Wii Motion Plus – Round 2?

May 24, 2010

I have to admit I was late to the game when it comes to Wii Motion plus.  It looked interesting enough and I’m always up for some Mii inspired mini-games but with early support for only Wii Sports Resort and Tiger Woods 10 it didn’t seem worth the money.  I recently purchased a new Wii for my daughter and it came packed in with Wii Sports Resort and the Wii motion plus attachment.  The attachment does make the controller much more responsive and Wii Sports Resort is a lot of fun but is that it?  Looking at the list of games that currently support the Motion Plus the only other notable game on the list is Red Steel 2.  With more than 16 million units sold adoption has been high so I doubt developers are worried about users not having the device to support a game.  Now that we see Nintendo providing the attachment bundled with the console along with retailers creating bundles and discounts for the attachment one has to wonder if there are more supported games on the way.  After using the device I really hope that Nintendo and third-parties begin to use the attachment.  With Natal and Move about to launch Nintendo needs to get on the ball with a second round of promoting this new technology.  Wii Motion Plus is great tech but if developers fail to leverage it soon I fear the Wii may find itself playing catch-up.

PAC-MAN turns 30

May 21, 2010

There are few games that I played more in the arcade and on the Atari than PAC-MAN.  PAC-MAN is also one of the few games where the main man reached iconic status rivaled only by Mario.  The game play was simple yet addictive and was one of the few early games that was fun to play for hours.  Google is honoring PAC-MAN today with one of the best logos I think they have done to date.  Check out the link below and enjoy the old school goodness that is PAC-MAN.

Google PAC-MAN logo

A better way to trade

May 17, 2010

What do you do when you complete a game?  I usually hold on to the  really good games or games that have a high replay value.  For the rest I either sell\trade to a friend or hold my nose and list them on Ebay or trade them in at GameStop.  Recently I came across another option that I think gives you the most bang for the buck.

Goozex is an online trading service that matches you up with others looking for the game you have.  When a trade is completed you get a point value deposited into your account.  For newer games you will usually get full credit which is usually 1000 points which is $50.00 to use to trade for games that you have in your queue.  So far I have completed several trades and the process is very smooth.  You also have the option of purchasing points but I don’t recommend this as you can get better deals elsewhere, but if you are trading an actual game you get a better value for it than you would anywhere else.

The fee for the service is only one dollar per transaction and if you are trading your game you pay the shipping to the customer but that is it which isn’t bad at all.  In a day where GameStop give you nothing and Ebay’s fees keep climbing higher and higher this service is definitely worth looking into.  Overall I have been very satisfied with the process.  Check out the link the below for more info on the service.

 Goozex site

Where do Wii go from here?

May 12, 2010

The past 25 years have been a true rollercoaster ride for Nintendo.  They dominated the industry with the NES and SNES and then slid into second and third with the N64 and Game Cube.  Now they find themselves once again comfortably back on top with the Wii which at times seems like a money printing machine.  Nintendo has always impressed me in that it is what I consider to be the only true video game company.  Unlike Microsoft and Sony Nintendo relies solely on the success of its consoles and games to succeed.  It has no fortune 5o0 company piggy bank backing it up and has survived effectively in the cut throat world of the console wars.

Nintendo has also consistently revolutionized the industry by giving us the first D-pad with the NES, expanding our world into multiple dimensions with Mario 64 and the current revolution that is motion control.  It is comical at times to see the same people who bashed motion control now promoting variations of it on their own consoles.

The one major complaint that I have always had with Nintendo is the lack of top-tier third-party titles.  Since the release of the N64 Nintendo hasn’t come close to the competition with third-party support.  Nintendo’s salvation comes from its innovation and its iconic first party franchises which make up some of the best games in video game history.  As we speak games like Mari Kart Wii, Wii Fit and Super Mario Bros. Wii continue to top the sales charts for months on end.  Nintendo does needs to invest in better hardware as well as increase their support of third-party titles.  It also wouldn’t hurt them to do a complete overhaul of their online strategy.  Super Mario Bros Wii is a great game but it would be that much better if the co-op\multiplayer could be done easily online.

Nintendo has rarely ceased to impress and does so at times going completely against conventional wisdom.  I have thought for a long time that the Wii has been test run for what is to come much in the same way the DS Phat was for the handheld market.  I think at minimum some form of the Wii HD is on the horizon if not something that will kick off the next revolution in gaming.  I can’t wait to see what Nintendo has to offer next.  I’m sure it will be amazing.  I just hope that the next time around they will work on some of the issues that have been plaguing them as well as work on bringing in more external developers along for the ride.

Mass Effect Redemption

May 10, 2010

If you are a fan of the Mass Effect series you need to take a look at the Dark Horse comic series Mass Effect Redemption.  The story takes place between one and two and chronicles the story of Liara T’Soni as she attempts to recover Shepard’s body from a deal taking place between the Collectors and the Shadow Broker.  It is a great story and provides some interesting context to where you pick up at the start of Mass Effect 2.  Copies of the comics are pretty much impossible to find but lucky for the rest of us Dark Horse has made them available on iTunes for the iPhone.  Reading the comics on the iPhone is really cool and comes at the very reasonable price of .99 cents per issue.  Check out the link below.

Mass Effect Redemption Comic Series

The Joystiq Podcast

May 7, 2010

If you are a fan of podcasts and all things gaming you are missing out if you aren’t listening to the guys at Joystiq.  The group is composed of Joystiq staff members Chris Grant, Ludwig Kietzmann and Justin McElroy.  The guys have a great chemistry and it is a very fun and interesting show.  It is overall PG but every once and while Justin gets riled up over an issue pushing it into the PG-13 range.  To get started with the podcast listen to Episode Zero to get caught up with the history of the show.  The Joystiq website is also one of the best gaming sites out there.  Check out the links below.

Joystiq Podcast

Joystiq Website

Great deals on a couple of big titles at Amazon.com

May 6, 2010

For those of you looking to grab Super Mario Galaxy 2 or Halo Reach on release day Amazon is offering some great deals.  If you pre-order either title they will deposit a $20 dollar game credit to your account for a future purchase.  This isn’t bad at all coupled with free shipping and no tax.  Take a look at the links below.

Mario Galaxy 2

Halo Reach

Why Blu-ray may kill the 360

May 4, 2010

I have to say that hands down the Xbox 360 has been the best console of this generation.  It by far has had more compelling first party experiences and overall multi-platform games have fared much better on the 360 than the PS3.  That being said as we head into 2010 the 360 is beginning to show its age next to the power house PS3.  Games like Uncharted 2 have shown what the PS3 is capable of and titles like Dragon Age looked better on the Ps3 due to the uncompressed graphics made possible by the Blu-ray disk capacity.  Another indicator on the age of the 360 are titles such as Mass Effect 2 and Final Fantasy XIII both of which have release on multiple disks due to the space constraints of the DVD format.  These are early indicators, but the PS3 is positioned much better for a longer life-cycle than that of the 360.  I still say the 360 has the better library but that can only carry you so far.  One has to think, that with its limited disk capacity coupled with a lack of processing power compared to the Ps3, that Microsoft has to be well into the planning stages for the next console release.  Let’s just all pray that the next one doesn’t have the failure rate of its big brother.

3D Dot Game Heroes – Old school gets cool!

May 3, 2010

If there’s one game I’m looking forward to playing this summer it has to be 3D Dot Game Heroes from the guys at From Software.  I often romanticized the days of playing the first Zelda game.  At the time it was the best thing I had ever played.  We poured hours into each dungeon and loved every minute of it.  About a year ago I tried playing the original Zelda game on the Wii Virtual Console and just couldn’t do it.  It had aged too much for my taste and just wasn’t as engaging as I remembered it (A little like going back and watching old episodes of the A-Team).  Looking at 3D Dot Game Heroes it has everything that the old 8bit adventure games had with an amazing visual presentation and updated game play.  I hope it recreates the same magic that the original Zelda did so long ago and pulls a new generation back into a semi 8bit world.  Take a look at the link below.  Hopefully it will excite you as much as it has me.  At at $39.99 relase price point I would say it is well worth a try.


When to buy?

April 30, 2010

Not too long ago you could purchase a game on release day and feel fairly confident that you were getting the same deal everyone else would for a considerable amount of time.  Lately I’ve noticed an increasing trend of games dropping significantly in price within a few months after the release date.  One case in particular was Dragon Age: Origins.  Within two months of the release date the price had fallen from $59.99 to $34.99 which is a considerable drop for such a short amount of time.  This trend has caused me to re-think how and when I purchase games.  If this trend continues I will seriously reconsider a release day purchase unless it is a compelling game like Mass Effect 2.  For an experience like that I will be more than happy to pay the premium.