Why I like the Wii-HD

29 06 2010

Well my PSPGo article was a hit with those that read it so I figured it was a good idea to go ahead and do another interesting hardware piece.  Partially because I found this fascinating and partially because Rogue Warrior didn’t get her yet so I can’t review it.  No this time out I am going to dig into why everyone hates the Wii HD all the sudden, if you’re thinking that that is weird because it doesn’t exist, read on to find out why.  In the mean time be sure to follow me on twitter @Zackysmack or email me at zackysmack@hotmail.com, and for me on the go listen to ‘The Zacky and Friends Know It All Show’ on iTunes or Podbean.

Wii HD

It's sort like this, only less shitty.

So the Wii HD was announced at E3 this year and in my opinion stood out with pretty great software and…..wait what you mean you didn’t see or read anything about the Wii HD?  I don’t see how that’s possible, I mean it was a big focus at the press conference; they announced a price point and everything.  Oh well I suppose it’s possible you heard it but its new name, The Playstation Move.  Yes folks the Playstation Move is the Wii HD, say what you want about new feature and better controls and all that nonsense but when you get right down to the core of it, it’s plain as day that the Move is an HD Wii.  It even comes with a collection of party games to show off the motion controls and features a game made up of Playstation mascots.  It’s everything you would expect from a company that is trying to make a product for a specific group of people.  Sony basically built a product that does everything people that wanted Wii HD were looking for, and everything have done makes perfect sense to position themselves to go head to head with the little white happy box, and indeed beyond what the Wii’s market is.  So that all makes sense but what doesn’t make sense is the sheer amount of negative backlash that Sony has gotten for it.

Kevin Butler

How can you hate this man?

Think about how insane this is for a few seconds, what have most people said over the last few years?  That the Wii is fun but boy it would be better if you could run it in HD and it had 1 to 1 motion control.  So Sony more or less listened and built a product that exactly fit that demographic, and they debut it at E3 this year with a lot of demos and show off moments.  The next week or so, was a bevy of opinions and articles that all said the Move didn’t impress because it was ‘Just a Wii HD’ and I sat as one very confused lad.  That was exactly what people wanted, they wanted a Wii HD with more precise controls, hell in the weeks leading to E3 I heard numerous predictions that a Wii HD would be announced and that it would be a hit.  People complained that you can’t show off Wii games at E3 because it was standard def and that made it hard to blow up the image.  So what was the problem, why was Sony’s product, that met every requirement people wanted, the bad guy here?

Let’s think about this for a second, are we really this fickle?  Have gamers really become so brand loyal that if one brand gives us what we wanted from another brand we just write it off as copying rather than embrace the gift we are given?  If a Wii HD had been announced would everyone have been saying that Nintendo was merely copying Sony and Microsoft?  I guess I just don’t understand why this door doesn’t swing both ways.

Door

See people are scared of this shit.

If Nintendo copy’s people then it’s just Nintendo brining themselves into this generation but if Sony or Microsoft copies Nintendo then there just trying to get money.  When did this double standard start?  Who knows but I am here to tell you why you should write Move off just yet so let’s get into that.

First off let’s dispel this notion that because Nintendo did it first they will always do it better.  I would ask anyone who reads this what their primary video game console of choice is, going out on a limb and saying PS3 or 360, or hell even the PC if you’re one of those freaks of nature.  Maybe at one point it was the Wii but it probably stopped.  Why is that I ask you?   Well there is a myriad of reasons why people stopped using their Wii’s as the primary console mostly because there wasn’t a look of consistently good games, the hardware in no way took advantage of current TV setups, and the controls for 90% of the games were a big giant semen and queep sandwich.  Mostly because they were never really 1 to 1 controls.

Motion Plus

Once again Nintendo gives simple guides for simple products for simple people.

For those of you that don’t know, 1 to 1 means that it responds directly to the motion you’re making instead of just responding to A motion.  So unless you’re playing Super Mario Galaxy 2 (which is the only game that really uses the motion plus to its fulliest) your average Wii game is simply looking for a motion of the controller going left to right, it doesn’t care how fast or far you go or what angle you take just that A motion was made in that direction.  1 to 1 is when the game will take into account how fast you went, how far you went, that sort of thing.  So the Wii doesn’t really do that, Move on the other hand (I guess that’s sort of a pun, maybe?) does do that, and when seeing the demos for Sorcery and The Fight it really becomes apparent.  In sorcery is your flailing to fast the spells are less accurate, in the fight a weak punch from you may just glance off the opponent which means you sort of have to actually pace yourself.  The point is that Move does do motion control better then the Wii does, who cares who did it first, the Ford Motor Company built the first mass produced U.S. car but that doesn’t stop people from buying Audi’s.  Worry about who does it better, otherwise we would all still be playing Wolfenstien games instead of enjoying Modern Warfare, or still be playing Mario and Zelda games instead of enjoying…..well pretty much still Zelda and Mario games I suppose.

In case you have been living under a rock for the last few years, or I guess are a Nintendo Fanboy, then you probably know that there aren’t a lot of really great Wii games out there.  Most of its shovelwear at best, and at worst a Brats game.

Bratz

Oh sorry my bad, 'Bratz'.

Sony has arguably the best lineup of exclusives today, and overall almost nothing in the of shovelwear, even if just the First Party titles are Move enabled along with the Move built games you are already talking about a better bunch of games at launch then Wii has after 4 goddamn years.  Just playing Heavy Rain with full motion controls and going through the agonizing ‘Open this slowly’ prompts should be enough to get your excited for that.  You combine those games with the actual feel of the controller and you should start to be getting a picture as to why the Move is a vastly improved Wii.  Keep in mind that as well as separate control schemes to titles like Killzone 3 and SOCOM 4 you get games like Sorcery and Heroes on the Move which are purpose built just to handle the Move controller.  So now you have the benefit of the PS3 power and online capabilities combine with the fun of motion control.

Cars and Chicks

Almost as deadly as hot chicks and cars.

If you think about it, the average shitty party game Wii thing that seems to sell so well, could just be a 20 dollar PSN title on PS3 instead of full disc based content, which for the families and *Shudder* casual gamers that play them I think would probably work out better.  That’s the real trick of it you see, because of the depth in development studio’s Sony has they can push out Eyepet for the kids, Sports Champion for the familes, Heroes on the Move for the younger players, SOCOM 4 for the hardcore, and Sorcery for everyone(although no one will admit playing it).  You’re talking about a depth of titles the Wii has never had, and will never have because Nintendo are such dicks to people that wanted to make games for them.  Often refusing to let 3rd parties use their tech before it comes, hence the reason Motion Plus had next to no games at launch.

Motion Plus

Except for shitty sports game and Red Steel 2.

‘Man this Wii game is great, too bad when I plug it into my 48 Inch TV it looks like if someone made hamburger out of Jack Black’s ass.’  Clearly I am paraphrasing here, but in general as much as Nintendo and there fan’s hate to admit it, HD is kind of what most people have now.  480P is all fine and dandy when it’s running through the proper cables with the software in the background to make it look nice on a HD setup (hence the reason I haven’t had to burn all my old DVD’s).  But for all intents and purposes the Wii has none of those things, so when the average family wants to play Warioware 900 or Mario Party 57 and hooks it into their nice living room Samsung TV it looks bad.  Is the gameplay still great?  Yeah sure it is but again whether you want to admit it or not games have to look good in order for our brains to accept them.  Metal Gear Solid still has great gameplay on the PS1, but put it in and try it out and you’re going to enjoy it less because of the visuals.

Metal Gear

Oh yeah thats so beautiful my eyes are bleeding.

My point is that great visuals can make a shitty game seem better, and bad visuals can make a great game seem worse, hence the existences of the now famous ‘It looks good for a Wii game’ excuse reviewers throw out there all the time.  Imagine a world where you didn’t need qualifiers for the visuals of games, imagine if you could hook your family friendly party to your TV and not have to worry about an image that’s about 2 feet wide being pulled to over 4 feet wide.  Again Nintendo knows there system works like shit when running in HD, most games do unless they have the necessary patches, but Nintendo can’t push those because they have no online portal or harddrive to push them to.  I am not saying that Mario isn’t fun because it’s not as pretty as Uncharted, I am saying that the experience of playing Mario is hurt because it looks like a pretty PS2 game.  If visuals weren’t important then we would still be playing the N64, but we aren’t are we?  We go back to those old games from time to time and play them for a while but we stop and then come back to what we have now, because really these games are better.   Every Wii game before and to come is going to have this problem, but again thanks to Move on Sony’s side you get the Wii HD experience.

Sports Champion

Looks a little better then Wii Sports resort.

To me this whole thing comes down to what kind of gamer you are, no I don’t mean casual, hardcore, family, etc.  Because quite frankly those bases are covered, no I mean are you brand loyal or someone who just wants the best?  My first console was an Atari, and it was great, but then I got NES because it was a better platform, then I switched to Sega because it was a better platform, then back to N64 because it was better, however I moved to PS1 because it offered better games, next up it was PS2, then XBOX, then PS3.  I jump around because I don’t care who makes my system, I care who gives me the best value.  If Microsoft builds a console that won’t shit all over itself and die, gets more than 3 good games, and offers more features then PS3, then I would happily buy that system, same goes for Nintendo.

Dreamcast

Except this thing, it was the only console that was too good.

I am not a Fanboy, I think I have said that a 1000 times over, what I am is someone who looks at things in the most objective way possible, by comparing each point and seeing what happens.  This article may come off as fanboyish because it’s extremely pro Sony but then again think about what I am telling you.  I am not trying to tell you the Move is anything but a Wii-HD, I am simply telling you that it’s not a bad thing.  The jump from one console generation to another is typically defined by the visuals and then the innovations in gameplay you can get from the upgrade to power.  Which is exactly what this is, the Move and Move games look better and they play better.  If that was motivation enough to jump from the Atari to the NES, to the SNES, to the N64, to the PS1, to the PS2, to the PS3 then why it is all the sudden no longer enough to get you excited.

This is the upgrade in hardware that everyone has wanted for years now, stop bickering and getting hung up on who did it first, just embrace the technology for what it is; a better overall experience for the gamer.  I hated Move, but now that I see it and can actually compare it to something, well I have to say I am won over and will be picking one up along with a copy of Sorcery and then figuring out how to make sure no one can ever see how stupid I look while playing it.  So just enjoy the Wii-HD for what it is; the Playstation move.

Sorcery

There is no way you can play this and not feel like a giant nerd.

Peace





The Zacky and Friends Know It All Show Episode 8: E3 Blowout Edition

21 06 2010

As promised its the Zacky and Friends Know It All Show Episode 8, the post E3 spectacular.  I am joined in the studio by Velius and EttenCo for a 3 member blowout of all things E3.  No movie review this week, instead we opt to follow the E3 pattern and do Microsoft first, Nintendo Second and Sony third, finishing up with the big games that weren’t there.  Due to the nature of 3 friends working on this one there are plenty of stories and tangents that we break into, making this the longest and by far the funniest episode yet.  As always be sure to follow me on Twitter @Zackysmack, email me your podcast logo submissions with your mailing address for a chance to win a free copy of Need For Speed Shift for the PS3 at zackysmack@hotmail.com, and finally check out the show at: http://zackysmack.podbean.com/  Enjoy the show everyone, its just the cure for your Mondays.

Peace





The Zacky And Friends Know It All Show: Episode 6

4 06 2010

Hello again everyone, time for episode 6, and boy have we got a great for you today.  No less then 2 hosts come at you tonight with brand new recording equipment and microphones, dissecting the gaming news and rumors from the week.  First starting with a traditional movie review of the sleeper hit ‘The Human Centipede’, we follow that up with ‘what have you been playing?’ and then roll right into our taste in games we have been buying lately, after that its all about ModNation racers and Killzone 3.  Finally finishing things up with some rumor killers.  As always the show is very explicit and because of the two hosts is now twice the length, clocking in at around 1:10:00.  Be sure to follow me on twitter @Zackysmack or email me at Zackysmack@hotmail.com.

Catch the show on the iTunes store or here at PodBean: http://zackysmack.podbean.com/





E3 Predictions Week: Day 1: Nintendo!

18 05 2010

Hey everyone it’s time for E3 predictions!  Think of this as more of an itemized list, some of the topics I will just state, while others I will go into a little more.  I am breaking this into 3 articles because if I did 1 article it would just be: Wii will be about sales figures, Xbox will say they have outsold ps3 which means there better apparently and then Natal, and PS3 had the best year ever for them (which is still worse than everyone else) and then bring forth and onslaught of games.   So this way I can kind of work each one individually.  Enjoy E3 week everyone, feel free to follow me on Twitter @Zackysmack(caps is important  I guess) email me at zackysmack@hotmail.com with any questions or comments you may have, also catch my podcast on podbean or the iTunes store.  If all that tickles you in the right way maybe you might even want to comment on an article or two.

E3

Welcome to E3!....Predictions!

Incidentally I wrote these all last week so if something in here has already happened this week, have no fear I am not just lazy, no, in fact I am right and you can feel free to mark it down as a win for me.

Okay so to do an E3 special on Nintendo is hard for a couple of reasons; 1. I don’t really follow Nintendo during the year which makes this hard, 2. Nintendo are like fucking Ninja’s when it comes to keeping things secret, and 3. This is not a shot at Nintendo as I am trying to keep this pretty unbiased, but they seriously just don’t have that much that is that secret, new, or interesting to talk about.

Logo

Welcome to the big show big 'N'

But alright here is probably how it will start, Reggie will come out and read about 3 times more sales figures then is necessary.  Seemly attempting to make us think that because they have up until this point sold more hardware than anyone else, that means they are by far the best platform for games, gamers, and developers.  Which we all know is utter crap sense Playstation 1 outsold the Dreamcast and that was to hell and gone the better platform.  After that is finished up we get into the actual information.

NUMBER 1 – Online Functionality

Tri Logo

The start of something great, er well new at least.

Nintendo has talked a lot recently about being more of an online platform and I can respect that.  Being an online platform means a bunch of extra revenue streams and sense Nintendo pretty much bled their primary steam dry, they need new ones.  So I think that in their E3 press conference Nintendo will announce enhanced online functionality for their console, this will build on the popularity of Monster Hunter Tri which apparently was the game that showed Nintendo that online is fun and does sell games.  I am talking about the possibility of an actual friends list with game joining and chat.   I know what you’re thinking, that that is wayyyyyy to forward thinking for the Wii.  Well remember everyone, they’re hurting right now, the bubble has officially burst and on their current course there heading for financial issues in no time.  Sense the Wii HD is but a theory on the horizon they have to start doing something more with this one, other than making it black, hence the reason I think that out of self preservation they will be forced to start some sort of online component.

NUMBER 2 – GAME ANNOUNCEMENTS

So Nintendo needs good games, and I mean badly, they need games that can re-energize and re-interest core gamers in the console if it is to sustain itself over the next 3 years.  So I think the bulk of the middle section of their presentation will be focused on some of their new games.

Pikmin 3

Look at this fake boxart, it's not even funny, fuck you Nintendo.

Pikman 3; the Pikman series actually did pretty good on the Wii and the gameplay lends itself to the Wii-mote pretty well actually.  Especially with the new fancy Wii-motion plus you should be able to accurately control your Pikman.  I also think that Pikman 3 will have online features and Miyamoto will have his stamp all over the game as well.  Expect this one to come early in presentation to get the crowd a little more excited about it before they bring out the big guns.

Legend of Zelda; Alright well this is a big gun, the last one was game of the year back in 06(05? 07?) regardless this is a hotly anticipated title.  I mean not for me, but for most people who like playing the same thing over again every 2 years this game is a big deal.  This is your big middle reveal; I expect a trailer and some gameplay footage for this one, even if the game won’t hit for a year Nintendo can still ride the wave of it.  Do not under any circumstances expect anything new with this, it will pretty much be exactly what you expect, but as God of War taught us, sometimes that isn’t a bad thing.

Metroid Collage

Unrelated Samus Aran Picture.

Meroid A.K.A. Project M; So Nintendo has been building this for the better part of 2 years now, or at least it’s assumed they have.  Honestly trying to find information about internally developed projects (that would be the collection of rouge’s and assassin’s known only as RD1) at Nintendo is about as hard as getting the Death Star Plans, and unfortunately I don’t have any Bonthan spies.  This creates a virtual black hole of information, what I can tell you is that Nintendo’s RD1 is working together with Team Ninja on this one, which I am not sure if words can describe how completely un-normal that is for Nintendo.  This implies that the game will be rated Mature, and probably ditch the FPS look for 3rd person action title that will most likely have a higher emphasis on platforming then previous titles.  Expect that game to almost have an Uncharted feel.  I also think this will come at the very end of the press conference, something big to go home with, because I feel that this will arguably be there biggest announcement of E3, I also expect to see gameplay, albeit brief.

NUMBER 3 – 3DS….OR WHATEVER.

3DS

Artists rendering of Nintendo 3DS

So regardless of what Nintendo is going to call this thing, it is going to be a huge part of their presentation.   It’s no secret that Nintendo pretty much owns the handheld market, there sales in Japan alone are enough to control the world.  So the next iteration of the platform will be a big deal, and I expect to be able to hold and play it in 3D at E3.  In fact when you get to the Sony E3 post you will see why I think handhelds are going to be even more of a war this year than in previous years.  But yes overall expect an official hardware unveiling, a name, a price, a release date, and a software lineup for launch.

NUMBER 4 – PERIPHERALS

Vitality Sensor

It's one purpose? To be a constant supply of vaguly sexual images.

A heavy emphasis of the Wii model is on the sale of add-on peripherals, a while back we had the Wii-Vitality sensor announced and I expect this to be pushed at the press conference, showing off new ways to use it, and probably some sort of Wii-fit integration, as well as a way to use it with your DS’s.

I also think there will be an official sword thing for your wii-mote from Nintendo and that this will go directly with the new Legend of Zelda.

NUMBER 5 – S.W.A.G.

Marky Mark

Once played a Sniper named Swagger.

Sophisticated Wild Ass Guess; the backbone of E3 is of course the completely ridiculous predictions; this show would be no fun if everyone knew everything and everything made sense.  So here are the final bits of my predictions; the fun ones that shouldn’t be taken too seriously but probably could happen…maybe.

New Luigi game:  Luigi’s Mansion is one of the real gems of the Gamecube, sure the character isn’t as well known as Mario but neither of them really has definite cannon to what you can and can’t do with them.  I think Nintendo is going to start to recognize that there are a bit too many Mario games out there.  So whats the best way to solve that problem?  Make another Luigi game, it doesn’t have to be Mansion 2, but I think now would be the perfect time to let Luigi come out of the shadow and star in something that is unique to him.  Mario went to space, maybe Luigi can go….underwater….yeah there you go.  So announced at E3 this year will be: Super Luigi Deep Sea Wii.

Fire Emblem:  Also a pretty good series of turn-based RPG’s, I expect the next one to be announced at E3 this year.  Not because it really deserves it, but more because they need some new blood.

Fire Emblem

Obviously not this Wii Fire Emblem, but like a new one.

This one is weird, I know, but I think that Call of Duty Black Ops will be shown off to some degree at E3 this year, the Wii will want to showcase a ‘hardcore’ game on their console and Black Ops is just the one to do it.

Kid Icarus: I think it’s been something like 2 years sense people thought this game was being made, but at this year’s show you’re going to actually see it, or at least have a reconfirmation that it is being made.

Kid Icarus

Look concept art from 2007, fucking confirmed.

Mario Kart:  A big franchise for them, it’s been a year so they best get the next one out.

Here is my big S.W.A.G. for the day, this is the one bombshell that I realistically think could drop and if it does it will make some big damn ripples.  Based on the Metal Gear Touch concept, I think they will get a stripped down version of Rising.

Box Art

I really hope it's called 'The Last Snake'.

So there you have it, my list of E3 for Nintendo, be sure to check back tomorrow for the 360 write up, sure to feature plenty of *meh*.  In a couple of weeks you can print out your copy then sit down in front of your computer and see what  I was and wasn’t right about.  Hell by the time this is published some of it might have already happened, as its going up about 7 days after I wrote it.

Peace.





E3 Week is Coming!

14 05 2010

Hey everyone just a quick reminder, next week will be E3 week here at Zacky Knows It All.  Monday night at around 7pm Central time my Wii predictions will be going up, same time Tuesday night my 360 predictions will be going up, and then same time Wednesday night my PS3 predictions will be going up.  So come back everyday for another 5 pages of E3 predictions, broken down into, hardware, software, firmware and S.W.A.G. which are my total shots in the dark.  Anyways yeah its a theme week, three days of content, enjoy everyone!

Peace





(Not weekly)News roundup, May 10th edition.

11 05 2010

Hey everybody it’s time for a news roundup (dropping the ‘weekly’ from the title for obvious reasons) as we get closer to E3 the amount of news starting to leak out is fricken ridiculous so I figured it was my duty to start sifting through some of it.  Although I will be clear that this is not E3 predictions, this is just de-bunking things in the news right now.  As always make sure to follow me on Twitter for work related hilarity @zackysmack, or hit up my email zackysmack@hotmail.com for any questions comments or concerns you may have, and last but not least you can find my podcast on the iTunes store by searching ‘Zacky knows it all show’ or catch it on podbean.  So take part in the Zacky community folks.

Logo

As fair and balanced as Fox News.

LittleBIGPlanet 2 first looks hit the intertubz today.  Verdict: I am still grinning

LBP Logo

Like this, only with a '2'.

I remember when I got LBP, I was really excited to play it and even more excited to jump into the online world and start making stuff.  Well after the first few days I realized the controls were lacking somewhat which really hurt the whole platforming aspect of it and the creation tools were….how can I put this….about as difficult as trying to have sex with someone while wearing a chastity belt, yeah that metaphor works pretty well.   Some people made great things (which the admin’s promptly deleted) but most people didn’t, most people tried to make one to two levels and then just gave up and played levels made by those select few with enough crippling social skill issues to actually make a vaguely playable level.  That is not to say it’s a bad game, on the contrary it was a brilliant game, the ideas and concepts it opened people up to were nothing short of incredible, it was fun and cute, and generally made everyone feel pretty comfortable with playing it.  But as far as delivering on its promise of fun easy tools that would let anyone make God of War in a night, well in that aspect it fell woefully short of expectations, much like Bionic Commando – ZING!

Bionic Commando

$10 at Best Buy, no shit, cheaper then Haze.

A sequel was inevitable, the game sold well and is currently in Meta-critics top 10 games (which technically mean absolutely fucking nothing), so today the first batch of screens, trailers, previews, and website launches hit the net and I spent a good part of my morning reading through them.  Now because of what I listed in the first paragraph I think it’s safe to say I was somewhat skeptical of the sequel, but for once my lack of editing skills comes in handy as ‘was’ is the proper word to use here.  I am excited for this game, no let me rephrase that, I have been smiling sense 9am this morning when I read what I read.  The depth to the toolset that is now being created is, to quote Ghandi ‘Totally fucking insane’ (Editors note:   Ghandi should be replaced with Alex Evans from Media Molecule.)

Alex Evans

In my defense he kind of looks like Ghandi.

Let me just give you a short list here; dynamic camera angles, programmable NPC bots, CPU chips to allow programmable vehicles and events, ability to record voiceovers, ability to design cutscenes, and web integration with your own sub-domain so you can link people levels to download on facebook and shit.  That is just the new features they listed today, what this means for the idiots out there is that it’s no longer a platforming game that allows you to make more platforming games.  It is now a platforming game that lets you make any game.  The adjustable camera allows for top down shooters, top down racers, and RTS games.   The NPC’s and cutscene integration allow you to make story driven games as well as RPG’s.  I could go on but honestly it will be more fun if you just think of things you can do yourself.  Layers of complexity are not all that has been added however, they have simplified and streamlined the toolset.  The biggest thing is the CPU however, now you no longer require a 1600’s style set of switches to make something work, the  CPU allows you to engineer whatever you want, hell you can change the control scheme around if you want and implement(please don’t) SIXAXIS.

SIXAXIS

Seriously do not use it.

The long and short is that the level of new stuff is so impressive that I am excited for this game all over again, my mind is already racing with things to do in the game, and this time it might actually be possible.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 comes with a DVD that teaches you how to play. Verdict: That is the dumbest and smartest thing I have ever heard.

Okay, I don’t like Nintendo, I especially don’t like the Wii, mostly because it’s a children’s toy for children and old people, and it is not a video game console.  It dropped that moniker about a year ago, and if you disagree then you can fuck right off and go back to writing Samus fan-fic you useless fanboy idiot.  So when Nintendo said there going to include a DVD with SMG2 that teaches you how to waggle your remote and hit ‘A’, you probably expected me to be spewing all kinds of hate towards the little white (black now too) box.  Get ready for a shock here because I actually think it’s a good idea, sure initially I sat and made fun of it with my roommate for literally hours, but after a few days to think about it I start to see why this is a good idea…..well sort of.

Box Art

Pictured Above: A Good Idea.

You see Nintendo, for all they do that pisses me off, still will drive the industry on occasion, and sometimes in a positive way.  In this case Nintendo helped pave the way for motion control, and although I am not a fan of the Wii mote, I am warming up the PS Move and project Natal as being effective ways to actually help video games at least be more accessible to the average folk.  With development costs spiraling out of control like my lingering connection to human beings, there is a point where the gamer nation is going to have to accept a certain amount of casual gamer pandering is required to fuel Call of Duty 900.  So in that regard the idea of a disc to help parents and their children learn how to play a game that is significantly more complicated than that boxart lets on, is something that I am more or less behind.  In the end the disc in theory is a good idea that will help people not to be so frustrated, but theory, as John Oppenheimer learned, is a dangerous thing that can sometimes blow up in your face.

Atomic Blast

IN THE FACE!!!!

Now that was obviously the reasoning behind ‘Smartest’ now the reason it is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.  To put it quite simply; the DVD doesn’t actually work in the insanely unpowered Wii.  That’s right folks, people who are already technically retarded will crack open there game case and see a handy instructional DVD.  They will then put that DVD into their Wii at which point nothing will happen, said people will then most likely take the game back to the store and complain that they got a corrupt disc.  This will begin a horrible cycle of buying and returning and general levels of frustration.  Let’s assume eventually you figure out the disc needs to go into a DVD player, in order to really use the disc you will then have to have two tv’s in your living room or wherever you’re playing, in order to see the instructions and be able to apply them to the game.  So what family with the level of retardation required to need this disc is going to have two independent tv’s in their main family room?

Family

These people are certainly retarded enough.

Overall the concept is good at its base level but like most things Nintendo, it’s just that: a concept, a poorly realized idea that someone at Nintendo had a few months back and no one else bothered to put any thought into.

Remedy has said there entire studio depends on Alan Wake doing well.  Verdict: Why is it on 360 then?

Box Art

Admittedly a cool box.

Alan Wake has been getting great reviews, praising the story and atmosphere of the game as well as the interesting innovations in lighting and gameplay mechanics.  Okay sunshine, what kind of game does that sound like to you?  ‘3RD Person action Zack’ No shit, I mean what console do you assume a game with those attributes will be on?  The obvious answer is PC, which isn’t even a console you idiot, it’s no surprise that Remedy has always been a PC developer.  Those snobby pricks with high end gaming rigs love to brag about interesting and innovative games that seem to flourish on their platform, but if we then eliminate the PC’s from the mix what happens?  When you think of games that take risks with different story telling techniques, different gameplay mechanics, and main characters with traits that vaguely resemble humans, do you typically then think of those games being associated with the 360?  No of course not, the 360’s bread and butter are hardcore FPS.  See that’s my point here, this game is too interesting to be on the 360.

Halo

See its interesting and new, and also not real.

Now this isn’t just a strong PS3 bias that I have been accused of having, and still maintain that I don’t have, (Seriously I crucify Sony regularly) speaking here.  I am honestly trying to help Remedy out because I love Remedy; they made Max Payne which is one of my favorite game series of all time.  Earlier last week they stated that they pretty much staked the entire company on Alan Wake, which if you consider it’s a 360 exclusive title and the questions I posed above then you begin to see why I don’t understand the decision to bet your future on a 360 game.

I am honestly just trying to help Remedy because as far as I know they have no allegiance to Microsoft Game Studios, this was just a decision they made a few years ago.  Ditch the PC which must have been tough for them, and considering it started development about 5 years ago, the decision to dump the PS3 would have been painfully fucking easy.  So what was left?  Well the 360 of course, it’s essentially a PC anyways.  Hence the reason it’s on the 360, Remedy isn’t getting a lot of money for this, as apparent by the in game advertising and Remedy’s statement of ‘We will be out of business if it doesn’t sell well.’  So in the end there depending on the 360’s owners group to want to go out of their way to try something completely new and interesting.  Which is why I am nervous for Remedy, the 360 crowd isn’t into the whole ‘interesting’ or ‘new’ section of games.  That’s more of a PC and PS3 thing; see Braid, Trine, Heavy Rain, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., LittleBIGPlanet, and Demon’s Souls.

STALKER

In case you didn't know, STALKER is pretty fucked.

Overall my suggestion is that Remedy will probably break even on the 360, but honest to god if they ported it to PS3 I would guess that more PS3 gamers would take a leap on it then 360 gamers.

Call of Duty: Black Ops, or Medal of Honor?  Verdict: *Shrug*

No seriously I haven’t played either one of them so I have no idea which one is better; I don’t think anyone knows which one is better.  But that hasn’t stopped those questions from being raised has it?  At this point we have one Black Ops trailer that is 45 seconds of 1 second cuts, and two Medal of Honor trailers that are just cutscene’s.  Other than that, we know Treyarch is making BO which is typically the kiss of death for any game, and we know EALA is making Medal of Honor, and they typically make RTS games.  So fuck it you know?  Neither of these companies really deserve to be making either of these games anyways so I am just going to have no expectations and hopefully be surprised in a couple of months when I will most likely buy them both.

Medal of Honor

Although I am probably getting this one first.

The rest of you are invited to do the same, or most likely, go to forums and talk about who sucks more cock; Activision or EA because in the end that is all that really matters anyways isn’t it internet?

Miyamoto tells gamers that the Wii is an online platform; then lies more.  Verdict: It’s ranting time!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha oh my god I don’t like Miyamoto very much at all, he is like Phil Harrison used to be at Sony in my opinion.  He is kind of a face they wheel out so everyone will be star struck but the second you actually ask him a question his entire moniker falls apart like an argument about Chuck Norris.  He will always provide the dumbest possible answer, and then probably contradict that answer with an even dumber one.  Granted he is not speaking his native language and native Japanese translates to English about as well as Megan Fox translates to my penis.  But if that was really the issue they probably would have just gotten him a fucking translator by now.

Miyamoto

Needed: A Fucking Translator.

No the issue here is that he is a gamer maker and an average one of those at that, that has somehow gotten into a PR roll with Nintendo where he is forced to answer questions that are well beyond his knowledge base.  When people talk to Cliffy B they ask him how much bigger and more badass his next game is going to be, to which he replies ‘totally fucking bigger, totally fucking badass….er’ and that’s the end of it.  They do not then ask him about EPIC games 5-year online console and pricing strategy because ‘bigger and more badass’ no longer applies.  Miyamoto not only gets asked those questions, he typically feels he is qualified to answer them.  I don’t care if Nintendo saw fit to move him up into some sort of director’s position with the company, it’s at best a figurehead spot he was given to say thanks for all his years of loyal service.

So when asked today about Nintendo’s online strategy he replied that Nintendo is not playing catch up in online features, they are in fact right with everyone else and Nintendo would love it if every Wii was connected to the internet all the time.  Well if that was the case then why didn’t they come with Ethernet ports?  Surely autoconfigured ports are easier then setting up wireless on the Wii?  360’s are the same price and they have an Ethernet port, and a fucking harddrive, although curiously no wireless.  Anyone who says the Wii is an internet ready machine that can match up to Xbox Live and the PSN is an idiot or Miyamoto, who is also an idiot.  Just because you finally released a game with multiplayer functionality (Monster Hunter Tri for the uneducated unwashed masses out there) does not mean you are now an ‘online’ console.  Much like Wii speak does not mean you have headset capability (which no joke is an argument he made a year ago).

Wii-Speak

Not a goddamn headset.

The thing that pisses me off about it more than anything else is that, simply put you let him get away with it, and by ‘you’ I mean those ‘real’ gaming journalists.  When Gabe Newell, Bobby Kotick, Dr. Z, Peter Moore, or literally anyone else in the industry is asked the kinds of questions that Miyamoto is asked, those people respond with good intelligent answers and if they don’t the interviewer proceeds to ask them more questions and generally make them look stoopid.  Notice that some of those people are lower on the totem pole then Miyamoto is now and we still expect them to have answers.  The gaming journalists of the world never ever ask him the tough questions, nor do they go after him when he has the wrong answer, it’s like there too star-struck or too nice or too envious or whatever the reason.  However, I guess its okay that no one else cares because I am pretty sure this shit only really bothers me…..and Garnett FUCKING Lee!

Garnett Lee

Recognize

The best part is later in the same fucking interview Miyamoto said that Nintendo’s online platform is in fact so ridiculously goddamn good that they should probably start charging people to use it.  Yeah that would be great because we could all laugh at the 5 dollars that would bring in monthly from like the 10 people using their Wii’s online to play Animal Crossing.  Whatever, so Miyamoto said something dumb and Nintendo online model is good for 1 of the 5000 games on the system, what an earth shattering announcement by me, next I might tell you that the Sun is hot, or that Bruno Ganz plays a mean Hitler.

Ganz

One mean Hitler.

Peace





No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. A Wii Review by Velius

27 02 2010

Another new author introductions.  This is Velius’s work, he is a master of all things Japanese and one of the most industry savvy people I know.  Formerly the best the World of Warcraft player in the world(of warcraft), and generally one of the best RPG players you’ll ever meet.  Currently, however, he is my only friend that owns a Wii so here is his review of probably one of the only Wii games I would consider being worth it to buy.  Enjoy everybody, oh yeah by the way please email any questions or requests for articles to zackysmack@hotmail.com or hit me up on Twitter at Zackysmack, thanks everybody.

No More Heroes 2 is about the farthest thing from a commercial success a game can get. The reason being not the game content or time of delivery, but a group of unique qualifiers that when put together spell doom for any game.

  1. Its Mature Rated
  2. Its Third Party
  3. It’s on the Wii

See, the first two items might spell financial success for any platform that is not Nintendo Wii honestly, most of the big hitters in Playstation 3 and Xbox360 are Mature third party titles, but somehow, beyond any logic, the Wii has the highest install base of either the PS3 or Xbox360 and yet games sell the goddamn least on it, except if you’re a sequel to a game from 1993 of course.

New Mario Brothers

10.5 Million sold. What the fuck?

What was going on? Oh yeah, No More Heroes 2, most likely scenario is that you have never played No More Heroes 1, more likely scenario is that you didn’t even know No More Heroes existed. Well I suppose I should get to the review, or talk about No More Heroes 1 and allow some context….

Box Art

Shit, looks like option 2

No More Heroes 1 follows the misadventures of a young man Travis Touchdown as he gets a Beam Katana, and then proceeds to Murder other assassins in the interest of becoming the Number 1 Ranked Assassin. Generally reviewers liked this game, mostly because it looked cool and it had a very ‘fresh’ take on storytelling. The only real complaint that as far as game play is concerned… it was um… not as good. So, we have a cool looking game with lots of witty commentary that fails on being a fun game because of graphics and game play idiocies. Some of these problems were saved in the second one, some weren’t. Unfortunately the some that were not happen to be a big drag on the whole experience.

Wallpaper

No More Heroes 2 is a flawed game, but it has more than a few gems that in the end make the game something that is worth playing through, be that the story, side missions, of the off the wall crazy fighting style the game presents, it sure does have some hook.

The game play of this is an action game that in general is just a button masher, find enemy, lock on enemy, hit the slash button until the Quick Time Event appear, do a vicious finisher and then move on. This is about the entire fighting basic mob process. Of course for the added flair there is the Ecstasy Gauge, which when filled has a variety of different affects. These affects range from the Beam Katana shooting laser beams, faster slash attacks, a massive AOE kill all, and turning into a Tiger.

Tiger

The boss fights on the other hand offer some differences, there are 50 ranked Assassins in the battle, and while there isn’t a boss fight for each of them there still is quite a few unique fun fights, Range it from an insane little girl riding operating a full on laser beam suit, to a Ghost that users a flamethrower, the bosses are where No More Heroes 2 shines.

In general the combat was pretty lifeless, compared to other Action Games of the type, such as God of War, Devil May Cry and such it just doesn’t have the depth and mechanics those games bring to the table. I mean really, the first 2-3 times where I had to kill 10+ enemies to move on was cool but eventually it become a nuisance that stood in the way of me and the next boss fight.

Ironically, the 8 bit side missions of the game offer some of the best punch, to put it out there right now, if you like old 8 bit games with less than stellar controls then this game is perfect to you. The side missions are available throughout the entire game, and while they offer nothing as far as story progression they will provide either money or strength and stamina. The side missions don’t fucking joke around either, their hard. I only got to 2/7 strength because the strength training is so damn hard, seriously I’d have to spend 3 hours perfecting that alone.

Training

There are entire websites dedicated to the difficulty of these.

Story? What story? Basically, the team behind No More Heroes 2 are not a bunch of idiots, in fact the lead designers name is Suda51, and you don’t get wicked cool names in Japan for being stupid. Sense Suda51 isn’t stupid he realized no one gives a damn about continuality or story, thus this game doesn’t take itself seriously at all, little explanation is given for actions taken and coming in with no knowledge of the events in No More Heroes 2 and being basically told nothing, and I found it didn’t hinder me at all.

But what the story and presentation does well is making the story and game fun to watch and entertain yourself with, unlike a lot of other games, this one doesn’t take itself seriously at all. Sex jokes are made every cut scene, violent acts, incomprehensible actions, silly dialog, etc, etc…..  It’s like the B-Movie of games really, and it knows it, and I love it for that.

Lightning Blood

JESUS CHRIST!

The characters are a high and low, the characters really have no back story or any explanation for the actions they take, which isn’t too bad considering the rest of the presentation. What the characters do have is entertainment, Travis Touchdown in particular is a remarkably interesting individual, being based completely off American Stereotypes for being a badass, and he really delivers to the generalization, be it from honoring a worthy fighter, to absolutely killing tons of people because they pissed him off, to having a soft spot for the ladies.

Ladies

Betcha it's not soft anymore. Hey-O!

Ill wrap this really damn long review with a few notes about the game, its music is nothing special, its visuals are cool and have a style to them, but I was still thinking the whole time that this would look great on the PS3. I would have loved for there to be trophies… but that’s more a stab at Nintendo so has very little bearing other than me being bitchy.

Really what it comes down to is that this game will never see high success, it has a lot of fun moments, but its choice of platform really hinders its experience. Add on that the game play has a lot of stumbling blocks, well it just ends up being a above average game that will only appeal to select people, but I’m fairly sure the good people at Grasshopper studio is fine with that.