Thursday, August 6, 2009

The long hard wait

For anyone thats a Zelda fan, right now you are like me, waiting. Nintendo has a nasty habit of letting its fanboys know they are working on something that makes them drool, but then handing so little information over the span of years that by the time a trailer comes out for the game we're expecting the holy grail. I think that part of why people get disappointed with some of the zelda titles is because they force us to anticipate to the point of impossibility. When you've been waiting for something for so long, you expect it to be beyond your wildest dreams to make it have been worth the wait.

Granted, the games have always been good, but if I hear about a game and get excited about it, then I'm forced to wait 3 years to play it, it better be like touching a small piece of heaven. On the other hand, when a good game comes out unexpectedly, its incredible even with its flaws. Why, because I haven't been dreaming about that game every night for several years, waiting for my ultimate gaming destiny to finally be delivered to me.

For instance, I borrowed a copy of "Shadow of the Colossus" from a friend a few months after it came out. Before he handed it to me, I had never really looked into what the game was all about. To me, it was just a Zelda wannabe that Sony was pushing through hoping to cash in. I was never more wrong. Despite many of the criticisms of the games lack of minor enemies or anyone except the Colossi for that matter, I think it was a better game than "Twilight Princess". Now before I get called a heretic or a blasphemer I would like to mention that at the point I played it, TP had been pushed back several times and was now going to be released on the Wii first even though big N promised us that it was going to be a Game Cube game. I was eager for some action. "Shadow" delivered, and I wasn't expecting it to. I really loved that game. I think that it was more like what I've always wanted out of Zelda game than any of the recent Zelda games have been. If "Shadow" had had perhaps 2 or 3 small towns, a few more items / weapons and a hand full of small enemies wandering the vast landscape it already had, it would be the perfect Zelda. For me anyway. The first few Zelda's were pretty damn lonely and they are considered by many to be the best ones.

To me, the spirit of the old Zelda games is a lone warrior battling against impossible odds in a vast world. Just a hero, a magic sword and an epic adventure. "Shadow" had all these things. On top of that, the Colossi were freaking awesome. I would love to see a Zelda that had a world as big as "Shadow", as open as "Shadow" and had some of the old Zelda boss monsters be as massive as the Colossi. Add in the stuff I mentioned above and make Ganon into a huge monstrous pig-wizard wielding a trident again like he used to be and it would be the ultimate Zelda game for me. The 3D Zelda games just don't look like the same world that used to be in the old 2D Zelda illustrations from the manuals and Nintenedo Power. That is the world I want to see.

But I think the big point is that I had no expectations from "Shadow". In fact, I expected to hate it. On the other hand, I expected the right hand of God to come out of the heavens and place a masterpiece of limitless power in my hands when it came to TP, as did many. Granted, TP was a good game, even rather good as far as 3D Zeldas go, but it wasn't what I expected after how long I waited for it.

I hope Nintendo doesn't drop the ball on this one they announced this past E3. I think it would put the final nail in the coffin for me as a fanboy. BTW, I think the DS Zelda title and the new one they just announced are wretched abominations of that which I have cherished since I was a small boy. And feel like a massive part of my soul, let alone my childhood have been raped away by their existence. The same could be said for the Zelda CDi games, but at least they weren't made by Nintendo. For that, they can be forgiven, but not "Phantom Hourglass" and the filthy "Spirit Tracks".

Just the personal rantings of a religiously diehard old-school Zelda fanboy.

P.S. when I was 8 I made my Uncle who lived next door to me make me a wooden sword and shield that looked like the ones in the first Zelda instruction manual. I used to play with them all the time. The shield came in handy to deflect the rocks the other kids in the neighborhood would throw at me for being such a geeky loser.

Ah, the good old days

Monday, August 3, 2009

Home media server made easy

To those of you who didn't read about it already, I use a Mac. But that is not where our story begins. No, our story begins with the Nintendo Wii. You see, the Wii has a cute little feature that lets you put an SD card from your digital camera into the Wii and view your pictures and videos on the tv. Well, I thought "Gee, if you can view videos taken with the camera why can't I convert a video to that format and watch it on the Wii?". So, as many of my musings do, it became a quest. A quest to convert a video and play it on my Wii.

It would seem that this is no easy task for a Mac user such as I. Not without expensive software that is. I found out that the Wii played a video format called a Motion Jpeg. But even when I would convert a video to this format it still would simply not play on the Wii. I began to get frustrated. But then I discovered something amazing. Its called Wii Transfer. It basically sets up a special web based server on your local network from your Mac (sorry Windows users... not really lol) that you can surf to from the Wii Internet Channel. The page it generates has links to your Itunes music folder, your Iphoto folder and a folder for your converted videos. You just click on the link and select what you want to play / view. The program is dirt cheap and works wonders. It does take a bit of time to convert the videos, but then again so does just about any good video converter.

The coolest part is that the page is viewable to any computer on your network as well. So basically, the gigs upon gigs of music that I have on my external hard drive are all now also available to my wife (not that she likes the music I listen to but the fact that its available is what counts). Seeing as how the software only runs a few bucks and does all the work for you its probably the cheapest / easiest way to set up a home media server even if you don't have a Wii and just want to listen to your music collection from other computers on you network.

Definitely two thumbs up!