Power Cords is back this week! It’s been a few weeks since we’ve really posted much, but considering the excitement of the PS4 announcement and deluge or February/March game releases to look forward to, I felt the time was right to jump back in to the blogging realm. It’s been a few months since I posted another entry in my gaming journal series, but that isn’t just because we took a break from the blog itself.
Let’s face it, there haven’t been many games to come out these past couple months, and with a few exceptions the ones that have have been unspectacular. However, in that time I’ve purchased a 3DS, as well as gone back to some old gems — all of which I’ll cover in this post. One game I’ve been able to play is the fantastic 3DS tactical RPG, Fire Emblem Awakening. It’s the first tactics game I’ve played since the original Disgaea, so it took a little bit to full immerse myself into Fire Emblem’s gameplay mechanics. It’s a very deep game, but the actual moment-to-moment gameplay is easy to understand. I’m on chapter 12 right now, and playing on classic, which has made the past couple chapters ulcer-inducing in their tension. I’ll put together a full length post of my impressions of the game soon, but over all Fire Emblem Awakening is a great game and I’m enjoying it quite a bit.
Another 3DS game I put some time into this week was the Master Quest for Ocarina of Time 3D.I completed the normal quest a few weeks ago, and last week I started up the Master Quest, and have made it up through the water temple (which is far less of a hassle in Master Quest). While I know the original Ocarina quest front to back, Master Quest is proving to be a challenge. There are some real head scratchers, and many of the puzzles are just plain weird (the cows in Jabu Jabu? pretty odd). I like the new dungeons, but at the end of the day it’s still Ocarina.
The final game I played this week is yet another 3DS title. The demo for Monster Hunter 3Uhit the eShop this week. While the demo doesn’t feature the crafting or gathering from the full game (the most addictive aspect of the series for me), it does feature two really fun fights, as well as access to high-end hunter builds for each weapon class. If you’re a Monster Hunter fan, or curious about the series, check out the demo. If you’ve never been sold on the series, then you can probably pass it. I for one will be milking the demo until the full game hits March 19.
And that’s it for this week! I’ll be doing this more regularly again. My goal is to return to posting every Friday, but we’ll see. It all depends on time and how much I play. And keep an eye out for Shootin’ the Shit’s return this weekend as well!
Gaming Journal Stats:
Games Played This Week: Fire Emblem Awakening; The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest; Monster Hunter 3U Demo
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DS
Super Mario 3D Land
The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn DLC
Halo 4 [+ Spartan Ops DLC]
Dark Souls [+ Artorias of the Abyss DLC]
DOOM II: Hell on Earth
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion [+The Shivering Isles]
2012 is just about over. The holidays are wrapping up, the new year draws nearer by the minute, and we can start getting excited about the coming year. I’ve got plenty to say about everything from games to music to movies, so let’s take this one at a time. First off, games!
Games in 2013
2012 had some awesome games, but 2013 is going to be a big year. We’re all anticipating announcements from both Sony and Microsoft regarding new consoles; Valve is hard at work on a mysterious “Steam box”; The Ouya promises to give independent creators a new open source platform; and Nintendo begins their first year of the Wii U’s life cycle. But none of that matters if the games aren’t good. We’ve got a year left with our 360s and PS3s, and my oh my, what a year it will be.
Obviously, the first quarter of 2012 is going to be insane and I could list a ton of great looking games here that will be dropping between now and March (Bioshock Infinite, Deadspace 3, Tomb Raider, Crysis 3…) The rest of the year is shaping up quite nicely as well. However, I’d be lying if I said those were the games I’m most looking forward to. My interests lie in the slightly-less-than-mainstream sector of the videogame market, and these five in particular have me literally jumping for 2013.
Castlevania: Mirror of Fate – My love of Castlevania has been well documented on Power Cords. I love Symphony of the Night and its sequels, and the entire series is filled with great, memorable games. Even though I have some reservations about Castlevania: Mirror of Fate, I’m optimistic. A new 2D Castlevania is almost as exciting as a new 2D Metroid, and beggars can’t be choosers. Definitely on my radar.
Sir, You are Being Hunted – It’s really hard to describe this Kickstarter-funded indie game. So instead, I’ll show you the video that got me excited for the game in the first place. Keep in mind this is an extremely early build, but it still shows what the game is going for.
Double Fine’s Projects – I’m gonna cheat — instead of talking about just one game, I’m going to talk about THREE! Ever since Psychonauts and Brutal Legend, Double Fine Productions have remained a favorite studio of mine. Thanks to an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, the studio is now hard at work on a brand-new adventure game. But that’s not all! In just a few days, they will be releasing their 2D adventure The Caveon Steam. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! The company recently lifted the veil on their internal design contest, Amnesia Fortnight. Aside from being an amazing community- and charity-building event, Amnesia Fornight gave birth to new projects. One in particular from a previous internal event, Brazen, is a Monster Hunter-esque action game where Greek-inspired heroes battle mythic beasts. All these games look great, and further cement Double Fine as an important and special studio. Actually, speaking of Monster Hunter…
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate – While a lot of people (many Power Cords contributors especially) get into capturing and training pocket-sized monsters, I spend my time hunting and trapping giant ones. Monster Hunter is my Pokemon — or at least it used to be. I haven’t played Monster Hunter since the gen 1 games (Monster Hunter Freedom, specifically) but I cannot wait to get back into the series with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. And with Monster Hunter 4 hitting in Japan this year and hopefully North America soon after, there are plenty of epic hunts in my future.
Dark Souls II – The announcement of Dark Souls II took me by surprise; I wasn’t expecting a sequel to one of my all-time favorite games so soon. In fact, I wasn’t really expecting one at all. While some fans reacted harshly to early details about the game, this article put many of the concerns I had about Dark Souls II to rest. I don’t want an easy mode as much as the next guy (I sincerely doubt there will be one, just for the record) and I wish Miyazaki had a stronger presence in the design, but I haven’t been this stoked for a game in years. By far my most anticipated game of 2013.
While those five may be the big ones for me, there’s more out there to be excited about. Phantasy Star returns with Phantasy Star Online 2. Retro Studios is working on a still-unknown project, and there are rumors of new Zelda, Donkey Kong Land, and Yoshi’s Island all on 3DS. And, if the promise Everquest Next pans out, it could be a truly revolutionary MMORPG. 2013 is going to be absolutely nuts. Oh, and there’s going to be another Castlevania game next year, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. So, yeah. Nuts.
Movies and Television in 2013
Movies and television are kinda Marshal’s bag, but I dabble. A while ago, I made the conscious decisions that film would take a back seat to my preferred entertainment medium, videogames. However, there are still some big movies and tv series I look forward to seeing. First off, Game of Thrones returns in April, and season 3 officially marks me not knowing what happens next in the series. Then, of course, the final season of Breaking Bad. I’d go so far as to say it’s the best crime drama series I’ve ever seen, and I’m eager to see the end. For films, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is my big one. It’s a year away, sure, but An Unexpected Journey was really good, and I’m excited for part 2. Finally, Guillermo del Toro’s next big-screen hit, Pacific Rim hits next summer. It may look like just another summer tent-pole blockbuster, but the Kaiju Monster fan in me sees something more…
Oh, and maybe show off more of the new Godzilla? Please?
Music in 2013
2012 was a pretty good year for music, but not amazeballs like 2011. In fact, it was kind of a lukewarm year, and I spent a lot of time with bands that weren’t the uber-extreme-disgustingly-filthy metal I’ve been blasting into my skull the past few years (check out my top 21 albums of 2012 here). I rediscovered my love for prog rock, stoner metal, and electronic music. In the past couple years, I’ve become a much more casual listener of music overall. Still, a bunch of great bands will be releasing new music next year, and I plan on reviewing and talking about these releases more actively.
New Year’s Resolutions
I want to read more. I was given a large stack of new books for Christmas, including a few new graphic novels. I enjoy reading quite a bit, and could really stand to spend a few more hours each weekend with a book. So that’s my new year’s resolution. I’m also making an effort to write consistently, but with so much excitement and what is sure to be a news-packed year, I doubt that’ll be much of an issue.
Power Cords in 2013
We’ve mentioned it before, but we’ve got big changes coming up soon. In fact, we’re just a few days away from finally making our announcement. What will it be? You’ll have to wait and find out, but I can assure you we’ll have plenty of new things to talk about next year. There will be more features, more reviews, more videos, more podcasts, new topics, new voices, but the same passion and identity we do our best to create. I’m really excited.
And with that, thus concludes regular posting on Power Cords for this year. Marshal’s got a list or two saved up for you guys, so stick around for those. But don’t take our silence for laziness — we’re hard at work on our next venture, and can’t wait to finally unveil it!