Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Not the price drop people were hoping for, but it should make Sony some money in the meantime. Now, go buy Shadow of the Colossus.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Now we’ve done this before, except last time Dustin thought ahead and brought his own headsets and controller, so we could all play and chime in; this time they were stuck with my janky headsets and I was left out of playing. Still, I was content to watch. The last time we did this was shortly after Halo 3 came out, and never before has so much smack talk and absolute lunacy reigned over at my house. However, back then, everyone on LIVE was chatting. This time, no one was. Therefore, no one could talk back to the endless jive J was spouting off at. From insults to pure randomness, the man is hilarious to watch go off on Xbox LIVE.
Some other people must have thought so too, as they tagged along and stayed in Dustin and J’s party throughout several games—even though J was being downright mean. He wasn’t really being a jerk; more like he was parodying things he’s heard on LIVE or people complain about on LIVE. Very tongue in cheek, indeed. Still, no one was talking to us. Until we met “DieHard Jim.”
Good ol’ “DieHard” (AKA “Earthworm Jim”) was a lad no older than 12, and probably much younger than that. He was talking up a storm! Like any grumpy adults, J & Dustin asked him if it was past his bedtime, and shouldn’t he be drinking his chocolate milk? Yes, we’re all bastards. Through all the shit talk, Jim’s falsetto voice piped up: “Are you guys really trying to kill me?!?”
“YES! OF COURSE WE ARE! IT IS A HALO 3 DEATHMATCH THAT WE ARE PLAYING!” came the reply from our end. DieHard didn’t seem too fazed though, and rode around in a Warthog as much as possible, yelling “WAHOOOOO!” …or at least until J or Dustin caught said Warthog with a rocket—something that happened many times.
So what’s the point? I guess that we’re people who just try to have too much fun in unconventional ways? We’re guys who pick on the little guy, then post his gamertag on our blog? That Xbox LIVE needs an enema? That maybe WE’RE part of the problem? (Probably.) Maybe the point is, folks online should watch the hell out when the Driver I.D. crew gets together and plays online for a few laughs. Maybe it's a good thing we haven't been able to mobilize our podcast yet! (But we will...)
So I’m sure many Wii owners have already tried the new SD storage solution for the Wii, as it’s been available since last Wednesday. Still, in my last post, I said I’d post impressions of the new feature, so here they are.
Overall, it’s pretty simple. Since the Wii Menu update to 4.0 last week, there is now a small SD Card icon in the bottom left of the Wii Menu. Click on it, and it takes you to the SD Card, where you can store various channels (like games). I immediately went to the Wii Shop Channel and downloaded all the games that I have had to delete due to space limitations (and there were quite a few), which I thought would be a daunting task. Then I finally saw the “Titles You’ve Downloaded” icon on the Main Wii Shop Menu (blame my ADD) and I had them all again in a flash. I also of course downloaded Super Punch-Out!!, which came out today, and had to fit that on my card because of space limitations.
There’s one hitch. You need to have available Wii system memory to boot up games off of the SD Card. It’s like the games don’t load off the SD Cards themselves, but get transferred to the Wii. So if your Wii system memory is already jam packed, you can’t load any games off the SD Card. A simple solution is available however; just move more games to the SD Card to free up some system memory. You can have the Wii do this automatically for you. Easy peasy!
I loaded up a few games off the card, and even the biggest games (N64) loaded within 10-13 seconds. Piece of cake! This storage solution addresses the long running problem of not having enough room for all your channels/games on your Wii. On other systems, you can opt to buy a bigger hard drive or something, but up until now, Wii has had nothing like this. It’s great now that it does, and moreover, it’s free (provided you already have an SD Card). One word of warning: I’ve read reports that clicking the SD Card icon without an SD Card inserted can create problems, like system lock up. Hats off to Nintendo for finally addressing the problem and making it easier and better than I at least imagined it would be.
Last week, I hung out with the guys (and girls) from our little collective here for some post-school gaming fun. After a quick drumming in Street fighter 4, (on me by Dustin) and before another Halo 3 torture session (as I like to call them) we moved to House of the Dead: Overkill. After reading the write up about the game Dustin did a while ago and with many comments to the effects of "J., you've got to play this game." I said "sure."
While the settings of the game, a nod to corny B-Movie-type backdrops and laughable dialog, I have to say that I'm almost offended by the portrayal of one Detective Isaac Washington. Not to say that the game is racist, but very racially insensitive and stereotypical. I held my head in shame as Mr. Washington dropped the phrase "muthafucka" like it was 1989 and NWA's 'Straight out of Compton' just came out. While comical in it's attempt to recreate Sam Jackson's Muthafucka delivery, I speculated whether Nintendo could be turning a corner. And 'turning a corner' meaning making a U-turn in the middle of a highway. Here's what I thought out loud.......
"This is Nintendo's new deal. Fanboys bitch about there being no games geared towards the hardcore player on the system, here's the answer."
With this and Madworld, also a very violent, very not 'typical' Wii centered game, Nintendo is saying "Look! We are making hardcore games. Now get off our backs! We're counting money." But, with this possible answer the mounting fanbase that feels left out of the fun with more.....adult themed games, could Nintendo shoot themselves in the foot? The Wii appeal is that it's NOT like "video games." You can pick up and play without getting into a deep story. It's something that your mom can play. It's something that your kids can play with little objectionable content. Could the big N go too far in the other direction? I don't know. Moms and dads could pick this one up (And they will. After working in retail, I can tell you that parents do not read ratings on games), figuring that 'it has to be ok, it's for the Wii' and get a big surprise at the dinner table when little Johnny drops more F-bombs than 50 Cent.
I'll leave it at this: I feel like this could be a bad trend in gaming. With now two kind of high profile games playing with stereotypes to various degrees,if left unquestioned, this could get ugly. I'm not sure if I'm still offended by the game. It's themes and dialog are more eye rollingly bad then we really need to get Jessie Jackson involved. Jessie isn't working. He could use the work.
To end this, if you have no idea what I'm talking about, is House of the Dead: Overkill summed up in 4 minutes. I feel that this kind of says it all. NSFW for f'ing sure......
another random quote from me after playing: "Wow. We really need to do better. We've got a black president now......."
Friday, March 27, 2009
Miyamoto: It’s not surprising that Iwata took time to praise Miyamoto and his techniques of game development. Apparently he said Miyamoto is on a 24/7 Non-Disclosure Agreement because even his hobbies become games (gardening = Pikmin, getting a puppy = Nintendogs, exercising = Wii Fit). I really like the idea that Miyamoto kidnaps junior employees to get them to playtest games and try to get them to figure them out on their own. Also the picture of “bandit Miyamoto” is priceless.
Wii and DS Success: The Wii has apparently sold over 50 million units worldwide, making it the fastest selling video game console ever, as it has already beaten the Sony PlayStation 2, which took longer to sell 50 million. Big news to be sure, but it’s hardly surprising. Then again, Iwata reported that 20% of people buying a Wii had no other video game system in their homes and 27% of Wii owners were female. That’s pretty impressive; Nintendo is really delivering on its promise to expand the market. Iwata also claimed that third party software is doing well on Wii, but why is he the only guy saying that?
The DSi meanwhile has sold over 2 million in Japan and Amazon reports it is the most pre-ordered system ever. I don’t know, I’ve said before I’m not too interested in it and I can’t see the overwhelming appeal. However, it is a great system for the (few) people who already don’t have a DS/DS Lite and are looking to get one. Plus, they are developing several apps for the handheld, so it might turn out to be a pretty big deal in the long run. Maybe the idea of using the DS like a pocket organizer/palm pilot is finally in the works as we speak. Let’s hope the DSi helps prevent the iPhone from becoming a major gaming force, as J was telling me the people making those games aren’t so big on quality control.
Final Fantasy games – Two new Final Fantasy WiiWare games is great news, especially Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, as my wife Maureen loves FFIV and looks forward to playing this. Getting all(?) the original Final Fantasy games on Virtual Console is great news too, though I’m sure they’ll be priced higher than usual, plus I’ve already shelled out for most of these on the GBA & DS. Still, it’s nice they’re doing it.
Rock N’ Roll Climbing – All I can say here is that it’s a complete missed opportunity to make a perfectly awesome Ice Climbers sequel. Dammit. Or would that be too predictable? Nonetheless, this looks kind of fun.
Zelda Spirit Tracks – Link on a train?!? I never would have imagined it, but I like the idea a lot. Link in a conductor’s outfit looks a little weird, but still kinda cute. The “Celda” graphics and tapping play mechanics from The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass have returned. I still haven’t played Phantom Hourglass yet—it’s on the list of backlogged games I don’t yet own—but I may have to pick it up before Spirit Tracks hits. It looks like some new ideas are at play here, such as manipulating a statue and getting it to fight for you. Also it looks like you may be able to pick routes on the train tracks, I’m guessing with the stylus. Here’s the trailer for those of you who missed it:
Storage Solution: I haven’t messed around with it yet, but I plan to test it out in full later today and will post impressions after I do. I forgot about GDC going on until logging into the blog last night and seeing J post about Nintendo’s stuff, but I had logged onto my Wii and downloaded the new Wii Menu 4.0 with the ability to load WiiWare and VC games off of an SD Card. “At last!” I thought, but it was kinda surprising out of context. I have many Virtual Console games I’ve had to delete due to space limitations, and with Super Punch-Out!! coming to Virtual Console next week, I’ll definitely be taking advantage of the new storage system!
Virtual Console Arcade: It’s about time! I always wanted arcade games for Virtual Console, and though we’re starting out with a couple good games and a couple stinkers (I mean, c’mon! Mappy?!?), there’s potential for great games to be released. Games like Magic Sword and other classic Capcom games; 2D fighting games; light gun shooters; more of Sega’s back catalog (it’d be cool to see the Sonic the Hedgehog arcade game, which has never been on a console), and other great arcade games of yore. Maybe Nintendo will even get into the act and release the Punch-Out!! arcade game, F-Zero AX or the Mario Kart arcade game. Who says all the arcade releases have to be old ones?
WarioWare: Snapped: So Nintendo finally does something EyeToy like. I like the WarioWare series a lot, and this looks like another installment where you’ll be looking stupid playing the game. You gotta love how the WarioWare games keep evolving to suit Nintendo’s latest hardware.
Other things: Outside Nintendo’s keynote, it was announced that the second Professor Layton game, Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, is being translated for North American and European release, hopefully within the next six months. Level 5 President and CEO, Akihiro Hino said that he’d like all six Professor Layton games translated for the U.S. and Europe eventually. Excellent news indeed!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
In other exciting news, IGN has the scoop that my beloved Super Punch-Out!! will be available on Virtual Console next week, Monday, March 30th. Hell yes! It will be just the training I need to get in the mood for the new game.
This may be old news for some, but I was at a buddy's last night and some of the people there did not know that the DLC for Left 4 Dead is coming on April 21st. Called the "Survival Pack," the free update will include a patch to play maps "Dead Air" and "Death Toll" in Versus Mode and include a Survivor mode where players are pitted against wave after waves of zombies as long as they live.
Once again, keeping you all in the loop. Oh, and J's right; I do have some stuff to say about Nintendo's GDC keynote, natch. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
This game's multiplayer is really interesting and makes me want to keep playing more and more to use the different badges. More videos soon, since I think they are all out at this point.
more on the way later.
UPDATE: Virtual Console Arcade; Mappy and Space Harrier and others. Sounds good. DSi preorders are nuts. Not surprised. Warioware Snapped for the DSi will set the world on fire with ridiculous pictures and such. Oh, and a new DS Zelda game: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. Trains are a great way to travel.
Iwata quote "while new original development may be difficult during the economic downturn," he notes "the jet engine, television and the chocolate chip cookie were created during The Great Depression. So, if you can make a DSiWare game that tastes like chocolate chip cookies, you're going to save the world."
Wow. Thanks to Kotaku.com and IGN.com for the liveblog. I'm sure Max will have more to say about this.
Following up on Monday’s Punch-Out!! story, GoNintendo has grabbed some more info from a press release that was briefly on Nintendo Europe’s site before being pulled. Here’s the quick nitty gritty:
- The game will not support the balance board. There will be motion controls however, with the Wii remote and Nunchuck.
- Another mode of control will be to hold the Wii Remote sideways and play NES style.
- Don Flamenco has been announced as one of the returning characters. There will be 13 opponents in all (it seems small to me, but then again, that’s a good number for a Punch-Out!! game, considering you fight 3-4 guys a circuit). I’m hoping for Bald Bull to make a comeback. J has told me repeatedly he’s praying for Super Macho Man to return.
- Nintendo will apparently be revealing the identities of these 13 opponents one at a time, every week until the game comes out.
- Best of all, there will be a two-player head to head mode where you and a friend can slug it out. Sweet!
Maybe I’m too excited for this game, but it’s currently the next big thing due from Nintendo and it’s one of my favorite franchises (more due to Super Punch-Out!! than the original). Just trying to keep you all in the loop—something that Captain Cragen from TV’s Law & Order: SVU is always asking his detectives to do. Seriously. Like once an episode.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Ho boy, last week was a disaster for me in terms of my online set-up. I switched internet providers for all of about 24 hours after all the problems it caused, and was only today able to get my Wii hooked back up with my wireless router. Anyway, once I did, I checked the Nintendo Channel and much to my excitement was a new, Nintendo Channel exclusive, teaser trailer for one of my most anticipated titles of 2009: Nintendo’s new Punch-Out! for Wii.
It seems everything old has been made new again, as the game clearly stars Little Mac and Doc is back training him too. There were even shots of Mac training: jumping rope, hitting the heavy bag, lifting weights. These are probably just cinemas, but it’d be neat if they were in-game mini-games or something; whatever they are they looked cool, and Doc was audibly encouraging Mac through each exercise. Best of all is that the classic scene of Doc riding his bike with Little Mac jogging behind is shown, recreated down to the pink sweats! Awesome!
Then Mac is seen battling a bevy of familiar faces: Glass Joe, Von Kaiser, King Hippo… but then, what’s this? A new face! Someone called “Disco Kid” makes an appearance. So this may not be just a remake, but a re-imagining as well. Then Little Mac fights King Hippo, knocks him out, and is hoisted to Doc’s shoulder.
Not too much else to report. I still don’t know if there will be optional balance board controls for this or not. I also don’t know how many new boxers there will be, though I’ve heard there is a female boxer. At any rate, May 18th can’t come soon enough! Just figured I’d share the news with those of you out there without the Nintendo Channel.
House of the Dead Overkill
Sega has teamed up with Headstrong Games to give The House of the Dead series a much needed shot in the arm. Back in May, I was at a Dave & Buster’s with Maureen and my pal Mike, and we played House of the Dead 4 (or attempted to; it was a janky machine). There was some motion aspect of shaking the gun controller to the game, and I got excited that the game might come to Wii. What Wii owners gone is much better by a great margin: House of the Dead Overkill.
Overkill keeps the spirit of the HOTD series alive, but does it very differently; namely by framing the entire game in a “Grind House” style drive-in exploitation movie setting. There is lots of over-the-top violence and the most swearing in a video game ever--something Dustin has alluded to in his impressions of the game. But that doesn’t mean it’s a slouch in the gameplay. Far from it in fact; you’ve got to be quick on the draw to get several power ups and a careful shot to rack up massive combos, which in turn rack up points, which leads to cash to buy weapon power ups or new guns. Yes, it is the first HOTD with more than one weapon, and it’s a very welcome addition. The story is pretty engaging, albeit a bit silly, and there are even mini-games (how could it be a Wii game without them, amirite?) for 1-4 players.
If you were ever a fan of any of the HOTD games, you owe it to yourself to check out the latest and easily the greatest one, House of the Dead Overkill on Wii. It’s definitely not a kiddie game by any stretch of the imagination.
Unbelievably, I have not picked up my copy of Mad World yet. Mainly because my tax refund check didn’t go quite as far as I hoped it would. However, I plan to pick the game up in the next couple weeks for sure. Therefore, I don’t know the ins and outs of the game, but I do know it’s an uber-violent brawler that is based on the evolution of reality TV shows becoming something called "Death Watch" where people tune in to watch people kill each other (a la the film Running Man). You take the role of a guy named Jack, a chain smoking, bike riding, doesn’t give a crap about anyone else, tough guy—and he will draw blood.
It seems that the main weapon of the game is a chain saw, though almost anything can be used for a weapon, from simple things like garbage cans to more ominous traps such as a giant aircraft engine conveniently parked near a battle area, to a passing subway, to a pit complete with a stomping spiked top to it.
One of the more interesting aspects of the game is that it is entirely in Black & White, a very interesting choice by Platinum Games, but one they came up with from the get go. It’s causing many to liken the game to Frank Miller’s Sin City franchise. The other awesome fact is that it’s being done by Platinum Games, who along with doing the promising looking Bayonetta, are also the remains of Clover games, who have done many great games including my beloved brawler God Hand.
Since I can’t give impressions, here’s a little look at the gameplay:
Call the Wii kiddie all you want, developers, especially Sega, are reaching out to mature audiences who have a Wii. There are other games like the new Tenchu game or the upcoming Dead Space semi-sequel coming in the Fall, or even the much hyped Conduit game. Right now, mature gamers have some quality choices on the Wii, and Sega’s offerings are definitely worth checking out.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Originally posted at 2old2play.com, an EB Games employee mentioned a PS3 price drop would be occurring Sunday March 22nd, just in advance of the Game Developer's Conference (GDC) this year. Internal memos and store paperwork are said to confirm this. If true, Sony's console will be in the thick of the current-gen pay scale with the 360 and the Wii. Which, in turn one would think, would start turning people on to picking up a PS3 and Sony can start making up some ground in North America.
Me? True or not, I don't think that a price drop will help with hardcore detractors of the system. Chances are that they will just find something else to bitch about the PS3 not doing or having. Valve isn't going to start making PS3 games due to a price drop. Home isn't going to start being good in the eyes of most due to $100 being knocked off. "Still no backwards compatibility" will become the new tagline of the PS3, replacing the now standard "PS3 needs a price drop."
But hey, I could be wrong. Those Killzone 2 commercials are still on.......alot.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
A while ago, I posted something about some rumors floating around about everyone's favorite developers, Capcom, re-releasing the fighting game Marvel vs. Capcom 2 on the download circuit. It's still one of my favorite fighting games and one of my biggest video game regrets, selling the game (twice!!) for extra money, only to find it going for ri-fucking-diculous change on Ebay.
Well, people selling MvC2 might want to cash in while they can. Videogamer.com posted an interview with Capcom's Christian Svensson, vice president, business development and strategic planning. In it, he was asked about any other games that might get the "HD remix treatment," and he was quoted as saying....
"while "not every game needs it", the company was "potentially" going to apply the HD Remix treatment to other fighting games in its back catalogue."
He also said about if MvC2 was one of the games that didn't need the HD treatment..........
"I won't say it doesn't need it. Marvel would be great to do. There's obviously a fan base for it. It's probably our most requested title. Unfortunately, I wish I had news to share on that front but I don't."
Hmmm. "Other Capcom fighting games?" With a list that includes Power Stone, X-men vs. Capcom, Final Fight, SNK vs. Capcom and Battle Arena Toshinden (and i'm sure I'm missing some) that's fucking HUGE list to choose from. However, given the choice between an updated Final Fight and one of the most sought after fighting games that come out in the last decade, I'd be willing to put money on MvC2 coming out soon. Maybe at E3 we'll hear more about this awesome thought.
And while I'm thinking about it, will someone at Capcom get off their hands and remake...........
Check out the article here.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I don't doubt that casual games are here to stay. I like alot of them. It's the notion that all games are going, and should go, in this this direction is what bothers me. I don't mind the thought of the "casual" game and the "hardcore" existing together, though. My personal favorites are of the Pop Cap variety. Bejeweled 2 and Peggle being the ones getting the most play for me. Bejeweled 2 is my first foray into the world of casual. And it's awesome as you already know, but Peggle really got me. It's the simplest premise, erase all the orange pegs. It's likely the perfect casual game. One where it's simple to learn, but after you look up at the clock and realize that you've been playing for three hours. It's a good time. Sometimes I hope it's not too good.
Peggle is out on every platform you can think off (except PS3...for now) From $10 to free.
This Breakout clone is still fun. Played more over the course of a few weeks of late night studying. And got 100% of the trophies in the game, a first for me. Seems like I'll be able to show you by this time tomorrow. Again, if you like your games on the casual side and you like Breakout/Arkanoid clones, check it out.
Magic Ball is out for $10 on PSN
Jumped into Fallout 3 for a second. I'm two bobbleheads away from Vault-Tec CEO trophy. I'm very close to the end of the game, so bailed and am roaming around being a general badass, mowing down anyone in my way in the process. It's hard to get back into the game since I've really wanted to start Oblivion again. Playing both at the same time could destroy my life. Fallout 3 could be my first platinum trophy. More on this soon.
Fallout 3 is out on PS3, 360 and PC; 360 and PC have exclusive DLC for $60
Not much more can be said. Thanks to Amazon.com's retarded "one day shipping," I am getting KZ2.....today. Yeah. THREE DAYS after release. But, that's water under the bridge. I plan on getting into the possibly the most talked about game of all time. Reviews seem to say it lives up to the hype. Halo killer? People don't want Halo to die, so it won't. No matter what. So stop it with the "killer" tag. It's sounds like an awesome game with awesome multiplayer variants. I'll have my story about my first hour with the game up soon.
Hope you're doing ok and that your playing something cool.
Monday, March 2, 2009
MOTHERFUCKER! This is a damned MOTHERFUCKIN fun ass game! I can't tell you the last time I had this much of a MOTHERFUCKIN blast killing zombies! "What did I tell you about using the 'Z' word?" Sorry, I meant MOTHERFUCKIN mutants! "What's with all the MOTHERFUCKER this and MOTHERFUCKIN that, Stein?" Oh, thats just a bad MOTHERFUCKIN habit I picked up from Detective Washington, the new guy in the HOD series with the wallet that says "BAD MOTHER FUCKER" on it. He's also the ironic MOTHERFUCKER that calls every MOTHERFUCKER he sees a MOTHERFUCKIN MOTHERFUCKER except for the MOTHERFUCKER who actually is a MOTHERFUCKER! Then we have Agent Gwendollynn who you may remember from every other HOD game out there as Agent G. Together, G-Wash and the Zombie Sauce go chasing around Papa Ceasar, with the ever so busty (you'll see what I mean when you get there) Varla Guns, to exact vengefull justice before they realize that Papa is not the MOTHERFUCKER that they need to be putting down in this grindflick inspired B-shooter.
Now I'll tell you this right now, if you are a fan of "quality" (and by quality, I mean cheesy) 70's era grindflicks and light gun shooters, then this is the game for you. The entire presentation of the game from the intro to the loading screens to the music and scratchy ass film grain filter make this campy game stand out in the crowd of light gun shooter on the Wii. And by the crowd of light gun shooters, I mean all 6 of them... and 3, technically speaking, is a crowd. At any rate, the game gives off the low budget drive in vibe the whole way through, missing reels, plot holes and all.
Despite the "by the hour" hotel vibe HOD:O gives off, the gameplay is top notch. There are plenty of options available to you once you've made your way through the 2 main modes, including one of the options that most gun games have skimped on up till now, Dual Wield mode. That's right, you finally don't have to play as 2 characters to mow MOTHERFUCKIN zombies down with both hands. Weild 2 of the same guns, or any other combo of guns you have unlocked through out your progression. Of course, obviously, since 2 guns are supported, 2 players can enjoy the fun. It's always better when someone on the same couch can play with you.
There are a few minor hiccups that you have to overlook, like an occasional smidge of slowdown here and there when the action gets too intense, but just remember that this is the Wii we're talking about here.
So I urge you people, if you've got a Wii, you like light gun shooters, and zombies, mutants, and MOTHERFUCKERs (as well as people that would fuck their mother) don't offend you too much, then get ready to eat yourself a tasty, tossed brain salad, MOTHERFUCKER!
Oh yeah, if you don't approve of the phrase "MOTHERFUCKER", you probably shouldn't have read this article... MOTHERFUCKER!