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Posts Tagged ‘Nintendo’

Elite Beat Agents is perhaps one of the best games to ever hit the Nintendo DS system, and if you don’t know yet, the game features three “agents” who act as a sort of urban metrosexual cheerleading squad. Hey, I never said the premise made much sense. In any case, stripped down, the game is a rhythm action game which has you tapping numbers on the touchscreen in time to the rhythm of the music, all this set to a story about overcoming strange odds (one of the stages, for example, is about a weather lady who promises a picnic with her son, and so falsely predicts sunny weather, and her ensuing attempts to chase the clouds away, all put to the music of “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire).

If you STILL can’t get a grip on what I’m on about, watch this to get a better idea.

So why all this background info about a (brilliant) game you’ve probably never played? Because this one is good; the guys at Mega64 decided to hold a live-action version of Elite Beat Agents to see how the people around them would react. And it’s well funny. Check it out.

[Link: Mega64 – Elite Beat Agents, via Kotaku]

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This youtube vid has to be seen to be believed. The clip is an advert for a new Wii game, Wario Land: Shake It, but…well…you just have to see it. I don’t want to spoil it for you. As a bit of advertising, it’s brilliant, and I must congratulate the team behind this ad!

[Link: YouTube – Wario Land: Shake It – Amazing footage]

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So I managed to get my hands on Guitar Hero On Tour for DS, and after some scrapping around with it, I’m ready to review it. When I opened the packaging, I found two sheets of stickers as well, so I set about happily uglifying my DS first. It’s rewarding in some strange way. Anyhow, after the uglification, I inserted the guitar grip into Slot 2, inserted the game pack into Slot 1, and fired up the DS.

Guitar Hero On Tour is the DS offering of the popular Activision game. The game is played using a combination of the guitar grip attachment and the touch screen. The guitar grip even has a place to house the specially made guitar plectrum, so that was cool. Playing the game is similar to other Guitar Hero games: you hold down the appropriately colored button on the grip, and strum the touchscreen with the pick. Nothing much to it. The game boasts an impressive number of songs for a DS cartridge, and most people should be familiar with the majority of the songs. There’s also a battle mode, where you play against against another player, either computer or human if you have a friend with the same game. The battle mode bestows several attacks, such as burning guitar or scissors to cut the guitar strings, that you may ravage your foe with. Some attacks, such as the speed up or the blown amp, can’t be recovered from, but some have an interactive component. For example, if your opponent sets your guitar on fire, you have to blow into the mic to put the fire out.

Personally, I didn’t like battle mode–I don’t know anyone else with the game so I couldn’t play against a human opponent, but I don’t think it’d make the session any more fun. I think the problem is that I enjoy playing real guitars, and the whole battle bit detracts from the art of actually playing music, which is what the game is really about.

The tour mode (thankfully, without any battling!) has you trying to make enough money to rocket you to stardom. You gain more cash for playing songs accurately, naturally, and this provides enough of a challenge to make you replay songs over and over again, to attain the “100%” that is so elusive on expert level.

My biggest gripe about the game, however, is the guitar grip itself. I don’t like it. It’s uncomfortable no matter HOW I hold it, and the only comfortable way of holding it means that I can’t see the screen. The grip also fits pretty loosely into the slot, so at times you find that the attachment comes loose, and then the game grinds to a halt and tells you that “You’ve been rocking a little too hard. Re-insert the Guitar Grip and reset the DS”. Ok, maybe not in those EXACT words, but I’m close.

All in all, the game is great, but it’s marred by an attachment that could have used some ergonomics lessons. Sound is brilliant, graphics are pretty good for a DS game, and the part about playing the strings on the touchscreen with the pick is brilliant. If you like your Guitar Hero on the go, by all means, go for it. But it’s a damn sight easier to play the home console versions.

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Super Mario Galaxy review

El33tOnline have kindly let me review the brilliant Super Mario Galaxy for Wii. I’m not going to say much more because the full review is up at their site. Enjoy!
For an alternate review, check the Nintendo Australia review.

[Link: El33tOnline]

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Wild Tangent CE, Alex St John, predicted in a talk in Seattle that gaming consoles as a physical box will be extinct by 2020. He substantiates his claim by saying:

shareholders of Sony and Microsoft will no longer tolerate the massive, billion dollar investments that it takes to create proprietary video game consoles.

He further goes on to say that:

Even though Nintendo’s Wii console has met with success in the market, […] the only thing that makes it different are the proprietary controllers. That’s the same thing that happened to the arcade video game business years ago, which had to design new controllers and devices to try to compete with the home consoles that had equal or better graphics and game play.

There are several holes in his argument, and because he’s no analyst, I reckon his words should be taken with a pinch of salt. I’m not analyst either, but I refute his argument, and present the following counter arguments:

- Sony and Microsoft are happy to invest the billions now for future heavy returns–a console doesn’t start making money until the third or fourth year of its life span when the components start getting cheaper. In fact, if you look at the model of the PlayStation 2, it started off making a loss as well, but it’s now almost ten years old, and it’s been a profitmaker for Sony since at least the slimline version. To date, in fact, it’s sold over 140 million units. I don’t think Sony’s going to turn its back on that sort of success. Furthermore, Sony and Microsoft HAVE the billions to invest because consoles aren’t their primary, or only, market.

- Nintendo’s Wii is more than just “innovative controls”. Nobody expected to Wii to do well, because, to everyone except Nintendo, the idea sounds batsh!+ crazy on paper. But it works because I don’t think many people took into account the social aspect of the Wii, and that’s where Alex’s argument falls flat on its face again. Friends trumps innovative controls–I’ve never had more fun in my life than sitting and competing with a bunch of friends over a video game.

- Alex has obviously not played any of the current generation consoles: I can think of, off the top of my head and without breaking a sweat, games for current gen systems that feature microtransactions, free-to-play advertising models, and the ability to sell games digitally (so what the heck are the Playstation Store, the Wii Shop, and Live, Alex???)

- PC games are losing audiences and developers for a couple of very good reasons:
-> PC games are more prone to piracy than console games, and this is a quotable, verifiable fact
-> PC games require constant PC upgrades, at least every year if you want to be able to play the latest and greatest games, so the cost outlay is far far more. By contrast, once you’ve bought a console, you seldom need to upgrade it to play the latest and greatest (note I say seldom–I’m calling peripherals such as microphones, balance boards, and buzzers “upgrades”).
-> PC games require a larger investment of time than console games do. Furthermore, the attraction of console games is the “switch on, plug in, and play” capability. The one thing I hated about PC games is the fact that I have to have my system perfectly configured just to play one game. Console games, you just put the disc in and play. No lengthy wait times for booting (I’m looking at you, Windows!). Unfortunately, with current gen games, load times are comparable to PC games.

Sorry, Alex, but I don’t think you’ve thought your argument all the way through. Well, I may not have either, but I’m not going to make such wild predictions about the next 12 years!

[Link: Seattlepi.com via El33tOnline]

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My previous post made me seacrh around for the old AA battery powered games and I stumbled across this gem —-> Retrogames. There was also hand held empire. and Brainiac(not a pretty site, but got lots of images of the different hand helds which is what ya want).

One of the sections I was browsing was Nintendo… where I saw the “Nintendo Virtual Boy” from 1995, now I would consider myself fairly nerdy but I had never heard of this Nintendo creation. Seems it was a flop, but what a strange looking device (image below).

Nintendo Virtual Boy

I did finally find a few off my old handhelds… Castlevania and Pacman

I hope this gave you a nice warm feeling, and for those to young…. laugh now while you can because there will come a day when Nintendo DS and XBOX 360 will become – outdated, muhahaha.

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Found this gem while browsing VG Cats. Made me remember how much I enjoy (a) Mario and (b) 300.

[Link: VG Cats]

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