Double Jump Company

Double Jump Company (May it Rest in Peace)

Posts tagged legend of zelda

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DJC revisits The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages

I feel as if the entirety of May Madness 2013 has been building up to this. Double Jump Company is dedicated to the nostalgic and the nerdy, and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages is the perfect candidate for an article.
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Now, I own the original Ages game for the Game Boy Color, one of the only remaining GBC games I have left in my collection. But today marks the rerelease of this game (along with it’s counterpart, Oracle of Seasons) on the 3DS Virtual Console. What better time to talk about this remarkable gem of a game?

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First, let’s talk about the fact that Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons were released at the exact same time a la Pokemon Red and Blue. However, whereas the Pokemon games were basically the same with remarkably tiny differences, the Oracle games are two totally different beasts. Yes, both deal with saving the respected titular Oracles, but other than that, Link is going on two different adventures in two different worlds. 

My brother got Oracle of Seasons, which some people say is superior because it focuses more on action than puzzle-solving. But I chose Ages because I was fresh from beating Majora’s Mask and was still obsessing over the time travel elements. In a way, I like to think Oracle of Ages helped me grow as a gamer, since it did force me to think outside of the box and solve puzzles that could be frustrating at times. 

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Take this boss, for instance. He was the bane of my existence when I first started playing this game at the tender age of eleven. By today’s standards, he seems impossibly easy: you can only defeat him if you throw bombs into the top of his head when his red face is facing forward. If you throw in a bomb when any of the other faces is facing forward, he’ll attack by raining rocks or bombs or whatever the hell onto your head.

I quickly came up with a strategy for that four-faced bastard, and I was able to take that knowledge and apply it to the nine other big bosses in the game.

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Seriously, this is my old strategy guide to the game. It’s not worn and tattered because of it’s age. It’s worn and tattered because I read this thing like a freaking text book, trying to figure out the best way to beat fucking Plasmarine!

One thing that I loved about Oracle of Ages was that certain characters from Majora’s Mask (my favorite Zelda title of all time) made appearances. This wasn’t so in Seasons, which had cameos from Ocarina of Time characters instead, and made me feel right at home in the mysterious land of Labrynna.

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The story goes that Link made his way to Labrynna, where he meets a woman with a beautiful singing voice named Nayru, who is eventually possessed by a totally bad bitch named Veran. Veran uses Nayru’s body to travel back in time and totally fuck up Labrynna. 

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But it’s OK! Link has been given access to the Harp of Ages (which is like a more elegant-looking, but not nearly as cool, Ocarina of Time), and is able to jump back and forth in time to stop Veran and her minions from screwing over the timeline Biff Tannen-style.

Fighting Veran for the first time is one of the most creative boss battles I’ve ever encountered, because she’s still in Nayru’s body, and you can’t just go about slicing and dicing the Oracle of Ages. Instead, you need to reflect her magic back at her until she’s knocked out, and then rip Veran’s soul out of Nayru’s body with your Switch Hook. I dunno, I thought that was clever.

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Another aspect about this game that I loved was the fact that you could choose a pet for Link. You could choose between a flying blue bear, a kangaroo with boxing gloves (loved him), or, my personal favorite, a freaking Dodongo named Dimitri.

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He was the best. He ate enemies. I don’t care how many Kangaroo-with-Boxing-Gloves fans there are out there, Dimitri kicked so much ass.

I would also feel terrible if I didn’t mention my favorite characters in the game: a group of skeleton pirates known as Piratians. Their story is that they used to be normal pirates until they got lost in the Sea of Storms and became total badasses.

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I’d be lying if I said my pirate obsession didn’t stem from these guys. Cursed skeletal arriving in my life a whole two years before Curse of the Black Pearl? Oh yeah. Loved these little scallywags.

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One of the coolest sidequests in the entire game involved collecting Rings, which were used as power-ups, essentially. One Ring would give Link faster speed, while one would grant him temporary immortality, etc. Like Pokemon, certain Rings could only be found in certain games, and they could be traded via the Cable Link (ah man, the nostalgia). 

Anyway, I think this article is unorganized as it is, so I’ll leave you all for now. However, if you have a 3DS, six bucks, and a desire to play the best handheld Zelda title of all time…I strongly urge you to swing by the Virtual Console and pick this classic up right now.

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m gonna journey to Labrynna one more time…

Filed under oracle of ages legend of zelda oracle of seasons virtual console nostalgia majora's mask capcom nintendo pokemon nayru veran head thwomp may madness 2013

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It’s the end of the world as we know it. And I feel fine.

You know what’s fascinating about this whole 12-21-12, end of the world phenomenon? It’s really the end of an era. For thousands of years, this prediction has been looming over the mankind’s head. Will it happen? Will it not? Were the Mayans just insane? If it does happen, how will it happen?

(Frankly, I’ll be disappointed if it’s not Galactus)

After today…that entire thing is over. And I’m not just talking about the threat of global annihilation. I’m talking about the mythology of it all, the fun of it. It’ll be all over. After all these years, it’ll be done. Crazy to think about, huh?

So how is Double Jump Company spending its “final hours”? Only the best and nerdiest ways possible: pizza, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and this beautiful golden cartridge right here.

I started a new game a few days ago, and I just finally turned back into a human. I love the Deku Mask, don’t get me wrong, but dear lord it’s so nice being able to swing a sword again.

How glorious is this game? It’s easily my favorite Zelda experience of all, and the mythology is just so amazingly dark and fascinating. Being able to transform into four (!) different characters in addition to your standard Hylian form was also ridiculously ace. I personally love the Zora form best. Zora’s are badass.

On a second TV that I definitely didn’t steal from my brother’s room is the 2005 film adaptation of Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s a fun film. Don’t listen to the haters. I really enjoy it. The costumes and sets are awesome, and the jokes are pretty hilarious.

Oh, and if you don’t want to watch the movie for whatever reason (don’t Tumblr ladies quite fancy that Martin Freeman fellow?), I beg you to read the books. They’re…no, don’t do it, Steve…oh, why not? The world could end tomorrow…They’re out of this world!

…Yeah, not worth it.

If, for whatever reason, the world does end tomorrow…that would be a bummer. I wanted to at least see DJC’s first birthday…and Iron Man 3…and those Back to the Future Legos…

Filed under galactus apocalypse end of the word hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy majoras mask legend of zelda martin freeman douglas adams

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So Long, Nintendo Power.

If you were a Nintendo fan growing up in the 90s or early 2000s, you read Nintendo Power. It helped us beat that dungeon we were stuck on (you know, before GameFaqs), it gave us our first glimpses at upcoming titles, and it had those awesome Nintendo Power Awards that I loved voting on for some reason. I used to stare at the fan art that was submitted, and I even sent in two or three (hundred) of my own (which were never published). The covers were always phenomenal, the walkthroughs were informative, and the columnists each unique and friendly. 

Plus, who in their right mind can ever forget Alan the Slime from Dragon Quest?

Nintendo Power has been around since 1988, before I was even born. And now, twenty-four years later, it’s coming to an end.

That’s right, folks. Nintendo Power announced that their phenomenal ‘zine is closing up shop sometime in the near future. Nobody knows how many issues remain in the magazine’s lifetime, but I think I speak for every Nintendo fan that it will be sorely missed.

This is a nostalgia blog. Nintendo Power is, to me, a nostalgic magazine. It reminded me of a time when we didn’t have online walkthroughs to help us through a tough level. When game art was more than some polygons ripped from game stills, but actual pencil and ink art drawn by the game’s designer. When fans could write in to a magazine and have their questions answered and printed in next month’s issue.

I know, I know: print is dying. The magazine industry as a whole is basically a dead language. However, Nintendo Power represented those good ol’ days where you could open up your mailbox and see a real, tangible, informative, and awesome game magazine.

Say what you want about Nintendo nowadays. I know I’ve been vocal about their…interesting choices lately. But you cannot deny that they are an insanely important part of the gaming industry and community. Saying good-bye to Nintendo Power will be like saying good-bye to an old friend.

I decided to pull out the issues I had left. Unfortunately, I don’t have any N64-era issues left (thanks, Mom…), but my collection still goes back to the Gamecube/GBA days.

Thanks, NP. We’re all gonna miss you.

Filed under gaming nintendo nintendo power video games dragon quest n64 gamecube gba super mario bros 2 legend of zelda slime

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Steve Goes to China Capital Arts: “I Just Wanted Everything”

Like many middle-class suburbanites, I have a mall near my house. It’s an absolute waste of space, and unless you’re a junior high student or a mall-walker there is literally no reason to go there. There used to be a bookstore there that I would hide out in for hours on end. That place is now gone because America hates books. Now I’m left with smelly Hollister stores and a food court that is trying desperately (and failing) to be healthy. 

So what could’ve possibly pulled me out of my air-conditioned The First 48 marathon and into this toilet? 

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you…China Capital Arts. 

Every single mall in the world needs a store like this. A store where nerds from all walks of life and stroll in and gaze upon the merchandise from a culture far more bizarre than our own. A store where underage children can purchase a katana with their birthday money, because why the hell not? A store where college kids with long, greasy hair and pathetic-looking goatees can browse body pillows with scantily-clad Officer Jennys on them. Yes, this place goes beyond being a store: it’s a sanctuary.

It came out of nowhere. Trust me, had I known this store was being brought to my sad excuse for a mall, I would’ve camped out in anticipation for opening day. And, honestly, I really don’t know why. I’m not huge into Japanese culture; I’m not even the world’s biggest anime fan. So why do I love this store so much?

Well, first off, because the front window proudly displayed Mario, Pokemon, and Dragonball Z stuff. And an R2-D2, for reasons that intrigue me.

Secondly, just look at the inside!

It’s filled to the brim with stuff! It felt more like a museum than a store. I literally spent two hours there today, just browsing around the various things that was crammed into this tiny little outlet-sized store. Granted, they didn’t have everything an Asian-themed store could offer, but they were pretty damn close.

You’ve been reading my blog for a while (maybe). You know I love Kingdom Hearts. It’s one of my favorite games of all time. And CCA had this absolutely-orgasmic collection of Kingdom Hearts memorabilia that caused me to unintentionally drool all over the glass. I just wanted everything.

…I actually think that should be the subtitle of this article.

Steve Goes to China Capital Arts: “I Just Wanted Everything”

It’s insanely accurate.

And there’s Pokemon! A ton of Pokemon stuff! Like, a Pokepalooza! It’s making my inner 8-year-old jump up and down with glee.

And Mario and Zelda and DBZ and Totoro

It’s actually really weird, because outside of CCA I have very little interest in this kinda stuff. I mean, it’ll always be knocking around the back of my mind. I do run a nostalgia blog, after all, and Sonic games are pretty nostalgic for me. 

But once I enter the walls of CCA, any and all shame I have vanishes in a puff of animated smoke, complete with a “POOF!” effect. The store is hypnotic, y’all. It’s so hypnotic that I just typed the wordphrase “y’all” for the first time in my life. It makes no sense!

Of course, every store like this one needs a wall of extremely dangerous weapons.

Most of these are katanas (I think…?), but they also have throwing stars, nunchucks, brass knuckles, comically-oversized knives…if those Florida zombies ever make their way to Michigan, I know where I’m building my shelter.

Oh, and they have Keyblades.

And they’re so beautiful and I want one to the point where I’m actually on a black market website right now, putting my kidney up for sale.

Of course, there are other things adorning the store that aren’t as nerdy. They still sell more traditional souvenirs for tourists, including little Buddha statues, waving “good luck cats”, and pots of bamboo. And dragons with swords. You’d be surprised how many nerds love dragons with swords.

CANDY!

What kind of place would CCA be if they didn’t sell the entire Asian food section of Meijer right next to their register? None of it looks particularly appetizing, with the obvious exception of Pocky. Don’t label me, internet people, I love me some Pocky!

After two hours of looking around and taking random pictures, I got the feeling that I was frightening the Japanese manager girl. So I sadly to leave this land of magic and wonder and dragged myself back into the gross insides of the mall.

I’m poor (fun fact: Steve is always poor), but one day I’ll go back to China Capital Arts and buy a sword. And some Pokemon toys. And a Kingdom Hearts statue. And a Sonic keychain. And a Trunks figurine. And this Sackboy pillow…

Because WHY NOT?!

Filed under china capital arts japanese asian star wars kingdom hearts heartless pokemon pikachu link legend of zelda dragonball z yoshi mario luigi totoro cat bus sonic the hedgehog katana sword keyblade pocky sackboy nerdy nostalgia

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Majora’s Mask 3D vs A Link to the Past 3D

Recently, master of your childhood Shigeru Miyamoto came forward with this quote:

“We haven’t quite decided yet, whether we’re going to do A Link to the Past, because there’s also the possibility of doing a remake of Majora’s Mask. This is something we’ve certainly been talking about and doing a little bit of experimenting with, to figure out which way we’re going to go. We have so many goals right now. We’re always looking at expanding our audience and giving people the opportunity to get their hands on 3DS and see what kind of fun gaming experiences they can have. And now, we’re also tasked with pushing the Wii U. So we have lots of good opportunities in terms of thinking about which Zelda game is going to be best for which purpose.”

So Nintendo is indeed listening to our pleas. However, now they are torn down the middle Civil War-style: Miyamoto wants to revisit A Link to the Past, while director/producer at Nintendo Eiji Aonuma wants to make Majora’s Mask 3D

And I say…is it too much to ask for both?

Filed under legend of zelda majora's mask VS a link to the past shigeru miyamoto eiji aonuma nintendo 3ds

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When I was 11 years old, I started working on a science-fiction/fantasy story.

I’ve been developing it ever since. I’m turning 22 next month, and I now know these characters like they’re family. The events that unfold throughout the story are so fresh in my mind, it’s like they happened to me. I can recite this story easier than describing the back of my hand.

When I was 11, I was highly influenced by Akira Toriyama’s Dragonball series. It was fast, fun, had amazing characters, and wonderfully creative stories to tell. It was a magical world filled with color and the bizarre, yet it was also dark and dangerous.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned recently, though, it’s that I let the story become something it wasn’t. I haven’t written it completely out on paper yet, but in my mind (and my notes), it’s slowly transformed into something too cliche and predictable, just for the sake of “maturity.” It was turning into your stereotypical fantasy epic wannabe. And, you know, those are a dime a dozen.

Lately, I’ve been getting into the Avatar/Last Airbender/Legend of Korra mythology (spoilers: it’s insanely fascinating), and it’s reminded me of what my story used to be. It’s dark, mysterious, filled to the brim with history and legend…yet the world is fun, the characters are relatable, and it’s just a blast to watch.

And it got me thinking about my influences in the first place: Hayao Miyazaki’s Castle in the SkyDragonballEragon, Kingdom Hearts, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask…they all have one amazing thing in common: they’re technically “for kids”, but they can be enjoyed by everyone. And The Legend of Korra is no exception.

There’s an innocence to my characters that has been lost, a magic to my story that is no longer there. My goal is to put my story back on track with my original vision, and try not to be persuaded by the “dark, gritty” fantasy/science-fiction stories of today.

[personal rant over]

Filed under Bryan Konietzko Eiji Aonuma Michael Dante DiMartino Shigeru Miyamoto Tetsuya Nomura akira toriyama christopher paolini fantasy fiction hayao miyazaki science fiction dragonball eragon avatar legend of korra castle in the sky kingdom hearts legend of zelda majora's mask fairy tales

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Steve’s Quest for a Gamecube

So my Wii hasn’t been able to read Gamecube disks for a long time now. Rather than get it fixed (which would be expensive) or just wait for a new Wii game worth playing (which is just silly), I decided “Fine! I’m gonna go buy a new Gamecube!”

Now, I’ve been a pretty vocal fan of the ‘cube for a while now, and that’s not just because I’m a Nintendo fan. I mean, I’m no diehard fanboy. If I was, I would never dare admit that the Wii sucks (the Wii pretty much sucks). It’s just that the Gamecube had a pretty epic library of great games! So what if it looked like a Fisher Price toy? It was awesome!

Anyways, I set out on a quest to find a Gamecube. Turns out this is no easy feat. Gamecubes have been obsolete for a little over five years now, and some people seem to think they’re some sort of collector’s item. This kinda freaks me out, since I once went on a quest to buy a Sega Genesis, only to find that the cheapest one in my town was $80. Outrageous! I’m a college kid, for crying out loud!

My first thought was the most obvious: GameStop. Right? They sell Gamecubes. But I wanted to make sure I got the most for my buck, and I’ve never purchased a used console before. I didn’t want to spend $40 on an eleven-year-old console only to have it die on me a few weeks later.

So I checked Craigslist. And…yeah, turns out these are the people who think Gamecubes are, like, ultra-rare or something nowadays.

And, apparently, there was a limited “addition” to the console I wasn’t aware of…

There was also one gentleman who thought it was reasonable to bundle a Gamecube and Super Smash Bros. Melee together for the absolute bargain of $150. Because, you know, Gamecubes are made of solid gold and grant wishes.

I tried Amazon next.

OK, so a used Gamecube is only $19! That’s not too bad at all! 

…oh…yeah, I won’t get very far without any of the cables, Mr. Seller. Thanks though.

I was getting antsy. I had a bunch of Gamecubes games collecting dust alongside my Wii, and that needed to be fixed. So I caved and went to GameStop.

$30. Not bad…not great, but not bad. So I went up to the counter and embarrassingly asked if they had any more Gamecubes. The two employees, of whom I’ve become good friends due to me frequenting their store so often, gave me a look of confusion mixed with slight horror. I swear one of them checked their watch to make sure they didn’t somehow get Twilight Zone’d to 2006. 

Turns out I somehow (magic?) had $25 bucks in store credit on my GameStop card thingy, so my ‘cube was only $5 out of pocket. I mean, technically it was more, but I like to think that I only pulled five dollars out of my wallet, so that’s how much it cost. It makes me happier to think that way.

I have no clue why I was so excited to open this thing. I mean, I had a Gamecube when I was younger. One of my friends broke the laser on the inside, so it stopped reading disks, but that was literally about two weeks before the Wii was coming out, so we pitched the damn thing, thinking we would never need one again.

Anyways, because I’m a BLU Spy, I sliced this heavily-protected box with my kick-ass butterfly knife. Seriously, I love that thing. I just wish I knew how to flip it around all cool like Hit-Girl. One day, my friends.

Wow, they even threw in a controller! That was an unexpected surprise. We already have two controllers, but an extra is still fun. It’s like getting your favorite movie for Christmas from your aunt. Sure, you already own it on DVD and blu-ray, but you’re still unwrapping Back to the Future.

That was a horrible analogy. I’m not even sure why I said it. Anyways…

Look at this bad boy. All silver and cube-ish, perched perfectly atop my DVD player. This setup pleases me.

See, I’ve never had a console in my room before. All of them were always hooked up to the big basement TV. That TV is high-def, so it’s always epic playing PS3 games on it, complete with surround sound that makes it seem like you’re really there punching Zeus’s face in with your bare Spartan fists.

However, Gamecubes games are not in HD, and the graphics were painfully bad on such a TV. It’s similar to playing a high-def game on a crappy TV. You would be able to literally count how many polygons make up a character if they weren’t so fuzzy and terrible-looking.

The TV in my room is also high-def, but it’s a lot smaller and more compact. So, while the graphics still look a generation old, they don’t look nearly as bad.

I popped in Viewtiful Joe and couldn’t remember any of the controls. The thing is that the PS3 controller is like the perfect gaming controller. Everything fits in your hands beautifully, you don’t need to stretch your fingers, every button is in a convenient spot. The Gamecube controller, of course, is pretty weird to get used to. It’s not a bad controller (though Nintendo does have plenty of those…I’m looking at you, N64…but I love you, don’t worry), it’s just a little strange to adjust to. And I’ll never understand why they changed the C buttons to a C stick…in fact, I’ll never understand why Nintendo felt they needed C buttons at all. The only time I can think of where they were really necessary were the Zelda games…Oh, Nintendo. You and your “revolutionary” controller designs. You’re so cute.

Speaking of the controller, the cord is literally just long enough to reach my bed. I’m slowly beginning to think that maybe putting a console in my room wasn’t the best idea. I mean, there aren’t any PS3 games I want until late June, and there are still a ton of Gamecube games I want to catch up on. And just chilling in my bed, playing video games in the darkness all day long…

…Actually, how is that different from my normal lifestyle? 

Nevermind, this idea was totally awesome.

Filed under nintendo gamecube wii gaming sega genesis craigslist amazon ebay gamestop super smash bros melee tf2 blu spy hit-girl butterfly knife back to the future viewtiful joe wind waker legend of zelda god of war