Morality Quickie: The Week In Review

Nintendo

Nintendo announced a ton of release dates at Gamescon, while being relatively quiet on most other fronts. That’s fine though; between the hype surrounding the Nintendo 3DS and the most solid holiday lineup to come out of Nintendo in a long time, the House that Mario Built is finally worthy to pop back up on the gaming radar.

Mass Effect 2 PS3

Sony

Sony did something that I never saw coming: it shocked the hell out of everyone with its acquisition of Mass Effect 2 for the PS3. With promised “introductory” content to introduce PlayStation owners to the Mass Effect universe, it seems that Sony has scored a big victory in unexclusivizing (yes, I just made that up) another big Microsoft franchise. Rumors have also been circulating about a possible new version of the PSP (a true PSP2, not any of this incremental BS) that would feature touch controls on the back of the device. With the release of Move in just a few weeks, it’s an interesting time for Sony fans. Will the Move succeed or will it just be dismissed as another Wii clone? Only time will tell.

Microsoft

Microsoft Dog Poop

Microsoft really stunk it up this week. Relying on its heavy hitters, it didn’t really make any earth shaking announcements. In fact, with the announcement that the Mass Effect series was jumping the S.S. Microsoft, I’d say that Microsoft wished this week never happened.

By the way, Microsoft: your flimsy argument that the Mass Effect series is still best experienced on Xbox isn’t fooling anyone. We all know you’re crying inside, so let it out big fella. You got Halo Reach coming out in just a few weeks. You’re gonna be fine.

Master Chief

Big Daddy Halo gonna come and make it all better

-Joshua “Neutrally Chaotic” Duke

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A Poorly Written Rant from Not Judas

Casual Old People

I keep noticing the phrase “casual v. hardcore gamers.” I am slightly bothered by such an ignorant statement. Why is this a versus? People seem to think we are drifting from a world of hardcore games to a world of casual games. That is completely untrue. The world of games is transforming into one of choice. The biggest problem with people identifying with video games has always been range. The main goal right now is to change that. Developers are trying to make something for everyone. Just because they are devoting resources to a project that doesn’t appeal to you, as an individual, doesn’t mean that those resources were wasted. Quit being a narcissistic little wanker and share the wealth. If Kinect creates a new way for a forty-year-old accountant to connect with his twelve-year-old son who hates math and loves boys, then let it happen. Call of Duty games are still going to be released and no one is denying you your right to be a bigot in Halo.

That being said, why do all the motion games have to look like a big steaming pile of retardo. They all have you performing such wild tasks as jumping over things and hitting balls. It’s almost like developers took a bunch of arcade games from the 80s and turned them into 3D motion games. There is so much untapped potential here! I want the new F.E.A.R. game to use Kinect. Now THAT would be a frightening experience!

AND ANOTHER THING, while I am fake-mad! What is up with Nintendo making side scrollers again? Did they just give up on the free world games? I’m surprised that the new Zelda game with the ugly graphics and seemingly no innovation isn’t a side scroller. It’s okay though. At least they have the unnecessary Goldeneye remake that looks just slightly prettier than the original and stars Daniel Craig, who wasn’t even in the movie. Why not just put Keanu Reeve’s face in the game?

KeanuEye

Sorry for the short rant this week (not really, because I hate you). I have been extraordinarily busy, BUT…next week I return to reviewing (btw, I was totally kidding earlier about hating you) (psych).

P.S. If you are a stand-up in the Dallas area and interested in working on a secretive project that may or may not involve the demons in your head, then shoot me an email at onemanbukkake@gmail.com

Warioware D.I.Y.: For those about to create, I salute you

If you’re reading this hoping to hear about all the zany new microgames and crazy characters, you’re in the WRONG place.  If you’re here to read about a fantastically simple, new game design tool where (almost)anything is possible, you’re in the RIGHT place.

WarioWare D.I.Y’s focus is on game creation, not so much on playing.  Of course, you’ll be playing some zany games but that’s not what this game is all about.  This game is about creative release.  If you’re not into that and just want to play the microgames of yore, go back and play the previous WarioWare games. I have nothing to say to you.

Essentially WarioWare D.I.Y is the long-awaited sequel to Mario Paint for the Super Nintendo.  That doesn’t mean this is a Super Nintendo game; it’s not.  It’s an evolution of what was started back in Mario Paint.  Those of you that have played Mario Paint will instantly recognize all the tools.  But wait! There’s more.  This game includes even more tools to help your creations come to life.

Now at this point, I have to point out in WarioWare “game” is a relative term.  What you can create is literally anything…unless it’s under 10 secs and isn’t too complex.  If you can poke it, you can create it. No dragging or drawing triggers object, only poking. These constraints actually make it all more interesting and creative.  Trying to find your way around these constraints and still carrying out your original vision might be the best part.

Read on for more review and to see some examples.

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New Super Mario Bros Wii: If you give a plumber a mushroom…

Have you ever had an old friend come to visit and then after about the third day you remember why you haven’t talked as much lately? It’s not that the past three days weren’t a blast and you wanted to spend that time with someone else. It’s just that things are different now, and after you’ve had the first few days to walk down memory lane, you’re ready to get back to business as usual. You even found time to catch up and find out what’s new with each other, but still you haven’t found anything to keep the party going longer than a few days. You can invite friends over when things look dire but that only prolongs the inevitable goodbye. These visits essentially boil down to nostalgia with just a hint of newness. In a nutshell, that’s how I feel about New Super Mario Bros Wii.

You’ll put the game in and instantly be taken back to the glory days of side scrolling Mario. All the things you loved about Super Mario Bros., Super Mario 3 and Super Mario World are combined in a supreme Mario sandwich.

Of course the graphics are a bit updated from NES or SNES, but the real beauty is in the graphic restraint. This game was clearly made to look and feel like the classic Mario worlds we fell in love with in 80s and 90s. These are all new worlds; this is not a remake. Clearly every world had inspiration from previous worlds, but that’s not a bad thing. The individual levels within the worlds are fresh enough without straying from the formula to make the sampled worlds okay. More that later.

The music’s all there too. Thankfully, they knew that introducing all new music was a terrible mistake. Just when you start to wonder where the familiar melodies are, you’ll find you’ve been humming along with one this entire level. I’m telling you this game is dripping with nostalgia. It’s a Mario fan boys wet dream. All the classic sound effects make their obligatory appearance as well. 1-ups and mushroom all sound just as they should.

There are few additions to help Mario this time.  Maybe it’s not a huge surprise to some, but to me the new costumes and power ups really caught me by surprise. The only returning faves are the classic mushroom, fire flower and star. So I don’t spoil it, I’ll leave the rest for you to see.  I’ll get into the co-op action after the break…

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