Archive for December, 2011

My Console Choice Of 2011.

I won’t get into the history of the 3DS’ launch, or the painfully dry Summer that followed it. I’ve covered that time and time again, and really, there’s not much to say about it. The console launch was so bad that Nintendo price dropped the system less than six months after launch. And Nintendo never drops the price on anything these days. So for them to do that is a pretty telling sign of how bad things were going.

And yet, it’s my favorite gaming gadget of 2011.

For you see, despite all of its missteps this year, once it found its footing, the system positively ran with itself. That’s not to say Pilotwings and Nintendogs, Street Fighter IV and Lego Star Wars III were bad games, because they weren’t (I took advantage of those Toys R Us launch sales). But they lacked something. Sure they showed off 3D, and it was neat, but there was just something missing. The supposed launch showcase title, Kid Icarus: Uprising, went MIA until next year.

Not to mention that the system itself felt incomplete. The eShop finally took off in late Summer, activating a StreetPass feature was a Read the rest of this entry

Mario Kart 7: Post-Script.

There’s no gentle way to say it, so I’ll just say it.

I absolutely hated Mario Kart Wii.

Sure, it had some interesting tracks, and the Wii Wheel was amusing, as you would want motion control in a game like this, but I couldn’t not fathom the dishonest difficulty. There was nothing worse than being in first place, only to be blue-shelled into oblivion into last place, as Toad merrily zipped past you. The “punishment” doled out for skilled players was unbalanced, unreasonable and frustrating, even against the computer, of all things. It was one blue shell too many that made me set down my controller to walk away and never look back.

Sure the blue shells are in the 3DS version, but they don’t seem to enrage me as much.

Mario Kart 7, perhaps the least inspired of the named titles in the franchise, is actually good fun, and a throwback to more of the regular DS version (my favorite in the series). There’s a little bit of difficulty wonk, but at least I feel like I have a chance to recover, and in some cases, can. That’s all I really asked for.

The 3D is a nice effect in Read the rest of this entry

Post-Christmas Gaming.

You know, as we reached the holidays, one would think the concept of “free time” would be easier to attain, yet here I am a month later. Fortunately, I’ve got a few things to discuss over the remainder of the week, but for now, let’s talk the best time of the year: Christmas gaming.

For starters, I picked up this bad boy for my holiday decorations. I hadn’t planned to until I saw it in action, and then was committed from that point on.

For the rest of the holidays, I finally got an iPad, meaning that I can try out games on that platform now, and I also got a cool movie theater themed popcorn maker. Not a bad haul.

But as for proper games, I got two nice selections for Kinect: Kinect Disneyland Adventures and Just Dance 3.

It’s hard finding games for Kinect, and strangely, the best looking titles are essentially “kid’s games” (I still want to play the Sesame Street game).

But Kinect Disneyland Adventures is a near-perfect rendition of the Anaheim park, right down the Captain EO Tribute and the chairs in the food courts. About the only thing that’s missing are Star Tours and the Indiana Read the rest of this entry

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