How I (Finally) Got Dead God

It feels like it took me forever, but I managed to get this finished. I finally got Dead God on one of my save files in The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. It will probably be a while before I do something like this again, but I figured I might as well turn this into a big thing and talk about how I got the achievement. First off, I completed every challenge after they unlocked as there weren’t any that were a detriment to unlock. I also beat every completion mark on hard mode with every character including the tainted ones to unlock Death Certificate. Now as it turns out that was the only item I needed to see in order to complete my collection page. The reason was simple. I decided to leave a certain character for last to make sure I could guarantee seeing most of the items during my repeated playthroughs. As you may have guessed if you have read my blog posts this past month or so, that character is Tainted Eden. Since his gimmick switches his items so frequently I got every last item available by the time I unlocked Death Certificate. So, it should be easy to find right? Not really. The item pool for the secret room is a lot bigger than I realized and so finding it while getting lucky was very unlikely. So I came up with three strategies to increase my chances. Option one was to start with a character who has a rerolling item to try and exhaust the secret room pool. Option two was to snag Chaos to force it to appear in other pools so I could potentially reroll it. Option three was to potentially get Spindown Dice to find the item since it give the most control over any rerolling item. Guess which option it ended up being. Or you could just keep on reading. That works as well.

So to increase my odds, I obviously wanted to start with someone who could reroll items from the beginning as that would give me the best chance of doing these strategies in a somewhat consistent manner. So naturally I went with Isaac, and man was my luck terrible with him. While his reroll item is great, the problem is that it is not easy to gain charges for it without the right items, so there would be multiple times I would just be short of rerolling secret room items and my luck was also just really bad. So in my frustration I took a gamble and switched to playing as the Lost. The only real advantage his reroll item has is it has less charge time. There are certain risks such as items potentially disappearing half the time, but hey who doesn’t like to gamble every now and then. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do much about dying a bunch. I can’t even blame it on the character either. It was just a skill issue. Eventually though I got a decent run of items and made it to the Dark Room and I had Guppy’s Tail which increased the amount of items I found by a lot. So I explored until I found the Secret Room since this was my last chance to reroll for an item. I got lucky. A chest spawned that I could reroll for an item. I had to take the risk each time to see if it would disappear. It managed to successfully reroll the item after three attempts. On that last attempt I decided to grab the item since I felt like it might be worth it. The item was Spindown Dice. I was able to use it to reroll into the D6, Isaac’s reroll item from Mr. Mega. Since I had Schoolbag, I was able to use both at once which was nice. After that I explored the floor and found some cool items but nothing to help with finding Death Certificate. The only thing that was sort of useful was that I use Spindown Dice on Fruity Plum to get 4.5 Volt. So now defeating enemies helped with charging my dice. Unfortunately things weren’t looking great. I had exhausted every room and nothing to show for it. There was a sliver of hope however at turning this around.

Another item I got on this floor was the item Forget Me Now, which would allow me to restart the floor and potentially get another chance. The problem is that to use it, I would need to leave behind either Spindown Dice or the D6. It could possibly be very useful for secret rooms, but I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere unless I could guarantee an item in the secret room. Conversely, if I didn’t get lucky with what spawned as items, Spindown Dice could only do so much for me. Eventually I decided on Spindown Dice since that took away some of the randomness and if I was lucky I could always get another D6 from it. So I used the item to restart the floor and with Spindown Dice. I opened the first chest in the Dark Room to see what deals were up for grabs and it was Purgatory. Immediately my brain paused. To be sure, I went and looked up the collection page to be sure. I was right. Death Certificate was five spots away from Purgatory on the page meaning if I could use Spindown Dice five times, I could turn it into Death Certificate and complete the file once and for all. I had a limited amount of rooms, so I just had to hope I could gather enough charges using 4.5 Volt, but in the end after defeating the Lamb for the second time that run, I managed to get the last charge I needed and picked up Death Certificate completing the Collection Page. I used the item to get Sacred Heart just cause I wanted it and thanks to Dad’s Key showing up this run I was able to eviscerate Meta Satan and Delirium and finish the run. So in the end it was sort of a combination of strategies one and three that got me the item, plus a lot of luck as well. It was hard, but at least I have the save file to prove it. See you next time!

Sci-Fi Zelda

So before we begin today I just want to say a couple things about the new Saints Row. It isn’t very good as everyone is aware and that is because we once again have a reboot with absolutely no substance behind it. You see, I haven’t talked about reboots at length, because I don’t feel it is worth the effort. It’s pretty simple. A good reboot/remake takes some of the more refined game elements of the modern video game genre and incorporates them into an older franchise so that it true to the games roots and adapts it to a more modern setting. Other reboots/remakes are simply cash grabs, and pretty obvious ones at that. It is like they are not even trying anymore. Although, to go easy on Volition for a moment here, I kind of understand their desperation. After all, they managed to peak nearly ten years ago with Saints Row IV and have since done nothing remarkable. They kept turning their GTA clone into something more and eventually they reached the final frontier, space, and couldn’t figure out where to go from there. They probably had trouble incorporating the gang into space bounty hunters. It’s a shame since I would’ve totally paid money for that. That only delays the issue though. It is seriously such a challenge to have a series go to space and then come back from it successfully. You might be wondering what all this has to do with Zelda. Well, I wanted to highlight there is a potential danger of this in any series. Although, Nintendo has for the most part handled sci-fi elements in their games rather well.

There are already multiple Nintendo franchises with sci-fi elements. The Star Fox and Metroid series both involve fighting enemies in space and have firmly established themselves as part of the Sci-Fi genre. In fact, thinking about it, there are very few that feel as though they still to a fantasy setting. The only two that feel strictly fantasy-like off the top of my head are The Legend of Zelda and the Fire Emblem series. Although these other series that already have sci-fi elements such as Pikmin and Mother started out with that as an established part of the series. It is a lot harder to introduce it into a series that has not dealt with it before. To be fair, Mario has done it, but Mario could just about make a comeback from anything so it is a little unfair to compare him. There are honestly a lot of risk with trying to take The Legend of Zelda series into space. After all who knows how Link would fair in such an environment? Not to mention Nintendo tends not to take big risks with certain characters like Link. That may be why the closest Nintendo has ever come to doing that was when that kid with a mask decided to bring space to him. To be honest, I wouldn’t be so hung up about this, if they didn’t keep teasing us with it. At first, it was pretty standard magic items as well as sword fights. You know, typical fantasy stuff. But then it had to slowly start incorporating more and more cool technology into the fold. Especially in the latest release of DLC for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. They are teasing us with all this lost technology to the point where I want it so bad.

Look, they have this whole storyline about them finding all this lost technology and putting it to use, but we never see what happens when that time period thrived. We know it did at some point, but the question is when? It is clear that the Zelda franchise allows for technological advancements due to the Future Timeline where they have technology such as ships and trains. I know it is possible to develop them further. I just want to see it in at least one game. They had hints of it in that sandy area in Skyward Sword as well which made exploring the dungeons more interesting. That was the beginning of the timeline and yet there was still technology that could be used at some point in time more advanced then what the game had to offer. Listen, I know we already had some sci-fi elements in the latest game, but can we maybe get a little more. Look, it’s time I admit that truthfully the whole reason I came up with this post is because I want to see Link wielding a lightsaber. Obviously it wouldn’t be called a lightsaber because of copyright and all that, but it would still look pretty cool in my opinion. I have been getting a taste of cool stuff from the series and so I just want to see things taken a step further with him wielding a cool new blade. Is that too much to ask? Probably, but a man can dream. Besides if they could get Sora in Smash Bros. successfully, then they can do anything they put their minds to if they try. Money probably helps with that too.

Hunt or be Hunted in Hard Difficulties

Hey there. I’m here again to harp on about having a hard time in hard mode. However, I’ve had it with hunting through halls that are heralded by haunting heads, horsemen and harbingers of heaven and hell. I have been through some heaping helpings of hurt in these past few hours and I can’t help but head into games heavier on hunting and hoarding. Having said that have I happened to show how I hunt in these hardcore hikes? No? Well how would you like to hear what happens? Not that having a hand in the matter was happening. Hunting is how I happen to help myself to herds of harmful creatures and they help feed my horrible hoarding habits. However, I happen to hate myself and hunt in the harder difficulties which can hurt when health is harder to hold on to and healing on the go is hell. So I hide and hide until I either heavily hide a harrowing about of traps or I help myself to hunting hoards by going head by head. However, I have to hope that I don’t become hunted myself since if the hoard hunts me down, then I have to hightail it and hide until they hopefully can’t hack me down. Hit points and health can be handled with health potions and herbs but that can only help so much if you can’t handle getting hit. I happen to be the hardheaded type that hurls myself headfirst in helpless hurdles without a hard hat. It can hurt being headstrong, but I can’t help myself.

Have you ever heard of Monster Hunter? I happened upon this series and have hunted in it every so often. My hoarding habits have been further heightened by honing my hammer and helping myself to a heaping of parts to help my hammer and headgear and heavy armor withstand the harm from harder and harder monsters. Health is high especially for higher level hunts where hitting them and hurting them must be handled with haste. After all, hunts tend to have an hour or so time limit so if the hunt isn’t handled well, then you have to head home with nothing. Half the time I am so headstrong I head into hunting with my hammer over my head while hopping of a cliff and half my health is gone after getting hit since the monster is higher level and my armor is hanging on by a thread since it has no upgrades. I am helplessly hasty aren’t I? So I head away to heal up and hunt it again until I have the victory. As it happens, hammer isn’t my best, but I’ll go in the Hub to hunt with the hammer because I have fun hunting hordes anyway. Even if I’m helpless and have no health potions and can’t hide, I will hammer away. Seriously though, Hub hoard hunts can be hell.

You might have heard that I am headstrong, but that is hardly true all the time. Hiding is a habit of mine since I happen to like higher leveled fights due to my hotheadedness. So I hype myself up for higher leveled hunts and when I don’t need to hasten myself to head out into hell itself, I hide in the hedges and hinder the enemy to have a breather and heal. I hate having to do this, but how else can I have a chance at hacking at such a high health bar without being humbled by it’s high level. Hit and run is how things get done here. That’s how it has to be until I have a habit of not heading into hell so often. Yes it’s hell because heaven isn’t allowed on hard mode. If I get humiliated in a hunt, I keep going until I am the head hunter and I happen to hack away all the hit points , then I can head home with my head held high and a heavy pouch packed with herbs I hoarded heading towards the target of the hunt. This is not happening just in Monster Hunter but any hunts that happen to be hard to handle are ones I have to handle. I hate having to hide away and heal due to my headstrong and hot blooded nature, but I hate having to give up the hunt and so I have to head into the hallowed halls of hell as often as I have to since it is a habit of mine to hunker down and handle things if I have to, no matter how I have to do it. I may have the high ground, I may hide and heal while being hawk-eyed and hushed, I may have to hammer down some hurt on those who have the chutzpah to hunt me. It’ hunt or be hunted and I will have the head of my hunt at the end of it all. Have a happy hunt everybody and here’s to being hunters and heroes.

Tainted Eden and The Luck of The Draw

Yeah, this time I won’t pretend this isn’t a post about The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. Lately I have spent most of my time trying to finally finish the Repentance DLC that came out a while back and I have almost finished it at this point. Currently I am missing three items on the collection page as well as three completion marks for a certain character. Once I achieve all that, I won’t have to play with game for a while. I might do some runs for fun, but I will at least have everything unlocked. Now the one character who I have yet to finish is Tainted Eden. The reason for this is because his unlocks are not exactly desirable for completion. One of them is his Delirium unlock which causes secret rooms and I AM ERROR rooms to potentially have glitched items that have random effects. The other is the Beast unlock that gives the item TMTRAINER which causes ALL future items to be random. So since these could potentially destroy any run I decided that it would probably be better if I did these unlocks last, since that way it would be a lot easier to finish my completion page without those variables interfering. So far it seems to be working. However, the main reason was because of Tainted Eden’s unique mechanic. You see Eden himself was always meant to be randomized in terms of stats and starting items, but his Tainted counterpart takes it a step further. Now, things are even more random because every item that you pick up will be rerolled into something else once you get hit. That means that your run could change at any time and you just have to adjust.

That isn’t to say there are no rules to it. Unless you reroll into Chaos, all the items you reroll will be from the item room you originally got the item from meaning that it will keep taking from the same pool each time. That can make taking from certain pools more dangerous than others since certain items can potential ruin a run. For instance, I did a run with Mega Satan that I failed after twelve attempts because I kept getting unlucky with rerolls. So I would like to give some advice for using Tainted Eden. The first thing is that you should not go for curse rooms. While some of the items can be useful, there are also some that can really destroy a run. This also goes for red chests since they have a similar item pool. You see, Cursed Eye makes completion marks a bit harder to deal with since you may have to restart boss fights without any of your health. In fact, it completely removed me from an attempt at Boss Rush and I had to try again later. Another thing is rerolling into Dead Cat where you are one hit away from death is quite painful to struggle through. Yeah, that happened. It is usually better to go for angel rooms over devil rooms since you can reroll into Holy Mantle which can be very useful for surviving rooms without losing health. They also allow you to not have to give up health which is a very important aspect since health items can be rerolled away at any time. Sacrifice rooms may be advised if you have the health to spare. Also see if you can get Birthright if you can, since that can tone down some of the randomness.

The biggest thing you need to worry about is trying not to get hit so as to not get an unfavorable synergy, so finding items that can help with that are an option. Items with flight are especially useful. Don’t take the Sword of Damocles if you can, because you will not last. I learned that one the hard way. However, what might be one of the best things is getting an active item from the shop. You see, active items will reroll into active items from the same item pool, meaning that you could reroll into Glowing Hourglass allowing for potentially infinite retries if you handle it properly. You will reset back to your previous build and try again. If you get hit again, you can reroll again over and over again. Just make sure that the item is charged otherwise it will not work. It is kind of like a pseudo-Birthright kind of thing that allows you to keep your previous build. The most important thing to remember is that soul hearts cannot be rerolled so keep some of them as a life saving measure to make sure you don’t rely too much on red hearts. Now, I will keep plugging away at this game until I finish it. I don’t necessarily expect anyone else to do that, but maybe this will be useful to somebody. Part of this is mainly to help me focus my thoughts before my next attempts, so let’s hope something good comes out of it. Now, at this rate if things go well you will probably hear about it from me at some point. For now, let’s jump back into it at try to find some control to the madness. I will get through this, because there is no way that I am stopping at 99% completion. NOT. A. CHANCE.

Let’s Talk About Salt

Looks like it’s time for another late night blog post everybody. Let’s talk about something random again today. This time let’s talk about one of the most common things that can happen when playing a videogame and that is salt. Obviously I am not talking about sodium chloride here, but that feeling you get in the back of your head that says if something happens one more time to cause you an unnecessary death, then you will throw your controller at the wall. You see getting salty is one of those emotions that I think is important to playing a game. The reason being that at its core, gaming is quite an emotional experience and for some the most important thing about the activity is being able to use it as a stress reliever instead of an actual punching bag. Let’s face it, I’m not about to go to the gym every time I am feeling stressed about something. There are other outlets at my disposal so why not use them? I would only be doing a disservice to myself if I didn’t find way to cope with it. Not to say that I personally feel any stress of any kind okay? Anyway, the reason why the ability to get salty is important to me is because it indicates a certain level of passion for the game. You cannot feel salty about a game that you didn’t have any expectations for in the first place. Sometimes games use a little bit of RNG to make you question every single decision you ever made. Let me give you an example.

Now for those of you who have been following this blog, first off I would like to say thank you. I am not really very good at expressing myself, but do know I appreciate that people are reading these things. Anyway, those people may know that I have enjoyed to a certain degree playing The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth and the corresponding DLC that was released for it. I don’t know if I could consider it my favorite game, but it is definitely one of the ones that I have played the most. I am currently encroaching on 1000 hours of playtime right now so….. yeah. Even with all of that time, I still haven’t completely finished it yet and that has honestly been how I have spent most of my videogame time for the past few months. Those past few months were filled with a lot of deaths to be honest. Don’t ask me how many because I lost count. I will say that the number of times I died as Tainted Lost is well into the hundreds though. that isn’t to say I haven’t made any progress. I am slowly but steadily clearing each completion mark with each character. Also, before you ask let me say that I did finish Tainted Lost. I’m committed, what can I say? Anyway you are probably wondering how salt come into play here. It comes up a lot actually, especially considering how good I am at choking away good runs. However, that is usually do to my own skill so I can only be a little upset for a while. It happens. What I can’t forgive is what happened earlier today.

I was trying to go for a particular possible in the came that requires you to go through an alternate route to reach it. You need two particular items to combine to have access to this boss. Now I had a pretty decent start to the run and was able to safely make my way to the area where the second piece was kept. I managed to grab it and was running away from the thing that chases me down during the sequence. As I was running, a trap door opened in the ground and to my surprise, the door wasn’t locked. I thought that I might as well check it out, so I went down to see what I could find. Turns out that was a big mistake. You see, the game spawned a key in that room that I needed to clear it, but once I left the room by going into the crawlspace hatch, it no longer felt the need to spawn a key for me to progress and it also deleted the one I had for the puzzle. Not ideal. I tried to bomb the rocks to maybe find away across, but to no avail. That meant I was stuck and doomed to die. Now unfortunately, there was no way out of this one unless I had an extra life. I did not. I lost a perfectly good run because I accidentally softlocked the game so I couldn’t progress. I just had to stand tend and suffer torment until the moment I died. I can usually chock up my deaths to bad luck or me being dumb but this felt so unfair. Never have I felt so cheated before. In fact I was so salty that I came up with this entire blog post just to vent about this single instance. Had I been in the right mindset, I would have taken a screenshot, but as I was upset at the time it sort of slipped my mind. Oh well I guess. This won’t stop me from playing, especially when I am so close to success, but my goodness was that annoying. Thanks for listening. Take care now.

What is a Story?

I want to ask a question. What is a story? I don’t mean what is the definition, but what is a story supposed to be? Many games use stories very differently and truthfully some are a lot better at it than others. There are some games that have spent a lot of time developing an interesting story, but have maybe spent less time on gameplay with maybe limited movements or commands implemented to make sure that you can engage with the story. Some games put so little effort into the story that you can honestly forget about it entirely during actual gameplay, which is usually fine since those games tend to be really fun to play. So what is the goal for a story in a game then? Is it supposed to serve as a backdrop to a game or is it meant to be the main focus? It’s kind of hard to say for sure but I personally think that the best way to experience a story is when you can experience it

Continue reading “What is a Story?”

Thoughts on the Terastal Phenomenon

Today they finally dropped some news on the Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet games with new features being revealed as well as new Pokémon. Truth be told I am pretty excited for these games, but the thing I think I am the most excited about is strangely enough the new gimmick this generation presents us with, and I am not talking about the open world. I am talking about the fact that Pokémon in this region have the ability to Terastallize which manages to further boost their type and can make their moves stronger. The STAB ( same type attack bonus) moves have never been so important since now they can give you a greater edge in battle solely for being the same type. The thing that interests me the most about it is that the typing of the Pokémon can differ from its Tera type. That means that you could be battling a Pokémon and it could change types midway through the battle. It is very likely that you could get a serious edge if you play your cards right. If I’m being honest this gimmick feels like a mix between Z-moves and Gigantamax but with potentially a better balance and more possibilities to work off of and explore. I don’t know for sure how this mechanic will go, but it definitely looks cool. I just felt like I needed to talk about this real quick. I’m real excited for these games so I hope that November comes fast.

Save States

Autosave is a standard setting you see in games since it stops the sad story of so many stalling their progress from loss of saves and system shutdowns that strive to occur in situations solely when something special is starting or in a situation where your stuck in a sequence set up for the sake of story that can’t be skipped. However, some games still have the standard of selecting saves and saving through save points. These games serve as not so subtle nods to services in select games from some time back where save rooms were seen as standard for saving and suspending progress. The saves were spaced out so that you couldn’t save scum or to simplify it, save after every step of success to slowly but steadily succeed in pressing on to the subsequent save point and securing new save data. This style of spacing out saves was to strengthen your skills so you could step up and subdue anyone stopping you and have them serve as stepping stones for your survival. However, statistically speaking this served as a slow start and lead to stumbling as spaces between saves were stretched out. The standard setting of difficulty was set so that in games staying alive was a sticking point. So some games from back then served to stop people from speeding ahead and had them survive using their skills at play to succeed. Some of these games have seen a surge of strength in sales due to select titles showing up on some online stores as software to store on your system instead of a standard cartridge or disk that was scanned to start up the game. This set the standard for save states.

You see save states were so special since you could sync up with saves that you set yourself after setting yourself up for success. If you slipped up and suffered some sort of setback or searched around and stumbled upon story elements that stopped you from searching for secrets, then you could simply reset by selecting that save state you saved beforehand to save yourself from such simple slip ups. They served as a simple scouting feature to survey upcoming spaces and spend time searching for the simplest path to successfully securing the objective. Some games simply spend so little time at the start showing you where to start that starting off can be staggering. Shouldn’t it be somewhat fine to save when you see that you’ve spent so much time without a save station in sight and surely could have something shut down the system causing nothing to be saved. Sure it can be started up again, but some seconds are meant to be well spent and no one wants to sucker themselves by not saving when saving could save their souls. Okay, I should stop using such sardonic statements and stick to the story before this starts settling into simple sophistry. Save states can save a run since you can start and stop at your say so rather than scrounging around for save stations and being strung along by the game’s setting and story. It may seem like I am saying that this setting simplifies gaming, but that’s only sort of what I’m suggesting.

You see, using saves in such sizable amounts is most suitable for starting off and sticking through or in games with small chances of success where lives are used sparingly. However, when you stop straying from the story the game has started you on and you can search through without surprises than such save scumming is slowly used less and less, which can serve as a slip up as well. You see, if you save state, the save state starts back from the last save to start you off from that starting point, but that should suggest to you that saves done after that serve no purpose since the game simply seems to suggest those saves were not sound. The save state works on a system memory rather than what’s stored in the software that supports the game you play. So what happens when you shut down the software and start up using the system as the structure for your starting point. Let me say it more simply. What start do you start at when restarting the system without saving securely on the system itself? Its solution is to start up the system memory that used saved as your last save state. Now if that save state starts off where you seemed to be then that’s stupendous and a stroke of serendipity since you sought to be sure to save somewhat consistently. If you stop updating you save states and slipped up by loading in a save that starts at a point you spent several attempts on, that stings. Surely, it’s a shame but you can so simply strip all the stuff you have succeeded in by starting up an old save that sets you back somewhere closer to the start of your suffering. Simply put, shortcuts can serve you well in some games, but shortcuts can also serve as a stumbling block rather than a solution should you be careless and hit a snag you couldn’t see. Sometimes it may be simpler to just stick to the story and stay safe. See you all sometime again!

Thoughts on Nintendo

These days I think of the videogames I play in three different ways. There are the ones that I really enjoy playing even if they tend to frustrate me sometimes. Then there are the ones that I’ve played and remember liking enough but haven’t felt the urge to go back and play them. And then there are the ones that made me feel betrayed to the point that I do not acknowledge their existence and we don’t talk about them. No, I will not name any names… at least not today. Instead, I want to talk about where Nintendo fits in this category for me. I have talked before about how much time I have spent playing on Nintendo consoles as I was growing up. Although, more of it was spent on their handhelds then their actual consoles. Let’s face it, you can’t exactly bring consoles to school. And for all of you clever people who thought to point to a Nintendo Switch just now, I want to let you know that we didn’t have those back in 2006. The point is that I spent a lot of my childhood with Nintendo and the main reason was due to the fact that their handhelds were the most accessible. While other consoles may be superior in pure specs, other companies really haven’t even come close when it comes to the handheld market. So I stuck with them for a while because of that. Honestly, wasn’t even aware of the fact that consoles existed until I was like 11. I never really paid attention to well, life so I missed a couple opportunities. Ignore the fact that I had a PS1 as a child. I was dumb as a child. Once again I have gone so far off the mark so I need to bring it on back. What this what meant to convey was how much Nintendo shaped my early childhood and do to this I have a lot of fond memories with them and I still do support them financially. I’m not as gungho about it now, but I do keep an eye on them. So, with all this time and money spent on them over the years, how do I currently feel about them?

Well, remember a paragraph ago when I led with that opening about how I now categorize games. I would put the majority of the Nintendo games I played into the second category with some going into the first and some going into the third. That is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just that many of the games I played were fun, but weren’t worth going back for a repeat playthrough. Truth be told, there aren’t many games that Nintendo has released that I enjoy playing all the way through every single time. The game is The Legend of Zelda series have some exceptions, and there are some other outliers as well, but most of the time they are one and done affairs. Nintendo is great at keeping things consistent and fun throughout their time as game developers, but just because something is fun once, does not mean it is fun to go through it multiple times. That’s why I still haven’t gotten every stamp in Super Mario 3D World. Doing every level with every character is very taxing, especially when you are playing by your lonesome. So I still only have one of them, I’ll bet you can guess which one. Anyway, I noticed that I don’t have a lot of desire to revisit them after playing them once. I realize now that is because there isn’t much reason to explore once you’ve done everything. Sure, I could go play similar levels again and maybe I could find some hidden rooms or pathways, but unfortunately that is just a maybe. What also doesn’t help is my memory is unusually strong when it pertains to secrets in videogames. Certain moments just can’t be experienced twice I’m afraid. Look, it’s fine if there games are fun, I just want a little more being done.

For instance, and you can probably guess what I am going to be talking about, but Pokémon has been one of those franchises that has so much potential and it is taking them years to tap into it. Truth be told, I do not necessarily need a new generation every few years. I would rather they do things like back in the day when they would make a new generation whenever there were big changes to the series or when they had something interesting to bring to the table mechanically. Instead they have kind of been copping out with gimmicks instead for the past few generations. Now we are starting to see some direction and progress, but man has it been a slow boil. Meanwhile there are countless rom-hacks that allow people to experience Pokémon games with creativity using older assets and coding at no cost. What I am saying is that a lot of people are taking inspiration from these games and making them into something new. It isn’t just the Pokémon franchise either. There are other series that are getting similar treatment. i for once have definitely played a few games over the years that have taken some inspiration for certain Nintendo properties and made them into fun games. Heck, the whole concept of Metroidvania was something Nintendo created and now it is more synonymous with random indie titles. Does Nintendo see nothing wrong with this as long as sales don’t change? Well then, I hope they don’t because otherwise who knows what they might do. I’m not trying to light a fire under them, but I want them to know that there are some talented minds out there if you ever need to recruit for new ideas. Just saying. Also, maybe rerelease some more Gamecube games at some point please? Okay, that came out better than expected after recovering from COVID, so I’ll consider this a win. Goodnight everybody.

Concerning Collectibles

I know i have spent some time talking about collectibles before on my blog. I felt that today I would dive a little deeper to make some distinctions between the types of collectibles a game typically has and give a way to characterize them. In my opinion there are four types of collectibles that you can potentially find in a videogame. For the recod I consider a collectible to simply be something that you can collect in a game. Now let’s get started. The first type is a collectible that has importance to the story. This type is essential for progression barring any speedrunning level skips that may exist to bypass them. Basically the game is coded to not allow you to progress without it. This type can be further divided in the type of collectible that you can use and the type you can’t use. To elaborate, sometimes there are items you need to collect to fight the final boss, but you can’t actually use them until that fight. However, there are some instance where you can use the collectibles from story progression to become stronger without being tied to the final boss scenario. As a example, in many of the more recent Sonic games the Chaos Emeralds are only used to fight in the final boss encounter, but serve no purpose in any of the other levels. However, in the later Genesis Sonic games you could use them once you collected them to become Super Sonic and he wasn’t necessary for the final boss encounter. This type of collectible is important for story reasons and typically is more important to the story rather than the gameplay, although like I’ve said there can be some overlap.

The second type of collectible are optional powerups. These can also be converted into two different types. These two types are temporary powerups and permanent powerups. Like their names suggest one of them offer the player who interacts with the collectible a stat boost temporarily and the other gives a permanent increase. These are meant to either help get through difficult areas or help the player grow to face harder challenges later down the line. These can come in many different forms such as armor or weaponry, but their purpose is the same. They exist to help increase your stats and give you a way to even the odds. The third type is not as noteworthy as the second type, but it is still important nonetheless. This type is the type of collectible that you can use as normal consumables or potentially craft into such items. Sometimes you even get the ability to craft these types into consumables of the second type. These are typically essential to getting through any type of game because without them you are left with no options except acouple of attacks with high risk and low health levels that are hopefully not accompanied by a beeping sound. The three types I have listed so far are the most essential parts of gameplay. However, I said there are four types. So, what could the fourth one be? You might have already guessed, but the fourth type is just there to be collected.

You see the fourth type doesn’t neccesarily have any importance to the story or the gameplay. It may have something that ties into things related to the story, but it may not have any noticable effect on the story itself. An example of this might be how some games have bestiaries that you can fill out by encountering certain enemies and gaining information on them. Hollow Knight would fall under this category. This type could also grant you fun rewards for gameplay after collecting enough of them, but they are in no way required for playing the game. A classic example of this would be the Skulltula tokens that are used to lift the Skulltula curse in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time which help unlock certain useful items to help beat the game. However, they are not required collectables so you can still beat the game without them. Typically this type doesn’t add anything substantial to the game. Usually the only purpose it serves for people is to fulfill their curiosity. Potentially there can also be achievements associated with these types of collectibles. These achievements tend to have a range of difficulties going from pretty simple to incredibly hard. Typically they are only worth it if you don’t have to go out of your way to do them, if they give you something cool, or if you just want a crazy challenge. Do remember that these are never required to collect if you want to enjoy the game. Don’t collect them unless you are either trying to get something or trying to prove something. That’s all I got. What? I can’t go on rambles and random tangents every time. They lose their meaning that way. So, see you next time and have a good night.