Wednesday, October 29, 2008

AnimeBonzai '08, cosplay-tastic

I hit up an Anime convention in SLC with an in-the-hobby friend of mine. There were plenty of gaming characters there, mostly from Final Fantasy. Sonic, Mario, and Resident Evil also made appearances. See more pics after the jump.

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resident evilClouds (guy on right might be loz)kingdom heartsninjasninja and luigipedobear?soundwavesephirothtifa and rikkuvincentYuffie


Reminder, today is when your F5 key would die! As you will be pressin' the living life out of it to finally find out if you were chosen for the preview program. Major Nelson noted that most likely the emails we be sent "later out the day". So if you happen to get this invitation,prepare for bunch of messages from your friends.

Update:Major Nelson just said the emails would most likely be sent later on tonight.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bars come down on the comments

Looks like I have to go back to comment moderation. There are plenty of forums that have room for waste-of-space comments so this site doesn't need to add to the pile. If you have something to contribute, by all means comment.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Free MBU DLC Oct. 29th

Can I haz Dee Ehl Sii for Marble Blast Ultra? Yes we can. This Wednesday there will be a free DLC for MBU due to Major Nelson's blog. Added three new achievements as well. Bout time we see some action for this sweet game that most people have forgotten about.

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Fallout's story

You ever wonder why you've never heard of Fallout 1 or Fallout 2 and curious about what the hell is going on? Lucky for you Gametrailers has a (very intelligently) video to inform you what's been going on with this nuclear explosion type game. Click to watch video

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Call of Duty:WAW Zombie mode

Treyarch is introducing a zombie co-op mode(skip to end for zombies) into the game. This mode can be played with up to 4 players with waves of zombies. This game mode also features its own economy which means you can move obstacles, buy weapons (flamethrower included), and build barricades.

According to guys at Treyarch if you make it past the 23rd wave you beat the masters at their own game. So get em shottys out and sniper scopes and get some BOOM HEADSHOTS?!

[Thanks p00ndawg]

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Try the "NXE" early

Would you like to be one of the people who receives the "New Xbox Experience" earlier than when it's suppose to be released? Well, Microsoft is offering a few thousands people who want in on the early action.

All you gotta do is go here to Microsoft Connect,register using your Windows Live Id,then go here to sign in here and fill out a simple survey. Then just hope your one of few the lucky thousands. Just by filling out the survey doesn't make you automatically in.

Should you get this update you will not receive all the "NXE" features. Just features like Avatars, Live Parties, and Netflix.

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Call Of Duty: WAW BETA Give-a-way!

Are you always thinking to your self. "Man,that guy probably sucks at COD:WAW. Why does he have the BETA? I can be ownin' heads!" Well, have some good news for you folks.We're giving away the COD:WAW beta. All you have to do is comment why you want the beta in your hands and your (real) email. Then wait less than 2 days and you should have a BETA code to enter sent to the email you provided.

UPDATE: Thank You for all of those who participated.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

DLC Rock Band 2 Tuesday 28th

This coming week we got a classic thunder of DLC coming out. All the songs are 160 each ($2.00).With one of my favorite 80s band, The Psychedelic Furs. =) So get your totally gnarly ass to rockin'!

  • "Hong Kong Gardens"
  • "Kiss Them For Me"
  • "Killing Jar"


  • "Dammit"


  • "Melatonin"
  • "Well Thought Out Twinkles"


  • "Pretty In Pink"


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Gears of War 2 "The Last Day" trailer

There's a new GOW2 trailer out called "The Last Day". It reminds us of a time when GOW1 was coming out and Epic released a trailer called "Mad World". Ah the days of getting pumped up by a trailer for a game are back.

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Proud Owner of Midway [MWY] stock

As many already know, the stock market is *sings* "sending out an SOS". Midway, one of my favorite publishers, is unfortunately a grain in the market sand. Their stock is at an all time low at under a buck. Impatient investors are probably jumping ship in a lot of stock.

I'm wishing my IRA had more funds so I could mob up on all kinds of stock! Alas, that isn't the case. However, I figure it'd be a fun chance to sweep some MWY into my portfolio. I can only hope that Mortal Kombat vs DC helps them recover! And whatever happened to NBA Jam? I miss that game, man.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rock Band 2 Delivers!

According to IGN Rock Band 2 will be releasing the DLC 20 pack song on Nov. 4th. This list of songs comes with a bunch of songs no one has ever heard of (Except for Underoath).
All you have to do is register and provide the redemption code on the back of the RB2 booklet. That's the only way,if you got yours from GameStop like most of us, some don't come with a booklet,so go steal your friends.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

XBLA "Portal: Still Alive" 10/22

The arcade version of Portal heads to XBLA for 1200 Microsoft points. This is the same game you would get with The Orange Box only with additional levels and a few extras. GladouS,here we come for more.
Watch trailer.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO revealed

Today there was a LucasArts and BioWare press conference, apparently IGN and Gamespot made a word to much of this announcement way earlier than suppose to. So get together kids and parents for a Star Wars MMO coming to a PC near you (for now).

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Monday, October 20, 2008


Our weekly interview bring us a full-time college student who can't say no to ownin some face. This week we got:

Age: 19

Location: Las Vegas, NV

How did you come up with your gamertag?
Mr MoMo: *laughs* To be honest, I really don't remember. I was just trying to come up with a silly sounding name. I like it, though. I can never get tired of being called "Mr. Homo" after scraping some fools.

In What ways has Xbox Live changed your life? If not type n/a.
Mr MoMo: It's made me realize that there are many types of people out there. It gets hard figuring out names to call each individual after I own them.

If you would like to get interviewed, comment why you want to.

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What's your favorite Xbox Live enabled game?
Mr MoMo: Call of Duty 4, of course. The online community is horrible, but my mic isn't plugged in half the time.

What's your favorite Xbox 360 offline game?
Mr MoMo: Mass Effect for sure. That game is just too pro, yo.

What music do you enjoy?
Mr MoMo: Anything, really. I'm open to all sorts of music and don't particulary favor any genre. Whatever gets me pumped while owning face.

What's your favorite movie?
Mr MoMo: Why, the greatest science-fiction film of all time, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Stars Wars ain't got nothin', dawg.

What's your favorite TV Show?
Mr MoMo: Can't say I have one. Don't watch too much television. That crap is for noobs.

Is there a past time on LIVE that you enojyed? If Yes,explain.
Mr MoMo: When Halo 2 came out. Those were my golden Live days. Gettin' together with my good friends, partying up, and standbying the hell out of people.

Is there a past time on LIVE that you did not enjoy?
Mr MoMo: Yeah. When Bungie fixed standbying in Halo 2.

How many friends are on your friend's list?
Mr MoMo: Around 40, but I only play with about five of them. *laughs*

What's your favorite website?
Mr MoMo: It has to be I can always go there for a good laugh.

How long have you had Xbox Live services?
Mr MoMo: Only for a few years. I wasn't one of the early adopters, but I caught on around the time Crimson Skies came bundled with Live.

Are you exciited about the New Xbox Experience?
Mr MoMo: Those new avatars look hella fruity, but the new features look really promising. Can't wait to finally private chat with more than one person.

If you could play with a famous person on LIVE who would it be?
Mr MoMo: Oh, I'd love to play against Soulja Boy. After hearing him call out all the Live gamers, I just want to find him in a game and hunt 'em down.

Are you employed?
Mr MoMo: Not at the moment. I'm just a full-time college student tryin' to make it.

Do you own a PS3?
Mr MoMo: Hell to the no. All the good PS3 games are coming to or are on the 360, so there's no real reason to own one. I hope the early buyers enjoy their $600 paperweight.

If you could change anything from the Xbox 360 would would it be?
Mr MoMo: I'd love it if they let me use a different background for each blade on the dashboard, like the legit themes.

How often are you logged into LIVE?
Mr MoMo: At the moment, I hop on for a bit every few days. I'm just waitin' on that Gears 2 to get released. I think I'll be on a lot more often then.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Mr MoMo: Rockin' peeps in Halo 4 and Call of Duty 7: Future Warfare.

Do you have anything to say to our readers of this interview?
Mr MoMo: Good luck and have fun, yo. It's just a game!

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Rumor: E3 Open to public?

So there's loads of talk on the webz about E3 being open to the public at the Los Angeles Convention Center. June 2-4 will open the doors of media craze, then June 5-6 will be an event for the public. This is only a rumor,not confirmed yet. Plus those guys from the ESA haven't made any official statement.


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Scene It? Box Office Smash demo on XBLM

The Scene it? demo is now up on the marketplace. A game that tests your knowledge of movies answering trivia and puzzle games. As this game is integrated with the "NXE" gameplay value with the new avatars (picture above) is considered, "phenomenal".

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

The New Guy: SourNotHardcore

To my surprise, I've managed to gain another blogger. SourNotHardcore is the new kid on the block (no, not one those kind), and he is definitely motivated. I certainly welcome the help since life has thrown a monkey wrench in my blogging consistency. Damned monkies.

Er, anyway, thanks to him we should be seeing a lot more posts around these parts within a couple weeks. Welcome to the super-cool-elite ninja club, SNH!

Why I can't take PS seriously: Singstar Country

All I can imagine is a bunch of cowboy-hat-and-boots clad Karaoke wonders yelping about dogs and trucks into a cheap Sony microphone. Why I'm still on the mailing list for Sony products is beyond me. I think I have that hope in "potential" they've been yapping about for the past 3 years.

It is a dark day indeed. Country-lovers, rejoice. Just make sure to close your windows and spare the rest of us. ;)


SoulCalibur IV DLC is strong with you

Due to high number of demands from the fans, Namco Bandai is set to release a Yoda and Darth Vader DLC on October 23rd. The DLC will cost 400 Microsoft Points ($5). Five dollars for a character? Might seem alot just for a character but hey you can create intense battles that were impossible to imagine.

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n+ DLC Pack 3 Free on XBLM

This free pack comes with 150 new single-player levels, 50 new race levels and 50 new co-op levels. Along with a few new characters you can choose from. kidz lets get some more blood action.

Edited 10/20/2008 by SuicdeNinja: Fixed HTML code

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NIRVANA Rock Band:DLC Tuesday, October 21st

Nirvana heading to marketplace next Tuesday for Rock Band. The DLC includes 7 master recordings for 800 Microsoft Points or individually for 160 Microsoft Points. The DLC includes:
  • Breed
  • Lounge Act
  • On a Plain
  • Polly
  • Something in the Way
  • Stay Away
  • Territorial Pissings


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Friday, October 17, 2008

New Xbox Experience Nov.19th

So it's about time the dashboard update "New Xbox Experience" is coming up Nov. 19th. You'll see lots of improvements. Let's not say that the Avatars remind us of the Mii nor the dashboard reminding us as if were on a PS3. No no, this is unique.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

ION Drum Rocker Review (without drum module)

A Rock-Band-Special Edition-sized box greeted me when I got home from work today. The ION kit had arrived quickly; thanks AMS! Truth is, I was expecting the kit to come in a bigger box, but smaller was easier to wrangle into the front door.

Digging into the box, the first question is: Whatever happened to packaging, anyway? Like the original Rock Band kit, the ION kit is cheaply packed with cardboard parts and next-to-no Styrofoam. Somehow they managed to make it good enough though, so I shouldn't complain.

The other blogsites sure made the kit out to be this huge living-room consuming device in words and in picture. Physically, it is probably 50% bigger than my RB1 drums, but the footprint still manages not to bother me.

Assembly is easy and obvious, especially for those who have setup a drumkit before. For those who haven't, a Lego-style instruction sheet is included. There is some text instructions in the corner but they are mostly worthless.

The parts look a bit cheap compared to the regular electric kits, but they also manage to feel sturdy. Their lightweight make for easy relocation. I have no concerns of breakage, although I will say the wingnuts should NOT be over-tightened. The clamps are plastic, so finger tight should be good.

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The most difficult part about the assembly is aligning the pads to your specific tastes. Pad adjustments are done with metal wingnuts, and the rack adjustments are done with an included drumkey. A few twists is about all it takes to get things moving. I recommend setting the rack up so the clamp wingnuts and the drum "boltheads" are facing outward. This will make for easier adjustments.

The only hardware that bothers me is the kick pedal. While it feels fantastic, it has a thin metal piece in it that vibrates. It gets annoying when the music is turned low. Why ION didn't put a simple dampener on it, I have no idea.

I should note that I had two problems after getting it together. My kit was missing an allen wrench used to prevent the cymbals from turning. This wasn't a problem since I have my own tools. However, when I first plugged the kit in, the 360 was not recognizing it and the control ring wouldn't light up. Minor panic ensued, and I ended up swapping the detachable USB pigtail with the pigtail from my RB1 kit. The ring lit up and I was in business. I'll see about getting replacements on these minor parts from ION later.

Starting in Freestyle mode, I was happy to find that the cymbals and tom pads of the same color made different sounds. Tour and Quickplay mode don't seem to care whether cymbal or tom is hit. However, that's a pro since it's not always apparent which it's going to be. From my experience, when the kick is hit in conjunction with green it is a cymbal hit rather than a tom.

To exaggerate profusely, this kit is a million times better than the standard Rock Band kit. It feels fantastic to play in a real drum configuration rather than the stiff in-a-row pads. The cymbals alone make a monumental difference, so I recommend that anyone who sticks with the RB2 kit get the cymbal add-ons. Hitting the crash adds the missing satisfaction from the original layout.

As some have reported, it does take some effort to get acclimated to having multiple options for certain colors. I caught myself delaying mid-song to try and figure which hit made the most sense. For me, this mostly went away after about 2 songs.

For those "real" drummers that want to play Rock Band, I can tell you that this kit is the only way to go (unless modding is your forte).

Good news so far, eh? Well, I do have to complain about what will hinder many purchases of this kit: The price. I think $300 should have netted us one of two things: either a real kick pedal setup, or the third cymbal. Getting both would probably be asking too much on the consumer side. I'd lean toward the 3rd cymbal to remove the awkward switch-up during ride parts. Unfortunately, that option is another $50 to an already expensive rig. For what the buyer gets, the price really should have been less.

As for turning this into a "professional" kit, I'd say that is giving too much credit. The ION kit would serve great to get basic beats in a studio, but the trigger pads would fall short for a full drumming experience. No cymbal choking or rim shots does suck a little. Thankfully, it provides enough for my purposes; I'd even be happy using RB2's freestyle mode for my drum sounds. Too bad there's no hi-hat trigger though.

While I'm happy with my purchase, I recommend prospective buyers think carefully before dumping money into this rig. If you want a real electronic drumkit, your money would be better applied to an Alesis or Yamaha kit that would cost around the same (if the Alesis brain was added to the ION kit). If you have extra money and love Rock Band, then this is the kit for you.

Massive fills:
-Authentic drum feel
-Good response from all pads
-Easy to configure

Stick clicks:
-Annoying kick pedal sound
-Short a cymbal

Resembles/Feels like:
A high quality electric kit from a low quality vendor (this is probably better than their usual line of electric kits).

Rent or Buy: N/A, but try a friend's first or at the store if you are considering it.

Personal Appraisal:$250
Other Opinions:
IGN: good for drummers, more durable, "more realistic feel"
Joystiq: cymbals a novelty, not for limited space, over-priced
Engadget: good for hardcore, beefy hardware, not a midi controller

Edit 10/15/2008: I said plastic wingnuts originally, but they are indeed metal. The cymbal-top wingnuts are plastic, but they should be.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rockin' the Band and the Studio with the ION kit?

I've wanted an electric drumset for years. I even have a room in my house that will be perfect for a small studio when I get it setup. A major problem there is that I've been sans drumset for about 6 years. Acoustic kits piss neighbors off and are obnoxious to move and set up, so I've been wanting an electric kit ever since. I often frequented the drum demo room when I worked at Musician's Friend just hoping I could pick one up after my monetary situation was straightened out.

When I first read about the ION Drum Rocker, I got a little excited. However, after the information from Joystiq's and Engadget's reviews, I became leary. The recommended Alesis DM5 brain for the ION seemed extremely over-priced at $360 dollars. That translates into $660 with the $300 ION Drum Rocker, which almost costs as much as the Yamaha kit I've always wanted. It even costs MORE than my second-choice Alesis kit (that has the DM5 brain). That just seemed ridiculous.

But today, I put in my order for the Rocker kit. So what changed my mind?

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The Guitar Hero: World Tour drumset seemed to be something I could have worked with, and then hacked for my personal studio. If anything irritates me about the standard Rock Band kit, it's the lack of separate cymbals. Sure, they can be added to the new kit, but that's an extra $40 in addition to buying the new kit.

I asked a Gamestop employee how much the Guitar Hero World Tour kit was and it was a bit more than the original Rock Band kit at $190. It seemed ridiculous after dropping the money on essentially the same equipment last year.

So I thought about it. My original plan was to forgo the new Rock Band 2 bundle since the instruments didn't change much. I'd buy the Guitar Hero bundle and have another microphone, another drumkit, and a 6th guitar (2 x PS2, 2 x GH, 1 x RB). Talk about a waste of space and money on a game to inconvenience myself in the spacial department.

Then the announcements came that MS and Sony were requiring instruments to be cross-compatible. This changed everything. At this point, I could just purchase the games themselves and not need anymore peripherals, saving me $130 and a lot of space.

The side bit is that I've had a set of songs I've been wanting to record for years, but I've not had a quiet place or all the equipment to do it. Now I have an in-house studio with everything but a drumkit. Since I love to play Rock Band and Guitar Hero I couldn't help but lead toward the ION. That purchase would allow me to sell of the RB1 drumset and have one device for all three purposes.

To hammer the nail in the coffin, there were two more things: AMS's payment plan and the Roadie Pro upgrade kit. The 3-pay plan on the kit would make the cost much easier to digest. The Roadie Pro upgrade would provide a low-cost drum-brain, hi-hat cymbal, real kick trigger, and an actual kick pedal. That's a much better deal for $200 than buying the brain-only DM5 for $360.

Hopefully the quality is decent. Although I don't expect a Yamaha-quality kit, I do want it do at lease serve the purpose. Here's to rockin' out soon!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Nintendo Wii: Unintended pyramid scheme

With a title asking, "Is Nintendo Digging Their Own Grave?" something is apparently awry over at Expect an instance of being able to judge a book by its cover, because this article is pissed. However, it is justifiably so.

The blogger's biggest complaint revolves around Nintendo's "evergreen" strategy. In short, they look at profit by suggesting sequels are unnecessary while the prequel is still selling. The article elaborates how this ends up shortchanging repeat business (read: buying multiple games). We'll assume that assumption is correct since I'm not finding any concrete attach rates; just claims in forums.

So Nintendo rebuilds the Gamecube, and goes "lite" on the games. This means they aren't dropping a bunch of funds into the industry. According to the assumptions in this article, it only spreads buy word of mouth or experiencing a friend's Wii. So we start with one person who buys a limited set of games. That person word-of-mouth-slash-shares-experience with a friend. Those friends repeat the cycle of buying a console an a few games. Nintendo puts a limited effort into expanding the game library so they are relying on this spread method of hardware sales. Put in a dollar, end up a millionaire, eh?

Sounds like a pyramid scheme of sorts to me. Especially when Nintendo shows little effort to woo current owners with new stuff.

As a multiple console owner, I often discourage people from buying Wii Sports a Wii. I warn that the game library doesn't have a lot going for it, except for a choked version of Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Wii Fit is no replacement for a real exercise routine. However, this is enough for some people.

My question: is Nintendo really making "new gamers"? I don't think so. It seems to me that they just provided the "next hot toy". Choking storage space, the games library, and current display technologies leaves very small room for actual growth with the experience. To me, that means they aren't getting long-term customers, and certainly not enticing anyone to enjoy gaming as a whole.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Late to the Party Review: Heavenly Sword

Heavenly Sword is supposed to be an utter amazement of PS3 and Blu-ray technologies, but rather we receive a short God-of-War-wannabe that's clawing the dark for a candle. It will confuse you with a standout graphic display followed or preceded by a pixelated disappointing one.

After the blah about how Blu-ray would make games longer and nothing would be compressed, they sure managed to glaringly show compression (watch the smoke). While it doesn't mar the actual gameplay, we should expect better.

The faces have some impressive detail which do well for cutscenes. However, when controlling the awkwardly moving main characters, the graphical fidelity seems to fall apart. Thankfully, the developers managed to counter that will some awe-inspiring backgrounds and minigames to avert your attention from the dirty core.

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Speaking of cutscenes, don't bother getting too excited. The characters are cliche-creepy, straight out of a B movie. There a few giggle-moments, but for the most part the universe doesn't merit much elaboration.

In gameplay, many enemies will flood the screen here. This can be neat, but the AI is disappointingly neanderthal. Enemies will hurl themselves at you, which would be fine if the dodge stick was more responsive. The attack/counter-attack system is functional, but quite frustrating at times when Nariko won't do what you want.

Another frustrating aspect is the lack of a jump button. While there's not much for platforming here, it keeps many of the large-scale battles confusing because Nariko can get lost in the flow of on-screen characters. This antifeature makes it easy to get stuck on bodies or "massively unscalable 6 inch high rocks" and wonder why the hell Nariko is stuck like Chuck.

The best part of this game has nothing to do with the brawl-nature at the center of the show. Projectiles feature an "aftertouch" feature that allows the player to remote control them to steer them towards enemies or other misc. targets. Out-of-place cannons, rocklaunchers, and roto-crossbows make appearances to allow this fun feature to be utilized. However, the sloppy PS thumbsticks will make retreat-retaliate moves fail as the character never seems to default in the correct direction. Jumping over all those crates hoping to flip around and "snipe" an enemy will be a practice in futility.

While the game isn't a total abomination, it's a joke when put up to the likes of God of War or Ninja Gaiden. Those games have very responsive controls and a finesse that HS desperately needed but failed to bring to the dinner party.

3 pros:
-Fun aftertouch mechanic
-Detailed faces
-Entertaining finishing moves

3 cons:
-Unresponsive controls
-Inconsistent graphic fidelity

Resembles/Feels like: Shortbus version of God of War

Rent or Buy: Rent

Personal Appraisal: $16.99*
MSRP: $49.99 (varies due to age)
Other Opinions:

7/10 @ IGN
8/10 @ Gamespot
89% @

* This is based on the lack of replay value and poor gameplay. Replay value and fun-factor can play a role in higher personal appraisals.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Console disappointments

Today, my luck faired somewhat better. I turned networking back on and the Heavenly Sword update actually worked. My unfortunately-Bluetooth remote has been paired. Now for the long wait that System Update 2.43....been two minutes....0%....five minutes....3%. Again, I no longer consider PSN free. It costs game time. A lot.

So who thinks the 360's fall update will take this long? *looks upon a dead sea of no-hands*

Maybe the 7Mb upgrade I'll be on soon will help.

More notes on Heavenly Sword: disappointing. This in no way should be considered a flagship PS3 game. Ninja Gaiden puts it to shame graphically, control-wise, and gameplay-wise. It lacks finesse and polish; Nariko feels like a spider missing legs. On the lighter side, some of the sequences are great in concept, but the characters and accompanying voice-overs wreak of cheese. At least you can turn off the motion control on the projectiles. That part reminds me of Abby's ghost bullets in Jericho, which kick ass.

As for 360's, it's not easily grasped how poorly Microsoft designed the original 360's. Without taking a 360 apart, a million pictures on the internet aren't going to give the appropriate feel of how small the original heatsinks are. We're talking a tri-core 3.2 Ghz processor, and this thing is smaller than the stock heatsink on my 2.66 Ghz dual-core in my PC. The x-clamps on the bottom should have been square. At least they've fixed it.

Lastly, the Wii. I think I've given up; I'm not buying into it anymore. Metroid is my favorite Nintendo franchise, and I can't will myself to bother with MP3. I've spent much time in the past on MP1&2, completing everything on the highest difficulties. And regardless of what the gaming sites say, MP2's multiplayer was a just needed online. Back on track; this last's just not reeling me in.

In short: I don't like the Wii Remote. Wii Sports is great, but I just haven't seen or played anything else that makes "fun" use of it. The "light gun" with Umbrella Chronicles is okay, but I don't find myself ever wanting to play it. It seems whenever the option to use a 'cube controller is present, it's the only choice.

My real problem with the Wii is the same as everyone's gripe: No captivating games.

So to recap my experiences:

Playstation 3: Operating system/Network sucks
Xbox 360: Hardware sucks
Wii: Game software sucks