Monday, February 26, 2007

Peter Moore: Wii's success is making us rethink our strategy - Nintendo Wii Fanboy

Peter Moore: Wii's success is making us rethink our strategy - Nintendo Wii Fanboy

I was actually waiting for this to happen. It would be rather surprising if we didn't see a motion controller from Microsoft within the next year. While I have little faith in motion control for full-length games that 360 owners tend to enjoy, I think the XBLA motion-control potential is off the charts.

Speculation, speculation. Thou art a beast of epic proportions.

PS3 Games Less Than 360 Games in UK - Kotaku

PS3 Games Less Than 360 Games in UK - Kotaku

This could be contrued in a myriad of ways.

My take:

360 versions of games offer more at the current time. They have better online support, achievements, rumble support, and according to the reviews, the graphic "edge". Sounds like those games should be cheaper to me.

This may or may not be the continuing trend. Remember the Xbox, which had the capability of graphically destroying the PS2? It was never utilized, except in Ninja Gaiden and Halo 2. We may see this same thing with the PS3.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Nintendo doesn't get you shot (how'd I miss this one?)

Perrin Kaplan gets quotable:

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system."

And again without intending to, taking potshots at consumer intelligence:

"I think if we had just taken the whole package, here are all the channels, here are all the online games, here are the Miis, the news, the weather, I just think it would have overloaded the mass consumer.

It's more humorous than anything. But my fellow fanboys at Joystiq saw this an opportunity to attack the Wii-heads. Is it justified? I don't think so, but it seems to me that this whole console war is aggravating people on all three corners.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sonic Wii was almost a port of Sonic 360...ick

Sonic Wii has some high expectations from me. First off, it's going to be my next Wii title purchase. Second of all, it's supposed to sweeten the bitter taste left on my tongue from the Sonic 360/PS3 version. I guess if Sonic was actually controllable in those "fancier graphicked" versions, maybe I would have liked it. But frustration != fun.

I've also wanted a solid Sonic game since the Genesis days (Sonic Rush on the DS was pretty good though). The Wii seems to be the best candidate to save our anti-Mario. The thought of all the consoles getting that disgusting "next gen" version makes me shudder.


Monday, February 19, 2007

PS3 gets 2nd in top five "don't buy" gadgets

AOL brings us a "top 5 gadgets you shouldn't buy" curteousy of

Unsurprisingly, the PS3 ranks 2nd. The article does manage to praise Sony for fixing some of the initial bugs with the console. The biggest reason for their "no-buy" suggestion is that there isn't much for game selection. They also imply that the 360 and/or Wii is a better value for the money (when it comes to fun).

Even better, Blu-ray/HD DVD players are at the top of the list. Technically, since the PS3 is a "cheap Blu-ray player", that puts it on this top 5 twice. Anyway, they suggest consumers avoid the format wars as the movie selection currently stinks as well as the support of online rental stores (or offline from my personal experience).

I hope all those saving their nickels heed this advice. While the PS3's purchase didn't leave me hurting for cash, there are plenty out there who will save and save only to be left with disappointment. Even if $500/600 is affordable to a person...I can't say it's worth the time or effort for such little reward.

02/20/2007 Update: Fixed erroneous link

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Wii really does bring families together

We've read about turning our families into Wii-guinea pigs, but it's one of those "have to see it to believe it situations."

With plenty of forewarning, I told my parents that the next time I came over, I'd make them play Nintendo. And I promised them it would be easy and they would love it.

I was right.

Background: My sister plays Gamecube/N64 mostly for Mario Kart. My mom couldn't handle anything but Pacman with a joystiq (no d-pads). I've never seen my dad play a video game other than Wheel of Fortune two decades ago.

I was able to explain Wii bowling with a few sentences, and it only took each of my family members a couple of frames to get the hang of it. My mom hasn't laughed like that in the longest time, and I haven't seen that "fun" smile out of my dad in years. Within a couple of games, they were all bowling over a hundred. Comments ranged from "I can't believe how realistic this is," to "I like how interactive it is, and the controller is simple."

I was asked to bring a video game next weekend. That is a first. Good job Nintendo, you hit the bullseye of the non-gamer demographic.

Everyone knows there's nothing for the PS3

When we went to Gamestop yesterday to purchase Wii Play, the salesman gave me the usual spiel, "Do you want to reserve any Wii games?"

*rattles off a dozen games that are coming up*

"No thanks. When does Guitar Hero for the 360 come out?"

"April 2nd. It will be a good day!"

"Sweet. When is ANYTHING good coming out for the PS3?"

*both guys behind the counter laugh, as do 3 other random customers*

Sure Sony...bring on that "almighty PS3". It's obvious people are SOOOOOO excited about it. Guess which controller is being charged by my Wii, due to lack of use? None other than the "feels like a display model" SIXAXIS.

Time to go back to the drawing board.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Wii play? Maybe. (Review)

We were in the mall today getting "Invisible Shields" installed on our cell phones. Knowing there wasn't much for new releases for any of our beloved consoles, I asked at Gamestop if they had Wii Play. They did, I was told that I was "lucky" because they are hard to find.

Realistically...I was glad just to get another Wii Remote.

Wii Play is a series of 9 minigames, most of which have little replay value. The "Duck Hunt" style shooting range and 9-ball pool are the highlights. The fishing, "Where's Waldo" type game, and pose-matching are throw-aways. The tanks, cow racing, pong-hockey, and ping-pong games have potential, but fall a bit short.

Continue reading...

I can say that the 9-ball pool is better than Bankshot Billiards (XBLA) by far. It's probably the only minigame I'll play multiple times. The controls are solid and the physics are mostly realistic.

The shooting gallery is fun, but there doesn't seem to be any penalty for shooting off infinite rounds. The change up between targets is nice, but it's brevity may be disappointing to some.

The ping-pong table is as expected. But after playing Wii Sports Tennis...this game is severely disappointing.

Problems are a plenty everywhere else. "Where's Mii?" as it should be renamed, has you in futile attempt to find the "odd Mii's out" but it's still a mystery as to what was different about them from the rest (they are ALL different). The pose matching is silly, the pong-hockey is oversensitive, and the fishing is boring. Cow racing is amusing as is the tank least for 5 minutes.

I was hoping for a continuation of Wii Sports, which is probably why Wii Play is so disappointing. At least the game was only $10, since a Wii Remote is included. It's not bad to have around, but don't expect to be putting the same amount of hours in as the Wii's flagship game (which isn't Zelda).

Wii Play Pros:
-Comes with a Wii Remote
-The pool plays well
-Has multiplayer

Wii Won't Play:
-Fishing feels like a Warioware type minigame
-Feels like low-effort was put into most of the games
-Low replay value

Reminds me of:
"Boss Fights" in Warioware.

Rent or Buy:
If you need a Wii remote, buy. Otherwise,'s not even worth a rent.

Mii Appraisal: $39.99 (price of the Wii remote)
MSRP: $49.99

Other opinions:
6.0/10.0 @
5.5/10.0 @
3/5 stars @

Friday, February 16, 2007

Still settling, but not taken down so easily!

I've been sick this week, and work has been extremely taxing. I've barely had time to surf gaming news, let alone write about anything.

I'm still around, and I have several reviews to do. Warioware: Smooth Moves is now part of my collection and Sony finally sent me the Gangs of London demo I signed up for so long ago.

The Wii has been played a lot less lately, and the PS3 is still getting no love. I'm hoping some of the upcoming games can spur this household's gaming activity in the right direction.

Halo 2 has become our main game yet again (sorry Wii Sports), so if you are on late night look up SuicideNinja or DemolitionNinja. We play for fun at this point; rank means nothing. So keep that in mind if you want to play with us.

See you online!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

"Expressing" yourself even if "It's only a game..."

One of my room mates was mocking me the other day (in a friendly way) because I have a tendency to get livid and loud when Halo 2 rips me off (whether it's lag, a cheap kill, modding, or just the opponent's ridiculous luck). Cliche time came with the usual, "It's only a game," comment.

Before I go any further, I want to say that said room mate does exactly the same thing on Halo 2. The difference is, he has no idea how to play FPS games, and constantly complains about the location of the analog sticks (he was infected by Playstation). His "complaints" generally revolve around him dying first (because he cannot aim) or not knowing where he was getting shot from. For all intents and purposes, he's a "noob".

Anyway, I responded to the cliche this time. I quipped, "Whatever. You can say it's 'Just a game,' but when the Super Bowl was on, all of you were yelling and screaming at the television louder than hell. Everyone was getting pissed off every other play, and none of you were actively participating in the game, which makes it worse. How is that any better?"

He shut up after that. =)

Note: That isn't me in the picture, just some random picture off google.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Any T-Mobile MDA owners trafficking this site?

Since it was time for a mobile phone upgrade and I needed a newer pocket PC, the T-Mobile MDA seemed to be the best choice. I love the phone so far; my only gripe is that I can't draw in the notes section of the task list. I'm a bit new to the PocketPC scene, so I've been poking around in it when I have time.

The MDA is infinitely more useful than my PSP, and after the mail-in rebate, it will cost the same as well. I'd always hoped for PocketPC-type functionality from the DS, but it never happened from official 3rd parties. Homebrew made a valiant effort, but it wasn't what I needed.

Back on track, appears to have some emulators that may work on my new phone. Unfortunately, I do not have the 4GB MiniSD card I want yet (hoping I can also use it with my Wii). But if anyone has this phone and has tried some of these emulators, I'd love to hear about it (along with any tips/tricks).

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DS Lite stand makes me want to upgrade... found a video of an import-required (for the moment) DS Lite stand for some hot hands-off action.

This incites me to actually write about portables because one thing I hate about the DS is that it is extremely uncomfortable to hold for long gaming sessions (think: Phoenix Wright, Metroid Prime). Although the DS Lite is well, lighter than the original, the problem still lives on. This is one reason why I don't play the DS anymore, and have never finished Metroid Prime: Hunters (even though it's my favorite Nintendo franchise).

Alas, the stand is for the DS Lite, which I've not obtained yet. But this item looks to improve my gaming experience. I don't usually take my portables with me, so this little gadget could renew my interest in the DS Lite in general.

It's only $15 at if you're interested.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

NintendoWiiFanboy has me pumped for Sonic

After the disappointing 360 demo of the latest Sonic game, it looks like Sega will make amends with the Wii version.

According to, the graphics are good and the difficulty is "unique". The motion controls sound interesting on paper (e.g. flicking the remote to attack enemies) and the addition of quirky minigames are always welcome (think Mario 64 DS).

The rail-system and motion control should make for a good combination to return Sonic to his former glory (of still chasing Mario *snicker*). I can't wait to get my hands on this one. Isn't it ironic that Sonic will make his best performance on his former enemy's console?

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360 is crap in the exclusive department (per GamePro)

GamePro has much the opposite opinion of me when it comes to games for the 360. They say that the 360 has the weakest exclusive lineup while forgetting to mention a few key titles such as Splinter Cell and well...all of the new IP heading toward the 360. When it comes to established franchises though, they aren't far off. But everyone whines about sequels (myself included), so this would seem to be a double-edged sword.

Personally, I'm hoping Lost Odyssey competes directly with Final Fantasy. It'd be nice to not have to attach a number at the end of all RPG-talk for once.

I'd love to hear opinions on 360 vs Wii vs PS3 exclusives.

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Game Informer "gets it" when it comes to achievements

The latest issue of my favorite gaming magazine has a great article on the Xbox 360's Achievement (Issue 167, page 44). The author outlines what makes achievements so great, and why it will help in the console wars of the generation.

Continue reading...

Many Wii and PS3 fanatics scoff at "gamerscore". Even some Xbox 360 owners say they don't care about the achievement system at all. They maliciously label it as "nerd cred" or meaningless numbers. My assumption on those types of conclusions is that "personal gain" isn't even considered. Yes, there is some public-show-off-ed-ness to gamerscore, but I consider that just something to keep between friends. Even in the latter case, gamerscore and achievements provide a big advantage over the premise of all Wii and PS3 games. As I've said before, it only takes two words to describe that advantage: "Replay value."

Since I own all three consoles, I've noticed the "lack of motivation" given by Wii and PS3 titles. Sure, you can run through Zelda or even Resistance Fall of Man. Blasting through though games will result in many extras being missed. But why bother? Many of us have made personal achievements in gaming over the years, but many of them have been forgotten because there was no reward and nothing short of a screen-shot could be used to prove the achievement to yourself. In the opposite situation, some side-quests were an overload of work with no payoff. These things cause replay value to be killed early. This is where the achievement system comes to the rescue.

For example, let's take FEAR for Xbox 360 and PS3. The games should be nearly identical. But one has Achievements while the other one doesn't. FEAR could easily be rented, and ran through on moderate difficulty. Multiplayer might get a little attention, but the road will probably stop shortly thereafter. There would be no motivation to play 1000 matches, complete the campaign without boosters, or even complete the campaign without dying. That just cut some hours of value out of that $60 game. But the 360 version has these "goals", and even puts them on your "record" if you get them. Completionists will get even more replay value plugging away at these goals to satisfy their personal obsession.

In reality, it's brilliant. Just like online scoreboards have brought back the fun-factor of the "High Score" from days-of-old, achievements compliment that idea to bring us forward in our hobby.

I highly suggest reading the article, whether it be in a Gamestop/EB Games store, or at a magazine stand somewhere.

Here's some choice quotes from the article:

Achievements definitely change the way you play your games.

Gamers are going out and purchasing games that they normally wouldn't even think of touching.

Our instinct to show off our skills is a powerful one, and Achievements perfectly play to this.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

360 Rumors form Voltron and retrun (Black+HDMI+120GB)

It's doubtful anyone wants to whack this rumor mole back into its hole. We've seen these rumors before, although combining all three together is slightly new.

I've commented before on how a bigger hard drive and/or HDMI included in a newer 360 wouldn't upset me. As consumers, we have little room to complain as long as the core functions will work on the newer version. I would imagine we would complain more if the newer 360s DIDN'T get improved.

I for one, don't even have a HDMI-having HDTV yet. And I'm in no rush to get one since component only blurs text on the PS3; the Wii and 360 display just fine.

One thing the PS3 and the Wii have me realizing is that I'm really not in dire need of more hard drive space. The freely changeable hard drive in the PS3 had me excited...only to find that I have no use for the 50GB of space not occupied by Linux. I want to buy an SD card for my Wii, but I see that I have plenty of onboard room still. My computer(s) is the better place for media, and I'll keep it that way.

As far as the 360 is concerned, I don't mind streaming music and video from my computer. Actually, I prefer it that way, because I can backup my computer much easier than any of my consoles. I tried the downloadable tv shows/movies, and it's not for me. I'd prefer a physical copy or a movable digital copy.

So for me, HDMI and 120GB aren't much of must-haves. But I would love to have a black 360. The Wii is okay in white, but the 360 should have been black all along.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

PS3 would be better off with a PS2 failure? WTF?

The geniuses at Sony are at it again. PS3 fanboy reports that Jack Tretton suggested that a PS2 flop would have resulted in more PS3 love. He sticks to his guns and expectedly touts the PS3 as the "best console" (Not in my opinion buddy...give me a game that will make me turn the POS on).

Actually, I've had this idea plastered on a picket-sign in my ventures through our very own series-of-tubes (read: internet). However, I want the PS3 to fail because Sony has lost focus. They need to get back to gaming. Nintendo is mostly sticking to their light guns and keeping the math as simple as games+fun=wiin. Sony's math is more akin to "give consumers what we want them to have (Cell + Blu-ray + DRM - Rumble - Scaler - Affordability) as their opinion doesn't matter"="Lots and lots of potential profits". It would teach Sony a valuable lesson that Nintendo has already been through; keep the consumer, developer, and publisher in mind when creating an entertainment product. A PS3 failure would most likely result in a PS4 success, where they show how they learned from their mistakes with the PS3.

That's what we want to see!

Trying to figure out a way to get my posts in

As I dive face-first into corporate America, I find myself a little less priviledged in the internet department. As woefully mentioned before, many of my favorite gaming news sites are being blocked by my company's web filter. Sure, there are "easy" ways around it (read: proxy servers), but I'm tired of continually having to change proxies all the time, just to be able to comment/contribute to my second "job" (a.k.a. this site) during my breaks.

Thankfully, google's customizable homepages will allow me to sneak RSS feeds through at the cost of a narrow reading area. hasn't been cut off yet, so I'm not totally off the gaming-info nipple either. In any case, "the man" really doesn't want me to enjoy my breaks under his watch (at least not easily).

Even though the comments don't indicate it, I know there are a few regulars to this site. Please bear with me as I readjust to how I must go about continuing this blog during the day. Through this change in my life, I'll find a way to continue! ;)

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Lost Planet Review

The demo of Lost Planet was a great way to parade the highlights of this frigid title. It gave the player a sense of demolition, trudging through the snow, and mowing via mech via chain-gun action.

Jumping into the full retail version continues to provide that same exciting feeling. The demo ended up serving as a training session, so there's no need to adjust to the unfamiliar controls. As semi-seasoned demo-players blast their way through the first few levels, they will come to find that Lost Planet is willing to take some serious cheap shots to hinder your progress.

Continue reading...

To portray realism, nearby explosions will slow the main character down. A lot. And while running slowly through the snow makes sense, the same pacing applies indoors where no snow is seen. Surprisingly, this isn't as annoying as it may sound, but it results in feeling cheated during the intense boss fights.

While the levels aren't that difficult, the bosses toward the middle of the game will throw everything they have at you. Between the explosions and losing composure is a plethora of aggravation. At times it feels like there's no possible way to beat the boss without some an insane amount of luck, because death can come at any time.

Thankfully, the reward after each level is an actual cutscene, as opposed to Resistance's horrible narrated storyboards. The story builds fairly well, although it seems that some events aren't exaggerated as much as they need to be (to keep the excitement level up). With all the action packed in this game, the minor story-telling flaws are forgiven, just as in Gears of War.

The weapons and the mechs suffice, although nothing out-of-the-ordinary resides here. But ask yourself, will the classic rocket launcher ever get old? Nah, we like ridiculous explosions. It's also difficult not to shout, "Hell, yeah!" when picking up a mech-sized weapon for "hand-held" use.

The controls of the game are mostly functional, although I don't approve of the seemingly large movement required to move the camera left or right. Zooming in leaves a player with the annoyances of using the 360 d-pad; the response isn't exactly stellar. The adjustment time isn't long, but it seems unnecessary in the first place.

Running through the game is simultaneously satisfying and disappointing. That super-hero feeling of jumping through explosions, sniping the bad guys, and blowing up everything in sight with rockets leaves for plenty of praiseworthy moments. But Lost Planet doesn't want you getting comfortable with your Swartzenegger-type powers; it will take measures to keep its spot as "the Boss" of its own destiny. LP may not be Halo-esque, but there are plenty of good times to be had via single and multiplayer.

The good guys caused:
  • Action packed, with a slight arcade-type feeling

  • Graphics are outstanding; only Gears of War has bested these

  • Story and cutscenes are well-crafted, as opposed to other games.

The Snow Pirates caused:
  • Oddball Controls

  • Frustratingly cheap shots by enemies (especially bosses)

  • Questionable foot-soldier A.I.

Takes from:
Almost feels like Syphon Filter in the snow, but not quite. Any third-person Mech combat game could have given inspiration as well. The grappling hook is very Tenchu-ish in practice, although hanging there shooting enemies from above reminds me a little of Splinter Cell.

Rent or Buy:
For the general consumer, I'd say rent unless the multiplayer suits your fancy. There is some replay value in the achievements, but the value of that will differ per person. For the more serious gamer, this is definitely a buy.

MSRP: $59.99 USD

Suicide's Appraisal: $39.99 USD

Other Reviews:

8.4/10 at
6.5/10 at
8.5/10 at

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