EZ-Mode Unlocked Episode 293

The three of us are back and ready to talk! This week we talk about game like Ether One, Box Boy, Unfinished Swan, Shadow of Mordor, and so much more! We also tease some changes a brewin’ over here at EZMU, but no worries, they are all good!

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EZ-Mode Unlocked Episode 292

Only two EZs again this week. Rob and Trees talk Splatoon, Ether One, Minecraft and more!

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Splatoon: Why You Should Give a Ink

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I want to share my thoughts on Splatoon. I don’t really want to sit here and walk you through the demo/beta and tell you what was and wasn’t available. I could tediously explain things like how the tutorial went, the types of weapons you were able to use, the layouts of the maps, and the severe lack of pouches, but I’ll only briefly touch on some of these things. So if you want a walkthrough of the demo, you’re going to have to look elsewhere.

Why? Because I want to focus on making one thing clear: how awesome of a time I had!

It’s funny because it’s true!

Of course, with it being an online shooter from Nintendo, there was the possibility of anything and everything going wrong. But aside from taking about 5 minutes to get initially connected, I didn’t really have any issues. I did get really scared for a second when the default setting was set to motion control, but it could easily be changed to analog sticks. Even with not being able to play with my friends (the demo was all matchmaking and no invites to games), or no chat functionality at all in the game (sigh, Nintendo), I still had a blast. Here’s some gameplay I found so you can get an idea.

It’s just… different. It’s refreshing. I think this game was born from fans of online shooters who were bored with playing all these games that look and feel identical. For years and years, it feels like we play the same rehashed shooter – gray, dark, uninspired – over and over again. Start, run, run, run, die, spawn, run, run, shoot, die, spawn, run, run, run, run, run, run, shoot, kill, die. Yeah they look great, but really, it’s just so much of the same every time.

Splatoon is like the first day of spring after a long winter. It’s a shooter, but it’s hard to be looked at as a shooter. I think what really got me hooked is how you’re in this competitive multiplayer game… But your goal isn’t to shoot at anyone. Yes, you can and will feel the need and urge to, but you don’t really have to. The goal is to cover as much of the map with your team’s ink as you can, so that’s where the focus of your squad should be, with a secondary objective of shooting at the opposing team if they get in your way.

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Talking with chocobomoshpit & gadgetman007 over Skype while playing (sigh, Nintendo), we agreed that’s one of the most glorious things about the game. How you’re not running aimlessly around hunting for people like it’s the Hunger Games, but instead, as long as you’re shooting, you’re constantly working as a team towards your goal. You’re always doing something. You don’t feel like you’re wasting your time in a match if you’re not where the action is.

I don’t know if you’ve played any online shooters lately, but that’s pretty magical, folks.

On top of that, there’s also the little detail of it being fun as all hell. There’s something immensely gratifying about splattering paint everywhere. And when you’re behind that roller? Pfft, fuhgettaboudit!

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Personally, I didn’t become a huge fan of the roller in my hour that I played. There’s a lot of people who voiced their concerns, and an equal amount that disagree. For me it’s insanely fun to use it, but if you’re not quick when you’re on the receiving end of one, you probably won’t like it as much. There was one match where both teams had no rollers at all and it was a blast. Matter of fact, I kind of preferred it. But maybe it’ll warm up to me soon enough.

Then there’s the launching. In general, the gamepad is being utilized here pretty well. You have a clear top view of what’s going on in the whole map. You see which team’s paint is splattered where, where your teammates are, where the other team is, everything, all on the gamepad.

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So let’s say you see on the map one of your teammates is deep in enemy territory. Surrounded by other team’s ink and you can see them closing in on your Inkling pal. All you have to do is tap on their icon on the gamepad and whooooooooooooosh, you’re launched all the way to their position to help them out. Holy crap, the fun in just launching everywhere is ridiculous.

Another thing the gamepad does is entertain you while waiting for your lobby to fill up. We all sat there in the lobbies of games waiting and waiting for everyone to join. Well with the gamepad, you can play a little arcade game while you wait! It’s rather addictive how you can get into it. And I felt kind of sad that I couldn’t play with it longer than I did. Though I’m sure I heard there’s going to be some sort of arcade machine in the main hub of the game where you can play all the games. I also heard amiibo support will add more arcade games with every amiibo you scan in. O0o0o the possibilities of retro arcade goodness between matches.

Ok, so we know it’s fun, and it’s a fresh take on an old genre, but what else do we know?

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It’s going to launch with 5 multiplayer maps and 2 multiplayer modes. From what I gather, you’ll be able to join a game with your friends but you won’t be able to create one, so there will be the chance of having strangers in your games. But, there will be a huge update in August that will allow party matchmaking where you can put together a team and go off to battle other teams. In this update as well, we’ll be able to create custom matches with up to 8 players where we can set our own rules and arenas. The decision to not include voice chat came from the developers who didn’t want to give players the possibility of a negative experience while playing online. There are plenty who don’t agree with the decision and plenty who do. There are numerous maps, modes, gear, and weapons coming down the line as free DLC. The single player campaign seems to be fairly robust and will have a fair amount of platforming elements. And the amiibo being released for Splatoon will unlock a set of challenges when each one is scanned. When the challenges are complete, you will unlock special gear and equipment that is exclusive via the amiibo.

I think that’s a good run down so far of what I’m excited for. If you’re interested in the game and have yet to check out the Nintendo Direct that happened on 5/7, then go ahead and give it a watch. It’s filled with info and video on everything Splatoon.

So what do you think? Are you excited to dive into Nintendo’s new IP? Going to wait it out and see what others think? Or do you not care at all about any of it?

I say if you’re a fan of shooters, then at least give it a rent and see how it is. I think after the August update, there is going to be HUGE potential to have loads of fun with friends. The only thing that would stop that though, is if no friends wind up getting it. I’m always happy to see new IP’s launching, especially with Nintendo. So I look forward to supporting them and having a blast at the same time.

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EZ-Mode Unlocked Episode 291

This week Dana and Tress reunite for the first time in two weeks, so as you can imagine, they have a lot to catch up on! We also talk about pouches a plenty and GAMES GAMES GAMES! Games like Far Cry 4, My Life as a King and Minecraft.

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Zelda Adventurer’s Pouch Kit Unboxing and Review

So if you haven’t been following me lately, let me tell you how much into the 3DS I am.

About a week ago I traveled to Chicago and since then I’ve been busy updating my site. I mention that because this is the first week since I got the New 3DS XL that I haven’t played it. It’s been with me everywhere I went since I got it. I’ve been playing it like a maniac – 100%’ing Majora’s Mask, getting into and wanting to play more of Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., getting straight up addicted to Animal Crossing like my life depended on it – it’s been a blast. It’s come such a long way from the original 3DS, I cannot recommend the New 3DS XL enough. *coughRobcough*

So when this pouch popped up on Gamestop.com, I went nuts. It looked amazing! And even though I had a case that I loved and was still great, I wanted to get this one. Mainly because it’s Zelda and, pfft, you know me and Zelda… Plus, I’ve been wanting a change in the case I have since I’ve been carrying the 3DS around like it’s keeping shrapnel from piercing my heart.

I opened up the box and was immediately…….. disappointed!

Oh man. I don’t know if you can hear the disappointment in my voice, but I was hurt. Like, I took it personal.

It looks amazing, I still absolutely love the look. Heck, the zipper is welcome too since the “buckle” is more for show than keeping the system in there.

But… it’s just soooooooooooooooo huuuuuuuuuuuge. I get it, I’m carrying around a 3DS XL, it’s a fairly large system. Still, this thing adds what feels like double its bulk. I mean, I shouldn’t say that because I really don’t have a problem with the size of the 3DS XL. I love the size and feel it’s perfect. But this case is just too much.

I was hoping for a slim lined kind of case. More form fitting. I regret not doing it in the video, but the 3DS kinda dances around in this thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if it could fit in the pouch while it’s still in my old case!

Maybe the zipper is why they had to make it so bulky? I don’t know. I would’ve preferred magnets if that were the case. This thing would not fit in your pockets at all. I guess that’s why it came with a belt loop. Hahaha, look, I really love the design and I’m willing to rock anything with the Royal Crest, but… ain’t no way in hell am I going to put this thing on my belt and walk around with it. Might as well strap on a fanny pack. Rob was making fun of it (or me) on Instagram saying it’s perfect for 3D gaming at the Renaissance Fair. It’s hilarious how accurate that is!

The briefcase comes with 2 stylus’ modeled after the Master Sword and Hylian Shield, and a peel and stick (?) cleaning cloth that looks like a map from Zelda. These are the things that make up the “kit” part of the case. Neither one of them I would’ve used though.

There are also 2 sleeves to put game cartridges in, as well as 2 holders for the super long stylus’.

Bottom Line:

Nintendo along with PowerA are trying to cater to Zelda fans. The idea and concept are great. I’m telling you, I absolutely love the look of the pouch. But there’s just way too much of it. Its size really killed it for me. I carry my 3DS everywhere I go and I have it in a case and usually keep it in the side pockets of my cargo pants/shorts. This pouch wouldn’t have fit in those pockets, that’s how big and bulky it felt. The 2 game sleeves were cool, but it’s just 2. With the size of the flap on the pouch they could’ve fit at least 2 more there. The zipper secures the system from falling out but the compartment you put the 3DS in isn’t a tight enough fit for me. I was immensely disappointed with this case and proof should be I didn’t even want to bother taking pictures of it. Once I unboxed it, I put it back in the box, and brought it back to the store. I just couldn’t do it.

I say, even if you’re a diehard fan of Zelda (like some awesome food blogger I may know), and you’re looking for a case for your 3DS, you’ll be fine passing on this one. There is that chance though you don’t mind the size of it. You could just be leaving it at home and carrying it around the house. If so, as I said, there’s nothing wrong with it. You’ll love to look at it and put your 3DS away in it. But if you’re like me and you were looking for something to carry around, you should probably look elsewhere. Unless of course you like lugging bulky cases, wouldn’t mind carrying it looped on your belt in public, or you frequent Renaissance Fairs.

 

Now, I mentioned I already have a case that I love. If you didn’t know, it’s the CTA Digital Leather Case from Amazon. I absolutely love this case. It looks sleek, stylish, and it freaking works.

There are 3 sleeves for games, it’s kept closed by 2 magnets that do absolutely no harm to the system, it fits snug, and it doesn’t add a ton of bulk. It fits perfectly fine in my cargo shorts pockets, and it’s easy to carry around. If you’re looking for a good case, I promise, this is one of the best out there.

If you’re wanting to buy it, it’ll set you back a whopping $13 on Amazon. Just go ahead and click right here and hit buy, trust me.

Maybe I’ll just slap some Zelda stickers on it and call it a day.

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