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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Currently Playing #18

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS)

As a huge fan of the original Luigi's Mansion, I had great anticipation for Dark Moon. I've only played a few hours, but I've been loving what I've been seeing.

I was a bit worried about how Dark Moon's controls would handle. The first Luigi's Mansion used both analog sticks and the 3DS only has a single thumb pad and I have no intention of investing in that ridiculous Circle Pad Pro add on. Luckily Dark Moon controls just as smooth as the first game even with a single thumb pad. Moving Luigi around, catching ghosts, aiming the flash light and Poltergust 5000 is easy as pie.

I'm still on the first mansion, Gloomy Manor, but I really do love exploring each room I walk into. I check everything I can and I love how the game rewards your curiosity with hidden passages and gold. I find that searching every nook and cranny is just as satisfying as sucking up those bothersome ghosts.

Speaking of the ghouls, some of these guys are pretty clever. A few of the Greenie ghosts used pots and pans as weapons and to shield them from the shine of my flash light to keep from getting caught. Once their guard was down, I was able to shine the light on them, stun them and vacuum them up. Makes me wonder what the other ghosts are going to be like later down the road.

Luigi is just as cowardly and lovable in Dark Moon as he was in the original game, perhaps even more so. He hums and whistles to the excellent background music, calls out hello in a nervous voice when you press the directional pad and he walks through a room filled with ghosts with the teeth chattering courage.

F-Zero X (N64)

Recently, I downloaded this off the Wii's Virtual Console service. It's been more than 10 years since I've played this N64 racer. When I bought it back in 1999, I only had to part with $30. A digital version on the Virtual Console only set me back 1000 Wii points, or $10. I thought F-Zero X was a steal for $30 in 1999 and it's a steal today for $10.

Playing F-Zero X reminds me of my high school days. Blasting around insane courses against 29 other racers, going up against friends in split screen multiplayer, and killing other racers in Death Race, all at a smooth 60 frames per second. It still blows my mind that this game achieved such a feat. Keeping a consistent frame rate may not seem like that big a deal today but in 1998, this was very impressive stuff, especially on the N64, which is a cartridge based system.

My N64 cart version of F-Zero X has everything unlocked thanks to the cheat that unlocked everything. What can I say, I was quite the impatient fellow back then (still am in some ways) but it was nice to get easy access to the Joker and X Cup, the later of which generates randomized courses. This time, I'm seeing how far I can go unlocking things on my own.

Thus far I've beaten the first three cups on Standard, the lowest difficulty. Even a few narrow roads, sharp turns and big jumps didn't keep me from taking first place. Playing on Novice as Captain Falcon or any of the six default racers is pretty challenging. You have to fight to reach and keep first place the entire time. I was going through the Jack Cup as Captain Falcon and I was in danger of losing the cup to Mr. EAD. Mr. EAD has crappy stats but he managed to take first from me twice. One more loss to him would mean all my efforts would be for naught. So on Port Town, I decided it was time to start killing other racers and Mr. EAD was on my hit list. I couldn't remember what his machine looked like, so I just started going nuts with the spin attack and fortunately, I took him out.

Playing as Baba on Standard, one of the six racers I unlocked from clearing all the cups on Novice, the Queen Cup was a lot easier, probably due to Baba's superior speed over the initial six racers. Much as I like Falcon and Octoman, I have a much harder time on any Standard racing so I'll be going with Baba and other faster cars from here on out.

Still Playing: Animal Crossing: New Leaf

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