Sunday Wrap-Up July 10th, 2017
We got a special and supersized Monday Wrap-Up for y'all today so buckle up and let's dive right in.
Ocarina of Time.
Hey so I beat this game.
I'll do an actual review/recap of my thoughts on this game at a later date, but I just got a few things rattling around my head that I gotta say.
The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time is a real good game. Flawed, frustrating, and definitely uneven but a very good game.
The music, the color, the world, the standout and memorable dungeons. All of it builds up to something that is indeed special and great at it's best, something that rises leagues above what Zelda 1 was.
Ocarina left me with two big impressions. First, I may not actually hate Zelda as much as I once did, this is nice and different and strange. There's just such quirky, weird, and knowingly cheesy vibes around Ocarina I couldn't help but love the experience at times. I should also add that once this game got it's hooks in me it got them in deep. I couldn't stop playing and had to just plow through this game by the end, unable to stop thinking about it.
The second lasting impression however is a less positive one. I found a Zelda game I enjoy, but I couldn't escape the reality that there are just a number of aspects and qualities about this series I find unlikely I'll ever really enjoy. Certain hangups and annoyances that every time they appeared broke the experience a little and made me never able to truly fall in love with Zelda. I do standby that a lot of this is stuff directly tied to the fact that I didn't grow up loving and playing Zelda and thus am less willing to overlook and ignore these issues. I think it's near impossible to detach the childhood love and nostalgia people have for this series with the way they feel about it as adults. I dunno maybe you disagree(if my past record of comments about Zelda is any indication you do) but I truly do believe that Zelda gets a pass in a way arguably NO other series does, because of it's connection to so many peoples childhoods and it's role at being at the forefront of gaming history.
But anyway let's do some rapid fire Ocarina thoughts.
The water temple really is my favorite temple y'all. I know I'm a monster.
The final few dungeons just sorta fizzle out. They are by no means bad but they just sorta have a feeling of meh around them.
Ganons castle is incredible though and sparked back up my feelings about this game. That's how you end a game. That's how you do a boss fight, that's how you make running from a falling apart building fun.
My story of beating Ganon in the ruins of the castle is crazy, absurd, and ridiculous. So, pretty much the only way my Ocarina adventure could end. I'll tell it one day.
Epona really is the homie y'all.
My theories about Saria were totally, totally off. Which is not ideal.
My theories about Sheik were spot-on and I am very proud of myself.
The game both feels maybe a tad too long and also a tad too short, so idk how that's possible.
I've heard a little bit about Majorias Mask and I've just got no interest in what it sounds like that game is. So whenever I eventually jump back into Zelda it'll probably be Windwaker a.k.a the game I've been most interested in all along. Who knows though?
I'll probably do a spoiler cast over this game because you know...I like to be topical.
Crash Bandicoot 1
I have beaten the first two islands, out of three, of Crash 1 now and I can safely say that this game is just all over the map and super uneven. I mean this game just jumps from super punishing and brutal platforming levels to ones that you can knock out in about two minutes. Behind the camera, in front of the camera, side scrolling, there is no consistency between the various levels of Crash and it almost gets exhausting at times.
To be fair this is mostly just on that first island and the second island largely sorts this out, but man that first island is just a brutally unfun thing to play. Honestly, it features by far the hardest couple of levels in the game and that's just the craziest thing I've ever seen. The level of punishment Crash doles out right at the beginning almost seems designed to drive away as many people as possible.
That said, none of that really matters and I've been having (largely) a blast playing Crash 1. I am only playing this game when I am recording new episodes for my let's play series and goofing off, dying lots, and just being dumb with my co-host, and one of my oldest friends Josh, has been an absolute joy. Crash 1 is realistically probably around a 6.5 kinda game. It's ok, it's fine, its really fun at times and very much a grind at others, but just sitting around and shooting let's plays with Josh is some Xyger/10 good times.
The first four episodes of the let's play series are up now. They constitute the original four episodes we recorded and cover the entirety of the first (very rough) island. I've included part 4 below so go give that a watch. Look for the next episodes to go up throughout this week, we got some bangers in this upcoming new run.
I haven't seen ANYONE talk about this game, which just released for PS4 and I am very disappointed in all of you. I get very strong Rocket League vibes from this in all the best ways. Fun, intense, fluid, fast-paced, and frantic, crazy, and totally wonderfully bonkers Speedrunners is fantastic and easily one of the most joyous and simply fun things I've played all year.
Basically a 2D side-scrolling platformer where you and three other players race against each other through a short level( each level only takes one minute at the most to run through). The goal is to always stay on screen and avoid dissapering from view for even a second. This is complicated because the screen follows the leader among all four of you and the minute someone can't keep up and falls off the screen all hell breaks lose. The remaining three players suddenly face a rapidly shrinking screen that get's smaller and smaller, thus making it increasingly difficult to see the jumps, traps, and possible avenues all around you. The game continues until only one player is left running. You have to win three times to win the entire match.
What adds further layers to Speedrunners though, is the fact that I like I said the screen follows the player in the lead. So if you race ahead of everyone by quite a bit it's great for you in the sense that it's pulling the screen with you and making it harder for them to stay on, but it also means that you are right at the edge of the screen on the other side and have virtually no idea of what's in front of you and where your running. This balance of trying to be in the lead(particularly once someone is eliminated and the screen starts to shrink) and also not wanting to rush too far ahead for fear of racing right into spikes, bombs, blocks, or any other traps is a wonderfully tiny touch.
The more I play Speedrunners the more I am rivited by it. I keep using a music analogy to describe it. Every year there is a song, a piece of music that manages to capture the fun, spirit, and relentless sun splashed energy of the days of June and July thus becoming the "song of the summer" so too there is a game that manages with relative ease to capture the restless vibe, the yearning for competition, goofing off, and engaging in silly dumb games that is at the heart of both summer and being a kid. Speedrunners is that game for 2017, it is the game of the summer for this year and perhaps the most viscerally appealing game I've played in quite some time.
Give it a go.
My review for it will be up later this week. If everything goes right it'll be my first ever video review. So get hyped for that and start running(something I never thought I would say to others).
I mean for starters before I cover anything else two big shoutouts I feel like I should cover. One, Joey Noelle is now officially the full-time community manager for Kinda Funny and this news, the ensuing universal praise given, and Joey herself are all the best. If you haven't give congrats to Joey she is one of the hardest working and most talented people I know and it's impossible to imagine anyone better equipped to handle the many roles of being the KF community manager. So happy for her.
The second big shoutout is that Kevin, one half of the dynamic and lovable duo from 2 Player Co-Op just had a baby. Kevin and Sean are the best and I can't even begin to imagine how happy and also very tired he is. Go give him congrats and good vibes over @KevinWhite24. I couldn't be happier for Kevin who is one of the nicest, most welcoming, and die-hard BvS fans I know. Much love man.
Kinda Funny released a lot of Patreon exclusive episodes this week and while there is a lot of great stuff to pick from I want to give a shoutout and particular praise to Greg's one on one interview with Tim's brother Cool Greg. When this was first released to Patreon supporters back in November I was riveted and stunned by how fantastic of a conversation and by how incredible Cool Greg's story is. All these months later and with the knowledge that he is now working for Kinda Funny alongside Tim and Kevin I couldn't be prouder of him. Go watch this 2 hour long episode, it's one of my favorite ones the boys have ever done and still motivates me everyday to skate better(if you don't get that reference shame on you). Much respect Cool Greg.
Alright, I mean I think that's everything. I do just want to give a quick shoutout to all of you though. The outpouring of people wanting me to move near them and offering me tips and perks of their city after I mentioned I was moving yesterday is incredible. I love you all very much and y'all the real heroes out there. Until next time, go big or go home.