Review: Symphony of Eternity (3DS)

SOEtitleFor the record, I was so tempted to write this review in 6-point type just to vent a little at Kemco and World Wide Software for this port of their otherwise decent mobile game, Symphony of Eternity. But I kind of like having regular readers so that plan died a merciful death and you get something a lot more readable. Anyway, the game, taken on its merits is a fine and dandy revisit to the nostalgic days of 8-bit console RPGs and there’s a decent amount of content for that low price point of $7.99 (yes, it’s worth a buy).

The big caveat is the playing the game on either the standard 3DS or worse, a 2DS will subject your eyeballs to some pretty darn tiny visuals on the main screen and a tinier map on the second screen. Worse, the game uses a few different camera positions and only one allows you to see what you’ve paid for with a full screen. Amusingly enough, that viewpoint is a standard overworld view… but you actually only use that map for getting from one point to another as the game has no overworld combat. Every fight takes place in dungeons of assorted size where that larger screen would have been very welcome, thank you much.

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Symphony of Eternity VS My Old Eyes

SoE_Nintendo.PNGGrrr. I like a few of Kemco’s old-school style JRPGs, but I avoid the mobile versions because I hate playing games on a phone and having ads pop up every five minutes because I’m a complete cheapskate who doesn’t like buying additional content if a game says it’s free to play or has a budget price point.

Amusingly enough, I’ve picked up a few of their PSP, Vita and Nintendo 3DS releases over the years and for the most part, like what I’ve played. That said, their latest Nintendo 3DS/2DS game, Symphony of Eternity, ($7.99, Nintendo eShop) is making me go cuckoo because while I like it so far, warts and all… it’s hard to see the darn game thanks to a kooky design choice.

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Puzzle & Dragons Finally Comes to Nintendo 3DS, Wii U Owners Forgotten (Once Again!)


 

Leave it to Nintendo to once again do something flat out awesome yet still manage to make me NUTS because they’ve once again forgotten about a slice of their loyal consumers. Sure, it’s absolutely GREAT that the ridiculously popular and profitable Japanese mobile hit Puzzle & Dragons is coming to the Nintendo 3DS soon as Puzzle & Dragons Z this May. And sure, it’s great that Nintendo has wisely realized that many US gamers probably don’t yet know P&D so they’ve had Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition cooked up just for those gamers as part of the same package. One price, two games? Yup, lovely and double yup, all that is fantastic news. What’s NOT at all fantastic is once again, Wii U owners get stiffed out of a game (or TWO games) a lot off them would probably want to play on a TV with friends, as a standalone product or hell, as something that would connect with one or both of the 3DS games in one way or another.

To me, that kind of forethought makes for a better product, but once again, Nintendo does it halfway. Again, it’s great halfway, but halfway nonetheless… Continue reading

Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage? Trailer – Welcome to Candy Kingdom!

Hmmm… it looks as if this 3DS and DS game based on yet another popular hipster kiddie cartoon I’ve yet to see other than when flipping through channels at random or something like that is DONE and all set for its November 20 launch. I may not have seen the show, but I really want to play this game, as it looks like a hell of a lot of fun. That and WayForward Technologies really knows how to make some awesome games. D3Publisher of America has at least two games I’m really pleased to see coming – this one and EDF 2017 Portable (which is pretty stellar stuff from the many hours I’m sinking into the import version). Anyway, Candy Kingdom? My teeth aren’t pleased by that location, but the brain, eyeballs and fingers are happy campers…

3DS XL TV Spots: Nintendo Still Doesn’t Feel My Pain, But They’ll Get My Money…

 

I actually love the new 3DS XL because I’m old as the hills and need something I can actually see, so yep, I’ll be getting one of these in a bit. My problem is the same as the one many who still play Game Boy Advance or other older Game Boy games have had since the DSi XL launched a while back. We STILL need to keep an older model small screen DS around (or have a dedicated GBA SP) when we want to play something that has yet to go up in the eShop. Yes, I still have my Game Boy Player attached to my GameCube, but you certainly can’t take that setup on the train.

Granted, the chances of seeing some of the more obscure GBA games I have here pop up as legal downloads are slim to none (and I refuse to be a pirate, arrr!), but hey, I’m in the minority at the end of the day. Compared to the masses who don’t give a hoot because they’re not interested in game history, treat it as easily disposable and move onto new things at a rapid pace, I’m an absolute dinosaur to Nintendo.  Hell, I still say some of us old farts NEED to keep all types of gaming alive for as long as we can…

 

Nintendo Power Shuts Down: The End of an Era, Despite Me Ignoring It (Mostly)…

Amusingly enough, I didn’t much care for Nintendo Power back when it launched in 1988. I wasn’t a big NES fanboy and I knew the mag was a house organ designed to pretend anything Nintendo was the best thing since sliced bread. Being system agnostic, I’ve always disliked this sort of thing when it’s that biased against other platforms, so it was quite easy to stick to my guns.  Sure, Nintendo was the company that pulled the game industry out from the grave back with the successful launch of the NES in 1985, then created the dedicated portable gaming market with the original Game Boy in 1989, but that didn’t mean they (or any other game company) could always ignore other platforms that had games of equal or better quality.

Despite Nintendo’s instant deity status among millions, initially, I wasn’t too impressed with the NES because I’d played Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, Popeye, and a bunch of the other classic arcade ports to death (in actual arcades) and didn’t see the need to do so all over again, no matter how good the games were. Stubborn (and stupid), wasn’t I?  OK, maybe I was a tiny bit biased as well, as I somehow had little to no trouble playing some Sega Master System and later, Sega Genesis arcade ports. Ah well, nobody’s perfect, right? I  did come around to the joys of the NES and later, SNES once I got my paws on Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior, Wizardry, The Bard’s Tale and a bunch of other RPGs I wasn’t seeing on any Sega platform, but that took a few years longer than it should have…

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New Super Mario Bros. 2 3DS TV Spot: Nintendo Does It Again (Again)

To me, it’s simply amazing that Nintendo can crank out a new Mario game that’s basically an old Mario game with some funky tweaks plus a few innovations every so often and make a mint every single time. Any other publisher that does this gets called all kinds of names and sand kicked in their faces by the more jaded critics and gamers alike out there. But Nintendo seems to have a pretty solid lock on what their fans want to see, so thanks are in order somewhere, I suppose. Of course, if you hate Mario games, your thumbs went into your eyes before you read this, right?

Nintendo 3DS XL: It’s Definitely Much Larger (And New Users Need To Buy A Charger)…

Update: Well, oops: it looks as if the XL will indeed ship with that Adapter.Charger after all. Thanks to Destructoid for confirming this. Now, good night!

How very, very funny. I was going to buy my own 3DS a few weeks back (I’d been borrowing a friend’s system from time to time, as he doesn’t use it much), but something kept holding me back. It looks as if this was what I was waiting for, so good for me, I suppose. Those larger screens are a blessing my my ancient eyeballs and while the unit doesn’t have a second analog disc (there’s now room for it, but hell, you’d have to have EVERY game that could use a second stick be reprogrammed to take advantage of it), it’s not going to stop many core users from upgrading (after some complaints, especially if they recently bought a 3DS). That said, Nintendo gets a kick in the shins for keeping the price “below” $200 by dropping the AC Adapter/battery charger from the new handheld’s packaging, forcing new users to shell out for one. If you’re trading up, the old 3DS Adapter will work just fine, so at least they got THAT right (Apple, take notes, at least on this part).

As usual, you can’t make EVERYONE happy, but you can at least make sure they can see and play your games, so kudos to Nintendo on that front. Oh yeah, here’s the rest of the Nintendo Direct video so you can check out what else is coming for the platform from the house that Mario built…