Archive for December, 2010

Best and Worst of 2010.

It’s hard to believe that we have just a little over a day left of 2010, and then on to 2011. This has been an unusual year for gaming, and all things related, from the return of Classic Gaming Expo and Tron, to every company joining the motion control race, there’s been a lot to talk about. While this won’t be as formal of a list as previous years, I still have a lot to cover.

Best Game (Retail)

Epic Mickey – It’s so good to see Mickey Mouse return to proper gaming form with a real adventure under his belt. It’s not the motion controls that make this game. It’s not the system. It’s the heart. Warren Spector poured his love and very soul into this game, and even with a few unfortunate issues such as a screwy camera, and some control and backtracking quirks, those are easily dismissed when you realize that we got a big name, big budget game that somebody genuinely cared for the source material, licensed or not. A remarkable title for whatever system you like to play.

Best Game (Download)

Super Meat Boy – Infinitely difficult and mean-spirited, but always with a Read the rest of this entry

Video Games For Christmas.

Do you remember those “big” Christmases of days past, where it meant a new system, or some game that you were holding your breath for, and December 25th was the big moment of truth?

In Christmas of 1979, I got the Atari 2600, which I thought was amazing. Seriously. Games that could be played on the TV? It’s funny to think what is such a “normal” thing now was such a big deal back then.

I still remember my “mega game” Christmas of 1988. Super Mario Bros. 2 and Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest for the NES, and Phantasy Star, Miracle Warriors, and Ghost House for the Sega Master System.

Christmas 1992 was Super Star Wars for the Super Nintendo. I think I locked myself in my room that day and did nothing else.

Imagine my surprise when the missus surprised me with my first big “Gaming Christmas” in years. I got a Kinect with Kinect Sports, Dance Central, and Dance Masters.

While I got some “hands on” time with Kinect last month, I’m still amazed by the voice commands and facial recognition, and the sensing of the whole body as opposed to just a hand. Of course Kinect Sports Read the rest of this entry

General Post.

Geez, is it Christmas already?

Well, tomorrow, anyway. Therein lies why I haven’t been posting as much lately. I only finished up shopping just yesterday, and everything else has been holiday related whatever. I’m a bit surprised that I’m looking up and December is already over.

I’m typing this listening to the excellent Tron Legacy soundtrack via Daft Punk. I really need to see the film again before it leaves theaters, considering how much hype I’ve given the thing for the past two years.

There’s a ton of gaming subjects I’ve wanted to cover. Everything from Epic Mickey to X-Men Arcade. There are also upcoming discussions about my annoyance with store exclusive content for games, my gaming mindset these days, and a few more subjects. I find myself retreating more to retro gaming, indie titles, and RPGs, and it’s surprising (to me) that I’m becoming more set in these genres instead of exploring a little bit of everything like I used to. Maybe it’s a bad thing. Maybe it’s a good thing for the state of my wallet. If anything, I’ve still yet to mention my “Best Of/Worst Of” list.

Quite the year, 2010. With the Read the rest of this entry

How Things Change.

I found this Kotaku article interesting about the shift in the Wii’s software line-up this year. Any true open-minded gamer knows that this has been the best year the Wii has seen for quality software, quite possibly in its entire run.

It’s something of a “dead horse” argument that many considered Nintendo to have deserted its fanbase in search of the “blue ocean” strategy. The parents and grandparents. The casuals. The ones who never picked up a controller or lapsed from gaming long ago. In my opinion, 2007 was the last “traditional” year for how Nintendo used to handle things. That’s not to say that there weren’t some notable titles in 2008 and 2009, but they were few and far between, and quality was a whole other subject.

Yet Nintendo silenced naysayers with E3 2010 via an unprecedented number of high quality games. The “Wii has no good games” critique had been silenced. At least for this year. But what of the “new” audience the Wii had found at the cost of its original fanbase?

NPR Marketplace has this quote regarding and from 57 year old Elizabeth Bewley:

“She and her husband started playing Read the rest of this entry

Remember Owlboy?

Owlboy is a game that I heard about what feels like years ago.

The game itself looks pretty, like one of those Genesis games that I spent hours with:

That, and I’ve largely just reverted to playing 2D platformers and neo-retro style games. It’s funny that the farther we go out in technology, the more inclined I am go go back to the classic styles.

Anyway, I think Owlboy was supposed to be out in 2009. I keep hoping it will eventually see the light of day.

Tron Legacy Review.

This will be likely one of the few, if only film reviews I will do on here (though I did mention Scott Pilgrim last Summer), but due to its video game themed nature, it’s still appropriate content for this blog.

Let’s go back to 1982. 6 year old me was in a movie theater in Pensacola, Florida watching Tron with his Dad. I was amazed that this “world” existed inside the computer, and often felt bad for killing scores of digital warriors in my Atari and arcade games.

Fast forward in 1995. I had just entered the gaming industry in no small part to my love of this film. It’s where I purchased the Tron arcade machine. Not at first, mind you. I lost a sale to the local community college, but I was able to recover it when they sent it back. Good fortune or destiny, I owned the machine at last.

I’ve never forgotten Tron. Sure, it has its slow moments in the film, but the visuals continue to amaze me, and I still love the concept. In 2008, they announced a sequel, and for two years, I waited, with only ElecTRONica to Read the rest of this entry

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