This Dang Game! – Super Smash Bros. Wii U

This was originally supposed to be just a test episode, then it was supposed to be the pilot video for the let’s play show, and now it is the second video of the let’s play show.

Matt, Bruce, and Ethan pit their favorite Nintendo characters against each other in Super Smash Bros. Wii U. They talk a lot about Nintendo in this video. Like a lot.

Enjoy!

(All credit for the music used in the intro and the transitions go to Ozzed at Ozzed.net for his awesome video game style compositions!)

This Dang Game! – Mario Kart 8

If you have found your way to this video, congratulations! Welcome to the first episode of This Dang Game! The Blurry Eel Let’s Play show where Matt invites other members of Blurry Eel to play some video games.

In this video, Matt, Bruce, Ethan, and Doug are putting their racing skills to the test in Mario Kart 8. It’s pretty obvious that Matt has played a lot of Mario Kart.

Enjoy!

(All credit for the music used in the intro and the transitions go to Ozzed at Ozzed.net for his awesome video game style compositions!)

This Dang Game! – The Blurry Eel Let’s Plays

Hi Everyone!

On April 3rd, a week ago, the first let’s play went up on the Blurry Eel Youtube channel. This is such a huge achievement for myself and the rest of Blurry Eel to get some content up that none of us have ever tried to create before. Let’s plays are something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, and to watch it on Youtube is a bit surreal.

We use my Elgato HD60 capture card for capturing the game footage, and we use Ethan’s sound equipment for recording our commentary. Bruce then taught me how to edit and put together the let’s plays in Premiere, and create the intro and transition graphics in After Effects. So even though the let’s plays are my baby, it is a collaborative effort on the rest of Blurry Eel’s part to help make this happen.

Lastly, I got the music we use from Ozzed at Ozzed.net who I want to give a shout out to for his awesome chiptune music. Please go check him out.

A new This Dang Game! comes out every Monday at 12 PM central. Mario Kart 8 came out last week, and Super Smash Bros. Wii U came out today. Go check it out under the This Dang Game! tab here on the site. Also, If you haven’t, please go ahead and subscribe to Blurry Eel on Youtube. It will help all of us out.

Thanks!

Breath of the Wild: A Breath of Fresh Air in an Oxygen-rich Environment

Perhaps I should explain the title a bit. I am a Zelda fan. I’ve been playing for years. Hyrule is a second home. From realizing it’s dangerous to go alone in “The Legend of Zelda”, to going mobile with “Link’s Awakening”, to growing up with “Ocarina of Time”, to fighting the inevitable with “Majora’s Mask”, all the way to going beast mode in “Twilight Princess” (just to name a few), I have been the chosen Hero of the Goddess several times. So, to say that “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”, Nintendo’s latest installment in the series, launch title for the Nintendo Switch, and arguable swan song for the Wii U, was highly anticipated would be a dramatic understatement. While this title has made significant changes to some series mainstays and allowed itself to bring fresh and exciting new concepts and mechanics to the players, these changes coexist with conventions we as fans have grown to adore over decades. The dance they do together allows this title to feel new, yet wonderfully nostalgic all at once, hence my title.

When I lined up on the eve of a major console release, I was more so lining up for Zelda than I was for the console itself. The joy of waking up as Link once more was barely containable. The initial trot from the Shrine of Resurrection onto a cliff overlooking the landscape so wonderfully created for fans and newcomers alike practically moved me to tears. I won’t bore anyone with resolution statistics and frame rates. Mainly because I do not care about those aspects. Sure, I don’t enjoy a dip in the fps that momentarily removes me from the immersion. These moments are few and far between, especially while handheld over docked to TV. I play docked mostly, and it’s been everything I could want. I don’t think I’ve played a game on any console to this day that has never lagged for a brief second and needed to catch its own breath.

I don’t want to come across as defensive of the title. I can recognize fault where it is due even through the lenses I wear as a long-time die-hard fan, but the truth is I cannot find the faults to recognize. A dip in frame rate or a brief moment of resolution being below 1080p in most games is typically glazed over by the experience I’m having. To answer the question if you are dying to know: the game does drop in resolution from time to time. It runs its best just as reported, off of the dock. This poses problems for some, as the game is intensive on the Switch battery limiting play time while the game is arguably at its best.

The controls are tight and responsive, as one would expect from a series that typically strives for perfection. Maneuvering Link through Hyrule is a joy more often than not, whether he is on foot, in the air, on a mount, or hanging from the edge of a cliff. Speaking of travel, with one of the largest game maps of any series I’ve played, much less a Zelda title, Breath of the Wild does an excellent job of making travel not feel like a chore. While a much-needed fast travel is quickly given as an option in a world where it might take an hour to go from end-to-end, saddling up and riding the roads to your destination or simply to explore and enjoy the scenery never feels frustrating. My personal favorite, though, has been scaling plateaus, taking in the view, and then gliding with the paraglider as far as possible to cover ground.

Story-wise the game doesn’t fail to deliver a rich and exciting experience, especially when compared to previous installments. The complexity of Princess Zelda’s character and the dynamic between Link and the other main characters, and even supporting NPC’s, brings more than any other Zelda title in memory. However, the voice-acting might fall short for some in the cut scenes that occur through the more narrative-heavy segments. This would especially be true when coming from other AAA titles like The Witcher 3 or for those like myself who just came off of a play-through of the Mass Effect trilogy. Still, these scenes manage to carry emotional weight where it had never been before in a Zelda title.

There is much to be said about the challenges the game introduces from the very beginning. Your weapons and shields break in no time, forcing enemy engagements to be calculated and sometimes avoided altogether. You begin the game with little more than a selection of tree branches and wooden clubs looted from fallen enemies. Safe to say that I’ve never been felled with one hit in any Zelda title within the first hour of gameplay. This was just as exciting as it was frustrating. Going into the game’s true “dungeons” carried with it an authentic anxiety. I was anticipating what I might find. Would I be ready for the encounters ahead? Had I prepared myself enough to take on this challenge that I know nothing about? When you make it to the other side, there is a genuine sense of accomplishment that had otherwise been hard to come by before. Before I was a descendant of the chosen hero. Of course I can kick that guy’s ass! Gimme my heart container! Now I’m walking away feeling all the more victorious and fortunate just to have survived another day in this world.

The thrill of a victory, though, can be fleeting, as the physics of the environment are frequently unforgiving. Misjudging the height of a cliff as you leap for the edge or underestimating the gap of a river with strong enough current can prove fatal, especially early-on before your stamina can be upgraded. This same unforgiving world can also prove especially rewarding when you find a creative way to take down a foe. Stealth, an alternative to combat rarely seen in previous titles, can now be your first choice. Midnight in a rain storm means that an entire encampment of enemies can fall victim to a sneak attack, provided a guard standing watch is removed from the equation first. As a back-up why not steal the weapons they’ve left unattended to decrease the threat level? Suddenly you have new ingredients for powerful elixirs and food recipes that can give you the edge when a head-to-head fight with a powerful enemy is unavoidable or when it’s simply too cold to wear your tunic with the best armor rating on top of a particular mountain.

With tons of activities and exploring opportunities, the Breath of the Wild still let’s you truly relish in the world you’re trying so hard to save. Climbing to a peak simply for the view is just as fun as the mini-games, the story quests, or “shrine grinding” (you’ll see). Over 80 hours into playing, with my work as a chosen hero still unfinished, I still find the time to gaze into the distance and wonder what I’ll find next. Nintendo has created nothing short of a masterpiece that overcomes its own flaws by simply giving you an abundance of beauty and joy that makes you fail to notice them. The long-time fan will be immersed with ease and never want to put it down, which the Switch allows easily as per its design. The new player might discover what they’ve been missing for three decades.

Now, just patch in the ability to pet the damn dogs. 10/10

 

 

 

Nintendo Switch: A Love Affair

 

Based on the video attachment, obviously my initial opinion of the Nintendo Switch was anything but mixed. I loved the damn thing. Unboxing it had me giddy like child on Christmas Day. The hardware felt clean, “clicky”, and all-around fun, but it didn’t feel like a child’s toy. It felt like a gadget that any age group could get excited about.

All that being said, I had only gotten a first impression. How would I feel after 100 hours on it? How would I feel with sweaty palms as I struggle to get past Thunderblight Ganon? *No spoiler!* The answer? Still in love. Even with the out-of-the-box joy-con grip, every game I’ve played handles just as well as anything else. Granted I haven’t played much beyond Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Shovel Knight, two of my most highly recommended games, I only have excitement for what comes next in the lineup.

I won’t say the console doesn’t have short-comings. I’ve been blessed enough not to encounter any of the known issues surrounding its launch, such as the disconnecting left joy-con or scratches to the screen. The fact that you cannot completely power it down while docked to the TV is an odd quirk, and the lack of web browser or apps like Youtube or Netflix might deter some at first. However, those apps are inevitable.

The love affair will continue. Stay-tuned for a more in-depth review of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Blurry Eel Let’s Play Update

Blurry Eel!

I just wanted to make a quick update on how my Let’s Play show is coming, and I cannot tell you how excited I am to start getting episodes out onto the channel.

We filmed a test episode the other night, and it was awesome! I’ve been watching Let’s Plays since my early high school days. Back then it was just some fantasy that I never took seriously. But after filming that test episode, the Let’s Plays are all I’ve been thinking about. I keep looking over the games I want to play, the people I want to play them with me, and how soon I can get these episodes up on the channel. And to be honest, my ambition and excitement doesn’t want the episodes to air just once a week.

April is around the corner guys. I hope you’re ready!

– Matt

Outlook on Short Films – 2017

I have loved all the feedback we have received for our content over at our ¬†YouTube page and for the short films we’ve released so far. I’ve planned out a list of short films that we are going to complete this year.

The plan is to release a new short film once a month, but the list is a surplus for that release schedule. Hopefully you all can be treated to twice the amount of short films for a couple of months.

I’m excited for our latest film. We are going to start shooting a short film this weekend. Matt came up with the story and then I took his outline to write the film and I’ll be directing it.

So be on the lookout for this new short in March!

–BLRIII¬†