Monday, March 31, 2008

Play dumbboy, play!

For a movie with a title "Run Fatboy, Run," I wasn't expecting much when I watched it yesterday...even if it did star Simon Pegg. But the movie delivered, and I enjoyed it. (If you're a Simon Pegg fan, I definitely recommend this movie.) One of the things mentioned in the movie, though, was the fact that all runners, at one point or another, may "hit the wall," where their body shuts down and forces them to not run anymore. And I can't help but think that I ran into that same "wall" when I was trying to play some Disgaea over the weekend.

This has been an on-going battle that I've been doing for a while now, and I've successfully made it to the point at which I "hit the wall" in my last attempt (my third attempt) on the PS2 version. So, with my rag-doll team of built-up characters, I went headstrong into battle...only to get my ass handed back to me on a silver platter.

I ran into the wall again.

It's all happened to us gamers at one point or another - you face a seemingly unbeatable boss, you backtracked a map for the nth time, you collected 200 of the 250 collectible items...and you had enough. It's funny that what QA people deem just another day at work can be assumed to be common fare with the typical gamer. The key difference is, we buy games because we want to play, not because we have to play. And we won't get fired for not finishing the game.

For me, I just put the game aside, wait a while, and then go back into it, hopefully less frustrated and bothered. Most of the time, it's made the difference between a game being left to collect dust and a game that will be completed. And, with my 4th attempt, I'm hoping to do this with Disgaea.

Have you guys ever had games where you've "hit the wall"?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Zero Punctuation review: Zack and Wiki

Lazy Wednesday is here, and it hits hard. This week, Yahtzee's reviewing a game that I really enjoyed and have commented before - Zack and Wiki. So check out the NSFW video below!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

An apology about the excess of Brawl posts

In truth, when I say a game is never gonna leave my system, I'm actually saying that the game will probably be left standing when the console's cycle has expired. It's clear that I will eventually unlock all there is to unlock in Super Smash Bros Brawl, that I will have finally played all I can play from it - but in actuality, it will be put aside when newer content arrives.

Don't get me wrong - I'm still crazy for the game. And I will not back down from any challenge, whether it's from friends or online. But when other more important things come up, it disappears into the background, no question. It's times like these where I really cherish the Spectator mode, allowing me to randomly view matches as if it was a dedicated channel just to show people playing. In some small way, it makes me happy to see how many people have stuck behind such a simple concept as bringing in characters from a wide array of games and bringing them together in such harmony.

The relevation sorta came from this past weekend, when I popped in No More Heroes to show some friends what the game was all about. After having some fun taking down enemies, I realized how much I enjoyed the game and how I still haven't finished it. But why? Did I get tired of the mechanics? Were the graphics putting a visual damper to my eyes? Was the story starting to wear thin? That's when I took off my "brawl" goggles and stepped back at the larger picture.

Like my site, I believe my gaming scope has narrowed squarely on this one game more than anything else. And probably like you guys, I'm starting to get sick of it. Not in a bad way, mind you...but there's something called "moderation" that I should pay attention to.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'll try to minimize all things "brawl" related. I'm sure you guys get enough from all the other gaming sites more dedicated to this game than mine, and I want to keep mine more open to the broader scope of games.

That being said, there are still a few other games that I'll be looking forward to, plus the day-to-day grind of what the fuck's up with the gaming industry, and you can be sure I'll post whatever's on my mind.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Brawl Pic of the Week: Pikachu GOOOOOOAL!!

I enjoy - no, revel the moments when I learn of new things in games. Especially those things where they probably have mentioned it once in the instruction manual, but I never read the instruction manual, so it seems new to me when I discover it myself.

What was this probably painfully obvious thing I discovered? The ability to save the replay for online battles. Awesome.

I mean I knew you could save replays. I just didn't know I can also save those from online random battles.

Of course, I wish I could post them up here, but I did the next best thing - I took a snapshot of one KO I did. The situation in the above pic depicts this: I (Luigi) was performing my rocket torpedo move to get back to the level, and I inadvertently knocked a soccer ball, which soared at a 45-degree angle engulfed in flames straight towards Pikachu's face. Needless to say, the impact knocked the pwned pokemon out of the stadium.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The "Brawl Ban" is TKOed

For anyone that's interested in brawling online with me, here is my Brawl code:


Remember to post your own Brawl code in the comments, in order for us to view each other!

And speaking of Brawl, since the game's release, I've finally lifted the ban I self-imposed on viewing other gaming blogs. I swear, it's like taking a nice deep breath of fresh air all of a sudden.

Finally, as a closer to all my Brawl talk for the week, here are a few choice web comics glorifying the whole Super Smash Bros Brawl scene. Enjoy!

Requiem for a Rat
Snakes on a Link
Generation Gap
Kirby Hats
Going Online (yeah, not entirely about Smash Bros, but we all can relate...)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Guitar Hero on Tour for the DS. Really?

Speaking of Guitar Hero, have you guys seen the media on Guitar Hero on Tour for DS? The peripheral alone makes it feel more like an "Accordion Hero" than a guitar, and its 4-button control scheme rules out the hardcore Expert mode from the game. Either that, or Expert mode now will just be a more intense Medium mode.

Call me a skeptic, but hasn't this franchise suffered enough? I mean, Rock Band's pretty much trumped them in every way, and things have gone downhill since their poor release of Guitar Hero Encore: Rock the 80s. Of course, they could have taken a better path...something along the lines of a Guitar Hero all on Pop, Alternative, or even Ballads. Nope. They figured if a decade doesn't rake in the dough, a game based on one single band should.

By the way, Rock Band just launched a new Music Store in-menu that will potentially allow users to download full albums of songs to play. But go ahead, Activision - I'm sure everyone would want to play songs from one band. They already just listen to one band at a time nowadays, right?

Radio? What's a radio?

Hey! Welcome back, Guitar Hero 3!

Oh wow! Totally forgot about this. About 2-3 weeks ago, I sent out my Guitar Hero 3 for the Wii out to be replaced because of audio problems, and just yesterday I got my replacement. After 1-2 songs, I guess I hear a difference. At the very least, it sounds more like it fills the room rather than a direct output on one side.

No matter. Out it goes, in goes Brawl.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Zero Punctuation review: Turok

Hey, lookie here - it's Lazy Wednesday again!! And you know what that means...

It's time for another round of pin-the-tail-on-the-squirrel!!

After you guys do that, check out this week's Zero Punctuation for a lesson on what not to do in a first person shooter. Enjoy the NSFW video!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

No snaking in Mario Kart Wii. That means you too, Lucas!

So, apparently there was some news yesterday regarding Mario Kart Wii, something that put some more faith in seeing more competitors - no more snaking for the Wii version.

Snaking, if you're not familiar, is a term for power sliding on a straight path in a snake-like motion. The benefit from such an odd maneuver is that, if done properly, every power slide will give you a boost, effectively allowing you to use the power slide boost even on a straight path. The most recent victim of this is Mario Kart DS, where many people have experienced it in one battle or another.

Personally, I'm glad they've reduced it to a point where the boost is determined by the length of the power slide. Maybe perhaps this time there will be more honest races.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Final release date set for Mario Kart Wii

With Brawl now safely tucked away in my Wii, what else is there to anticipate for? Oh yes, the 12-player racer that will arrive April 27. I'm expecting to get a lot of followers lined up for that.

Alternative controls for sore thumbs

When I first played Super Smash Bros Brawl, I decided to give the Wii the benefit of the doubt and try the Wii-mote to play the game. After a few frustrating attempts, I gave up and went back to my familiar GameCube controller. It wasn't until yesterday when I saw the potential of alternative controls.

Okay, I didn't really see potential; I just left my WaveBird controller at work, and had to fiddle with other controls at home. Seeing that I didn't want to experience the agony of just the Wii-mote, and the mere thought of using the nunchuk with Wii-mote frightens me, I went to my final choice - using the classic controller.

Originally, I bought this to play a couple of downloaded SNES games. Other than that, it hasn't received much use. After my first use in Brawl, however, it now feels more like GameCube controller 2.0. The analog feels softer, unlike the cheese-grater-like rings of the GameCube controller that can butcher a thumb after several hours of intense gameplay. And the buttons feel more new-age and slick. Add the fact that the classic controller is immensely lighter (compared to the WaveBird) and the customized control scheme in the game, and you have a very capable control alternative. In fact, I got so comfortable with the new controller that I was able to complete a few missions and play different modes longer!

So now, out of the 4 ways to play the game, I'm fine with 2, 3 if I include the Wii-mote. Actually, I don't really mind the use of the D-pad to control. I just wished they included that as a customizable feature as well. For some unknown reason, Nintendo figured that you could customized everything from attacking to shielding, but stops you when you want to change movement control. Probably the only stupidest thing in this game, if there ever is one.

I'm just glad I don't need to waggle to do anything.

Zero Punctuation review: Burnout Paradise

Today's "Lazy Wednesday" post is on Yahtzee's review of Burnout Paradise. I've played a little bit of this game, and am a little fan of the acrade racer. Enough to enjoy this game for what it's worth - about one hour.

Enjoy the "obviously NSFW but then again what Zero Punctuation review isn't" video below!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

One, two, three, four...I declare a thumb - OUCH!!

My first couple of online brawls (aside from the wait time, probably because servers are swamped) went off without any hiccups or much slowdown. There were one or two battles with laggy gameplay, but after a person left the room, it resumed to its speedy brawl. I'm hoping the server problems die down after a week or two, after things settle a bit. I'll just unlock more thing in the meantime.

But first, I need to rest my thumb. It hasn't been this sore in a long time.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Now, the battle for mascot supremacy can truly begin!

Yesterday really made my day. Getting a game early on launch and playing it for the majority of the day made me feel like I was back in college, playing 30-minute melee battles one after another. I won't go into statistics, so we'll just say I played more than x hours. Of course, if you're from Rome, you'd know exactly how much time I've spent so far.

Let's dive into the nitty-gritty without spoilers, shall we?

The single-player mode is surprisingly well-thought out. How Melee did it in the past made it a tad shallow and more tedious than fun. With Brawl, the story's more fleshed out, and the enemies are more varied. Plus, the levels were more game-themed than previously done. Together, the single player mode is efficient and decent enough to satisfy the right amount of gameplay without the tedious factor.

Enemy AI has also gotten itself a tweak for the more hardcore, even at its "Normal" setting. Perhaps my skills are softening, but the enemies feel very balanced in power and strength, from the weak ones to the really difficult sunuvabitch jerks. Sometimes I get ridiculously outnumbered, and some of the enemies' fighting tactics are so precise that every time I get up, I'm set up again to take another blow. But nothing in there has been so stubborn enough for me to chuck my controller at, especially later in the game where the difficulty has been obviously ramped up a notch.

Despite how adequate the single-player element is, it's not an accurate measure to what the multiplayer brawl battles are like. That's not a nod in the negative direction - the brawl mode is essentially pure. Compared to brawl, single-player seems more clunky and slower - which initially put a damper on the game's outlook. After a few missions, however, that's clearly not the case. The speed is just right, and soon enough my past GameCube skills took over and felt right at home.

And the online capabilities are interesting, to say the least. I haven't gotten into any online brawls yet, but from what I hear from friends, it's a pretty smooth ride. For now, I'm happy to be able to select "spectator" and just watch other people duke it out. Plus, the sudden downloads of random movies and custom levels is a nice incentive to keep connecting online.

It's really hard to find anything wrong with this title, but then again I'm speaking on a veteran bias. If I had to nit-pick, I'd say that the enemy AI can sometimes get borderline asinine, and then there are the typical "if-the-game-is-online,-it-should-have-chat-and-wait-rooms," or something similar. But really, as long as you can fight online, isn't that all you need?

By the way, I'll post up my friend code later this week, if anyone out there wants to lay the smackdown on me.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


The time is 7:30 am, no thanks to Daylight Savings Time. As with any launch, I'm preparing to be there at least an hour in advance. But 2 factors make me think that not many people will be there; (1) it's only a game launch, and (2) most people probably got it during the midnight launch from some of the other GameStop stores.

No matter. I'll be there with my DS in hand, hoping to run into a few friends during the process, and ultimately bringing home my Super Smash Bros Brawl ASAP.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Super-special Weekend Edition Post!!

Hello, and welcome to this special "Weekend" edition of Gameritis. No way is this some small gesture to make up for the lack of posts this past Thursday and Friday. No, no...this is just pent-up anticipation for Super Smash Bros Brawl, which I will receive in my hands tomorrow.

Sure, some people may have received their copies already. Some are gonna get their copies at the stroke of midnight. I'm getting it tomorrow at 9 am at my local GameStop. That's good enough for me. If you think about it, I've been already more than a month behind since its Japanese release, so another 9 hours won't faze me much.

So, in lieu of the time left until "brawl"-day, I've decided to take a stroll on a few more Wii games before they get kicked out of the spotlight.

Title: No More Heroes
Status: Halfway...I think.
Chance of survival after Brawl: 60% - My bloodlust urge will bring me back here in the late hours when I need to have my fix.

Title: Super Mario Galaxy
Status: Halfway...through second playthrough.
Chance of survival after Brawl: 30% - I've collected all 120 stars. Now I'm just killing time.

Title: Zack and Wiki
Status: Very close to the end.
Chance of survival after Brawl: 40% - I still have to finish it...just not now.

Title: Metroid Prime 3
Status: Um...30%?
Chance of survival after Brawl: 15% - That's been in the backburner for quite some time. Still enjoy it, but I haven't touched it in a while.

Title: Resident Evil 4 (Wii)
Status: I bought this? When?
Chance of survival after Brawl: 0.001% - Wow...really gotta start this game sometime soon...

Let's face it - just like Melee and my GameCube, Brawl's gonna take over my Wii.

Friday, March 7, 2008

What happened to Thursday?

Apologies first for not putting up...well, anything yesterday. I actually had some interesting bits of news, but they were just that - bits.

Don't worry, I'll have something more interesting later.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Zero Punctuation review: Devil May Cry 4

Usually, the "lazy" in "Lazy Wednesday" kicks in quick, and I never get a post out until by the end of the day - though you guys never know, since anytime I save a post's progress, it keeps the time I initiated it, not the time I posted it.

But that's beside the point. The point is, this week's Zero Punctuation review is on Devil May Cry 4, and you will do yourself a great injustice not to view this.'s that good.

What? You don't believe me? Sigh...okay, I know this goes against everything I bitched about before, but if you must know, it tickled my DeLorean funny bone. There, happy? Now listen to this hypocrite (points to myself) and watch the damn video already!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Thanks for the gift, guys!

This is a little more than a week late, but remember how I received No More Heroes as a birthday gift? I forgot to give mad props to who gave it to me - my bro and sis, Ryan and Denise! Thanks guys! You don't know how much fun it is for me to decimate people with a light saber via Wii-mote.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The tension mounts...

One more week. One more week of patient waiting, and all good things will "smash" through my door.