Sunday, October 30, 2011

Site chat 6 PM EST tonight

In about 1 hour we will have the final chat of the month of October. Also starting on November 1st we will start finishing up our backlog of games we need to finish. Okami Wii is what most of us will be working on while others may be working on their own backlogs. Anyway with Halloween happening tomorrow maybe we can chat about that in the chat tonight.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Hey let's have a site chat tonight, eh?  I'll see you there in a few hours!

Tonight's topics include:
-games for Halloween
-Holiday wishlists
-the many loves of Supa F. Kirb

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Site chat 6 PM EST tonight

In about 30 minutes there will be site chat.
Hope we can have some more people chatting tonight.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The 20th Anniversary of the SNES - Part 3

Final Fantasy II & III
Due to re-releases of the titles receiving their proper numbering, these two game are more commonly known as Final Fantasy IV & VI, respectively. I'm probably cheating by combining both games as one entry, though it is because I don't find either soundtrack to be particularly amazing as a whole. However, both games have several standouts and deserve to be included, even if it takes both to create one full entry. Plus, my friend would scold me harshly if I did not include Final Fantasy III in this article.

Out in the Field – Final Fantasy II
With a nice and mellow pace, this theme represents the vast landmasses the heroes will soon travel across. It may seem a little laid back to embody an adventurous spirit, but it's a long journey out there, and slow and steady does it. There is also another version of this theme in the subterranean area of the game, set at a lightly slower tempo and with a bit of a jazzy bass, which is also an excellent piece..

Jaunt on the Moon – Final Fantasy II
Deep in the core of the moon, where a great evil lurks, this tune is all that's to be heard as the party trek ever closer to the center. Rather than taking a foreboding approach, this trumpet melody is instead inspiring, pushing you onward into the final confrontation. Soon, an unavoidable epic battle will commence, inching closer with each step.

Field/Terra's Theme – Final Fantasy III
This is a piece that's hard to describe, as it works on many levels, but I'll give it my best. Normally, I would prefer a more relaxed field theme, but this one represents more than just a sprawling adventure across unknown lands. It also encompasses the soul-searching journey of the game's protagonist, Terra, who doesn't appear to fit in anywhere. The flute in the first part is her spirit, pushing forward, and the brass in the second part is her hope, never dwindling.

Doma Castle/Cyan's Theme – Final Fantasy III
One step into this empty castle, and one listen, is all it takes to realize what had happened. Slow in tempo, the flute and the drums convey the lifeless castle, its people killed off in a great tragedy. A lone survivor is all that remains, with nothing left but revenge. Farther into the piece, the segment with the brass and strings gives hope that he will prevail, ensuring that no one else will feel his pain.

The next game may or may not be surprising! But probably not.

Site Chat/Game Night @ 8PM EST!

Mario Kart DS game night is here!! Luigi and his Poltergust 4000 will see you in a few hours for the night's site chat as well as some dual-screened racing action!

Let's-a go!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

News: Capcom Announces Monster Hunter 3G's No Online Play

Source: GamePro

In an announcement that would be great as an April fools joke, Capcom has announced that the latest Monster Hunter adventure, Monster Hunter 3G, will not, (and I strongly emphasize the "not" part of this report) have online co-op capabilities. Sadly however we are not in April, and Capcom doesn't appear to be joking.

Yes it is indeed true. But as far having no online whatsoever, that's a different story. Capcom has confirmed that there will be content to download via the 3DS's online functionality. Of course that seems like a given nowadays for 3DS games, with developers making use of its SpotPass support.

Monster Hunter 3G is currently a Japan exclusive, but with this announcement of no online play, it is very possible that the chances of this selling or even releasing outside Japan have become extremely low. From someone who hasn't really played the series myself, I can't really determine how this decision by Capcom will effect the games overall quality. I do know however, thanks to my friends on this website, that part of  this series's appeal is the ability to play along and complete quests with friends. So with no online play, I find that particular enjoyment may be tampered with.

Monster Hunter 3G will be available in Japan come December, and will support the Nintendo Slide-Pad add-on.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nintemple Backloggery Anonymous

Hey everyone in the chat last night we were talking about our backlog of games and have been doing so for a few weeks now and well we plan on finishing up our backlogs before the next generation of consoles come out. I posted a topic on the forums in the games section of the forum. So if you have a backlog of games you need to finish and want to finish it with the community here stop by the topic. Most likely we will be doing it like this. If people have a game that is common with someone else then we will likely be finishing up those games first and then move on to any games that are left over.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Site chat 6 PM EST tonight

Hey everyone site chat will be happening in about an 20 minutes for today. New York ComicCon I believe is still going on and there was some news revealed there. I'll see if I can find some to talk about in the chat.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The 20th Anniversary of the SNES - Part 2

The second game of my feature is a little obscure.


A little-known mech battling game which is practically unheard of, and so are its tunes. This one has some of the highest-quality synth I've heard in any Super NES game, which is a part of what makes the soundtrack special. It's also one of the only SNES games I know of with surround sound. The music does a good job of getting me pumped for the action, or it would if this weren't an awful game. Maybe that's being harsh, as it was an early 3D game and those just don't hold up. Sadly, the music is the only remarkable thing about this game, especially today.


With a light and airy tone, the music that plays during the training stage is bordering on relaxing. As this is basically a drill where you learn the controls and capabilities of the mech, there is no real danger here. It's like the calm before the storm, and the music does a good job portraying that.


Whereas the first stage in the game simply has the mech drifting through space on a set path so all you can do is point and shoot, this second stage is the first one to give you complete control. Similarly, the music picks up here as well. The techno-style beat gets you ready to rock, and the instrumentation here not only captures the feeling of your first step onto an alien world, but also the coldness of the ice planet Cryston. Too bad the action to be found doesn't compare.


This stage has the mech racing to the other end of the planet before time runs out, so the music is fast-paced and energetic to keep you moving. It's a fun idea in concept, but this is unfortunately the stage where the poor jump mechanic really sticks out. When you jump, the camera stays in place briefly as the mech bounds forward, then catches up with it as begins to land, so it is hard to make corrections in mid-air. Add in that there are no checkpoints so a mistake means starting over, and it's just not fun. It's a shame, because the music makes it sound like what's happening should be exciting.


As the final stage in the game, the generally expected tone of the music would be something dramatic. This game takes a different approach, having an almost uplifting piece with a melody centered around a (synth) piano and strings. It gives the feeling that you're almost there, just one more challenge to overcome, and then peace will return to the civilized galaxy. Or it would return, if the stage weren't so long and filled with enemies impossible to dodge without some sort of evasive maneuver. If only this game's awesome soundtrack were indicative of the game itself...

You'll have heard of next entry's game, I promise!

Site Chat @ 8PM tonight!

Topics for this week's site chat include:

-Horizon Riders: how to play it so it's good & how they should have made it in the first place.
-my first encounter with Nintendo Customer Service: friendly and effective!
-Game culture: satisfaction in unsatisfaction.

See you there!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The 20th Anniversary of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System

As many of you are likely aware, this past August marked the 20th anniversary of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Like the uninspired, impressionable blogger I am, following in the footsteps of every other website, I feel this one needs at least one post about this monumental console of gaming history. However, where most articles list off their most favourite or influential games, I'm instead going to talk about the aspect of the system which left the biggest impression on me: the symphonic melodies produced by its seemingly meager 16-bit MIDI.

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Not only did Super Mario RPG mix two seemingly incompatible genres together, it also managed to create some new and interesting music that still fits into the whimsical world of Mario. With a history as long and varied as Mario, that isn't an easy thing to accomplish. Here are a few of my favoute tunes from this game.

Mario's Theme

This is probably one of the earliest remixes of Mario's famous theme to exist, and it's a good one. It's always nice hearing a familiar theme composed with different instruments, and the flute suits this one. It even mixes in the World 1 theme from Super Mario Brothers 3 as the accompaniment.

Mushroom Way

This could be considered the “normal stage” music of the bunch. This symphony of flutes, xylophones, and bass is as energetic and bouncy as Mario himself, so it fits well as a sort of theme song for the game.

Battle Theme

Maybe it's just because this is the theme played the most throughout the game, but I actually liked this one. At first, the lack of drama in the piece may seem like an odd choice, but this is a Mario game. The more upbeat tone fits Mario's lighthearted personality, a person who can still goof off and enjoy himself even in the face of danger.

Smithy's Henchmen Theme

Kind of funny how a Mario game has some of the best battle music, but it is so. It captures the mischievous antics of the Smithy gang quite well. This one has some impressive bass to it, especially for an SNES game; cranking it up is enough to shake my whole place.

Tune in next time for another game!

Site Chat @ 6PM EST tonight!

Howdy, all!

Today is Sunday.  That means SITE CHAT!

Unfortunately (?) it is my nephew's birthday today and the whole family is coming over to our place to celebrate.  I will definitely miss the first few hours tonight's chat but I will sign on once everyone leaves (somewhere between 10pm and midnight).

Hey, I'll see ya there!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Site Chat tonight @ 8PM EST!

It's Wednesday.... do you know where your site chat is?! Here! of course!

Today's top subjects: video games, Nintendo, romance of the three two Sarahs, and video games.

See you in a few hours!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Nintendo Hardware Isn't What It Used To Be

As some of you might know, my Wii system is malfunctioning and will soon be sent in for repair. This marks the second time I've had an issue with it, and it isn't the same problem as last time. Until now, I have never had a Nintendo system that ceased to function, as their products are generally built to last. Unfortunately, recent Nintendo hardware does not follow this same philosophy.

Dating back to the NES, the Nintendo systems I've owned have withstood much senseless abuse. Growing up with three siblings who took a long time to learn to share, our systems were pulled in tug-o-wars, stomped on by angry boys, slapped silly by frustrated kids trying to get games to work, and much more. One unfortunate Nintendo GameCube even took an untimely trip down the stairs, and didn't get a scratch on it. We destroyed a Sega Genesis and Sony PlayStation over the years, but all of the Nintendo systems still work today and currently reside in my loving care.

In contrast, the Wii is the first system that was purchased and maintained entirely by myself. It has never come close to receiving the kind of punishment as the systems I grew up with; the worst thing that has happened to it is getting my shirt caught in the disc intake roller. And yet, it's the first one to ever need a repair, not once, but twice, entirely through normal use. What is it about the Wii that makes it pale in comparison to past Nintendo hardware?

The simple answer is that the Wii was designed with style and compactness over durability. Inside the Wii are many components that run hot, one of which is the Wi-Fi transmitter that produces quite a bit of heat. Having all these components in such close proximity is a recipe for heat build-up that can cause a myriad of issues, such as melt solder, which will eventually cause the processors to behave strangely and in time cease to function. This is the problem that has happened to me, more specifically to the GPU, which creates unusual graphical artifacts and incorrectly-coloured pixels.

To make matters worse, using the Stand By function of the Wii runs the Wi-Fi transmitter without the cooling fans, leaving nothing to dissipate the heat. Placing the system vertically will block the intake vent, hindering its ventilation. There are other issues with the design as well, including that a slot-loading drive isn't as durable as a flip-top drive as seen on the GameCube, and can also not be cleaned without a special kit. The dual-disc design used to read GameCube discs makes this drive even more prone to wear.

Outside of durability, the Wii hardware is more conservative than it needed to be. I understand that Nintendo was trying to create a system that is affordable to both consumers and developers alike, and I agree with that idea. But there are a couple of aspects that could have been better without breaking the bank. The amount of RAM in the system is pretty small for what the GPU and CPU are capable of, which often bottlenecks its performance. As well, the internal flash memory is tiny when you consider the amount of data it was meant to store. Both of these elements would have been cheap to include higher capacity chips.

Nintendo's latest handheld, the 3DS, has its own issues as well. Some of the functions seem as if they were tossed on there with no thought of how they will be used, part of which may simply be because Nintendo wanted the 3DS to have a different appearance than previous DS models. The Start and Select buttons are not easy to reach, and the Power button was placed where they used to be. The mic is also hidden away, I had to have someone show me where it is before I found it, and doesn't work well in games where you have to blow air into it. The new slide pad attachment is ugly and kind of defeats the portability aspect. As for durability, there have already been reports of the top half coming loose, causing such issues as the top screen losing power. Considering it hasn't even been a year yet, this isn't a good sign.

Nintendo used to create top-notch hardware that could withstand abuse I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. More importantly, they were designed with practicality and usability above all else, even if this sometimes resulted in weird-looking hardware. The Nintendo of today appears to focus more on style over durability, and have even taken one too many cost-cutting measures. Don't get me wrong, I still think they create the best games around. But they no longer produce the best of both software and hardware.

What are your own experiences with Nintendo hardware? Have you also witnessed a drop in quality as of recent? Leave your comment and chime in!

Site chat today at 6pm EST.

Well Sunday has come and that means that it is time for another site chat. In about a hour we will meet up and chat about whatever is on our minds.