Rex’s Top Five Zelda Games of All Time

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Rexis here!

How sick am I of social media outlets pushing this topic on me and asking me to vote for my favorite Zelda game?! Sick enough to clarify it on my own blog, that is! Seriously, how many deciding votes do me need to finally declare OoT and/or ALttP the overall winner? These are always the two that come out on top and I think it has a lot to do with the years they were released. More on that later perhaps. For now, let’s jump right into this.

5 Ocarina of Time

That’s right! Sitting at the number five spot on my list is the game that brought link into the 3D world for the first time. I vividly remember buying the gold edition of this game the day it released and saying goodbye to what little social life I had when I was 14. I was lost in a massive (for its time) Hyrule full of new dangers and puzzles. I was a Zelda fan already, but I was blown away by this game. This is the game that solidified my love for the franchise. (A love built on entry 1 – you’ll see. Don’t skip ahead.)

4  A Link Between Worlds

I feel like this game may have slipped under a lot of people’s radars and its really a shame. I enjoyed the ever loving crap out of this one. It broke from Zelda tradition by incorporating an item/weapon rental system and allowed you to complete the dungeons in any order, harkening back to the first Zelda title on NES. This would prove to be a test for the upcoming Breath of the Wild. People don’t want linearity in their adventure games, and while I’ve had no problem with it in the past, this title proves Zelda can be versatile.

3 Windwaker

If you know anything about me at all, and I would think some of my regular readers do, I love me some pirates. Anything and everything pirate related (looking at you Black Flag <3) so Windwaker immediately gets points for having them. When it first came out, I picked it up as I do with most Zelda games, but I wasn’t fond of the cell shading. As the years have gone by I have fallen in love with the style. Not to mention I always find something new in this one whenever I play through it because I’ve never reached 100% on a single play through.

2 Twilight Princess

This game was a sleeper hit for me. I know I’ve played it before, but I picked it up on HD for the Wolf Link Amiibo. How could I not? If I can get a wolf pet in Breath of the Wild, shut up and take my money. Playing through it now, I realize how much I LOVE this game. It is my absolute favorite of the console titles and 3D titles for good reason. Not to mention Zelda is so awesome in this game. If you haven’t played this one, for whatever reason, do it!

1 Link’s Awakening

You read that right. This little gem originally released for Game Boy is my all-time, hand down, no regrets, favorite Zelda game. And it doesn’t even have Zelda in it! I used to play a lot of Game Boy. A lot. So much. And it was usually this game. I know it like the back of my hand. Then they released it in color and it got better. Currently, I play it on my 3DS from time to time. Its the only Zelda title I can just sit and play through without feeling like it repetitive. I never get tired of it.

So that’s it. My top five Zelda games. Now shut up social media sites. I will not vote again!

Nintendo Switch – Called it!

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Rexis here!

The news is in! Have you seen the Nintendo Switch reveal yet? Take a look here.

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And its funny Kotaku should ask this question because… YES! This is exactly what I expected! As a matter of fact, on Feburary 6, 2015 I said “this would be the last generation of strictly handheld systems like the 3DS and Vita.” And look at what has happened! The 3DS has received some adjustments, but nothing new has been slated for a handheld system from Nintendo. All the patents we’ve seen regarding a new handheld were actually for the controller for the new Nintendo Switch. The Console Fusion Era is upon us! Nintendo is merging its console and handheld lines with this new Switch machine hybrid!

Okay. Okay. Enough gloating, I guess. But you can’t blame me for being excited about making an accurate prediction about the future of gaming, can you?

This new and innovative idea looks really cool for your gamer on the go and the system looks like it will be powerful enough to run Skyrim at the very least (isn’t that a five year old game?). So it would seem Nintendo isn’t really embracing a new powerful console, but once again relying on innovation to sell the product. Its worked for them before, but personally, I won’t be buying one.

I have my XBOX One and PC at this point, and I’ve no interest in going further with consoles myself. I’ve said all this before. Of course, I also have a 3DS I never play. So it wouldn’t make sense for me to get something like this. I can certainly understand the appeal, but its not for me. And I have some serious doubts about the scenarios presented in the video. I doubt anyone is having a rooftop party with friends and bringing their Switch to the mix. (I know they are just showcasing the capabilities, but honestly, I just need to see a guy sitting in his game room to relate. Because that’s all I do.)

Other concerns I have involve the battery life (my Wii U gets about 4 hours so its not lasting on any flights) and the comfort of those tiny “joy-cons”. If you’ve recently picked up an NES controller or GBA Micro, you’ll understand. How are you supposed to play first person games with one joystick anyway? (I’m talking about multiplayer here. You wouldn’t be able to tilt the camera or turn in some situation.) A lot remains to be seen in this regard and since full specs haven’t been released yet, people will speculate for the time being.

This leaves me with one other question. What does the console part do? We’ve seen that the system can function fine without it, so what is the purpose of slotting it into the console other than broadcasting it to the TV? This remains to be seen as well. If its only function is to send the video to the TV or upgrade graphics to 4K maybe, then would Nintendo consider selling the Switch sans console?

Seems all eyes are going to be on Nintendo, at least until Microsoft opens up about Project Scorpio a bit more. Like I said, I’m not buying one, but I will certainly be following its story. Nintendo has a history of either blowing people away or letting them down completely, so this console could be a make or break deal for them.

More over, did you see the obvious comparison between The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Skyrim? I’ve read articles comparing the two, but I found it interesting that they chose those two games as the demo for the hardware. If this Zelda title was inspired by Skyrim, this could be the best Zelda game yet. Luckily, I’ll have my Wii U to experience it on.

So what do you think? Is this thing going to take off or is it just a glorified tablet with controls attached? Is Zelda going to be amazing or too much of a break from tradition? I’d love to discuss it in the comments.

Nerds are Cool

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Rexis here!

I’ve been absent for awhile. You may or may not have noticed. Sorry about that. Its not that I haven’t had time to write, I just don’t have anything to say lately. At least, nothing that hasn’t already been said. I’ve been spending time watching new TV shows and playing video games of course. In short, the Marvel shows Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage were amazing and I can’t wait for Iron Fist, The Defenders, and Punisher. As for gaming, my time is divided by my three current favorites: Grand Theft Auto Online, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD, and of course Minecraft.

See? I have nothing to say about these things except that they are all awesome. As is everything on the horizon. Dr. Strange, Rogue Squadron, Logan, The Walking Dead, Fantastic Beasts and Game of Thrones are all coming soon. What an age we live in! There is so much to see and do in the world of entertainment, its hard to keep up with it all. I refuse to even watch the DC shows. I don’t have the time. I think we’ve hit a peak in regards to the nerd culture that permeates our society now. Its become almost… overwhelming.

Don’t get me wrong. Its great that we have this mass acceptance of what was once fringe culture. Gone are the days of the stereotypical basement dwelling nerd with his mint comic book collection. No longer do gamers hide their favorite pastimes. I even have a friend on Facebook asking about the pros/cons of LARP’ing in a graveyard with no fear of retribution. I can’t imagine how this would have gone ten or twelve years ago in my high school. Just kidding. I totally can because I lived it. As a gamer and player of CCG’s, I know exactly the kind of taunting and bullying that comes with the territory.

So what happened? How did we get from there to where we are now? How did the zeitgeist change so drastically? I’d wager it has something to do with the internet and social media, but what do I know? I’m just some anonymous blogger on the internet that can barely find the motivation to write.

What I do know is that we live in an era where fantasy worlds and fantastic beasts reign supreme.

And that is cool.

FFXI Journal – Entry 14 – Post-Script

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Rexis here!

I stopped writing my Final Fantasy XI journal back in December 2015, but I wanted to check in because a lot has gone on. First of all, I took a couple of months off here and have returned just three days ago. I got that itch and couldn’t resist popping in and grinding out a few mobs on my dragoon. Why dragoon, exactly? Because every other job is already level 99!

That’s right. After I stopped the journal, I was dual-boxing with a friends account and his beastmaster. I used it to level all my jobs cleaving in Escha Zitah. It took some time, but I finally got there, with the exception of dragoon. My friend and I were duo’ing dragoons for a bit, but then I burned out and stopped playing. So, having returned, I finally got dragoon into range and finished my final testimony fight with Maat and got the…

Maat’s Cap!

Finally! So many years since I first played this game on PS2 release and I finally have Maat’s Cap. It feels amazing! Its so great that I had to write a blog post about it. During my time away from the journal, I’ve also managed to solo/duo all the Abyssea zone bosses and caturae. That’s a tall order when you are soloing all your own pop items. I’ve also got a decently gears thief and white mage now.

So what’s in store for Rexish of Asura server? Dragoon needs to be 99. Then I can go on and finish the final two battle scenarios, MKD and ACP. I also plan to fight Shinryu at some point. My beastmaster is not far off from 2100 JP, so that is also a concern, though I don’t know if I want to take on a new main job. I’ve toyed with blue mage, but I hate hate hate learning the spells. No patience.

And finally, I need a new linkshell. I’ve returned from my hiatus to find RevenantWing practically abandoned. I’m not interested in the Reddit LS and would prefer something with mid level players. I enjoy helping others and the social aspect of the game. Constantly chasing high end armor bores me too much.

So if you’re still around on Asura, look me up! Most of my friends in game seem to have vanished from the face of Vana’diel. See you in game!

Abandoning the Console Market

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All of you are fired!

 

Rexis here!

My time away from the blog has done me a lot of good. I needed to take a break and reevaluate some things. One of those things was how I’ve been spending my gaming time. The answer is short: on PC.

I’ve been a console gamer pretty much my entire live. I even bought an Xbox One late last year and I still love playing on it. Things have begun to stagnate a bit though. My list of active games had become very short, consisting of only Minecraft and Final Fantasy XI (both on PC). And now, FFXI is off the list. Yes, I was down to playing just one game. That’s what stagnation is.

Check out my game room here and you’ll see a LOT of thing I just don’t play with anymore. Its a sad state of affairs that it now collects dust and goes unappreciated. I’ve felt like I’ve been moving away from my collection mentality a bit, beginning with sale of a few Game Boys last year. I don’t regret it like I had before when I sold game stuff. I even stopped looking for retro video game deals. No garage sales, flea markets, or second hand stores for me anymore.

Moving away from this got me thinking about just abandoning gaming in general. And since I’ve been playing just the one game, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before I parted with the entire collection and moved on. I had no excitement or anticipation about upcoming titles. Not even Zelda Wii-U gets me moving anymore. But… I’m a gamer. The thought of leaving video games behind actually scares me. I knew I couldn’t do that, but I could make a change none-the-less. Amid rumors of the Nintendo NX and the Playstation 4.5, I decided to leave behind the consoles and handhelds and to move to strictly PC. That’s right loyal readers and random passerbys, I am never buying another console.

With that in mind, I had my eye open for a solid PC. You see, the laptop I play on has a cracked screen, so I play it on a small monitor. Its not mobile at all anymore. Add to that the consistent over heating issues and its inability to run games at max settings, and I’d safely say I was in the market for a replacement.

So I parted with my Sega Genesis, Nomad, and Game Gear collections which gave me a little down payment of sorts, and strolled into Best Buy to browse about. Now the computer I want runs about 2,000 of those fancy American dollars. I can’t afford that despite the incredibly lucrative success of this blog /sarcasm. I wouldn’t normally shop at Best Buy, by the way. I just happen to have a credit card there from a purchase I made a while back.

I didn’t find much at first that matched my budget, and there were way too many laptops. I wanted something I could upgrade over the years and keep building upon. Laptops and tablets were simply not options. So, I gave up and wandered over to the video game section as  I’m fond of doing. There, on an end cap, sat this:

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You can find all the specs here.

I knew immediately that this wasn’t a high-end gaming PC. I’m not an idiot. But the price was right and it met my most basic requirements: upgradeable and more functional than my laptop. So I did my research. I Googled it (great reviews). I talked to a friend who is like an expert at this stuff. (Shout out to NinjaZonza!) Ultimately, I could have saved up some money and waited a bit to get a much better PC, but hey, I’m playing Minecraft, not Fallout 4. So I decided to buy it. It was $100 dollars off, so it only cost me $480.

After some trivial driving about to pick it up from a store that actually had one in stock, I got it home and opened it up to reveal the massive tower. This thing is huge, no kidding. It didn’t fit under my desk or anywhere in or on my entertainment center. I had to tuck it behind my TV a bit, but I still get a good view of the LED lights coming out the side! So awesome! (I’ve always wanted a PC with lights in it!)

It didn’t come with a monitor, but this was a good opportunity to use the 46-inch TV in my game room for something other than the occasional Xbox session. I also found that it has no Wi-Fi, which isn’t a problem for me because I prefer the wired connection.

To sum up my experience with it so far: I love it. My active gaming now includes Minecraft, Skyrim, Portal, and Alien Isolation (and I’ve got a building backlog). It runs beautifully and at max settings on some titles. I have 1TB of storage internally and 3TB external. I also have a wireless mouse and keyboard to use from the futon and an extension for my headset for TeamSpeak on Minecraft. Compared to my laptop, this thing is a beast and I’m really happy I picked it up.

I see a bright future in PC gaming for me as the years go on and I upgrade it.

“Real Gamers”

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Rexis here!

I usually pride myself on being unoffendable (that’s not a word). It takes a lot to offend me, is what I’m saying. I’m also not one who thinks much of other people’s stupid opinions, because almost everyone has stupid opinions. A few minutes ago, I had to delete a comment on my recent Star Wars post from some idiot who could barely string a few words together. It looked like he just smashed his face against the keyboard. I doubt he’ll be back, but if you’re seeing this, try reading the post and offering some sort of rebuttal in English. I’m not going to try to sort through you nonsensical complaints with no backing.

As it turns out, I’m actually easily offended by stupidity and the world is full of it. So I thought I’d take a look at one of my biggest pet peeves, the thing that tends to set me off the most. As the titles indicates, I’m talking about “Real Gamers.” These are people I just cannot stand. Trolls or otherwise, they serve to derail every gaming conversation with just insults against anyone who disagrees with them. I’m sure you’ve seen it. Just read the comments section on any YouTube video about the GameCube. They turn out in droves.

“Nintendo is for kids!”

Now, I can understand if Mario doesn’t entice you to play his game, but that doesn’t mean its for kids. Neither does the ESRB rating on the box. If someone says “I’m a gamer and I play on the iPhone,” look out! Here come the “real gamers” to correct the plebs. If you prefer one FPS to another, one console to another, or play anything other than a PC, you aren’t a “real gamer.” If you play anything made by Nintendo, play FPS on XBOX One, have a membership to Playstation Plus, you aren’t a “real gamer.”

So, doing as I do, I dug a little deeper and figured out what a “real gamer” in this context means. That’s right, internet, I’ve figured it out. Do you want to be a “real gamer”? Do you want to be part of an obnoxious elite? Here is how you do it!

Get yourself a superiority complex!

Its that simple! How do you get one? So easy! Be inferior. Sounds contradictory, right? Alfred Adler, an Austrian medical doctor and psychotherapist figured this all out in the early 1900’s and coined the term. Here’s a simple explanation:

An individual who is not properly trained to answer life’s problems may turn from striving for superiority in useful ways to that of a personal superiority at all cost. If an individual cannot be better than another on their own merit, they will attempt to tear down another person or group to maintain their superior position.

You see, your superiority simply hides your inferior nature. Of course, in psychology, it goes much deeper. We aren’t going to discuss all of the medical dialect here. Suffice it to say that if you really feel like your way of gaming is the only way to be a “real gamer”, then you suck. At gaming. And at life. You are inferior. And it seems like everyone knows it but you. Even Alfred “Freak-Nasty” Adler knows it! (That’s probably a real nickname of his. You don’t know. You aren’t going to look it up, anyway.)

Curing your complex isn’t going to be easy. It’s going to involve treating the root cause of it all; your inferiority. But if you came here looking for a cure, you’re in the wrong place. I’m no doctor, and quite frankly, I hate you. You have stupid opinions about what makes a gamer and I have no time for your problems.

For the rest of us forced to cope with you, here is what we need to do. Avoid confronting these individuals in online debate or in real life. Ignore them as if they were trolls (because they are). Engaging them only affirms their opinions by validating them. It gives them a platform to stand on. Doing that inflates that feeling of superiority which only allows them to avoid confronting their real problems. By ignoring them, we are helping them.

In closing, a gamer is a gamer, regardless of the platform they play on, the games they like, or your personal opinions. A gamer is someone who picks up a game and plays it. Its that simple. I don’t care if you game for 10 minutes a week on Candy Crush or 10 hours a day on some FPS. To me, you’re a gamer. It doesn’t matter how much you know about the history of Atari. It doesn’t matter if you’re a guy or girl. It doesn’t matter if you only play Halo while drinking Mountain Dew. It doesn’t even matter if you only play sports games or Minecraft. You’re a gamer.

Anyone who adds “real” to the front is the inferior one.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Battlefront and Infinity 3.0 Reviews (Spoiler Free)

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Rexis here!

Hello internet! Today on Ability Points I get to combine three things I am passionate about. Games, movies, and Star Wars! I got to see The Force Awakens before Christmas and I have been dying to share my thoughts on it, but this is a game blog. So I needed something game related to accompany it. Low and behold, Battlefront and Disney Infinity 3.0 were sitting under my Christmas tree.

So let’s get right into the meat of this post and talk about:

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts (on Facebook in particular) hating on the movie. I don’t know why its so popular to hate on everything or to share your god-awful opinion unsolicited, but that’s apparently what people do.  You’re entitled to your opinion, but if you say “TFA sucks. JJ is stupid,” you’re just a hater and no one takes you seriously.

I’ve always considered myself a fan of Star Wars, but for different reasons than most people. I always laughed at the bad acting, the boring scenes, the dated graphics, and the odd way technology gets more advanced as you go from original trilogy to prequel trilogy. I found Star Wars funny. (I’m a sucker for B-movies and MST3K.)

I actually remember the first time I saw the original trilogy. I was a teenager and it was sometime after Lucas put CGI into them and rereleased the trilogy. I didn’t know much about Star Wars, but I had some friends who sat me down and made me watch all three. I remember saying “They were good.” Nowadays, I contend that the original trilogy was okay. Take off your nostalgia blinders for a moment and you’ll see where I’m coming from. They aren’t bad, they aren’t great. They are okay and fun to watch.

The prequel trilogy was, well, bad. A lot of people try to defend these movies, and Liam Neeson tried so hard, but the only redeemable aspect involved watching Yoda fight. The CGI is a bit dated now, but seeing that in theatres when they first released was nothing short of epic.

So when I heard Disney had bought the IP and put J. J. Abrams at the helm, I had a minor nerdgasm. Abrams made me fall in love with Star Trek. I have a hard time watching Shatner’s version (despite my love for bad movies), but I get into some Picard now and again. As a Disney fan and an Abrams fan, I had hopes that this Star Wars would be good. I wasn’t hoping for the moon (space station?) here, but I wanted to see something good come from a franchise I’d come to know so well over the years.

And, man, did he deliver! I’ve only got to see it one time, but I am dying to get back in there again. That is rare for me. Once in the theatre is usually enough, but The Force Awakens has sucked me right in. It’s no wonder its hit the billion dollar mark already.

I find it hard to say anything negative about the movie. The acting was on par and I really cared about every character (Poe was my favorite). Seeing the Falcon on screen again was nothing short of breathtaking. And Kylo was a devastating enemy.

We have to take a moment here because a lot of people are complaining that he wasn’t as badass as Darth Maul and people found him to be whiny. I did not. He had depth to him (unlike Maul) and a great source of anger yet to be revealed. A single line from the beginning of the movie still chills me when I think of it. “Kill them all.” We’ve barely scratched the surface of who Kylo is and who he will become.

Back on point, the visuals were stunning. The music was beautiful. The story was moving. The Force has awakened for sure! I went from being a moderate fan of the franchise to absolutely adoring it over the course of a two hour sequel.

The arguments to the contrary are loosely based in nostalgia. I’m not sure what people were hoping for here, but there are tons of references to the original trilogy that seems to be so beloved by fans, yet people still complain. “Too much like the original” and “not enough like the original” are the general basis of arguments against this movie.  How can it be both? Kind of contradictory, no?

The Force Awakens is a masterpiece as far as I’m concerned and stands as my favorite in the franchise thus far. There are still so many things to see and learn about these new characters. I can hardly wait for Episode VIII.

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Star Wars: Battlefront

I was not expecting this for Christmas at all. I had played the demo before and was impressed with the graphics. The same can be said after playing the original, btw. I have actually been having a lot of fun with this game. I wasn’t planning on buying it myself as a lot of reviewers will caution you that there isn’t enough content to justify the price. This is absolutely true. A $60 price tag on this game is absurd. It handles like it should have been a free-to-play title.

Its redeeming feature, in my opinion, is the ability to fly the ships we all have grown to love. Taking an X-Wing out over Hoth and shooting down other players is immensely satisfying and I find I don’t get bored with it. The detail is nothing short of amazing and its obvious they took a great deal of time and effort to construct the world.

All your favorite sounds are there, including the satisfying laser fire squirt noise. It all sounds fantastic through a headset. Even slamming a speeder into a tree on Endor will leave you smiling. The game is downright fun.

That’s about all that can be said, its fun. Your level of fun may vary depending on how much you like shooting and flying as there is no campaign. I’ve seen it compared to Call of Duty when playing ground missions and I think this is a fair assessment.

My final verdict: I wouldn’t pay more than $40 for it, which should be easy to find on Craigslist or a similar site since the fun is waning and people are going to start looking for other games to play. I’d say definitely rent it if you are on the fence.

LogoStar Wars: Disney Infinity 3.0

What’s not to love about infinity? I mean besides the hefty price tag that comes with buying every single character because I have an addictive personality and the desire to collect things to fill a void left by faulty parenting in my early childhood, thanks mom… I blacked out for a second there.

I got this game for my kids for Christmas complete with the Rise Against the Empire play set. This is the one that you play with the cast of the original trilogy. You can unlock the newer characters for the play set as well by collecting special hero coins.

We’ve been having a blast! Infinity is a kid’s game. Dying has no real consequence. The missions are easy to understand, but sometimes take a couple tries, particularly race missions. Still, I’ve found myself looking up guides because it isn’t always clear what to do next, despite the mission log being easily accessible.

The controls feel a bit more clunky that the first two iterations of Infinity. The characters don’t seem to move as quickly and it feels like you have a delay between performing attacks that wasn’t there before. its unfortunate because I’ve always felt like Disney had perfected the game with 2.0.

The sound is wonky. Sometimes voices don’t sync with movements. Other times, the sound cuts out. This has been an ongoing issue with Infinity games. Coupled with the occasional loading glitches and screen that freezes up and it feels unpolished and thrown together.

It is a very fun and immersive game, but those faults really detract from the experience. Even though its a kid’s title, I still really enjoy playing it. My son and I have a blast running around, finding new missions, and unlocking new abilities. Plus, its a lot of fun to see Vader fight Anakin.

As I’ve said in past discussions about Infinity, be prepared to spend money if you get into this game. And have a nice shelf for all your newly collected characters, play sets, and power discs.