Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Zero Punctuation review: God of War: Chains of Olympus

You know the procedure - NSFW, funny review.

Sorry for the short post, but it just became "Lazy Lazy Wednesday." Hence, the late post. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

GTA IV: Review of reviews

First, let's clear the air here. Yes, GTA IV is out this week. Yes, it's a great game that is getting perfect scores over its perfect scores. And yes, I still don't have an Xbox 360 or PS3 to enjoy either version, yet I'm still riding the hype wagon to the end. Remember what I've said before, about playing the game akin to doing chores? I still stand by it, but only after I try out GTA IV will I see if it's more of the same but prettier. But let's run down all the things that people have been glowing about, and then put it into perspective.

Graphics: Pretty. Next.

Gameplay: You're doing more shit. Whoopie.

Interaction: The game's so damn interactive, it makes The Sims really seem like just a game. You can watch people interact with other people without your involvement. You can do the same thing looking out your window.

Story: From what I hear, it's a much larger part. This is awesome, but at the same time implies that the last few games were lacking in telling a story. Big step up in my book, because free-roaming with no story is overdone.

Multiplayer: Didn't care with Halo, probably won't care this time. This was mostly to address people's discontent that GTA: San Andreas didn't have multiplayer. Boo-hoo.

Please do not take this post as a knock against the game. Quite the opposite - I wasn't interested in this game before, but now I am. And this was before all the perfect scores. This is more a knock on the lengthy and sometimes college-English-paper-worthy reviews. The pages of their thesaurus are probably worn by now as gaming journalists finally get to flex their "muscle."

Rockstar addressed people's issues with the last game, and came back stronger. Good for them. I'd just enjoy it more without the drama and congratulatory speeches.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The sound you hear is a load being dropped from my shoulders

Last Saturday marked the last paper I had to do for my masters. Needless to say, I'm completely relieved to find out that I completely earned my "A" and will be resuming my daily gaming blogging once more. Did you guys miss me? I know I sure have!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Zero Punctuation review: Super Smash Bros Brawl

First off, yes your eyes do not deceive - I've been MIA for the past week. Why? Remember that note a while back about me doing studying? Yeah, it's come to bite me on the ass, so you guys can just shut your pie hole and take this "Lazy Wednesday" Yahtzee post and shove it up your bum.

On a more humorous note, this week's Yahtzee's victim is the widely publicized Super Smash Bros Brawl, thanks to hordes and hordes of people spamming his mailbox to review. After all the pressure you guys put on him, it's no wonder he reviewed the game as he did. I'd hate on a game, too, if everyone was buzzing me on about it. Enjoy the NSFW hate below, you jerks.

Oh yeah, consider me MIA for the rest of the week. Saturday's when my paper's due, and after that, I will float gently into the comforting arms of Mario Kart Wii on Sunday. Later!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

No head-tracking in Boom Blox, EA hates money

If you haven't figured out by now, I'm a pretty strong follower of my Wii. I enjoy the games I've played, the games I will play, and all its cool features. But when Johnny Lee (pictured above) revealed a hack that unlocks even more interactive goodness from this system, I was speechless. When he revealed that part of his innovation would be used in a future puzzle game from EA, I was floored! Then, when EA decided to pull the plug on the added feature, I was devastated.

So here's the story: Johnny Lee hacks the Wii and makes an interactive white board with just a $40 Wii-mote. He goes on to produce LED goggles and a 3D application that simulates 3D immersion via head-tracking, and says it will be a featured easter egg in EA's upcoming Boom Blox.

This was all in February when he presented this to a very-impressed audience, and to an even-more-impressed fanbase online going nuts for the culmination of commercial products and indie-innovative fame.

This was all exciting until just recently at the Nintendo Summit in San Francisco when EA decides to drop the easter egg, omitting it from the final release.

Get it? Got it? Good.

Okay...let's pick this apart for a moment, shall we?

EA announced in February (about 2 months ago) that they will incorporate it as an easter egg. Cost to EA? Practically nothing, since Lee, the one-man innovator, developed the software for all this tracking. And the $10 additional hardware? It's an easter egg - it's completely optional for the user whether they want to shell out the money for extras.

Two months pass, and they still can't get the thing to work. Or so I would like to believe. Maybe it got shoveled aside and left for dead, rotting behind the innovative ideas into making Rock Band Wii even more awesome and the concept of making MySims online. But then again, it's EA - maybe it does take them twice as long to do things than other competent companies.

Then comes the Nintendo Summit, where they officially announce that the feature will be dropped, much to the dismay of fans looking forward to trying out head-tracking in a major, albeit puzzle, game. As of this posting, there's no comment yet from Lee's blog, but I'm sure he might have a few choice words.

Why was this feature dropped? While the majority of people out there want to think that EA just doesn't like money, or that they continuously brainstorm multiple ways to screw people from quality games and features, I think there might be more to it than that. Maybe they're playing it safe; maybe implementing it will break something else in the game, and, in all fairness, the game was in development before Lee's innovation came. Another reason could be that the company doesn't want to handle the extra maintenance that may come from problems incorporating it into the game. I mean, could you imagine the extra work that would've resulted if they HAD made Rock Band Wii with downloadable content, or if MySims WAS online. Yeah, too many resources would've been wasted in making a game even more awesome.

Great job, EA...great job.

Zero Punctuation review: Condemned 2: Bloodshot

It's "Lazy Wednesday" again, and Yahtzee's reviewing Condemned 2: Bloodshot. Just a forewarning for you guys who are interested - spoilers abound. Me? I'm personally not interested in the game. That, and I don't have a Xbox 360. Yeah, I think that would cement me not playing it.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Hey everyone. Skipping today's normal post. Taxes come first, then games. I'll be back strong tomorrow - have a few gripes to share.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Disgaea Update: Finished Episode 4!!

I'm very happy to announce that I've finally broken down the wall and have completed Episode 4 in Disgaea PSP!! It took the creation of a new party member, about 2 hours of grinding to level her up, and a couple more hours to round everyone up a level or two before I took the end of Episode 4 head on.

From this point on, everything won't feel like deja vu anymore, since it's around here where I'll start tracing my steps I took last during my first go at the game. Hopefully, I'll barrel through the upcoming walls ahead.

Yeah, I know it's not a completed game, but hey...I'll take my victories when I can.

Friday, April 11, 2008

No More Heroes...finished!

Honestly, this game is heavy on swearing and tons of blood. On a Wii. If that doesn't convince you that this game's worth a try, then I don't know what will. For what it's worth, though, the overall experience was gratifying and not overbearing in its gameplay - meaning that I wasn't spending too much time idling in side quests and was always driven to play the story through.

Of course, like games before, I looked around and see if there was anything more to the game, only to find that a hard mode was unlocked (from the start, only easy and medium were available), and that there were more of these wrestler cards to collect. According to the instruction manual (which I confess to actually reading now instead of just flipping through it), the more cards I collected, the more "otaku" my room becomes. And to know it can get more "otaku"-ish is already fanning the "replay" flames.

But for now, I'm glad to have went through both endings and put another game 'neath my belt.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mario Kart Wii and Freeloader update: It works!

So, contrary to earlier reports, the Freeloader works fine with Mario Kart Wii after all. According to NCSX, turns out the US Wii system ironically needs the 3.1U firmware update from the Super Smash Bros Brawl disc, and then your free to play an import copy of Mario Kart Wii. I'm glad to see that the Freeloader wasn't destroyed so easily, and even happier to see that not even the best gaming blogs and a certain import site are infallible.

But work after an update - wasn't that the one thing they said might make the Freeloader not function?

If you're attractive, Strong Bad has a game for you!

When it comes to WiiWare news, I'm always feeling "meh" on the whole thing. Sure, I'm excited for all the potential original content that will come with it, and I'm lined up for some of the classic games, but nothing has really jumped out to me. Enter Homestar Runner.

If you don't know about Homestar Runner, then you missed out on one of the biggest internet sensations there ever was. Go on, check out their site. I recommend the Strong Bad Emails. Then when you're done, you can appreciate more the good news that they will work with Telltale Games and release Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People in episodic installments for WiiWare and the PC.

Just trust me on this - Homestar Runner is good. I'll leave it at that.

Like or hate? Comment below!

[UPDATE] Oh man, this looks just awesome. Hahaha...mode 8...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Zero Punctuation review: No More Heroes

It's "Lazy Wednesday" again, and I can't think of nothing better to do than to present you Yahtzee's review of No More Heroes - a game that, since my birthday, I have been enjoying through and through. In fact, I think this game might make me turn around and give Killer 7 another go, since maybe I was stuck in a funk when I first tried it.

In any case, check this review out. Just assume that every video from this guy is NSFW, since I'm starting to get tired stating it every time.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

An April Fools "The Legend of Zelda" Trailer

Post this under "extremely late," but I finally mustered up the "courage," "wisdom," and "power" and checked out the elaborate April Fools' Joke embodied as the Legend of Zelda Trailer that IGN produced. For what it's worth, the style really spoke to me. As for the actors, their choices were questionable. Nevertheless, the entire trailer suddenly made me want to play Twilight Princess (or any other Zelda franchise) a second time around. To battle in the struggle of good verses evil, for the spectacular swordplay, or just to save a princess, the Zelda games have provided endless hours of fantasy enjoyment that, through an expensive joke, has suddenly rekindled the flame in me for this old yet simple genre.

And yes, I must admit - I replayed it a second time. What can I say? The flow of it motivated me, as should any good movie trailer should. If you want the quick-and-dirty view, check out the YouTube embed below. Otherwise, click here.

Mario Kart Wii leaves Freeloader owners in the dust

What a day to get news like this. I finally get my Wii Freeloader just yesterday in the mail, and I wake up to find that Mario Kart Wii (The Japan and Europe releases) doesn't work on US systems with the "miracle" disc. This doesn't look good for CodeJunkies...I guess anything released before Mario Kart Wii would still be good, right? At least, anything before any future Wii system updates.

Regardless, I'm not in that big a hurry to check out the game, seeing that I'll be getting it when it's released here a mere 2-3 weeks away. C'mon, some patience!

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Wii Freeloader has arrived!

Expect most of my posts this week to be short and sweet ones. I have to finalize a paper on my end, and am consolidating my time for maximum efficiency.

That being said, my Wii Freeloader just came in today. Now I can have mind-numbing fun with my wife playing my Japanese GCN copy of Panel de Pon on my Wii.

Of course, the real test is when I decide to pick up a Japanese Wii import game and really see if it'll play those games properly. If so, I may have to check out Karous.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A letter to Nintendo

The following is an email I just sent to Nintendo's customer service.


Hello Nintendo (or whoever spends the time reading these emails),

Let me first say how I've admired your products over the years, and have certainly grown with them, from the lowly days of LCD screens and Game & Watch titles, to the current generation of Wii titles. In fact, recently I purchased Super Smash Bros Brawl with much anticipation, and have been thoroughly satisfied with the game thus far.

No, no...I'm not writing in about the poor online capabilities, despite what everyone else has said. In fact, online problems really occurred about 30% of the time at worst, and I've enjoyed both random and friend play numerous times. That's not to say I don't have any issues with it at all, but I can definitely say that it has satiated my need to reach out and beat someone.

The next title I look forward to is one coming at the end of the year - Mario Kart Wii. While just the thought of racing on new tracks and with new people make me giddy with joy, the one feature I'm looking forward to is the dedicated Mario Kart Wii channel that allows users to not only find out if their friends are playing, but also room hosting and spectator mode - and to run it all without the game running? That's just pure icing on the cake.'s my question: will you do this for Super Smash Bros Brawl?

I'm sure it's come up a few times now, and I'm sure I'm not the only one to chime you guys in on the concept. I mean, with Mario Kart Wii, you'll prove that you can create an entire new channel purely dedicated to one title. Can't you potentially do this for other titles as well? Especially since these channels do not need the game in order to function properly? Not only can this be more versatile with people who already have games capable of going online, but being an external hub for people to connect is an extreme benefit. You wouldn't have to run the game every time to see if people are online and ready to play - you just run the channel and see before you waste time loading the game!

This has the potential to not only increase revenue for Nintendo titles, but also to increase the community and following towards a more robust gaming environment. Think about it...people can run a Pokemon Battle Revolution channel, or a Mario Strikers Charged channel and see in an instant if people are online.

I really don't expect a reply, but one would be very appreciated. I just merely wanted to voice my opinion on the matter, and I hope to hear more good news in the future.

Awaiting the release of Mario Kart Wii,


I'll let you know if I get any response.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Zero Punctuation review: Army of Two...and post April Fools

So I'm presuming that all 5 of you didn't get the April Fools joke yesterday, if at all. Perhaps I wasn't really in the spirit of it all, unlike other sites...but hey, anything to publish a post, right?

As a matter of fact, most of the previous post is actual fact - well, all except the part where my wife agreed to play WoW. Boy, if both of us started and really got into it, we could've kissed our happy lives goodbye.

If you still don't get the joke, I don't play World of Warcraft. Never have, never will. But of course that's just my personal preference. If you enjoy it so much, who am I to stop you? In fact, if you enjoy it, why are you reading my blog? Yeah, that's the reason why my readership is low in numbers - my target audience apparently enjoys toiling around on a virtual landscape and slaying dragons before wanking to Jessica Alba to get to sleep.

Okay, that was a bit harsh. I really don't have anything against WoW players. I just don't understand the fascination behind the whole MMO thing. Maybe I was too drunk playing all my single-player games that I completely missed the multiplayer-online boat to god-knows-where. For that matter, couldn't MMO very well mean "minor multiplayer online" instead?

And in that weak segway, here's Yahtzee's review on Army of Two. And he was doing so well suppressing the gay jokes...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

All I've to say is...WoW...

So, this is the story.

My brother is a big World of Warcraft player. Period. Very big among his fellow online friends to the point which he has become a valuable asset in any raid he participates in.

I, on the other hand, am a very console-oriented player, and I rarely get into the MMO scene. It looks too complicated and unyielding, and it looks like the environment alone would break my back.

So when my brother comes and asks me if I'd purchase WoW to try it out and even join him in a few online battles, I told him, "only when my wife decides to play, then I'll play."

Well, it appears that I'm going to play WoW. See, the thing is, my wife's brother is also a bit WoW player, and I guess she's been getting the same pressure from him as I was getting from my brother. She just called me today about it, telling me that she agreed to try it out, so I guess I'm going to load the trial copies after work and see what all the fuss is about.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl...finished!

Definitely overdue by about a week, I'd say, but I've unlocked all characters, all stages, and finished the single player mode with 100%. Sure, I haven't finished all of the missions yet, but this seems good enough. I've even battled online - with friends and random people - and have been the spectator to random matches for countless hours. I think this "finished" stamp is well deserved.