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- I think I remember you mentioning your lack of energy somewhere before. Do you think it's because of the stress you're going through right now or is has it been a chronic problem for you? I can't offer much advice on that except for to try getting a regular sleep pattern (I'm unaware if you have one right now). Last year my sleep schedule consisted of anywhere from 3-4 am to around early afternoon the next day. I noticed that that usually made me tired throughout my entire awake-part of the day. Obviously it's hard to do all the time with studying and such, but try to go to have an average and consistent sleep schedule.
I'm a procrastinator too. I'm sure you've heard this advice before and it may sound stupid, but try to split things up; start early with assignments and studying, but don't think you have to do it all at once. For example, I recently had a 66 problem calculus assignment due, which seems quite daunting at first, but I split it up so that everyday I did about 5 problems or so. Obviously this won't always work for everything, and this is essentially a procrastinator giving advice to another procrastinator, so I can't really think of anything more than that.
I'd tell you to try keeping a schedule book as well, but I'd be a hypocrite as I can't stand doing that, and I'm sure you can't either.
Now, as for socializing and meeting people, let me go on a personal spiel here: Last year, especially during the second semester, I ended up isolating myself a lot and not engaging with people and the college experience, and I was miserable. Part of this had to do with my academic stress and not enjoying my major (I've since changed it). This is the one thing you never want to do.
So I got so frustrated with myself to the point where I decided to do something completely out of the blue and well out of my comfort zone: I decided to rush an honors co-ed fraternity this semester. Obviously you don't know me personally, but know that I am typically very introverted and guarded when meeting new people, so this was like a ♥♥♥♥ing chemistry and calculus -combined-exam in terms of stress for me.
But I think it was ultimately a great choice: I've met so many people in the span of a few days that I feel more connected than I ever did during freshman year, and I've only been in the rush process for two weeks. I don't know if I'm in yet (as a matter of fact, I find out if I'm accepted into the initiation process this Friday), but regardless, I have made friends quicker than I've ever done before doing this.
If you're anything like me personality-wise, it's going to be challenging at first. You have to initiate introductory conversations and constantly engage yourself with people. It's scary, awkward, and well, tiring. You will have awkward moments at first, but when they happen, forget about them immediately and move on. It's fine. I already feel more comfortable with initiating chats with people with my experience with this fraternity.
Now I'm not saying you need to join a co-ed honors fraternity here (though I think that would be a good choice), but any sort of club or organization that is not solely about academics or services will do wonders with your social life. I found myself talking to random people I meet on campus now; that would be unheard of just last year.
Also, I wouldn't worry about not having a girlfriend or a date yet. You're still young, you just started college: life is just starting for you. You have plenty of time to make self-improvements. And college is the perfect opportunity to do that. Forget about what you did or didn't do in high school. You'll soon no longer care about those years anyway.
On last thing, do you ever go to a gym? The reason I ask is because you mentioned the freshman 15 and lack of energy. I just started working out on a regular basis a few months ago, and when I started my second year a few weeks back I joined my campus's gym. This is going to help you in several areas at once: your physical looks, your confidence, your energy levels, and you can meet people there too quite easily. And who knows: maybe if you start a strict routine you'll end up carrying that over to your academics as well, which will help with the procrastination problem.
I definitely recommend using a gym if you don't do so already. I was skinny as heck last year; now, while I'm still quite slim, I actually have a shape now, and it's the greatest thing in the world when people you know start to notice and comment on it.
- I didn't play Super Metroid until the 2000s. My introduction to Samus was through Super Smash Brothers (which demonstrates how that series can be a great marketing tool for Nintendo). Still, I didn't play Super Metroid until I borrowed it from a friend. He liked the game, but didn't know you could dash and thus never got passed the collapsing bridge in Brinstar. I was intrigued since the game had that Samus character in it. I played it and was thoroughly enthralled. I think that was one of the last times that I delved into a game without any hype, spoilers, or preconceived notions. It was one of my most magical gaming experiences. Thinking about it makes me wonder if the internet has been detrimental to the wonder and joy of gaming.
I'm not so sure about the unfortunate situations you described. I don't think it is possible to get "trapped." There should be a way out. I can only think of two situations where you must use a wall-jump or shinespark (and this one has no save point, so you can't get stuck) to get out, and in both cases, there are creatures that show you how to use those techniques. I know where the second situation you described is. I'm pretty sure there is a bombable wall somewhere. And unlike the original Metroid, there is a plausible hint to it (crab enemies are crawling beneath it).
You are right that unforeseen consequences are an inherent challenge in developing nonlinear games, which, as the reviewer you linked to argues, is probably why a lot of developers don't bother. The risk/reward ratio is too high. Many players don't care or realize that most games today are highly scripted experiences. However, I have to disagree that the Super Metroid team didn't give the level design sufficient consideration. There are parts that can stump you, but nothing in the game's structure is broken.
One game that I've been thinking about recently (prompted by the insane "impossible levels" Youtube videos) is Super Mario World. Every Mario game aspires to appeal to all players and Super Mario World definitely achieves that goal (unlike Metroid, which only has hardcore appeal). The game-play is quite simple, but when you factor in all the hidden exits, star road, the switch palaces, the secret zone, and branching paths in the over-world, the result is a very richly textured experience. Few games capture the thrill of discovering secrets better than SMW.
I have sped run Ocarina of Time, though I didn't use glitches. I estimate my best time at between 8 and 9 hours. A friend and I have beat Ocarina of Time in a single night multiple times. In fact, disgusting as this sounds, I beat the game 100% in a single night (my friend dozed off).
I am a pretty advanced Metroid player. I can beat Super Metroid in about an hour and my Zero Mission time isn't bad either. However, I am in awe at that Fusion secret message sequence. Shinesparking is trickiest technique to Master in Metroid, and the absolute precision and concentration that takes is incredible (particularly the way he has to lay down power-bombs etc., all while maintaining his shinespark). I've never even tried it because of how intimidating it looks.
- I don't necessarily disagree with the guy from the review you linked to, but I wouldn't go as far as dissing the rest of the series. It's true that the original Metroid has some unique qualities that will probably never be replicated, but future games made undeniable improvements in other areas. And sometimes, that game really is too cryptic. I admit that I had to use a guidebook a couple of times.
It's funny you brought up Metroid because I've been craving a genuine Metroid experience for quite a while. Given that I wasn't too keen on Corruption (although, playing through it with a friend a summer or two ago, it was okay), it hasnbeen since 2004 that I've played a great Metroid game. There was a time that I naively believed Other M might capture the feel of 2D Metroid, but that didn't work out at all (btw, I have seen the video you linked to--I came across it one day when I typed "Metroid Other M Sucks" into either Google or Youtube). Check this out:
TAS Metroid Zero Mission GBA in 32:33 by Dragonfangs - YouTube
It's a "tool-assisted" run, so that isn't an actual player. But it gives you an idea of just how tight the controls are and just the remarkable amount of depth there is to the game-play. You can do some amazing things in 2D Metroid (particularly Zero Mission and Super Metroid, but while we're at it, check this doozy of a secret out from Fusion):
Metroid Fusion - Secret Message - YouTube
I know what you mean about Dark Souls. I don't know much about it, but I do have a preconceived bias toward it since it's always portrayed as a Zelda killer. Just aesthetically, it doesn't look too interesting to me even though I'm sure it's a fine game.
- Yeah, the Thousand Year Door was truly something.
While I'm excited for Sticker Star, I have to question why Intelligent Systems seems to be against just making a "regular" Paper Mario game again. I mean, Super Paper Mario was one thing, and although Sticker Star seems to be a return to the series' RPG roots, the lack of partners is pretty concerning. It doesn't help that we haven't even seen any NPC's that aren't generic toads (at least, I don't think we have).
I'm sure the game will be well made and excel at what it tries to do, but I think we could have had just one more expansion of the classic formula the same way TTYD expanded on the original.
- So that was not the best written or most complete response, and plus, I failed to give a straight answer to your question. However, I can't help but go off on a billion different tangents on the subject of Metroid. Probably the reason I didn't go off on more is because I need to get to bed.
- You are right. Your idyllic childhood vision of being a game-developer isn't realistic, sadly (I always wondered if there would ever be a westerner ambitious and passionate enough about Nintendo to learn both Japanese and computer programming and actually work firsthand in game-development at Nintendo. It would make a great story).
I have been hesitant to really embrace technology. I don't own all the latest gadgets, and I'm about as out of the loop when it comes to such gizmos as my parents. However, I'm trying to be more open-minded. While I never see myself doing any hardcore programming, I am considering learning a bit about web and graphic design, simply as a way to make myself more versatile.
I love different Metroids for different reasons, and it's hard to pick overall favorites. I would have to say Super Metroid is the best overall. It's got the best music, atmosphere, and game-play depth. However, it does come up a bit short in the challenge department compared to the original Metroid. The original Metroid is a GREAT NES game. I don't find it nearly as primitive as LoZ. In fact, some of it's "archaic" mechanics actually make for a different (rather than inferior) experience. For example, there is no duck technique, which changes the game-play a lot; the morph ball becomes a viable "dodge" move, and Zoomers (the little spiny crawling dudes) are far more formidable since you're unable to hit them when they're at the same elevation. Plus, you can shoot directly upward and run at the same time since there is no diagonal aiming. The downsides of the original Metroid include profoundly unfair moments (like getting hit while you're passing through a door), overly cryptic secret passages (the equivalent of having to bomb every block in the original LoZ) and the comparatively lame Kraid and Ridley fights.
Metroid Prime is my favorite of the 3D games. Each subsequent Prime game diverted a little more from the Metroid formula, which is an approach I respect but felt did more harm than good. I was sick and tired of Dark Samus by Prime 3. The original Prime was a remarkable translation of Metroid game-play and atmosphere to 3D.
Zero Mission is my favorite remake of any game ever, mostly because it is essentially an entire new game. Yet it did justice to, and expanded upon, the lore of the original. The game-play was extremely tight. And it was one of the last Nintendo games to truly embrace nonlinear game-play. Instead of restricting "hacks' of the game, it encouraged them by rewarding players for completing the game with low % of items. And I appreciate Metroid Fusion as a unique, but extremely high quality entry to the series. It was highly linear, but featured a compelling story and atmosphere. It was fresh. Other M tried to do the same thing, but it is a piece of dung in every imaginable way. I don't think there is a person on earth who hates that game and everything it stands for more than me. I would go as far as saying it is the only genuinely BAD (as opposed to merely disappointing) game Nintendo has ever published.
- Hm, I hate to say it, but you sound a lot like me (which explains why we have a similar posting style and tend to get along) and I'm worried for you. Especially the part about sleeping a lot. That's what I tend to do when I'm stressed and don't feel like engaging with life.
As far as developing new interests, that's a good question. I would like to, but I don't even know where to start. The metaphor of throwing paint at a wall and seeing what sticks comes to mind. A huge issue I have is that if I start something new and don't immediately succeed, I tend to give up on it quickly.
If I were you, particularly since you're not a college grad yet, I would try to find any employment you can. Even crap employment. It will force you to have a routine, give you a little spending money, a sense of purpose, and something to put on a resume. For you, crap employment isn't quite as terrible of a thing as it is for me.
If you can't find work, maybe you should still search for jobs as if you were trying to find full time, adult-level work. This is something I wish I would have done. It gives you a sense of what is out there and what you need to qualify for those jobs. This will give you some specific ideas on how to spend your time in college. For example, if I had simply majored in chemistry instead of biology, I would "qualify" for a hell of a lot more jobs right now. I'm telling you, a bachelor's in bio gets you virtually nothing, so beware. If you do stick with bio, you HAVE to at least get some experience in a lab or you're going to be screwed.
If you're really passionate about video games, have you ever considered designing them? I've heard it's nowhere near as glamorous as it sounds, but then again, a computer science/engineering background is a solid foundation if it doesn't work out.
- Yeah, I've heard a number of things about Kid Icarus's controls. Some people love them; others hate them, but everybody says they take a good while to get used to. I'll have to really experiment with them when I get around to playing it.
And yeah, Xenoblade is pretty much made for the Classic Controller. I haven't actually tried it with the Wii remote/Nunchuck but I'll try them out and tell you how they are.
Also, judging from your avatar, I'm assuming you're a fan of Paper Mario? The Thousand Year Door is one of my favorite video games of all time. What do you think about Sticker Star?
- I've been going back and forth between Mario Kart 7 and 3D Land. 7 is probably my favorite Mario Kart yet and 3D land just has so many different levels.
I actually have Kid Icarus, but I haven't played it yet. I'm planning on it soon, but I have such a ridiculous backlog between all my systems; I still have to work on Resident Evil Revelations; I barely got into it yet.
I'm also playing Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii (amazing game), and Batman Arkham City and Dark Souls for the 360 at the moment.
Yeah, I was tired of the same discussions over and over again. Also, I just needed to spend less time on ZU period. I graduated in December and I have to get a lot more serious about my career and life in general. Still, I always find myself coming back to ZU for one reason or another. It's kind of sick.
After three and three quarters playthroughs of Skyward Sword, it is true that I'm finally bored with it. So I'm in that frame of mind where it's easier to nitpick and contentment turns to disappointment. However, despite my current antipathy, I can't suddenly deny that it easily provided me with 100+ hours of high quality game-play experience.
The one significant shortcoming of SS that stands above all others (small bestiary, hand-holding etc.) would be that it's world just isn't that compelling. I've seen the Hyrule from OoT described as the "most coherent universe" Nintendo ever created, and I think this is a big part of that game's intrigue. It's not just the locations, but the characters that inhabit them. MM and WW also had great, coherent universes. I really think both TP and SS featured really boring universes. TP was just flat all around, filled with characters and places I never felt connected to. SS was just very barren on the surface and thus didn't feel like an actual world. I think it's kind of cool that we get to see Hyrule in its primitive, feral, primordial state, but not as cool as the more developed states of OoT Hyrule and Termina. This is why I'd like to see the next Zelda take place fairly late in the timeline and feature some industrial age technology. It'd be a very cool aesthetic for Zelda.
Skyward Sword is not the "ultimate" Zelda game as touted by Nintendo. Sadly, I think they exaggerated the degree of content in the game. But on the other hand, it's a very strong game judged on its own merit. Stronger overall than TP and WW in my opinion, and in some ways preferable even to the N64 games. From a game-play perspective, SS makes the N64 games feel old. It obviously has the best production values, animation, music quality etc. The swordplay is well done and sets a new standard going forward (now we need more variety in the enemies and genuine AI). The story was easily my favorite in the series, and my favorite iteration of the Master Sword/Triforce saga. Forging the Master Sword and acquiring the Triforce left me feeling like the ultimate Link. Lots of great moments. I still think the fight with Demise is one of the best in the series. I'm shocked that people find it "underwhelming" or even easy. I'm a skilled Zelda player, and I still find the second form tricky. If Demise is easy, I'm not sure what that makes the other bosses in 3D Zelda.
I like the game a lot. It still does things I have a problem with philosophically (linearity, formulaic bosses, meddlesome sidekick), but it's still a beautiful, high quality game. It left me feeling more optimistic for the future of Zelda.
Yeah, I flip-flopped on Wind Waker. I still don't think it is as good as the N64 games, and in fact, I regard it as even more "flawed" than Twilight Princess. However, unlike Twilight Princess, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. It feels inspired. I've learned to appreciate the grand scale of that game. No other Zelda comes close in terms of its vastness and aesthetic beauty.
- About Johnny Sokko
- Favourite Zelda Game
- 1, MM, 2, LA, 3, OoT
- Favourite Zelda Character
- Video games, music, video games
- United States