Friday, June 10, 2011

so Wii herd U liek Vitas

So, E3 is upon us once more. I remember when they were gonna quit doing those, but I guess it is the best way to hype the everliving crap out of the gaming giants. Either way, the information released during E3 is invaluable for giving us a glimpse of that next huge purchase that you know you will inevitably make. Also, if you are like me, you are poor and forced to pick. I never even touched a PS3 until the Slim came out, and I feel it is the strongest console this gen. I just wish I had more friends who owned one.

Having already declared that I will not buy a 3DS until they address the battery, I am left high and dry for a while. It is not a big deal, the launch for 3DS is certainly pretty weak. I have yet to see one in public and the launch titles are sour at best. You know what I see everwhere now? Those shiny DSi's. Maybe, I should blow my cheque on one.

So far, the big announcements have been the Nintendo Wii U and the PlayStation Vita, which are essentially the Wii2 and the PSP2 (otherwise known as the NGP). So, what does the next gen offer us? The PSV features two analogue sticks (demanded for PSP for years now), two cameras (huh?), a touch screen (Nintendo beat you to the punch), nigh-PS3 graphics (typical for a handheld to use last gen graphics), and 3G with AT&T (subsequently boo'd during the press release). Oh, I would not hold my breath for 3G gaming, it is so you can Facebook on your handheld too! The Wii U is... Well, it is the Wii... With an iPa- err, I mean WiiPad. I am not hugely impressed, but I need to throw in for the next gen of portable gaming, so I will get a Vita. The question is whether I will get the 3G version. They have not said anything about the battery life (deal-breaker) or payment for the 3G service (tie-breaker). I am just happy that they actually named it something, I am sick of the numbers being tacked onto everything. Nintendo has resorted to baby-talk now. Can Japanese people even pronounce that stuff?

Also, since Sony and Microsoft have made no comments about their next gen yet, I see no reason to look at the Wii U, which also boasts HD (last gen feature, yippee). Let us see how E3 unfolds.

Friday, May 6, 2011

It only does nothing!

Funny how Sony cannot keep it together in lieu of some minor hacking. Though PSN is definitely a great target: if you happen to buy DLC and stuff like that, there's a good bet that your credit card info is in their system. Of course,  you can have them not save it (as I have done), but it's not a default option. How many credit cards were stolen? Gaming is a shaky ground for Sony, as they are often the target of criticism and hacking. Never forget, however, that Sony is fairly aggressive in their business tactics. Granted, Sony has to be shrewd, it does other products too and has for a long time.
 The attack on PSN is not the first thing to go wrong with the PlayStation 3. I have had my Slim long enough to witness other issues with PSN. However, I am not a huge online gaming fan, so I sacrificed PSN for CFW. Sony is not the only company to have problem, though. The Nintendo Wii's launch was a scary one too. The first patch that went live for the Wii bricked a ton of them. I, having sat in line for 23 hours for one, narrowly missed the death patch because I was driving 150 miles home for vacation that day.

Speaking of bad console issues, let us not leave out the 360. My exroommate's Xbox 360 RROD'd on Halo 3's launch date. Say what you want, but Microsoft is a good sport. They refurnished his console for free. He just had to wait some weeks to play a game he had been hyping for months. Harsh times.
This is definitely a weird Generation of gaming. All the consoles are practically dumbed down but highly specialized computers. This makes them especially vulnerable to piracy now. Also, they are all more sensitive and prone to break. I mean, I can still get my NES to play cartridges. Who will be able to turn on an Xbox 360 in 15 years? The lines between console and PC gaming are blurring. Where will the distinction end?

Lemmings just cannot be Lemmings without its smashing soundtrack. Originally comprised of simple chiptunes of classical music, Lemmings eventually came into its own musically. You cannot help save those bastards with this stuff in the background.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Trade Embargo

So, last week I was invited to a 4e Dungeons and Dragons game. I showed up a little late. What do I behold? My bretheren setting up Settlers of Catan. So far, I have only played Catan with my family, and I hate it. Everytime, my family all throws in against me like I am some strategical genius. Granted, I am nasty at strategy video games, but a game of chance is hardly something to get worked up over. This session was nice, because everyone did not throw in against me. I still got screwed early and I had bad placement, but those are at least bad luck and noob mistakes.

For those who do not know, Settlers of Catan is a resource hogging game, where the dice roll determines which land plots get resources (of which there are five). If you have a Settlement or a City on the dice roll, you get that resource. Then, you use those resources to buy Roads, Settlements, or Development cards (various effects). Everything is scored and ten points wins. Ten points does not seem like much, but these games can drag on.

Apparently, the word of the day was "trade embargo," which demonstrated a threat to cut off resources (which can be traded) from each other. I feel like my moment of glory was right after Red hit Blue with a seven and two Knights, I hit Blue with a seven and two Knights. He was at nine points, and then I got largest army and he was down to seven and I was up to seven. Then I had to leave, so I let a friend finish for me. I do not know the results of the  game. It was still fun, though.

I was playing 150cc on the Star Cup and man is that stuff hard. I still scored a Silver Cup, but I remember curbstomping the Mirror cups. I need to play more. I did score a good little run in first while this music was going and with the rainbow road, it was pretty.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sweet Home Alabama

Just got a new car and road-tripped to Alabama for a friend. That was weird. They really like that Lynyrd Skynyrd song up there. I heard it five times a day. I did not get much gaming in though. These were not your gamer types, that is for sure. I did see one N64, crammed in a kid's closet. It had a neglected copy of Super Mario 64 in it.

Apparently, since the last time I played StarCraft 2, season 2 started. I had to re-rank. Not that it mattered much, I was waiting for the new season to play ranked matches. What I did not consider, however, is that the other players all have practice from season 1. The beginning of season 2 is definitely a very different environment and mood than that of season 1. People know how to play now and the assholes of gaming made their way in. Perhaps, I should have played some more in season 1, especially knowing I was going to be rusty when season 2 kicked up. Does this mean season 2 is a toss up? Who cares? I do not need to win.

It is fun to say I made it to Platinum in the 4v4 team league though. Too bad random teams are too unreliable to think I could pull off Diamond. My brother needs to get his butt un-grounded so we can 2v2 premade these suckers. He is even rustier than I am. We will have to make sure to acknowledge that we will suck. It is just how it is. Perhaps, we will have coordinated better by the next expansion, which is not set for release this year.

My guilty pleasure: achievements. It is easy to get sucked into the harrowing achievements, but it sure kills time. I stated back when achievements were starting on the 360 that I was displease when them. Truth is, I still am.  Most games feel insulting when they tack on superfluous junk to do. However, StarCraft 2 is well suited for achievements, I think. Most of them are expectedly gimmicky, but it is nice to slowly work toward the ones that ask you to win 1000 times--as each race option, including Random. At least, unlike World of Warcraft, where the achievement score is worthless and people end up just showing off their Feats of Strength (which signify simply that they were there when it happened), SC2 emphasizes the score a bit more. I feel like I am building up that score. There is no reason; I have the time.

Themed theme, much? I just find this tune fun to have on in the background once in a while. Anyone else hear SCV's mining Minerals when this starts?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Power to the People

First off: I am sorry to the readers I follow. I have been missing your wonderful posts because I am trying to rebuild my shattered life. I could write a book that people would read about myself. I am not even being egotistical. Honestly, it bothers me that I am that interesting. Writing is a sort of passion. I like to write, because I like to type. This blog is important to me in the sense that I can chronical opinions on my hobby and improve my styles.

I actually held a Nintendo 3DS in my hands. I know I recently gave my opinion on it, but I held one long enough to be able to add. The 3DS has intrigued me, because typically I cannot see 3-D effects very well. My pupils are different sizes and it creates a difficulties for visual focus. Granted that I have 20/15 vision, I can easily get cross-eyed in complex visual illusions. A fun side-effect is that I see both the vase and the faces at the same time. Another weird result is that I cannot visualize in my head very well. I often describe it as thinking in words. I did not know it was strange until I started talking to people about it. It may lend to my ability to do meticulous tasks well. What does this relate to 3-D? Well, 3-D is often multiple pictures aligned to fool us into thinking they are popping out of the screen. The 3DS works very much like this. I am happy to state that I can see the plane in 3-D on the demo game. However, my eyes begin to hurt much like they do if I wear peers' glasses for longer than a minute. I have to actively focus my eyes unnaturally to see the effect, or else I get double vision. At first I assumed it must be that "sweet spot" that I have been hearing so much about. Yes, there are distances and angles that affect the quality of the 3-D effect, but not enough to make up for my eyes hurting. No wonder the box is decorated in warning labels. The guys over at Penny Arcade noted that you can indeed turn off the 3-D effect at will. The problem, of course, is that after a few minutes of enjoying the 3-D, they turned it off and never turned it back on. Jerry Holkins (aka Tycho) cleverly said that the switch in effect turns it from the 3DS into the DS2.
So what is this 3-D effect that is the gimmick? I just wonder how Nintendo managed to market something that people have never seen before and practically sell out before it was released. Only a handful of pre-orders even got to see the thing. Well, the demo I played was Pilotwings Resort and I only played for 4 or 5 minutes. The game demo was simple enough, I flew around in a plane with a Mii (which suggests to me Wii connectivity). What the 3-D did was make a tunnel vision-like effect where the eye is drawn to the plane, instead of the surrounding terrain and background. Much like if one were drunk. The attention grab of it was such that I really did not even notice that the graphics are somewhat impressive. Only when I turned off the 3-D did I see that the game is pretty. So, you either get this distorted drunken vision or a GameCube with a screen built in. It is also important to note that the 3-D is additional strain on the already poor battery life. In fact, 3-D has to be off to get close to 4 hours.

Another problem that came up is a minor one, but enough so that I am somewhat disappointed in Nintendo. Last week, while importing some of my Soul  Silver Pokémon to Black, I had to borrow my sister's DS phat. Immediately, I noticed that the phat fit my large hands in a completely ergonomic manner. It was pleasant to hold. The main complaint about the DS Lite was how it would hurt my hands to hold after a couple hours, or shorter if the game was particularly engaging (ie. Mario Kart DS, which is my favorite installment). I ended up deciding that the intense backlight coupled with the 5-10 hour increase in battery was worth the discomfort in the long run. The 3DS retains this look (calling it such as I can only imagine the DS Lite and successors are only so uncomfortable to hold in order to look good).

I did like the "circle pad" as it is apparently called. It is basically the same idea as the PSP analog stick, but it looked less likely to snap off from too much wear. The original DS sorely needed this. However, even when I have an analog stick, I am retro enough to prefer to use the D-pad. I could legitimately see myself adjusting comfortably to the circle pad though. I just prefer that they drop the two screen thing. I honestly still do not like the touch screen on the DS, unless it allows me to push buttons more easily. Though, I was worried two screens would be overwhelming and I adjusted to it. The Start and Select buttons are a little strange too, but I could adjust to that as well. Unfortunately, I did not mess with it because I did not know until later, but the camera can take pictures with the same 3-D. That seems cool, but how much entertainment can one truly derive from that? It would be amusing for a bit, like the Game Boy Camera, but ultimately it would get old.

There are no delusions here though. If the 3DS is not a flop, I will end up with one in the future. Realistically, one has to be prepared to move on with the world. Gamers just have to keep up with the hardware if they want the software. There are a couple considerations at least. The ability to turn off 3-D and be able to play perfectly fine without it offers the ability to emulate and beyond that, piracy will inevitably occur. Nintendo seems confident they have this one locked down, but their track record and the willingness of bored people to figure it out (the pioneer in Wii cracking is not even a gamer, he is just a programmer who liked a Wii he saw at a party). Even the PS3 was deemed a lost cause on the homebrew front. It uses the exact same method of CFW installation as the PSP, hell it is even easier for the end-user on the PS3. I just hope that I can hold on a 3DS until they address the issues and fix them. I hate wanting something I know is bad.

In light of this particularly long post, I offer another oldie. Enjoy. If you have not played StarTropics, it is a little like the Legend of Zelda.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Press Start

Anyone else remember wondering why the pause button was called Start? I mean, you used the pause button all the time. And what the hell was Select anyway? Well, it is a long celebrated tradition to press the Start button to go into the main menu of a game. Creepy enough, I cannot find any information on it. I will keep looking, but I got nothing. However, the Start button just happens to be the button to start the game. Live with it. Logic assumes: in the interest that the Start button actually be worth making in the first place was to let it be the pause button too. Now, Ninteno seems to be trying to break that by making the 1+2 or Plus+Minus button combo count as the start button for many games. Select is a strange one though. In the early NES, the only way to navigate the main menu was to press the Select button.
Today, I want to talk about Scott Pilgrim: The Game. It is a download title that happens to be a throwback game in 16-bit. Hell, it is even an old genre from the SNES days: the beat-em-up. Complete with the obnoxious elevator gauntlet (that I mentioned earlier), endless enemies that just will not die, and the highly repetitive but irritating bosses. It basically plays like the old Turtles in Time. They even spiced it up with a slight RPG system. You can buy stat upgrades, but they are expensive and time consuming to grind for. So, of course I grinded for them. The killer funny part is the 8-bit chiptune music. I do not mind hipsters getting into retrogaming if it means more games like Scott Pilgrim. I said it when Mega Man 9 was announced: this is going to mean more old-school games. Even if Sonic the Hedgehog 4 failed ro live up to the boasts of Sonic Team, I am OK with the attempt. I played what they released so far and I would not mind seeing more of it. Playing games that have existed for 15-20 years is great, but I need a new spice to my old-school games. Honestly, if you have  not seen Scott Pilgrim: The Game or Mega Man 9 and you remember old-school gaming, get into the retro thing for a little bit. You will thank me to dust off those old consoles.

I do not know if you guys knew this, but I listen to the Song of the post while writing it. It sets the mood for what I want to say. This choice I am presenting to y'all is the Brawl version of King Dedede's theme. I have this one play every time I play the Halberd stage, because dammit, it gets the group focused. King Dedede is my favorite Kirby character, because he is edgy, he the is villain, he is the nemesis, and he is the anti-hero. Rolled into a platformer obviously suited for new gamers and younger gamers, I can still celebrate Kirby games. I am so happy that Nintendo obviously celebrated Kirby games as well. The franchise gets to sit among the king, the hardcore, and the obscure, and beat the hell out of them. Kirby gets to be redeemed as a status in gaming thanks to Super Smash Bros. and I would like it if you also recognized that.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Like a Boss

Still no luck with job and car front. Life sure is tough. BAWWW! I have been busy and who knows how spotty my posts are going to be, but I wanted to do some writing tonight.

If you have not already played Dante's Inferno, then you need to. Many people say Dante's Inferno is just a God of War clone. This is very true, I will not even try to deny it. However, what Kratos lacks, Dante makes up for in personality. The whole God of War series felt like one huge roid rage. Kratos is pissed, we get it. At least Dante's character is set up to save his also deceased wife. He never even cared about his fate, as long as she did not fall prey to Satan. I have not beaten it, but I am far enough in to understand why she went to hell, and more importantly: why he is there. No spoilers in that regard, but it does feel a little more fulfilling than, "THE GODS SCREWED ME!!! AARGH!!! HULK SMASH!!!" Now, do I think Dante's Inferno is better than God of War? No. To be honest, neither is better. In one you sleep with bitches, fight hand-to-hand with Ares, and doesn't afraid of anything. In the other, you literally kick down the door to Hell screaming, "where the fuck are you, Satan?" I understand Darksiders follows a similar suit and has also been accused of being a God of War clone.
This pisses me off on Kratos proportions.

What we, as gamers, are witnessing for the first time in a while is the spontaneous generation of a new genre. Not only that, but a good one. I do not exactly recall Sonic the Hedgehog being called a Mario clone, despite overwhelming similarities to the level of being major symbols in the Nintendo and Sega console wars. Stop calling these new games clones of God of War and friggin' play them. You will immediately notice that Dante's Inferno definitely has quality. I am not very far in, but so far I have stolen the Grim Reaper's scythe and tore him in half through his face as he begged for mercy. Then, I used that same scythe to stab the brain of a giant minotaur-thing and open the gates of hell. Inside, I managed to rip King Minos' face in half before running into Cleopatra. Cleopatra, being giant, blue, and has tongues for nipples. These nipples also lactating demonic babies with scythes for hands. Once I beat her, she then puked out a zombified Marc Anthony.

Why aren't you playing this game yet? It happens to be cheap. They did a great a little homage to old beat-em-ups with an elevator gauntlet. That was definitely a lot of fun.

Sonic Advenure 2 is perhaps the last great Sonic game. However, many would beg to differ. New-school Sonic receives a lot of flak for basically desecrating what Sonic was and meant to his fans. The truth of the matter is that these things change. If you did not expect a company's cash cow to be milked to death over and over again, you don't know jack about video gaming. It is inevitable that anything that is popular within our hobby will be ruined eventually. The beauty of it is that you can  keep playing your old favorites and get over it. For me, this song running on the true final boss sealed the game in my library of favorites. The Finalhazard is a particularly chilling boss, considering that he is not even trying to kill you. Not only that, but his immune system is what is protecting him from you. What the fuck? It also marks the only time that Sonic needed another Super hedgehog to help him to beat something. Furthermore, that second hedgehog even dies at the end of the fight (retconned later by Shadow the Hedgehog, but we will just ignore that, SA2 is just more satisfying if Shadow dies). Even in Sonic Rush, Sol Blaze was present because there were two villains. Epic fight was epic.

Monday, March 21, 2011

2-D or not 2-D?

I have been hearing a lot about the Nintendo 3DS and noticed it is about to hit shelves. I mean, I was in Germany and not really following this stuff, so excuse me but... Whaaat? When did I miss the memo? I thought we had until after the Summer.

Well, I am not buying it. I do not have the cash, but even if I did, I would think real hard about this. The first problem (and this is subject to change) is that I have not even seen the 3-D effect that this system bolsters. What does it even look like? I cannot fathom pre-ordering this if I would pre-order anything at all. What kills me is that these are selling out first stocks within an hour everywhere in Japan. The Nintendo DS Lite did not even get a midnight release from GameStop, and it sold the Nintendo DS the best later in marketing. I cannot see typical 3-D on TV's and some movies, even though I can see the new HDTV's that are 3-D. It really is a guess for me.

The battery life is disgusting. That is ridiculous and I cannot believe Nintendo is even trying to sell 2-4 hours for handheld. Even Sony said you could manage six on the PSP. If I was writing this blog during the PSP release, then you would be well aware that 4-6 hours was disgusting to me back then and I opted for the ten-hour Nintendo DS phat. If I could vote with my dollar, I would keep my hands off the 3DS until I see one with a battery life of at least seven hours. Nintendo, shame on you!

Besides, Pokémon still occupies my handheld time and I will be itching to play Final Fantasy Tactics again soon. I have to get to repairing my PSP2000. First I have to buy a car.

So, here is something y'all will recognize. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

You require additional Pylons.

So,  I was bored the other day and loaded up StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty. This game is a work of art. I feel it deserves 2010's GOTY. It was definitely awesome to come out on my birthday (or the day after). So which race did I pick to main? Terran. Back in the day of StarCraft: Brood War, which I still play, I played out Terran pretty hardcore. Marine/Medic balls and Battlecruisers are a force to be reckoned. It is pretty hard to kill a group of Marines with healers in the middle of the mass. Of course, I was passing up the Dark Archon,  but I can deal. A Dark Archon takes too long to get up and running and hardly feasible in a real match. However, it was definitely fun to toast my brother with a mass of Mutalisks as Protoss.

How does SC2 compare? I cannot bring myself to say it is better, but I also cannot say it is worse. Many people complained upon release that they did not change enough about StarCraft in the sequel to merit the achy wait. Twelve years is a long time. People were also concerned that only a third of SC2 was released in 2010. Honestly? The changes are barely noticeable beyond the major graphical overhaul to a person who has not played SC maybe. The pacing is completely different. SC favors slower, longer games. SC2 favors quick, cheese matches. It is only apparent from the difficulty in countering cheeses (cheap, throw-in strategies). However, that is the best way to separate the men from the noobs. If you can overcome the horrid cannon rushes, you are already a step above your Protoss opponent. The flaw in this matter is that if you are placed in a lower tier for competitive play, then you will get cheesed a lot. It is not as common in the high tiers. But hey! Cest la vie. As for it being a third of a game: this third is no shorter than original SC or its expansion. I am safely happy to say that once the last installment is released, it will be an epic game. It is a strong stand alone title. There are at least 30 missions, some training missions, and endless multiplayer fun.

What is it missing? LAN. I am truly sorry for putting up a typical complaint, but where is the LAN? To be fair, I did share two copies of SC with 20 friends. I do not blame Blizzard (especially after the Acitivision takeover) for being a careful. The strange element is that this is hardly a cash cow for them. All the eggs are in World of Warcraft's basket. Why punish us for that? I think SC2 retains SC's longevity. Once I get bored and still need some of my SC fix, I will use the wonderfully organized map-maker.

Too bad Battlecruisers are lame now. Thors for life?

Remember Top Gear for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System? I bet not. Hopefully this track will soothe your soul like it did mine. It's a par-rate racing game from the 16-bit era. I would be lying if I did not say I only played it for the soundtrack. I bet everyone can remember playing bad games with good music. You know? Before the internet.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In my eyes, the trainers are evil!

So, I have seen the credits for Pokémon Black Version. All I can say is "OK, what?" They screwed with way the Elite 4 works, but apparently after beating them at level 48-50, I can now challenge them at 71-78 with a proper champion. Kill me now. However, there are three more towns that I have not seen, as well as a mission to find the remaining big-wigs of Team Plasma. I suspect that the level plateaus keep going up. That is to say if I do not use my sister's Action Replay first. This is dragging on. I admit, I dawdled, but 39 hours is quite a bit. I would say it was worth the $35. At least I can now start loading over Pokémon from the old DS games now. You know what that means? Ditto! Breeding ahoy! People may hate the new Pokémon, but like I said when everyone hated on Diamond/Pearl/Platinum's set... At least these are better than the Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald set. I am sure I will derive new favorites from these. People should really take off the nostalgia glasses and give the rest of the 649 a chance. What is funny is that Team Plasma's entire platform is the assumption that trainers are inherently evil by abusing their Pokémon. Unfortunately for all that jazz, there is more going on behind the scenes. Too bad you do not get an idea of what until the Elite 4. I am not sure I liked combining the plot elements of the league and the gang, but I buy it. At least you see the Gym leaders do more than be lame.

In actual news, Nintendo and Sony have given $7,000,000 to Japan. Count the zeroes, that's millions. How nice of them. Namco also donated $1,200,000. I guess that is to say that these gaming tycoons are not heartless. I cannot help but feel there could have been more. Nintendo, alone, generates over $2,200,000,000 a year. Am I alone in thinking there are more zeroes there? Do not even look at Sony (since they do more than video games).

Also, lately there has been new talk of the Wii 2. As you may or may not know, Nintendo is regarded as always releasing the next gen roughly every five years. The "Wii 2" is up next and everyone is concerned. The Wii and the end of the DS marks a time where Nintendo stops paying attention to the gamer market and taps the supposed casual market. People are mad. It happens. Frankly, I remember the day the name "Wii" was announced and knowing at that moment that it may not be what we expect. There is a lot to say about a name. The Nintendo Revolution had you pumped, but the Nintendo Wii? What is that? A flaccid penis, methinks. Nintendo can either sell out or return to quality, but who cares? I certainly will not stand the shame of waiting in line 21 hours for a Nintendo console again. Though, it was amusing driving by the Best Buy line and showing them the very system they have to wait another eight hours for.

I have not played this title in particular, but I enjoyed this song on their commercial. Something about the attitude and laid-back music that amuses me. At least gaming does embrace humor on occasion. We really should not take ourselves so seriously.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What does the scouter say about his follow count?

It's over 100. That's pretty cool. I guess I can keep writing.

So, I went with my girlfriend to a hip bar place. I live in a college town that is even famous for its bad music and awesome pizza. There has always been a bit of a nerd culture here. It is even a unique one, I feel. I have yet to meet people like native Gainesville folk. Then once in a while, you get the funny stoner UF students. That said and done, it was never the prevailing thing to be a nerd. You did not brag about video games unless you did not mind being seen as that weird gamer kid. However, I have been in Germany and have not been out much, so I did not think about it. I wore a skull cap with a mushroom on it, a Brütal Legend t-shirt, and such. Everyone wanted to talk to me. Even one loser who tagged along with my girlfriend pulled out a Nintendo DS. I mean, I did the geek gamer thing pretty hard in college, but I did not avoid human interaction for it. When did it become the in-thing to like video games?

I asked my brother about it. He is in high school and I figured he must not have many friends. I was right. He says all the "cool" kids talk about sex and drinking. That sounds like high school. What is up with our generation? Also, when did Adult Swim start at 9 PM EST?  Sometimes I miss when scheduling changes are made in programming I like.

I still feel like I am step ahead though. I hack my consoles and still remember playing the retro games. You know, before they were retro. Who else remembers being impressed by graphics in Donkey Kong Country and Mortal Kombat. Super Mario 64 did impress people at one point.

Sorry I do not have much to write, I am still working off last night.

In the wonderfully innocent Yoshi's Island game, you play as a young tribe of Yoshis to save Baby Mario from the wretches of Kamek and save Luigi from Bowser. The game offered deliciously polished cuteness delivered in pseudo-creepy ways. There was that whole Touch Fuzzy thing, after all. That has got to be cocaine. And if there is something to learn from Yoshi: cocaine is a hell of a drug. The apex of this fun and fancy free adventure into Mary Poppins from hell leads into a duel with an enlarged baby Bowser and this gut-wrenchingly hardcore rock song starts (that's right, in 16-bit).

Sunday, March 13, 2011

You say piracy, I say homebrew.

Disclaimer: Yargh! Pirates be bad, me mateys. Be sure to keep a wethered eye out fer them scoundrels. Never tary into pirate behavior and commit crimes of piracy, lest the gallows be for ye!

So, as video game technology gets closer and closer to the standards of a PC, we see shared features. An advent of these shared features is the ease of recoding the complicated firmwares to play whatever "back-ups." That excuse loses weight as the homebrew community managed to use the Jailbreak and then softmod the OFW to be a CFW. This means you can play back-ups on your PS3! Oh my God! Wait, aren't games ranging between 3-50 gigabytess? Only half of them really work so it takes forever to find something cool? The games are Blu-Ray anyway and that means they're scratch-proof? Come on, don't let us fool you. If you want to keep up to date, read into this stuff, it's interesting.

I do not condone or condemn piracy, as it is not my prerogative and I will not disclose whether I participate (yeah, right). However, I do not want more pirates out there. Ease of piracy means increasing numbers. Increasing numbers means the companies fight back. Also, you want your favorite game to have a sequel, right? They only do that if there is money. Even though we put the info out there, because it would be hypocritical if we do not,  but we definitely do not need more pirates running about.

That said. What about you that are vehemently against piracy? Not my problem, pay for your games. However, if I will keep my mouth shut if you also stop renting, selling, and buying used games. That is the same thing as pirating a copy. What of that do the developers see?

The funny thing about piracy is that Nintendo is the only company new to that game. However, who blames them? They were a generation behind on CD's, which is not a complaint. I do like cartridges more. Sony has been handling piracy with the PSP for years and held off the PS3 piracy for a very long time. Microsoft handled piracy well, considering it is used to the PC issues. The Nintendo Wii' System Menu was cracked in no time as soon as the buffer overload was figured out in the Twilight Princess save file. Now, every new System Menu update attempts to wipe out the Homebrew Channel and the exploits, but it usually takes Bushing and Team Twiizers roughly 6-12 hours to get the new System Menu cracked. We have definitely come a long way from GameBoy Advance flashcarts and the Sega Dreamcast bootdisc.

A great way to lead into this psycho adventure. Easily containing the most anti-climactic end-boss ever. However, the quirky humor, rugged gameplay, and amusing cooperative make things worth blowing away some hours. New game+ merited some replay, but you really have to like the environment and World of Warcraft elements, which is admittedly weird for an FPS. This game was worth it. Get it cheap now.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tornadoes in China?

Earth used Earthquake. It's not very effective. Earth used Surf. It's super effective!

Too soon? Regardless of whether I have offended you or not. It has been written.

So, there is massive damage in Japan and how does that affect us? Well, it is hard to say for certain. With the threat of the largest scale meltdown in history after following one of the most devastating natural disasters we have ever seen. They are not having a good weekend, but Rebecca Black has the right idea.

Now here is the important part I want my readers to realize. Chances are that you play video games. Who is the highest provider of video games in history and now? Japan. Now, I am not the tacky kind of person who wants to tell everyone how to feel. However, I cannot help but feel strong emotions, myself. The highlight of said emotion was when CNN showed a Japanese news channel with the text: "HELP." Man, it really sucks to be Japanese right now. Note how there is no massive looting and the Japanese people are not whining about the effects this will have on their economy. We should definitely be concerned about the effect this has on future releases of video games. I mean, Sony and Nintendo are both based in Japan. Do I really have to explain that?

This event gave me the strange urge to play SimCity for the first time in 10 years. So, I built a thriving island city and forced various natural disasters. It was interesting spending the money and time to rebuild everything. It certainly helped pass the time as I followed the news on Japan. I almost consider it a personal homage to said events. It is the best I can do from here. However, consider this weird, I am not usually the philanthropic type.

Not particularly special beyond being one of my favorite tracks. This is the song from Ice Cap Act 1 from Sonic the Hedgehog 3. I remember humming this tune in second grade. It is a shame that one of the last great Sonic games was Sonic 3 & Knuckles. However, Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Rush have been good titles too. Anyone play that weird RPG by BioWare?

Edit: My brother just claimed to a friend that Dante (Devil May Cry) while playing Marvel vs Capcom 3 was from Dante's Inferno. Wow, fail much?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Writer's Block

Well, I am an amateur poet. And. Well, I cannot think of anything poetic to write. How lame is that? My artistry is halted by my own self-defeating hedonism. My only creative outlets are easily drowned out by this new copy of Pokémon and old episodes of Daria I downloaded. Maybe... Video games and the internet are what is destroying my ability to appropriately contribute to humanity by any means.


Moment of clarity over. I guess I will now muse about something relevant.

As mentioned before, I play World of Warcraft occasionally. In fact, it would be fair to say I co-own a guild of local friends. Too bad, it is collapsing because we did not get off our lazy butts and raid sooner. Though, until I ran out of game time I was legitimately busy. Now I am just broke and told my best buddy to enjoy the reigns for a bit. I have no doubt that he will appropriately destroy everything I worked towards with guild relations. Honestly? I am fine with that. The problem with WoW is that I cannot seem to stay hooked like 99% of the player-base (The opinions expressed by my clearly professional research on the matter are just that. Opinions.). I mean, sure I play pretty hardcore for a couple months and then I find something more interesting. Cataclysm is so nice too. However, the feeling that they are ruining the paradigm by stripping out every vestige of accomplishment by handing out everything is unshakeable. Unless, of course, you count the absurdly long-winded grind for achievements and more gear. Though I noticed something important: WoW, itself, is not the perceived addictive digital crack so much as the hunt for better gear. Any captivating MMORPG can be guilty of this form of personal achievement which has been known to shake real drug addictions. That is the real glory of Blizzard. WoW is often associated with this model, because hell, they did it right. So, why isn't it illegal yet?

Why am I supposedly immune? I am a gamer. In reality, it is just another game by most regards. Why do I spend more collective time on it than any other single game? There's more to do and in the past, I played with a (now ex) girlfriend. Also, believe it or not, it's cheaper than other video games. The delicious irony is enough to cause an ulcerous death, considering most people avoid it as a money sink. Think of it this way, after buying the right to play the game and its subsequent expansions, you only spend $15 a month to play. I say "only" because how much would you spend on other video games to compensate for the same amount of play time? The beauty is that you can stop paying the monthly fee any time and there is no penalty. Want to pick it up later? Just shell out the cash. It is that easy.

So why have I stopped playing WoW now? It's easy, I have new video games. Beyond that, I just loaded CFW 3.55 on my PS3 and that opens a whole new world of possibilities, but that is our little secret. It certainly helps to alleviate the grief of the crack in my Darth Vader PSP2000's screen. Though to be fair, if I had cash, I would just buy a spare parts PSP2000 on eBay to replace the screen. It is amazing what you can accomplish with broken stuff and some simple tools (in fact, isn't that the whole premise of SWAT Kats?)

Remember kids, You do not win World of Warcraft, World of Warcraft wins you.

As a sign out, I decided I will probably showcase gaming music that has stood out to me at one point or another. Today's lucky mention is:
As heard briefly in a latter part of the oh so crude Conker's Bad Fur Day. Seriously, anyone remember this game? Infamous for being one of the very few if not only Mature rated games on the Nintendo 64 and quickly doomed to the $5 bin at Wal-marts everywhere for it. BFD is remarkable in the sense that this game was so radically different than other titles in the Conker line as well as any other game, period. Sex, violence, literal toilet humor, and over the top pop culture references managed this game a strong enough fanbase to warrant a censored remake for the Xbox. That's right, it was too hardcore for the Xbox. Drink that in. Yay for cult smash hits, I suppose. This song receives special mention for being a video game track that actually made it into my dance playlist. What is up with that?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Launch Post

Hello world!

Well, I'm new to this world of blogging. I just finished college and the world is fresh to me. Beyond that, I have video games to play and things to say.

Expect a variety of opinions and experiences in my life as a gamer. From the past, present, and future!

Just picked up Pokémon Black Version and boy am I excited. I pulled about 24 hours and have only five Badges. So far, it is shaping up to be a strong installment. Of course, the developers could not be bothered to change the admittedly stilted plot structure and there is still only one region. Eight Gyms, the Elite Five [sic], and a gang of "evil" trainers still stand in your way to your destiny as the ultimate trainer just another meta-gamer (or if you happen to be a teenage girl, more cute Pokémon!). The PETA twist is definitely a fun element. However, don't get me wrong, they did make some great changes. Between reusable TM's, the ability to "register" 25 commands to a button, quirky animations, easier ways to manage the invisible stats (for us competitive players), and new multiplayer features I'm just tickled pink and can safely say that this puts Gen 5 ahead of Gen 3 and Gen 4. It has charm, but let's be fair, it will not defeat nostalgia. Beyond the new 150 Pokémon and some new stuff, they really failed to do any groundbreaking changes to the core mechanic and that is somewhat disappointing. It barely feels like its own Gen, despite being a stronger set than Gen 4's releases.

I'll admit, there is a little shame in playing this seemingly innocent kid's game. However, are you really going to hate me for embracing a piece of my childhood? Besides, it gets me off World of Warcraft, prevents me from dropping larger sums of money on console games, and allows me to interact with my horribly Poké-obsessed 13 year-old sister. Our mother actually knitted her a homemade Oshawott, that she carries everywhere.