Monday, December 31, 2007

2007..."rock" you!!

As this year comes to a close, what games will you play to ring in the new year? Or will you guys be too wasted to even play?

Aw, who am I kidding? I'm gonna drink my ass off into the new year!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Need...more...sleep...

Didn't I say this week was gonna be light? Well, didn't I?

I'll be ready to ring in the new year next week, so I'll see you then.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Belated Christmas, my gamers!

Apologies first. In lieu of the holidays, I took a 5-day weekend to celebrate the holidays and my wife's birthday, and forgot to let you guys know. Well, I'm back! And somewhat rested.

Well...back at least.

I hope everyone got their fill of holiday of Christmas food, Christmas cake, and Christmas games. I know I have. Well, the vacation's still going on for me, so I'll still be gaming until the new year.

So yeah, that's the jist of it. Expect this week to be light on updates, and I'll be up and ready for next week.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Remembering Christmas: a gamer's memory

Being not as big a gamer as myself, my wife has found it somewhat troublesome when trying to buy a gift for me, and I don't blame her. She knows that most of the time, if there's a game I'm interested in, I'll eventually buy it myself. No matter what, however, she finds a way to surprise me...which is why I recall last year's Christmas.

I'm a sucker for a game's rarity, and the last thing I'd think my wife would've bought me was a rare game. So I mentioned it only once, not thinking for a second that she would even consider the idea...seeing that the game was out-of-print and only obtainable through eBay.

Lo and behold, though...my Christmas gift last year was a copy of Ikaruga! And an awesome NES T-Shirt! I was so unexpectedly happy that I just went "thank you" nuts!! I believed her gamer heart grew three sizes that day.

To this day, I still love that gift and am reminded of how lucky I am to have her. She'll always be my "player 2."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

And while I'm on the pet peeve wagon...

Don't be surprised. Yes, it's "lazy Wednesday," and yes, typically these posts have no meat on 'em. But I must get this open letter off my chest, since it involves my favorite video game reviewer Yahtzee AND it correlates to my "revealing spoilers" rant yesterday.

Dear video game blogs,

Don't blatantly exploit his jokes all over your post when posting his weekly reviews.

Thank you.

Ever since I started spreading Yahtzee's love around my blog and imploring everyone to check out his other reviews, I never once grabbed a joke from his review to sell a post. Yahtzee appeals to people all on his own, and shouldn't be patronized. He shouldn't be resorted to half-assed postings trying to get a snicker from his own material. That's like the first step to becoming a stand-up comedian.

Having said that, here's his review on Mass Effect. Is it funny? Check it out yourself - I'm not gonna hold your goddamn hand.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pet peeve of the day: Spoiler posts

Undoubtedly, this will be one of many posts I'll be doing on this subject, but it's one that many people have bumbled over, time and time again: posting spoilers.

I think there's some proper procedures to follow when it comes to posting video game spoilers on web pages, and not everyone follows the rules. Failure to follow these guidelines will brew spite and ire to your sites, so pay attention!

1. Don't post spoiler news or pictures straight on the main page.

It's hard to catch these, because once they're out, the internet's pure outrage and intolerance for the reveal usually forces the moderator to rectify their post...but it happens. People's posts revealing screenshots of images are not the best way to generate site traffic. Most sites employ a more voluntary link for users who wish to view the spoiler goods, shielding the others who do not wish to spoil for themselves. For any spoiler text, some sites and forums have same-color text as their sites' backgrounds, and force users to highlight if they want the full story, which works just as well. Just, don't be a jerk and post it straight out.

2. Don't post spoilers AS the main subject header.

This is just as asinine as posting news and pictures on the main page. To post the big reveal in marquee lights for all to see is a humongous no-no.

3. Post actual text warnings about spoilers.

Protecting people from spoilers via links is all well and good, but it doesn't mean squat if you don't warn your audience first. You have to consider that the average internet surfer usually clicks faster than they tend to, so anticipate their...well, anticipation, and give them ample warning before they take that spoiler-filled step.

I think those are the 3 most major rules to follow when posting a spoiler. No site's infallible; I've seen lots of my favorite sites accidentally post game spoilers at times, and as a result stayed away from them for a while. To me, when I see a spoiler, it's like the equivalent of a friend's betrayal; after the act, you don't feel like you can trust them anymore for a while.

What would be considered "spoiler," you ask? Well, anything that can potentially put off anyone from playing the game if they had known. Believe me, I've stopped playing a few just because of simple spoilers.

What do you guys think? Oh, and keep the posts spoiler-free, too.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tis the season to SHOP LIKE MAD!!

The Christmas spirit is all around us. Let us take it in and bask in the festive glow of the holiday season.

Oh, who the fuck am I kidding? You guys have a week left of gift shopping to do, present company included!! I've got no time to blog today!!

Well, that and work...

Friday, December 14, 2007

I mean, where do people learn to fly like this!?!?

This may not be another Ikaruga (I mean, seriously...it's like asking for another 500 kicks to the balls), but in a world where SHMUPs are a domestic rarity, it's a welcome genre to next year's Wii line-up.

Of course, like Ikaruga, Castle of Shikigami III will make me repeatedly crap my pants.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The one game that makes a PS3 look appealing

Rest assured, I will buy a PS3 for this game. Fortunately, the US release date won't be for another 3-4 months, so my wallet can breathe a sigh of relief for now. In the meantime, this will just taunt me until then.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

100th post + Lazy Wednesday = Yahtzee's review of GH3

w00t!! 100th post!!

Now that that's out of the way, here's your lazy Wednesday post for the week, courtesy of Yahtzee. I think his review of Guitar Hero 3 is spot on, and has many of the similar arguments that I've had with the game since I got it. Enjoy!

Oh yeah, vulgarity and swearing and the like in the following video, blah blah blah.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The best gift this holiday season: Player 2

The Christmas season is upon us, and nothing reminds us more of the merry season than the insipid countdown of shopping days left as you panic on what gifts to get your loved ones. Sometimes, however, the best gifts are the ones that cannot be bought by money. Here's my gift suggestion for this festive occasion: become their "Player 2."

With all the dinner gatherings and family reunions, it's sometimes frightening to gamers who constantly play online to be around so many people at once. This apprehension can be eliminated, though, with the simple gesture of offering to play a game with someone. To the "gifters," do not be alarmed if the gamer is initially shy at first; countless hours of online gaming may have affected their ability to assembly full sentences, and they may not maintain eye contact very well. To the gamers, do not be scared at the gifter's peace offering to play games with you; they merely want to do something fun, unlike having their cheeks tortured by relatives or being wrangled to help clean up around the house.

Oh, and gamers? One more thing to remember - the person you're playing with can see you. So please...don't be a dick.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Monday, December 10, 2007

No games...finished!!!

So yeah, it's been a while since I finished a game. Who do I blame? Myself. And new games. Well, mostly new games.

For starters, the sudden upsurge of Wii titles in my household has really surprised me. I mean, I'm rocking out, solving puzzles, fighting aliens, soaring through galaxies, and, soon, fending off zombies. Yikes, that's a load and a half.

The addition of the PSP doesn't offer much release in tension, either, with two SRPGs to deal with, along with some nice, old-fashioned whipping in between.

Then, of course, my PS2 and its notoriously long list of RPGs. Nuff said.

Thankfully, my DS is the one system that eases my soul, with a single Phoenix Wright 3 game in its inventory to beat.

Good grief...I better get cracking. I miss using my "Finished" stamp.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Ugh.....

This has been just an extremely busy week. I'll make sure to have some good posts next week, especially one for my 100th post! Have a good weekend!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Work work work...

Sorry, no post today either. Possibly no good one tomorrow, too, but I'll see what I can do.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Yahtzee's review of Assassin's Creed: wear protection.

As being one of those guys who gets infuriated by people who blindly post spoilers about games on their sites without any regard as to if it even is one but is posting about it anyways, I have to say that I didn't mind so much after watching Yahtzee's review on Assassin's Creed. Nevertheless, I shall alert you guys that the following review does contain a spoiler about the game, so if you've kept your Assassin's Creed virginity intact, watching Yahtzee's review will pop your cherry...and probably will give you a disease or two.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I give you exhibit B

In a small continuation of my previous post, I present you a simple comparison shot between two shooting peripherals. On your left is the Wii Zapper, and on the right is the GunCon 3. You decide which one looks more menacing, if anything.

Let's compare the similarities, shall we? Both have dual handles, both use one color (both non-threatening shades), and both employ pretty much the same holding format.

Differences? First off, the GunCon actually has the word "gun" in its name, as opposed to the Wii's Zapper, which is...well, it just sounds more futuristic. Aesthetically, one looks more like a real gun than the other. I'll let you figure that out on your own. And, of course, one has a wire straight to video input, while the other relies on the wireless functionality.

Can we lay to rest the whole "Wii-Zapper-will-teach-kids-how-to-shoot" and become more sensible about shooters? Thank you.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Posting's not easy...

Sorry, no post for today. It's been a long weekend, and I'm slowly recovering. I'll be back tomorrow, though.

Friday, November 30, 2007

I'm attacked by WHAT???

And to end the week on an odd note...

I did some info seeking for Culdcept DS, and found this site (translated by Google). What I found near the bottom was this.

What if it could talk?

Wait...if my colon looks like a mushroom, then why do I urinate from it?

Here's the original link, if you want to check it out yourself. Have a good weekend!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Playing a game = buying milk?

I'm probably the last person to realize this, and I don't understand why it took me three iterations of the game to figure this out...but the Grand Theft Auto series is a set of games where you run chores. That's it.

I remember, though, that the commercials for these games in the past made the game much more appealing than they actually are, placing lots of emphasis on the wow factors and the manipulative plotlines. Reviewers from everywhere tout the game's use of a free-roaming world, where you're allowed to do anything, anywhere, anytime. And, for the most part, all this contributed to a purchase worth buying where you go around doing harm and malice to the city (or cities, in later games).

But, in the end, all you are doing is performing little "chores" in a world where you were ironically given free roaming.

Sure, if you boil down to it, all video games are "chore-like" in that you play a level that gets you from point A to B in a certain time or by performing a particular action. But, in Grand Theft Auto games, they literally give you a virtual playground to play in - and then take it away by slapping you with missions to do.

Of course, since the game gives you that freedom from the start, you can choose to not do anything at all and just run around causing pain and destruction everywhere. But then, it becomes even more time wasting than you actually playing the game.

Maybe this is why these games never gave me enough substance to progress the storyline. There's not much return value when the only thing to do is run quick errands to gain more plot. I like a game that rewards you for precision, accuracy, and the occasional awesome thing you did. Plus, random awards don't hurt, either. Just save me from the grocery list of missions that plague most games.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

It's "Lazy" Wednesday here in Gameritis, and you know what that means...

New Zero Punctuation review on the latest F.E.A.R. expansion. Take it away, Yahtzee!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hey...at least it's not black. Or grey.

For those of you that are still waiting for Nintendo's faithful sequel to Duck Hunt, keep waiting. But, if you guys want a handle on their new Wii Zapper holster, it's out this week. Also out this week is Ghost Squad, just in case Link's Crossbow Training doesn't hold on its own.

Me? Well, this'll stay under the radar for now. The games are probably fun, of course...but I'd rather bite when there's a worthwhile game out...like probably when this hits stores. Or, they should just bring these games to the Wii.

On a side note, what's up with the whole Wii Zapper controversy? Why are people bent up on the accessory now, when it was much worse a few years back? What, can kids safely prance down the street waving around GunCons in the air as they go over to their friend's house to play some shooting game?? And you're worried they'll learn to shoot with this? Please...they probably got that down with their Super Soakers, Nerf guns, lazer tag arenas, carnival games, slingshots, rubberband rifles, etc. I bet you the people that worry the most are the parents that actually do own firearms. In the end, it's just bad parenting.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Brains...brains...50% off...

Last Friday was the most intense Black Friday I have ever experienced.

First of all, never ever go to an outlet mall for Black Friday. Ever!! I've been to my fair share of Black Friday rush sales, but never have I seen such a scene as I did at midnight in an outlet mall. I should have brought a tape of zombie noises, or played some club music and hosted a rave. The crowds and ridiculously long lines were bad enough, but to drape everything in the dark just made the damn mall creepy and dangerous!

After an hour and a half trying to exit the freeway, and another half hour trying to park, my wife, brother and I finally stretched our legs and did some walking amongst the throngs of crazy shoppers. After about 2 hours of cold walks and long lines, we finally hit the road again for the hour-long trip back home. But not before hitting up the Best Buy at the end of that hour-long road trip. And after that, we hit the Circuit City nearby.

After a quick breakfast at McDonalds, we finally get back home around 9 am and went straight to bed.

The final outcome? Two PSP games for $20, Resident Evil 4 (Wii) for $20, and about $87 in DVD savings. Not bad for someone who survived the zombie-creating Black Friday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Like everyone else, I'm gonna take it easy this 4-day weekend, so I'll be back Monday refreshed and new.

Okay, I'm gonna be hopped on tryptophan and alcohol. But I'll keep the posts coming.

Sony's marketing people are assholes.

It was not even a good 5 minutes since I opened my "piano black" PSP when disaster struck! Well, not really, but in general it's a poor decision by Sony. I mean, where the fuck was the memory stick duo in this system? Not even any piddly 32 mb card or anything? Were they concerned with the extra weight that massive memory card would add to the already-slimmed-down PSP system? Or did they think the consumer was too "hardcore" to even save, thinking that gamers are so bad-ass that they can finish every game by playing it 2 days straight with no break?

I guess Sony's PSP marketing slogan is appropriate - "Dude, get your own."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Welcome back, PSP! You look different...did you lose weight?

If you're new to this site, chances are you haven't read my short PSP story about 2 months ago. Well, go ahead and read it. I'll wait.

Done? Good, welcome to now.

So, over the weekend, I finally went and bought the PSP slim (piano black, not the white or silver shit), and a copy of Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions. Being an early (but not smart) adopter of the PSP 1.0, I know what to expect when I eventually open this package, with the obviously new thing being the fact that it's thinner. Plus, I've never played the original Final Fantasy Tactics, so it's an added new treat to me.

Now, I'll keep this short and simple since this subject warrants its own post in the future, but SRPGs (Strategy RPGs) kick my sorry ass. Not that the game itself is hard to complete, mind you, but the sheer time it takes to detail every intricate battle is so mind-blowingly awesome that sometimes it's a bit taxing on the ol' noggin. Eventually, SRPGs just wear me down.

That being said, I think the combination of portability and SRPGs is a winning one in my book.

Playing (and still playing) Final Fantasy Tactics Advance on GBA is an excellent example. I think all together, I spent about 70+ hours in that game...more time than I've ever spent on SRPGs that I've played at home on my PS2. The reason? I could take the game anywhere.

Anywhere.

As for attention? Well, it still has to wait in line behind my DS for now.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Super Mario Galaxy...finished?

Apparently so. Well, finished the story, that is. But to finish the most anticipated Wii game so quickly surprised me. Well, there's definitely replay value to be seen, since I didn't collect all the stars yet.

And all this without my wife as my Star Helper. Well, there's still time for her to help out with the rest of my star collecting.

Still, don't think that quickly finishing this game makes this game not worth the purchase. In my defense, I was playing this game every chance I had last week and couldn't put it down. Well, for now, I can officially lay this game to rest for a bit...until I have that star-collecting vibe again.

[UPDATE] For the record, this was suppose to be Monday's post, not Sunday's.

Friday, November 16, 2007

End of the week, finally!

It's Friday again, and I'm keeping this post short and sweet: What are you guys gonna play this weekend?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My wife, the greatest, concise game reviewer ever!

Happily enjoying Super Mario Galaxy now. I'm in the nice mindset of "just one more star, just one more star, just one more star," and every journey has been riddled with lots of clever platform elements that make every galaxy visit a great one.

But the moment that struck a cord with me was when I first popped up the game before my wife's eyes, to which she exclaimed, "Woooooooooooow, it's so...beautiful!"

There was no hint of sarcasm in her voice, nor any bored expression on her face when she said it - she earnestly loved how the game looked. The cute little star people and wonderfully-happy music also won her heart as well, not to mention the fact she really loves the mushroom toad people.

A lot of game reviews out there already gave the game high praise, but the highest marks that meant the most to me came from my wife.

It's only a matter of time until she becomes my Star Helper.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Missed a great geek opportunity

It's been a sad, sad day for me today, even though I got my Super Mario Galaxy game and my pre-order coin bonus.

Why? Because I forgot this:

I felt so defeated when I made my purchase. I slumped all the way back to work, wondering "what if." Oh well, there will be other chances at geek-dom...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Commemorative coin get!!

Today's a special day. Oh sure, Super Mario Galaxy is out today, and people who got pre-orders get a special commemorative coin at launch, and I have a pre-order ready to pick up the game today...but that's not what makes this day special.

What's special is that I'm bringing this along:

If you're not familiar with this, this is a Soundrop (no, that's not a mispelling, that's what it's labeled as in Japan.), and this one in particular plays the coin sound effect.

See where I'm going with this?

Yeah, this is beyond uber-geek...and I know I'll probably be the only one laughing when I unleash this fury of sound upon purchase. I'll report the results when I return!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Super Paper Mario...finished!

And another game is finished! Just in time for Super Mario Galaxy, which comes out this week! I have to say...this was one of those games where my level was ridiculously high, and all I had to do was continue to the end.

Friday, November 9, 2007

I. Need. My. Games.

Do you ever have those weeks where you don't have enough time to talk or play enough games to relieve your stress?

This week is a very, very good candidate.

See you next week...hopefully with something more insightful than this pictureless post.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

More painful than brain freeze

Video games are, for the most part, well known to be instruments of entertainment - an "escape" from reality, if you will. In our younger years, it's another reason to sit in front of the TV; in our later years, it becomes much more, depending on what type of person we are. Some people turn to video games as a stress reliever. Others do it to achieve things that they would normally fail at in real life. And then there are those that rather play more than anything else.

Why am I getting all psychological all of a sudden? Maybe I'm trying to make up an excuse for not putting up a real post. Maybe there's nothing interesting in the gaming news for me to post.

Or maybe I'm trying to fill up a normally-game-filled post with something more insightful, more substantial than just a post about electronic devices built purely for the purpose of wasting our time.

Holy crap...my mind hurts. Gotta play more games...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Another post about a person getting their feather stylus and more...

Blah blah blah blah got my feather stylus blah blah blah.

Blah blah nice packaging blah blah heavier than I thought blah blah feels nice blah.

(I saved you from another mindless post. You're welcome.)

What I will write about, however, is the packaging - which felt like a fucking Matryoshka doll. Opening up a box revealed a bubbled envelope, in which the stylus box resided in. Then, sliding the white box out, I still had to get that lid off. I pried open stubborn oysters easier than this box.

Too bad I already finished the game. Oh well, at least I'll object with style now.

And, to sum it up, here's Yahtzee's review for the game below. (Coincidently, it's the video game for this week!) Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Today's post...check!

Let's see what's on the video game menu as of today:

-Super Paper Mario
-Metroid Prime 3
-Ar Tonelico
-Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations

Wow, looks like it's gonna be filling for the next couple of weeks.

Sorry for the shallow post. Better ones tomorrow, I promise.

Monday, November 5, 2007

VC Monday: Nintendo finally did something right

What better way to get everyone psyched (yeah, you heard me...psyched.) about Super Mario Galaxy than releasing one of the most popular NES titles of the Mario franchise! Not since seeing it in its own movie have I been this excited about the game's release...well, the actual release was also just as great. I feel bad for the other two that are out today with Super Mario Bros 3...considering that this bad boy's sporting the cheapest price of 500 points out of the three. Oh man, I'm gonna get my SMB3 game on for the entire week!

If this was intentional, Nintendo, then I'd like to see a certain original released for Virtual Console before another anticipated title.

Friday, November 2, 2007

I haven't played a good point-and-click adventure game since...

I'm a LucasArts fanboy.

There, I said it.

But, before you accuse me of worshiping everything that George Lucas walks on, I'm only a fanboy of their classic point-and-click adventures. I miss my Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, and, of course, all the Monkey Island iterations. The combination of logical puzzles, good story development, and heaping spoonfuls of humor and wit made each game absolutely a joy to play and reminisce about.

Nowadays, however, the need for more blood and violence seems to take center stage, while the need to laugh is left backstage.

Lucky for you guys, Capcom released Zack and Wiki.

I have to say, I wasn't following the game too closely before its release because...well, it looked childish. I admit that appearances made me less interested in a game. Now, after playing a few levels, the graphics are the farthest concern in my mind.

This is the most clever way of disguising the Wii Remote as a puzzle-solving device, without making yourself look like such a tool. Thanks to the different scenarios and hilarious outcomes that each level brings, you really feel like you're accomplishing something wonderful. Also, despite that the voice acting is mostly gibberish, the main characters' calling of each other's names in a playful, Japanese tone makes it all the more unique.

And don't let the kiddie look put you off - the difficulty is pretty deep in this game. I'm not ashamed to say I've died a few times trying to figure out a puzzle, but I'll be damned if I used any of the Oracle dolls to give me any hints.

Oh, and did I mention that this is all just $39.99? No? Well, it is. Yeah, I know! Definitely a recommended purchase, in a sea of crappy Wii titles.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

You didn't get the game yet? OBJECTION!!

Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations review.

Short version:
Buy it now.

Slightly longer version:
If you like the first 2, you're gonna like the third. Trust me.

Longer version:
You have 5 more cases to solve. Plus, this is the third and last of the Phoenix Wright saga before they start the Apollo Justice one that's due next. If you enjoy a good mystery/court drama story, then this game is for you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Zero Punctuation: MOH Airborne

It's Wednesday, and you know what that means! Zero Punctuation Wednesdays!

Lots of F-bombs in this one, just in case you're scared of profanity.

Yeah, I'm copping out today - It's Halloween, and it's still a holiday! Other two game reviews later this week.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

LET'S GO GUITAR HERO FORCE!!

Let's start off today with a quick review of Guitar Hero 3 for the Wii, shall we? Only because it's the one game out of the three new ones this week that I've been playing the most.

At the ceremonial sacrifice of one Wii Remote to the guitar of the Rock Gods, you have your wireless axe ready to shred some tunes. And there's no need to remove the thing to start the game, with its analog nub right there on the guitar to navigate everywhere. So, until anyone wants to play any 2-player game, my Wii Remote is taking permanent resident in that guitar. And I really love assembling and disassembling my guitar, for some reason.


I'll save you most of the filler you'd probably read from other reviews and say this - Guitar Hero 3 is just more songs, and online.

That's it.


Does that make it boring? Hell no. With about 6-7 more songs to play through career mode, as well as the bonus extra songs to purchase, there's gonna be plenty of nights rocking out. As a friend noted, though, some of the cover songs suck ass bad, and the gameplay often focuses more on complexity rather than mapping notes logically to the guitar or beat. Personally, I'm putting this blame on the company switch, which somewhat eases these issues.

The online thing is new for me, since the past two games I've been limited to just the PS2 version. The setup process seems to be quick and painless (mostly because I haven't had any friends to invite yet...cursed friends codes), and scores seem to be submitted once you finish the song, which is very convenient. A word of caution, though - make sure to keep the autosave on. If you disable it, play some songs, and then save the game, your online stats may look a little lacking. Of course, it doesn't help that the site's been hit on and gone down more times than your mom. (Yeah, I went there.) Unlike your mom, though, it takes a licking and keeps on ticking (double-burn!) - so give the site some time to recoup.


One thing I hate, though, is the battle versus game. Who's idea was to add power-ups and the ability to "attack" your opponent with things like "broken strings" and "amp overload"?? Can't people just rock out harder than the other, and then tally up the points? I don't like wasting time trying to read disappearing notes or pressing one button to "fix" a broken string - it's fucking stupid, and anyone who thinks that any wins from this mode is a win should be smacked with their own guitar.


Overall, until Smash Bros Brawl comes out, that Wii's gonna stay cozy in its new guitar home.

By the way, here are my current GH3 stats.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Best AND worst weekend ever

I am weak.

Last Friday, I finally got my pre-order I placed for Phoenix Wright 3 for DS, and was happy to dive into 5 new cases for me to solve on the go.


Then I met up with my brother Saturday, who reminded me that Zack and Wiki was out for the Nintendo Wii. After all the glowing reviews I've heard of this game plus the cheap price ($39.99!!), I went with my brother and bought the game. (Thanks, Ryan.)

So now I had two games to play. Makes sense - I just finished Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and Rogue Galaxy. I'm just queuing up my list once more.

Then "Guitar Hero 3" Sunday snuck up on me. And by "snuck up on me," I mean "jumped me, beat me up, and took my money." Surprisingly, I was able to walk in and pick up an extra copy for the Wii with no reservations! Take that, EB!

But yeah...now my game count has increased to 3 over the weekend.

I am very weak.

Expect personal reviews of these three games this week.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Rogue Galaxy...finished!

Clocking in at almost 105 hours of gameplay, the great story behind Rogue Galaxy is complete. And wouldn't you know it - there's even more stuff unlocked that I can complete! Well, at least I can finally give it the official "finished" stamp and move on.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Remember when I kicked your ass in Smash Bros? No? Let's watch the instant replay, shall we?

I pray, pray, pray that this is not a typo:

"This time, you can view replays. What this means is, the game records what you did in brawls or in Target Smash and lets you review it."

The ability to record brawls?!?! This game just gets better and better!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Animal Crossing going MMO?

Personally, to finally get some information that the game is not forgotten is good enough for me...but to find a rumor that it may go towards the MMO route is a double-edged sword.

Don't get me wrong...this game was crying to be really, truly online for a while now, and they almost got it right with Animal Crossing: Wild World, what with their online town visitation and Wi-Fi capabilities. But that's just visiting someone else's town, which is still just one town. When I played Animal Crossing: WW, I was expecting to be able to visit some humongous Town Square where I could visit 20-30 people at a time to trade, converse, and possibly hit with my bug net. Hehehe...

All childplay aside, the rumor of going MMO is definitely a positive step for the game. Now the bad...

When most people think MMO, the first thing that comes to mind is World of Warcraft, or WoW...and the next thing that comes to mind is addiction. What other massively popular game can you think of where it's critically acclaimed for its hidden social interaction, while at the same time blamed for the small number of stupid people starving themselves playing 3 days straight in a public cafe? I don't want to read about children loosing their ability to sleep and eat over trying to earn enough Bells to pay that Crooked Nook for larger house upgrades.

What I would like to see in this next iteration is perhaps some other modes of transportation. We've seen trains and cars, but will we be able to own our own car to travel? Hell, even a bike would work fine. Just anything to traverse the possibly large maps that this game may have.

Oh, and Nintendo? Make that Town Square meeting place. Wouldn't it be just awesome to have everyone there listening to your announcements, as opposed to just sending mass letters to everyone that they got a secret gift from the president?

Me? I'm gonna take swings at people with my bug net.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

This is heavy, Doc

So I made a local trip to the nearby Circuit City during my lunch break and found Guitar Hero 3 all set up on the Xbox 360 kiosk. Score! And, after noticing no one was around, I latched onto it like a leech on an open wound.

They have 5 songs on the demo:


- Even Flow (by Pearl Jam)
- Lay Down (by Priestess)

- The Metal (by Tenacious D)
- Hit Me with your Best Shot (as made famous by Pat Benatar)
- Rock You like a Hurricane (as made famous by Scorpions)

Of course, I started playing "Rock You like a Hurricane" on expert. Then things started going downhill fast.


Now, I don't know if it's because the setup was hastily put together, or that the developers decided to go back to the old way of doing hammer ons and lift offs...but I suddenly felt like I was playing like shit back there. Sure, after a few more tries, I was able to pull it off...but it still irks me in a bad way. (Found out later that they forgot to calibrate the lag. Stupid employees.)


In any case, I need to comb my hair back. The employees were so happy to have the demo up that they upped the volume to 11.


And, for the hell of it, here's that clip from Back to the Future.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I'm gonna need more popcorn...

Video games come with a lot of claims. Realistic graphics, awesome gameplay, great multiplayer...but two claims that I don't think work together are the "movie-like scenes" and "over X hours of gameplay."

I enjoy my movies, and I enjoy a lot of gameplay value...but together? I wouldn't want to watch an 80-hour movie, nor do I want to play a game with half of that time in movie-like cutscenes.

Sure, what most companies mean is that the game's plot and story will "flow" like a movie. But sometimes they flow too much. Like "Xenosaga Episode 1" too much. Or "Metal Gear Solid 2" too much. Of course, on the other end of the spectrum game companies get heckled for single-digit gameplay hours.

Somehow, I don't think any resolution is near. I mean, there are 2-hour movie-based games, and then there are games with tons of gameplay with hardly a lick of movie-like cutscenes.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Worst. Week. Ever.

No post today. This is mostly my fault. Will hopefully be re-energized next week.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Quickie blog

Here are just a few tantalizing tidbits that are not enough for a full post, but definitely gets a nods up:

- Advance Wars DS 2 will have Wi-Fi as well as voice chat. In other words, be prepared to cover your ears if you ever beat me online.

- Little Mac is the newest addition to the Assist Trophies for Smash Bros. Brawl. What I'm hoping will happen when he throws the uppercut is the whole revving up sound effect. That would make this Assist Trophy killer!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Love is in the air

Finally...some box art for this eagerly anticipated title! I just hope they preserve the japanese dialogue, or at least give the option to change it.

Then again, if they can do the same great voice-over work as they did in Rogue Galaxy, then I really shouldn't worry about it. Check here for the full box art!

Late posts suck...TGIW

Sorry for all the late afternoon posts on my end. This is the second time this week, and it's starting to be a little unbecoming of me. I'll be bright and early tomorrow, though.

In the meantime, check out Yahtzee's hilarious review of the Orange Box today. Don't forget to check out his other awesome (and lewd) reviews at the Escapist.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lord of the DDR

It's been a while since I've played a DDR game intensely. The last time was when I was in college, playing in the campus arcade and making a dancing fool of myself in front of others. And that was when I was able to play the game through an hour non-stop, easy.

Now, I'm lucky if I'm still breathing after one song - which is what almost happened yesterday, when I "busted a move" (I'm using my "one bad 80's saying" card today) on the DDR pad at my company's rec room.

Granted, adjusting my settings on a Heavy song I was familiar with and dancing with a not-so-youthful body, I was really asking for it. As I lay there on the couch with fans cooling my buckets of persperation and calves burning, I thought to myself, "self? I think it's time to...break a leg (damn, out of "one bad 80's saying" cards) and utilize DDR as an exercise regiment.

Duh.

Stupidity aside, I never initially
saw it as an exercise tool; I saw it as a way to dance to some really upbeat songs in a video game environment. And, I admit, I was a bit envious of those who attracted crowds in the campus arcade, with their seemingly infinite combos and complex execution of moves. It would take me a year of home-console practice before I started my arcade attempts and gather my own crowds.

Well, not exactly crowds...more like people who stopped to watch a geeky fool stomp his feet on 4 buttons in a flurry of maneuvers, desperately maintaining a high score without flailing his arms in a frenzied panic.

I'll do it all again, though - just not in public anymore. Either at work after hours or at home will be my dance floor.

Oh, and my arms still flail around like nobody's business. Maybe I should dance with my arms down.

Then again, maybe not.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Zelda...finished!

Finished the story for Zelda: Phantom Hourglass over the weekend. I have to say, I'm still playing the game and unlocking more stuff even after I finished the game. Sorta felt like the story and side quests switched positions or something. No matter...whatever keeps me playing the game works fine with me.

Meanwhile, my Rogue Galaxy time has now clocked past the 85-hour mark. The strange thing? It's still feels fresh! I can't get enough of this RPG! Leveling up and merging weapons, getting Hunter points to increase my Hunter Rank, phenomenal storyline...all RPGs should be like this!

Friday, October 12, 2007

But they don't even wear pants

I had a conversation in my head wondering what the Gorons in the picture were saying at that very moment. Click to embiggen.

Cue "Ode to the Nut Shot."

That mysterious smudge...

Today's Brawl update involves something that was used little in the last Smash Bros. title - the snapshot. It was a nice little feature to include, and an even better way to show off how you kicked some Mario ass the last time your friend talked shit about Link. The problem, though, was that it was nestled so far into the game that many people didn't even try it out.

Now that the game's coming out on the Wii, the feature has an even larger role - the ability to save it on the SD card and to send it to other Wii owners! Also, they finally implemented the snapshot feature when you pause - something that would've been the icing on the cake since in the last game you could pan around characters while paused, and that was it.

All of those new features are those I've come to expect. The one thing that wasn't announced was what they blurred off in the last picture. Since everything in the picture is all about capture, do you think my comment on capturing entire movies of battles was far off?

If this caused the delay, then this game will DEFINITELY be worth the wait!

[UPDATE]
Uh-oh...I forgot, this is Nintendo, and, like salmon swimming upstream, they tend to flow against popular trends. On the complete opposite spectrum, that last option could very well involve that dreaded "sticker" mode - except on snapshots. Oh man, I would REALLY hate to be right on this instead of the movies prediction...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Brawl pushed to February 2008 *tear*

Nintendo giveth, and Nintendo taketh away. It's like they're punishing us for learning one of the most anticipated developments in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Fans: WE WANT MORE INFO! WE WANT MORE INFO!!
Nintendo: Okay, okay...here's something big - Sonic's playable!
Fans: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!
Nintendo: But now you just ruined your dinner. No dessert for you!
Fans: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

...which only proves you can't have your cake and eat it, too.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sonic vs. Mario...FIGHT!

One of the most classic video game rivalries of all time is finally realized.

BATTLE START!

No matter what they say, it's never the "final" fantasy

In all my years of playing video games, no genre has challenged me more than the standard RPG. Each one practically demands hours of gameplay, constant attention to detail, and, as years passed, contains a multitude of side quests and missions that tack on even more hours to whittle away. Each and every one. Sure, you can "finish the story" and end it like that...but there will always be that "what if" factor. "What if" I finish that side quest? "What if" I collect all the runes and obtain the ultimate weapon? "What if" I finish the game with a different party and get a different ending?

Sure, RPGs boast an average of 40-60 hours of gameplay which, if you think about it, would be 2-3 days tops. But what gamers (aside from the obvious exceptions) play hours on end? If you take the typical gamer, a standard 40-60 hour RPG, and an average playing time of one hour (at most) per day of gameplay, you're looking at a single game that can easily last for 2 months.

Now do the math. Say I want to play 2 other RPGs, but want to also beat them within the same time span. That means I'd have to devote 3 hours a day for 2 months to play 3 RPGs simultaneously. And that's if I'm able to keep up with this absurd scheduling.

Maybe when I was younger and had less worries, I'd tackle something like this without a care. Unfortunately, much like most people, I've developed this "life" that demands attention more than Jack Thompson screaming "bloody murder" in Rockstar's lobby. I know that I don't have time to play these RPGs to their full extent.

What I want to know is...who does??

Sure, if no one finished RPGs, companies wouldn't release them at an alarming rate. I'm not an idiot. I just want to know who are the specific few, other than video game reviewers, that makes everyone else feel like they're inadequate to even start an RPG. Unless playing RPGs is a full-time job and you're able to plow through one a week, you must either don't sleep or don't do anything else once you get home.

And game developers? Please...I know you want to make each RPG you release as awesome as your company's reputation claims they are to be, and I don't blame you for it. But realize that your RPG is not the only one out there, and you can't expect your consumers to devote 100% of their time to one game. They're there to consume, and they will...in mass quantities. It's digesting them that you should care about.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready to hurl.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Side quests are expensive

Until recently, I've always considered the phrase "completing the game" as just that - completing the game completely, through the credits to the typical "the end" that many games display. It wasn't until recently when I got into a debate with a couple of friends about game completion and drew to the conclusion that there are two basic categories: "completing the game," and "finishing the story."

The phrase "completing the game" should be used when the player absolutely finds everything imaginable, or at least close to it. This includes any extra side quests, hidden items, completing 100% of everything, etc.

The phrase "finishing the story" is only used when just the basic game completion for the base story is done. In other words, a player breezes through the game with little deviation from the main plot.

I guess I'm more the latter than the former, due to the sheer number of games I own. For the most part, I'd rather progress through the game's original story to its conclusion rather than play a few more hours just to find an extreme powerup that won't make much difference when I need it.

Of course, that's not to say I never try to "complete" any games - it just takes time to get everything, and time's not exactly plentiful at this point of my life. Time is life's currency, and I'd like to spend it more wisely.

Under those circumstances, I guess you can say I'm nickel-and-diming my way through my video games.

How do you guys like to finish your games?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Atlus, you're busting my balls.

Okay, Atlus...fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. When I picked up Riviera for GBA, I did so back in my more fool-hearted days where I was riding the whole "Atlus is probably making a limited release, like Disgaea" vibe. And I enjoyed the game, for all the 3 hours I put into it. Then you decide to bring it over to PSP with more stuff added in...which, although very briefly, got me a bit peeved.

A few months later,
Yggdra Union for GBA comes out and, while still riding the "vibe," I picked it up. It's not a bad game for a passive SRPG player, and I got some shits and giggles out of it. Glad I picked it up before it sold out...

...wait, what's
this?

Great. Just great. Thanks a lot, Atlus. What next? Moving Disgaea to PSP as well?


Oh wait...

Friday, October 5, 2007

"Canine weary" Friday

I was all ready to do a couple of posts today (lord knows there are a few issues I wanted to touch upon), but being a Friday and all, I'm just dog tired. Hopefully the weekend will give me some rest, and then I'll fill next Monday with a mess of posts.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Retro sprites FTW!

To say I am excited for Smash Bros. Brawl is an extreme understatement. I played Super Smash Bros. Melee to death; I've played 30-minute battles with my old college roommates end after end just to accumulate times and stats to unlock all the extra stuff, unlocked all characters and trophies, and, with the help of friends, completed all the missions in the game.

So, you can imagine how torturous it is to see one tidbit revealed each weekday at the Smash Bros Dojo site. Being a veteran of the game's style, the majority of these small updates doesn't make me jump for joy. But now and then, the smallest things are getting me antsy - like yesterday's update of sprite assist tropies, which used Excitebike as an example.

And I thought Game and Watch was a pretty cool 2D character in Melee...now we're talking about laying the smackdown with a 2D retro sprite from way-back-when!

How much pwnage is that?

What would be great is if one of the cyclists fell off his bike, got on again, and was the last person to dole out damage. And if that last bit of damage knocked a player out of the game. That would be purely awesome. There's one thing that I'd like to see Nintendo do, and that is to do a better pause/replay function. The last game was pleasantly nice with the ability to pan the camera around and take pictures, but that required a 4th controller who wasn't playing to just take pictures. C'mon, I want to see full replays. Like Halo 3 replays.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The pen IS mightier than the sword

It has been a pretty dry spell for the Nintendo DS, and if Zelda: Phantom Hourglass didn't release this week, I would've forgotten it altogether.

All you need to know is this: performing a spin attack is as easy as drawing a circle.


What are you waiting for? Get the game now!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

...If you know what I mean

Nintendo's protective "jacket" for your Wii-mote is...well, insulting. Whether you're a grip pro or a palm sweater, please use the Wii strap! How many other TVs, lamps, and people's heads will suffer until people understand the sheer simplicity of tethering your controller to your wrist?

Now that this anti-slip jacket is out (and free, for existing Wii owners), the Wii strap doesn't look so stupid now, does it?

Thanks to Nintendo, you now have a rubber for your Wii.


Y'know, for protection...in case it tries to penetrate your TV.

Violently, and without warning.

At least you can now give it to your woman, knowing that it's covered.

And she'll appreciate the protection.

So no matter how much she sweats, you can be sure it won't slip off.

Whew, is it getting hot in here?

My video game roots turn 30

This was my very first video game system, and it turned 30 this month! Wow...does that mean I bought this system in its 9th or 10th year since its release?? That would be unthinkable today!

I didn't have much games to play with this system, but the ones I played weren't bad at all -
Missile Command, Q-Bert, Vanguard, Combat...but the one I remember most was Pac-Man. And I'm embarrassed to say that I thought there was an actual end to the game, leaving me to play for countless hours on end. Deception, thou art thy name...

Happy 30th, Atari 2600. Without you, I wouldn't have gotten Gameritis.