Bear with me - my gaming experiences tend to lag a few years behind everyone else. I like it this way. It's a lot cheaper, and I never have to wait for anything's release. That said, reading about it won't be the most interesting thing among those people for whom such recountings are the tired old hat of ~3 years past!
Almost finished SMS Voyage: A Sorceress' Vacation. Guessing I'm on the last level, or close enough - one more session should do it. It's been a short, fun lark. Last time I spent hours in the Alex Kidd engine it would have been around the 80's/90's transition, just as I was embarking upon teenhood - finishing Miracle World, a gradual task which took 1-2 years on my original SMS. Das good old days.
It's been fun to revisit that shonky, slidey old gameplay of uncertain hitboxes and frustratingly devious trap setups. Like many things of old - and perhaps, even life itself! - half the game is mastering the shortcomings, and by the time you truly realise how much fun you're having, it's nearly finished. 🤣
In programming the game decades after the system's heyday - when 'all' is now known - it's clear that technical capabilities were able to be pushed to their limits. As such the graphical and sound quality is quite outstanding for a Master System game. Some of the levels and sprites had me shaking my head in disbelieving admiration - thinking how, had this been done on the SMS back around 1990, it would have raised the standards and expectations for all. (it would have also raised about 50,000 shades of moral outrage back in those days, when one of the character dialogs includes the word "shit", hahaha..)
In prior posts over the past year I've made clear that I really loved Zelda Wind Waker HD, my first and extremely belated Zelda experience. It rather surprised me in it's sheer heart and mastery of, well, just about everything that's good and great about video gaming.
Over the past week it finally became time to embark upon the big gun I've been holding in reserve on the criminally-underrated Wii U (one of my favourite consoles!) : Breath of the Wild. "They say" it's one of the great video gaming experiences, and I'm totally and unashamedly buying into that. I'm 8-10 hours in, which at my slow OG gamer's pace means I've just exposed my 3rd map section.
First impressions are that the game takes key enjoyable elements from Wind Waker, adds it's own, and places it all in a world whose technical realisation is one big Holy Shit moment. The hybrid graphics style which constantly hints at the sparkle and cel shading of Wind Waker while imbuing a detailed modern realism is sheer perfection. Even just the map alone is a work of technical art - as a former cartographer-of-sorts it makes me stop and blink appreciatively. Vast choice with just the right amount of guidance is afforded by the more-ish open world Shrine system combined with the there-when-you-want-it main storyline.
All overlain by that top-tier polish and shine that Nintendo puts on all it's flagship offerings. And the comprehensive control system that only 100% works on the original Nintendo controllers, with the combination and locations of all the buttons matching what the game tells you, and extra functions like gyroscopes for aiming and puzzles working just right out-of-the-box with no fussing.
So, it's fun gaming times here at Shreddoc central station!