Monday, June 18, 2012

Mike's Mondays with Mike McGee: Impromptu Backlog Week

         I’m in kind of a pickle here, Shlockheads. I had a specific direction planned out for this MMwMM, but for one reason or another, there’s really no reason why it didn’t pan out (boredom mostly). I was left with almost no games to play this week (the long list of backlogged games I still need to get to doesn’t count). Then, I was struck by a stroke of unfathomable inspiration. I suddenly found myself playing games from a long list of backlogged games that I still need to get to. ‘Twas, truly, a miracle. All right, Impromptu Backlog Week is a go!

Contrary to Groan-inducing pun belief, this game is a little flat
        Ah, I have so many fond memories of Paper Mario. Even though I’ve played all of them, most of the memories are from the Gamecube title, Thousand Year Door (imagine a “Paper Mario” in front of that subtitle). These are very clever titles and they really run with the whole “paper thing,” in a good way. I’ve been playing Super Paper Mario, which is by no means a bad game, it’s just not as good as TYD (see further back in paragraph if confused by acronym). Let’s talk about some good things first. I really like the concept and execution, for the most part, of switching between 2D and 3D. It brings a lot of depth and challenge to some of the puzzles and it’s pretty cool to see how the environments change between the two perspectives. I think the combat compliments the design choices that were made. It’s comparable to an action RPG. It makes combat quicker, which I particularly like because, I feel like I have time to actually explore the environment and find secrets and stuff. The secondary abilities of the partner characters make sense and are effectively used during the game. And the writing keeps that dear ol’ Paper Mario humor that I’ve come to know and love. I have no specific examples because I didn’t write any down and I’m too lazy to do anything about it.

Google searched Super Paper Mario humor. Hey, that spanish subtitle kinda likes it
       “That’s sounds like a pretty good game,” you may be telling yourself. “Why’d dumpo say that he liked some other game bedda?” Well, lemme tell ya ‘bout it, stud. Aside from the story, which is pretty solid so far, the game doesn’t really do much to keep the same RPG feel that previous Paper Mario games had. First of all, the different areas where you get the stars or whatever are set up into levels or stages or however you call them. So the adventurous, exploratory, nature of the game is constantly being interrupted at the end of the stage. Especially when, a lot of the time, the next stage starts you off right where you left off, like literally EXACTLY where you ended the last stage. And I like the combat, I really do, but I feel like an asshole wagglin’ the Wiimote around trying to get those style poses after jumping on an enemy. So I don’t even try to do it half the time and half of the other half of time that I actually do try, it somehow, God knows SOMEHOW, it’s unable to register my incessant flailing. 

       Yes, this doesn’t seem like much (and that’s probably because it’s really not), but that’s why I said it’s just not as good or polished as TYD is. It’s not a bad game, like I said. In fact, I’d recommend this to fans of the series and even to fans of casual RPGs. I would, however, encourage people looking to try out a Paper Mario game to check out Thousand Year Door (fine I wrote it out, jeez).

Ain't I a stinker
      I know what John, and maybe even you, are thinking, “THE F*CK?!” (you know, 'cause John always censors that stuff). I started playing this way before John picked it up, so shut up! But he did a pretty good job covering it in his post so check that out. I just wanted to briefly talk about the Wii controls ‘cause that’s the version I have (*groan*). The motion controls are used quite effectively here. Aiming is thankfully precise and, thankfully, there isn't much in the waggle department, thankfully. I feel like I have more control over Leon and can sure as hell guarantee that I’ve wasted fewer bullets than Accusatory Mikula over there. That’s basically it for this game. Check out that other guy for a not-lazy-as-hell-and-cop-outesque take on the game.

Aw yeah! Xenoge- er, blade...Xenoblade, yeah!
       That short segment gives me room to talk about this guy. Xenoblade Chronicles isn’t much of a looker, graphically speaking, but it more than makes up for it. It’s a long game so haven’t even scratched the surface at about two and a half hours in, but so far the story is awesome. The opening showed these two colossal gods fighting and they end up killing each other at the same time. And that’s where all of the life in this universe lives now. Now dat’s pretty sweet. You’ll have to forgive me for not going into detail about the actual story, but I’d definitely start rambling and nobody wants that. It’s an action RPG, probably in more of a traditional sense than Super Paper Mario. You have to manage your position, attack choice, heeding the amount of agro your getting, and combo-ing off your allies’ attacks. It’s certainly intense. I winning?
       I also enjoyed some of the quirkier things in the game. For starters, the main guy’s name is Shulk. Shulk?! How goofy is that, right? On top of that Shulk, along with all of the voice acting, is British, which I had no problem with, but once my sister sat in and starting mocking all of the dialogue in a British accent, I started to hear how goofy it really sounded (still good though!) Another weird thing is when you start playing as the girl (yep, too lazy to look up the name. I think it’s like Flora or something) you’ll be running around and stuff. If you make her jump the voice clip they picked sounds like she’s getting punched in the gut. She’s like “HHGGUWH!” It’s friggin’ hilarious. If you like RPGs, then get this game. I’m not joking…I’m not even joking. Even the fact that it’s a Wii-only title shouldn’t deter you because this game supports the use of Classic Controller Pro. In fact, my copy even came with this accessory. There’s no excuse, seriously.

100% waggle free
      Well, Impromptu Backlog Week was a success in my opinion. You might be wondering about the intensity, or, more accurately, a lack there of, of my response to John’s insensitive response to my rare and untreatable sleepwalking condition: Sleep Corrupting. It is people like you, John, that are treating this disorder like a lame, unfunny, joke response to another person’s shameless defamation of character. Nobody’s gonna fund research to find a cure for something that nobody thinks is a real disease, especially if it’s not even funny joke, at least. I hope you’re proud of yourself. And to the Shlockheads at home, I hope you enjoyed this week’s MMwMM. Stay tuned during the week for some of our video-related content and come back next week for more of the same. BAI!

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