Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Podcast Roundup Wednesday - 4/20/2011

Hour of Slack and Plus One still seem to be off schedule..... Anyway, enjoy the Hour of Slack and Plus One that would have gone with the Sunday roundup in their place.

Sunday Podcasts
- Hour of Slack #1304: Rerun of #1003: 8X Day and Starwood
SModcast #165: Blast from the past, live from Comic-Con 2010, Etnies brand Clerks sneakers launch

Monday Podcasts
- Hollywood Babble-On #29: Comedian Bill Burr guests (he's on the recent Doug Loves Movies, as well)
- IGN AU Podcast #16: Sucker Punch!, Jem is a big gamer, war games and propaganda, Shadows of the Damned, segmenting a finished game just to have DLC
- Nerdist Podcast #79: Andy Samberg and Chad Hardwick discuss the evolution of comedy in the digital age

Tuesday Podcasts
- Blow Hard #36: Girls can get blue balls, too, and Malcom has something brewing...
Nintendo Voice Chat: Special guest (not a special guest) Fran, Nintendo's next console
- Plus One #18: All about the Shakespearean intricacies of Sons of Anarchy, oh, and a quiz to see if Kevin is an idiot

Click on the name of any podcast to listen immediately, or right-click and select "save as" to download.

Color Code/Podcast Subject:
General Conversational/Comedy
Gaming - Nintendo
Gaming - General

Podcast Roundup - Podcasts Discussing Project Cafe

Depending on how much of the situation you believe, you might find the various views of people that report on gaming and gaming news for a living pretty interesting. Again, depending on how much of the situation you believe, you might be interested to know that IGN is saying they were told about Project Cafe before Game Informer dropped the first bomb, and only chipped in their information because of Game Informer. I'm guessing the situation is much the same for some other sources, and we're not running into a situation with jumpers and bandwagons, and......well, a few details could be made up. But that's the fun part about leaks, I think.

Game Scoop! #202, from IGN - Warning: contains Colin Moriarty
Gamertag Radio #288, from Gamertag Radio
Giant Bombcast, from GiantBomb
GoNintendo Podcast #296, from GoNintendo
Infendo Radio #221, from Infendo
Invisible Walls #155, from GameTrailers (must have a free account to download)
Nintendo Voice Chat, from IGN
Tech Fetish Podcast #88, from IGN
The Game Informer Show #64, from the bomb droppers themselves, GameInformer
The Oddcast, from 1up
TV and Lust Podcast #35, from TV and Lust

Right-click the name of the podcast and select "Save as" to download

There are likely many, many more podcasts discussing this, but I hit up as many of the big sites as I could think of (and a few smaller favorites) to grab their podcasts on the subject.

Monday, April 18, 2011

3DS Impressions - Three Weeks of Owning a 3DS, Highs and Lows

Today, Monday, marks three full weeks of owning an Aqua Blue 3DS. I believe I've gotten a good feel for most of the components of playing and owning a 3DS. One thing I definitely haven't experienced, as a result of the 3DS games I have, is the experience of playing a game with demanding and rapid button usage, which I've heard from a few people will cause the "sweet spot" to shift out of view frequently. I can see the merit in that, but I'm not ready to dismiss or enforce the idea until I try out some kind of action oriented game.

Three weeks in; do I regret getting Aqua Blue over Cosmic Black? I don't at all, but I have yet to see a wild black 3DS so I'm not 100% on what I'm "missing". As I said in another portion of my impressions, the black all around the top screen doesn't bother me. I'm surprised at how much it doesn't even cross my mind, actually. But something that has been crossing my mind lately, to kick off the lows....

The Lows
Well, it's not -that- bad

It's really only been the past few days that I've been missing the lack of the eShop at launch.

Site Update - Late with Regular Content, Sorry

I know there has been some big news in the way of Project Cafe, the rumored codename of Nintendo's next home console, and I plan on making an opinion piece on that, but there have been some good changes in my work schedule, and I'm shifting my sleeping habits around and thus the rest of my life as well.

There won't be a roundup of the podcasts for this week's Sunday, but I am going to do a round of any podcasts discussing Wii 2/Project Cafe/general Nintendo rumors, which should include a couple non-regulars. Today is also my third week anniversary of owning a 3DS, so you'll see the final part of those impressions up soon.

My sincere thanks to my readers. There aren't many, but you make it worth the effort for me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Podcast Roundup Wednesday - 4/13/2011

Hmm...the Plus One podcast isn't up again, so I'm wondering if they plan on moving the podcast for a different day. They already have Blow Hard regularly going up on Tuesdays and could use something on Thursdays to fill in when Puck Nuts is in it's off season (it's about the NHL, the Devils in particular). The Nintendo Voice Chat podcast also isn't up, so I'm guessing they're taking a week off, at this point.

Sunday Podcasts
- SModcast #164: Live at Munhall, Pennsylvanian, the new hearing impared signers, remembering Pittsburg

Monday Podcasts
- Nerdist #77: Black Dynamite panel at NerdMelt

Tuesday Podcasts
- Blow Hard #35: Part 2 with Tell 'em Steve Dave's Bryan Johnson, putting Charlie Sheen, Adam Corolla, and Andy Milonakis in their place

Click on the name of any podcast to listen immediately, or right-click and select "Save As" to download.

Color Code/Podcast Subject:
General Conversational/Comedy

RUMOR - Nintendo Pricing the Wii at $150 by May 15th


The title sums it up.
I think some people might take this as a response to 3DS sales, but I think it's just a price drop that they want to be able to be able to throw around during their E3 Conference (a few weeks after May 15th on June 7th to the 9th). Hopefully they have some huge titles they wanna officially confirm are coming to the U.S. and entice some "hardcore" players in with a $150 console. I also don't believe Nintendo is poised to reveal a new home console at E3, which some people might infer from the price drop. My reasons aren't that strong, but I get a general feeling that they think they have enough in the way of Wii software that they could make the Wii successful for a long enough period that it would be a waste to reveal their next home console at this upcoming E3.

If you're not already a Wii owner, would you jump at the $150 price tag, or would you need to see what Nintendo is offering at this year's E3 first? Do you know anyone that this new price might convince?

George Hotz, the Infamous PS3 Hacker Vows to Never Buy Sony Again

George Hotz was involved in a court case against Sony for his work in hacking the PS3, and he is now prevented by law from ever accessing any Sony product in a way that isn't outlined in the terms of service for that product. Apparently there is a boycott of Sony products going on (whether that is just in the community of hackers or not, I do not know) which Hotz is supporting. More than supporting really, as he's encouraging anyone who will listen to never buy anything else from Sony and return any Sony product if possible.

It makes sense for him; if he's ever found to have violated that laws laid down by the court order, he's liable to face a $10,000 fine for each violation. Honestly, I'm really uncomfortable with the whole situation. Not his rooting to boycott Sony, but this basically guarantees that he's going to move onto other systems to do what he does best. I'm not inherently against hacking directly, but it is definitely the catalyst for piracy, which I find very objectionable in the ways that most people take advantage of it. If I might explain that, quite simply I don't object to piracy that involves games or products that aren't (and most likely will not be) directly purchasable in/from your region. I consider having to buy from an importer as an indirect purchase. That said, I've never pirated something currently being sold, and I very rarely play pirated games on a PC emulator.

George Hotz has a blog where you can follow the situation as told by him.
I don't mean to start a heated debate on hacking (or piracy) but if you'd like to discuss it, then throw out a comment in the comments section.

Story source

Dead or Alive Dimensions (3DS) Officially Dated for May 24th in North America

The next entry in the Dead or Alive series has been dated for May 24th by Tecmo Koei.
Also announced was a run of 34 SpotPass exclusive costumes, so downloaded from the internet, with a run from May 24th to June 26th, and a chance to pick up any you missed from June 28th to June 31st. Sounds like a really fierce move to get people to buy the game as soon as possible.

I've been holding off on getting Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition to see what Dead or Alive Dimensions is bringing. With no extensive experience with either series, I've had a hard time deciding, but the limited time (as of now) costumes might push me toward or away from DoA: Dimensions, depending on how quickly I can determine that I want to pick one up.

Were you looking forward to the game before, or at all now that we've learned that these costumes might be forever unobtainable if you try to pick up the game later?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Podcast Roundup Sunday - 4/10/2011

Turns out the Plus One and Hour of Slack podcasts that usually goes up on Tuesday was just a few days late, so you get two bonus podcasts for this roundup. I gotta say, Plus One has become a favorite of mine in the few weeks I've been listening to it. Kevin and his wife (Jen) have an amazing chemistry, and this week's episode in particular was such a great listen.

Bonus/Late Podcasts:
- Hour of Slack #1303: Rerun of #553, a radio play of Stang going from rich to poor
- Plus One #17: The new name for Jen's Science Corner, diagnosing Kevin with hypomania, and no compassion for the fishies

Wednesday Podcasts:
- Podcast Unlocked #5: A mostly new gang just for this week, Gears of War 3 multiplayer beta discussion

Thursday Podcasts:
- Podcast Beyond #182: Duke Nukem leads to a serious discussion about censorship, what it takes for a game to offend the crew, and ordering 100 tacos from Taco Bell

Friday Podcasts:
- Game Scoop! #201: Battlefield vs. Call of Duty, Minecraft, Patapon 3, and the gang's favorite handhelds
- IGN UK Podcast #80: Battlefield vs. Call of Duty as well, older gaming consoles, a Kapow! Comic-con roundup, and a little something temporarily named "The IGN Fun Chums"
- Invisible Walls #154 (must have a free account to download): SOCOM 4 and the 3DS' brain melting capabilities
- Doug Loves Movies: Ralph Garmen (currently of's Hollywood Babble On*), comedians T.J. Miller and Andy Wood guest, and the movie name game (not the Leonard Maltin game)
- Nerdist #76: Xeni Jardin guests, discussing nerd culture before it was nerd culture, Boing Boing
- Tell 'em Steve Dave #57: Walt and Q spend some time berating Bry, Medieval Times meet up, and Suzan's chicken pox
- Tech Fetish Podcast #87: 3DS sales in Japan, why the NGP might see a delay, Google needs to kick it up a notch with Android, and the Commodore 64 for some reason

Saturday Podcasts:
- GoNintendo Podcast #295: Rebecca Black invades the podcast, Jack Tretton bashing Nintendo and Microsoft again, what the gang's been playing this week, and music quiz

Click on the name of any podcast to listen immediately, or right-click and select "Save As" to download.

Color Code, Podcast Subject:
General Conversational/Comedy
Gaming - Nintendo
Gaming - Sony
Gaming - Microsoft
Gaming - General
Tech Discussion General

* - if you guessed this means I'll be listening to an new podcast this week, you're right. I'll see if it's good so you don't have to.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

3DS Impressions - The Screens, 3D, and Sweet Spots

At this point, I think anyone that's wanted to see the glasses free 3D screen of the 3DS has seen it, so I'll focus a bit more on some less obvious things.

But I'll start with my own experience of 3D. I don't usually use it with the 3D Depth Slider all the way up, usually at 50% to 70%, and mostly just with PilotWings Resort where I think it's valuable to the experience, and the camera functionality where it's necessary to capture a 3D photo. With the 3D Depth Slider at 0% to about 15%, I can tell that the parallax barrier is on, but I can't say that I really notice 3D, even in a game like PilotWings Resort where you can have a huge spacial distance between the closest object on screen and the farthest. I have no trouble seeing 3D, and 3D doesn't give me headaches at all, which isn't unexpected. It's always been easy for me to see "Magic Eye" 3D images and I've seen many 3D movies without headaches.

The "sweet spot," the ideal zone in which to view the 3DS' top screen's 3D is quite small. I heard many hands on reports that didn't quite agree on this; for every four that would say you only get about a centimeter to move your head left and right, there would be one that would say you have about an inch and a half. They're both right, but when you go beyond that centimeter or so range, you start noticing the parallax barrier darkening the image, but the image is still obviously 3D. As I understand the technology, having a "sweet spot" that small is the best you can do when you get the columns of pixels down to as small as they are on the 3DS. It took a few hours, but I don't have any trouble now keeping the 3DS at an angle suitable for viewing 3D. For me eyes, I can move the 3DS about a foot backwards and forwards to my face before I get distortion, so there is no adjustment with holding the 3DS at a different distance than I would with a GBA SP, DS lite, or any handheld gaming device.

One thing I didn't catch being mentioned about the 3DS' 3D screen is that the 3D actually slots up clearly at two additional angles. As you angle the 3DS, you'll see the image darken and clear multiple times; straight on, is the "sweet spot", a bit to the left is a view where your right eye sees only the image meant for your left eye, and your left eye sees only the image meant for your right eye, giving a reverse 3D image. Speaking of reverse 3D, I'm actually baffled as to why you don't get reverse 3D when you view the 3DS upside down. It seems to me like the image that was meant for your right eye would now be reaching your left eye and vise versa and the image would be 3D, but not so. Very interesting and I hope some devs take the opportunity to have games with the player (or a second player) viewing the 3DS upside down. A bit to the left of the reverse 3D is one of the other spots to view 3D, and the save for tiling to the right. Beyond that, and you begin seeing the left and right eye images with both eyes so the effect doesn' work. So this idea that you can't share the 3D with more than one person at the same time is technically very incorrect.

I touched upon it in a previous section of the impressions, but the 3DS screens have a smaller viewing angle than DS lite screens or DSi XL screens. In the end it's enough for normal playing so it's not a flaw I would name of the system, but it is something I suspect will be improved in the next iteration of the 3DS, if only to be another item on a comparison list.

On paper, the pixel resolution of the 3DS didn't get that big of a bump from the DS systems. I actually ran some numbers one night just to see what kind of percentage increase the resolution got from the Game Boy Color to Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Advance to DS (one screen), and now DS/DSi to 3DS (bottom screen vs. bottom screen). Like I usually do, I was scribbling out the results on an open session of PictoChat so I don't have the numbers anymore, but the bump from DS to 3DS was par for the course of Nintendo handhelds. I said that to say that in practice, the resolution difference from DS to 3DS seems bigger than ever, especially when viewed with 3D on. I've seen two or three people make the claim that the 3DS' 3D screen looks better than HD, and I have to say, that sentiment has some merits. I don't believe you can fully validate that idea, but the mental perception of each is very comparable.

Has anyone else noticed anything interesting about the screens or 3D that they feel is worth mentioning? Maybe something you noticed because of another 3DS launch title?

Friday, April 8, 2011

3DS Impressions - The Cameras

Originally there was going to be part three and a summary to the impressions, but I feel like each part might get more attention if they were shorter.

When it was first announced that the 3DS was keeping 0.3 Megapixel resolution cameras like the DSi, I, like almost everyone else immediately thought "that sucks". It was a few months later that I actually learned a thing or two about megapixels; in regards to the 3DS, 0.3 Megapixels is over thrice the resolution of the 3DS screen, and that there is such a thing as good and bad at any pixel resolution. I took any opportunity to point this out to anyone who was outright complaining about the camera resolution since they likely knew as little as I had. I was just trying to get the word out that it doesn't immediately mean bad things. A few impressions came out from people that played with 3DSes as some press events and the general term being used was "grainy". "Well, I'll see for myself soon enough" I said.

And I did see for myself. Grainy is an appropriate word. But before we get to that, a bit of an observation about how the 3DS uses the cameras. When I first used the 3DS and it's cameras, I immediately noticed that it simply wasn't capturing a sharp image. I went to the camera application, and it did render the pictures cleaner after you took them, so I just chalked it up to a downgrade in resolution to make the real-time capture faster. I tried out the face-merge feature (hilarious results every time, by the way), and it didn't strike me at the time, but the user's face on the outside camera always came up abnormally large even though I tried to hold the 3DS half-way between the two of us. Through more use I discovered what was actually going on; the image from the outside cameras is permanently zoomed at a software level when it's displayed on-screen, thus it's appears more grainy than the end image really is. It actually makes a ton of sense for the end product. The zoom means that the AR cards can go off camera a ways and the AR does not break. It lets you readjust the 3D focal-point after you take a picture, instead of permanently cropping off the right and left of the image. In the end it makes for a better user experience, and if the 3DS can only capture a video at 0.3 megapixel resolution at an acceptable level with it's current processors, then what's the point of asking for something higher?

I've included some pictures I've procured using the 3DS.

In-game screen from PilotWings Resort's handglider

My cat, in 3D! But this is 2D.....

A picture taken in AR Games

A trail I sometimes run

If there's something in particular you'd like clarified about the cameras, or just something (or an idea) you'd like me to capture with the 3DS camera, let me know in the comments and I'll answer or capture the image to the best of my ability.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Podcast Roundup Wednesday - 4/6/2011

Sunday Podcasts:
- SModcast #163: Live from the Hard Rock Cafe, Orlando, Florida, Scott's Adventure

Monday Podcasts:
- Nerdist #75: Live from NerdMelt, James Gunn, Super (the movie), and zombies

Tuesday Podcasts:
- Nintendo Voice Chat: Favorite 3DS launch titles, StreetPass, political Pokemon, and what happens when you don't have enough to talk about
- Blow Hard #34: Bryan Johnson of Tell 'em Steve Dave guests (this ought to be good)

Click on the name of any podcast to listen immediately, or right-click and select "Save As" to download.

Color Code/Podcast Subject:
Gaming - Nintendo
General Conversational/Comedy 

Ouch, a couple of shows didn't happen this week, so the pickings are slim.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Impressions - PilotWings Resort for 3DS

Of all the games prepped for launch day, PilotWings Resort always seemed like the most risk-free purchase of the bunch. Not because I had enjoyed the series prior. Quite the opposite, I remember renting PilotWings 64 and having a hell of a time trying to control these crafts and accomplish the tasks they were throwing at me and I left it as another bad rental without giving it another thought for years and years. Then E3 2010 rolls around and among many titles and series that Nintendo revealed were coming to 3DS was PilotWings Resort. What really caught my eye is that it was set on Wuhu Island of Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit Plus. The Island Flyover mode of Wii Sports Resort had become my favorite piece of that game, so an expansion of that sounded great to me. Roll forward to February 22nd when Nintendo laid down the day-one software for perspective owners of the 3DS in the U.S., and easily PilotWings Resort still looked like the safest purchase to me. Roll forward again to a few weeks before the launch of the 3DS in the U.S.. Reviews and impressions were coming in for the final version of PilotWings Resort, and a grim detail seemed to be universally voiced; you could beat the game in about an hour and a half. It doesn't matter how you spin that number or how awesome that hour and a half is, for $40 that's a lousy deal.

For a second, I wavered on whether or not to purchase PilotWings Resort.

Monday, April 4, 2011

My 3DS Impressions, Part 2

The Logistics
I'm not sure how to describe what I mean by the included topics in this part of the impressions/early review. Other points of the hardware that don't quite fit in with Interfacing or the next part on the "experience" that is the 3DS.

AC Adapter
The lowly AC adapter. So important for enjoying the 3DS, but such a minor concern. The AC adapter has a cord about 3 inches shorter than the DS lite's charger if I'm not mistaken. Judging by multiple pictures from Google Images searches, this is the exact same AC adapter as the one that shipped with the DSi and DSi XL. This is kind of unfortunate. Not only does it have just enough bulk that it can take up three outlet slots on many power strips, but it also means that the 3DS wasn't given a cable for charging that could have given it a faster charging time and/or bigger battery. On the bright side, the non-new charging jack lets you use some accessories meant for the DSi and DSi XL.

Using the Cradle
They did add a new method of using the AC Adapter, and I think it's actually a very smart addition.

Podcast Roundup Sunday - 4/3/2011

Gotta start making a point to get these up before midnight, because it makes it read like it's missing Sunday with that little date banner that blogger adds.

Wednesday Pocasts:
Podcast Unlocked #4: Mass Effect 2 DLC, Deux Ex: Human Revolution

Thursday Podcasts:
Nerdist #74: Chris spots Anthony Micheal Hall, Jonah does some healing, and Matt finally gets his inversion table
Podcast Beyond #181: Layoffs at Sony, Dynasty Warriors 7, and becoming a hamster

Friday Podcasts:
- Game Scoop! #200: A rare live episode; PAX East and audience questions
- IGN AU Pubcast: Japanese Special Edition, tsunami relief, The Wizard, video game quizes, and Final Fantasy
- IGN UK Podcast #79: Post-launch with the 3DS and iPad 2, Wii 2 speculation, Comic-Con update, and Dr. Who
- Invisible Walls #153 (must have a free account to download): New Resident Evil, Need for Speed, and Yakuza, and lame launches
- Doug Loves Movies: Rainn Wilson, Simon Pegg, and James Gunn guest
- Tell 'em Steve Dave #56: Victoria Jackson, Q teaches about preparing for fatherhood, and Bry's new "radio" voice
- Tech Fetish Pocast #86: Glasses free 3D and 3DS, Windows Phone 7, AT&T and T-mobile merger, CTIA expo and WWDC 2011

Saturday Podcasts:
- GoNintendo Podcast #294: Everyone has played the 3DS but Lube, this week's Nintendo news, music quiz, and 3DS
- IGN AU Pubcast #15: Wanted 3DS software, Duke Nukem, Deadly Premonition, and Jen's pregnancy

Click on the name of any podcast to listen immediately, or right-click and select "Save As" to download.

Color Code, Podcast Subject:
General Conversational/Comedy
Gaming - Nintendo
Gaming - Sony
Gaming - Microsoft
Gaming - General
Tech Discussion General

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Update - 3DS Still Not Supply Constrained in My Area

I made sure to check out the day one supplies of the 3DS in my area, and there were plenty. Now, a week later there are still plenty. Just from some asymmetrical shelving arrangements, I'm guessing that a few have been sold in that week. Nintendo has reported that the 3DS was the best selling handheld launch in the U.S. in their history, but I'm not sure that really means huge numbers. It's a shame for the moment because I've only had one wild StreetPass encounter, and even that was from a GameStop employee (she had a very accurate Mii).

I'm not currently worried about the 3DS not being a success, and thus not getting great software support, personally. As seems to be Nintendo's plan, the 3DS will need to sell itself when people show it off to friends and family, which isn't going to happen instantly. It might need a few hard kicks from the likes of Mario Kart to really get that viral spreading started, like the first DS needed Nintendogs and Brain Age to start it on the path of the best selling video game console ever (has it reached that just yet?).

Friday, April 1, 2011

Pac-man & Galaga Dimensions Update - 4 Additional Games Added, Including Pacman Championship Edition, DLC

Famitsu has revealed that Pac-man & Galaga Dimensions will include Pac-man Championship Edition, Galaga Legions, the original Pac-man and the original Galaga given a 3D make-over to appear as though you're really playing them on tilted arcade cabinet screen. If you're keeping count then that means you get 6 different games in Pac-man & Galaga Dimensions. Two new 3DS games made specifically to take advantage of the 3DS, two already released re-imaginings of classic titles adapted to take advantage of the 3DS, and two absolute classics with the real cabinet presentation. Oh, and leaderboards for some or all of them (it's not made clear)!

Additionally a fact-sheet has revealed that Pac-man TILT will have two different ways to play. The first with the action on the top screen from a side-view where you tilt the 3DS like wheel to get Pac-man rolling. The second with the action on the screen from a top-down view where you tilt the 3DS like you're rolling a ball on a square tray. You'll move between the two styles using in-game warp-pipes. You'll give the 3DS a bounce to make Pac-man jump, and can activate object using the touch-screen. Galaga 3D Impact has a move where you can catch enemies with a tractor beam and launch them back at the enemy to cause a stronger attack. Both games will have online leaderboards and paid dowloadable content that has yet to be revealed.

I doubt you have any idea how happy it makes me just to get Pac-man Championship Edition, and on the go. There is no doubt in my mind about paying $40 for this package now, because this sounds like an awesome deal to me. A proper 30th anniversary celebration. I'm very curious about what DLC they plan for Pac-man TILT and Galaga 3D Impact... I'd love to see additional Bandai Namco characters integrated in some way (such as Klonoa) but Pac-man needs a ball shaped character and Galaga is in first-person and we very well don't want to be shooting at cats in sneakers!

Have these announced details made you reconsider purchasing Pac-man & Galaga Dimensions? I'd love to hear why or why not in the comments.

Famitsu source
Fact sheet source

My 3DS Impressions, Part 1

Interfacing with the 3DS
This first part of my impressions/early review will focus on one of the most important concerns of handheld system; the hardware that lets you control your games. Unlike home consoles, the controller of a handheld console is integrated around the components that take controller data and game data and use it to produce what you see on a(n also separate) television screen, so you can't buy a new controller for them if you hate a particular aspect of it.

Pointing out that the 3DS doesn't have a capacitive touch-screen seems to be the basis of many arguments that Nintendo is "stuck in the past". While it's certainly true that the touch-screen isn't capacitive like so many smart-phones, it's also true that's it's easy to still use a finger to use touch-screen functions. I can't say for sure, but it seems likely that the resolution of the touch-sensitive film has increased (different thing from the pixel resolution of the LCD behind it). It may just be an old DS lite touch-screen, but the 3DS' is much more sensitive to finger use compared to that.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Podcast Roundup Wednesday - 3/31/2011 (Thursday Edition)

A day late, I know, I know. I blame Nintendo of course.
Sunday Podcasts:
- Hour of Slack #1302: Early Fire Sign Theatre, X-Day ranting, Puzzling Evidence and Radio Synesthesia
- BONUS Hour of Slack #1301.3: Deemed offensively offensive; Portland '09 feat. Dr. Philo Drummond rant
- SModcast #162: Tell 'em Steve Dave guest and reflect on their year of podcasting

Monday Podcasts:
- Nerdist #73: Tim Ferriss (but Nerdist guests), traveling, snooty college clubs, knives, and the book, “The Four Hour Body”

Tuesday Podcasts:
- Nintendo Voice Chat: Finally the 3DS is here, new podcast member, what's missing from the Wii?
- Blow Hard #33: I....there are no words to describe the subject of this one. Nothing appropriate, anyways.
- Plus One #15: Jen falls in love (is this the third time?), twitter, and rocket science. Literally rocket science.
Click on the name of any podcast to listen immediately, or right-click and select "Save As" to download.

Color Code/Podcast Subject:
Gaming - Nintendo
General Conversational/Comedy

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Brother's Initial Thoughts on the 3DS

Since I haven't experienced all parts of the 3DS (StreetPass and experiencing coping with the battery) I thought I'd post up the thoughts of my....interestingly minded older brother. He's not as avid of a gamer as me, but he plays regularly, and pays attention to games and tech news.

Q: What do you think of the design (look) of the 3DS?
A: It's a great size, not too big, not too small. It has a good weight and feels well constructed, though the hinge should have a stronger hold (Editor's note: this concerns the hinge staying locked into it's open positions, not necessarily an issue of wobbling while in the open position). I would prefer it in a different color (red) and I'm not a fan of the tri-color scheme.

Q: Are there features or hardware you would like to have added (or removed) or improved on the 3DS?
A: No additions really but there are some things I would change. I would prefer that both screens have the same aspect ratio, even if it meant they were both 4:3, but I would prefer wide screens. I don't like the location of the power button or d-pad. I feel like I could accidentally turn it off, and I have to readjust my hand to use the d-pad. I would much rather have a rocker or two buttons for adjusting the volume. I think that it's an improvement that they moved the headphone jack to the middle and made the buttons snappier (vs. a DS lite). I love the new stylus; it feels high quality and looks nice. I also like the speakers; they seem a ton better than any of the DS' speakers (Editor's note: Neither my brother nor I have experience with the DSi).

Q: Concerning the operating system/user-interface, how easy or tough was it to navigate the menus and find features you were looking for? (Editor's note: My brother is a fan of Mac computers and owns an iPhone 4, so I was hoping to see if there were any navigation concerns from someone used to those interfaces)
A: No real trouble (Editor's note: He took a few seconds to find the Internet browser). It feels "familiar".

Q: Have you already seen or could you imagine, a way that 3D would improve your ability to play a game? What do you think of 3D in general?
A: No, between the built in software, PilotWings Resort, and Ghost Recon Shadow Wars, I don't see the potential for 3D enabling me to play games better. It's really neat and not needing glasses makes this a better experience than movie theater 3D. In general though, I see 3D as more valuable in games than movies.

If you have any questions or comments for my brother, throw them in the comment section and I'll send them his way for rebuttal.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The 3DS Came Today!!!

I'll tear my eyes away from the 3DS to give some owner's impressions. Hopefully soon. I'll see which family members I can get impressions from, and write those up as well. If you didn't see the post when I first got them, I have PilotWings Resort and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Shadow Wars, so I'll include impressions for those as I play them.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Podcast Roundup Sunday - 3/27/2011

Added Invisible Walls, the podcast from the GameTrailers group. I gave this episode a listen and really liked the 3DS talk; a diverse group of opinions, including someone that can't view stereoscopic 3D. A little note on the Nintendo Voice Chat podcast; there are several factual errors and general ignorance in this episode. It's not a once in a lifetime event, but it's been months since they had this many in one episode. Listen with caution. Oh, and they spoil PilotWings unlockables without a spoiler warning. Those bastards.

Nintendo Voice Chat: 3DS Mania3DS, Nintendo's stance on downloadable software
Podcast Unlocked: Crysis 2
Nerdist #72: Rather inappropriately, the author included no information about the podcast...
Podcast Beyond #180: SOCOM 4 Beta, Crysis 2, Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime, and sausage

Game Scoop! Podcast #199: Kratos in Mortal Kombat, Homefront, Dead Island's boxart, co-op gaming
Invisible Walls #152 (must have a free account to download): Crysis 2, Motorstorm: Apocalypse, and 3DS
Doug Loves Movies: Nick Hexum and P-Nut of 311, and Graham Elwood guest
Tell 'em Steve Dave #55: Rebecca Black (Friday song girl), the Illuminati, is money still tradable for a donut?, and a new game from Walt
GoNintendo Podcast #293: 3DS, Iwata Asks, and this week's game releases
IGN UK Podcast #78: Special guest Craig Roberts, playing bodyguard to Jake Gyllenhaal, updates on A-Team 2 and next Batman movie, and iPad 2 shortages
Color Code, Podcast Subject:
General Conversational/Comedy
Gaming - Nintendo
Gaming - Sony
Gaming - Microsoft
Gaming - General
Tech Discussion General

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Slick Battery Life Extender You Can Use with Your 3DS, $35

Na na na na na na na na Batman!

That's right, it's a wristband battery and it comes with a connector that fits the 3DS. Specifically, it's designated as a DSi/DSi XL adapter, but it will fit in the 3DS perfectly since they use the same connector.
Coming in at $35, it's more expensive than the 3DS specific battery replacement Nyko is offering, but it will fit more gadgets, and leave your 3DS looking like it did the day you got it, if those things are important to you. The battery is rated at 1800 mAh, whereas the 3DS' battery is rated at 1300 mAh, so it's conceivable that this will at least double your play time with the 3DS while in use. If/when the battery life of the 3DS starts to bother me, then this is definitely a product I will consider buying. It has an adapter for iPhone and mini-USB among others, so depending on what you own, you could get a ton of use out of this.

If you guys were considering the Nyko battery, is this a more appealing option? I'd love to hear why or why not in the comments.

You can buy it right here.

Joy - 3DS Arrival Date Bumped Back to the 29th

Looks like Amazon came through, and my 2 day shipping is really 2 day shipping. I checked it only hours ago, and the status was still Not Yet Shipped or something similar and the arrival date still set for Wednesday (the 30th). But I just checked it and it says "Shipped" and the estimated arrival date is the 29th. That's one less day of sitting and staring at two 3DS games I can't play.
My face when (but not my face)

Buy One Get One Half-Price Sale on 3DS Games at Toys-R-Us

I hadn't heard about this deal, so I'm glad I walked into Toys-R-Us to check out 3DS supplies. Best deal I have seen for 3DS games so far. Even after tax it beats Amazon's $10 credit with a 3DS game.

I'm now the proud owner of two games that should be very entertaining:

The twins

Unfortunately, my 3DS isn't due to arrive till Tuesday. But hey, saving $23 on the 3DS, and now $15 on two games is definitely a good thing in my book.

3DS is not Supply Constrained in My Area

Not sure what the status is everywhere else, but I visited several shops and they all had 3DSes in stock. Both GameStops, Toys-R-Us, and Best Buy all had plenty. This is in complete opposition to the launch day situation for the Wii in my area. Maybe all those pre-orders helped out the situation, or maybe these 3DSes are due to disappear in the next two days. I'd like to visit the same shops again in a few days to see if there has been a significant change. On one hand, not seeing them selling through in the next week or so might suggest that either the price is too high for anyone besides those passionate/fanboyish enough to buy it at launch, or that the advertising is late or ineffective, or it might mean both are true. On the other, I'm just happy that people buying 3DSes with the plan to sell them on eBay for a profit might get screwed.

Has anyone else checked out the 3DS supplies in their area? Plenty in stock or just bare shelves where 3DSes should be? Let me know in the comments.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rage (if True) - Bomberman 3DS, Kororinpa 3DS, and Omega Five 3DS Cancelled

As listed in the latest issue of Famitsu, a popular video game magazine in Japan, Bomberman 3DS, Kororinpa 3DS, and Omega Five 3DS (a port of an existing XBLA title) are cancelled. If you aren't aware, Konami has fully acquired Hudson now, which is likely the reason that these and other unreleased titles from Hudson are now cancelled. One of the only reasons I have any doubt about the listings is because a PS3 version of Bomberman Live is cancelled. Standard Bomberman is still a money maker, so I have no idea why Konami would throw money away like that. Otherwise, I believe it's all horribly true. When asked about it, a Konami representative said they had "no comment".

Kororinpa stands out as the biggest loss for me personally. It's easily one of my favorite new IPs of this generation. A lot of that has to do with the control, which lets you rotate the world 1:1 with the Wii remote (across two axis, and before MotionPlus). That control scheme would not work well on the 3DS, so there is the potential that the game would lose what makes it so compelling, but I'd rather see the alternative than not see anything at all. If nothing else, this makes Super Monkey Ball 3DS an easier purchase if there isn't a better (IMO) alternative down the road.

The Bomberman for 3DS looked to be a new adventure game, a style of Bomberman game that I really enjoy. They didn't show off enough of the game for me to be hugely disappointed at it's loss, but I'm definitely disappointed at the idea of the loss of something similar to the other games I enjoyed so much. Omega Five is a preexisting game, so my disappointment is simply that it's not on the 3DS.

Again, Konami hasn't confirmed or denied this, so I for one will keep close tabs on it and update again with new information.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

4 More Days Till the 3DS Stops Haunting My Dreams

You may or may not know that the Nintendo 3DS is releasing in 4 days in the United States. But you definitely don't know that I've had many dreams about the 3DS; more than any game, system, movie, or event in my life. It's almost bizarre to me since on a day to day basis, I'm not daydreaming about the 3DS, but the common theme in my dreams is that I'm finally viewing the 3D screen. That 3D screen that has often been described at "magical" has made it's way into my sleeping thoughts, leading to some great moments of bliss, and great moments of disappointment when I awake to find that, no, I didn't win that 3DS with 15 games.

Now personally, I'll be waiting seven days for my 3DS, despite having 2 day shipping *grumble grumble* so the 3DS will probably get a few more days of haunting in..... But some won't even need to wait 96 hours (24 hours in a day times 4 days) because of midnight launches at places like GameStop. While my pre-order isn't at GameStop, I always try to drive by my two local GameStops (don't ask me why, but they're less than two miles apart <___<) to see how long the lines are. I never expect anything like the kind of lines that get reported on television, but it always gives me a nice feeling to know that most of them love gaming that much. It seems like the weekend rain definitely has a chance to keep up through Saturday night, so I might not see anybody camped out at all (I assume they would be in their cars) but I'll still take a quick trip over.

Anyone else had a dream about having the 3DS in their hands at some point, or am I the only crazy one?

Podcast Roundup Wednesday - 3/23/2011

Still on time, let's see how long we can keep this up. Took the time to listen to some new podcasts during some evenings out running, and as far as those episodes, I really enjoy them. Hour of Slack is not one of the new ones. Actually, it's one of the first podcasts I started downloading.
Sunday Podcasts:
Hour of Slack #1301: StarWood 30, Part 3 and Live Slacking from 3/20/2011
SModcast #161: Live at the WarField in San Fransisco, Angry Birds holds Kevin's attention over sex

Tuesday Podcasts:
Plus One #15: Washington DC Red State Screening, the Phelps family; the hateful side and the nice side
Blow Hard #32: Malcolm's big sister guests; getting Mom high, Sis lets the cat out of the closet, and putting Mom in a porno
Click on the name of any podcast to listen immediately, or right-click and select "Save as" to download.

Color Code, Podcast Subject:
General Conversational/Comedy

As you can see, finding more to include in Wednesday Roundups was pretty necessary, but hopefully I can find some more great stuff and on some more subjects. Though I'd definitely argue that there is a good variety just between these four. I need to make a quick reference page that sums up each of these podcasts, and link to that right at the top. I wanna keep the format clean and easy to read but I think there is some information that would be important to know before you jump into some of these podcasts.
If you have a favorite podcast, feel free to let me know about it in the comments.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Has Anyone Else Gotten this Message From Their Wii?

The first paragraph might be useless info. You've been warned.

I hit up a local Hastings to check on more PSP game prices (I still haven't bought one), because I remembered how often they have new copies of fairly old current gen games. After scoping out PSP game prices, I decided to look at what they had available for rent. Friend and great person coffeewithgames had an article on his site about Dead Space Extraction for Wii, and it got me considering renting it again or buying it outright. But I noticed something different; a "favorite rentals" section with half-price rentals. Same rental period, just half the price ($4). Maybe I've mentioned it before, but if not, I don't often rent games because it feels like I'm throwing money away if I end up loving the game. When I heard that Redbox was going to start video game rentals, I was pretty interested because of how cheap it would be to just try a game ($2 a day). It was really a great selection, but I picked out We Ski & Snowboard because I was just interested in something with fairly extensive use of motion controls, and I remembered seeing some screen-shots that made the game seem like a visual stunner (still up for debate). The game includes a feature that lets you take photos/screenshots taken in the game and post them to your Wii's Message Board, where you can then send them to friends. Funnily enough, this was the only game with this feature that I've ever seen with a warning about posting too many pictures for the sake of filling up your built-in flash memory. I posted one and didn't give it a second thought.

Later that day, I turned on my Wii, looking forward to playing Bit.Trip BEAT for that series of pieces I've been talking about, and my Wii had determined that my Wii's Message Board was full (must have been that photo that did it). It asked me if I wanted to move Message Board data to the SD card. Without thinking I said yes because I wasn't sure if it would ever ask again. If I had been thinking, I would have popped in my bigger SD card that I started using because demos were filling up the one I had been using since they opened up the SD Card Menu on the Wii. I'm honestly surprised that they put this procedure into place. I had figured that they set aside part of the Wii's built-in 512 MB flash memory right from the beginning for Message Board applications, but when it was full it would delete the oldest stuff as needed to accommodate the new stuff.

Proof of my first day owning the Wii, still intact.
Sorry for the wavy noise.

Unfortunately, this process took almost 30 minutes (I whipped out a timer as quickly as I could, got 27 minutes), and I could be wrong, but I think it knocked off a few dozen usable blocks from the area of the memory that I was using for Channels. I specifically remember trying to keep enough space open to load up anything from the SD Card Menu (325+ blocks or so), but when I tried to play BEAT it gave me the old "Manage your Wii System Memory to launch this channel" message which prompted me to see how much space I had open: 257 blocks; not enough for any of the Bit.Trip games, and many other delightful WiiWare games. I could definitely be remembering it incorrectly, though, since I was swapping things out while paying attention to a podcast. As you can see, the messages that are stored on the SD card now have an image of an SD card on them, since they are stored on an SD card.

The last day of SD card stored messages, from 2009.
With a lucky guess, this took less than two minutes to find.

Has anyone else's Wii given them this message? Did you accept the transfer? Let me know in the comments.

Podcast Roundup Sunday

Some new formatting. I'll do these twice a week, for the time being. Sunday and Wednesday is the plan, and that will hopefully cut down on having as many or more posts about podcasts as there are about other things. Right now, I'm only posting up podcasts that I have listened to and recommend, but there are loads of podcasts out there with interesting people behind them.
Wednesday Podcasts:
Podcast Unlocked: The future of Xbox and Jack's drinking

Thursday Podcasts:
Nerdist Podcast #70: South by SouthWest
Nintendo Voice Chat: 3DS, Okamiden, and Pokemon
Podcast Beyond: Uncharted 3, PAX East, Homefront, and Japan

Friday Podcasts:
IGN UK Podcast #77: BAFTA and 3DS
Game Scoop! Podcast: Mortal Kombat, Dragon Age 2, and Total War: Shogun 2
Tech Fetish Podcast #85: AT&T data caps, Jailbreaking, Xoom, HTC Thunderbolt, iPad 2
Doug Loves Movies: Kevin Pollak, Dave Foley, and Anthony Jeselnik
Tell 'em Steve Dave #54: Fibber McChen Part III - The Awakening

Saturday Podcasts:
GoNintendo Podcast #292: 3DS, the week's news, and 3DS

Click on the name of any podcast to listen immediately, or right-click and select "Save as" to download.

Color Code, Podcast Subject:
General Conversational/Comedy
Gaming - Nintendo
Gaming - Sony
Gaming - Microsoft
Gaming - General
Tech Discussion General

Just curious, would anyone prefer the links to the sites connected to the podcasts where you could download them there, or does anyone prefer this format where you can download them right here? It's the same bit of work either way, so whatever the audience wants.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My Idea of the Perfect Downloadable Games Store

I really only got to thinking about this because of a fairly negligible portion of the most recent episode of Podcast Unlocked, the newest podcast from all about Xbox 360 news, games, and happenings, that promises to record weekly (instead of triannually). A large portion of the episode was about the members of the podcast discussing what they expect from the next Xbox, as well as what they would prefer out of the next Xbox, and one of the questions was about what they would like to see from the next XBLA type store. I don't remember them really speaking that much about it, but it inspired me, so my thanks to them.

I feel a bit crazy every time I say it, but I think App Store game prices are generally too cheap. Actually I should feel crazy, because that's not really what I mean.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Oh, That Sexy Blue Light - Nintendo Channel Updated

If only the 3DS had a light the size of the Wii's to notify you of new StreetPass and SpotPass notifications.

The Nintendo Channel has been updated, so make sure to go to the Wii Shop Channel to download the update for it. It is not a firmware update. The message says this update is supposed to allow you to check out 3DS information easier. What that entails, I'm not sure yet. I'll update in a minute.

UPDATE: As I figured, nothing major. Upon start-up you'll be greeted by a wall of 3DS. Four pages of 3DS walls. Under the search function, you'll see two(?) new additions; a 3DS category and now the Virtual Console specifies that it's the Wii version. You'll also see that the latest Nintendo Week finally went live, featuring the 3DS.

Two Games Finally Confirmed for the U.S. - The Kore Gang, Cubic Ninja

The Kore Gang has been a much longer time coming than Cubic Ninja, and has already released in Europe so if you don't remember it, I don't blame you. I don't know if I ever saw any impressions for the game, but it looked like a really solid adventure game with an incredible and unique style.

We got a few more details with the Cubic Ninja announcement, since it wasn't a silent listing, some new some old;
100 levels
Move your character by tilting the 3DS or with the circle pad
No stereoscopic 3D
4 unlockable abilities: shrink, shield, shuriken, and the ability to push switches from afar
Time Trial mode
Trade ghost data with friends
Survival mode
Level creation
Created levels can be converted into QR codes, other 3DSes can read the codes using their built-in cameras and load the levels

I'm personally very interested in both of these games, happy to see The Kore Gang debuting at a budget price of $30, though a bit disappointed that they didn't throw in stereoscopic 3D when they added circle pad controls to Cubic Ninja.

Kore Gang source
Cubic Ninja source

Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime Sequel Coming to 3DS

Coming from the newest issue of Famitsu, a popular Japanese magazine dedicated to gaming, is the announcement of a 3DS sequel to the highly acclaimed Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime for DS.

Unlike Rocket Slime for DS, this game will be 3D which is great when paired with the stereoscopic 3D of the 3DS. The game is set on the open seas, where you can use your customizable ship for ship-to-ship battles through the single player adventure. You can also hook up with friends for 2 to 4 person multiplayer matches (not confirmed if that's local, online, or both), and there is some kind of SpotPass implementation (remember, that's hooked into the internet, not other players as in StreetPass).

I haven't played the first game, but it's something I'm still interested in picking up. I know a couple people who named it their DS game of the year for 2006, so needless to say it wasn't just journalists that loved it. If they can bring back that magic again, then this is a sure winner given the Dragon Quest branding.

Official site here (Japanese)

News I Missed - Many Best Buy's Have 3DS Demo Kiosks, Right Now!

Well this a surprise. Turns out many Best Buy's all over the country have gotten demo kiosks for the 3DS in the last three days or so. I commented about how Nintendo's 3DS television commercial would be better suited to debut as close to demo units going up as possible, without knowing that demo units had in fact gone up right along side the commercial. Last I heard, GameStop wasn't getting their demo kiosks until the 25th of March, so I assumed that would be the earliest any store would get them..... I wonder if GameStop's J. Paul Raines is feeling lousy.

I decided fairly long ago that I wasn't going to visit any of the demo kiosks since I was preordering the 3DS; I'd like to keep the 3D and menus as magical as possible. But what about you guys, are you going to or have you already visited your local Best Buy to see the 3DS in person?

First Footage of Conduit 3DS Tech Demo

This is not an announced game, just a tech demo that High Voltage made for the 3DS using their Quantum 3 engine.

I've already waxed poetic about how the 3DS and Wii compare graphically in this other article, and from the bit of clear footage we get from the video, it does seem comparable to Conduit 2. However, without playing Conduit 2 (it's not out yet!) I can't say for sure. I also made a piece talking about how the 3DS doesn't have any first person shooters announced (among other topics), but I finished that up pretty much the day that High Voltage announced they were working on a Conduit for 3DS which really killed my mood to spread around that piece that I was particularly proud of, since they hadn't made it clear that it was only a proof of concept tech-demo at the time. In that piece I touched on how PSP got more third-person shooters than first-person shooters, when at the end of the day the gameplay isn't really that different. I theorized that developers and/or publishers simply thought the controls that the PSP offered (one analog, and on the left side) for shooters were more acceptable if the view was third-person. That's why I think it's interesting that High Voltage is playing with an option for a third-person view in a first-person series. Could we see a repeat of the PSP as far as third-person vs. first-person shooters on the 3DS on some level, simply because Nintendo added only one analog "stick" instead of two? Who can say at the moment, but this isn't the first time High Voltage has seen fit to implement a change in perspective when they make a version of a game for a different platform, as they've done with The Grinder; first-person on Wii, top-down on 360/PS3/PC.

Another thing I noticed was that the game is still using a dead-zone type control scheme popularized by (if not invented because of) the Wii, in which you have the control to move the reticule used for aiming the gun around in a central area of the screen without making the camera move. This zone is usually adjustable, though it seem cumbersomely huge in this video. Typically, DS first-person shooters have camera control very similar to the mouse controls for first-person shooters on personal computers, where the reticule is always stuck in the very center of the screen, and you drop and drag the camera in any direction. I haven't tried a DS first-person shooter with these controls, but I'm interested to see how they compare.

Do you guys think High Voltage is about to make a few missteps? Depending on your preference, that would be using a third-person camera/control style or a first person camera/control style, and using or not using dead-zone style controls. More over, do you think anyone would be willing to publish Conduit 2 for 3DS if they finished that up?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Just Saw My First U.S. 3DS Television Commercial - UPDATED

I was wondering when they were going to start advertising. Unlike other people, I don't think it's at all late to start advertising the 3DS. For one, they have been promoting it without commercials, like appearing with it on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Advertising a month in advance or so seems like it's really only meant to build hype, and as hard as it is to convey the 3DS's stereoscopic 3D without glasses to someone, it seems to me it would be better to advertise as closely as possible to when you plan on having playable demo units available.

I missed the very first moments of the commercial (busy on the computer) but it seems like they're only showing off the blue 3DS. They highlighted the augmented reality, though they didn't explain that it was augmented reality, and they showed off Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition over a first-party game as well as Steel Diver. They of course took the time to say that it was glasses-less 3D. I've forgotten if they put the price or date on the commercial, but I'm fairly sure they advertised a "learn more" website, so hopefully the 3D without glasses bit will get people interested enough to learn all there is to learn about the 3DS.

Do you guys think they should have advertised sooner/later? If you've seen the commercial, what do you think? Could they do better?

EDIT: I mistook the "Take a look" moniker as "here's a website". I'm surprised they didn't at least point people towards, but right at the moment, the first Google results for "nintendo 3ds" are Nintendo's own sites.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bit.Trip Series Article Update

Slow week for news. Perfect time for some other features.....if I didn't live a little too closely to the idea of a lazy Sunday.

You may remember a little update where I mentioned I wanted to write about the Bit.Trip series, now that the final game in the hexalogy had been released. Well, it's about a week later and there hasn't been a word on the subject. You might ask why. Well, it's mostly just because of the existence of this trilogy of articles from This was pretty much what I was hoping to make (though I haven't fully read them, from skimming it sounds like they went much deeper than I originally speculated, but maybe in the process of working on it I would have been reminded of all the material worth writing about) so maybe you can imagine the distress I felt to see that a bigger site (and one of my favorites) beat me to it. At least I got the word out about my idea before they published the first part of their's, save a little face. I thought I might change gears and do more of a review for each game, specifically comparing and contrasting each game to the other games in the rest of the series. Now it's all opinion, and at the end of the day that's easier to do (for me) than Googling and cross-checking information, so I guess I'm grateful to Nintendolife for that and a very detailed article that I can reference.

One of the first things I'd prefer to do is re-beat each game. Err, well, I couldn't beat RUNNER, but at least re-experience each area and boss of the games (all have three except FATE's six), but that might take awhile, so I'll probably post some first drafts and remind you guys that they've been revised with a post. Six parts are planned, though I'd love to take a look at the future of the series with another part, but it really doesn't seem like there is enough to write about so it might be thrown in with the last part (FLUX, unless I discover a different order that I think is more appropriate).

If you guys have some ideas you're willing to give away that you think will make the series better, feel free to share them. I'm guessing I'll strike an idea that comes up organically from writing about one of the games which I'll want to venture into on one of the ones I've already written up, so hopefully they'll improve over time, if only a little.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Article Re:"The Frustrating Fiscal Resilience of Nintendo Games"

If you don't remember how these "Article Re:" pieces work, or it's your first time seeing them, then this is me responding to another article I saw somewhere else on the internet, like I did in the other Article Re:.

Today's Article Re: is actually an article promoting one of the site users comments, so it might not fully represent the views of the staff over at, but one of them thought it was worth promoting, so I think it's safe to assume someone thought this guy hit a nail on the head.

Today's article is also really short, so I don't feel it's necessary to break it up at all:
What's up with the pricing of Wii games? My family got a Wii this past Christmas, and so I've been looking to play some 1st party Nintendo games, but they're insanely overpriced. Super Smash Bros. Brawl came out three years ago and a copy of the game is an average of $45. Super Mario Galaxy, which came out about three and a half years ago, is $40. Twilight Princess, which came out four and a half years ago, is $40 dollars. I'm guessing the demand is still fairly high for these games, and so the best idea that I can come up with is that Nintendo is keeping the supply limited in order to jack up the prices, but why? These games have been out forever. Why can't they let the people who waited this long and still want a copy their game buy it without paying nearly full price? I'm a broke college student. I don't have the money to buy games new, so I usually wait until the price drops, but with Nintendo, that NEVER happens. It's quite frustrating.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

You Know, I -am- Gonna Buy Bomberman Hero on Virtual Console

When we first heard about Bomberman Hero being rated through the ESRB for the Virtual Console, I was both happy and sad; happy to see another N64 title hit the service, sad that I had bought the N64 original not that long ago.

I've played enough to have nearly beaten it, enough to know that I don't like it as much as Bomberman 64, and would prefer that Bomberman 64: Second Attack be released since I haven't played it yet. Just this Monday (March 7th), the game was released for 1000 points, like all N64 titles on the VC. If you notice the receipt, the physical copy of the game actually cost more than that after tax (and Nintendo Points are tax free in my area). So what's my motivation for buying it again? Well, it's the best way to show Hudson (or maybe it's Konami at this point) that I want more N64 Bomberman. Plus it would be a great way to see those visual differences that are supposed to come with N64 games on the VC, and my N64 controller has a loose analog stick. Its re-release on VC is actually a great opportunity to talk about it 

I imagine this post comes off as a bit indulgent, but I think it's appropriate cause Bomberman is a cool guy. His owners get absorbed by Konami and don't afraid of anything.