Friday, June 13, 2014

Nintendo @ E3 2014 Impressions

I'm not one to immediately jump to conclusions as to which big company "wins" E3 every year, so that's probably why you're reading this three days after the Digital Event, but now I've had time to come to a consensus and from what I've seen this year, Nintendo really knocked it out of the park. While Microsoft and Sony were catering to the teenage angst of fan services, glorifying 60 fps and exclusive DLC like they were the raining holy mana bread of gaming, Nintendo took the Digital Event and Treehouse after party as a means to showcase what games are truly meant for: fun. Here are the main highlights from this week's Nintendo @ E3:


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

3 Signs That Sonic Boom Won't Suck

Months after its initial announcement trailer and just days after two extensive gameplay trailers were shown, it's safe to say that not everyone has really warmed up to the Wii U exclusive Sonic Boom and its steroid abominations that are supposedly the games' main heroes. Granted, any sane/insane person could find a million things wrong with this game before it's even released, most of which bring up questions like "Why does Knuckles look like a freaking jock?", "Why are they using Skrillex music in a video game?", and "Why the hell does Sonic have bandages on his shoes?"

Seems like an impractical way to prevent third degree scoff marks.

Thankfully, the redesigns are not permanent as Big Red Button Entertainment (the lead design team behind the game) assured everyone that the game will not replace the mainstream Sonic series, and is meant as a separate spin-off, not as a reboot. Unpredictably, Sonic fans are still not keen on the idea, and no one can blame them after the mixed reactions of Lost World, but remember this is exactly how they felt when Sonic Colors was announced after the puke-fest that was literally any Sonic game released before 2010. You still might call out "bullsh*t, it's still going to suck", but there are 3 relevant signs that we could all be wrong and that Sonic Boom could be the next best Sonic game since Generations. 


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What Nintendo needs to do (and not do) with the "Nintendo Figurine Platform"

Well, we're just a month away from Nintendo's big "E3" conference and I'm sure everyone is beginning to use their Jedi mind tricks to predict the outcome of the show, so they can complain afterwards that [some title] wasn't shown, yada, yada...yeah I'm not doing that. Sorry, no. What I will be doing, however, is discuss about Nintendo's latest surprise announcement last week: "Nintendo Figurine Platform" which is the company's answer to Skylanderss/Disney Infinitys' buy-expensive-toys-to-unlock-game-content gimmick. Many fans probably reacted to this news with a chorus of "ughhss" and "hell no"s, and rightly so, but note that we haven't seen any of these figurines in action and no tie-in games have been officially announced, so we can't be entirely pessimistic...yet. On one hand, the prospect of collecting video game figurines is enticing, but there is so many directions where this could go sour fast.

"It's-a-me! Your wallet's arch-nemesis!"

So I made it my goal in this blog to name specifically what Nintendo needs to do (and on any accounts, do not do) with the NFP.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Smash Bros. Direct 2.8.14 Impressions 

Like Greninja, yesterday's Smash Bros.-exclusive Direct made a huge splash. (and this time it was super effective) Here's the most notable highlights: 


Sunday, March 30, 2014

4 Ways The Gaming Industry Has Lost Its Mind

 DS Games Are Coming To the Wii U's Virtual Console

Gamers are partly to blame for the major decisions the game industry makes. If we buy every FPS consisting of rainbow candy bullets and quantum breast physics then you can bet the marketing gods that we would get a sequel to that game every year until the universe implodes within itself. Though granted, the gaming market has the most power in what games we play, and possibly has less knowledge of what the heck gamers actually like, which is why sometimes a developer might say "Hey, you know that Shaq Fu/Final Fantasy game that no one liked the first time? Let's do it right this time." and more often say "Hey, you know that F-Zero game that everyone liked the first time? Well f*** them we cater to a niche group of gamers (Also please buy a Wii U)." The gaming industry isn't always cut and dry, and we occasionally get a real nice surprising treat once and while, which is why when we get something like the following it brings up the question if the gaming market even understands its audience anymore.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Nintendo Direct 2.13.14 Impressions

Well, Nintendo gave us a scare last month, with there being no Direct and the Wii U being eaten alive by analysts and all, but luckily they came through this month and delivered a fantastic Direct yesterday. Here are the highlights sand my impressions.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Review: Chib Robo Photo Finder

Review by EggBeatr8

Title: Chibi Robo Photo Finder
Developer: Nintendo
Platform: 3DS eshop
Bottom Line: Slow at the get-go, and at times can be tediously punishing, but if you've got the patience, there's much to love about this new installment in an overlooked series.

In the looming shadows of big AAA titles and popular IPs, it's common to find a handful of original titles that just weren't popular enough to garner sequels. That's why it's extremely satisfying to see an overlooked series like Chibi-Robo to get another installment; a long overdue sequel made possible only on the Nintendo eShop. 

In this new Chibi-Robo adventure, Photo Finder has Chibi-Robo helping Mr. Curator build a NostalJunk museum by using the 3DS camera to snap photos of various objects 'from the past' and converting them into museum exhibits. But in order to do this, Chibi-Robo must obtain Happy Points which he can get by cleaning up counter tops and garages or helping out the inhabitants (mostly toys and inanimate objects come alive) in various mini-games. Once you get enough Happy Points you can exchange them for silhouette film and finally take a picture of something in the real world that matches the shape of the silhouette of the film. And that's pretty much what Photo Finder has you doing through the whole game. 

From the get-go, whether you've played a Chibi-Robo game in the past or not, it's obvious how painfully tedious this game is during the first 3 hours. Accepting work from the game's characters is your main source of Happy Points, but if you fail the challenges they give you even once (and mind you, most of these mini-games rely heavily on trial and error), you'll have to wait until you obtain a new NostalJunk and your job mail to reset before you can attempt them again. Your only other option to obtain Happy Points is to 'Explore' the set areas around the museum, which task you with cleaning up dust and picking up garbage. Of course, anyone who has played a Chibi-Robo game before should expect the game to limit you to 50 watts, the game's health points, which decrease over time whenever Chibi Robo walks or uses an item. The main problem with this early limitation is that it restricts how much exploration you can do at any given time. To put in perspective, it takes at least 10 watts to vacuum up dust patches, and even if you do manage to fill your dust bag to 100% don't expect to get a lot of Happy Points for your effort. Fortunately, the game picks up speed later on, though it's just too bad it has to be so darn slow to get going anywhere.

Probably the biggest problem the game faces is, sadly, what seemed to be the coolest gimmick: taking pictures. The low res 3DS camera is absolutely terrible at registering shapes, and in order to get at least 60% accuracy for the item to appear, don't be surprised if the game tells you again and again that the lighting is too dark. Even worse, you're only given 9 tries per silhouette film to get a shot right- if you can't get it within that duration then, well, it's back to farming Happy Points. And let's say you do get a picture just right: don't be surprised if it turns into a Nostaldud, the game's random insult to turn your hard work into a puzzle puzzle item that has no apparent point to the game until you collect all of them. And while it is sort of considered cheating, I did end up resorting to taking pics straight from Google Images, but i only did it to save myself the trouble of having to go track down an object again in real life because it turned into a Nostaldud. This is very unfortunate, because it's fun to see what object the silhouette actually turns out to be when you take a picture of something that's similar or (in most hilarious occasions) completely different in shape.

If there's one thing that's worth forking over $10 to buy this game, it's the undeniable Chibi-Robo charm the series is known for. The characters you meet in the game, including a bear shaped sponge, an anime TV robot, and a French Mustard and Ketchup bottle duo are all just as unique as the last, and their witty dialogue is as ridiculous as they are. Exploring every nook and cranny for goodies is what makes Chibi-Robo shine the brightest, and the areas to explore offer a good change of pace from working for the game's local toy folk (though it's dissappointing there's only 5 levels total in the game). The game looks really good all around too, boosting some impressive textures and details for a 3DS game.  

To conclude, if you like Chibi-Robo, and you can overlook the game's constant tedium, then you can't go wrong for $10. On the other hand, if you're impatient and hate randomly generated shenanigans, then this is definitely not a game you'd want in your collection. While it's great that we finally got another Chibi-Robo, it's unfortunate it has so many shortcomings against it. 

The Good: 
+Undeniable fun and witty dialogue and characters. 
+Impressive graphics. No visuals hiccups.  
+Some fun mini-games.

The Bad:  
-Extremely tedious and restrictive at the beginning of the game.