Archive for November, 2011

Is This Wii’s Good-Bye Year?

Happy Post-Thanksgiving! Whether full of turkey, or full of batmess-insane shoppers, I hope it’s been more enjoyable than not.

While the subject of the Wii is nothing new to “Is this the end of the Wii” articles for years, or more recently “Is this the end of Nintendo” due to the 3DS sales not meeting industry standards, and the Wii’s genuine drop-off this year, this one is more discussing the Wii’s performance as a software provider this year, and where they will be next year.

The Wii is no stranger to droughts. Things dried up in 2008 after the release of Mario Kart Wii, and with the exception of Punch-Out!!, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and a small handful of third party titles, 2009 was a dud. The same could be said for the first part of 2010, until the Fall season, in which there were so many good games it was hard to buy them all, even on sale.

Which leads us to this year….

The whole year has been focused around one title: Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Outside of a Bit.Trip compilation and Rayman Origins, I’ve heard relatively nothing on the third-party front. For all intents and Read the rest of this entry

Impressions of Skyrim.

I knew that when the day came for Skyrim‘s release, my social life would be taking a hit. And I was was. But you never expect how it will take over.

When I first played Oblivion, I found that I couldn’t. There are few games that offer you that much of an open world. That much freedom. And it overwhelmed me. But one day I sat down, convinced that I would master its expansive world. And it eventually all began to make sense. And took over my gaming time.

Skyrim, while seeming less unfamiliar, and less daunting, is no less impressive. In fact, it helps to make the last game that much more of a tangible place, and this is merely an expansion of that world to make it all the more “real”. It’s like going on a vacation: You may have never been to that new place before, but somehow you know this is all part of the greater whole. You almost wish that the games could be connected as one.

There are caves and towers and fields and snow covered mountains. There is the main quest to finish, but there Read the rest of this entry

R.I.P., Gary Garcia.

On November 17, Gary Garcia, one half of the Buckner/Garcia team that brought Pac-Man Fever to the radio waves, passed away.

I actually was lucky enough to get the album in the early 1980’s as a record (think of it as a large, black colored CD for you younger folk), and played it as endlessly as I poured over the record jacket memorizing Pac-Man patterns. To me, the album was great fun as it had the actual arcade sound effects instead of the wimpy “bonk bonk bonk” noise of the Atari 2600 version. The arcade always sounded more exciting.

In the late 1990’s, the duo brought the same album to the CD age by remastering the album, so I got that as well as the photo listed on the duo’s above-listed webpage.

Pac-Man Fever is one of those many footnotes in how deeply Pac-Man had ingrained himself in the public consciousness. Outside of Mario, no video game character has ever truly taken gamer and non-gamer alike in a rush of cartoons, bedsheets, breakfast cereals, T-shirts, pajamas, toys, games…. You had to have something of the actual “Pac-Man Fever”, and the song only played into that moment of a pop culture Read the rest of this entry

The 3DS These Days.

Periodically, I like to post comment on the state of the beleaguered 3DS, and how it’s coming along these days. To be quite honest, I really like the system. Granted, its shaky start is only seeming to work out a few more bugs in the last few weeks, but it’s got a few good things going for it, and better late than never?

I can only imagine what this next upgrade will bring. Outside of a few tweaks, I hope it brings some solid additions to the platform. I think Nintendo has learned to not be so complacent, and to not so readily underestimate the mobile phone competition. For that matter, I’m ready for those ten Game Boy Advance “Ambassador Program” games.

I still like the 3D. I still think it’s a well done feature, and from experience, I don’t get what some of the complaints are. The fact that the “gimmick” at hand actually works, and puts some nice visual perspective on gameplay really works for me. It’s a shame that Nintendo remains skittish about the feature, hyping up the fact that gamers can play in 2D as well. If they hadn’t been Read the rest of this entry

Back Again.

Finally, after a few weeks of being MIA, I’ve finally returned to what I hope will be a normal posting schedule.

Being that my personal schedule had gotten the better of me for well over a month, I didn’t have a lot of time to play video games, which in turn made for a very boring blog. It’s a little hard to write about something when you aren’t able to bring something to the table.

But November, which is absolutely teeming with gaming goodness in the form of a new Zelda, Skyrim, and Mario‘s 3DS debut, I’ll have things to cover.

I have put in some gaming time this month already, however. I’ve been playing Aliens: Infestation for the Nintendo DS, and am finally getting my feet wet with Batman: Arkham City. At least I can post some initial impressions about these two.

Long time readers knew that I was waiting for the DS Aliens game. A video popped up a few years back on YouTube, then was yanked down, and the game disappeared into the shadows for a long time. So long, in fact, that I figured that it was canceled, and my dreams of playing a 2D Metroid style Read the rest of this entry

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