Saturday, January 29, 2011

Top of the Charts - Music in Greece - Rolling in the Deep by Adele

Though I wouldn't have recognized it by name, this is a song I've heard on U.S. radio stations, unlike Barbra Streisand by Duck Sauce. I already enjoy it, so I guess I'll go into a bit more technical detail about it. The vocal element is really strong, accompanied by strong, but simple percussion and a simple 5 note instrumental pattern during the versus. The instrumentation kicks up a bit during the chorus, but the chorus seems a bit shorter than "usual." The background singer-like accompaniment during the chorus and final verse gives it an interesting feel, taking it from very modern to feeling a bit like something out of the 60s (as far as stuff that was popular in the U.S.).

I watched the music video and.......I'm not sure I get all the symbolism. The general theme seems to be destruction; dishes being thrown at a wall creating a huge pile of broken pieces, a paper city burned down by the end of the video, some pyrotechnics, and the lyrics speak of a love gone sour. But then there's a dancer robed in black dancing in a room with black walls with a floor covered in powder, a floor full of partially filled glasses, Adele sitting in a room with most of the walls and the (sparce) furniture covered in plastic just singing to no one. I'll have to chalk it up to pure visual fluff.

As I said, I already enjoy the song, and I think it stands up to repeat listens. The music video however, might only be worth watching once.

Friday, January 28, 2011

NGP Getting 3G-less Version in Europe

Andrew House, the head of SCEE said they are working with wireless carriers in Europe at the moment, and also stated that there would be a version of the NGP with 3G, and one without in Europe. It has still not been mentioned whether there will be a subscription fee associated with 3G use on the NGP.

From hearing some more talk about the subject of 3G subscription fees, it seems pretty unanimous that Sony can't afford free 3G for the kind of data transfers that would be taking place. But I'm kinda shocked that they wouldn't just include the 3G in all models to make a subscription later fairly painless; it just seems like the kind of technology push that Sony would make, even if it meant it was a bit more expensive for users that swear not to use it. But maybe Europe (and Australia) is a different beast, and both Japan and the U.S. will get 3G only versions.


Podcast Review - Podcast Beyond!: PSP2, NGP, and You (ep. 172)

Lots of little subjects this week about one big subject; the recently revealed NGP from Sony.

Hear the podcast here.
(right-click to save)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Anarchy Reigns, a New Game From PlatinumGames (the makers of Madworld, Bayonetta)(PS3/360)

Shortly known as Max Anarchy, this game from PlatinumGames is an online third-person multiplayer brawler coming to the PS3 and 360 this fall. The game's director, Masaki Yamanaka said this of the game:
 "Anarchy Reigns is unique in that allows a large number of players to go fist to fist in online multiplayer battles. The challenge of creating a brawler like this is second to none, but neither is the gameplay. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat are both amped far beyond what you would ever experience in a shooter. I'm making this the game that I have always wanted to play, and I won't stop until that goal is met. I hope you all look forward to brawling online."
Screenshots show that there will be quite a selection of brawlers, including a very familiar looking chain-saw wielder:

For a game that seems somewhat MMO-ish, the detailing looks very impressive, but I personally don't have an interest in this kind of competitive third-person perspective brawler.


January 27th Sony Conference - My Thoughts

So late last night (for the U.S.) Sony blew the lid off of their new portable gaming machine. Codenamed the NGP (Next Generation Portable), this bad boy has a 5 inch OLED capacitive touchscreen, two "micro analog sticks", the usual array of cross, circle, triangle, square buttons, cross-pad, 2 shoulder buttons, hardware for motion and gyroscopic controls, a digital compass (for the LiveArea functions, I presume), 1 camera on the front, 1 on the back, a 5 inch touch-panel on the back, built-in microphone, Wi-Fi (n/g/b compatible), 3G, GPS, bluetooth, a slot for a flash-based cards, stereo speakers, standard 3.5mm headphone jack, and all this while promising "close to PS3" level graphics with a "target" battery life like that of the PSP 3000 (4 - 6 hours).

What's New (pussy cat)?
Not much, honestly. As far as stuff that wasn't leaked before the conference we got info about the LiveArea functionality, Near functionality, a look at the UI, and a look at some games/tech-demos. Otherwise we got a spot on list of specs, spot on info about the controls (dual analog, touch-screen, touch-panel), and a fair representation of what kind of graphics to expect before the event even happened. The confirmation is nice, but I really wish Sony could keep their secrets a secret.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Co-Creator of the Ant Farm dies at Age 97

Thought I would try a bit of a different story. "More than just video games" after all.

Martin Levine, the co-creator of the Ant Farm died at the age of 97 on January 16, 2011 of natural causes while at his nursing home. The son of Martin only just released this information to the press today. His company, Uncle Milton Industries became a multi-million dollar business, in part thanks to selling over 20 million Ant Farms since its production starting in 1956.

I was more of Sea Monkeys kind of kid, as far as living science toys go, but this toy's existence was definitely a piece of my child-hood.

News I Missed - A Law that Almost Changed My Life (maybe I'm being dramatic)

I'm particularly fearful of being hit some legal recourse on this story, so I'll give you a brief summary and link you in to the story.

A law was nearly passed to make it illegal to walk or run in Arkansas with both ear-canals plugged up with headphones, but the Senator backed off.

I live in Arkansas. I love to run on the local public bike/walk-ways for exercise. But I love to run and listen to music or podcasts. If passed, it seems it would have been okay to listen with one headphone, but when you've got a really powerful tune going, you need that stereo to give you that push to keep it up. At least I do. Besides that the free ear just opens you up to more "wavers", people expecting the friendly hello which can take you out of a podcast conversation or a riveting tune instantly. It takes the "me time" of running and makes it more of a "me, oh and you, and you, and sometimes you time", if you know what I mean.

I guess it's not worth dwelling on that much, since it didn't pass, but I think this leaves the door open for someone else to come in and outright outlaw any music listening (one in-ear-monitor or otherwise) while walking or running in my state or area, which I'm not okay with. As easily as this situation skated just under my radar, I worry that it could happen again.

Reminder - Sony Holding a Press Conference Today/Tomorrow (depends on where you live)

No official confirmation of the subject of this conference, but a likely highlight seems to be a big reveal of the next PlayStation Portable, likely not the phone one. The conference is supposed to start at 10 PM for the West Coast (U.S.) and 1 AM for the East Coast (U.S.), so that means some of us will be staying up later than others. The time won't be horrible where I live, so I plan on staying up if only to see some message board reactions.

You can likely hit up the nearest friendly message board to see which of your favorite outlets are live-blogging the event, but I know Kotaku plans to live-blog it.

I really hope it's an info blowout, but I could definitely see them holding quite a bit of info back to use at E3 this June. Are you guys staying up? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Super Mini Podcast Review - Nintendo Voice Chat: Whip It Good (ep. 98)

I honestly didn't intend to review this one, just because of how shortly ago I did the last (special) episode, but *SPOILER ALERT* this one is very worthy of the listen.

Hear the podcast here.
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sessler Soapbox - 3DS: An Uphill Battle

Adam Sessler is a man I respect. And usually I whole-heartedly agree with him. But here I think he fails to look ahead at the situation of the 3DS.

Congressman Joe Baca (waka waka) Pushes for Warnings About Violence In Games

Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto, CA.) introduced a bill called "The Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2011" which proposes to place a health warning (like we do with cigarettes) such as
WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior.
Either on the packaging or in the openings of games with some objective level of violence. Baca sites studies that have shown links between violent content and aggressive behavior in children and teenagers.

I honestly don't think something like this would pass, just because there are studies that show that there isn't a link between violent content in games and aggressive behavior as well, but if it did I would have to wonder why this warning isn't meant to be applied to all violent media. And, since this wouldn't affect my ability to play games or to let my future children play what I deem appropriate, it's isn't something I can get angry over.

What do you guys think about the situation?

Let's Look At Graphics - Wuhu Island (Wii) vs. Wuhu Island (3DS)

Whenever a new system comes out, a popular subject among video game enthusiasts is to figure out how much more powerful it is than anything else out there or (typical to handhelds) to figure out which older console it most closely represents in graphical prowess, using whatever screen/scans/videos they can get their eyes on before the system launches. Ultimately this is useless simply because developers get better at pushing the hardware as they gain more experience with a system and it's very rare that a launch window game is considered among the best looking of a system's library at the end of the system's life.

But speculation is fun. The Nintendo 3DS as the newest kid on the block has been the most recent subject of scrutiny concerning visual capabilities, so why not take an in-depth look at one game for the 3DS that seems to have the same geometry and the same graphical style as a game on another system that has been out for awhile that has a more understood visual capability, which is the most fair comparison you could make.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Podcast Review - Doug Loves Movies ep. 403

This weekly podcast is hosted by comedian Doug Benson, and is (loosely) about talking about movies. It was "nice" enough to do some running today so I gave this a listen while I was out.

Hear the podcast here.
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rodea the Sky Soldier Trailer (Wii/3DS)

I like. Different than I thought because I was expecting more of a shooter. Glad to see a trailer so soon because it points to the game being farther along that I presumed. The cut-scenes seem strangely/poorly animated, but I can definitely forgive it if the gameplay is great and/or it's budget priced. Previously known as Tenkuu no Kishi Rodea in Japan.

Video here

Podcast Review - GoNintendo Podcast Ep. 284

Can't wait for it to a bit warmer so I can do some more running without freezing my lungs and ears, and of course listen to podcasts.

A second podcast where they can't avoid talking about the 3DS the whole time. So that's pretty much all that's covered. *shrugs* If you've never heard of this podcast and you're worried about the Pokemon thing being an indicator of the podcast being something you don't want to listen to, they just read about the Pokemon that has the same number (according to one of those pokedexes) and generally make fun of it.

Hear the podcast here.
(right click to save)

PSP 2 to Have 3G and OLED Touchscreen, if You Believe this Japanese Newspaper

Nikkei, a Japanese newspaper has claimed that the new PlayStation Portable (PSP) is to have 3G support, for use in playing games and downloading movies and software (such as games), but not for phone calls. The paper says it will have wireless connectivity for LAN, but there is no mention if the 3G needs a subscription fee to use or if there will be a version without the 3G. The newspaper also claims that the system will have an OLED touch-screen, but doesn't specify if it's capacitive (like an iPhone/Pad/Pod) or resistive (like the DS, DSi, and 3DS).

If everything so far is to be believed, including the touch-panels on the back of the unit, and PS3 (at launch) quality graphics, then this could be one monster of a device. Especially in price, though Sony is very receptive to selling hardware for less than it costs to make (selling at a loss) so it could be priced competitively with the 3DS. There's no doubt in my mind that the PSP 2 will have a higher resolution screen and be capable of more detailed geometry and effects than the 3DS (powering stereoscopic 3D), but to me the rest is completely up in the air. It's fully debatable whether Sony would be willing to pay for the 3G service themselves (no subscription fee) or if that would make it out of Japan in subscription free form. The price is perhaps more volatile, mostly because we're missing a lot of details.

I'm sure there are lots of people that are interested and/or excited about the possibilities of the PSP 2, so lets hear those theories. And make sure to pay attention to the PlayStation Meeting 2011 on the 27th of this month!

Perhaps the Best Deal in the World (or not)

So I just saw this advertisement for Amazon Prime, more specifically a free month of Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime seems to be exclusively about cheaper (and free) shipping, and for $79 for a year for use by up to 4 (or 5 if I believe that picture) people/accounts and the savings could easily be more than worth the price. But I don't order from Amazon that often, so I'm just looking to take advantage of this free month.

So what do you get? Free 2 day shipping on all eligible items. The 3DS? Totally eligible. You can even turn on an option to have the Prime subscription end before the next billing (or the first billing if you're hitting up the free offer) and all orders that you applied the free 2 day shipping to will retain it (I've been told).

So you could be getting a 3DS for $249.99 (no tax) like me and would only have to wait one or two days for it (after the 27th of March).

This has been a public service announcement. You're welcome.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Podcast Review - Nintendo Voice Chat; 3DS Special.

You know, I almost posted up a podcast for a non-gaming podcast, but I just noticed that a new one went up, and since the purpose is more to promote the podcast than to hand out my opinion, I'll review the new one when I get a chance to listen to it.

Hear the podcast here.
(right click to save)

Friday, January 21, 2011

3DS eShop and Internet Browser -Will- Be Available at Launch - UPDATE Maybe Not

More good news for those excited about the 3DS. It seems that while the 3DS will not be pre-loaded with the eShop or Internet Browser, they can be acquired on the very first day (unless some unforeseen issues occur with Nintendo's servers, of course). Why did they do this? We don't know for sure, but a likely reason is that they wanted to start production of the 3DS but they simply didn't have the eShop and/or Internet Browser ready yet. Given that, this was the best decision possible to meet the launch dates with a fair supply of 3DSs, but I'm sure there will be quite a group of people that get a 3DS and just assume it doesn't have an internet browser or it's own "app store". Which they will mention to their friends and family which will mention it to their friends and family, etc. If the Japanese commercials are an example, they won't highlight the browser or eShop in early commercials and I think the falsehood could end up pushing people to the "no buy" side of the fence.

Maybe I'm being paranoid, but it seems to me that people really dig multi-purpose devices, and they generally learn about those purposes through commercials and by word of mouth, and very easily those parts could be overlooked by both methods.

UPDATE - So a Nintendo of America representative didn't reconfirm it, saying:
"Games and services offered by Nintendo can vary by region. Nintendo of America will release additional information about Nintendo eShop, including timing, content and pricing, at a later date." - Charlie Scibetta
But instead simply reminded the person that asked that services can vary by region. If you're not aware, the 3DS is coming out a few days earlier in Europe than it is in the U.S. so it stands to reason that if the eShop is available day one for them, it wouldn't be a big deal getting it up for launch day or a few days after for the U.S. launch.

Got anything to say about this story? Let me know in the comments.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Confirmation that the "3 - 5 hours" Battery Life is the Lowest You Should Experience

Nintendo's Bill Trinen took time to answer some questions over at Kotaku and there was some very happy confirmation concerning the battery life. I think anyone following 3DS news has heard the "3 - 5 hours" figure that came straight from Nintendo's own Japanese website, but they never clarified what was behind that figure. The 3DS has so many power consuming points to consider; touch-screen use, wireless communications, stereoscopic 3D, microphone use, different brightness levels, and running sound through the speakers or headphones. Well Bill Trinen says that the 3 - 5 hours is definitely with the brightness at it's highest, 3D enabled, and wireless turned on. He confirms that turning off 3D alone could give you as much as 3 more hours of battery life, and (however obvious) that a lower brightness and turning off the wireless functions will also extend the battery life.

I Guess I Spoke Too Soon - UPDATE

So we got a big dose of snow. I knew of the chance of snow when I posted up that "coming soon" bit, but it wasn't supposed to be anything serious. In fact, I was watching the radar up until about 4 hours before the snow was predicted to start, and I'm not sure how all that snow migrated to our area.

Roads are frozen over and it isn't too safe to get to the computer that I've been working on the site stuff from. If you haven't guessed, the update is delayed. My apologies.

UPDATE - The update is up!

Is This Invention Why Nintendo is No Longer Calling the Circle Pad a Slide Pad?

So as it turns out, a company named Denco Logic has a patent on this input device that would control very similar to the Slide Pad Circle Pad on the Nintendo 3DS. I really don't think there's a patent infringement issue here, but funny this is, the company calls their invention the Slidepad. Through some admittedly dodgy research, it doesn't seem they (or anyone) ever trademarked the name Slidepad in the United States. When I first heard that they changed the name to Circle Pad, my theory was that "Slide Pad" could be mistaken as a reference to the touch-screen, where someone unfamiliar with all or a part of the 3DS's technologies could connect how you slide your finger or a stylus on the screen with how many people would refer to a writing surface as a "pad" (see: Apple iPad).

But because of this small company and patent, I think it's a combination of the misinterpretation and existing product that caused them to change it's name.

My thanks to YAMI_ANUBIS_X for inspiring this article.

Video here.
Denco Logic's site here.

Top of the Charts - Music in Switzerland - Barbra Streisand by Duck Sauce

For this feature I take a look at the things that are charting for the week, from movies, to music, to products on Amazon, to celebrities on some arbitrary lists, to the old stand-by; video games.

Category: Music
Country: Switzerland
Song: Barbra Streisand
Artist: Duck Sauce
Rank as of January 19, 2011: Number 1

For a song called Barbra Streisand, I didn't expect to hear what I did. Pretty dance-able and likely a bit humorous on purpose.  It seems the track samples another song called Gotta Go Home by Boney M, which was already based upon a track entitled Hallo Bimmelbhan by Nighttrain, a German band. The video for the song is mildly amusing, and has several appearances by artists like Questlove of The Roots and Kanye West, though they don't seem to be involved in any way with the creation of the track. You can hit up YouTube for the track, which will pring up two main versions; the one that accompanies the video (and accompanying video) and one that I assume is the full track, or album version when it actually is part of an album.

Overall, it's interesting the first time, but not really something I would seek out to listen to again and again in the future. I say: Worth watching the music video once.

A Little Site Update Coming Soon - UPDATE

Not that big of a deal, and as far as I know only one person would even know something changed.
Hope everyone likes it when they see it.

It's up!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Thoughts on the January 19th Nintendo 3DS Conference.

I thought it was a pretty dammin good conference. For people looking forward to the 3DS anyway. The only shame for me was that the U.S. didn't get different colors (so, Blue and Black). This whole day of news took me from "unsure if I want this immediately" to "*click**click* 'eff yeah! it's preordered!".

I was personally expecting the price to be more than $250, but less that $300 (I would have said $279.99 if I was pressed) so it was wonderful news when they announced the price. It's still expensive, but a whole $30 less than I anticipated at best, coupled with my discovery that Amazon isn't charging tax on the thing? I couldn't pass up the idea of saving about $55 bucks so I jumped at the preorder.

A single universal friend code, spend cash not points on downloadable content, price announced, release date announced, launch window lineup announced, lots of game media, lots of details about the front end menus and interface, me grabbing a preorder, transfer downloaded 3DS games from one 3DS to another, MP3 format support, SDHC (up to 32 GB) support, and a 3DS version of CRUSH? So much more than I expected out of the day and event.

If I had to pick a favorite piece of news from today.....heck, spending $55 less than I was expecting is great news. What excited you most from today? Let me know in the comments.

New Game From Yuji Naka's Prope - Tenkuu no Kishi Rodea (Wii/3DS)

UPDATE: U.S. name is Rodea The Sky Soldier.

The latest issue of Famitsu had a reveal of a new game from Yuji Naka's fairly new development house Prope  working with Kadokawa Games. Prope also made Let's TAP for Wii, Let's CATCH for WiiWare, and Ivy? the Kiwi? for Wii, DS, and DSiWare (a Mini version), some titles that I think are a lot of fun and have a ton of charm. We got quite a few details from the magazine:

Wii controls:
- Wii remote as a pointer (no Nunchuk)
- move somewhere by pointing, pressing B and shaking the Wii remote
- A button fires gun
- point at enemies and press A to do a spinning attack

- Naka says it lets you "experience free flight"
- Written by Takumi Miyajima, who previously worked on the Tales series and Arc Rise Fantasia
- Rodea is the name of the main character
- Other characters: Ion and Princess Cecilia
- Sky stages, and other unannounced types of stages
- Development started in Fall of 2009, but was cancelled between then and now

So, our first title across Wii and 3DS....hard to decide which one you might pick up based on these sparce details. I dunno if the screen-shots from the "scans" are from the Wii version or 3DS version but it might make sense for them to use the same assets across both, depending on the budget they're applying to this game. So let's say they'll look pretty similar; so far the action sounds fun but simple, and based on the level design, I think this could really be worth seeing in 3D. We still don't know 3DS game pricing, and depending on the budget, the Wii and 3DS version could have the same price. But it's still probable that the 3DS version will be cheaper. I have a preference for portable if I have the choice, so I guess I'm going with the 3DS version unless some ground-breaking details emerge.

Which version do you think you might get? (Potentially) more detailed graphics vs. 3D? Big-screen vs. little-screen? If there's multiplayer, single system vs. multiple systems? Or are you even interested yet? Let me know in the comments.

"Scans" here.
Source; here and here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In-Depth Look at Move Controls in Killzone 3

See, not just Nintendo stuff. : P
This nearly half hour video shows all the subtleties of the Move controls that are in Killzone 3. For Wii owners that have played some FPSs after (and including) Medal of Honor: Heroes 2, honestly not that much is new. But what is new is interesting, and they are things that the Wii is fully capable of doing. For instance, at 11:24 he begins talking about the dynamic dead-zones in the game. Basically, as you lead the cursor back towards the center of the screen it creates a new boundary for the dead-zone and the camera stops turning. This is a really great design, because it lets you target an enemy as soon as you react to them, as soon as they come into view, rather than trying to center them in the dead-zone because it extends the dead-zone. But how do you reset this new, big dead-zone? Simple; just lead the cursor back to the edge of the dead-zone and it resumes turning the camera, or you can push the cursor onto the opposite half of the screen and it resets it back to your custom setting. While I really like the idea of this dynamic dead-zone, I also haven't tried it. I can see the potential of making the dead-zone so large that it's problematic and time-consuming to resume turning, so it would be best if there was an option to turn it on or off, instead.

Another interesting control addition is how the cursor snaps to body parts when lock-on is enabled and activated. Only available in the easiest difficulties, this uses the gyroscopic sensors to let you "point" the controller at an area that makes the gun target snap to a different body part. I haven't played a post-Modern Warfare FPS, so I don't have too much experience with how those games use the snap function when you zoom, but this seems like it's a level above that.

I think the whole video is worth a watch for Move owners, Wii owners, and developers making FPS for Move and Wii! Tell me what you guys think of all the little innovations that the Killzone 3 team applied to the controls.

Video source

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance Media

Impressive video. The game looks lovely, and I really appreciate how they're keeping the world big to give it a better sense of scale when viewed in 3D. I wonder how much control you actually have over the player when they are doing that super acrobatic stuff and how big of a 3DS card they are trying to get for the game.

Check out the teaser site here
Image source and more pictures here
Video Source

Monday, January 17, 2011

WTF?! - Another Way to see Stereoscopic 3D Without Glasses?

 WTF?! is a header for the name of feature, but generally also my reaction to whatever is contained within one of the WTF?! pieces.

You might want to watch this before you read what I have to say.

It seems those things he sticks next his eyes produce timed electrical impulses that cause the eyelids to twitch much faster than you could blink, and at exactly the right moments to block light (of individual frames) produced on a screen to create the stereoscopic 3D effect. Essentially, this would let your eyelids do what those $100 glasses are doing. I can only imagine the bulging, muscle-y eyelids we'll see, and how that lactic acid burn will feel the first few times.......however, this seems to be a very convincing fake.


How Would You React to a Tax Hike on Video Games?

Nothing official yet, mind you, but there was a news article with a section that concerns video games and consumers of video games.
“At the centre of these discussions is the review that I’ve asked Cliona Kirby to undertake, which will look independently at how the games industry is effected by existing tax rules and if any changes could be made to improve access.” “We also talked about some of the excellent responses from the industry to the Government’s Growth Review; making sure that games is at the core of our thinking about how the creative industries can play a key role in our economic recovery.” - Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey
As one of biggest entertainment industries around, it makes sense that they would pay attention to the video games industry for taxing purposes. This isn't likely to turn out to be a good thing (i.e. - lower taxes for video games), and I've worried for a long time that currently tax free digital content (for some states) will be taxed eventually. But again, nothing is confirmed, or even rumored.

Back when there were discussions about applying laws to sales of M rated games to minors, I honestly didn't think the story deserved as much attention as it got. It seemed that the law was simply reinforcing a policy that many stores already enforce, and there was no danger to any games being censored or outlawed, as far as I heard. But this story seems like it might deserve attention and creative protesting where we send......receipts to our Culture Minister.

Let me know what you think or if you didn't get that reference at the end in the comments.


The Frames Per Second Argument and the 3DS

So it seems like I've been hearing more arguing talk about frames per second recently than usual, and while I'm going to relate this to the 3DS, the talk doesn't appear to be sparked by the 3DS in the first place. What's the argument? Well there are a couple. But first a little lesson if you don't know to what "frames per second" (fps) or "frame rate" is referring. The number of fps in general indicates how many visible frames or still images are contained in each second. When we see a frame replaced with another and another etc. very quickly, it gives the impression of movement. The more frames each second, the smoother the movement appears. In video games, the fps number represents how often the computer (your console) is producing an image of the scene. The most common fps goals that developers go for in games are 30 and 60. By contrast, movies are almost always at 24 (but appear very smooth because they're recording actual motion and repeat each frame twice or thrice, or in the case of CG movies, the motion blur is rendered as well).

I Can't Notice the Difference
This is one of the most common points of arguing discussion concerning fps. Simply, can a human tell the difference between 30 and 60 fps? 60 and 120 fps?

Show Review - Heroes, season 2

Another article idea I'd like to persue, as well as movies I watch. I might not wait to rate whole seasons in the future, or at least not for newer shows and movies, but thanks to Netflix I can check out older series without spending much.

Original air date: September 27th, 2007 - December 3rd, 2007
Watching method: Netflix

So thanks to Netflix I've checked out this series. Well, let me start from the beginning, when my brother was raving about the first season; he loved it. He and his room-mate at the time bought the boxed set of the first season and lent them to me. I was mildy interested and I had heard from other places that it was a good show, so I watched a few episodes. Dammin it's good. But I wasn't really into sitting and watching shows or movies for 45 minutes at a time back then, so I shelved it despite my intrigue. Into the picture a few years later comes Netflix for the Wii. Who can pass up a free, month-long trial? Not I, so I checked it out. I was just watching things that looked interesting, and one day Heroes popped up somewhere on the "front page", and I took the opportunity to start watching again. I finished the first season kind of hesitantly; don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved it, but my brother.....well he had said how much the other seasons frustrated him, so I figured the first season was worth savoring.

Which brings us up to Heroes, season 2.

Rumor - New Metroid for 3DS?

So apparently this fellow named Jonathan Ross (not someone with a job that I would consider to be an insider source) responded to a tweet and made it seem as though a new Metroid was being announced at the January 19th shows/conferences that Nintendo are holding, but has since "re-clarified" that it was misinterpreted.

But, what's to misinterpret? I don't use Twitter myself (no mobile device that supports it, so why do it from my computer?) so I don't know how easy or hard it is to accidentally respond to the wrong message. But that's not really my concern with this post. My concern is, if true, what could the Metroid game be?

Team Ninja just got done with Dead or Alive: Dimensions for 3DS, so I doubt they would be making it which perhaps throws out an Other M style game, and Retro Studios didn't finish up Donkey Kong County Returns all that long ago, so I'm sure the game would not be far along enough to use as a big announcement for the event (better suited for E3, me thinks). Infact, Metroid: Other M didn't happen all that long ago, so what's the hurry to make a new one so soon? Well maybe it isn't new at all.

New Menu Review - Beefy Crunch Burrito

I like to try new advertised items, so I thought, why not talk about that? And I'm doing just that. And I know this isn't quite new anymore, but as I said I just started this blog, dammin.

Where can you get it?: Taco Bell
How much?: $0.99 (for the moment)
What's in it?: "Layers of seasoned ground beef, rice, warm nacho cheese sauce, reduced fat sour cream, and Flamin' Hot (R) Fritos (R) wrapped in a warm flour tortilla."
How is it?: Not bad. I like spicy, but I could forget that this thing even has a spicy element in it. The chips add a nice taste though, and perhaps it's just because I haven't eaten one of these right when I got it, but the chips weren't all that crunchy. Still they added a nice texture and bit of crunch. Not my favorite thing on the menu though, and if it sticks around they'll likely raise the price, and I'm not sure it's worth it for that much more than a dollar.

Recommendation: Worth trying once.

Oh and, though I can't do it for this one, I plan on giving bowel updates for future "New Menu Reviews", mostly for fast-food places. Yes, I do mean that as a bit of a joke, but the posts about the after-effects of the food will seriously happen.

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Podcast Review - Game Scoop! ep. 190

I love listening to podcasts. Like radio shows, but about things I care about and they're airing when I want them to. I listen to a quite a few podcasts, and often times while just running for exercise, so I thought I might do a "review" of them as well as promote them.

Find the podcast here.

DC Universe Online, a good or bad MMO?
Final Fantasy 13, 2? and the-state-of-the-RPG talk
PSP2's rumored announcement
Are we excited about the 3DS?
Dragon Quest 2 giveaway winners
Marvel Pinball (PSN) giveaway this week (also a The Accused reference, talk about friends lists caps, and talk about the Chinese Zodiacs <__<, some how)

Monday Nintendo DLC - January 17th, 2011

For WiiWare we've got Doc Clock and the Toasted Sandwich of Time, Urbanix and a demo version of Bit.Trip BEAT.
For Virtual Console we've got nothing. =(
For DSiWare we've got Animal Boxing, Glory Days: Tactical Offense, The Seller, and Alien Puzzle Adventure.

Overall not a great week. Doc Clock looks pretty shallow from the vidoes I've seen, so for 1000 points, I doubt it's comparable to other 1000 point games you see on WiiWare. Just as well, it's from Stickmen Studios, makers of winners stinkers like Dragon Master Spell Caster and Kung Fu Funk: Everybody is Kung Fu Fighting. Those and sPOGS Racing are the three lowest rating titles of the service as far as I know.... Urbanix seems to be based directly off of a game called Qix. It's fully 3D and has a many "levels" but it seems to have a flaw over Qix in that you can't see the whole screen at once. Only 500 points though. The demo this week is Bit.Trip BEAT, which is actually an exact re-release of the original demo when Nintendo was first testing it out (I know because the icon is tented blue, which means I've downloaded it before). One of my favorites for WiiWare, and I would recommend skipping the demo and buying the game straight away. But if you must, definitely give the demo a try.

I'm guessing since there wasn't anything for Virtual Console this week, we'll definitely get something next week, as the pattern seems to be going.

Animal Boxing 'ought to be called Animal Boxing Mini or Animal Boxing: R to let people know it's based off an interesting full release title from a while back. Not sure how much content made it to the title, but for 800 points I expect that most of the content made it. Glory Days sounds to be another tower defense style game for DSiWare. Only 200 points so at least it's cheap. I really couldn't tell you anything about The Seller, which means there probably wasn't much or any media out for the game before it's release, which is almost always a bad sign. 500 points. Alien Puzzle Adventure seems like it could be an interesting block dropping/matching game, and for 500 points it might not be too big of a letdown if it stinks.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

About My Gaming Life

You might like to know what kind of gamer I am, what kind of things I like, so read on if you do.

My first home console was a Sega Genesis. I don't really remember touching any other kinds of games before then. My father was interested in new technology, so I think he might have been the one to pick it out for us. He never played, himself, which is something I deeply regret now that he's gone. My family wasn't in a great financial situation while I was growing up, so it was one and done, that is to say, one home console per generation and we almost always rented so unfortunately I don't have any hard copies of my early gaming memories. But things were a bit different where handheld consoles were concerned, I remember we had two Game Boy Pockets in the family and we got two Game Boy Colors. Though my parents bought us games for our handhelds less often than they rented games for us, we got to keep those games, explore them thoroughly, beat them. I think those experiences are what created my affinity for handheld gaming to this day. I'm so excited for the 3DS.

Like I said, we weren't wealthy growing up so it was just the one system per gen. I also wasn't very informed growing up, so when the family got a Genesis, I didn't know there was an alternative. When the family got an N64, I didn't know that the PlayStation was getting more games. When the family got a Game Boy Advance, I wasn't aware of any other handheld. GameCube was the first thing that I really chose to buy for myself, but I still wasn't informed; I was just a kid that loved many of the games he had played before, and happened to have loved them on Nintendo systems. I'd like to think that I'm not a fanboy, but I still have a great love and appreciation for what Nintendo stands for; the ideals of Nintendo, the games of Nintendo, and the games that Nintendo attracts to their system. This history of loving what I played in the past, with the hope that history would repeat itself led me to purchase my DS and Wii.

I'm in a much better financial situation now, but I'm still a fairly cheap gamer. On several occasions I've had the desire to jump in and purchase a PlayStation 2 (and access to PlayStation games), an Xbox 360, and a PSP.......but I also know that if I ever divide my attention and money between too many consoles I'll end up like so many sour gamers I see on message boards, only buying the highest rated things to come out, and missing out on so many great things.

So what's in the future? Well, I don't have any need for an iPhone, an iPad, or an iPod Touch at present (already have a perfect music player) and just as well, my brother has one so if another amazing iOS only game comes around I can at least try it. I don't enjoy the thought of trying to keep the hardware on a PC up to date to play games, and there's still some big things holding me back from getting a 360 or PS3. I'm very excited about the 3DS, but no attempt at getting a pre-order because for once I'd like to wait and not go after a system on day one (I know I'll be disappointed by waiting around for games to come), and I'd like to give PSP2 a chance to show me what it might offer. I'm not sure when a Wii2 might happen, but I presume it will be before we even hear whispers about the next PlayStation or next Xbox, and it really depends on what this Wii2 might be offering whether I get it or not.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My purpose with this blog

I really doubt this blog will be stumbled upon this early, but just in case, perhaps you might like to know why it was made.

There aren't many memories I have from before video games came into my life, so I can say for certain that video games have been a factor in shaping my life. I've always loved talking about video games on any friendly message board, or maybe battling wits on an unfriendly one, but it's only recently that I've even considered making a career out of it. I don't have the journalism degree that might help with making a career out of it; I never really considered writing for a living....but I love writing when I think about it, and I love writing about things I enjoy. New things in gaming don't happen 24/7, at least not where the general public is concerned, so this is one of the reasons I've decided to pursue writing about other things, as well. If not only for experience, then maybe to add a little something unique to the blog.

But, I know a blog can't thrive simply on regurgitating news I see in other places, and I know I won't grab people's attention simply from original opinion pieces, so I have plans to make other unique content; art, comics, original music, maybe a podcast.

Wish me well, or give me suggestions. I'm open to it.

So I guess this is the start of my blog

I hope I can learn something from this, and I hope I can entertain some people.