It's time for the...what
number are we at again...for the fourth or fifth release of
Ocarina of Time. Yes, today's Virtual Console update on the Wii
is including Zelda: OoT. I could go off like other people in the Wii
camp ("OMG...I already teh have Ocarina! Nintendo teh suxors!!!11!"),
but that would be close minded and really just lame.
There are a lot of Wii
owners who never had a N64 or GCN, and a lot who never had a chance
to play Ocarina. I personally can think of one, without any real
effort on thinking, person who loves Zelda games and never played
any non-portable Zelda since LttP. Of course she doesn't have WiFi
and won't be able to download Ocarina...but maybe one day WiFi will
enter her home and allow her to enjoy another modern Zelda (she
already got Twilight Princess and is enjoying it).
Also, the Virtual
Console, at least in Japan, will be getting some
NeoGeo games. Hopefully this will happen in the US and it will
be here in a short time. I also hope the game prices don't reflect
the original NeoGeo game prices, or else we'll need some points
cards to come along with far more than 2000 points ($20) per card.
Afterall, NeoGeo was the console, of sorts, that brought us the
concept of $250 games on a far more pricy of machine.
Anyway, I think I've
been seeing a little too much hate towards the VC as of late.
Message boards seem to be filled with people pissed off about not
having a certain game. Then, when the game (for example, Donkey Kong
Country) comes out, there's even more complaints. People were rabid
over wanting Ocarina, and now that it's here, there's constant
complaints about it being released for the fourth or fifth time and
that is apparently too much.
Here's the secret about
the VC; you don't have to buy anything if you don't want to.
Velveeta and I got a 2000 point card from her brother for Christmas,
and we are still holding the points. There are some things I want,
and there are things I know will come out before long. However,
until I see what I really want to spend these points on, I will just
sit happily idle and play something else.
In the end, whether you
want to call the VC a scam or a good thing, the simple truths
remain. Nintendo does want your money...they are a business. How
many damned times must I hear "Nintendo only wants your money!"?
It's true; Nintendo is a company that doesn't work in the non-profit
sector, and they are a company that has thrived a lot longer than
any other console maker before. So, I will trust them to do what is
right...not what is right for me, but what is right for their
business and, therefore, what is right for the bulk of their
Also, you have full
control of what you personally purchase. If you don't want a certain
game, then shut up and don't buy it...however, you should realize
that someone will buy it. Nintendo is releasing a fair amount of "A"
Lastly, in the end, we
will have some damned good games in the VC. However, that will take
time since Nintendo is smart enough to not release all the best
games at once. If they did that, then we'd see a few months of the
best possible games and then we'd have four years of crap. I'm happy
waiting. I've been waiting for good games on Nintendo consoles since
I was eight. About twenty years later I am still fine waiting for
quality games (although, I would like to see Majora's Mask and
F-Zero-X sometime this year)...and I'm fine with buying some of the
more obscure titles that end up being sleeper hits.
There's just too much
Nintendo hate going on. I still can't believe how many people are
pissed off about Twilight Princess. For some reason this game is
getting a lot of hate, despite being the longest Zelda game ever
released. It was fun, different, and just amazing to play. Yet, I
keep hearing about how it was "rushed", despite being delayed
numerous times just because the final two dungeons are a bit shorter
than the rest. Well, you know what? Even being shorter than the
other dungeons, those final two are longer than anything for LttP or
the original Zelda.
Question: Why do we keep
new games based on Conan? I'm serious with this question. There
was a lot of talk about an MMORPG based on Conan, an action game, an
adventure game, the newly proposed PS3/360 game. It just keeps
I ask because
Conan has not been culturally relevant for...what...two freaking
decades!? Is there so much of a fanbase for this franchise that a
game made in the current decade means anything more than being a
throwback to the few old time geeks who remember it? I really doubt
it. It would be like making a new racing game based on Smokey and
Maybe I would love
a chance to pick up Burt Reynolds' mustache and go cruising around
the country trying to keep my guard up against Smokey. However, I
don't see many other modern geeks feeling this way. Maybe another
game could be based on Red Sonya? How about Flash Gordon: The
Official Game of the Movie?
I personally think
Conan games are long done (the old Apple game will always be my
favorite anyway). I think that's the primary reason why we don't see
any of the proposed Conan games going beyond the stage of being a
"proposed Conan game". It just isn't culturally relevant anymore and
it just would not find the right audience.
That's not even
saying how games based on movies (yes, I am damned well aware that
there are books, but that's not how this game will play out...if it
gets released) are almost always complete crap. A movie to game
translation is about as worthy of an endeavor as a book made from a
movie or a game based on a TV show. It's only a little higher up in
quality than a book based on a TV show (the true lowest of the low).
However, if this
is going to happen, which I'm not 100% certain of, I only know that
more bad movies from the 1970's and 1980's need to come along in
game form. I would love to see, beyond all other movies, a Red Dawn
game. You could be a brave Wolverine, needing your hated to keep you
fueled to stop the damned red menace.
You could play the
role of a young pixilated (or polygon based) Patrick Swayze. I'm
sure that Swayze, Charlie (Charles) Sheen, and Lea Thompson are all
free enough to do some voice work. It would be a step up for C.
Thomas Howell to do some voice work for a game (and not another
"Killer Bees!"). I'm sure we won't be seeing Ah-nold doing voice
work on Conan, James Earl Jones is a little too high class for this
type of shit, and sadly Mako is no longer with us...so, let's go
with the best possible movie game with the best possible ambiance.
Ok. Maybe I'd be
the only one to play a Red Dawn game (besides possibly a few family
members of mine), but it seems more logical than Conan. At least the
material is the same age, but has been mentioned numerous times in
recent gaming history (listen to the Ammu-Nation stuff on San
Andreas to hear the triumph of Red Dawn in modern gaming).
I might be serious
or I might just be f#@$ing around by saying this. However, the one
thing I do want to make clear is that, in no way, is a Conan game
right for the modern gaming landscape and it needs to end.
Developers and publishers have far more important things to do. I
don't mean more games based on sequels of other games, but rather
looking towards making some novel and fun intellectual properties.
Enough is enough with rehashing old or irrelevant stuff and passing
it off as a worthy use of $60.
I find it quite funny
(in a sick sense of the word) that Europe is constantly the butt of
the gaming world. Game systems tend to be released last in Europe
(and maybe Australia...sorry, but Australia has the fewest gamers
per region, so it's natural for Australia to be last in anything).
Games tend to either come to Europe very late, or not at all. Prices
are higher for both consoles and games, even after the late release,
in Europe. It's like the gaming world is set against Europe...but
supposed "economic" factors can be used as an excuse to keep the
European gaming audiences down.
doesn't seem to fly when the PS3 is not only released several months
late in Europe, and with more expensive of hardware and games, but
a slimmed down PS3. I don't mean a thinner PS3 (and we all know
that behemoth can use a diet), but rather that they get a PS3 that
suffers from a lack of Emotion. As in Emotion Engine.
The supposed buzz
term of the PS2 era (BLAST PROCESSING!) actually had some
importance. While it may have not delivered what we were promised
when the PS2 was released, it did help to allow some games to run on
the damned system. However, Europe is not getting the Emotion Engine
on their PS3, and thus they pay for more, waited for longer, and pay
more money for games, but they will not have the full backwards
compatibility of the Japanese and American PS3.
Luckily for me, I
live in the US (where we pay more than Japan for hardware, and less
for software) so this doesn't effect me. Also, I honestly could not
give a shit about the PS3 (at least for $600...not until I have a
reason to pay through the nose for a console). However, it's nothing
short of sad that Europe is getting hosed on one console after
another. It's claimed that costs are higher to import games produced
overseas (yet many game studios have production plants in Europe),
and that hardware all falls into the higher priced import duties.
Quite honestly, I
think it's about time for someone to shake things up a little with
this. I don't mean like how Sony shook up things by destroying Lik-Sang...I
mean in a constructive way. Europe is not exactly an untapped
market, but is rather a screwed over market. If a real game system
(not the Gizmondo) came out of Europe, things would be changed for
the worse for everyone. Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft would all lose
some of their market share to an obviously cheaper competitor.
Plus, why is it
that all European games cost more, when some come out of European
production lines? Why don't these competitors in the software field
just start slashing their prices to ensure an extra cheap product on
the store shelves and just undercut the support for American and
Japanese produced games? It would make sense.
In fact, all that
Europe needs to get a better slice of their pie is to start doing
business differently. A single company cannot change things, and
neither can a single gamer. However, if the whole environment was
altered by gamers and developers alike, it could be a bright new day
for Europe...one that could possibly set the balance to a more
feeling sick and rather bitchy today. So, maybe I'm just talking out
of my ass. However, maybe there's something to this. Afterall, there
is no real excuse for Europe (and Australia) getting constantly
screwed in the most confusing of ways. Emotion Engine? Why the hell
should it not be in European PS3s?
I won't get into too
many details about my feelings on this subject, but I'll just say
that Americans having any sort of
awards program for anime is a bad idea. Why? Well, most American
palettes are limited on anime, and what most people would consider
the best is usually some half-assed production with giant effects in
the visual department and very little in the thinking department.
Children to be called the best is like saying an Ah-nold movie
should have won a few Oscars. True, you leave the experience with a
sense of adrenaline, but you don't actually get any fulfillment.
Advent Children did not have some amazing potential. It was a
feature made for and worshiped by FFVII fans. This was not meant to
be a real experience on it's own merits anymore than the Viva Pinata
cartoon is meant to be an amazing example of cinema.
I'll just wrap
this up by saying this one final thought; there is a lot of amazing
anime out there. Unfortunately, the best is usually not noticed or
is not properly handled by the audience in question. For example, a
few great anime films made it to the US for the first time last
year. I cannot even begin to name them (the problem with watching
fansubs is that you never know it's proper US release year) but the
Full Metal Alchemist movie comes to mind...may not be the best
example of an anime movie that made it to the US in the last year,
but there's more and it's better than the "anime" (I also have
trouble calling CGI "anime") equivalent of a blockbuster summer
I'm still enjoying
Rogue Galaxy for some unexplainable reason. The game, the more I
play, is a complete waste of time and space. The story is pathetic
for half of the time, and anything that could be interesting as a
major event is instead limited to a small and pointless couple of
seconds of dialogue (for example, to avoid spoilers, the closing
moments of the Cancer King Ruins). There is a plot in the world of
RG...sadly, we have to focus on all of the wrong elements.
In fact, to try to
avoid some spoilers, I just have to wonder about the nature of Vedan
society in the game. Children are abandoned (I know it's a little
cliché) and left to fend for themselves in the sewers. Meanwhile,
some massive beast (in a world in which all beasts tend to eat
people) is their sole protector. On top of that, the beast is tied
into the ghost of a king who died thousands of years in the past. I
would say I'm being vague to avoid spoilers, but that's actually the
limit of this part of the RG plot. It would have been amazing to get
a stronger idea of the backstory to all of this...but RG would
rather show us the damned moments that cause me to be thankful for
the ability to skip cinematics (I never do skip...but I know others
use this feature like it's one hell of an amazing drug).
In fact, if you've
played the game you'll understand where I'm coming from, but any
moment between Mark/Steve and the Doctor is some of the most
annoying and trivial plot moments of any game. I'm sure, from what I
remember, that Cool Spot (the Genesis game that served as a 7-Up ad)
had a better plot than these moments. There's also Chie and her mom
on their endless quest to find Chie's father...in some of the most
dangerous locations in the galaxy. Here's a summary of each one of
these events (now you can skip them if you play RG); Chie is sad
that she can't find her father, her mother gets hurt, they both cry,
you wonder how that five minutes of dialogue could feel like a f#@$ing
Anyway, like I
said, for some sick reason, even though the game pains my head to
play it, I like playing this game. I won't even say how you can
obtain all of the best equipment in the game by the end of the 7th
chapter (and there are about 7 more to play through in which you'll
never upgrade your equipment again). There is no reason to enjoy
this game...but it keeps pulling me back in for more.
Firaxis is officially
working on the
next full installment of the Civilization franchise. I hope that
Civ4 was a great sign of where this series is heading. After Civ3
brought about some uncalled for political correctness, that left a
distinct taste on the Civ3 game, Civ4 returned things more to the
roots of the franchise. If Firaxis can keep up this new vibe, Civ5
should be amazing.
I also hope that
Firaxis doesn't count on just making a graphical resource hog out of
the game. Civ4 pushed some PCs to their breaking points despite
being a simple turn based strategy game. If things go any further
with Civ5, I may have to bid the series a fine farewell for a while
since I've just become a little too jaded on PC upgrades.
I've done it just
a few too many times in the last few months, and I don't aim to
touch the inside of any of my machines for a good 12-18 months. I
know this will put me out of the running for quite a few PC games in
the next couple of years, but it just isn't worth the money and
On a different
trailer of GTA4 will debut later this month on the 29th. This is
a little unusual, considering when a new GTA game is released, we
usually see nothing more than a half dozen screen shots until about
three weeks prior to the release.
should be a great chance to see what Rockstar aims to do with the
series as it makes it's debut on the next generation. Since the
basic engine and game play, not to mention the visuals, of GTA 3,
Vice City, and GTA:SA are now feeling their age, it will be nice to
see how Rockstar aims to make the game it's best for the 360/PS3
generation. Also, with the added competition in the basic
sandbox-city genre from Crackdown and Saint's Row, it will be nice
to see if Rockstar is still ready to fight back and reclaim the
crown of king of sandbox game makers.
That's not even to
say that it should be good to see some details of this game. I for
one want to know what timeline they aim to have things take place
in. As long as it's not another throw-back to the 1990's, 80's, or
70's (or older), I know I will be happy. I also would like to see
where this takes place, since I know another flat game (like VC and
a good part of SA) would be a bad move for this franchise.
Anyway, I guess
this is another "time will tell" moment. Hopefully we'll see some
good news on the 29th. If not, then Rockstar will undoubtedly have a
few aces up their sleeves. I don't like to sound like a blind fanboy,
but let's face it; Rockstar at their worst is still usually better
than the competition at their best...as long as you only focus on
the 3D GTA games and Bully and not on the crap (State of Emergency,
Manhunt, Table Tennis).
To make one more
subject leap, I went out and bought FFVI Advance last night. This is
the final FF remake for the GBA. After this, they will have all been
done and there will be no more FF games to port...ok, no more main
franchise games, since Mystic Quest is still out there.
Even though I have
FFVI on the SNES (still) and have played the game to death, I
thought I'd take this new journey for two simple reasons. I need a
good portable game to keep me busy when I do the more annoying of
life's requirements (oil change, dentist appointments, etc). FF
usually does a good job at filling this need. I also wanted to check
out the new content.
Advance, and a bit stronger than FFV Advance, FFVI has some
interesting new content while the game still feels like the
original. There are now four or so new espers (including Leviathan,
Gilgamesh, and Cactuar/Cactrot), some new spells to go with these
espers (flood, valor, etc), and the standard additional dungeons
(two this time that can be faced prior to beating the game). I just
wish they would've tossed all of us old school FFVI fans a bone by
giving another playable character...like Leo (to make the old rumors
Also, the game's
translation has been improved to a point in which the player can now
understand everything that's said, and not just a majority.
Unfortunately, this means some items and spells have been renamed,
so it may be hard to remember the good old favorites (Offering is
renamed, for one)...but that only makes it a bit more interesting to
play through again.
I also must say
that I bought FFVI Advance since it might be the final new game I
buy for a while. I still have a lot of time left with Rogue Galaxy,
but more than that I have a new house in a few weeks. Once those
mortgage payments arrive, it'll be time for my wallet and I to sober
up to the real financial world...at least until we find a
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