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.

Nyko Already has a $20 "Solution" to the 3DS's Battery Life

Nyko has announced a replacement battery that they state offers "double the battery life" of the battery that Nintendo ships with the DS. It is understandably bigger. Since the 3DS is designed with a back/battery-cover that is the size of the back of the 3DS, it would stand to reason that one could be made that wasn't that much bigger and would have a style to seamlessly matches the color of your 3DS. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be that replacement battery just yet. But it's $20 for "double the battery life" which doesn't seem like a bad deal at all. It doesn't seem to be induction based so it won't work with the cradle, but you can still charge it via your AC adapter. Speaking of, I wonder how long it might take to charge this thing..... Nintendo's original press releases stated a charge time of about 3 hours for the 3DS with the battery it ships with. This is something I haven't heard discussed yet from people that have grabbed the Japanese 3DS, so I'm not sure if it does take that long, but (based on admittedly little knowledge of batteries) it would stand to reason that a bigger battery simply takes longer to charge off of the same charging cable.

Nyko seems to have emerged over the last few years as a well-meaning third-party accessories manufacturer. They've had a few missteps like a device that's supposed to help cool off your 360, but instead could burn the console, but it isn't nearly on the level of how I remember Mad Catz where every single product was just......worthless. I've only bought one non-first-party-endorsed third-party accessories since the horrible stuff I bought from Mad Catz for the GameCube, and that was this lovely metal stylus. I wouldn't necessarily say Mad Catz has been the reason all these years, but mostly I don't often see the point in most accessories.....or, I didn't. Both my DS and DS lite have some serious elements about them that just no longer work, and maybe that could have been solved if I had used a protective case...maybe not. I'm very interested in buying one for my 3DS since I want to carry it often, and it's as pricey as a home console. Anyway, went a bit sideways with that.

UPDATE: Hm, came across a picture of this thing on the black 3DS (now at the top). Doesn't look as out of place as I thought. I see now that the taper of the battery really complements the very edges of the back of the 3DS. If they made one that complemented the blue 3DS I'm getting better, then I'd be all over it if the battery life of the packed in battery starts to bother me.

Anyone think this will be a necessary accessory for their use of the 3DS? Let me know in the comments.


Podcast Synopsis - Tell 'em Steve Dave Ep. 52 - Fibber McChen (you could get your music played on the show)

I've come to a decision, the "Review" part of posting up most of these podcasts is redundant. I post them because I like them. For something like the launch of the 3DS, I might search out more podcasts that I haven't heard before, and those will include a recommendation or non-recommendation, but otherwise the recommendation is implied.

Oh, and I thought I might put this right upfront; they've added a new portion to the show where they will play music created by the listeners to help get them out there. It seems like the response was really strong and they have a lot of submissions already, but they want more so don't not submit your own stuff!!

Hear the podcast here
(right-click to save)

Friday, March 4, 2011

GDC - New Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Trailer, Detailed Breakdown by IGN

It seems like there's a big focus on showing off the various ways you'll be using the Motion Plus. The trailer shows a new character to the series, perhaps a friend, perhaps a foe for this legend. There is some kind of boss shown off, either a full fledged one or a mid-dungeon "mini" boss. I'm really not happy to see the huge HUD elements still around; frankly they are stupidly distracting. For me they ruin any visual beauty that might be present during non-cutscene gameplay; and if you're not playing on a wide-screen set? I just hope you can adjust the opacity for once.

Also, since I'm so behind with posting this, IGN has a Rewind Theater out for the trailer. In their Rewind Theaters they take the time to pause and talk about various pieces of the trailer with as much insight as they can, and often rewind to replay certain portions.

I enjoyed learning the tid-bit about a possible connection to Minish Cap, since I haven't played that one (maybe if it comes to the 3DS's Virtual Console, Nintendo...?).

What do you guys think about Skyward Sword so far? Do you think motion controls will be an interesting addition to the gameplay of the series, or maybe you feel it will get in the way? Let me hear it in the comments.

Direct link to the YouTube video

Nintendo at GDC - eShop at the End of May, 3D Video Service, Game Gear and TurboGrafx 16 Added to 3DS VC, and More

At GDC, Nintendo announced that their eShop would arrive at the end of May, bringing with it access to DSiWare, the 3DS's Internet Browser, Virtual Console titles from older systems such as the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Gear, and TurboGrafx 16, remastered classic games with added stereoscopic 3D effects (I assume from a wider variety of systems), the solution for transferring your DSiWare titles from your DSi or DSi XL to your 3DS, and a 3D Video Service from Nintendo featuring movie trailers, game trailers. game screen shots, and other content such as comedy shorts and music videos. All of these sound great, though I wish at least DSiWare access was available sooner. It sounds like Nintendo might hand-pick the content (outside games and movies), which might mean the comedy is all fairly tame, among other things than may pertain to types of content not mentioned.

Netflix Coming to 3DS

Pretty short and sweet; Netflix's streaming video service is coming to 3DS, but it's only been described as coming in the summer.

I personally love Netflix's streaming service, and have a subscription that I don't have any plans of discontinuing. I don't see myself opting to use Netflix on a 3DS over using something I can watch through a television when I'm at home, but it's neat to have this free portable option. It doesn't have the versatility of an iPhone since it's locked to Wi-Fi, but 3G Netflix isn't so hot as it is.

There isn't currently any 3D content on Netflix, but if they add it, 3DS has a pretty good chance of getting it. Theoretically, it would need to stream twice as much data, but if the 3DS has a good bandwidth on it's Wi-Fi chip, then it shouldn't be a problem for the 3DS at its resolution.


Well This Is Odd - PSP Go Gets a Price-Drop, But It's Taken Off of Sony's Website

Hmm.....Just yesterday some sites reported a quiet price-drop of the PSP Go, and I followed some links to get back to Sony's own website where it did indeed have a special update proclaiming the new low price of the PSP Go. And as I said in the post just below, I wanted to write up a piece just about the PSP, and this price drop would have been the basis of a point for a significant portion of the piece.

Potentially the update just went up earlier than they meant it to, maybe someone hacked the site to push out the update or completely falsified it, but either way, if the word is out about a price-drop that's bound to come then it likely isn't much farther off because of this. I'm not sure I remember hearing of anybody that wasn't willing to wait on an announced price-drop, so I'm sure they realize that this will be detrimental to sales until the price-drop actually happens.

I'm so curious about this that I'm going to run up to my local Best Buy to see if stores are following through with the price-drop. Be back with an update soon.

UPDATE - Well, Best Buy for one isn't displaying a price of $149.99 as of today. But I couldn't help but giggle with delight when I noticed that the shelf space for the newly priced PSP 3000 was completely empty devoid of the PSPs at that Best Buy. I wonder how well this particular price drop will do, since Sony has matched the price of the DS lite with a product that is a better technological value.

Source (since you might not believe me)

Site Thoughts - Knuckling Down

Oh man, I feel like I've been neglecting the internet for the past week and a half or so. I've been playing games more than usual, and I feel like I'm getting my money's worth out of Neflix again instead of ignoring it for days on end when there is so much great content to watch. Both of those are great in their own rights, but I've completely fallen out of my usual internet browsing habits and I feel pretty lousy for it. Part of that is directly affecting the site; if I don't pick up on interesting topics or news, or if I don't even touch a computer some days, it means things don't get posted or discussed. I kinda loath the thought of posting up bits of news even 2 days late, but I'll try to be more lenient with that; if it's interesting, then it's worth the chance of discussing it.

I'd like to add some much needed accountability by being open about planned content on a week by week basis.