Finding the Last Bottle in Tortuga – LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game for Nintendo 3DS

Standard

3DS-Pirates
The Short Version:
This appears to be a glitch. For some unknown reason the tenth bottle in the Tortuga level is only awarded for achieving “True Pirate” in Story Mode. 

Finding time to play any video game is a challenge these days but I did manage to pickup my Nintendo 3DS and work on finishing Disney’s LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean. The various LEGO games have many hidden items to be discovered.

I managed to find every red brick, medallion, and all but one bottle. After all of this effort I wanted to achieve 100% completion. After all, not only is it rare that I actually play a video game to the end but it’s extremely rare that I complete every side mission and find every collectible.

Fortunately, the game shows the player a count of the items that have yet to be discovered and which levels they are located in.

In this case I was lacking a bottle in the Tortuga level (level 1-2). Finding the bottle proved to be frustrating; after numerous re-visits I was unable to discover this one item.

I had noticed that on other levels, when one achieves “True Pirate” by collecting enough LEGO pieces (referred to as “studs”), that a bottle is awarded.

After collecting and activating various multipliers it was easy to achieve “True Pirate” in Free Play mode. Yet, I still lacked this bottle so I decided to replay the Tortuga level in Story Mode.

Surprisingly, when I hit “True Pirate” again I was awarded the missing tenth bottle. It was at that moment that I also achieved 100% completion.

Perhaps it was a random glitch or maybe it can occur within other levels. I was unable to find this information on the Web after numerous searches though I did find a post by someone else who was asking a question that indicated that this person experienced the same problem that I had.

It’s worth mentioning that the 3DS version appears to be very different from the versions made for the larger console systems such as Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The guides and walkthroughs describe level elements that don’t match up with the 3DS version.

Game Streaming from an Xbox One to a MacBook Air (11 inch, mid-2013) using Windows 10 (Boot Camp)

Standard

Xbox-One-Streaming-01

The Short Version: I was able to successfully use Xbox One Game Streaming using Windows 10 via Boot Camp (OS X El Capitan) on my MacBook Air (11 inch, mid-2013) with 8 GBs of RAM and the Medium quality setting with only minor audio lag and no noticeable video lag.

Continue reading

Nyko Uboost (Wii U Gamepad Battery Back)

Standard

UBoost-WiiU-01

The Wii U Gamepad is good and certainly very useful if one wants to play a game “off TV”. But the darn battery just isn’t very good and that’s rather annoying, especially since the thing seems to be required to stay on, even when streaming video using Netflix or other services.

To deal with this issue I purchased a Nyko Uboost extended battery for the Wii U Gamepad, which has significantly improved the total charge of the Gamepad. It’s not a replacement battery – it fits over the existing battery and provides additional power.

Surprisingly, it’s compatible with the original Gamepad charging dock and is very inexpensive at just under $15.

As a backup for longer gaming sessions I also purchased a Gamepad charging cable. It can’t charge the Uboost itself (the Uboost only charges on the dock connections) but the Uboost doesn’t prevent me from being able to easily access the more traditional charging port on the Gamepad. The charging cable also appears to be compatible with a USB extension cable I already had, which works well for a player position farther away from the Wii U or a power outlet. I chose to purchase the additional charging cable so I wouldn’t have to move the existing cable is connected to the Gamepad charging dock.

Mario Kart 8 for Wii U – The Best and Worst Mario Kart Game

Standard

Mario-Kart-8

Last Friday I purchased a copy of the new Mario Kart 8 game for the Wii U. It’s something that I’ve been anticipating for a long time. After all, I’ve played almost every single game in the series, with the exclusion of some of the older DS/DSi editions. Now the complaint I have isn’t something I was completely unaware of before I purchased the game, but I was hoping for a better experience with the Battle Mode than I’ve had so far.

Continue reading

Replacing my Nintendo 3DS with a Nintendo 3DS XL

Standard

3DS-XL-01

I’ve enjoyed owning a Nintendo 3DS. It’s a great portable system. It’s not feature-rich or very powerful, but sometimes those characteristics aren’t enough to make a great system (or necessary). With the 3DS it boils down to how the whole package comes together and the types of games available for it. In my case, I still enjoy many of the classic Nintendo series so this was my portable gaming system of choice.

None of my gaming systems, including the 3DS, are played on a regular basis for various reasons. However, since it’s portable I’ll often carry the system around if for no other reason than to use the StreetPass capabilities.

The original 3DS was a great system but I decided that it was finally time to upgrade to the 3DS XL with its larger screens. This wasn’t my original plan. I was quite happy with the 3DS, but I received an Amazon.com gift card of $100, which easily covered half of the cost of the system.

Overall, there isn’t much of a big difference between the two systems except for the screen sizes. However, if one has a chance to move to the 3DS XL then I highly recommend it simply for this feature. I’ve never had problems with the 3-D features of the Nintendo 3DS, but having larger screens is a more enjoyable experience.

My only complaint about the 3DS XL is its battery life. However, it’s actually an improvement over the 3DS factory battery. I’ve become spoiled with the battery life of my old 3DS because I had replaced the battery with an extended one that, when new, could easily power the 3DS in stand-by for an entire week without losing half of the charge. This is not the case with the 3DS XL and, unfortunately, I have yet to find a replacement battery that I consider affordable (at least one does exist, but at about half the cost of the system itself it’s just too expensive, in my opinion).

This is a fun purchase that I’ve already enjoyed considerably. Perhaps in the near future the cost of an extended battery will drop dramatically. Until then, I’ll just have to remember to charge the 3DS XL more frequently than I did the 3DS (due to the extended battery the system almost never ran out of power before I got around to recharging it).

All of my information from the original 3DS was transferred over to the new 3DS XL using the software provided by Nintendo. The only issue I had, which I knew would be a problem, was that the 3DS XL I purchased came with a copy of Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. As a result of the transfer that game was lost. I already owned a copy of the game, which I had previously purchased via the Nintendo eShop, so it wasn’t a terrible loss as I could have used only one copy anyway.

3DS-XL-02

5-Port USB Wall Charger (EasyAcc)

Standard

USB-Charger-EasyAcc

Having accumulated several devices that charge via USB, sometimes I don’t have enough USB block plugs on hand (and other times I’m just tired of digging around to find the adapters) to charge everything up at once. Last week I purchased a couple of 5-port USB wall chargers (EasyAcc) from Amazon for less than $20 each, which have helped make this minor inconvenience less of an issue.

This particular model isn’t something I plan to move around frequently. Instead I have located them in key spots where they’ll remain most of the time. One is at my office and the other is in our guest room.

So far they seem to work well and they’re about as simple as expected (and needed). There is one thing of note that interested purchasers may need to be aware of. The USB ports do not all provide the same level of output, though it’s clearly marked on the device how much power each port provides and it’s unlikely to be an issue for most people.

  • USB1 5V/2.1A (iPad)
  • USB2 5V/1.3A (Samsung Tab)
  • USB3 5V/2.1A (iPad)
  • USB4 5V/1A (iPhone)
  • USB5 5V/1A (Android)

Monster Ntune Headphones

Standard

Monster-Headphones

I had no interest in ever spending more than $100 on a pair of stereo headphones, which is why this particular purchase was a bit unusual for myself.

Personally, I don’t understand why folks are spending an average of $100-$200 for stereo headphones (such as the Beats brand). Perhaps it’s more of a status thing, like owning Apple stuff? It’s not that I think the headphones are bad but at the end of the day they’re just stereo headphones. I’d prefer to spend that kind of money on headphones that include digital, surround-sound support (I’m actually a bit frustrated that I have yet to find a pair of such headphones that don’t require a large, block attachment).

I was out to spend some spare cash one night and after browsing various sections of the electronics department at our local Wal-Mart I was unable to find anything that was remotely interesting. I just happen to pass by a display of these Monster Ntune Headphones. While in the store I started looking up the cost and reading reviews on Amazon. To my surprise, this particular style of headphones was slightly more expensive from Amazon at the time. After careful deliberation I decided to purchase a set at Wal-Mart, which cost about $80.

They are very good headphones. I suspect they’re not too dissimilar from the Beats line considering the interesting history between Monster and Beats. To be frank, this is probably the first time in my life I’ve ever purchased anything made by Monster.

I’m very happy with this purchase. They’re certainly better than any other pair of headphones I own except for my surround-sound headphones (unfortunately, those are not very portable). Are they worth $80? That’s a tough call because I haven’t spent a significant amount of cash on a pair of good headphones in several years though I don’t really care about the minor differences between this model of headphones and other models that cost more but are made by the same company.

Updated 02/22/2014: The headphones continue to work great and have held up just fine. I carry them around in my backpack almost every day, keeping them in the microfiber bag that it came with.