Video Game Tips Roundup

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Over the years I’ve added a handful of posts that feature tips for specific videos games and I thought it might be useful to re-post the links here:

Breath of the Wild: The Man in the High Castle (Entrance Shortcut)

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Note: To pull off this trick you must have acquired Revali’s Gale.

I’ve put several hours into playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. But it’s time to wrap up the core experience so I can move onto other games like Super Mario Odyssey. Earlier this week I completed the two remaining dungeons and over the past night and a half I’ve spent time building up healing items, Ancient Arrows and other inventory items that I guessed would be useful in the final assualt against Hyrule Castle.

But after spending only a short amount of time within one of the lower castle entrances my Hylian Shield broke so I temporarily abandoned my quest and returned to Tarry Town to purchase a replacement. After jumping back to the shrine nearest the castle I decided to try a different approach.

Instead, I ascended to the top of one of the spires guarding the castle boundaries and from there I floated almost to the entrance of the last room with only one short stop on the way. It’s impossible to actually climb the spires but it is possible to stand on the various raised designs that cover their surfaces. By using Revali’s Gale I was able to reach the top with the most difficult aspect simply being the wait-time required for the Gale power to recharge after three uses. I don’t remember the exact number of jumps I used to get to the top but I think it was around four; it required two recharge periods.

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Once at the top I climbed on top of a dead Guardian and from there used Revali’s Gale once again, except this time I aimed for the upper areas of the castle. From the spire that I used I wasn’t quite able to get to the entrance in a single glide. I had to stop on a wall not very far away from the entrance. It was a fortunate spot as it provided cover between two Guardian turrets, one above and to my left and the other off to my right and lower than where I was. I still had another use of Revali’s Gale before a recharge so I used it again and glided past the remaining dangers and right into the entrance and hallway to the last room, where the final battle against Gannon begins.

Having not fought my way through the castle I can only assume that this saved me a significant amount of time, as well as inventory.

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Playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Nintendo Switch

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Note: Minor spoilers about certain items and actions are included here.

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Back in the 1980s I played and beat the original The Legend of Zelda game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It was a fun but challenging game and it’s likely that I used a strategy guide to make it through. Sometime later I tried Zelda II: The Adventure of Link on the NES but it didn’t capture me; I did not care for being pulled into battles without any warning when exploring the overworld map and the side-scrolling was just an odd fit.

With the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) I was sucked into the world of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Just when you think you’ve defeated Gannon you learn that not only did you not beat the game but that there’s a whole other part of the game that was nearly as long as the first. It’s remained one of my favorite Zelda games over the years and I thoroughly enjoyed reliving a slightly different experience on the 3DS with The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.

In the years since I’ve played the many of the Zelda games at some point, excluding some of the handheld editions. While I’m aware that many may have very high opinions of those games, and I certainly can’t say that they were bad, none have captured my attention for very long and certainly not to the point that I thought I might actually strive to finish those games. I spent several hours enjoying The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess when it was released for the Wii but after complete a handful of dungeons I decided to move on.

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I have discovered that, for me, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a very addictive Zelda game that I expect to finish. I have already put in countless hours within a matter of only a few weeks, typically playing late at night. It’s one of those games where you continuously feel compelled to do “just one more thing” before ending a gaming session.

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The Nintendo Switch: Nostalgia Meets Modern Technology

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Nintendo Switch

First the first time in a while I made a large impulse purchase that frankly I had doubts about whether or not I should have done it. Perhaps the jury is still out on that one but I can say, without any reservation, that the Nintendo Switch is an excellent system. Not only do I recommend it to any long-term fans of Nintendo gaming franchises but I’ll go out on a limb to suggest that perhaps the way this system works is the direction that all other console makers should go, if they’re going to insist on developing and maintaining their own hardware. I’m planning to provide some additional posts about the three games that I currently have and why I think they all represent a great mix of nostalgia and modern technology.

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Nyko Uboost (Wii U Gamepad Battery Back)

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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

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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.

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Replacing my Nintendo 3DS with a Nintendo 3DS XL

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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.

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