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Zelda Adventurer’s Pouch: 3DS Holder

Zelda Adventurer's Pouch 3DS Holder

Graev is a collector of 3DS carrying cases, protectors, bags, and all sorts of devices of this sort. In fact, I think he collects things like this for every device, including his Switch.  So naturally when we saw the Zelda Adventurer's Pouch he had to get it.

The case has plenty of room to store any version of the 3DS, including the New 3DS and the XL. In fact, you can even fit a New 3DS AND another system like the PS Vita or even a Nintendo Switch (sans joycons) in there at the same time.

It comes with two stylus (Master sword and Hylian Shield), and a cleaning cloth/sticker map of Hyrule. 

The case itself has a belt loop and a metal ring for you to either attach to your belt or loop through a strap of another bag. The belt loop snaps nicely.

The material is faux leather. The inside of the pouch has a soft fuzzy feel. The overall construction of the pouch is sturdy and feels put together well. 

However, it is worth noting that this will only provide minimal protection for the device inside. There isn't any padding beyond what the leather'ish exterior provides.

We wish there were more game slots. The pouch only comes with two of them, which really isn't enough when traveling or wanting to take this on the go. The game slots are also a precarious position. The pouch flap comes down over them and the stylus, however any major jostling and those games may just come right out.

Overall, if you're a Zelda fan and a 3DS carrying case collector like Graev, this is definitely worth the $12.99 on Amazon (currently on sale down from $20.)

Mario Party: The Top 100 is an AWESOME Idea

Nintendo held a Nintendo Direct on 9/13/2017 an announced a ton of great information for their games and platforms. Graev and I actually had an impromptu viewing party -- was a blast.

Nintendo brought it on like Donkey Kong this Direct with so many announcements. Chief among them for the New 3DS XL was Mario Party: The Top 100!

Mario Party: The Top 100 is a collection of the top 100 Mario Party mini-games from all 10 of the Mario Party games across all consoles. Top 100 will be a 3DS title, which is probably fitting since it's just a collection of mini-games.

Mario Party 100 minigame

Graev is a little disappointed that it's not an actual Mario Party game because he really enjoys the board game component. While I completely agree that the board game part is really fun, I'm also that guy who really just wanted to dive into the same handful of mini-games each time. The basketball mini-game, for example, was freaking GOLD.

We're both a little more than disappointed that you can't play multiplayer via online play. Multiplayer for Mario Party Top 100 is only available via local play or Download Play (which lets you have one cartridge and have up to 3 other people play using your game via downloading it to their system.) As I speak we're researching ways to tunnel via the internet.

With this, Pokemon, and several other titles (some I've spoken on this week already) there seems to be a resurgence on the 3DS for us. If anything notable (good or bad) comes up, we'll let you know.

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Minecraft on 3DS Swings and Misses

"Woah, dude, look at that!" was our reaction when Nintendo showed Minecraft finally coming out on the New Nintendo 3DS and 2DS handheld consoles.

Initially the idea was magical. Minecraft in 3D, available in handheld format, that isn't a janky edition on a phone with terrible controls! We could play together on the go! And then, upon further inspect... reality.

Minecraft on 3DS/2DS doesn't have multiplayer. It will never receive online multiplayer, and according to the post on the official website will at best receive "local" multiplayer in the future. It won't even receive the "Better Together" update. Minecraft 3DS also won't have any 3D gameplay! Huh... 

There are pretty strict limitations on monsters too, even stricter than console versions. "Only 24 enemies, 24 animals, 16 water creatures, and 16 villagers can exist at one time," according to Minecraft Gamepdia.

Additionally, it appears that the 3DS version is being developed separately as a fork off of a version of Pocket edition, meaning it will likely never catch or match the Bedrock version of Minecraft.

Minecraft on a 3DS

Okay, so that sucks. Is there anything good about Minecraft on 3DS?

I think so.

I think the dual-screen on the 3DS will be absolutely amazing for gameplay. Imagine never having to open that inventory and not see the world. You can run around with it open right there. There's also a map which looks convenient -- I know my mom, a devout pocket edition player, would love that.

There's also the fact that it'll eventually get 'local' multiplayer, which means the real target demographic (kids) can play together on road trips or in the same house, and be in an even safer environment than Together provides.

And as alluded to earlier, this is a true mobile version without the janky controls of a phone. I've played extensively on iPhone and iPad, and neither control well at all compared to what it would be like using the 3DS' slide pad and nubbin.

If the opportunities weren't missed, I'd be all over this right now.

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There’s Never Been a Better Time to Own a Nintendo 3DS or 2DS

Nintendo is proving they are still 100% fully committed to their handheld consoles despite also backing the mobile gaming scene on iOS and Android.

During yesterday's Nintendo Direct, Nintendo announced/previewed a ton of games as well as new handheld versions of the 2DS.

New 3DS & 2DS XL

If you don't have a 3DS XL, now's a pretty dang good time to get one. You can also get a 2DS XL for a really great price (like $150) and play all of the 3DS games Nintendo announced.

A few New 2DS XL models were just announced during the Direct as well including one we're sure will sell out immediately:

Nintendo 3DS Games Announced / Shown at the
Nintendo Direct

Graev and I were both truly shocked to see such a strong and overwhelmingly "wow" showing for games coming soon to the 3DS & 2DS:

  • Mario Party: The Top 100
  • Kirby™: Battle Royale
  • YO-KAI WATCH™ 2: Psychic Specters, and Oni Evolution
  • Metroid™: Samus Returns
  • Minecraft: New Nintendo 3DS Edition
  • Mario & Luigi™: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions
  • Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon

We'll have more 3DS game coverage to come on these games and systems over the next little bit.

Now really is a great time to jump in and get a 3DS or 2DS system for the Q4/Holiday release lineup.

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QuickCast Episode 6: What Are You Playing?

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We had some technical difficulties getting this one up for yesterday, but better late than never! I'm just glad we're sticking with podcasting. Over the past decade our biggest struggle has been consistency. This is the year we make progress.

​In this episode, we shoot the breeze about what we've been playing and what we're looking forward to in the next few weeks. 

I even dropped more not-so-subtle hints about getting Graev to play the upcoming EQ TLP with me.​

Games we mentioned this episode:

Subscribe on:  iTunes | Youtube | Soundcloud

QuickCast Episode 3: Rehashisode

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Episode Notes

This episode rehashed a few topics from last week (hence the title) and touched upon the latest news surfacing about the Mini NES. Apparently Nintendo has decided to ship the last batch, stating the product was always intended to be temporary.

We chatted about the NES Mini's moddability as well. Graev brought up the Retropie which uses a Raspberry Pi to create a retro gaming system. Really cool.

The latest Nintendo Direct showed a lot for the 3DS, and a few decent titles for the Switch as well. Mario Kart comes out at the end of this month!

Graev shared his very brief and broad impressions of Persona 5 in response to a question from one of our listeners.

Keen is looking forward to trying Kingdom of Loot (impressions to come) and bemoans early access.

We round off the episode by talking about what's coming up in gaming.​

Episode Links

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Maybe Nintendo Did Okay?

I was a little quick to judge Nintendo’s E3 portfolio, but their approach to E3 with the Nintendo Treehouse wasn’t the best approach either. As the day(s) went on, Nintendo showed several other games beyond just Zelda and Pokemon that really have me excited. There’s one in particular that I’ll kick things off with…

Ever Oasis

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Ever Oasis is an action-adventure RPG for Nintendo 3DS family systems contains puzzle-filled dungeons, real-time battles, exploration and treasure hunting. Players use the oasis as their base, which they can expand as they play, and gain affinity with characters called Seedlings, who are themed after plant seeds, as well as a variety of other unique characters who live in the desert. Players can freely form strategic parties with any of their allied characters, using allies’ weapons to battle enemies and solve dungeon puzzles. Ever Oasis is scheduled to launch in 2017.

It’s like Zelda meets Animal Crossing meets Monster Hunter meets Pokemon Mystery dungeon; Some are even thinking Runefactory is in there somewhere. The video above really showcases a lot of that. This is exactly the type of game that I enjoy playing on a 3DS. I’m super excited, and would love to hear about the possibility of co-op.

Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past

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This Nintendo 3DS remake of the classic turn-based game involves a young boy who sets off with his friends on a journey to restore the world to its former glory and save the present by mending lands that were sealed in the past. In addition to updated graphics and an entirely new localization, the game does away with random enemy encounters to bring the player deeper into the game world. Players can also collect and share Traveller’s Tablets via the StreetPass feature, granting access to special dungeons offering unique rewards.

I’ll freely admit here that i haven’t played a single Dragon Quest game. That’s like a gaming sin, I know. So I don’t know if this is a remake of a game that ever released in the US on another console, or just a remake of the Japanese version. I think it looks fun, though. Again, the perfect kind of game on the 3DS. Am I going to be able to jump right in and enjoy the series having never played previous installments in the series?

Monster Hunter Generations

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I haven’t decided yet whether or not I will pick up Generations. I played Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and enjoyed it online with Graev, but I think the series is incredibly templated. They all play so much the same that the next one simply feels like the previous one. They’re great — really great — but is that enough to jump in and play another? Once again, a perfect game for the 3DS. Handheld really is where Nintendo shines.

Additional honorable mentions:

  • Mario Party Star Rush – Still no online multiplayer, but a new mode that removes turns and enables free movement. Biggest shock: It’s a 3DS title.
  • Paper Mario: Color Splash – Looks good. I like to watch these be played but haven’t actually played one myself. Graev loves them.

Ever Oasis all by itself is enough for me to boost Nintendo’s E3 score. That looks ridiculously fun.  Bringing updates to a few staples, and showcasing more of their titles already announced doesn’t hurt either.

Catching up after a long week

I’m back from my 4 day business trip to Seattle — forgot to mention I would be gone. I missed SoCal quite a bit. All that wet stuff falling from the sky and people smoking everywhere took a bit of getting used to for me. Living in the suburbs in the Inland Empire (greater Los Angeles area) we see very little of either of those things these days. I caught some kind of cold from the trip which either came from all the people hacking up a lung on the plane or the rain.

miitomoI had my first experience with Uber while in Seattle, and proceeded to use it a dozen times. That was pretty cool. I was marveling at how incredible it is that I walk out of my hotel, tap a button on my phone, and a car pulls up. I get in the car, it drives me where I told my phone I wanted to go, and when I get there I just get out of the car and go along my way never having to exchange money or interact with anyone (if that’s my desire). Technology is getting pretty darn cool — especially where our handheld devices are concerned. Now if only gaming could catch up a bit. Seems to me we’ve stagnated a bit on these dumb time waster games and haven’t seen much for mobile devices.

Nintendo’s first official first-party app Miitomo launches next month. I’m once again a little confused by their direction with new products. Miitomo is going to be an app about dressing up your Mii, talking with friends, and taking photos with your Mii. I was hoping for more from them when Tatsumi Kimishima took over. Just not seeing any of that yet. Where’s the true first party GAMES rather than these awkward Japanese inspired social mechanics?

Interestingly enough, Nintendo continues to push forward with updating games they released in the past for use on the 3DS family of systems. FOr example, Pokemon Yellow Special Edition Pikachu Edition launches on February 27, 2016 ($9.99). Pokemon Yellow was released 18 years ago! I love that they are bringing back these titles, but I’d also love that Zelda open-world RPG we’ve been waiting on for a few years now. I’ll be a tad bitter if the Nintendo NX launches and all these Wii U games we could have had are pushed out a generation.

Settling back into my routine is nice. I’m going to pick Final Fantasy Explorers back up and continue pushing forward. I’m loving the Machinist and looking forward to the Red Mage. Also playing LEGO Dimensions, Just Cause 3, and way too many games — write ups coming soon. Several of you have joined us in Albion Online. If you need a guild invite let me know! Our island is awesome for free crafting on high-tier stations.

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Final Fantasy Explorers Review [3DS]

Final Fantasy Explorers

Take the classes and abilities from Final Fantasy with the basic gameplay from Monster Hunter, and you get Final Fantasy Explorers. The premise of the game should be very familiar to Monster Hunter fans. Your goal is to advance your character by running quests, crafting better gear with drops, and mutating abilities. While really not even close to MH’s depth, FFE strikes a chord with me that MH wasn’t able to — FFE’s pacing is way more my style.

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Basic Questing / Gameplay

The game takes place on an island with diverse areas/tilesets to explore. The main hub of operations where the player upgrades gear, obtains quests, and advances the very thin plot is in the town of Libertas. From Libertas you can accept quests to go out and slay summoned monsters, bosses, etc., in an overall effort to gain more crystals. I guess you might say it’s Crystal Chronicles meets Monster Hunter.

FFE OdinThe questing system is straight forward. You get to accept one main quest and any number of sub quests. The main quest is something like “Go kill Ramuh” and a subquest can be to use a certain ability during the fight.

Combat is much more intuitive for me than MH. Although deep enough to incorporate positional attacks and skill shots, the interface and execution are easier. Hold LB and RB opens up submenus with X, Y, A, and B for each. So you can basically bookmark 8 abilities, a basic attack, sprint, and item menu. This is way easier than having to remember combos, and it works so much better too.

Battles play out much like a standard RPG or even MMORPG in real time. Combat mechanics include tanks, heals, boosters, and damagers with a variety of ways to execute each. Monsters fight back using the typical, though a tad unoriginal, mechanics too. You’ll see lots of AOE attacks, charging monsters, and ‘get out of the red circle or instantly die’ mechanics. Despite being a little contrived, they work.

[su_lightbox type=”image” src=”http://i.imgur.com/5e5LOHp.jpg” class=”pointer”]FFE Classes[/su_lightbox]

Classes & Abilities: FFE has lots of them

Knight, Monk, White Mage, Black Mage, Dragoon, Paladin, Thief, Ninja, Red Mage, Time Mage, Bard, Hunter, Dark Knight, Beastmaster, Geomancer, Machinist, Alchemist, Sage, Blue Mage, Samurai, and Freelancer. Those are your class choices in Final Fantasy Explorers. As I mentioned earlier, there’s a variety of tanks, heals, dps, and boosters (buffers) to play, and a variety of ways to satisfy each play style. Want pure burst dps? Go Machinist. Want a traditional Tank? Go Knight.

I like how the abilities, in some cases, can be used cross-class. I can use Cure on my Knight to help heal myself in a pinch. Eventually you can master a class and obtain access to additional weapons and abilities.

Mutating and upgrading abilities adds a whole new level of customization. As you use crystal surges (special abilities on timers) you can then use other abilities that, when used in tandem, spark a mutation. Mutations can stack and build custom abilities. Let’s say you use Guard during a mutation opportunity and it adds Haste. This creates a NEW abilities that will give you both Guard and Haste at the same time. It’s like ability stacking, and you can ultimately walk around with all of your abilities no longer basic simple skills but mutated abilities. The customization here is overwhelming, but if you simply focus on making abilities you think are cool and useful then you’ll get by just fine.

Single-player & Multiplayer

Graev and I have been playing FFE together almost exclusively. Multiplayer works flawlessly without any lag at all. Final Fantasy Explorers works great solo, don’t get me wrong. You can create monster pets to act as a companion and do just fine in the game solo, but I think the true spirit of the game is best felt in multiplayer with up to 4 players.

FFE teamwork

Again, combat is designed for that typical ‘group’ gameplay. Graev is playing a Time Mage with lots of support abilities and heals, but a healthy dose of damage too. Remember, you can customize your character quite a bit, so he has made a character that fits his style. I’m playing a Knight (standard tank) until I unlock either Red Mage or Dark Knight. I think both of those sound most fun to me.

Teamwork and synergizing together, planning attacks, etc., are all beneficial in FFE. We did a boss fight against Ifrit and realized we hadn’t properly planned. Neither of us came in with the abilities we’d need to synergize a good combo or to output enough damage. Fixing that issue, we defeated Ifrit again in half the time.

More to Come…

There’s a little much to put here in a review. You know me, I like to keep these short and to the point with a bit of info to satisfy your questions and whether or not you should buy or skip. While FFE’s scope is easier to grasp than MH, the depth is there for at least 100 hours of gameplay. I’m going to try and rig up a way to stream FFE and/or record a video so that you guys can see it in action from my perspective.

I highly recommend Final Fantasy Explorers. Go into it expecting a game all about playing interesting classes and beating bosses. This is a game about grinding for loot drops to craft that perfect weapon, customizing your abilities to make your character feel just right, and simply enjoying to thrill of the hunt. Just don’t expect a plot — there really isn’t one — or anything close to a traditional Final Fantasy game. But trust me, you won’t miss it. Looks for whatever videos I can come up with soon as they’ll answer more questions and provide more insight into gameplay.

P.S. I highly recommend you purchase FFE on Amazon. Gamestops are sold out, and Best Buy laughed at me. Amazon had it to me in 2 days.

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