It will probably be a
short post today. On Saturday night I was up quite late (with booze)
and was up beyond early on Sunday. Nothing like a hangover and no
sleep to make on feel pretty crap-tacular for several days
I did get in my
Wii+Drink party on Saturday night. I have to say the Wii, just like
the GCN, really shines once you have some people over to truly
appreciate the experience. However, unlike the GCN, I'm already
enjoying the single player of the Wii a lot more than the single
player of the GCN gave me after five years of enjoyment. I think it
all comes down to the simple fact that Nintendo took a better
approach to marketing the Wii versus their half-assed GCN marketing
I think the shining star
of Saturday was Wario Ware. This game is the perfect example of
booze friendly Wii excitement for a crowd. There is nothing like one
controller (and yes, it's only one, but it's well done) flying from
hand to hand as no one knows what to expect next or what player will
be the next one to feel Wario's wrath. Plus, the diverse style of
multiplayer is really well handled.
In particular is the
Life Line game. It's like Mario Party, in the sense that it doesn't
matter how good you do on the mini-games...because you can still
come out on the bottom despite winning the most games. In fact, the
best part is that you could very well end up eliminating yourself in
the final seconds of the game.
I also got to have my
first taste of Wii Play. It's not the best of games I've ever seen,
but there are a few gems. The last two games (which I don't know the
names of, so let's go with my made up names), Cow Racing and Tank
Combat, are especially noteworthy. Cow Racing is just a chance to
collect points as you race on other player. The Tank Combat game is
an almost identical experience to the old tank game on Triple Action
for the Intellivision, but with a little more variety to it.
Definitely a great game for any old-school Intellivision fan who may
want to pick up their old tank busting Triple Action ways.
Sadly, Wii Play suffers
from two big problems. It's not a single player game, so it's only
really there for people who don't often times play alone. The second
problem is that it's only two players, so it's only good for those
final bits of a Wii party (after most guests have headed home).
Those issues aside, it's not bad for a $10 game (assuming you count
$40 for the included Wiimote).
Anyway, I'm tired today
because I did more house hunting on Sunday. I think this strange use
of time may finally be coming to an end as Velveeta and I found the
perfect house for us, and have made an offer. It should all be
wrapped up in a nice little package later this afternoon.
I was out yesterday
getting an inspection done on the house I soon should be moving
into. So, while I'd rather play games and post on my day off, I had
to settle for one or the other. Playing games after the inspection
seemed like the right thing to do.
So, once the dust
had settled, I moved on to playing some more Rogue Galaxy. I think
I'm not at the point in the game when I can really say, with total
certainty, that the plot is complete garbage.
For example, your
party has a robot who is definitely inspired by C3PO (as if the
whole games isn't a rip off of Star Wars in one way or another...the
"orphaned" main character, the space battles in which certain
"swords" are the best of weapons, blasters a plenty, a looming
battle of two forces, a desert planet that has been enslaved by an
evil force...it just goes on) who has the spirit of a child locked
in it's processor to observe the world around him. This child will
occasionally communicate with his father, who is the scientist who
created this protocol droid...I mean robot. These scenes are about
the most boring and painful moments I've encountered in gaming
history, but I still can't afford to look away in case some
important plot element is revealed.
There are more of
these obviously annoying and frustrating moments beyond the boy's
spirit and his father. Most of the cut scenes in RG are ones that
should have been completely re-scripted, to say the least. While
I've always said that plot is the most important element of an RPG,
it's nice to see I was wrong.
As the plot drags
on, you want to play more. Why? Well, you have the great revelation
tree (like the sphere grid for leveling in FFX, but not incredibly
dumb and frustrating) to gain new special attacks. You are always
wanting to slay one more beast to find the last secret item you need
to unlock a new over-powered skill. There's also the leveling of
weapons, which require you to spend 15 battles with a given weapon
equipped. After 15 battles, a weapons is "maxed" and once two
weapons are, you can combine them to make new weapons.
There's even a
ranking system for the best hunters/fighters in the universe. It's
basically 99 NPCs and your protagonist. As you slay secret optional
bosses and given amounts of regular enemies, you gain points. When
your points are high enough, you advance in rank. You do this enough
(get ranked at 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, and every one after) and you will
unlock some new secret items and such.
Truly, RG is the
best, and maybe the only example I've ever seen of a RPG having a
complete crap-fest for it's plot but actually still being incredibly
fun to play just because of a deep game engine. It also doesn't hurt
that the in game visuals make the game look more like an anime than
anything I've ever played before. Hell, the in game visuals are so
good that 95% of the cut scenes are performed with the game engine
and not just CGI moments.
Anyway, I am now
about 50% done with RG. I'm not sure if I can beat the game without
losing my sanity unless the plot improves a little. However, 28
hours in, I'm still having a pretty good time.
...and let chaos reign.
That's a good way to summarize this week in a nut shell. I missed
another post yesterday due to having too damned much to do and not
nearly enough time to think. At least part of it was my filling in
of an application for an interview I have between writing this and
posting it online today. However, other parts are less of fun news
and more of normal bullshit...like the BS involved in filling out
forms and paperwork for buying a house.
City is getting into the business of
selling used games. I don't know how long this will last for
them or what they plan to do exactly with the "pre-owned" market,
but this can only be good news.
the only real national used game game. This means there is
absolutely no competition, and no competition means they can charge
whatever they want and offer credit in how ever small of a chunk as
they want. If Circuit City does things right, the margin between
buying price and selling price could be influenced in the right
direction. For example, right not you can buy a $50 game used for
about $45 at Gamestop. However, you will only get around $20 of
credit for this used game. That means that Gamestop is making a very
large profit per game...especially since most new games give them
far less profit.
Now, if Circuit
City wants to be competitive, they can offer something like $25-$30
on average and/or turn around and sell that $50 game used for about
$42 or even $40. It's not a huge amount when you consider the profit
one can get off of eBay or another online auction house could be in
the $40 range. However, since it's less of a hassle, people always
like selling to a physical store and not to a virtual auction house
that takes a chunk of the profits.
If this scenario
was to happen, then Gamestop would be in a tough enough of a
position to have to lose business (and used games is their main
money maker) to Circuit City, or they would have to offer more
competitive of prices. In the end, the person who would win in this
scenario is the consumer. We would get more for our trade-in value,
and we'd pay a little less for the used game (of course, buying used
online is better since it's less of a hassle for the buyer than the
Circuit City wants to compete, and not simply imitate. If all they
do is try to imitate the Gamestop model, then no one will win and
only Circuit City and Gamestop would lose on having too much direct
competition. Either way, this whole situation spells out nothing bad
(read: worse) for the consumer than what we already see.
Anyway, I say all
of this because I'm a firm believer in competition. Competition kept
NFL games interesting, it keeps prices lower, and it ensures that
everyone does their job to the fullest and not just to some half
assed degree that doesn't matter one way or another for anyone
around them. In other words, competition keeps it all honest and
balanced at the end of the day (assuming it's real competition and
not just some lame under-handed and under the table partnership).
Also, on a
different note, if you've been wanting some RPG and some quality on
the Virtual Console (Wii),
Sega is coming to the rescue. That's right...Beyond Oasis is
finally on the list of confirmed VC titles! If you don't know this
game, you like Zelda style, and you have a Wii, you owe it to
yourself to buy this game. It was one of my favorite Genesis titles
(not counting the Phantasy Star and Shining Force series).
On top of that, if
you want more traditional of RPG, then Sword of Vermillion is coming
as well. I couldn't really care less about this game, since it was
in every possible way and old RPG. I love old RPGs, but this one was
slow and tedious and very hard to get into. True, it gets more
enjoyable as you get into the game...but those first few hours will
drag on like days.
You'll note I
didn't mention Vectorman or Sonic Spinball. Well, Sonic Spinball
goes without a need for mention since it was one of the best pinball
inspired games to see the light of day. You should all know this
game by now, even if it's just from hearing about it. On the other
hand, I'm a firm believer that Vectorman initiated the "play to win"
type of contest for a reason...it was just that bad of a game.
For Those Who Don't
Have Flash Plug-Ins...
This Site Links
Contact Us Disclaimer