The 'Shroom:Issue LXXV/Critic Corner
Can't talk, hyperventilating from school stress. All you kids don't know shit about stress, let me tell you that much. OK so special issue is among us, and we have the special treat of nothing for critic corner! Oh well I guess we have some cool pretty Pokémon stuff, if you really care that much about it. Could've done with a Steelix or two, but oh well (P.S. Jasmine is still the best gym leader). YoshiMonsta (talk) is going bi-monthly, and I'm retiring Dippy's Matilda completely because of school and work stresses, so that's pretty much all the news there is.
Anyway, I have a test to study for, so entertain yourself for an hour or so here, I'm not your monkey that can be wheeled out to dance and throw fruit on demand. Yet, I'm working on it.
May Section of the Month
Yoshi K won with What Could Have Happened If…, winning with 8 votes. Pyro (talk) got second runner-up with Hottest Reviews Around, earning 7 votes, and YoshiMonsta (talk) snuck in third with 4 votes for Entertainment Section. Happy days! Now go away, studying.
Non-Mario Game Reviews
Dippy puts on his gas mask to explore the wasteland of Metro: Last Light.
Crocodile Style Reviews
Honestly, if I was Russian or Arab I'd be a little anxious about ever visiting E3 knowing what the gaming press seems to think of me. If you're an avid shooter fan, I want you to make a rough estimate of how many Russians you've brutally massacred throughout the course of your life. Once you've made that estimation and have failsafes ready to hide that information away from anyone you know of Slavic origin, think about all the times in those games when you weren't a grizzled white man born with a rare genetic disorder that left him with no body or face, and perhaps you may find one good reason shooters are gradually becoming the bottomless pit of loathsome conservative power fantasies circa the fucking Reagan years.
But a little subversion of this has been Metro 2033 which instead of having a white American or British asshole gunning down plantations of Russians, instead featured a Russian man doing the honours instead. If you've not kept up, Metro 2033 was a wonderfully written game with a creative premise that did wonders for shifting video game focus away from American idealisms, which may be somewhat cheating given it was based on a professional novel and was written by the original author himself. It was also a horribly broken game that was difficult in the same way sideways rolling away from a tidal wave is difficult, that I was completely unable to finish due to a loss of patience and living room windows. So what can I say now about the bigger budget sequel, Metro: Last Light? I think I can say I really enjoyed it, and that's usually a positive step in the right direction in my mind. I can also say it's the very first R18+ game I've had a chance to purchase since that rating was introduced for video games in Australia at the start of this year. Although given that's only because of the game's downright disturbing and unwelcome obsession with rape of women as a form of dramatic tension, it certainly doesn't hold that rating for the right reasons, and that's Dippy's socio-political tidbit for the day, hope you all enjoyed!
OK so uhh bad start, but maybe a recap; Metro 2033 was set in a nuclear post-apocalypse in which the last remaining human survivors reside in the Moscow Metro which is still habitable by virtue of fuck you, and ideological wars between the Nazi and Communist parties, as well as the threat of mutants and a mysterious race called “The Dark Ones”. accentuate how much everything has turned to shit. The story here is still written by Dmitry Glukhovsky, with Last Light taking place not long after the events of the first game in which protagonist and selective mute Artyom nuked all the Dark Ones before realising that they were actually good guys and he's effectively doomed mankind. And you thought you've had bad days at work. But now a young Dark One has been found, so Artyom is sent to kill it, capture it, or turn it into a Neopet, depending on whose side of the story you choose to listen to.
The gameplay has seen a bit of an improvement since the last instalment, maintaining the idea of small, Call of Duty-esque corridor levels but with more variety in the methods of approach. It's nothing necessarily to mark the calendar for, but Last Light does acknowledge that stealth in the first game is like walking through a den of tigers with flip flops on and uses its extra green in the pockets to create a whole lot of black, by which I mean shadows to hide in. It's so much easier to tell when you're actually hidden, complemented by Artyom's watch displaying visibility and the QUITE NOTICEABLE THANK YOU VERY MUCH string progression clueing you in on enemy suspicion, and it's nice that every enemy doesn't suddenly realise you exist the first moment they spot a loose strand of hair peeking over the table. There's even an achievement granted for going the entire game without killing a single person, barring mutants and the final boss, not that I got it since when things seemed a bit too hairy to stealth it I just always resorted to my little pistol masquerading as its far more viral but noisy big sniping brother.
Speaking of which, the weapons system in this game is an absolute bewdy to behold, especially since it grants a – wait for it - three-weapon limit instead of two! Aw shit guys, we're daring to step where no man has ever stepped before now! Actually the three weapons are pretty much all that are needed, since there are five types of firearms you can obtain (plus explosives and throwing knives if you're an arty farty assassin) and it's easy to mould these with upgrades and attachments to suit any requirement you need. My preferred loadout was shotgun, mid-range assault rifle, and a silenced long-distance revolver because I play enough of Sniper in Team Fortress 2, and I was always fond of the night scope until I found the night vision goggles which kind of fucked that plan up. My preference towards stealth-oriented weaponry did kind of come back to haunt me during the game's fairly rare boss fights, which are primarily against giant mutants or the rather dull waves of mook enemies that only twats resort to so they can knock off for lunch sooner, which made the final boss against the communists a little underwhelming when giant lizard griffins and discoloured Genesect things are bloody well known to be casually roaming around the streets above.
Navigation through the less sustained areas of the Metro require frequent visits to the surface of Moscow, which no longer feels particularly friendly to humans anymore ever since they dropped a few nuclear missiles behind the kitchen fridge and just left them there to rot. Surprise surprise, the surface is toxic and Artyom has to constantly wear a gas mask with clean air filters less he suffer a mild case of asphyxiation, or more bluntly, death. Even though his watch does keep track of how much air is left in each filter, it can be tremendously easy to get lost in the combat, atmosphere, or dialogue to forget you need a new dose of oxygen, and sometimes it can be tense when you've used them all up and desperately need to scramble around for more filters or steal a functional gas mask off some poor sod's corpse, which isn't looting because my bullets legitimately count as payment. No, really.
In the wonderful world of Metro, military grade ammunition is considered the only form of currency anymore, and I really can't overstate how much I adore that concept. For one, it's a step above something boring like standard 'money' or 'coins', and not stupid like 'munny', and it makes sense that in a war-torn world that money would no longer be useful, and so ammunition made with all the finest materials before the world herniated in on itself would be far more invaluable. It also causes a dilemma for the player of either holding on to vintage clips or using them as ammunition in the event the commos go Bolshevik on your ass, although I never used them because I'm a cowardly little nugget.
The single-player campaign is actually quite a hefty package, being at least twice as long as any Call of Duty or Medal of Honor campaign even if you're playing it fast. The pacing is such that many segments of the game feature Artyom just walking around battered scenery while characters engage in contemplative discourse or he has a schizophrenic flashback of the days when Moscow was only marginally less dreary. The characters are a bit underdeveloped for my liking, but no one could accuse them of being unbelievable; whether they're story-related characters or just NPCs you pass by in small towns and settlements, every character behaves like a normal person would and it all adds up to this feeling of a world where people are trying to just get by in life and ignore that things will never be the way they were. Just a shame it sits into a pool of magical clairvoyance batshit towards the end, and that is almost completely literal, I am completely serious.
But hey, you tell your dog off for shitting on the carpet because you love them, and in the same way I can say Metro: Last Light is certainly a game I've found myself quite loving. Perhaps it's just that I'm exhausted with the homogenisation of shooters so much that I'm happy to see one that basically turns the tables on the Cold War conspiracy theorists dominating the industry and shows Russians as, *GASP*, humans with complex emotions and beliefs! It isn't the most tremendously revolutionary game on the market, but its atmosphere, story, and pacing is a grand selling point in and of itself, and I'd highly recommend Metro: Last Light to any explorative shooter fans out there. Oh yeah, and maybe read the books as well if you're into that sort of thing. You nerd.
Well, let’s ignore any formal introductions and this time and get right onto the game. In honor of Pokémon month, and keeping up with the theme of hunting monsters (and because Pokémon X/Y comes out in a few months), I’m reviewing the latest in Capcom’s mega incredibly popular Monster Hunter franchise: Monster Hunter Tri Ultimate for the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U. Since I don’t have a Wii U yet, I'm going to review the 3DS version, just so you know, and since it's a rather simple (but addicting) game. here's a simple review.
For once I don’t really have to describe the game in what essentially ends up being my whole review. In this game you hunt monsters, gather resources, most of the time by skinning the dead monsters, and then use those resources to craft weapons and armor and kill even larger monsters. You can also join up to 4 people in order to hunt monsters, so there’s the social aspect of the game.
And here’s where my experience comes in, as narrated by my Dual Swords character:
Day 2 – After some useless jobs involving catching bugs and hunting herbivores, I finally saw it. The Lagiacrus. The monster that’s been causing all the trouble. And I’m ashamed to say I totally crapped my pants. My weapons, and my super devil mode, both did jack against its armor. The only thing I could do was finish the Quest I was involved in quickly and hope the Felynes got me out of the island quickly. Knowing that, I’ve never killed anything faster in my life than those poor herbivores. But now I have one goal, and that is defeating that monster, and I’m more motivated than ever.
Day 5 – Dear diary, today I face my first big monster, a more deadly version of the monsters I’ve been hunting for the past days, as I already told you, called the Giant Jaggi. I must admit, I didn’t expect such a challenge out of the guy, but after some 40 minutes of battling like men I came out victorious and robbed him of his precious body parts. This keeps getting better each day!
Day 6 – Today I met with a fellow Hunter, we went to hunt a monster whose name I hadn’t heard: a Barroth. We met him in the desert, where I must admit I was so paralyzed with fear against this giant dragon-like beast that I completely forgot how to move sometimes. We failed in killing him, something I could only confess to you Diary, but at least we robbed him of his tail. I do have to wonder why the Guild has a 3-KO limit for quests though, it’s kind of weird.
Day 10 – Remember how I told you that Great Jaggi was such a problem? Well, today the Armor crafter told me that if I brought enough Great Jaggi body parts, he could make me an armor set, along with new blades and I did kind of need more powerful equipment if I ever faced off against the Lagiacrus again. So I went and hunted like 10 of those things, and made myself the things I just described. I got to tell you, Ms. Diary, having all that hard work pay off really felt great, and has just added a new layer into the whole “why hunt monsters” thing, apart from it being fun.
Day 20 – Diary, using the Jaggi blades I killed a Barroth all by myself! I really don’t know what else to say, but I’m really proud of myself. :D
Day 25 – Diary, I’m afraid I can’t really write for you anymore, at risk of my new partner Cha-Cha finding you and laughing at me. Just know that I faced against the Lagicrus this morning and I managed to scare him off! I would’ve preferred going for the kill right there, but the Guild didn’t allow for that right now. At least you can die happy now, knowing your precious Hunter is really strong now, and has fought against really impressive monsters.
So, to conclude my mini-review, I really like hunting monsters and really recommend you give it a try, cuz there’s nothing like getting those blades made from giant sea-lions bathed in the blood of a giant dragon.
Hottest Reviews Around
This section was written and submitted on June 8th, 2013, prior to Nintendo's E3 announcement.
Hello again, everyone, and welcome to my unfunny reviews. I must abide by the themes or I feel dirty, so this month I'm reviewing Pokémon X and Y Versions.
Huh? What do you mean, it hasn't come out yet? So you're prohibiting me from time travelling? Oh, whatever - this section is just my first impressions on the game. I do have a copy of the game secured, though.
Well, as most of you know, the next generation of Pokémon has been announced. Coming with it are a slew of fucking more Pokémon that are going to make the job of "catching them all"...Uh. I'm sorry, the English language lacks a word to describe how ridiculously tedious it will be. However, I still love the series as a whole, even if the ultimate goal of the protagonist has been dropped since Crystal.
This generation was a bit unusual as the starters were revealed first, as strange as that sounds. The past few generations have had random irrelevant Pokémons revealed first. However, I took interest to these starters. My initial reactions to them were the following:
Chespin: Fuck all!
Froakie: Looks nice, but not my favorite Water-type. I'll keep an eye on it.
Fennekin: OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDDDDDD
So, it might have been hard to tell, but I love Fennekin. It's got that snarky little look on its face, and it basically is a better version of Vulpix, an already pretty good Pokémon in terms of concept and looks. I'm certainly picking Fennekin as my starter. The other two Pokémon revealed were mysterious legendaries, later revealed to be the mascots. Xerneas is a grass-deer thing that looks like Sawsbuck was bestowed the powers of a god, and Yveltal...I feel neutral about. I am choosing X, by the way. I personally see more in Xerneas than Yveltal, but I can tell they'll both likely have awesome type combinations.
The other thing in the reveal was confirmation for the return of some older Mons, along with some new areas. I've seen many people say that this region looks like it takes inspiration from Europe, particularly France. It's been confirmed the center of the region is a place called Lumiose City, with the centerpiece being a big Eiffel Tower copy.
After observing the new region, the Kalos region, I can see a lot of French influences. The western peninsula reminds me of the one in France, and the southern mountains remind me of the Pyrenees. Also the traditional ice area, which ironically I think is usually the best area in a Pokémon game. I loved Snowpoint City, I loved Twist Mountain, I expect to love whatever that place in the ice area is.
Enough about the region and what was revealed first, let's talk about the most fucking elusive, dickish bastard in the Pokémon world - Sylveon. A new Eeveelution that particularly looks very good, but the little troll move they pulled is that they didn't tell us what type it was. Mass speculation occurred. I mean, mass speculation. It still goes on, as they still haven't revealed the type. Look up Sylveon on Bulbapedia if you want to see it - I'm keeping myself to two pictures per review and I want the second to be a screenshot. This little...thing has been massively speculated to be a new type, which I feel is the most retarded thing on earth. When was the last time a new type was introduced? The second generation (if you're curious and don't know they were the Dark and Steel-types). I highly doubt Game Freak would add an eighteenth type to the mix, because I'm quite content with the current elemental system we have right now. Other people have speculated that it's a bug type, which really aggravates a MarioWiki resident Eevee fan that shall go unnamed for no real reason. Personally, I think it's a flying-type because of its fur color and...scarf-like things. I have no idea.
Later, there were more Pokémon revealed - Pancham, Fletchling, Gogoat, and Helioptile. Pancham is a Fighting-type panda that looks pretty cute but "rough and tough". Fletchling looks like the terrible in states generic "earlygame bird". Gogoat is some dumb goat thing that has no appeal to me, but you can ride him around in certain locations for some reason. Finally, Helioptile is some strange electric lizard thing and I have no idea anymore. Pancham is the one I'll likely pick up because "tough Fighting-types" like Conkeldurr and Lucario appeal to me.
A perk of these games is that they're being released in Japan, North America, Europe and Australia all at the same time. Meanwhile, South Korea doesn't get any release date, oddly. I like this so everyone that doesn't live in Japan has to stare at videos of the Japanese version with all kinds of garbage text, at least to the English speakers.
So, to put it in short, Generation VI looks promising. I've barely scratched the surface of the entire generation, and Bulbapedia's got more than I can ever spit out in one section. I see this generation as a good gen to bring in new fans of the series, as it's been confirmed to house new and old Pokémon in harmony unlike what Gen V started out as. See you guys next time.
(by the way credit to whoever made that Sylveon sprite, I didn't make it)
NSM's Review Corner
Hey guys, it's NSM! Now, I didn’t really have a lot of time for a full review this month, so instead I’ll be doing the Top 7 characters I want to see in Super Smash Bros. 4 along with reasons. Now keep in mind this was written before the Nintendo Direct, so some of my characters or wants might be rejected or whatever. Anyway, with that being said, let’s get started. I'll start with my least favorite out of the seven, and lead up to the one character I want the most.
The first character I would like to see in the game is Shulk, from Xenoblade Chronicles. Now, I haven’t played Xenoblade Chronicles, but I plan to pick the game up later this year. From the footage I’ve seen, Shulk is unique enough for another sword fighter, and he would also represent a new Nintendo series.
The second character I would like to see is Palutena, from the Kid Icarus series. If you never picked up Kid Icarus: Uprising, you really should since it was a great game. Especially if you’re one of the people yelling at me saying she would have no potential as a fighter character. Her role as a goddess of light has huge potential for light and magic based moves. While I won’t be heartbroken if Palutena doesn’t make it in the game, I think she would make a rather unique addition to the roster.
The third character I would like to see is Waddle Dee, taking his appearance from Kirby’s Return to Dreamland. Waddle Dee would wield a spear, which I think would be pretty cool since it would be a new fighting style unlike swords. He could use the spear to create a variety of agile attacks, and I could even see him using it to fly for a bit. I’m not sure if the Kirby series needs four representatives though, so this one might be a little unlikely depending on the amount of characters are put in the game.
The fourth character I would like to see is Ridley. If you’re one of those people who say he couldn’t work because he’s so big, just shut up. Bowser, for example, has been huge in some of the Mario games. Plus, in one of the Metroid games, Ridley was only a bit bigger than Samus, so I think resizing Ridley wouldn’t be a problem. Now, I’ve only played the original Metroid and Metroid Fusion, but from what people tell me, Ridley could have an awesome moveset.
The fifth character I would like to see is Toad. I understand lots of people want Bowser Jr. in the series, which would be cool too, but I think Toad deserves it more. Toad is probably one of the only really important characters to the series that hasn’t made a playable appearance in Smash. Toad has plenty of stuff to go by from his appearances in games like Super Mario Bros. 2 and the New Super Mario Bros. games. I know someone posted an awesome moveset idea for Toad on the forums a year or so ago, but I couldn’t find it to show you guys. If your argument is saying that Toad can’t be playable because he is Peach’s move is just pathetic, because Peach’s Toad move can easily be replaced with something new or with Toadsworth instead.
The sixth character I would like to see is Chrom, from Fire Emblem: Awakening. First of all, if you haven’t played a Fire Emblem game, pick up this one because it’s amazing. Anyway, Chrom would be totally awesome in this game. I think Chrom could make a good addition as a sword user, and could easily be made a moveset. Now I know some people think Lyn should be in, or Hector because he is an axe user, or stuff like that, but I don’t think those make any sense because those characters aren’t even relevant to the series anymore. Chrom is the newest character in the series, and should be put in the roster along with Ike, who represents Fire Emblem gaming in America, and Marth, who represents Fire Emblem gaming in Japan.
The final character I want to see is Ghirahim. Ghirahim is just awesome. He is a fan favorite, and would make a perfect addition to the Zelda representatives. He also represents the original Zelda villain you could say, according to the timeline. His moveset potential is huge too, and he would make a totally unique swordfighter and magic fighter. If you’ve played The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword you could easily see the potential.
So, that wraps it up for my Top 7 characters. We’ll see if they announce any of them at the E3 Direct. PM me, NSM, on the forums too, whether you want to complain about my choices, argue, agree, or whatever. Thanks! Oh, and there will be a review for Animal Crossing: New Leaf next month!