Tainted Lost and a Few Moments of Pain

I am the master of having a win within my grasp and then choking it all away. This is especially the case in dungeon crawlers. A mistake I make time and time again is that I get overconfident whenever I get a good run. Now there are times when I can manage to recover. However, sometimes there isn’t a lot of room for error. This is the case for one of the new characters in the Repentance DLC for The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. Now truth be told this is something that only fans of this game might understand, but feel free to continue regardless if you want to hear my pain. Now I spent a lot of time playing through this just so I could beat Hush. The reason was I didn’t want to have to do any more time based boss fights. So I tried to strategize the best way to maximize the likelihood of me getting to Hush without dying. It didn’t go so well. There are multiple reasons I could give as an excuse, but the truth is that I can choke under pressure. It especially doesn’t help being in a rush and so you make dumb choices. For instance, I had tears that were decently high and had the added effect of knockback to enemies. Naturally the run went alright until I decided to pick up Spirit Sword and then immediately remembered that the whole game has changed and Tainted Lost is terrible at close quarters. I died shortly after that. It’s things like that that usually get me. However, I can’t give in that easily. I am pretty stubborn after all. So I tried to focus on a better strategy by trying to find defensive items and the results were… lackluster to put it mildly. Let me elaborate a bit.

Now for the record, I do enjoy playing as Tainted Lost. My win streak might cry every time I select him, but I already got the necessary achievements for that so I don’t really care. The biggest problem is obviously his lack of defensive properties. In return he has access to more offensive items. That’s part of the challenge. However, that isn’t to say he doesn’t have any way of defending himself. Now, maybe one day I will find some of them, but for now I will make use of the ones that I can access. Truth be told, the most valuable items for these runs are not even the Devil or Angel Deals. Those are a pretty mixed bag. Ideally, the best you can ask for is stuff in the shops. Not only does the shop have things like Blank Card and Glowing Hour Glass which can help give you second chances. They also have good battery items like 9 Volt and 4.5 Volt to help with keeping charges. There are even a few miscellaneous items that can help shake things up. In one run I used Mystery Gift in a Treasure Room and managed to get Cricket’s Head out of it. Mystery Gift is practically a free item with Tainted Lost after getting the Perfection trinket. So typically it is always a good idea to visit shops and see what you if there is anything good. One other thing to note is that typically Angel Rooms do not give as much benefit as Devil Rooms. However, Devil Rooms are not super amazing since due to the more cautious playstyle, certain items aren’t as useful. It is also a lot harder to get Guppy as a transformation so it would be best not to aim for that. The one transformation you are most likely to get is the Spun transformation. After that would be the Conjoined transformation. Anything else is essentially irrelevant. I haven’t gotten more than two Guppy items in a run so far so I can only assume my luck is garbage despite Perfection saying otherwise. Sometimes you just have to hope you get lucky with the RNG and I rarely do. However, rarely doesn’t mean never, I do occasionally get good items. I just have to work myself to the bone to keep the run going. Especially since it is pretty easy to get wiped in one room, usually due to lasers. The only thing that might save you is luck based items.

Since Perfection is pretty much guaranteed during any run as him, luck based items are some of the most useful for Tainted Lost. Some notable examples are Bird’s Eye and Ghost Pepper which shoot out flames that can block projectiles and do high damage. I had one good run with one of these. The rest I died. Those times it was basically my only effective means of damage. Also I should mention that while 9 Volt and Blank Card can be a good combo, but it is dependent on enemy spawns so it is only consistently effective in Greed Mode. I learned that lesson the hard way. Truth be told, without getting Spindown Dice there is no way to guarantee any solid defense. The best thing you can hope for is to not get hit. That is why whenever I go for another run I reset if I can’t make it past a certain point without using my shield. If I can’t get through to where I get Perfection without getting hit, then the run wasn’t meant to be in the first place. However, if your starting item has enough potential, it is fine to try and power through. One last thing to note is that broken hearts don’t really affect Tainted Lost so feel free to use that to your advantage. It might not matter in the end though. I can’t count how many times I have died playing with this character. It is downright embarrassing how many times I have lost a run just due to fire. I don’t want to give the exact number but it is definitely in the double digits. You know how sad it is to have your run ruined by an obstacle that is easy to deal with normally? Do you? I hope you don’t experience any of the pain I have suffered. However, if you do try using him remember that patience is a virtue for a reason. Make use of it, or else you might smash your keyboard. Yes, I play this game on a keyboard. I rarely use controllers for PC games. It’s just more comfortable to use in my opinion. Anyway, I should probably stop there. See you next time where I hopefully don’t spend more time on this again. Now it’s back to the grind for me. Yay.

Shiny Pokémon

I’ve been in a Pokémon mood recently. To be more specific, I have been spending a lot of time doing research on shiny Pokémon. There are two things that are to blame for this. The first is because of how many shinies I have gotten in Pokémon Legends Arceus. That game gives out shinies like they are going out of style. The biggest reason though is because of the Darkrai event that happened last month. Now Darkrai is probably my favorite Pokémon from Generation IV if we are talking legendaries. Not necessarily because of his moves, but I just find the concept of a nightmare Pokémon interesting. In fact, i honestly think that Darkrai and Cresselia could have starred in there own generations for their own storyline. They had a good one in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky and frankly speaking have some of the most interesting concepts among most legendaries. So naturally I was excited to see the return of Darkrai and I thought the best way to commemerate this was to get him as a shiny. It took about a week, but I did manage to finally claim him. It’s a shame about his careful nature, but I’m still quite happy. To kill time during that week, I wanted to research a bit about shiny Pokémon to see if there was a way to get Darkrai easier. There was not, but I did learn a fair bit. Today, I thought I would share some general information for you if you plan on hunting for these guys in different games. I won’t cover anything too specific so if you want more in depth data about how shinies are calculated, then head over to Bulbapedia to find out more. With all that being said, let’s talk for a bit.

The alternate sprites we now know as shinies were first introduced in Generation II to highlight that the game now had colored sprites. There was a rare chance that the game would produce a Pokémon that would end up being shiny. These odds were mainly based around a Pokémon’s IVs or Individual Values leading them to be a bit stronger than normal Pokémon. In later Generations the formula would be changed so that isn’t the case and would cement the odds as being around 1 in 8192. In this generation they had no way to guarantee shiny odds improving so you had to get lucky. Soft resetting did become more popular though. It is a specific command to reset a game to force a Pokémon’s values to be rerolled which could potentially leave it shiny. This is basically the only relaible way to hunt for most legendary Pokémon in any generation. Once we got to Generation IV, they decided to make things a little bit easier by adding in chaining methods and most notably the Masuda Method. The Masuda Method allowed you to increase your chances of an egg being shiny, so long as the parents were Pokémon from two different countries. This drastically decreased the odds to about 1 in 1365. So I hope you have some Dittos in your PC. A couple more things that deserve special mention. First off, in Generation VI, the shiny odds were increased. They are now 1 in 4096 encounters which is half as much as the previous encounter rate from preceeding generations. The other thing that is noteworthy is they introduced the concept of Pokémon beign shiny locked. That means that no matter how many times you reset, they will never be shiny. This was first introduced in Generation V and to this day there are still some Pokémon that cannot be shiny. Naturally this mainly applies to legendary Pokémon.

So you are probably wondering why I just regurgitated a bunch of information you could have found on Bulbapedia or Serebii if you were interested. You might be wondering about why I am writing this in the first place. Well, the first reason is I wanted to gloat just a little about getting a shiny for the first time in quite a while. The last one I got was years ago in Pokémon Emerald which I surprisingly still have saved. If you are wondering it was a shiny Swablu. I do realize there are many shiny I have caught in Pokémon Legends Arceus, but I don’t really count those ones since it is a spinoff title. The second reason I brought all this up is that when I was beginning to get interested in shiny Pokémon again, I realized there is a lot to be wary of when hunting. There is a lot of research you may need to do if you are going for specific hunts and the Pokémon is fairly difficult to obtain. Even if you do manage to get lucky and find your traget shiny, you need to ensure that you can actually capture it if you need to face it in battle. The last thing you want is for a shiny Pokémon to cause itself to faint because you couldn’t catch it in time. Obviously, it would be good to use a Master Ball in that case, but what if you run into another shiny down the road? It’s like they say, prepare for the worst and hope for the best.This could just me being a little naggy, but if it helps you in your shiny endeavors then it was all worth it. Trust me, if you think failing shiny Pokémon in games like Pokémon Legends Arceus is painful, try going back to games before the shiny odds were increased. I am doing that right now actually. Don’t ask me why, because I don’t know the answer myself. see you next time.

Mouthful Mode Mania

We have made it to the most memorable message of the month. To make things meaningful I will march on with the motif of many modern mainline Kirby games. Many Kirby games have their own memorable methods to mow down monsters while moving throughout the map. More recent methods were the Miracle Fruit and the mecha suit from the 3Ds games and the multiple members that were moving with you in the previous Switch title. But make way, because Mouthful Mode is the major method to move through a mysterious metropolis marked by moss for millenia. There are many modes for Kirby to maneuver with although many of them are mostly used for mini moments in most stages as a means of making something manifest itself. Many times there will be multiple moments where you must make use of more than one morph to move forward. Thankfully, the majority of them are managable and easily mastered due to the movments being kept to a minimum so as to keep things moving without making muscle memory a necessity. Also many abilities mimic some from past games. The most maneuverable morph mimics the wheel power by making you a motorized vehicle which can move in a more open environment. Also making its mark is the water power only now it’s made by amassing mouthfuls of water for mist washing. Another memorable one is the vending machine, which may seem more like a modern firearm than the ranger ability. There are many more than Kirby can morph into to mow down those menacing mongrels that moved him here. Not to mention that Kirby maintains his method of mimicking enemies. He has many methods at his disposal on this mission.

Remember minutes ago when I mentioned the Miracle Fruit and Mecha from modern Kirby games made before this one? I’m going to use these in models to make the major motif in Modern Kirby more apparent. The Miracle Fruit is a macguffin for certain moments in missions when Kirby must mop up monsters at maximum power with his mouth, making him into a miniature black hole. Aside from making monsters into mega meals there isn’t much more to this magical melon. It is not meant for multiple moments but instead only in mandatory sequences. Kirby’s other abilities are mostly moot so overall the Miracle Fruit feels meh as a major macguffin. The Mecha is much more mobile and feels less mandatory. Sure it can make most monster encounters feel mundane but there is more merit in having it when moving through levels than having missed it since it is mostly mandatory when mapping out areas to find missing collectibles. The major upgrade to the Mecha as compared to the Miracle Fruit is it can mimic Kirby’s copy ability into its mainframe. This allows for more potential movements when managing the mecha. Now I want to mention that mouthful mode is a mix of the Miracle Fruit and the Mecha in the way it is managed. Some mouthful modes are mostly made for particular moments in levels ranging from minor to major in term of length. Some are made to make things more managable, but are not mandatory to move forward. Some are missable if you are moving a mile a minute like a madman. Even when they make Kirby move using his more malleable self by morphing into a more mysterious module, it makes the most sense to move along with it since mouthful more makes for a merry good time.

Mouthful Mode is mostly more abilities for Kirby to make use of as he makes his way through most areas. Many of them are used more than once and you mercifully can maintain the ability you had prior to morphing into the module needed for moving on. It maintains a more manageable medium between past gimmicks because most of these ones are not made more arduous to find and manevuring through many of them is mighty managable. They might become a bit much when moving through the mini levels where you must show mastery over multiple mouthful modes throughout the game. Many of those are mighty meager with minutes given to master them, so may you have fun. You might though since control and movement is a major métier of this game. Kirby mixes up the way you move whenever Mouthful Mode makes an appearance making the game almost like marking a more modern Kirby by having more maneuverability in 3D in those sections. Many like me have made some musings before this mainline game came out as to what modern Kirby would move like in a more multiplex setting. Now we’ve made it and we have a Kirby who was made more malleable to maintain a mix of movements for a modern era of platfoming. The multiple transformations makes the exploration more mysterious and less predictable. You must swap between Kirby major abilities and Mouthful Mode if you want to manage to muster all those members of Waddle Dee town. I guess the most memorable thing about Mouthful Mode is when I see an item I can morph into by making Kirby interact with it, I am making the choice mostly because I want to and not because I must make my way through. Even if I must, they are momentary methods to make mysteries for me to muddle through and thats all that matters to me. See you next month!

A Mini Kirby Guide

I thought of doing something different today. I could have recounted abunch more of my past playthroguhs with other games in the series, but I figure sometimes it is better if you play them yourself. That being said, a helpful nudge may still be in order. Now I will say that the latest game in the series, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is very good. Completing it isn’t very challenging either. Without any guides it took me 25 hours or so to get 100% completion. You might not be going for such a thing, but if you at least want to save all the Waddle Dees, then I can at least offer you some boss tips. After all each boss has a certain time to meet to rescue a Waddle Dee as well as taking no damage to rescue another so some of them can be a little tricky. Usually the time based ones are easier so long as you don’t worry too much about health and keep an extra health item on you as insurance. Typically the no damage runs are the more difficult bit to master. Thankfully as long as you are aware of a few mechanics and upgrade all your abilities, things are a lot easier to manage. Even so it can still be challenging so I thought I would offer up my recent experiences to give some tips. I at least wanted to talk about this game normally once before next week’s post. For anyone who is new and doesn’t know what I mean, check in next week. One last thing, this will obviously have some spoilers since I will talk about some of the bosses from the game. The game has been out for almost a month now so I say it’s fair game.

So the first boss can be a little tricky since by this point you wouldn’t have any powered up abilities to use on it. Sure you could just come back later, but where is the fun in that? Besides, it isn’t meant to be that hard since it is the first boss of the game. This boss has a very big weakness since he doesn’t have any good long ranged attacks. All he really does is throw a boulder that is easy to dodge and occasionally try grabbing you so as long as you pay attention you won’t get hit. Because of this, you ideally want an attack with some range. Now you could go get another ability like the ranger ability before going in to make the fight easier, but if you just want which of the three abilities provided to you is most useful for not taking any damage, then go with the bombs. You can just roll them in front of him and step back because he will just walk into them while trying to catch you. Now the next boss is Woody Tropical Woods. He is in some ways even easier than the first boss to take no damage. The main reason is that now you should have some upgraded abilities. For this one I recommend Volcano Fire since it does burn damage to chip away at its health even if you aren’t attacking it. The major thing to keep in mind is while you can get close, don’t get too close so that you can’t dodge its attacks or get hit by its gate. Once you have his patterns down though, you should be good to go. Next up is Clawroline who is definitely the most agile of the three bosses this far. She can be one of the more challenging ones if you are unprepared. My recommendation is that you make sure to have the Gigant Sword ability equipped for this fight. You should have it unlocked by now. The reason I recommend this one is because you can easily block all of her attacks. For those of you who didn’t know, there is a button to block/ dodge attacks. Which one you do depends on what ability you have. Sword abilities typically block and thankfully the shield you get from the Gigant Sword ability blocks all damage so long as it is hit. Clawroline’s attacks are fast but she usually attacks head on so you can just block her and attack while she recovers. Just don’t go too crazy on combos or let her get behind you otherwise the shield won’t be able to help you.

Now from this point on there are bigger boss spoilers since they were only teased in the trailer and not actually shown. Last chance to back out. Alright then, so next is King Dedede. We all saw this coming. Honestly I feel like they just want to put him as a boss in every game just to remix his theme again. Not that I have a problem with that. Especially because his new theme is so good. You really gotta love the music in this game. So aside from controlling the urge to bop along to his theme while fighting him, I would recommend using the Dragon Fire ability you would have unlock by this point. Not only does it have decent range, but it also allows for the accumulation of damage from burnign him as well. As long as you don’t let him get too close and keep him in flames then everything should work out fine. The next boss, Sillydillo is probably the hardest one to beat without taking damage in my opinion. The main reason is that many of his attacks can be difficult to avoid if you haven’t managed to learn how to dodge roll. This ability is pretty essential to the later parts of the fights since executing a well timed dodge roll will guarentee you take no damage during the run. However, it is very likely for you to make a mistake if you drag things out so I recommend using the hammer as it is the quickest way to beat this boss. Simply dodge roll and charge up your hammer close to him to do some serious damage. Dodge rolling is your friend in this one for sure, but try not to stay too close to the walls or the center. the reason is if you are too close to the walls you have less time to react to the rebound and being in the center makes it harder to get to him in time to do significant damage. Now the final boss that actually requires a no damage run is Forgo Dedede, this game’s version of Masked Dedede. This version has a heavier emphasis on fire attacks, so naturally the best thing you can do is bring the Blizzard Ice ability to the fight. Not only does it protect against the fire attacks, but freezing him in place does massive damage. Not to mention you have excellent mobility. All you have to do is pay attention and time it so you can properly freeze him in his tracks. Otherwise make sure to remain on the move since his speed is no joke. That should about cover it. Remember that this is based on my personal experience, but I hope it might be helpful as a reference. I had fun doing this post so I might do another one of these if the future for some other games if people thought this was decent. Anyway, see you next week where I talk about the main gimmick.

The Kirby Formulas

Yes, I know it is a confusing title. It will make sense later. So first, let’s do a little bit of a recap of what we have talked about thus far. Well, I’ve actually been doing most of the talking here. Anyway, I have mentioned two games in the Kirby franchise so far and as one might has guessed, that is not a lot of them. It would actually take forever if I were to go through them one by one all month. Especially since I’ve been going at the pace of once a week. So, I had this crazy idea. What if I tried to just put together an idea of what a Kirby game is generally like to try and give of a sense of the character before I talk about the latest game in the series. That proved to be a bit more difficult than initially expected. First off, Kirby games are plentiful. There are many different game throughout the series, which is understandable since we are talking about a character that was first introduced in 1992. 30 years is a good amount of time for different games. Now I’m going to start off simple for a while and we will go from there. First off, the series is typically a platformer centered around swallowing enemies and spitting them out. He also has the ability to puff himself up and float in the air for a brief period of time. Later on, certain special enemies would allow Kirby to copy their abilities to use in battle. A good portion of the games are centered around going through different worlds while using these abilities to fight whatever evil creature is behind everything and putting a stop to their evil plans. This is pretty typical hero stuff. Although I do appreciate that Kirby usually doesn’t need a reason to go do any saving. There are no bananas stolen or princesses captured. Usually he just wakes up from a nap to find out that the world is ending and he figures that he should probably do something about it. That or he is just REALLY cranky. Hopefully you guys use the sleep powerup often so Kirby isn’t overworking himself. Sometimes he ends up finding new and creative ways to use his inhaling and/or copy ability to move through the game. This trend is especially prevalent in more recent Kirby games starting with Kirby: Return to Dreamland, or as I like to call it: Kirby: Return to Formula. That isn’t a bad thing mind you, just an observation. The main formula now is traditional platforming with an additional playstyle added in for fun. How well it works depends on the game.

Now you might be wondering then, what was the formula for Kirby games before Kirby: Return to Dreamland came out on the Wii? To be honest, I have no clue. That isn’t to say they didn’t have games that were similar to traditional Kirby adventures like Kirby Superstar Ultra. Although even that game is an amalgamation of different game times reminiscient of typical games in the series as well as fun minigames. Truth be told, a good amount of the games in the Kirby series seemed as if they decided to just take a gimmick and run with it. They wanted to really experiment with Kirby and see what they could get away with doing. Probably the biggest example of this in recent memory is Kirby’s Epic Yarn. In this game you play as Kirby after he has turned into yarn. I’m not even joking. Basically the whole world has been turned into yarn and Kirby has to stop that from being a permanent edition to Planet Popstar. You mainly fight enemies by grabbing yarn and throwing them as well as occasionally transforming into things like a giant tank. Also, you get a side job as a real estate agent. Yes, that is a feature in a Kirby game. No, I don’t know why. Just roll with it. Sure it doesn’t look like a typical game in the series, but at least it’s fun to play through. In fact, Kirby has had a lot of games that feel more like spin-off titles due to them not adhering to the original formula. Some of them have you controlling multiple Kirbys, some have you competing in different races, some have you controlling yourself by drawing pathways to take. There are so many ways they choose to experiment with Kirby. I’m not really sure why. Maybe because he is so kid friendly? At least when you don’t think what happens to the creatures he swallows. The only thing that really seems to connect these different games is that they seemed to have been made with the hardware in mind. They seemed to want to experiment with the capibilities of the system. Potentially that was so they could design different ways for people to experience the series. Although it is a little rough if you start with a game that doesn’t use his main abilities.

So on one hand we have a formula centered around the abilties the little pink puff ball has been known for since before I was born and on the other we have Kirby just having fun doing whatever he wants in his other games. It is kind of like someone decided to turn a minigame idea into a full game, which might explain why despite being so different from what might expect from a Kirby game they are still fun to play. Truth be told, I am glad they do experiment and try different things with him, since that way it feels like they just want to create fun games using new ideas. You don’t see any other Nintendo properties experimenting nearly as much with their characters .Mario doesn’t count though. They throw him in every profession as long as they think he can swing it. The spinoffs are pretty good though. The weird thing about Kirby spinoffs is that they don’t really feel like spinoffs. Sure they do play completely differently than what we are used to, but it is never usually an alternate version of Kirby you play as and he always stars as the main character. Usually the villain in these types of games causes the very notion of reality to change and so Kirby just adapts to it so he can save the day. He’s a very flexible character isn’t he? To be honest, this series does have something for everyone. There are multiple kinds of games you can play which can either be relaxing or incredibly difficult. There are plenty of items to collect for those who like to go for collectibles. Ig you know what you are doing, speedrunning isn’t that bad either since the levels are always the same layout and most of the early bosses are usually pretty easy. I will not say that I have played many Kirby games. I’ve barely played the spinoffs. However, I can say from looking at a bunch of the different games in the series that they all seem fun and kid-friendly. Well, at least on the surface. Things get a little bit darker when you start to get to how absolutely crazy the villains in these games are, but that’s not something to worry about right now. Look, all I want to say is that whether you play a standard Kirby platformer or not, it will most likely be an entertaining experience. It’s definitely worth checking him out so that you know him from something other than Super Smash Bros. Give it a shot. See you next week.

Kirby 64 and the Bad End

Kirby and the Crystal Shards is one of those games that holds a special place in my heart. for one, it was my first game in the Kirby series. I first found this game in Project 64 along with many other titles for series I didn’t know about from Nintendo. Truth be told, it wasn’t my favorite game in the lineup, but it was still pretty decent. I did enjoy playing it a lot more once I got it on the Virtual Console later on. I would say my favorite thing about it was the mechanic where you could combine copy abilities to create more powerful or more interesting ways to combat enemies. My favorites were probably the fire sword ( fire + cutter), the light saber (lightning + cutter), and the fridge ( ice + lightning). The first two I liked for their coolness and usefulness and the third one was because it was funny to see Kirby turn into a fridge and throw food at enemies. There were a lot of different ways you could fight bosses because of this mechanic so the game was always a lot of fun to play through. Although I did struggle in the later parts of the game, I eventually managed to complete the game. I got through to the last boss in World 6 and saved the fairies’ homeland. After which I felt satisfied at having actually managed to beat one of these games for once. And then, it happened. Right at the end cutscene when the fairies wave goodbye to you, the queen fairy gives a sinister smile to the camera. My brain froze. I knew that it wasn’t over yet. I can’t tell you how unsatisfied I felt knowing that I clearly hadn’t finished anything. So I went back to the drawing board.

Now it wasn’t hard to figure out what I needed to find. It had to be the crystal shards. At the beginning of the game, the main task was established to be collecting them all and yet I hadn’t done that. I had a feeling that would be the key to helping the queen with her possession. I presumed she was possessed based on how multiple characters get possessed at the beginning of the game and acted strangely as well. So now I had to go back and hunt for the ones I missed in levels. Some weren’t too bad to look for, but some others were especially difficult when you needed the right combination of powers to get it. You also needed to know how to use those powers effectively for some of them too. Like using the lightbulb to light up a dark area for a combination for example. The one I have no shame in admitting I looked up was the one that required you to turn into an animal statue that could climb a wall since it was impossible to float that high. Maybe some of you got that on your first try and good for you if you did. I didn’t so I went and learned from someone who did. That’s all I’ll say about that. Now eventually I did collect them all and beat the last boss again. This time things changed. The completed crystal zapped the evil eyeball thing out of the queen and you end up giving chase to its home planet. There you end up fighting the true final boss to get the true ending. It was a lot of work, but I feel like it was worth it to actually have an ending that doesn’t tell me that I’m not finished yet.

Now the reason I brought this story to your attention is because it taught me an important lesson. Just because you have beaten a game doesn’t mean you have finished it. Lots of games have post-game content now. There are also many that have multiple different endings depending on how you play them and how much time you invest in them. This isn’t the first time I’ve talked about multiple endings in videogames and it probably won’t be the last either. I just wanted to spend some time talking about how I became the player I am today. Now I am a lot more focused on doing everything I can before I move forward with the main quest. If I can accomplish all of the side tasks before doing the main story, then I should most likely have met the requirements for the best ending of the game if there indeed is one to find at all. Kirby and the Crystal Shards was the first game to make me feel annoyed for finishing a game for the sake of finishing it. Now I don’t complete every game I play, some are a bit too out of my depth. However, I at least want to give it my best shot. After all, what really upset me in the end was the game showing me that I could be doing better. So I tried to be better. I might not always succeed, but it never hurts to do the best you can right? See you next week everyone!

Thoughts on Kirby and the Amazing Mirror

Last year I thought about doing a Kirby month. I thought that the little pink puffball deserved some attention. However, there were two things that stopped me. One was because I thought there were too many months featuring Nintendo properties. The other reason was the announcement of a new Kirby game. I thought that it had been too long since I played a Kirby game so I figured I would wait until the new game came out and see how I felt about it. That was the deciding factor and so now it is a surprise themed month. Yay! So to start today I will talk about one of the first games I came across in the franchise. Each Kirby game tends to have a unique selling point and or playstyle. Usually that typically has something to do with the copy ability. However, what sets this game apart is its level design. Unlike most games in the series this game isn’t level based. Rather it has a sprawling world map for you to explore and you go through different doors in each area to find new portals so you can access new areas. You can even team up with a few friends to try and cover more ground. Up to four players can participate and you can even warp to other players if you want using your in-game cell phone. Truth be told, I actually prefer this version of multiplayer because it doesn’t feel as cluttered as their usual style. Nintendo has this idea sometimes that the best way to do multiplayer is to put everything on the same screen. I have no idea why since this usually leads to absolute chaos. I’m thankful things were done like this instead.

Now let’s talk a bit about that whole exploration aspect. The main story basically is that you need to collect the mirror pieces scattered throughout the mirror world to complete the broken mirror and fight the final boss. In each area there is a boss you can fight that will give you a mirror shard. However, each area has multiple pathways to take and its own map to navigate so it can be easy to get lost. Not to mention that area exploration is in a sort of Metroidvania style, which means you need to explore all the branching pathways if you want to find the areas needed for game completion. And don’t expect to find each area in order either. I know I didn’t have that happen to me. Sometimes you might find a branching path, but sometimes it can just be a door leading into a solitary room with a chest in it. These chests mostly contain collectibles that don’t affect the game in any way. However, you do need to find all of the chests to get full completion. You don’t really gain anything from fully completing the game but it is simple enough to do if you have the time and patience for it. In that sense it might have been one of the easiest ones to fully complete, while also being one of the most time consuming to finish. You miss one pathway and then it could take forever to move forward or make any progress at all. Once you do get a lead though, man is it satisfying! You should all know by now I am a sucker for explorative games.

That is at least what makes things fun for me, but I have been neglecting something important. How it is as a Kirby game. After all, that is the reason we are playing it right? To answer this question I want to say that the game simply plays like any normal Kirby game. That means you can suck up and spit out enemies that you find and swallow certain ones to get special powerups. There are a wide range for Kirby to choose from with some being better suited for exploration and some better for combat. Although there is a fair bit of overlap. Typically, Kirby games now have some additional element other than the copy ability, but since this game sells itself on its level design unique to any other Kirby game, there is not much other than a relaxing game to play through. I enjoy that though. It is a pretty fun game to unwind with and the copy abilities are plentiful and all useful in their own ways. You don’t even have to stress too much about requiring certain powerups for some chests once you get the Master ability after clearing the game. Truthfully, if I were to some up my thoughts on Kirby and the Amazing Mirror, I would say that it is a fun little game to explore and probably one of the best multiplayer experiences a Kirby game has to offer. If you just want a laid back adventure with a cute game character, than give it a shot. Did I mention you can unlock different colors for your Kirby? That’s right, references to previous posts here everybody! Okay, I’ll stop for now. This post was a little more laid back than usual but I’m okay with that. Besides who would get that worked up over a Kirby game?

I’m probably going to regret saying that aren’t I? Oh well, see you next week!

A Foolish Mistake

Whoops! It seems that somehow all of the sentences in my new post wound up mirrored for some reason. Isn’t that strange? I have no idea what I could have done to cause this. This is the first time something like this has happened. So sorry for the inconvenience to everybody. I will need to take some time to look over my post and see if I can fix the problem. Hopefully it won’t be too hard to figure this out. Maybe it is an alternate setting or something? Anyway, I will repost it after I find the problem. What? Do you think that I would do this on purpose? That’s crazy. What possible reason could I have for doing something like that? Do you seriously think I would type up a post only to type up an identical one with the only difference being that all of the sentences read backwards? That seems to be a little much don’t you think? Anyway, I will spend some time fixing this and it should be ready to go pretty soon. Sorry for all this. Sincerely. Have a good April 1st everybody!

Mirror Amazing the and Kirby on Thoughts

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Customizing Characters

Creating characters is a custom that has been carried on for quite a while. Customization options can be crazy. You can choose your character’s clothes is so many different ways. You can choose caps and crowns. Then go for a nice collared shirt or maybe a cardigan. You can cover your calves or craft a low cut. You can wear clogs or whatever is comfy. You can even choose your colors of your clothes along with their coordination. It is close to computerized cosplay. You can even change their complexion to another color if you so choose. The creation continues on as you collect consumables and craft clothes or combat items that can combine with your style whether it be close quarters, crafty and crouch heavy, or connecting shots a country mile away. You can create whoever you want and your creativity cannot be contained! Your character doesn’t even have to be a creature that is currently catalogued. Although, creating a character that can’t conform to the confines of the controller is currently not possible. Okay so creativity can be contained, but only because the coders didn’t code in creative controls for your sole customization. So create a character that you want with what you can create and be comfortable with when charting out a new cave or cove or cloud city. Creativity can be comforting, but the craziest part of customization isn’t colors or clothing or even controls. The character that you choose to create is a combination of chunks of code that you compiled into a singular constitution of your own choosing. Maybe you gave a cream colored complexion with cargo pants and a cardigan. Maybe you chose to have more cleavage on a callipygian character. Whatever the case, you choose how you want that character to be called by other characters and how they create a story of their own.

The only real con to customizing a character any way you choose is that they can’t be completely developed. They have to be a cardboard cutout so that they can be controlled without consequence. The story can’t have a character or creature that can’t be easily controlled since this is a character that came from your consciousness. In other words, the controlled player can’t be considered to be centered on any set of skills. Character creation is focused completely on cosmetics but not core values. The condition for creativity and customization is cliché. The game’s cutscenes are created with any character in mind to cooperate with the quest at hand. This can cause a chain reaction where the game can feel like a chore to complete objectives. There can be copies of the same kinds of tasks and a lack of connection with the other characters you come across while carrying on with the game. Every character other than your created one feels like copies created from basic code with no commands other than cry for help. The case I’m crafting here is that a custom character can’t be fully connected with a world filled with concrete core ideas since this conflicts with the concept of chaos that creativity and customization are characterized by in computer or console games. Consider the crux of the conflict as this: your character can’t conform to a concrete image because that is not what came to your cranium during their inception and later creation. You created them without constraints so how could they be constrained by conventional ideas. They can’t and if they attempt to conform the cacophony of chuckles will come soon after.

Let’s consider just the concept of naming your character. The character is maybe created with a crazy name or a cool name, but whatever the case the name is created to coincide with the customization that you have conferred onto it. The game can control how you conceived your character nor how consistent your character will act. Your can create your character’s own agenda. They can choose to be compassionate or chaotic, creepy or calming, crazy or composed and that is all in your control. The content of the game doesn’t matter so long as you create your own content and are content with what you create. Customization in most games is an optional choice, so making the conscious choice to commit to carry on with the cause is quite commendable. Maybe you choose to create a chain of combos on those who cross you until they can’t cry out anymore. Maybe you choose to collect every single collectible in every nook and cranny before completing any core quests the games tries to coax you into accepting. Maybe you could even create your own cult where you choose to set certain conditions to challenge yourself to never get cornered and crushed in any combat scenario so that you come out completely calm and collected without a care in the world and a considerable count of corpses from whatever creatures you quelled. Whatever the case, the care you put in is considerably more that what was originally coded into it, because it concerns your character’s unique charisma and constitution. Create and choose how you want to clear the game. The only incorrect choice is conceiving the idea that there is a correct one as far as I am concerned. Then again, I could just be crazy. No comment. Take care now.