Sunday, September 27, 2009

this is kind of an outrage

Nintendo is probably my favorite of the Big Three game publishers but I'm a little pissed off this weekend after discovering two pretty annoying slights that they've pulled with regards to Wii Sports Resort and the MotionPlus Controller. First, don't get your additional MotionPlus at GameStop (as we did of course); turns out Nintendo is pricing the controller add-on at $25 at GameStop whereas every other freaking retailer is selling it at its MSRP of $19.99. Hella lame. Second (and more grievous in my opinion) offense: when we bought our copy of Wii Sports Resort, it came bundled with one MotionPlus and we bought one extra for the above ripoff of $24.99. Now, not even a month later, there is a "limited" Wii Sports Resort bundle for $60 with TWO MotionPlus controllers. As it should have been originally considering that WSR's true value definitely comes in multiplayer mode. So being the loyal Nintendo brand fans and Wii players that we are, we dropped an extra $20 overall on our purchase of WSR and the MotionPlus add-ons that supposedly will be an important feature of tons of new great Wii games. So anyway, like with many other annoying life-isn't-fair moments, lazy gamers who don't want to support new innovative products are getting rewarded for holding their money until the companies have a chance to respond to the dumbass decisions they made in the first place. Hella. Laaaaaame. Boo on you, Nintendo, I hope this isn't a trend you're adopting.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

katamari forever review

I love love LOVE the Katamari series so it's no surprise that I am having a blast playing the latest release in the franchise, Katamari Forever on the Playstation 3. The game hit stores this Tuesday and I personally think it is a great followup to the Xbox 360 game Beautiful Katamari. If you've played the series before then picking up Katamari Forever is totally simple and intuitive, and if you've never tried rolling the katamari before, it's easy to get into it quickly. The gameplay mechanics are more of the same rolling and bouncing but now with an added "Prince hop" using the six-axis PS3 controls. There are also two new bonus items that can be found in most levels that give you fleeting magnetic power, sucking all available objects nearby right to your katamari. The music is the familiar J-Pop-y sound from the other games and while I do love it for the most part, I did worry about going insane a few times after my tenth or eleventh try through some of the longer, more challenging levels. The animation is one of the real high points of this new game: first, it is rendered in full 1080p so if you've got the HD setup already then it is gorgeous to behold. The game also has a cell-shaded "hand-drawn" look to it that makes it distinct from Beautiful Katamari, and there are also different filters you can apply to change the way each level is animated, which I think is a great customization option. There are some levels that will be familiar to you if you've played Beautiful Katamari but the challenges are new and there are also many new and innovative levels and challenges. The plot of the game is just as weird as ever and now includes two series of short movies that occur after beating certain levels. The wacky dialogue paired with Namco-Bandai translation makes for one hell of a weird gaming experience but I am totally smitten. If you've got a PS3, pick this game up for sure - it's even $10 less than most PS3 titles!

250 GB xbox 360 and PS3 bundles on the horizon

Once the dust has cleared after the recent price drops on the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 there will be more new bundles arriving on the market than ever, including a reported 250 GB hard drive Xbox 360 that will be released with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for $400, the previous price of the 120 GB Elite. While many gamers buy into the idea that bigger is always going to be better and more space is better than less, some feel that the systems are cheapening what they offer as far as performance and hardware by simply adding more storage space and charging more. This is an interesting argument and it's totally possible that such measures are desperate attempts to keep up with the ever-changing desires of today's gamers. Our systems are a 20 GB 360 and an 80 GB PS3 and while the PS3 does require installing a lot of data, we still have plenty of space although we don't really download much or store music on either system. What will be truly ridiculous will be when the next next generation of game systems is defined in terms of terabyte hard drives. Most likely the PSN and Xbox Live will have seriously kicked into gear with offering more stuff to download by then.

cops caught playing wii during drug raid

Not much to say about this one except: hilarious! A bunch of cops were caught playing Wii Bowling while raiding a drug dealers house in Florida. Those officers should probably just spring for a break room Wii especially once the rumored price drop happens. You have to figure that a drug dealer probably has a lot of disposable income and most likely an awesome video game collection and home entertainment system. People everywhere need to realize that between camera phones and the internet it is not safe to do anything you shouldn't be doing while on the clock.

Friday, September 18, 2009

finally finished professor layton 2

I have to admit, I've been playing Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box almost exclusively since I got it and with 22 hours logged into the DS game, I finally reached the end! I did my best to play the game through completely and while I have not yet ventured back out into the game to find the last few things I didn't do, I feel pretty good about my efforts. I found and solved 136 of 138 puzzles, completed the camera and hamster mini games and the subsequent camera-photo hidden puzzle minigame, and unlocked three of the five Layton's Challenges options in the Bonus section. I thoroughly enjoyed the Diabolical Box and found it to be a fun and innovative followup to Professor Layton and the Curious Village. If I had to find one fault with the game I would agree with reviews I read that criticize the seemingly random use of voice acting - it isn't just in cutscenes but it isn't in every scene and sometimes it's like one character gets a voice actor and the one he's talking to doesn't... plus the voice acting was just a wee bit questionable what with every voice being obviously a Japanese actor behind it despite what the accent was supposed to be. Nevertheless, this game was totally awesome and I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves challenging puzzle games and cute animation and music, whether you've played the first game or not. Two thumbs up for sure.

wii price drop?

The rumor mill is grinding away as busily as usual and it's only going to get crazier with the impending 2009 holiday season looming ahead of us. One of the latest (and greatest!) claims on the internet these days is that the Nintendo Wii is going to follow the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 in receiving a price drop before Christmas. Scanned images of circulars for several major retailers have leaked online (see Target's for the week of 9/27 at right), indicating that Nintendo's game console will most likely be dropping $50 off its pricetag and hitting shelves at $199 starting in October! I for one hope this is true and think it is a great move on Nintendo's part... the Wii's sales have slowed to a crawl and with the 360 Elite and the PS3 Slim priced only $50 more than the Wii, something for sure has gotta give. Personally I think Nintendo would be very smart to rebundle the Wii with a MotionPlus controller add-on and a copy of Wii Sports Resort for $250 - I mean, who really wants Wii Sports these days? Anyway, if you've never had a Wii before, consider investing in one at the reduced price as there are a lot of great games coming out, some of which should use the fantastic MotionPlus technology.

me so sorry!

Wow, it's been way, waaay too long since I've posted anything on this poor blog. I am such a neglectful blog-mom! But really, it hasn't been pure laziness like it usually is - I've been going through some pretty big changes to my everyday life in the last few weeks on top of doing a bit of traveling and the blog, well, it's just been sitting collecting cyber-dust. What's happened so far is this: I was laid off from one of my jobs (the career-oriented one, sadly - damn this economy!) but was immediately offered a new full-time job as the assistant manager of a store comparable to the Android's Dungeon on the Simpsons. I've also been calling it "Kind of A Lot O' Comics". We sell comic books, collectible action figures and statuettes, trading cards and vintage video games and game systems. It's actually pretty awesome and of course I consider myself lucky to have lost one job and gotten another one so quickly in today's job market. On top of that, my boyfriend and I traveled to his best friend's wedding for a weekend (and got much handheld gamage done on the road). Finally, because stress and money worries aren't enough, I've been fatigued and feeling like death for a few weeks now and finally decided to go to the doctor, who kindly informed me that at age 24 I have MONO! Boooo. So now I'm doing my best to get over that damn thing and not being able to go into work for a few days while I loll about on vicodin and prescription cough syrup.

Anyway, none of these are really good excuses for neglecting my lil' blog here but hey, things happen, video games go unplayed and video game stories go unreported. I'm going to try to power through some posts this weekend and get caught up - zero posts in September is a serious for shame. Sooo, anyone with cool ideas on stuff they would like to see me write about, feel free to drop me a comment. Also, to my (few but awesome) loyal readers, thanks for checking back and sticking with me, I promise that the future will bring far more regular postings, especially as we head into the holiday season, which always provides endless coverage on new games, system changes and big news in the video game industry. Thanks again for reading, emdroid hearts you!