Operation Backlog Completion 2017

Aug 312015
 

After my original Tales of Symphonia cosplay pictures, I promised I’d redo my Martel cosplay without the mistake pointed out to me by a helpful fan. Let’s not go into details, but instead enjoy round two of my Tales of Symphonia Martel cosplay!

Martel cosplay indoors

I didn’t have a convenient chapel to take pictures in, so instead I went outside.

Serious Martel

As before, the costume was made by Ajie Nugroho at Cosplay1. The wig came from Amazon, and I visited a local salon to get the bangs trimmed.

Is Martel awake yet?

Is Martel awake yet?

In the end, I opted for a more serious Martel, even though my original cosplay pictures were happy and smiling. I did manage one smiling Martel indoors.

Martel cosplay 2

My outdoor attempts at smiling resulted in something closer to a sinister smirk.

Martel cosplay smirk

Implied Symphonia spoiler

I hope you enjoyed my new cosplay pictures! I certainly had fun dressing up again. Check out Cosplay1 to get a costume like this, and let me know in the comments if you think I make a good Martel.

And if you don’t know who Martel is, you should play Tales of Symphonia. You won’t regret it.

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Aug 282015
 

Nostalgia-Two-Worlds-One-SoulAs an Ace Attorney fan, I’m always interested in games inspired by the series.

Nostalgia: Two Worlds | One Soul is an upcoming visual novel with gameplay similar to that in the Ace Attorney and the Zero Escape series, with RPG elements. Its developer, MagnaStudios, also names Mother, Snatcher, Blade Runner, and Brave New World as inspirations.

It is set in a cyperpunk world. The main character is 22-year-old Alice. She was one of 15 children captured for Project Nostalgia, an experiment designed to see if children could contact their alter-egos in other worlds. Project Nostalgia failed, and Alice was released along with the other test subjects.

The story is meant to be dark and mature, with genuine twists and choices that affect the outcome. MagnaStudios also aims to avoid cliches. Gameplay includes visual novel segments, puzzle rooms to escape, and RPG-style battles at key points in the game.

Nostalgia-battle

On the website, you can find details about the game, character profiles, and a sample of music. Updates are also posted on the developer’s blog.

Nostalgia is planned for the PC and Wii U. Seems like one to keep an eye on. Share your thoughts and impressions in the comments below.

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Aug 262015
 

Captain-Toad-Treasure-Tracker-caseCaptain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a good game. It’s just not a great game.

I was excited for Captain Toad ever since E3 2014. The Captain Toad levels were my favorite part of Super Mario 3D World, and I thought the game looked adorable. Some fans also described it as a sort of 3D Adventures of Lolo, which I enjoyed.

And I liked Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.

Some parts just felt a little… lacking.

Let’s get the story out of the way. Captain Toad is not a plot-driven game by any means, despite the storybook format it’s told through. He and Toadette love treasure. A lot. Episode 1 begins when a giant bird (Wingo) grabs Toadette’s treasure, and she refuses to let it go even though that means the bird captures her, too. This isn’t the end of comic stupidity from our heroes.

That’s fine, though. It’s a puzzle game. A basic premise to give the player an overall goal is all we need, and the humorous elements make it charming.

The only reason the story bugs me is because it’s repetitive, an issue I have with other parts of the game. We’ll get back to that in a minute. First, I want to mention the camera.

There are two settings for the camera, zoomed out and zoomed in. There were many, many times when I wished I could focus somewhere in between. A slider or even a medium zoom setting would have made some levels much more enjoyable. Just a minor criticism.

On to the gameplay itself, the concept is simple. You control Captain Toad or Toadette and go through a small, often cube-like level to reach the star. Each also has three gems you can collect, as well as a bonus objective you won’t know until you finish the stage (which adds repetition).

Captain-Toad-Turnip-Canyon

Each level has puzzle elements you have to work out to make it to the star and/or gems. Since the Toads can’t fight, there are a few stealth sections, as well. A couple of levels emphasized speed and quick thinking, and they were my least favorites. I’d much rather sit and analyze each piece of the puzzle to figure out my next step than run from an advancing wall of doom.

While fun, the most puzzle-heavy levels never seemed up to the challenge of the others. This may be in part because I was bad at the faster-paced levels. I enjoyed solving the game’s puzzles and hoped to see more on that front. It’s no Professor Layton.

In typical Mario fashion, you can collect coins in each level. 100 coins equals one additional life. However, coins don’t carry over between stages, and only a few had coin-based bonus objectives. It left me unsure why I should collect coins in any level that didn’t have at least 100.

Finally, the boss battles left much to be desired. In general, each puzzle-themed boss fight worked well… except they repeated. You fight the same bosses more or less the same ways multiple times. I would have liked to see more variety, especially for the climactic battles.

If you want a cute, entertaining puzzle game and don’t mind some repetition and a few frustrating features, check out Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. However, if you want something deeper, you should probably look elsewhere.


Buy Captain Toad from Amazon
Buy Captain Toad from Play-Asia

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