Bald-faced News 7/2/17: Prime Time

More old Homeworld emerges, EVO 2017 isn’t as popular as last year, and a LOT of Metroid Prime.

What Was Played

This was a heavy nostalgia week for me. To close the loop on the tease from last week, I got both Metroid Prime 1&2 for the GameCube, even though I own the trilogy on disc and digitally. I don’t have an especially powerful PC so Dolphin emulation is out of the question for me right now, and while I love and appreciate the MP trilogy for packaging three incredible games, I miss the original GC controls and the fantastic main menus from the GameCube games.

 

The Metroid Prime games have aged superbly, just like Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion. The scanning mechanic is a great way to give the player that feeling of discovery from the earlier games, but if you find it annoying you can always just scan enemies or bosses to get the minimum info you need to beat the game. Prime is such a vivid and creative game that it is still a joy to visit Tallon IV all these years later. The bosses are distinct and memorable with varied mechanics to give each major encounter a unique feel. With how fun, memorable, and inventive the first Metroid Prime was, it’s no wonder that its sequel: Echoes, is intensely underwhelming.

It speaks to the quality of the Prime series that its worst game is still a solid 4/5. Echoes borrows a LOT from the original Prime: enemy designs, enemy gimmicks/behaviors, and environmental ideas. The first non-hub zone is a desert area: Chozo Ruins in MP and Agon Wastes in MP2. You only get two suits, one fairly early on and one right before the tedious endgame scavenger hunt. And the whole “light/dark” worlds mechanic was played out in video games well before this release. But even with all of those caveats, Metroid Prime 2 Echoes is a fun game with some unique and exciting ideas strewn around. It brought the screw attack to 3D space, the Dark Aether temple guardian boss fights are spectacles that no other Metroid game has come close to touching (I still think the Quadraxis fight is a level of daunting on par with some Shadow of the Colossus fights), and even though you get it only a couple hours from the finish line, the Light Suit is the best looking Metroid suit. Bar. None.

Lightsuit

Regardless of any flaws the Prime games have, they’re incredible video games and I’m looking forward to what the new team does for Prime 4. The three original Prime games are some of the best games I’ve had the fortune to play, and shame on anyone for writing them off as “first-person shooters”. I’m looking at you, Moviebob.

Tieing news to my week, Homeworld Cataclysm has been re-branded as Homeworld Emergence and re-released!

Homeworld_-_Cataclysm_Coverart.png

The Homeworld games remain unique strategy experiences over 17 years since the first game came out. The mechanics are fairly standard RTS fare: gather your resources, research your tech, and build your fleet. Homeworld’s main gimmick lies in its 3D nature; since the game is all about space combat, the map is three dimensional. When you tell your ships to move, you can move them in full 3D, up, down, left, right, to any degree you want. The simplified nature of Homeworld’s systems is a nice contrast to other, economy heavy RTSs like Age of Empires. If you’ve got a hankering for some space commanding, give all the Homeworld games a shot. They’re available on Steam and gog.com.

News

FLCL 2&3 Are Thing That Will Exist Soon I Guess…

Fooly Cooly is one of the best anime ever produced, and a large part of its appeal is its self-contained and short six episodes. While I think these two new seasons have potential to be great, as does every piece of media, the odds are stacked against it. Its visuals and OST will not doubt be outstanding (hearing The Pillows again did get me excited), but I have to faith that the new characters will be as interesting or deep as the original main cast. Of course I’d be more than happy to eat crow on this, but this has all the stench of a bunch of businessmen declaring that “FLCL is a recognizable brand with a cult following, and thus will make us money!!”. The series will be coming to Toonami in 2018.

Evo 2017 Entry Numbers Are Waaay Down

The registration numbers for Evo 2017 are in and boy have they dropped from 2016.

evo2017numbers
Source

As mentioned in the article that’s the source of the image, SFV has more entrants than Street Fighter IV ever had, but SFv is seeing an almost 50% reduction in entrants from last year.

As a casual observer of fighting games and the FGC, I don’t think this means that fighting games or even Street Fighter don’t have a future as eSports, but it may show the lack of fan support for SFV. I love SFV and think its a fantastic game to play and watch, the eh general opinion seems to find it boring and not entertaining I guess. This could also be a indication that Evo won’t remain the premier fighting game tournament, but we can’t claim that until we know attendance numbers. I’ll still watch, and I’m waiting on the balance patch to make Juri top tier, as she deserves.

Super Nintendo Mini Classic Edition Coming September 29

Hot off the heels of the success(?) of the NES Classic, Nintendo has announced the Super Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition. The system will include 21 “classic” titles, cost $80 USD, and never be available for anyone ever.

SNESClassic

The 21 games are listed below, with my opinion on their inclusion:

Contra III: The Alien Wars Sure, that’s a good Contra game.

Donkey Kong Country I always found these games to be kind of ugly, and overly simplistic for all the nostalgia they command. I would’ve been OK if none of these games were on here, but people would riot.

EarthBound An obvious choice, given the recent resurgence of EarthBound love and spiritual successors.

Final Fantasy III One of the best Final Fantasy games. No brainer.

F-ZERO I love fast racing as much as the next guy, but the actual F-ZERO SNES game isn’t great, but it is the marquee title for Mode 7.

Kirby Super Star & Kirby Dream Course Both are great, breezy, fun platformers. Good choice, but I’m not sure we needed both. Super Star is a large enough Kirby package.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past One of, if not the best, Zelda games. Another no brainer.

Mega Man X An incredible Mega Man game. Definitely deserves to be on here.

Secret of Mana I would’ve preferred Chrono Trigger, but it’s still a fun game.

Star Fox Another showcase for the SNES’s graphical tricks.

Star Fox 2 The game on this list that’s got everyone talking. This will be the first official release of this game, ever. There’s a ROM you can find “out there” if you’re so inclined, and in my opinion this game isn’t very good, but it is a legendary thing in its own right.

Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting An…interesting version choice of SFII. But why not, some version of SFII had to be on here.

Super Castlevania IV An overrated (in my opinion) Castlevania game, but again, it’s a title that is irrevocably tied to the SNES system, so it kind of demands inclusion.

Super Ghouls ‘n Goblins Wait what? I was not expecting this game to be on here. I can think of several other SNES games that deserve a slot here.

Super Mario Kart I don’t care for this Mario Kart, but it did effectively invent a new subgenre, so it has to be here.

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars A fun RPG, but again, I can easily think of other SNES RPGs that I’d rather have here.

Super Mario World I’m not even a huge platformer fan, and I love this game. One of the best SNES games.

Super Metroid The best game on this list. Deserves to be on here twice (replacing Super Ghouls ‘n Goblins) as far as I’m concerned.

Super Punch-Out!! Not as good as the NES game(s), but still good.

Yoshi’s Island (Super Mario World 2)  A charming platformer that is almost unbearable to play thanks to baby Mario’s crying.

VA-11 HALL-A Update

Still no news on when VA-11 HALL-A is coming to the Vita.

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What’s On The Plate

I’m gonna keep on going through the Metroid Prime games and maybe revisit some of the 2D ones. I’ll also be giving Homeworld Emergence‘s campaign a shot.

Also, I try not to get too into my personal life on here, but someone special recently entered my life and I’ll be spending a lot of time with them in the coming days. As a treat, I’ll show you who it is.

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I’m so happy to introduce you guys to the Bloodborne Official Artworks. I’ve been waiting for this book to exist and be available in English since I first played the game and now I get to spend every waking moment with it. All jokes aside I hope you have a great week and thanks for reading.

My Twitter, for all your lazy video game tweeting needs: https://twitter.com/
Header image source: wallpapercave.com/wp/Mrz9dws.jpg
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