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Friday, August 6, 2010

Nintendo's First Party Price Points

When games first launch, they are always $50-$60. Most games, however, go down in price and value over time. Not Nintendo first party releases!

I was just in Wal Mart the other day, and I saw Super Mario Galaxy 2 for the Wii at $50, as it just came out. Next to it on the shelf was Super Mario Galaxy. Now, I owned Galaxy at once point, but I got rid of it, though I wish I hadn't. So I'm thinking "Cool, it's been out a couple of years, and now that the sequels out, surely the price has dropped. Maybe I can pick it up again at a fraction of the cost."

That was what I THOUGHT until I looked at the price tag. It is still $50. This game was released November 12, 2007. it has almost been 3 years and it still costs the exact same amount as it did on launch day. I think it's kind of ridiculous.

Super Paper Mario, released April 9, 2007 costs $40 used at GameStop. I haven't seen it new anywhere recently, but my guess based upon that is that it is also still $50 despite it's age.

I am fully aware that Nintendo is not the only company guilty of this. For example, Halo 3 still cost's about $50, but at least that has come down $10 from $60 at launch.

Worse even than this is that Mario kart: Double Dash!! for the Gamecube is still $30 used. Don't get me wrong, it is an excellent game well worth $30 as far as fun and greatness go, but it is still an old game for a system whose life span is now over.

As a hardcore gamer, I am always going to wind up buying that "next big release". If I don't get it when it launches, I'll get it later. In most cases, that saves me a bit of money, but it seems that with certain titles, I may as well just go ahead and empty my wallet, because they aren't coming down any time soon.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Link of the Week (heads up)

Starting sunday I will begin a link of the week.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask review (N64)

I woke up this morning, tired, sluggish, worn out from last night's work. I stretched my sore, stiffened limbs and sat up in my bed, placing my feet on the cold floor. There was a strange air about today, but I couldn't quite place what it was. Until I stepped outside, of course. The moon was hovering just above me, and to top it all off, it had a face. An angry, menacing, villainous face. I overheard some people talking around town here and there. Word is, the moon is going to crash into us in three days. Termina will be destroyed. My home, my family, my will all be nothing in just 72 hours.
                                          "I will consume...consume everything..." - THE MOON

The above paragraph is about what I think I would feel if I had been living in the world of Termina during the events of Majora's Mask. It has been called the darkest game in the series. It is strange, and very obscure compared to the rest of the series. I even know people who describe it as creepy. This may not sound like such a positive thing, but it's just one of the reasons why I love it.

I've already described one key element of the story in my opening, the moon. Link was traveling through the woods on his way to visit an old friend, when he is suddenly jumped by a skull kid wearing a strange mask.The skull kid is accompanied by two fairies named Tatl and Tael, as well. after finding Link's ocarina in his pocket, and playing around with it, Link comes to his senses. Upon realizing this, the skull kid makes a quick escape by hopping onto Epona, escaping Link on his own steed. After chasing him down, Link is cursed, and turned into a Deku shrub. Tatl, abandoned by her friends, decides to accompany him. After travesing an underground labyrinth Link finds himself in a strange room full of gears, and meets the Happy Mask Salesman, who informs him that the skull kid is wearing a cursed mask that was stolen from him. If it cannot be returned within 72 hours, the world of Termina will be destroyed. Finally finding the skull kid, Link manages to retrieve his ocarina, but not the mask. He remembers learning The Song of Time from Zelda in Hyrule. By playing this, Link returns to day 1, and goes to the salesman. The salesman teaches Link The Song of Healing, returning him to his normal form. However, he becomes angered that Link has not retrieved the mask(how come the time change didn't affect his memory?). Link is sent out again to return the cursed mask to it's rightful owner.
                  You've met with a sad fate, haven't you?" - THE HAPPY MASK SALESMAN
uite a dark tale for a Zelda game. This time, it isn't a princess that is in danger, and the land isn't going to be receiving an evil new ruler. This time, the danger is much more lethal. The world will end, and everyone withing it will surely die. that is unless Link, a small boy, can save it.

This game makes great use of the N64 expansion pack. The draw distance in greatly improved from the last entry, and character models are more detailed. You'll also notice a few small differences in lighting effects, texture quality, and even more fluid character movements. Sound quality is also improved, albeit a minor difference.

The game takes place in the land of Termina, a parallel universe of Hyrule. in fact, many characters return. Koume and Kotake were bosses in the last entry, and surrogate mother's to Gannon. In Majora's Mask they return as peaceful old witches that help Link on his journey.
The quest is standard Zelda fare. You complete dungeons, ebat bosses, and then move on. however, MM is chock full of all sorts of side quests. As Link progresses in his quest, he gains more masks. In the world of Termina, masks are very special. They can hold magic power, people's essences and even a part of their souls.

There are many masks to acquire throughout the game, and most are gotten through side quests. Some are necessary, and some are only necessary for other side quests. So, if you've already trumped the final boss, what would possibly make you want to keep playing the file? Getting all the masks, of course! MM is one of the only games that I have ever actually been compelled to complete 100%, as I almost felt it was an obligation. In getting a mask, you usually perform a deed that helps someone else in some way or another. I felt that if I did not have all the masks, all was not well in Termina.

Majora's Mask is a very emotional game. You began to care for the world of Termina and it's inhabitants. To think that if Link were to fail his quest, everything would be annihilated is tragic.

Majora's Mask has many themes. Throughout the game, Link helps numerous people in various ways. A promise is fulfilled. A man is saved by a curse brought upon him by his own foolishness. These are only two examples of the outcome of some of the events in MM. Selflessness. Sacrifice. Love. Hope. Honesty. Salvation. These are the themes of Majora's Mask. Link, a small boy from a totally different world, risked his very life to save a land he did not know. He got his ocarina back, and was made human again. at this point, he could have stabbed the salesman, went back to Hyrule and just forgot about the whole thing. Instead, he went out of his way to help the people of Termina.

The quote I used in my byline is from a character named Igos Du Ikana, the former king of the Ikana kingdom. It's rare that you see such true words in a game. There is much debate over rather games should be considered art. The simple answer is that some are and some are not. In order for something to be art, it must move you, or stir your emotions in some way. Majora's Mask moved me in a way no game has since.

                                                    +Great use of the expansion pack
                                                    +Awesome story
                                                    +Lots of philosophical undertones
                                                    +Same excellent controls as Ocarina of Time
                                                    +Amazing sound track
                                                    +Tons of side quests to keep you busy

                                                    -Not enough people truly appreciate it