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Sunday, 21 October 2007

Phantom Hourglass

Sorry about not posting and everything...  It wasn't my fault.  Honest.  It was... er... the internet space ninjas.  Yes they ambushed me and locked me in a solitary cell, in their giant space ship near the moon...  It took me a while to escape... let's just leave it at that and never speak of this matter again...

Anyway, I think this will probably become a regular posting pattern for me from now on.  Posting every few days or so, but mainly when I want to.  Yea, that sounds awesome... for me.

Anyway, I picked up Phantom Hourglass on Friday; when I went to town with Gavin & Ashley.  Which yielded some bizarre results - let's just keep it as we almost made our own religion.  More about that later.


But first!  The Legend of Zelda:  Phantom Hourglass.  What can I say that hasn't been said before?  I've only had two gripes about this game:

1)  The temple of the Ocean King is a pain in the ass.  Since you got to go through the same levels again.  But the idea of being able to access it right from the start is a revolutionary idea.

2)  WHY THE HELL DID IT TAKE SO BLOODY LONG TO REACH US?!  Japan got on JUNE 23rd.  That's about... *calculates* 3/4 months ago!  Tsk tsk Nintendo.  I'm really ashamed.  That's the one thing you can't seem to do, release title simultaneously.  I guess, in the end, the homeland comes first.  Eh Miyamoto?

By the way, if you don't know who Shigeru Miyamoto is... you've been living under a rock for the vast majority of your life, haven't you?

Enough of gripes though.  Lemme talk about what makes this so EPIC.

Stylus control.  Awesome.  I didn't think I would like to the control scheme so much, as a similar control scheme was applied for Animal Crossing... but I ended up using the D-pad.  Yea, shame on me.  But being the only control scheme available in Zelda (the buttons bring up menus and stuff), you have no choice but to get use to it.  And I did, and with relative ease as well.

Without the stylus controls, this game wouldn't be possible - AT ALL.  It depends so heavily on the stylus (not to mention other features of the DS).  Some of the puzzles Nintendo have created in this game are simply mind-boggling.  The way you can control where the ship goes, where the boomerang flies etc.  It comes together in a nice, neat package that is totally awesome and easily accessible by anyone.

And about the other features of the DS that is employed in the game.  Well... pretty much EVERY POSSIBLE FEATURE is used in this game.  The microphone is used in a variety of ways - I'll try not to spoil too much.  But you can use it to blow windmills (hey, your Link!  You can do anything.); there's even a monster that is susceptible to loud noises.  But it doesn't really take a loud noise to make it cover it's ears, allowing you to open a can of whoop ass onto it's freakishly deformed (and disproportional) body/head.

Then the dual screens.  Nintendo have utilized this feature to it's extent too.  In normal gameplay, the top screen displays a map of the place you're currently at (or in) and at any given time you can bring it down and write on it.  You must be thinking: 'Write on it.  Oh wow.  I've never seen that before.'  Yea well, all I have to say is: 'Screw you.'  This feature is awesome.  I can't believe how frickin useful it is, no seriously - you would think that you wouldn't need it that much; but it's got me thinking that any game on the DS that has a map should have this feature.  Anyway, back to the dual screens.  The ability of being able to show two things really does improve the gameplay.

For instance:  In one boss battle, the boss can make himself invisible.  Meaning that on the bottom screen (which shows Link and his surroundings) you can't see him.  Duh.  BUT on the top screen (which usually displays a map - but in this instance doesn't since the room is a basic elliptical shape) shows the viewpoint from the monster!  It was a different experience to say the least, and something which I totally didn't expect.  And yea, it did take me a while to understand that I was looking through the enemies eyes.

There's also one other situation that I want to share with you that is so totally awesome.  I've just gone through the Temple of the Ocean King (again - but this time a little further).  And I reach the last room (which I can go to) and I find that there was nothing there... but a large symbol on the wall.  Hm... I've seen that symbol before I thought.  And there was a riddle or something (I can't exactly remember) where it said that only the 'one possessing the Sun Key can pass through the door'  or something along those lines.  Then up-popped a map, displaying a mark on the map.  But thing is, the map was upside down.  I brought up my own sea-chart map, only to find I couldn't write on it.  Hm... it told me to:  'Press the tablet against the sea chart to make an impression.'  Weird?  Yea.  I just couldn't figure it out.  So, I closed my DS and went for a snack - hoping the food will go straight to my brain.

I come back, to find that the mark was on my sea chart!  Do you get it now.  Since the stone tablet map thing was upside down, I had to bring up my own sea chart (off the same area) on the bottom screen then close my DS.  Clever?  Yea, I thought so too.  Isn't that just awesome?  This was another thing that I didn't expect, with the features the DS provides.  Nintendo have really outdone themselves with this game.

AND I HAVEN'T EVEN BEATEN THE GAME YET!  Woah.  There are probably going to be way more interesting stuff later in the game, but I've yet to get there.

And for anyone who is concerned:  It stays true to the Zelda formula.  Zelda is kidnapped (or in this case:  'Tetra').  Link is like:  'OMFG!  ZOMG!  I MUST SAVE HER!'  Link goes on quest.  Finds some brand-spanking new awesome equipment.  Progresses through temples.  Yada yada.  And saves Zelda (most probably, I haven't completed the game yet so there may be a twist...?).

Actually, it does break from that rule occasionally.  Which means for someone who has played a Zelda game before (i.e. me).  The storyline feels fresh and new... to a degree that is.  I still get hit by occasional bouts of:  'Hey... haven't I done this before in that other Zelda game.'  But that's something I've come to expect in a game like this.  If you don't believe me about twists in the storyline etc.  I've already saved Zelda, and I'm about halfway through the game.

You must be asking:  'WTF?!'  Yea, well... I've saved Zelda to an extent.  She's just... you know... stone.  STONE, WTF?!  I see, that's probably made you more confused.  This is a massive spoiler but she kinda got the her very living soul sucked out of her.  That's not good.  And now I gotta do some stuff to get her soul back.  Capiche?

It may be a tad confusing to a person who hasn't played the game...

So what I'm saying now is:  GO BUY THIS GAME.  End of story.

Now about the shopping trip on Saturday.  I don't really remember much about it - hey, cut a guy some slack.  It was days ago now.  And besides, it's late at night so-



Now over to our correspondent... er... me.

Yes, thank you... er... me.  A tsunami hit the book world today when J.K. Rowling revealed a revelation that shook the whole Harry Potter series to it's roots.  I suspected this from the start but it's now official:


No seriously.  I'm not joking.  From the writers own mouth, even check out the Leaky Cauldron.

Lol.  To be honest, I only did this because Kate (yea, you know her) is a total HP fan-girl.  I'm not joking there.  And I thought that this may piss her off to some extent... unless she welcomes this new information.  In that situation:  Damn.  I failed again.

Binky:  So.  Uh.  What are we going to do tomorrow night, Brain WJUK?

WJUK:  The same thing we do every night Binky boy.  TRY TO TAKE OVER THE BLOGOSPHERE.

*Music cuts in*  Binky, Binky, Binky and the... er... ok, nevermind the song is totally ruined now.  NARF!


-my brains not really in gear.  I only recall going to GameStation and picking up Phantom Hourglass.  The rest of the morning is a blur in my mind.  Except for the final moments where we sat in front of a church (despite my continuous urges that we should sit inside, away from the wind and the elements).  Gavin managed in insult god a few times, and I've told him about that - I'm surprised he didn't already now, apparently he was doing "something" at that time... don't look at me - and he says he'll dish at suitable punishment.  I suggested the "hand of god" punishment (since I haven't seen that one since Eve ate that apple... ah, brings back memories), but he was in a procrastinating mood.  I then suggested the "finger of god" that didn't work out either.

Anyway, somehow we managed to move onto creating our own religion.  No, idea how that came about...

Oh wait, I do.  It all started when Ashley said we were atheist.  And he said that we should form our own religion.  I believe what he said was along these lines:

'In this religion.  We'll believe that hundreds upon thousands upon millions upon billions upon trillions of years ago.  An alien from a far-away planet happens to crash land onto Earth.  He plants some "seeds" into a large volcano that happened to take up a third of the (then) Earth.  He left, leaving a trail of clues behind of his existence and a means of contacting him -just in case there are technical difficulties- and when the Volcano erupted it spread the seeds far and wide.  The seeds then formed new life and thus the human race was born.  Our religion is formed to try and find and piece together the clues left behind so that we may achieve a higher state of Nirvana by being closer with this super-natural being...'

What a touching story.  Brings tears to my eyes.  In case you haven't noticed, I think he was mocking Scientology, which frankly... I think is a joke.  The only reason it has so many members is because of Tom Cruise.  And I swear he's being paid oodles of cash.  But in saying:  'Nirvana'  I think he also mocked Buddhism (and the band).  But nevermind.

You'll never believe this.  And I'll probably never live this down but there's a reason this post is this late today.  Well...  I got locked into the bathroom.

Yes for 15/20 furiously frustrating minutes, I attempted to free myself of the evil clutches my bathroom closed.  I had to prevail over numerous traps and tricks.  Solving many a puzzle.  Until I finally met the boss of the temple room:  'Showerhead the nefarious Showerhead.'  I managed to defeat the malignant beast and free the princess!  YAY!

Wait.  What?

Geez, where's your sense of humour.  I thought I'd just spice up a relatively boring story.  Anyway, I was locked in and we had to unscrew the handles to get me out.

This isn't the first time it's happened either.  Last time I was locked in my own room!  Except that time I had to computer (and the Internet) for company.  But in the bathroom, there was no such consolation.  Only rich people have the internet in the bathroom.  Yea, you know your rich when you have the internet in your bathroom.  I think doors hate me.

Actually, I think my dad is trying to fix it now.

What I've learned from this life-threatening experience:  Er...  that maintaining your doors so they are in tip-top shape is important... ?

It's now 2:26.  According to my computer clock anyway.  And I'd love to continue with the story and everything, but you know.

A guy's got to sleep.

And I'm not feeling the writer's vibe.  I ARE BRAIN-DEAD.  Pretty much says it all in one sentence.

Besides, it's not that long of a wait until my next post.  Live with it.  If you're going to patiently refresh this page until the next post, I have one thing to say:  Get a life... and thanks for enjoying this blog so much.


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