On Okay Nintendo, You Win

Today’s post is going to be a bit short. I actually almost forgot to write anything at all to be honest. As things usually go today was a fairly busy day at work starting off with a nice long meeting that almost put me to sleep followed by a mad rush to do a few code changes and lots of SQL scripts.

So as I mentioned previously, this week is E3 week and all sorts of announcements are coming out and game trailers are being released. One of the games that I’ve been waiting a long time to hear about is the new Zelda title on the Wii U. Now, here’s the thing, I don’t own a Wii U. Up until now I have not felt like there has been enough of a reason to buy the system. I know there are some great Mario titles out there, but that just isn’t enough for me.

Now that they’ve announced a new regular Zelda game (I’m not counting Zelda Hyrule Warriors as canon) I finally have a game I want that system for. I’m not going to go out and buy the system right away though, I’ll wait to see if there is a special edition console first. Zelda has been and always will be a system seller for me. Twilight Princess was the reason I got a Wii on release day, even if I didn’t finish it. And the new 3DS title “A Link Between Worlds” is why I got the 3DS special edition.

Zelda has always been one of my favorite games ever since “A Link To The Past” on the SNES. I’ll admit I’ve never finished the NES versions, and I’ve not played every game in the series but I’d like to remedy that at some point.

So all I have to say to Nintendo at this point is, “Shut up and take my money”.

On New Game Plus

So kind of a topic stretch today, I’m doing this a bit earlier in the day than normal (it’s currently 5:45am) because I start my on call week today. This means I may be a bit too busy during the day to type up a long post, so I figure I’d do it before the world came crashing down. I’d say I would hope for a quiet week but that is never guaranteed.

That being said, today’s topic is New Game+ modes in games. I’m not exactly sure how many games have done this lately but I know of a few. Namely Dark Souls 1 & 2 and the latest Zelda game A Link Between Worlds. On the off chance you’ve never heard of new game + mode the gist of it is that once you finish the game on normal difficulty it lets you start over from the beginning with all your items/skills but makes the enemies more challenging. Now keeping all your items is not a 100 percent guarantee since Zelda does not do that. It just starts you off at the beginning with harder enemies and you lose health a lot faster. Dark Souls 1 & 2 at least lets you keep your level, and I’m sure you keep all your items as well, though I can’t say for certain as I’ve never tried.

This leads me to wonder a couple of things.

First off, why do games even offer a new game plus mode? Why not just offer a game that lets you select what difficulty you want and go from there? Personally I think it is an attempt to extend the life of a game that otherwise might not take that long to finish. Or there could be specific achievements or rewards that can only be found on a second playthrough. I know that I never find every item or collectible on the first try, and going back to earlier areas might not always be an option. The other reason I can think of is that it is there for people who want that additional challenge, maybe they thought the first playthrough was too easy or something.

The second thing is more of a reader poll. Do you play new game + mode when it is available? If so, why? Personally I have yet to finish a game in new game +. This is primarily because I have not seen any specific rewards for it other than a more difficult game. I find it especially difficult to play through a compelling story a second time as there are no longer any surprises. For me this was the case with the latest Zelda game. I really enjoyed the story, and started out playing new game + because there was a specific item that shed some light on a secondary characters backstory that only unlocked after finishing the game. Once I got that object I no longer felt compelled to keep playing. I might go back to it eventually, as I love the Zelda series, but back to back playthroughs are not my thing.