Get hyped -- and jolly -- for the Big N's holiday library! It's Season's Wii-tings time! Basically!

December 15, 2014

Season’s Wii-tings II: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Previously on Cross-Up…

“Sometimes I wonder if I’m a hypocrite.  And then I remember that I am, so I go about my business.  But then I remember that I brought up that point for the sake of a blog post, so I guess I’d better go into detail.”

Okay.  So in the last post, I mentioned that I tend to have a bad reaction whenever the Game Grumps go back to the NES/SNES well -- playing 2D platformers and such on an extremely regular basis.  It’s true that they can get a lot out of them comedy-wise that I appreciate, but then I remember how much fun it was for me (and the Grumps, I bet) for Dan to experience Shadow of the Colossus for the first time.  I suppose there’s always Steam Train -- or failing that, the Best Friends Zaibatsu -- to offer up something fresh, but it still leaves me wary.

Except when they play something like Donkey Kong Country Returns: Tropical Freeze.  I wanted to stand up and cheer when they started a playthrough on that…which is ass-backwards, considering that it’s pretty much just a 2D platformer that just happens to look amazing.  So that pretty much means I’m a hypocrite, right?  Like, I just want the Grumps to play the games I like, and what I want to see?  That’s the impression I’m getting, unfair as it may be to some of the funniest guys online.

In my defense?  There’s a reason why I want them, and everyone, to play Tropical Freeze.

December 11, 2014

D.O.X. is Dead #8: Avatars and Magic

Let me tell you a little secret: I don’t always know the difference between a good idea and a bad one.

This blog may make me look like a smart guy who has all the answers [citation needed], but that’s hardly true of me.  Just think about it: would a guy who has all the answers feel the need to completely invalidate years of work on a hunch bred from second-guesses and crippling insecurities?  Common knowledge suggests not.  So let it be known that I’m no ace.  I stumble just like everyone else -- maybe more than average.  And I’m hoping that even if I become some writing tour de force, I won’t become so blinded by power that I’ll reject all criticism.  (Consider that a license to punch me in the stomach for anyone who one day sees me as no better than Michael Bay.)

I want to do my best -- and more -- for the sake of others.  I want my stories to entertain people, and make them happy.  And I want to be good enough to make that happen.

Which begs the question: why do I keep doing dumb things?

December 8, 2014

Season's Wii-tings II: Shovel Knight

Sometimes I wonder if I’m a hypocrite.  And then I remember that I am, so I go about my business.  But then I remember that I brought up that point for the sake of a blog post, so I guess I’d better go into detail.

Like a lot of people, I’m a fan of the Game Grumps.  Whether it’s the original Jon era or the current one with Arin and Dan, it’s still a series I tune into routinely.  Sure, not every second of every video is a laugh riot, and their regular stumbling blocks are problematic (I’m surprised I lived through their Wind Waker playthrough, given how long it took them to leave the first damn island), but on average?  Team Grump is pretty good. 

Still, I have to make a confession.  Whenever the two of them decide to play through an old-school NES/SNES game -- platformers, typically -- my heart ends up sinking.  I mean, Team Grump has access to a monstrous library of games, both from fan contributions and a museum-sized collection.  Out of all the choices available, why opt for something like Super Adventure Island?  And why do that as a months-later follow-up to a game like Shovel Knight, the premiere love letter to old-school games?

Crap, did I just give away my opinion on Shovel Knight?  Great.  Now why would anyone want to read this post?  I might as well just post pictures of cats or something.

December 4, 2014

D.O.X. is Dead #7: Scope and Heart

These three things happened last time on D.O.X. is Dead!  (With the proper music, of course.)

Firstly, two dangerously-deadly rival characters are revealed -- the rough-necked punk, Coil, and the bruising beauty, Kath! 

Secondly, the story’s revamped concepts take the stage, with the idea of power discussed furiously at length!

And thirdly, two MORE characters of the core cast of eight make their debut -- the king of normalcy, Johnny, and the queen-sized wallflower Maddie!

And that’s about it for the recap.  So let’s get into the post proper.  First things first, though:

Count the words!  The number of words appearing in this post is…!

Man, Kamen Rider OOO is just too good.  I seriously need to do a post on it one day.

December 1, 2014

Season's Wii-tings II: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

I have to be honest: I don’t really care for the title.

I get it, of course.  There’s a Smash game out for the Wii U, and there’s a Smash game out for the 3DS.  How do you set them apart?  Say as much in the title!  But man, isn’t that name such a downgrade?  We had Melee, and then we had Brawl, and now we get…for Wii U?  Why not Showdown?  Or Riot?  Or -- well, I guess those are all the good ones.  But the point stands.

That’s pretty much all I’ve got in terms of complaints.  I could nitpick, I guess -- and I probably will -- but other than that?  Look, I seriously don’t think I need to tell anyone reading this that this is a good game.  If you have it, you know that already.  If you don’t have it, then you’ve probably heard as much by this point -- and I’d argue that you should buy it, especially if you have a Wii U. Generally speaking, just going over some of the ins and outs of the game would make this post completely pointless.

So let’s do something different.  Let’s start with a question: why this game?

November 28, 2014

The Smash Diaries (Day 5)

So I decided to check the Smash Bros. wiki to see if there were any nuances I missed in the new game -- you know, to try and make some of those intangibles more tangible.  I already knew about the Tekken-style rage effect built in (get hit a lot, do more damage), but the wiki suggests that not only is there increased knockback, but also the inability to act out of hitstun.  It seems like a minor thing -- and it is, because not every player even knows what hitstun is -- but that nuance does mean something in the long run, especially for those who care immensely about the under-the-hood mechanics.   Among other things.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that whether you’re aware of the changes or not (or if I am, in all fairness), Smash 4 feels more…well, I don’t want to use this word exactly, but since I can’t think of a better fit, let’s go ahead and use “legit”.  I don’t know if this game will replace Melee as the EVO standard, if it’ll be able to exist simultaneously, or if it’ll just be cast aside by the old guard.  But I think it’s at least capable of making it there, and being welcomed by the fighting game community. 

Which brings me to the point of the day: Nintendo’s master plan.  Or my vision of it, at least.

November 27, 2014

The Smash Diaries (Day 4)

Before I get started, there’s one thing I have to mention: I’ve been playing this game exclusively with the Wii Classic Controller Pro (the one that came with Monster Hunter Tri).  As I’ve established by now, I don’t have any problems with the Wii U GamePad; the issue is that playing Smash 4 means completely un-learning how to play with a GameCube controller.  This has been…an issue on a consistent basis.  I need to get used to the new controller, but it’s the closest facsimile to the GC pad I’ve got right now.

So yeah, no commentary on how the GamePad figures in this time around.  So let’s put our focus back on the game -- though before we do that?  Let’s have a moment of silence for my brother’s GC pad.  After years of smashing, it finally gave out on him. 

Just as well, though.  It had a lot of exposed wires.

November 26, 2014

The Smash Diaries (Day 3)

On his way out one night, a friend of mine jokingly said that PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale is pretty much dead to us now.  I don’t want to say that he’s right…but yeah, he’s right.  The only reason to ever touch Sony’s mascot fighter again is if every copy of Smash 4 and every Wii U spontaneously exploded.  And I’m sorry to say it, but I just don’t see that happening.

All right.  So let’s dive right back in, shall we?

November 25, 2014

The Smash Diaries (Day 2)

Is it redundant for me to talk about the mechanics of a game when there’s been a version of it out for nearly two months before this point?  Yes, of course.  But let’s go ahead and do it anyway, because…uh…holiday filler?