very tranquil and relaxing. A lot of games begin with tutorials, but Osmos is almost lying to you by trying to be seen in this light. The later levels are incredibly difficult and can take a long time to complete (after many, many retries). Sometimes you have to act quickly to beat other “characters,” but sometimes you can take all the time you need. You unlock levels in groups, giving you choices that work well to act as breaks from other, more frustrating levels.
The graphics and audio are both absolutely fantastic. The game looks beautiful and detailed whether you’re viewing your surrounding closely or from afar. Depending on what you’re trying to do, sometimes you’ll want to zoom close for detailed control and other times you’ll want to zoom out to see the entire area. In addition, you can change the speed that the game runs. I found myself making very slight tweaks to my orbit and then speeding up time to see the results. The music remains tranquil throughout the game, even when the levels get stressful. It sometimes even seems to reflect the orbiting, repetitive nature of the game. Usually when you hear a game’s music described as repetitive, it’s a bad thing; It’s not bad in Osmos.
Different people might get stuck on different levels, but level F3C-3 was my final level and took me a long time to finish. The video above is the recording of my eventual completion of the level.