Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Oct 302017

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is often referred to as the “dark” Legend of Zelda game, so what better time to look at it than during our celebration of all spooky and creepy games?

(Plus, I finished it yesterday.)

I never played Majora’s Mask when it originally came out, so I was thrilled by the announcement of Majora’s Mask 3D. Several friends warned me it could get repetitive, but I suggested it to a friend as a game we should play together in July.

…*looks at date* Okay, so it took a little longer to finish than I expected.

Unfortunately, the reason Majora’s Mask took me so long to complete isn’t just because I somehow put 59 hours into it, but because I often didn’t have the will to play it, at least not for more than one 3-day cycle in-game.

This is not to say I didn’t like Majora’s Mask! I enjoyed several parts of it… mainly when I was doing normal Zelda activities. I liked solving puzzles in the dungeons, I liked playing mini-games, and I liked using the masks, especially the transformation masks.

I also enjoyed the premise and story, although I’d argue that it isn’t nearly as dark of a game as people say. Plenty of dark things happen in the game, but there are dark events in pretty much every Legend of Zelda game. To me, Link’s Awakening is ultimately darker in the end despite its lighter presentation.

Click for Link's Awakening spoiler
In Link’s Awakening, either everyone you interacted with during the entire game was fake, or you killed them all. And the bosses fight you because they don’t want to be erased. That’s pretty disturbing…

But that doesn’t matter. Dark or not, I enjoyed the atmosphere and story of Majora’s Mask.

What I didn’t enjoy was the time mechanic.

I know, the time travel is central to Majora’s Mask. And I like the concept. Make progress, learn new information, get new items, and then reset time to avert the apocalypse while using what you did the previous time to get further.

Yet it leads to so much repetition…

From my understanding, the 3DS version made some of this a lot easier to manage, which I’m grateful for. Even with those changes, I found it annoying to repeat certain things over and over and over, and I was never pleased to run out of time while nearing the end of a dungeon.

I was conflicted going into The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, and I’m still conflicted now that I’ve finished it. On one hand, I enjoyed several things about it. On the other hand, I found it to be one of the most annoying Zelda games I’ve played. Overall, I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had a similar story but played more like a traditional game in the series.

But that’s just me, and I know this game is beloved by many people. What do you think of Majora’s Mask?

And do you consider it a dark game?

If you want posts like this delivered straight to your inbox, enter your email in the box below to subscribe!

Oct 272017

Super Mario Odyssey is here!

I’d hoped to finish Persona 5 before starting Super Mario Odyssey. That didn’t happen, so I set Persona 5 aside to see if Super Mario Odyssey is the 3D Mario game I’ve been dreaming of.

(Don’t worry, I still intend to play more Persona soon and finish it.)

First of all, I’m just delighted to have this style of Mario game back again. Super Mario 64 was one of my childhood games, Super Mario Sunshine was fantastic, I enjoyed Super Mario Galaxy despite it not having quite the same sort of world structure… and I waited all through the Wii U’s life for the next one. Super Mario 3D World, while fun, just wasn’t the same.

But here, I already feel that sense of exploration and fun. The basic controls are familiar, and using Cappy felt natural right away. I’m still getting used to some parts (and seeing which motion control actions can be done without motion controls), but it generally feels good.

It’s also beautiful! I spent a while in the first area (tutorial area) just looking around and enjoying its weird, oddly Nightmare-Before-Christmas-esque atmosphere.

And of course, the other worlds have a completely different aesthetic.

I haven’t played very much yet–after I got my first Power Moon I decided it was time to get work done, starting with this blog post–but I already love it and I’m excited to play more.

Are you playing Super Mario Odyssey? What do you think of it so far?

If you want posts like this delivered straight to your inbox, enter your email in the box below to subscribe!

Oct 252017

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.

It’s that time of year again! NaNoWriMo is on the horizon!

(For those of you unfamiliar with it, NaNoWriMo refers to National Novel Writing Month, where people attempt to write at least 50,000 words in the month of November.)

I’ve been officially doing NaNoWriMo since 2009, when I wrote the first draft of Agent of the Relari.

Some years, I go into it with a strong idea of my story and characters, filled with excitement to get writing. These years go very well for me, like in 2014 when I wrote 94,000 words of The Nightbringer and last year when I wrote 78,000 words of The Time of Adversity (then using the working title Unto Dust).

Some years, I go in with barely any ideas, which is what happened in 2015, when I squeaked out 50,000 words of Elven Ascendant and haven’t touched it since.

In contrast, I spent the past months editing both The Nightbringer and The Time of Adversity and like those stories quite a bit.

This year, I feel as though I’m somewhere in between. I didn’t have any solid ideas for a long time, but now I think I’m going to write another YA fantasy novel. A few characters have begun to form in my mind, and that’s the most important part for me to start writing.

My plot ideas… are shaky. They keep changing. This definitely isn’t a 2014 or 2016 NaNoWriMo where I’ll go into it knowing the general course the story should take. Still, I feel I’m at least a little more prepared than I was in 2015.

What about you? If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, do you already know what you want to write?

If you want posts like this delivered straight to your inbox, enter your email in the box below to subscribe!