Saturday, January 31, 2009

Poll #10: "So far, which year was the Wii's best?" results

The results for Poll NĂºmero Diez are in:

So far, which year was the Wii's best? (25 total votes)
  • 2006 - 4% (1 vote)
  • 2007 - 88% (22 votes)
  • 2008 - 8% (2 votes)
As was expected 2007 was the winner for the Year of the Wii polling award. Little surprises there, as it had the best games and releases of Nintendo's greatest, including both the fantastic Metroid Prime 3 and the outstanding Super Mario Galaxy. Following 2007 (which earned 22 votes) was 2008 with 2 votes, and finally 2006 with a single vote.

For me it would go 2007 > 2008 > 2006. That's not to say 2006's lineup wasn't good, seeing as we got Twilight Princess and Wii Sports, it just wasn't that long and didn't have as many games as 2007 and 2008 (especially since it was only a month and half long for the Wii).

My eleventh poll's finally up and running. The question this time seems a bit random, it's just something I'm interested in: "In the Legend of Zelda games, what do you name your character?" So please get votin', people.

Comments or questions? Drop an email to or leave a comment below...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Pros and cons of the Guitar Heroes and Rock Bands

In 2005, the original Guitar Hero was released. And with it came a new wave of games to the video game industry. While music rhythm games had been present in Japan with Konami's Guitar Freaks for quite some time, it wasn't until Harmonix brought out Guitar Hero that the states final got what is now the cultural phenomenon of Guitar Hero and Rock Band. In 2008 we saw a plethora of both big and small music titles, both handheld and console. Both good and bad. The music genre is a rapidly expanding one. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of these music games, Guitar Hero and Rock Band particularly?


First off, above all else in my mind, Guitar Hero and Rock Band have great music. Especially the recent version of Guitar Hero: World Tour and Rock Band 2, with both disc and downloadable songs, there's a lot of fantastic tracks on there. There's great classic rock, metal, more recent alternative, and punk. There's bound to be some songs on the games that you like. And even if you're not particularly fond of rock music, the games are already beginning to expand, starting with country music DLC in Rock Band.

Another great thing about Rock Band and Guitar Hero is the gameplay. While it may seem strange at first and almost hypnotizing, playing the games turn out to be a rewarding and engaging experience. At least for me, the music playing combined with hitting consecutive notes is pure bliss and (almost) feels like you're really playing the music. That is until you realize you're holding a plastic guitar (or drums) and zoning out to a TV. Nevertheless, Guitar Hero/Rock Band's gameplay is some pure, unadulterated fun.

And finally Rock Band and particularly the most recent Guitar Hero, World Tour, are excellent multiplayer experiences. Going along with my previous point, getting a group of people to rock out with plastic guitars and drums is some of the best multiplayer fun you can get. When you really feel like you're all in this together, you'll know Rock Band and Guitar Hero and working their multiplayer magic.


Now for the ugly stuff. Let's start off with an obvious one: the cost. Sure all video games cost money, why should that be a horrible difference with Rock Band and Guitar Hero? Well for one, they cost a considerable amount more than your standard $50/$60 dollar game purchase. For example the recent iterations of Guitar Hero and Rock Band sell for an MSRP of $189.99. That's a huge investment. But nevertheless it can be justified with the content in the games. But then there's also the tendency to get ripped off with the more spin-offy versions that cost more for songs that could've been cheaper if they'd just been available as DLC.

The next big bullet point under disadvantages is the space. When the original Guitar Hero came out, the guitar peripheral took up a considerably larger space than the normal game controllers. Nowadays you'd most likely have one (maybe two) guitars, a drum set, and a microphone. And that doesn't even count any of those other third-party guitars or peripherals from other games you bought the full band packs of. Or maybe you even supported Konami by buying that huge, clunky Rock Revolution drum set. In short, prepare to have a large amount of space taken up by music game peripherals.

My last con doesn't really have to do with physical disadvantages; it's more of an in-game complaint. Particularly innovation. While every iteration of Rock Band and Guitar Hero provides some stellar gameplay, none of them does that much to innovate the genre. Sure Rock Band may have changed the one instrument approach of Guitar Hero and made it full band, but that's not particularly original. I mean, that's been done in the arcades for quite some time; Harmoix just perfected it and bought it onto consoles. And that's really all Harmonix and Neversoft have been doing: perfecting the formula. My money is on the next Guitar Hero polishing the studio mode, making the career modes a little more flexible, and maybe taking a few tips out of Harmonix's book in more multiplayer friendly gameplay. I'm pretty sure we're not going to see a whole lot of innovation. Which is why I feel it's the unique and crazy games like Elite Beat Agents and (dare I say it) Wii Music that are moving the music genre forward into new territory by changing up the formula.


I really do love me some Guitar Hero: World Tour every now and then. The great music and the rewarding multiplayer really make all its flaws seem unimportant. But if Rock Band and Guitar Hero continue to not particularly do that much other than polish and add new songs, you may have to count me out when it comes to the "big" music games in the future.

Comments or questions? Drop an email to or leave a comment below...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Downloadable content

There are several new "big things" in the game industry this generation. There's motion controls, full online multiplayer experiences, and DLC. Downloadable content offers game developers ways to extend gamer's playtimes and keep them (and their wallets) coming back for more. But is DLC necessarily a good thing?

In my opinion, it depends on how it's used. Take Harmonix's Rock Band, I think they're doing a great job. Rock Band has so many songs available for download, satisfying almost anyone's rock music needs. Every downloadable song combined would cost you more than the game itself. Plus Harmonix has done a great job in being able to use songs in both Rock Band and Rock Band 2 and seamless integration from and to both. It's moves like Harmonix's that show the true possibilities of downloadable content and how convenient it really is.

But then there's other publishers and developers that misuse DLC. I don't want to play through most of the game only to realize I have to play some money to buy the final chapters once they're available for download. I don't want to buy difficulties and other modes that should have already been in the game. And I definitely don't want to have to spend money on stupid hats and clothes for in game characters and avatars. What about in game currency and gold? Fine, just don't make me pay my real, hard earned money for stupid things like shirts and hairstyles.

So while some developers and publishers (like previously mentioned Harmonix) do downloadable content very well, the industry still has a long ways to go. DLC should be something gamers go to once the main game's over to keep them coming back. It shouldn't be crucial for entertainment and completely necessary to enjoy the most of your game.

Comments or questions? Drop an email to or leave a comment below...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Quick article. Just wanted to give my two cents on Winter. -Kyle

As you probably know we recently got info on IGN's "dark game" known as Winter. (If you don't know, check out IGN's interview here and footage of the game here.) Basically Winter's a survival horror game developed by n-Space (the developers behind games like Geist for the GameCube and the Call of Duty games for the DS). Development has halted due to lack of interest publishers. The devs said that their game was met with praise yet publishers left uninterested because of two key factors: that it was a new IP and that it was a survival horror game on what they deemed the "kids" console, the Wii.

IGN finally showed off the game through a trailer and an interview, and I really love what I see. The game looks to be a really entertaining and really creepy survival horror game. From the footage that was released, just about everything in the environment you can interact with. In some of the levels you'll be just trying to survive by staying warm which can lead to starting fires, turning on vehicles, and climbing in dead animals carcases for warmth (ala Han Solo, The Empire Strikes Back). The footage also showed some pretty impressive graphics for the Wii. And the demo they made up took them six weeks. Think of what they could do in a regular development cycle of around two years?

Unfortunately development has currently halted. But I'm hoping Winter goes along the same route as the Conduit, that is, it gets a lot of interest online, alerting publishers, and eventually gets published. As far as publishers go, I can see SEGA picking this one up. As they did for the Conduit and how they're supporting the Wii with similar, core games like MadWorld and House of the Dead: Overkill. It would also be an excellent title for Nintendo to publish, seeing as they're hardcore releases have been relatively thin in North America as of late. (Where's Fatal Frame 4? Or Disaster: Day of Crisis? Come on NOA.)

I really hope this game gets published. The Wii needs more games like this. At least some people are doing what they can. GoNintendo's Kevin Cassidy and IGN's Nintendo team, along with several other sites are going to do all they can in trying to get this game a publisher and get it released. It's nice to see IGN's Nintendo team interested, seeing as what they've done with other third-party Wii games, particularly Zack & Wiki and the Conduit. Plus you can sign a petition that currently has over 600 signatures here. Online petitions may not always be the most effective things, but it could help. I really hope we can get Winter published. It’s efforts like these that need to be rewarded.

Comments or questions? Drop an email to or leave a comment below...

Friday, January 16, 2009

WiiWare games in 2009

If you missed my first article, about retail Wii games in 2009, check it out here; this one's about WiiWare. -Kyle

2009, in my mind, is going to be one of the better years for Wii, at least from what we know so far. But what about WiiWare? 2008 was an awesome year for WiiWare. We saw some of the best Wii games of the year launched on Nintendo's downloadable service, such as World of Goo, Mega Man 9, and LostWinds. We may not know too many WiiWare games being released in 2009. But the ones we do look to continue the quality.

Please note: release dates are for North America only. If you're from somewhere other than North America, such as Europe or Australia, check Google, Wikipedia, and/or IGN to be sure.

Cave Story
Developer: Studio Pixel
Release date: Early 2009

The original Cave Story for PC, that's free and still available here, earned a reputation as the best freeware game of all time. And now it's being brought over to WiiWare. With it come both technical and in-game additions. Tech junkies will be pleased to know the game is now has 480p and widescreen options. Plus both the graphic and sound departments have received a major overhaul. But if you're a fan of the original and this worries you you can always change back to retro graphics and classic music. Also, recently announced was new content via downloads. One of the best free downloadable games of all times may soon be joining the ranks of best WiiWare games.

Swords & Soldiers
Developer: Ronimo Games
Release date: Q1 2009

Second up on this feature is Swords & Soldiers. S&S is a 2D, sidescrolling real-time strategy game. In it you play as one of three factions, the Aztecs, the Vikings, and a third faction we don't know about yet. The art style is awesome and (partially quoting some article I can't remember) is a combination of the looks of XBLA's Castle Crashers and PSN's Fat Princess. The game will feature both local and online multiplayer, as well as single player campaigns for each of the factions. It looks like a lot of fun and is one of my most anticipated games.

Eduardo the Samurai Toaster
Developer: Semnat Studios
Release date: Q1 2009

Eduardo the Samurai Toaster. Yes, that's this game's name. Awesome, right? Eduardo was only recently announced, but it's already a looker. It's a run'n'gun game in the same vein as greats like Gunstar Heroes, Contra, and Metal Slug (which are favorites of the game developers). It sports co-op for up to four player and an awesome graphical style. Many games of this list have graphics that lean towards style rather than raw processing power. But Eduardo the Samurai Toaster may top them all with it's amazing and diverse style. Stages and levels will be made up of different kinds of art such as charcoal, pen and ink, and acrylic paint. Definitely one of the neater looking games on the horizon.

Developer: WayForward Technologies
Release date: TBA 2009

LIT is a game with a really unique premise: you can't wander into the darkness or evil creatures will get you. So to avoid darkness you'll have to follow paths that the light uncovers. This opens up tons of puzzles involving turning on lights to make paths, throwing rocks through windows to shine moonlight in, and using obtained items like flashlights and lanterns. While graphically the game looks to be really lacking, the puzzles look ingenious and awesome, so I can't wait for it.

Animales de la Muerte
Developer: High Voltage Software
Release date: TBA 2009

I'm almost hesitant to list this on here. The reason being we've heard so little of this game for a while. There was even talk of HVS putting out as a retail due to Nintendo's limited file size cap. But as for the game, it looks great. Supposedly all the animals in a Mexican zoo have gotten some kind of virus and are now rabid, zombie animals. So the zoo manager tasks you to put all his precious animals out of their misery. To do this you'll equip yourself with machine guns and take 'em down. The goal of each level is to survive for as long as possible. And after seeing the trailer with Mexican hat dance music playing while cartoony, zombie animals are uzied down, only two words will be on your mind (well at least they were on mine): hilarious and awesome.

Other WiiWare games

There's not a lot of WiiWare games that we know of that I didn't list. But three of them, Evasive Space, Last Flight, and Eternity's Child, look interesting though I'm not so sure of them yet. Also with not a lot of first-party support in 2008, we can only hope Nintendo has something up their sleeve for '09, preferably a revisit of a classic franchise. Perhaps a Mega Man 9-esque Link to the Past sequel with 16-bit graphics and all? Make it happen Nintendo! Or how about the long overdue New Super Mario Bros. 2 being released as a download. Pure awesome that would be. And finally we do know that Frontier is planning a LostWinds sequel. The first was excellent, albeit a bit short, so I'm definitely holding out for a LostWinds 2.

What about you? Any WiiWare games you looking forward to? Or would you rather stick to retail?

Comments or questions? Drop an email to or leave a comment below...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Poll #9: "Which system had the strongest year in 2008?" results

Poll number 9 is done. Here's the data:

Which system had the strongest year in 2008? (41 total votes)
  • Xbox 360 - 31% (13 votes)
  • Playstation 3 - 12% (5 votes)
  • Wii - 41% (17 votes)
  • Nintendo DS - 12% (5 votes)
  • PSP - 2% (1 votes)
It was a close competition between the 360 and the Wii, but Nintendo's little white box got a few more votes and earned the title of winner. Behind the Wii and 360 was a tie between the PS3 and DS. Followed then by the PSP with a measly single vote.

I was torn between the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3. I felt the Wii's year was lacking, and even though I don't own a PS3 or 360 there were a lot of titles, particularly LittleBigPlanet, Dead Space, and Mirror's Edge, that really interest me. I also thought the Nintendo DS had a fairly good year. Much better than the Wii and PSP.

And as usual the latest poll is up and running. The poll is "So far, which year was the Wii's best?"

EDIT: For some reason either a problem with Blogger, my crappy computer, or my crappy internet is hindering my ability to put up the latest poll. At first it just wouldn't display at all and now I can't even go back and create a new poll. I'll try again tomorrow (or later tonight).

EDIT 2: Thank god it's finally up and running. I don't know if it was just my computer or if it was screwing up for everyone, but thankfully it's fixed. Now get votin'!

Comments or questions? Drop an email to or leave a comment below...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wii games in 2009

100th post! Awesome! Here's to 100 more! Well, that's over, onto the article... I've been planning on doing this article since the beginning of the year, but just haven't gotten around to doing it until now. -Kyle

2008 was an average year for the Nintendo hardcore. The first party efforts weren't all that great, at least in the states. Even with WiiWare and third-parties supplying quality, the great games of 2008 weren't all that many. But coming into 2009, there's quite a few awesome looking retail Wii games on the horizon. Below, I've detailed eight of these such games (retail only for now) that I'm really stoked for. This is a long one, so grab some popcorn, a drink of some sort, and enjoy!

EDIT: Don't believe me about 2009 being a great year for Wii? Check out this NeoGAF thread, specifically the second and third posts. Yeah, that's a lot games. Even if some of them aren't necessarily coming to North America or coming in 2009, that's still a damn lot of games, and that's only the ones we know of. (Thanks to SuperPhillip for the heads up.)

Please note: release dates are for North America only and found on If you're from somewhere other than North America, such as Europe or Australia, check Google, Wikipedia, and/or IGN to be sure.

House of the Dead: Overkill
Publisher: SEGA
Release date: February 10, 2009

Of my eight games on this list, House of the Dead: Overkill is supposed to be released the soonest. It's definitely a game to look forward to for House of the Dead fans and light-gun fans. The overall game looks really awesome and the "Grindhouse"-inspired visuals and presentation look great.

Publisher: SEGA
Release date: March 10, 2009

By far the bloodiest, most intense, and possibly most controversial (among the media) game on this list, MadWorld is sure to be insane. Just looking through screens and videos, you see how strange yet awesome the game is going to be. The story is that of a man named Jack trapped in a lethal game show. The visuals are Sin Cityish, and the huge array of death moves looks both impressive and entertaining.

Little King's Story
Publisher: Xseed Games/Marvelous Interactive
Release date: May 2009

Xseed's Little King's Story is looking very Pikmin-esque. But that's definitely not a bad thing. I'm actually more excited for it than any Pikmin game we'll get this year. Why? Because New Play Control Pikmin 1 and 2 are remakes despite looking awesome, and we don't have an official confirmation of Pikmin 3 and what it'll look like. In Little King's Story, you control a young king, who all the villagers follow without question. With this command comes the ability to build building, raise armies, and take over other kingdoms.

The Conduit
Publisher: SEGA
Release date: Q2 2009

SEGA's putting a lot of support on the Wii in 2009 as is evident with House of the Dead, MadWorld, and finally The Conduit. Possibly the biggest hyped game for the Wii, The Conduit's been praised for it's excellent, intuitive control scheme and its impressive visuals. But as for the main game and its gameplay, I'm not totally convinced, as it looks like run of the mill FPS fare. But I hope the All-Seeing Eye puzzling elements and online multiplayer will make it a bit fresher.

Muramasa: The Demon Blade
Publisher: Xseed Games/Marvelous Entertainment
Release date: TBA 2009

Muramasa: The Demon Blade is one of my most anticipated games lately. From it's awesome gameplay to it's gorgeous art style, this one's sure to be a winner. The levels are made of up 2D sidescrolling, hack and slash gameplay with RPG leveling-up elements. The Japanese, hand drawn graphics are both beautiful with Japanese mythology in mind. There's two characters to play as, each having their own story, which really extends the lasting value.

Publisher: Nintendo
Release date: TBA 2009

Very little news has come about Nintendo's latest Punch-Out!! game for the Wii. Nonetheless, the game looks very awesome from Nintendo's trailer at their Fall Media Summit. This time around it retains a cartoony, almost cel-shaded style of visuals that I really like. And it also seems to keep its offensive humor as is evident from the trailer.

Sin & Punishment 2
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: TBA 2009

Much like Punch-Out!!, we have very little news regarding Sin & Punishment 2 other than what was said at the Nintendo Fall Media Summit. Until it was recently released on the North American Virtual Console, the original was a Japan only N64 game with a cult following and very positive critical reception. The sequel's sure to be a hit over here in the states with classic gameplay mixed with updated, Wii remote aiming controls.

Wii Sports Resort
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: TBA 2009

I'm actually more excited for what's packaged with Wii Sports Resort than I am for the game itself. The sequel to Wii Sports is bundled with Wii MotionPlus, a peripheral with exciting possibilities. With this, true 1:1 control is possible on the Wii. Plus just as Wii Sports showed off the finer points of Wii remote controls with its five sports, Wii Sports Resort will show off the possibilities of Wii MotionPlus with nine activities including frisbee-throwing, jet skiing, and sword dueling.

Other Wii games

Other than these eight games that I'm super-excited for, there's several games that really interest me, but I'm not totally convinced yet. Two of these such games are Deadly Creatures and Monster Hunter 3. I had also almost completely written of Klonoa for the Wii until's Josh did an excellent video tour of it, and now I'm really intrigued for this platforming title. And finally, I'm really looking forward to the New Play Control series, especially the Pikmin and Metroid Prime remakes, but I didn't feel it was fair to include it in the main list, seeing as they're ports and a lot of readers have already played them.

That concludes my "Wii games of 2009" feature. What are your most anticipated games? Look out sometime later this week for my "WiiWare games of 2009" article.

Comments or questions? Drop an email to or leave a comment below...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Rest in peace 1UP and EGM

As you probably know, was recently bought by UGO. And with this merge comes tons of layoffs, including many loved writers like Shane Bettenhausen, Greg Ford, and James “Milkman” Mielke. Also due to this merge, 1UP's magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly, all the loved 1UP podcasts, and the 1UP Show are gone.

So I'd like to take this post and wish the 1up and EGM teams good luck and thanks for all you guys have done. Though I didn't particularly follow your site and blogs as many (more hardcore) fans did, I did read quite a few of your previews and reviews. And every time I really loved what you guys wrote and how much passion you have for the industry.

As for EGM, despite it having a huge fan base, I didn't particularly love it. It was good and all but I didn't turn to it first for print news. Even so, the magazine was really well done and was one of my first game magazines to read. Excellent job guys.

And finally, I'd like to voice my deepest sorrow for all of you who lost your jobs. Working for 1UP and EGM would be a dream job for me and was probably one of your favorite jobs. At least working for 1up will be good on your resumes, and I hope you all can find jobs doing something with video games or something else you love.

And as for UGO, who bought 1UP and canceled EGM and their podcasts, I'm in two mindsets: one, fuck you UGO for destroying 1UP! and two, thanks for saving the website from this shitty economy. But alas I'm more in the former category since by firing all the loved staff and taking away EGM and the podcasts, all UGO has now is a lifeless body that is a website without the soul and life that was the staff.

And one last time. R.I.P. 1UP and EGM. You will be sorely missed, even by your not-so-devoted followers like me. If you're wanting to read more about this, check out GoNintendo, they have had tons of updates concerning how and why this happened and many people's opinions from both 1UP and UGO. And definitely check out Milkman's blog post: The Last Day of EGM, The Secret Lost Final Issue of EGM for a really heartwarming and sad (an oxymoron perhaps?) look on the final days of 1UP's staff and the final, 20th anniversary issue of EGM, which will only be available digitally.

Comments or questions? Drop an email to or leave a comment below...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The problem with review scores

If there's one thing I've really noticed in the last year after posting reviews and reading tons of reviews, there's definitely a problem with review scores. Several problems actually.

First of all, one of the main problems is that there's not a standard for scoring a game. Let's say Website A and Website B both score out of 10 (just to make it a bit simpler). Yet Website A's average score is somewhere around a 7.0 or a 7.5. On the other hand if a game got a 5.0 from Website B it'd be considered average. Since different sites use different review scales, it becomes hard to tell if they like the game, hate it, or think it's mediocre without reading the review. And once you get different point scales such as out of 5 or 100, it makes reviews almost incomparable, since the more leeway you're allowed to score (such as .5's versus .1's) the more opinion's will seem to differ. Lately I don't even pay attention to Metacritic for this very reason. The fact that websites and magazines use different review scales makes the exact number Metacritic assigns inaccurate and meaningless.

My second problem is more of a pet peeve than a real ordeal. Assigning a sole number to sum up a review makes that review meaningless to a lot of people. These said people will just scroll to the bottom, read the score, and leave the review. Which is definitely not the point. I really wish these people could just sit through a reading of a review. The writer put a lot of their time, effort, and play time into the idea of writing it. The most you can do is read the review. Even if you don't have time or can't concentrate, can't you at least read the final couple of paragraph? You know, the ones that summarize the entire review so you don't have to read it? Those ones.

Also the number assigned makes people think, "Oh, they scored Game A a 9.4 but Game B a 9.3. Game A is must be better." It's hard enough coming up with a review score; it's not like reviewers look through every single review they've written and compare the game to those. Which brings me to my next point, on big sites like IGN and (R.I.P.) different reviewers review different games. So that all adds up to different opinions of different genres of different games. Which can then deem the score meaningless. Overall this means the score is very unimportant in my eyes. What is important is the written review.

So what am I getting at with these ramblings? I've used this post to do two things: #1. Voice my opinion on why I feel review scores are flawed. And #2. Announce that I'll be ditching scores in my reviews from now on. 2009 is a new era for World 1-1 reviews! I started thinking about this when I first ditched all the scores besides the overall. Then I decided, even the overall score could be interpreted in so many different ways that I'm better off just writing the review. Don't worry, if you're still tempted to scroll to the bottom, at least read the "Overall Thoughts" paragraph. It'll take you somewhere from ten to thirty seconds and it's a much better alternative to scores (at least in my humble opinion). And it's this paragraph that'll matter to people the most anyway, since it's there I voice my final opinion and whether or not you should buy, rent, or skip the game.

Comments or questions? Drop an email to or leave a comment below...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Current Obsessions - Aught-Nine Edition

Episode 5: Aught-Nine Edition

I changed the name of my "What I'm Playing" articles (previously "Games I've Been Playing Lately") to a new (and hopefully final) name: "Current Obsessions." I've named it so because I'll also list a few non-gaming things I've been obsessed near the end. So, without further ado, my first "Current Obsessions" of the new year.


Animal Crossing: City Folk
Platform: Wii
This one might be on this list for a while. I'm addicted. While many critics say it's not unique enough and feels like too much of the same, I'm loving it, since I never played either of the previous versions. I live in Cooltown as little Animal Crossing Kyle. Lately I've been two things above all: fishing and searching for fossils. I really enjoy filling the in-game museum with all sorts of collectibles. I also enjoy building the occasional snowman and just talking to the animals throughout the town. I can totally see where people are coming from when they talk about their addiction to the original Animal Crossing and Wild World, I'm in love with City Folk and will probably be playing it for months if not years to come.

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
Platform: Wii
As part of my plan to complete all my unfinished Wii games, Lego Star Wars was the first on the list. I'm really close to finishing, as I'm in Episode VI and have three stages left. I really enjoyed the game, despite some of the flaws like iffy platforming. I especially loved all the Star Wars characters and scenes "Legofied." I'm thinking about getting Lego Indiana Jones and Lego Batman, since I enjoyed this one as much as I did.

Platform: Nintendo DS
N+ is a surprisingly entertaining Nintendo DS game. I really enjoyed the flash game, but I doubted how it'd play on the DS's tinier screens. But the move from PC to DS was a very successful one. The top screens shows the entire level, while the bottom screen displays a more zoomed in view so that you can make more precise jumps and landings. N+ is platforming at it's best and simplest. The goal of each level is to unlock the door, so to do this you'll run, jump, and dodge enemies and obstacles. It's awesome. Despite not being like LittleBigPlanet in depth or scale, the level editor has also been very fun, and I've made a number of awesome levels with it.


As of late I've been watching a bunch of DVD's; mostly the ones my family and I received for Christmas. In the last few nights, I've watched Iron Man and Wall-E, both excellent. And tonight I think I'm going to watch The Dark Knight (one of my favorite films of all time).

I haven't been doing much else than videogames and movies in my spare time. What about you guys? What things, gaming and non-gaming, have you been obsessed with lately?

Comments or questions? Drop an email to or leave a comment below...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

What Nintendo should do in 2009

Happy New Year everyone! It's 2009! Whoo! Time for a fresh start into the new year. As I've stated before, Nintendo made some strange decisions in 2008. I hope in '09 that's not the case, and they decide to do some things a little better. So below I've listed things I think Nintendo should do this year.

Release an equal ratio of casual/core games
I have no problem with Nintendo's Blue Ocean Strategy that includes games like Endless Ocean and Wii Fit. But as long as they release an equal amount of "hardcore" titles. In 2008, this wasn't the case, with Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Wario Land: Shake It! the only core titles (and maybe Mario Kart Wii, but it was a dumbed down version gameplay-wise). But in '09 I'm thinking they'll keep the ratio about equal, since we already know of core titles like Punch-Out!!, Sin & Punishment 2, and the inevitable Pikmin 3.

Put some first-party love onto WiiWare
In 2008 we got quite a few great WiiWare games. But we got very few Nintendo published ones. We saw the small yet awesome Art Style titles, Dr. Mario, and Pokemon Ranch. I hope Nintendo puts a lot more games onto WiiWare this year, especially visits to old franchises such as Excite Bike, Kid Icarus, and Ice Climbers that'd be perfect at $10 as downloads. And why the hell haven't we gotten a 2D Mario platformer for WiiWare yet? It'd be the perfect fit, it'd sell truckloads (metaphorically), and it'd please quite a few hungry Nintendo fans. Make it happen Nintendo.

Up the quality of the Virtual Console
This one I really don't get. We got a several quality games on the Virtual Console last year, such as the long awaited Super Mario RPG, Mega Man, Mega Man 2, Mega Man 3, and Secret of Mana. But the crap far outnumbered the quality this year. Which is something I don't get. Why release games that nobody likes if you want to make money? This doesn't make sense to me. I hope Nintendo starts releasing the good games, because I know there still are a lot of unreleased ones. Maybe Super Smash Bros, Earthbound, and Majora's Mask to start?

Put on at least a decent E3 show
This one I'm pretty sure of. 2008's Nintendo E3 event was by far one of the worst. So I'm willing to bet they'll have learned from their mistakes and will put on at least a decent showing this year. Hopefully with some more hardcore showing of games. Perhaps Pikmin 3 and some other first party title.

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