Cave Story

It’s no surprise that I’m a fan of Metroidvania games, whether it’s Castlevania :Sotn or romhacks like Metroid:Rogue Dawn, I love exploring to finding new weapons or items, listening to the area music, and taking on challenging bosses. I recently purchased Cave Story+ for the Switch. It’s great to have another Metroidvania for the system.
You start out as a silent protagonist named Quote. After stumbling through the first cave you come across your first weapon, the Polar Star. Each weapon you acquire can level up, you level up by defeating enemies and collecting Energy Crystals. Taking damage will deduct EXP from the weapon you have currently equipped. Some weapons, like the Missile Launcher, have limited ammo, they’ll regenerate ammo over time or you can collect ammo drops from enemies. They’re plenty of Save and Restoration Points in the game. You can find Life Capsules and Missile Expansions to permanently increase your life and missile count. After making it through the cave, you’ll land in the Mimiga Village. The Mimiga are a dog/rabbit hybrid. They’re being harassed by mad doctor being possessed by an ancient artifact called the Demon Crown. He’s assisted by a goth witch named Misery and a giant brick-looking thing named Balrog. The trio are trying to turn the Mimiga into weapons by forcing them to eat flowers, which turns into monsters. One of the Mimiga you’ll meet is Sue Sakamoto, she’s an assistant to Professor Booster and Her brother King. She was turned into a Mimiga because of Misery. It’s up you to help Sue, Booster and King to stop the the mad doctor from hatching his plan. Continuing on we meet Kazuma Sakamoto, who is Sue’s brother. He got himself locked up in a room and keeps in contact with Sue via IM (Instant Messaging). Curly Brace, (who after finding her hidden panties(not making that up), can become playable in her own Mode), is a guardian of a small pack of Mimiga, suffers from memory loss and attacks Quote. After exchanging gunfire she realizes that you’re not after the Mimiga after all and will assist you from time to time.
Depending on your actions during certain parts of the game, she can either die horribly or assist you at the True final dungeon. After making it through the Labyrinth, you’ll see an injured Professor Booster fall to the ground. So here’s one of those important actions I just talked about, if you go down and talk to the Professor he’ll give you the Booster V0.8 and will die. However, if ignore him completely, you’ll see him later, alive and well and give you the Booster V2.0. (Hits head) Makes sense to me. After Quote and Curly make their way to the Dark Palace and have a fight with the Core, The room fills with water and Quote drowns, or so it seems. Curly gives Quote her Air Tank. If you acquired the Booster 0.8, Curly dies here, however if you ignored the Prof., you can find a Tow Rope and carry Curly to saftey. After making it halfway through the Waterway, you’ll come to a cabin with a safe point. By examining the computer and reading some books, you can pump the water out off Curly. You’re then given the option of leaving her there or taking her with you. TAKE HER WITH YOU. After a boss fight with Ironhead, the two will become separated. You’ll encounter the questionably alive Prof. Booster and he’ll give you the Booster V2.0. After heading back to the Egg Chamber, you’ll find Kazuma hiding out again. He pretty much gives up and he’ll offer you a ride on a Dragon, If you do you get the Bad Ending. By ignoring him, you can head up the Outer Wall and pick up the 290 Counter and get into the Plantation. Here we meet with Momorin Sakamoto, the mother of Kazuma and Sue. Also, Curly gets washed up here and needs a special mushroom in order to regain her memories. You’ll need to head back to the Mimiga village and head to the graveyard, up above you’ll meet Ma Pignon. After answering some questions, she gives you a fake mushroom and then fights you. After beating her she gives you the real one. After giving it to Curly, she’ll regain her memories about her and about you, and she’ll give you the Iron Bond. Back to Momorin, she’s making a robot that can get into the Last Cave. She needs to borrow your booster, but also needs a sprinkler and a controller. After requiring your booster, you head up to the top.
The Last Cave you enter will change depending on which booster you have. If you have 0.8 It won’t have as many spikes and Red Pools, plus you’ll skip a boss fight. If you have 2.0, best of luck, not only do you have a boss fight, but there are so many Red Pools that do 10 Damage, but Spikes are everywhere and your weapons go back to Level 1. After making your way through, you’ll come to the Balcony and Throne Room where you have a boss gauntlet. You’ll finally fight Misery, the Doctor himself, and after that Misery will transport in Sue and threat you to leave now or else. The defeated doctor under the Red Crystal’s power, turns Misery and Sue into monsters, and fuses it the Core. After a grueling fight, Quote and Sue will either escape together (Normal Ending), or if you did everything right, you’ll enter the Sacred Ground and find Curly. The Sacred Ground is basically HELL. Spikes everywhere, Bricks falling all the time, enemies that will home in on you, and five boss fights. If you die at any point, it’s back to your last save and have to do it all over again. GOOD LUCK. The Death Crown that was possessing is called Ballos.
The game isn’t that long, it can take a few hours to beat. You can still get the original free version, but it’s also on the Wii, the 3DS eshop, a remake in 3D for the 3DS, Steam, and The Nintendo Switch. If you get a physical version of the Switch version it actually comes with a Mini CD with the soundtrack and also an Instruction Booklet. I can recommend it to anyone that likes Metroidvania games and want a great challenge.
-Marcus
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOXA4vZ2ASYmtmF7dwSVpdUE2VZ_F1Vly

Splatoon 2: A look into Splatfests.

 

Let’s talk Nintendo for a moment here. Splatoon 2 is a third-person shooter that was released for the Nintendo Switch on July 21, 2017. Today, however, I will NOT be talking about Splatoon in it’s full glory. Instead, I’m going to be talking about an event that is held once every few weeks in the Splatoon series: Splatfest.

Nintendo, a week before Splatoon 2’s release, put up a free demo of the game to spread word of the game itself. The catch, if one can really call it that, is that you didn’t play a demo of the story mode of the game. Instead, you got to play 3 free hours of Splatoon 2 during a Splatfest. “But.. What IS a Splatfest?” A Splatfest is when the game divides itself divides into two teams, each representing something different per Splatfest. Some examples of past themes have been cats vs dogs, winter vs summer, ect. The Splatfest that demoed the game, however, was ice cream vs cake.

Here’s a bit of general knowledge on what a Splatfest is: you go to a booth in-game, and pick what side you want to win. Once you pick, there’s no going back, and you now represent that certain team when Splatfest begins. You get a t-shirt with your teams name and logo on it, and into the fray you go! You pair up with 3 other people who have chosen the same team as you, and you fight 4 members of the opposite team for 3 minutes. Who ever wins gets points added to their team, and the winners are revealed an hour after Splatfest ends. Unfortunately, to prevent people from just picking the winning side, you don’t actually have any real idea of who’s winning or losing the Splatfest until the end result. I think it adds to the fun and excitement though. Why stress over something you don’t know and can’t control?

Everyone wins upgrades for their gear at the end of Splatfest, but the winning team gets more than the losing. I think it’s a nice touch for those who put hard work into the Splatfest. Overall, I think Splatfests are a great way to bring those who may stray away from Splatoon 2 back into the game for a weekend of fun. In fact, there was a Splatfest just this past weekend: ketchup vs mayo. I’m team ketchup, but what side would YOU pick?

It’s-a Me, Mario Doll!

Walking through the vendor aisles at the Video Game Summit this year, I came upon something that I haven’t seen with my own eyes since probably 1991 or 1992. Sitting together with a bunch of other classic video game memorabilia was a 1989 Super Mario Doll from Applause. Immediately after seeing it I was hit with a surge of nostalgia, followed by the suspicion that the thing was going to cost me a arm and a leg. Anything Super Mario Bros usually fetches a pretty high price, but I decided I would ask the vendor to see how bad the sticker shock was anyway.

“Hey man! Is that a vintage Mario Doll there?” I said.

“Yeah! He’s missing his hat, but he’s from the 80’s.” He replied.

“How much are you asking for him?” I said, getting ready to be hit with an absolutely ridiculous price.

“20 bucks.” said the seller.

“That’s it?!” I said.

Usually I don’t let my poker face show like that, but I was pretty happy with the price and decided to pick it up.

The first time I saw this Mario doll was at a video game rental store located in Crystal Lake, IL called Video Game Adventures. The store itself was pretty amazing, featuring a vast library of games to rent for all consoles and even handhelds. Games with blue tags only cost a dollar to rent for the weekend, where newer black tagged games cost 2 dollars to rent.

Located up front at the register was a glass display case with used Nintendo games and along with those games was the same Mario doll keeping watch over the grey cart goodness. I immediately asked if it was for sale, but the owner explained to me that it was gift to her from her daughter in celebration that she opened up the store. I can tell you that I coveted that thing every time I visited that store. Sadly, one day we went to Video Game Adventures to pick up some games for the weekend and the store was gone! It pretty much vanished without a trace and I was crushed.

I explained this same story to the vendor and I could tell that he felt really happy that he was able to hook me up with my long lost little buddy. I think I made his day as much as he made mine. Sure, by today’s standards this Mario doll looks pretty goofy; but this was my childhood Mario and I’m really pleased to finally have one.

1943 Kai

If anyone were to ask me what my favorite NES game is, I’d gladly answer 1943. The music is fantastic, flying your P-38 to shoot down hostiles is very satisfying, and being able to upgrade your ship’s offense and defense power, what weapons you can use and how much of it, was something not seen to often in games. Of course I’d play the Arcade version over it since it has co-op better music, but the NES version was a gem that shouldn’t be missed for shoot-em-up fans.
In 1987 and later in 1991, a spinoff called 1943 Kai was made for Japanese Arcade and later for the PC Engine. It’s a dream come true. It was half Arcade port and half Original. It brought the co-op that I wanted, When you collect a power-up, it becomes maxed out, in the original 1943 you need to collect the same one twice so it could have more range and power.
The “story” to this is pretty much similar to 1943. Instead of flying a P-38, you fly a Biplane. You play as a pilot and your goal is take down the Japanese Air Fleet that bombed an American aircraft carrier. Most of the stages are air-to-sea battles where you’ll face off against either a giant battleship or an aircraft carrier. Some stages you’ll either fight against a large squad of Japanese bombers or a Mother Bomber.
Like I said before, this is half Arcade port and half Original. Halfway into the game your ship gets an upgrade, making it look similar to the P-38 from the first game. Not only does your plane change, but so does the music and the difficulty, enemies are more aggressive. Not only are you still fighting aircraft carriers, but also an enemy fortress and armored convoy called the Battle Train.
I would love to own the PC Engine version, I own the Arcade version on the Capcom Classic Collection. It’s also available on the Capcom Generations 1. If you love shooters, the 1943 games are worth looking into.

-Marcus

Video Game Summit 2017 – Villa Park, IL

The Video Game Summit is a retro video game convention that I’ve been trying to attend for the last several years, but for whatever reason I always happen to have something big going on that weekend and I’m forced to miss it. This year, I almost missed it again; but thanks to my wife reminding me about it I was finally able to attend the Video Game Summit 2017. I checked with a few friends to see if they were interested in going and as luck would have it, fellow Gamer Logic admin Emmie was wanting to check it out as well; so off we went.

The VGS took place this year at the Odeum Sports & Expo Center in Villa Park, IL and admission at the door was $10.00. For those of you who attend video game conventions like the Midwest Gaming Classic, the small size of the event may surprise you at first; but the event still packs a lot punch. Housed in the Odeum Upper Convention Hall, one can walk through the entire convention in minutes; but doing so would make you miss what over 40 vendors had to offer. If you’ve been in the hobby long enough, you know you must look at a vendor table at least 5 times to really see everything. Just exploring the vendor tables alone; Emmie and I spent about two hours searching for things and we both ended up with an excellent number of pickups. Many of the vendors were very friendly and the first thing you heard most of them say was that they were flexible with their prices. Bundle deals were being made left and right and there was plenty of variety to found at the seller tables.

The Summit attendees were also very friendly and I had several pleasant conversations with them at random moments during the event. That’s something I don’t think you can really experience with many of the larger gaming conventions these days. Perhaps that’s due to people just wanting to get to point A to point B and get out of there, but that wasn’t the case at VGS.

“Hey guys, Emmie here to interrupt this program to give a lil’ bit of my side of what happened at the summit! At one point, Mike & myself came across a table with TONS of Amiibo cards for Animal Crossing and Yo-kai Watch medals (both of which I collect!) While looking, I said hello to the vendor, and he ended up being Paul Zimmerman; one of the Berserk world champs! He was extremely kind, and even gave me a deal on the cards and medals! I even looped back around to his table after browsing the other tables and spent the rest of my cash there, not just because of what he had to sell, but because he was so nice to me as well! He helped me sift through his card decks to look for a specific neighbor to add to my collection as well! I definitely look forward to going back next year, and I hope Mike & I will be able to help out at the event, instead of just being attendees! Alright, back to you Boss! Emmie OUT!”

I’ll be attending the VGS again next year! Even though the event is small, I walked out of it with a pretty positive experience. Perhaps Gamer Logic will even have a presence there next year. We shall see.

Check out the official VGS Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/VideoGameSummit/