Friday, November 28, 2008

MK vs DC: Joker is still the man

I don't even think this necessitates a comment...LOL

MK vs DC: in-fight minigames are intriguing

This video is the first in the storyline for the superheroes. Unlike the original chain I saw, this video actually covers some of the minigames that go on during actual gameplay. Of particular interest is when the Flash fights Kano and when he fights Batman afterwards. My brash attitude toward the non-fatalities has been thwarted; I'll be lookin' for a good deal on the game.

Yoshi gets pwned

I found an interesting piece of gaming art on It looks like Mario pissed off the mob and they are serving him a warning. Take a gander at the full photo, and if you like the artist consider purchasing a print! Check out the artist's other designs at

This is the same site I purchased prints of Jason Chan's art from. He's the guy that drew the original fanart that I used for my tattoo.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Rock Band Wii: Ick.

Since Rock Band for the Wii has lowered to a sweet $99.99, I decided it was time to buy it for my Mom and Dad. They seemed to enjoy it on the 360 during my temporary stay with them earlier in the year. But the original pricing was quite prohibitive. Problem solved!

Upon playing a few songs, I notice the kickdrum pedal seemed sturdier. The guitar was wireless (with a dongle), and the USB hub didn't require external power. These were the good points, but it stops there.

The Wii version pales compared to the 360 version like 480i to 1080p. Not only are the graphics atrocious, but even when calibrated, the jewels seem off and don't explode at the right time for successful hits or notes. It's very distracting when the animation is late. My entire family said it felt wrong overall.

Conclusion: The Wii version should be reserved for those who don't have the other consoles. In my parent's case, it gets the job done, albeit in an ugly and awkward way.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Resident Evil 5 demo to come Dec. 5th (Japan)

According to IGN, Capcom's Resident Evil 5 demo should be hitting the marketplace on Dec. 5th for Japan only. Since this game is rather big, it is expected to come out in other regions shortly after release in Japan.

This demo will have 2 playable stages from past game shows demos, and it will be co-op offline and online. Let us hope it isn't to long till it's released in the US for are zombie killing spree is wearing out in Left 4 Dead.

End of today's flurry: NXE HDD install chart has a useful chart of games that show improvement when loaded on the HDD. Unfortunately, it looks like this will more appeal to those who whine about the disc noise rather than improve load-times. It could lengthen the life of your DVD drive as well. The DVD drives aren't too bad to swap if you've got the right stuff, but doing so voids the RRoD warranty.

Assassin's Creed - Est. 40% faster
Bioshock - Est. 30% faster
Burnout Revenge - Est. 40-50% faster
Fallout 3 - Est. 50% faster
Lost Odyssey - Est. 50% faster
Mass Effect - Smoother gameplay
Ninja Gaiden - Est. 60% faster
Orange Box - Est. 40% faster
Virtua Fighter 5 - Est. 50% faster

Fatality to my insides: MK vs DC

I was actually wanting to buy this game until I watched these fatalities. To top off the lame-brew: Superheros are only capabale of a "Heroic Brutality"? I haven't been this disappointed since MK3's groan-inducing fatalies (although Smoke blowing up the Earth was more amusing than it was worth ;).

I know they were shooting for a Teen rating, but it's hard to call this an MK game with these pathethic shows of finish moves. If anything, the story is semi-amusing to watch on both sides of the fence.

It still may be worth a shot, as a few people say the gameplay is "Excellent". I wouldn't be surprised, since I've honestly enjoyed the 3D MK's more than expected, especially since I never really adapted out of 2D in that genre ;).

I'm really disappointed that MK: Shaolin Monks wasn't more popular. If any MK game has taken the series in a different and blazingly-fun direction, it was that game. Pick it up for Xbox or PS2 (unfortunately, not BC on 360) and bring a friend.

Wii games are twice as likely to underperform

A recent study has shown that Wii games are certainly more bargin-binable than their competitors. %15.1 of Wii titles are reduced in price by their publishers after a short time on sale, compared to the respectie %7.5 on 360 and %9.09 on the PS3.

The blame-factor seems to be timing. Unlike the HD consoles, targeted Wii titles are often released in parallel time frames with competing titles.

I receive this more as: There is more garbage released on the Wii than the other consoles. Development isn't as in-depth resulting in an over-abundance of the same-old. This leaves our casual-and-green gaming consumers basing decisions off box-art and game descriptions on the back.

Good news: ALIENS: Colonial Marines will still be

Gearbox had recently passed out the pink slips to some involved with A:CM, so speculation arose about the game's demise. Screw you, speculation, nobody likes you.

It's good to hear the game is on track. We've been due for a real ALIENS title for quite some time now. While the RTS dabbling was commendable, we really haven't seen anything good with acid-for-blood "serpents" since AVP2 on the PC.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Avatar secret hair colors?

A couple days ago a fellow "Nixier" got a suprise, when he noticed he had an added page of hair colors when he moved around the avatar's head. All you have to do is widdle around the right thumbstick till you see the upper left hair selection icon rotate. As it rotates you click on it and bam! You're locked in for some easter sunday colors.So enjoy your wacky hair styles with a bit of zest.

Friday, November 21, 2008

NXE, Updates, and RRoD

I was disappointed to hear the friend I'm visiting has an RRoD console after installing the NXE. Well, he mustn't be alone. His Core system has an HDMI port, so I was a bit surprised...weren't those supposed to be the "good ones"?

Both my RRoD experiences were with big updates. Shortly after the Fall update of 2006, my launch console and a room mate's 6-month-old console both showed us the red-eye. Mind you that was before *all* 360's had the 3-year RRoD warranty, so mine was covered and his was not (until they changed it and he got it fixed). Both replacement boxes have worked fine since, but it left me leary.

Well, there's also that RRoD I console bought on Ebay that I almost fixed (don't have the DVD drive key, making it strictly a media center after soldering work). But that was a user-induced RRoD caused by inexperienced DIY mod-attempts.

This is unacceptable. No 360 after those first few waves should have this problem. It's pretty bad when end-users have to come up with seemingly-effective but warranty-voiding fixes.

This just reminds me of PS2 DRE yet again. How many revisions is this going to take? I certainly hope not 13 like with the PS2. Microsoft is already half-way there.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Note: Disposable Income Not Available

Some time in life, all of us get hit like a truck with our finances. This happened to me years ago, but it taught me the warning signs of when to stay out of the street and stay home.

My concerns are arising about the economy and the upcoming year. While I will get some awesome tax benefits from having purchased a house this year, other expenses have stepped into the spotlight. Some are difficult to plan for at this juncture, but still need to be considered. To name a few: high dental expenses (implants), old credit card debt, Christmas gifts, and the need for a new vehicle. Basically, that's life for everyone, but it does cut into our leisure.

While the details are personal, I can say it's making it difficult to justify any further game purchases for the remainder of the year and beyond. Naturally, the timing could have been adjusted 6 months or so. I had planned on trying Resistance 2, Last Remnant, Too Human, Prince of Persia, Halo Wars, FEAR 2, RE5, Killzone 2, and some others that will be here within the next 6 months.

Looks like I better get comfortable with the concept of renting.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What I've played on my Vacation

Amusement comes with vacation I guess? Well, my friends' kids kind of keep us from doing much during the week. I've been 24hr sick, one of their kids had a birthday party, and my buddy had to work 2 days this week. We're looking at getting some Transformer icon tats over the weekend for fun and checking out a fight. I'm sure my sister will be scoping that fight in-person, so maybe we'll see you on the tele, Crys.

Due to limited options, it's been a multiplatform gaming week for me thus far. Everything but the PS3...but everyone should know that is OK with me (LOL). I've caught up on Lego Star Wars II (1 achievement left), finally finished Phoenix Wright: Justice for All (DS), and completed Gears of War 2. If I'm lucky, I'll finally beat damned Sephiroth in Nibelheim in Crisis Core if I get motivated. My weak Zack can't take the beating on the second part of the fight I guess. It's irritating for a single-button mash game, I assure you.

I finally get to check out a Destroy All Humans game and share with you my experience. I've heard positive responses in the past about the game, so I can't wait.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Destroy All Humans! The Path of Furon

Path of the Furon is the next title in the Destroy All Humans! series. Players will take control of Crypto right where Big Willy Unleashed leaves off. The setting is the funked-out 1970's when mysterious new enemy attacks Earth. Crypto is swept up in a conspiracy that unravels his groovy new way of life and threatens the very survival of the Furon race. Players will take Crypto on a journey of Enlightenment and Destruction as he gains new powers from an alien Kung Fu Master in order to take on his most difficult enemy yet; his own kind. More information can be found at

To kick off the release, is giving away a 32” HD TV and $50 Gamestop giftcards. Enter the giveaway contest here. The site has plenty of media on the game as well, including trailers, interviewers, wallpapers, etc. Be sure to check it out!

In addition to that, an exclusive Destroy All Humans! Bobblehead figure can be picked up at local Gamestops by providing a proof-of-purchase for your copy of the game. If ordering online, the figure will be shipped with the game.

Destroy All Humans! The Path of Furon will be available for the PS3, Xbox 360, and wireless platforms starting in December.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Quick note on Rock Band vs Guitar Hero drums

I saw the Guitar Hero: World Tour drumset for the first time in Walmart the other day, and it really made me appreciate that I bought the ION drums.

The cymbals were made of a flimsy rubber*, which will probably make them last longer. It still managed to look cheap however, but in reality the Rock Band kit does, too. Over-all, the kit didn't seem as sturdy either, but I'd have to sit down and play to get a true feel. The layout is definitely an improvement over the Rock Band layout, but I can't say it would have been worth the purchase to switch kits.

I imagine the Rock Band 2 kit with the Madcatz cymbal add-ons would be the best bet for those not willing to drop cash on the ION kit.

*Update 11/19/2008: I made it sound like the cymbals are only made of rubber. They do have a solid core, but look flimsy when you hit them.

Wii is a glorified board-game, attach-rate is fine

The most expensive board game

I think on one hand the Wii has become the most expensive board game on Earth - it's the kind of thing that families will play at Christmas, and probably won't play again throughout the remainder of the year.

I expect Nintendo fanboys will vomit opinion out of every orifice about this quote, but my experience isn't really supporting a retort on it. I've come across more people being excited that they purchased a Wii than what they've actually played on the Wii.

My mother for example, randomly purchased a Wii 6 months ago, but has only played it a couple of times. Those times weren't even with my sister and me; they were with her side of the family during get-togethers. When I inquire to her friends about the Wii's they've purchased, they have more to say about what they did to get one than what they've played on it.

I've lived in my new house for 6 months and I haven't played the Wii even one time. the power cord has remained unplugged. I still have RE:UC, MP3, and a couple of other games to delve into, but the draw isn't there.

Events like those support the myth that the Wii's attach-rate sucks. Well, it doesn't. They fare better than the PS3 apparently!

At this point, I think the definition of a Wii gamer isn't congruent with our standard "gamer" perception. I think "casual gamer" is inappropriate even. I think many of those new to gaming consoles with their Wii's are more "entertainment seekers" than gamers at all. When I think casual gamers, I think those who frequent the stock Windows OS games, or Yahoo games, or the like. They game, but not with in-depth games. Wii owners seem to look more for a quick fix on occasion.

Regardless of gamer opinions, Nintendo is making their money. They are doing something right for themselves as a business. Are they doing something right for the industry? Not intentionally, that's for sure. We'll just have to see where they go from here.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

ION customer support over-zealous????

In my ION Drum Rocker Review, I mentioned my kit was missing an Allen Wrench and the USB pigtail was faulty. I had messaged customer service through their website to get the problems resolved. They responded with a form used to request replacement parts.

They never sent me any kind of confirmation, so I've been wondering on the status. On Halloween, I received an unexpected package from an unfamiliar address from Customer Service. Upon cutting through the packing tape, I was greated with a white box labeled "360 module". It was the whole brain unit with the mounting bracket...

I thought "Allen Wrench Tool" and "USB Pigtail Attachment" would be pretty obvious. And a mere $5 worth of parts. But hey, if they want to send me a backup brain with that pigtail, there's no complaints here. In a final humorous twist, the Allen Wrench Tool was not included, but I have no quarrel; I'll use my own at this point.

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