Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wii Magic

Tonight my wife and I played Wii Sports Resort until my face hurt from laughter.

I'm just not sure there are other consoles on the market that can have that affect.

So, Christmas is almost upon us. Is anyone hoping for any special gaming-related items this year?

My list: Sonic Colors, DKCR, Epic Mickey, Dragon's Lair Trilogy & GoldenEye 007.

Also, reminder, Site Chat tomorrow night at 8pm EST! See you there!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Site chat happening now!

Hey me and Sage is in the chat now. Hope to hear from you today.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


-almost car accident
-jury duty
-changing all my passwords because Kotaku got hacked [link]
-... waiting
-being dismissed from jury duty!!
-hot cocoa w/ the Mrs
-Epic Yarn w/ the Mrs
-snowball fight w/ the Mrs
-snow angels w/ the Mrs
-Epic Yarn w/ the Mrs

... this was a good day ^_^

Friday, December 10, 2010

New Metroid Series Wallpaper

There's a new Metroid Series Wallpaper up in the Extras section.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

T-Minus 30 minutes to Site Chat.

29:57 ....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Reminder: Site Chat Wednesday

Site chat Wednesday at 8pm EST.

1. Metroid Other M
2. Epic Mickey
4. GoldenEye
5. ... and where everyone has been!?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

High Demolition #003 - Kingdom Confusion

Issue #003 of "High Demolition" is up!

It illustrates a scenario I've thought about for years.


PS - This is a "Fokka".

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Brief Essay on Metroid: Other M

So I've just started Metroid: Other M last night. I'm only a few hours in, but I can clearly see why this game is so controversial and why (to me) that's a real shame.

Why it irritates people:

1A) The game is extremely cinematic.

So far, it really is like an interactive movie. Many Nintendo games shy very far away from this approach. Somewhere along the formative years of gaming, when it couldn't be cinematic due to technical limitations, the theory was presented that by not showing or telling the details of the story, that the user's imagination could run wild and tell the best story possible.

In other words, if you don't see Mega Man escaping Wily's crumbling castle, you can imagine it happening in the most bad-ass way possible. If you never hear what Link or Cloud say, you can imagine that they say the perfect thing at all times.

Creatively, you risk nothing, but have gained everything.

However, Other M decided to show and tell everything. Like ... every little thing. This means that if you don't like the way Samus turns her head in a certain scene, you'll be put off by it. If you don't like the words people chose to communicate their thoughts, you'll be put off by it.

Quite simply, when you take something that was previously so ambiguous, and try to give it definition, you risk having a segment of your audience hate it. When your audience is gamers? Well, let's just say gamers have shown a passion for complaining that seriously rivals their passion for video games.

1B) The gameplay is different.

I'll talk more about the overall "feel" of the game later, but as far as the strict definition of the gameplay? It's a radical change. And, not radical like the Ninja Turtles would have described it. Let's face it, we've never played a game with quite this mechanic before. 3D spaces that operate on largely 2D planes with first person aiming/searching based on a controller with pointer functionality? Yea, that kind of breaks new ground for better or worse.

So, clearly, the gameplay does not "feel" like Metroid. Though each room allows for searching and exploration, it is not as free-roaming as any other entry in the franchise. (Even though the Prime games were FPSs, I still felt Retro captured the sense of aimless exploration quite well.)

1C) The characters are deeply vulnerable and imperfect.

Here's where things really start to get sticky. First things first, the argument of "games as art" has gone back and forth so many times that most people closest to the discussion have thrown up their hands and said "right now, to each their own." However, regardless of your definition of art, the characterization in gaming has rarely ventured outside the safety of stereotypes.

You have the muscle-bound roid-rager who stars in many HD "dude bro" titles. You have the strong and strong-willed, attractive female who may or may not be very intelligent, but still has trouble keeping her clothes on (Lara Croft, Bayonetta, Rubi Malone, Madison Paige and several Final Fantasy characters). You have the physically weak yet strong-willed and attractive females who get captured a lot (too many to list, just pick a game). You have the scrawny male who is either a suave, capable pretty boy (see: just about any Japanese-influenced male character) or kind of a nerd (see: Otacon from Metal Gear, Gordon Freeman from Half-Life, etc). And then there is the steady stream of "mascot"-style characters that are designed to just be adorable and spunky and we love them for it (Mario, Sonic, Klonoa, Sackboy, Jak&Daxter, Zack&Wiki, etc).

This is because, in the gaming world, stereotypes are easy and stereotypes work. One thing about games that remains unique, is that they do not target niche audiences in the capacity other mediums can afford to. Yes, films, TV shows and radio programming still want as big a slice of pie as they can cut. However, those mediums have been mainstream long enough to establish a system in which niche, specialized, content can still be viable (indie films, low-budget action/comedy/romantic fluff, cable TV shows, local radio programming, etc.)

I believe this luxury is also due to a matter of choice. In film, there are only a dozen or so movies out at a time. In TV, there are only a certain number of channels that the majority of households receive (though this is changing and is taking TV out of this equation due to silly Neilsen rating practices that belong in an entirely different discussion) and radio may only have a few dozen commercial stations in a market. Thus, you can afford to have the broad-appeal content, and the specialized content (especially when they are all owned by the same entity).

However, in games, developers and publishers have not branched out enough to make "niche" titles a frequent option. Yes, there are exceptions (yay, XSEED!) but they face a struggle to stay in business and many of them, unfortunately, cannot.


All this adds up to a simple fact: atypical characterization is very rare in gaming and when it appears, it is met with heavy scrutiny. And despite a facade of demanding edgy, mature, anti-establishment content, it usually only boils down to more violence and more sex. When subjects related to emotions, race, ethnicity and sexuality are approached seriously? They are quickly labeled offensive and are considered a threat to gaming.

This is not an incorrect assumption. Gaming has a long history of dealing with accusations of extreme violence and sexualization. We've weathered those storms and will continue to do so. But emotions? Pfft, emotions only come in three flavors: angry, sad and really angry. Race? Shoot Europeans in Europe and it's no biggie. Shoot Africans in Africa and I'll see you in court. Ethnicity? If you have anything identifiable you better be saving the day or in a Grand Theft Auto game... which isn't usually being serious. Sexuality? ... did I mention GTA?

So it is in gamers best interests to not be hassled by these complications. Especially if 95% of gamers couldn't care less about the underlying character development, but would rather just enjoy fulfilling the game's mechanical requirements (shoot this, collect that).

And such is the problem for Other M. The new definition of Samus as a character is a female who is physically strong but fluctuates between emotional strength (defiance, independence) and vulnerability (yearning for acceptance and acting subservient). Before playing the game I had a hard time believing that the subject matter really could be so controversial. After playing it a little, I still don't find it offensive, but I think I understand why some people can be offended by it...

As illustrated, this new rendition of Samus does not fit the previously dominant stereotypes. Even "weak" females like Princess Peach wouldn't be caught dead showing emotional dependence or self-doubt.

But it is not just the existence of Samus' new personality that has people so turned-off by the game. IT'S THE FACT THAT THE GAME DOESN'T GO 30 SECONDS WITHOUT REMINDING YOU OF IT.

To me? That's it. That's the problem. If you don't like the new take on Samus? Sorry, she's a human. Humans are imperfect and have emotions. However, does the game need to remind the audience of that every second??

So hey, I understand why people aren't pleased about the characterization in the new Metroid. But I gotta say: it's far from sexist (even if Samus weren't acting under orders, there are like five MEN who operate under the same restrictions!!!!!!!) and it's still absolutely an enjoyable game. See...

Here's why people love it:

2A) It still "feels" like Metroid.
As I said, it doesn't play like Metroid. But the aesthetic, the atmosphere, the design, yea... it's Metroid. Had the Prime series debuted a few months ago? People would have vilified it for the same reasons. Think about it.

2B) It is cinematic, and it's awesome!
Yea, I'm one of those 5% that cares more about story than any fakakta "cover system" or weapons load-out or jump physics or any of that peripheral, forest-for-the-trees bullsh*t. Yea, I said it. .... of course, your tastes are your own. Enjoy your games!

But for me, I really feel like the attention to story and presentation makes this Metroid game feel like a love-letter to the long-time fans! (me! us?) It feels like "hey, you know that awesome game you've been playing? well here's the depth we've been ignoring. enjoy!" To use an analogy for that same sentiment, it's like "hey, you know that pie crust you've been eating? well here's some cherry-filling! eat up!"

2C) The characters are deeply vulnerable and imperfect.

Personally, I don't give two shyguys about whether or not games are considered art. I've been making music and drawing for over 20 years and I can tell you having something called "art" means less than nothing.

However, if you truly want games to enjoy the expressive freedom of any other media, you have to be prepared and accepting of portrayals that aren't always shiny and happy.

This brings up a few counter-arguments that I will address...

#1 - "But they should have left Samus (Mario/Link/Cloud/etc) alone! Let her remain idealic!"
I can see this argument. If I really felt they were "ruining" Samus I'd be ticked off too. But I guess I just don't equate "having feelings" with being "ruined." To me, it just adds depth. But Warren Spector recently wrestled with this very subject in regards to Mickey. He wanted to make a "darker" Mickey game but faced the challenge of possibly making Mickey "dark." I think we all remember the idea of "Scrapper Mickey" that was ultimately.... scrapped... because the team felt it portrayed Mickey too negatively. I agree with that. But that illustrates the difference between objectively negative characteristics and mere vulnerability.

#2 - "So what? Happy/shiny content can't be meaningful!?"
If you know me, you know that I have no reason to justify something like this with a response. Suffice to say: yes, it can.

#3 - "So what? There should be no limits on content? Just do whatever can be done!?"
No. Not at all. Many of you will probably disagree with me (and contradict yourself if you don't appreciate Other M's take on Samus) but I am "pro censorship" in the sense that I don't think people need to see content whose only purpose is shock value. I don't think a show, movie or game deserves protection just because it's showing a way to horrifyingly murder someone that audiences have not witnessed before. I don't think a work of fiction is automatically Oscar-worthy just because it depicts human suffering to an extreme we haven't seen before.

If the work has something meaningful to contribute beyond the shock? The by all means, let's see it. But, no, I'm not advocating a free-for-all on content.


As I said, I've only played a few hours of Other M and here I am writing this veritable dissertation on the subject. And I know gamers like to say that if you haven't completed 110% of the game then you shouldn't even have formed complete thoughts about it.

But hey, this site isn't going anywhere. So if the rest of the game changes my mind, I promise I'll have nothing better to do than write about it here!

Otherwise, it just saddens me that my experience with what seems to be a truly ambitious, fresh and exciting game (aren't those what gamers always b*tch about not having?!) is being severely dampened by the needless controversy that circled this game so violently I can't keep it out of my mind while playing.

There are certain gamers (many in the gaming media) that just ruin the party for the rest of us. It's such a shame that gaming culture continues to only appear capable of (or interested in?) burning bridges, instead of building new ones.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Site Chat. Now!

^ topic

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cool Chat. Help Kids. Warm Feelings.

Nintendo World Report is holding a live chat for the sake of Child's Play charity on Saturday.

I can't imagine any of our readers aren't familiar with NWR, but maybe some aren't hyper aware of this charity effort.

Check the link, there are several ways to help out and it's for a very cool cause.

Nintendo World Report - RFN: Doin' It Live... for the Kids!

Who else will be there??

Sunday, November 28, 2010

This Wednesday's Chat

Now that T-Giving has passed, we'll resume the usual Chats at 8PM EST on Wednesdays.

This week we have a specific goal to plan the next Tournie. We have a few options on the table between TvC and the PKMN Bug Tournie. So check the discussions in the forums and try to come with some ideas, mmk?!

Rock on.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!

Just a heads up, gang, I'm out of town visiting the in-laws for Thanksgiving.

I'll be back on Sunday. You kids play nice while I'm gone.

By the way, brother-in-law brought GoldenEye to the festivities. Can't wait to get my hands on it after Christmas!

We'll be spending the later evening with some 4-player NSMBWii ^_^ Good times.

Enjoy your turkey tomorrow!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

RECOM: Sonic Colors by Rocket

Sonic Colors
by Rocket (Contributing Author) | Edited by Mop_it_up (Site Editor)

There's a nice trend on the Wii lately where we're seeing releases of brand new 2D platformers on discs. Sonic Colours fits quite well into this style of gameplay, and although there have been a few Sonic games released on the Wii already, this game proves that SEGA are getting really good at making them.

First things first, the load times are practically nonexistent. You're thrown into the first level straight away when you start a new game from the title screen, which is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

Tails provides tutorials in the game, but before you start you get a prompt with the option to turn him off if you don't want him. He's the only one of Sonic's friends that's here too. You may have noticed those little alien things on the cover of the game's packaging? They're basically powerups with eyes, which is the same as with Mario's powerups. They never interrupt the game's flow.

The gameplay consists of pure running and platforming like the daytime stages of Sonic Unleashed, but finely tuned so that there are much fewer cheap deaths. They put some really good thought into them too - for example, there are a few water levels, but they're less sluggish than usual, and you can carry out mid-air jumps an unlimited number of times while underwater.

The only motion control in this game is giving a quick shake to activate the powerups. Once activated, you're back to using the buttons to carry out what they do. They're lots of fun to use and are handy for finding hidden alternate paths toward the goal.

There are 45 stages in the game. On top of that, there's an arcade simulator mode with a hefty amount of its own levels. They feature red and blue Sonic robots and have the same gameplay as the main levels, and can be played by 1-2 players. This mode is single-screen only, so you can either play cooperatively or the second player can support the first without having anything to lose (like the way Tails could in the old Mega Drive games). They even have 8-bit NES style remixes of the music from the main game's levels, which is a really nice touch.

The cutscenes can be skipped, and the dialogue is noticeably lighter and wittier than it normally is in a Sonic game. The characters have new voices for you to check out and see if you like them.

There's even a challenge mode where you can play all the levels from start to finish without a map screen or a cutscene interrupting you.

Sonic Colours is one of the most focused and non-intrusive Sonic games yet. It's proof that SEGA are ever closer to perfecting that formula of what makes a good Sonic game. They are listening to your complaints!

Calling it Now

As you may know, my wife and I are currently working through the Green Stars in Galaxy 2. It's been very fun and challenging finding and reaching those little green devils.

So I was thinking about Mario and the franchise and I'm just going to call this prediction now: Mario Galaxy 3 will mark the triumphant return of the beloved Raccoon suit as a power-up! They'll probably do a whole thing with debuting the suit in the 3rd original game so why not bring it back in the 3rd new game.

Yes, I know there aren't usually even sequels in the franchise anymore, let alone a third installment. But I just think the Galaxy series is going so well and has such limitless potential that I wouldn't be surprised with a third installment.

When will it happen? Obviously I haven't a shred of a clue. But I'm thinking it would be a launch title for the next Nintendo platform several years from now. Just my hunch.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Congrats, Mop_it_up!

Congratulations to Mop_it_up for out-dueling the mighty Arkia to win our second Conduit tournie!!

Tak rounded out the top three (and had by far the best kill/death ratio!).

HonorBadges and full results are available in the Tournies section.

Thanks for a great time to all who participated and all who just hung around the Chat to gab with us. I had fun being a moving target during our many battles! ^_^

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tournie Reminder: Conduit II

Just a reminder that the next scheduled Tournie will take place in 6 days (Wed, Nov. 17th). Meet in the site chat around 7pm and we'll go from there.

Post your friend code in the forums if you want to join in!

PS - Thanks for the correction, Mop!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

High Demolition #002 - Snoop Told DirecTV G4 Was Hot

Ok, I don't plan to churn these out this frequently in the future, but issue #002 is now available in the "Extras" section. (And of course, via the convenient thumbnail below.)

I'd like to join the rest of the online Nintendo fanbase and take this opportunity to kick G4 while it's down. It's just karma, G4, perhaps you'll learn from this whole mess!


The Motion control battle

Well today the last of the motion control options have come out in Microsoft Kinect. Sony Move came out about a month ago. I have been reading impressions of Kinect in reviews and from people who tried it out and it has lots of specific requirements for it. From what I have read it doesn't work to well. I don't know if it is just game companies not really getting a grasp of the system or if it just doesn't work too well.

As for Sony Move, I think it has the best chance of it working decently.
I read that it works well for some people and for others it doesn't so I'll look into that more.

As for the Wii and Motion + I think it works well. Until one of the other two show me that it works well then Nintendo is atop at this point.

Does anybody plan on picking up Move or Kinect or are you sticking with Wii?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Site Chat Tonight!

Wednesday night is Site Chat night. (8PM EST)

Miss it and you'll kick yourself. Hard.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

This Year's (lame) Costume

So I've had some pretty awesome Halloween costumes over the years. Some of the better ones came long after I stopped going door-to-door for candy.

As far as game-related costumes, I was the Luigi to my shorter friend's Mario when I was in college. I was Link two years ago when my wife was Zelda. Last year I was Professor Layton and my wife was "Lucia" ... Luke's long-lost sister =P

This year we had family over Saturday night. It was pretty awesome. We ate finger foods, watched "The King of Kong" and played the Monty Python edition of a card game called "Fluxx."

Today, Amy and I just planned to watch old Halloween specials and chow down on some quality candy. Without much need for costumes, we just threw some (lame ones) together. Amy had some temporary tattoos plastered on her face. I cut out and donned a paper crown. Then I carried around a Kirby plush all night. Can anyone guess who I was this year? ^_^


What were some of you this year? Did anyone actually get out for trick-or-treating?

Anyone have any awesome game-related costumes over the years?

Tournie info and some new Wallpapers

The current info for the next Tournie has been posted. Feel free to talk it up on the forums to decide some of the details.

Also, my continuing obsession with the Crystal Chronicles series has yielded two more FFCC wallpapers. They can be found in the Extras section.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

High Demolition #001 - NBA Jam

Get equipped with: Web Comic!

Issue #001 is now live and available in the "Extras" section.

(But of course, you could just click the convenient thumbnail below instead.)

I figured we'd start off easy with a nice straight-forward one. All of our strips will have some kind of commentary on gaming culture. The execution of that commentary will vary in its wackyness.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Site Chat Tonight!

Site chat starting in 42 minutes. See you there!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

25th Aniversary Bundle confirmed for the USA and Wii remote Plus price and details

We have 4 things coming out on November 7th from Nintendo.

First is the 25th Anniversary Red Wii bundle.
It will have the Red Wii,Red Wii remote plus and nunchuk,New Super Mario Bros Wii and Wii Sports.It will be $199.99

Second is the Red Anniversary DSi XL with Mario Kart DS for $179.99

Thirdly Wii Remote Plus will be in bundles and in hardware packaging from now on.Also it will be avalable without the hardware for a price of $39.99. Colors comes in White,Black,Blue and Pink.

Last but not least is the Wii remote Plus and Fling Smash bundle for $49.99.
Well with all this standard is anybody going to go back and grab any Wii motion + games to try them out that you missed out on and if so what games?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

EA Seemlessly Merges Stupidity with Intelligence

Thanks to the NBA Jam fiasco, I'm not a big fan of EA right now. However, Trey Smith from EA had this to say during an interview with MTV:

What do you think is the biggest problem current games suffer from?
I think there are a number of problems we have with the way games are being developed today, but honestly, I think one of the biggest problems right now is the actions and attitude of some of the gamers out there. You know who they are. If they spent less time spewing ignorant hate on the boards and in online games, and more time rallying behind the great games they love and helping to build a thriving community that welcomes everyone that shows up to play with them - everybody wins. Nothing wrong with a little smack talk here and there, just wish gamers respected each other more. I just got back from PAX Prime down in Seattle. I am of the opinion that if the people of PAX ran the world, it would be a much better place. Costumes optional.

I agree, Trey. I hope in the future more developers and gamers do too.

A Conversation with Epicenter Studios (sort of)

Recently, GoNintendo reported that GameStop no longer listed "Rock of the Dead" as being released for the Wii. [link] This was indicative of another slap in the face of Wii owners since this game was originally announced as a Wii exclusive.

However, Bryan ("roland13x") from Epicenter Studios made the (possibly suicidal) decision to join in an internet discussion on video games. However, (most) everyone was cool and the two of us were able to have this nice conversation on GoNintendo's post...

Hey guys, Bryan here from Epicenter studios.

First off, I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love the passion you guys have for gaming. Even those of you who are saying "Rock of the Dead is the sux!!1!" :) It's that kind of passion that fuels us when we're making games.

For the Wii version of Rock, all I can say right now is don't worry about it. It's coming. We've pretty much had everything go against us for that game, but we won, and it's coming.

So even for those of you who are hating something you haven't given a chance to...hell, especially for those guys, it's coming. Don't know when, but it's coming!

roland - thanks for being a stand up guy about all this.

Here are my 2 cents and I hope you reply when you get a chance.

Cent #1. I read about this game in (I believe) Nintendo Power a few months ago. As an avid lover of both HotD and Typing of the Dead I was very interested in this title. Psyched? Maybe only in small amounts. But interested? Abso-freaking-lutely.

Cent #2. When I see any company treat the Wii like a second class citizen it bothers me. (In this case: exclusive > delay > removed listing > "it's coming for realsies!")

Why does it bother me? Because I think the best games of this generation have come out for the Wii and as a guy who was very into the PS1 and PS2, that means a lot.

So when I see all this potential for a platform, and then developers and publishers giving the Wii the cold shoulder (watered-down versions, or no release at all, even when it seems to make poor business sense!), I just get frustrated.

There only seem to be 3 reasons why a company would ignore the Wii.
1) lack of HD
2) lack of processing power on par with the PS3/60
3) lack of a "hardcore" image.

Reason #1 seems real weak to me (Pac-Man is still a pretty fun game.)
Reason #2 makes sense, but then again, doesn't that make it cheaper to develop for???
and Reason #3 is stupid beyond all comprehension ... but the sounds from the echo chamber sure indicate a fixation.

So what I'm hoping, what I'm asking from you is, can you explain to us why things like this happen? Perhaps you can only comment on your own experiences - and that would be fine.

Thank you.


Hey NinSage. First of all, a well-written post, so thank you!

While I can't go into detail about the circumstances behind Rock of the Dead's development, I can express what I see happening within the industry in general.

We (Epicenter) has been very supportive of the Wii. In fact, our first two projects (Critter Round-Up for WiiWare and Real Heroes: Firefighter) were exclusive to the Wii. Sure, part of it was because we had smaller budgets and needed the lower-fi platform, but a lot of it was because we believed in what the Wii was as a platform.

However, we've all seen a ton of, well, not great games sell a ton of copies on the Wii. And when publishers see that they can spend $20 million on a PS3/360 title and make $10 million, or they can spend $500k on a Wii game and make $4 million...well, you can see where that ends up. Sure, there are some publishers that put a lot of money into high quality games for the Wii, but most of the Wii's lineup is, well, lower priced titles that have some success. So the cycle continues...

Quick Edit - You wouldn't believe some of the conversations we've had with some publishers. We've been asked to deliver some ridiculously ambitious games at costs that aren't feasible, and then we see these same projects completed (generally poorly) by Chinese or Thai studios. Frustrating.

So while your three reasons are, for sure, valid reasons, I think you're seeing financial reasons dominate what's going on with the Wii software.

Having said that, we certainly didn't intend to treat the Wii with a cold shoulder. We actually really appreciate the Wii because it gives smaller developers with smaller budgets a platform where they can compete. Which is one thing that scares me a bit with the 3DS. The DS might be the last console that will commercially support smaller or 2D style games on a mass market level. But I guess we'll see.


More devs should do what you're doing right now: making a connection with their audience. Honestly, I didn't know the name of your company before this discussion (don't feel bad, I *heart* games, not business).

However, I think I speak for a lot of people here when I say that knowing a fellow like yourself is behind the wheel makes us want to familiarize ourselves with that entity.

Based purely on their, for lack of a better term, "philosophy," I will always check out games made by three people: Warren Spector, Jason Vandenberghe and now roland13x (Epicenter). =P

Plus, I don't see 2D gaming going anywhere. And I don't even mean 2D as in no-glasses. I mean 2D like the way Metal Slug, Muaramasa and ABaHBlob are 2D. Frankly, I don't think the simplicity of 2D gaming will ever fully lose its appeal (to devs AND the audience).

We still have print media, we still have radio, we'll still have 2D games. The sky is never falling as much as Michael Pachter insists that it is =P

If you're still checking this, I have s'more questions to add to our discussion ...

1. I think your assessments of the economics at work are accurate. However, that only confuses me further. Given that relationship between development investment and potential profits, wouldn't that make the Wii very attractive to ... everyone?

For example,
High budget Wii -> low or high $$$
HighER budget PS/360 -> low or high $$$
Low budget PS/360 -> low $$$
LowER budget Wii -> low or high $$$

Obviously I'm speaking gross generalities, but it just seems like the Wii would provide lower risks and higher rewards, especially for smaller devs.
But perhaps there is a glitch in my matrix? Care to correct it?

2. Also, I need more enlightenment on just how different the cost to develop on Wii is from the HD consoles?
For instance, if a game like No More Heroes sells 400k units, is that profitable for a studio of their size?
After all, it is a 3D game, it has gameplay and narrative depth, but it doesn't exactly push the technological envelope.

Conversely, how many units would its HD version need to sell before turning the same profit? 600k? Over a million? Ball park figures are welcome.

3. Would the costs of a game like Muramasa or ABaHBlob be significantly cheaper than a No More Heroes? Does the purely 2D really cut the cost? Or does the investment in animation bump it back up?

Thank in advance. And if you don't feel like continuing the discussion here, feel free to write me!


By the way, I'm a HUGE Warren Spector fan. System Shock 2 is still one of my favorite games of all time. I was walking down the street at GDC two years ago and Warren was walking towards me, and I totally choked and didn't say hello and "thank you" to him. Grr....

And I didn't mean to say that 2D gaming was going away, it'll always be around. It's more of the ability for that type of game to A) get made and B) have the potential to find a mass market audience (in other words, be successful) is going to be diminished somewhat with the move to the quite powerful 3DS.

For sure we're speaking generalities here, and my experiences may be different from other devs, so this is pretty much my observations speaking. You are correct, I do think the WIi provides lower risks with potentially higher rewards. But once it's proven that something, for example, Carnival Games, developed at probably 10% of the budget of a lower-end 360/PS3 title, can make itself a 1000% profit...well, you're going to just see a ton of very low budget Wii titles in the hopes that one hits it big. And not that budget and quality are completely directly linked...but that is the case more often than not.

And frankly, I don't think a lot of people still know how to deal with the Wii. When we first started up, the Wii had been out for maybe 2 months. We pitched a couple Wii games to just about every publisher, large and small, and they were all, seriously, all of them, unsure of what was going to happen with the Wii, so they basically ignored it at first. And then they collectively see how successful and "non-fad" it was and everyone jumped on with some good but mostly negative results. The unconventional nature of the platform really handicapped a lot of companies.

So, NMI. If they really sold 400k units, and assuming most of those sales were at the full release price, then most likely someone made a profit on it. The tricky part here is comparing Japanese development with Western development. I've only worked in the West, so most of what I know of Japanese development is through stories or third-party conversations...but more often than not, those guys virtually kill themselves making games. There's a ton of turnover at a lot of the larger other words, it's often not very pleasant, but they do get a lot from a little if you follow. But assuming it costs them what it'd cost us to make a game like that, I'd say someone made money on it.

If the HD version was basically the same game with higher-res models and textures but virtually the same game, then it probably wasn't too expensive to "up-convert", so I'd say another 400k-600k in HD sales would be very healthy for them. Again, assumptions and generalities...

That's a good question, but I would say yes, a 2D game will most often be cheaper than a similarly-scoped 3D one. The added expense of beautiful hand-drawn characters and animations is probably less than the savings on creating 3D models, landscapes and more complex scripting.


Thank you very much for your informative responses.

That's too bad about your Warren encounter. Stick with the biz and you'll get another shot =)

So I checked out the Epicenter website.

I have three things to say:
1. If the Wii version of RotD is not depressingly gimped, you'll have my sale. It would actually motivate me to pick up a silly plastic guitar for the Wii! ... I have two for the PS2 in a closet somewhere ...

As a musician (bass, drums, guitar, piano) the idea of "pretending" to play Sweet Home Alabama never really appealed to me. But the idea of "pretending" to kill zombies with rawk?! To quote myself, "abso-freaking-lutely."

2. Perhaps you were aiming for that broader audience (can't blame you) but "Real Heroes: Firefighters" is really the kind of name that will make long-time gamers ignore your efforts. If only it had been called "Inferno" or "Ember's Glow" or "Disaster: Day of Cri--" ... nevermind that last one.

3. That said, after looking up some videos, there is an infinitely greater chance of me someday playing "Real Heroes: Firefighter" than, say, "G__ of War 5." Take that for what it's worth.


Oh man, let me tell you how much I disliked the title of the Firefighter game. All I can say is naming things is hard. Weeding through trademarks and all that fun legal stuff is, well, not fun.


I understand... the creative process can often be a battle of attrition.

Thanks again for the good chatter!

Who's JonPonikvar? Dunno. But he's smart.

Saw this on GameTrailers. It's a response to the (rave) review GT gave regarding Kirby's Epic Yarn. So here's what a one "JonPonikvar" had to say...
JonPonikvar said: Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.The Wii is like the artistic third brother in a family of jocks. The two bigger, stronger brothers (PS3 & 360) are both star athletes, regularly outperforming each other with more impressive games. Meanwhile the Wii stays in the art room inside the school, showcasing an incredible level of artistic ability to balance what little physical strength he has. While his brothers are out riling up the crowds with each game they bring to the field, he remains diligent, creating masterpieces of more simplistic beauty that garner the attention of a crowd all his own.

I've had similar thoughts like this for a while now. Perhaps you have too? And sure, it is a generalization with several notable exceptions. But, regardless, I think it's a darn good analogy.

Friday, October 15, 2010


1. I've finally perfected the graphics along the left side of the site. Enjoy their awesomeness.

2. There is a new desktop background in the Extras section for "Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Ring of Fates." (I'm on a FFCC kick!)

Also, I redid the SMG2 background... it's exponentially better.

3. I think I've fixed the problem with spammers joining the forums. Time will tell.

4. I may be able to incorporate a site chat directly into the forums that would also work on the Wii. That would be cool because A) it would be convenient for forum users and B) that convenience would likely increase chat usage.

5. The first edition of the web comic strip "Highly Deaf" should be up next week. Watch for it!

6. Good night.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Site Chat Tonight! and Caffeinated Hunting

"CoffeeWithGames" runs a blog of the same name. I've always found his blog interesting, insightful and informative. Well, Maxi and I connected with Coffee a few months ago and found a mutual desire to hunt monstrous things.

Coffee was cool enough to post some videos of these adventures and give a nice shout-out to our site in the process. So let me shout right back:

Check out CoffeeWithGames: [link]
Check out the CWG/NinTemple joint hunt: [link]


And don't forget, site Chat tonight! 8PM EST! If you wanna just talk that's cool, and if you want to suggest a game for people to play that's cool too!

We'll see you there!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Is online multiplayer good for new titles?

As most of you know I have been playing Monster Hunter Tri since June and well I can't get enough of it. I noticed something in me that I would like to talk about.
I don't think I have purchased a game since I got it so this is where I started thinking about if having online multiplayer in older games is good for newer titles that doesn't have any form of online play.

I think it can be a problem for newer titles because it can prevent you from trying out new games because you are heavily vested into the old game. In the end it is probably bad from a business perspective for other publishers.

Am I alone as far as not getting any new games after being so into a game that I haven't played anything else?
Does anybody else feel wrapped up into a game that you can't stop playing?

Please share your thoughts.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

How Did I Not Know About This!?!?

Did you guys know about THIS ???

Somehow it flew entirely under my radar all this time!  I don't know if it will be a day one purchase (even at the nice price of $29.99) but it will be a purchase for sure!  Just this past summer, during our pilgrimage to Funspot Arcade, I played Dragon's Lair and Space Ace for the first time.  I ... stunk.  But the games visual appeal is truly timeless in my opinion and I can't wait to take a stab at these games without having to fork over another quarter each time I inevitably make a poor choice!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Worth Noting ...

1. I've been trying to tell people that the Wii was for gamers.  Glad this guy from Yahoo! thinks so too.

2. After watching this video with Warren Spector I gotta say, he is now up there with Jason Vandenberghe as the two best (non-Nintendo) developers I've heard speak.  Their heads and hearts just seem to be in absolutely the right places.  They aren't concerned with adhering to some "hardcore" image, they aren't trying to sell the consumer junk and tell them it's gold - they just want to give quality gaming experiences - and we reap the benefits!
ps - It's a little sad when Warren Spector has to appologize for being a Nintendo fan.

3. I think the author of this list hit some of his picks right out of the park.

Here's how I feel about the thought of these franchises making a come back:
14. Battletoads - YESSS!!!
13. Strider - YESS!!
12. Shinobi - if it's a continuation of the PS2 series? YESS!!
11. Legacy of Kain - ... no, thank you.
10. X-Wing/TIE Fighter - ... sure, why not.
9. Smuggler's Run - ... who?
8. Colony Wars - YESS!!
7. Panzer Dragoon - YES!
6. Killer Instinct - ... meh.
5. R.C. Pro Am - yea!
4. Wizards & Warriors - ... no, thank you.
3. Jumping Flash! - YEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS!!!!!! I flippin' loved that franchise!!
2. Mutant League - ... no, thank you.
1. Lost Vikings - ... no, thank you.

ok, deep breathes....

3DS is set to launch in February in Japan and March in NA/EU.

Also, there will be a handheld virtual console! That's right! Download Gameboy and GBA games to your 3DS!

plus... *breathes into paper bag* ...screw it... MEGA MAN LEGENDS 3!!!!!!!!!!

3DS info


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Here we go!!

Those immortal words of Mario have never been more true.

Right now it's late, I'm tired, and I have a cold. So I'm going to bed.

But I wanted to show everyone the new site!! What's the point of the new site? Well, we already talk about and play DS games, and we sure as heck are gonna talk 3DS when that comes out. So, I figured we should expand our focus to include the powerful portables.

Also, the site chat and forum have both been upgraded. The blog and the forum have been INTEGRATED onto our server (just like a real website! =P )

So, take a look around, a lot has remained the same, but a lot has changed.


oh, btw, I changed my screenname too......

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy 25th Birthday Super Mario Bros!

Today back in 1985 the first Super Mario Bros game was released on the Famicom;short for Family Computer. Since the release of the Super Mario Bros it has become a beloved character and a source of enjoyment for many people.

Here are some of my memories of Mario.

I remember playing Super Mario Bros and it was quite enjoyable.I had never seen this type of world before. It seemed like the flow of imagination from Shiguru Miyamoto was working on overdrive.

Back in the 80s to early 90's you could not go anywhere with out seeing something about the Mario Bros it was a thing to behold.I remember seeing The Wizard and to see the final game was Super Mario Bros 3 well it was to much for me.I was overjoyed.

Another memory I have is playing with my nephew in Super Mario Kart. It was enjoyable seeing him play. We would take turns playing the time trial and trying to beat each others scores. I also recall playing Mario Kart:Double Dash and having fun with the 2 racer system. I usually drove and I was okay with that.

We also played New Super mario Bros Wii when it came out.Very fun to play that.

In commemoration of the 25th Birthday of the Mario Bros is releasing a Super Mario Bros collection for the Wii.
It has the first 3 Super Mario Bros games and as well as the lost levels game.In addition to that there is going to be a Music CD encompasing music from all of the Mario games from SMB to Galaxy 2.Also there is going to be a book I think of all kinds of things about the Super Mario Bros. At this time the collection is only for Japan and is a limited release.
I'm going to guess that Nintendo will have this for the 25th anniversary of Super Mario Bros in the USA.
So any memories of Mario or maybe something you might want to tell us that not many people might know about Mario.

Let me know.:)


I've been gaming since the days of the Atari 2600 - a long time. Over the years, gaming has obviously changed, evolved and progressed. This progression does not necessarily imply improvement. Great games from the last 30 years can still be enjoyed today and 30 years from now - it's merely a matter of taste. This confirms the theory that technological advancements do not automatically yield increases in value or entertainment.

Building off of that, we can all agree that we've witnessed incredible advancements in gaming technology over the last five to 10 years. The visuals have reached heights that rival big budget movies. And the fact that I can wirelessly control a virtual sword by swinging the controller is is a concept that would have reduced my childhood-self to a pile of euphoric mush.

However, with technological advances, they are usually evident from the moment the game begins and we all become jaded to the novelty too quickly. That's when a game's substance either launches it to the status of "classic" or sucks it into the abyss of "forgettable" titles.

Over the years, it's become less and less frequent that a game truly blows my mind. Of course, I deeply enjoy many games. And I'd have to say the library of Wii games is really what revitalized my faith and passion in gaming. But let's just say I was floored when I first played Centipede. Again when I first played Super Mario Bros. The hits kept on coming: Tetris on GB, 1941, Ninja Gaiden II, Mega Man 2, Street Fighter 2, Final Fantasy VII, Kingdom Hearts, RE4 on the Wii. I'm sure I'm forgetting dozens of titles, but the point is, in recent years the percentage of good and great games has definitely gone up but the amount of truly mind-blowing experiences has declined.

However, lately I've found myself amidst a spoil of riches. As many of you know, Monster Hunter Tri grabbed hold of my existence and is only recently starting to loosen its grip. This is partly due to Dragon Quest IX's ability to make me feel like "right now" is always a good time to play.

So what is it about these games that has me feeling that sense of magic again? I've done some thinking and I believe it's simple: the developers of these (lengthy) games found a way to surprise me in hour 250 like it was hour 5.

I've logged nearly 500 hours on MH3 and I STILL see things I've never seen before. Like the time Deviljho cleared the entrance to the hidden area of the Tundra. Or the time a teammate was hurled from Jhen Mohran's back yet caught the boat's edge with his fingertips to avoid a sandy bath.

In DQ9? It's pure exploration and depth. The world map isn't just a series of tedious stops to be checked off in a linear fashion. No, it's a fully-fleshed out environment with meaningful interactions at every turn. I'm over 100 hours into the adventure and I can't tell you how many times I've spotted a path, followed it, and thought: "I've never been here before! Hey! Free stuff! New quests! New characters!!"

My wife and I each bought a copy of the game so we could play together. We started within a few days of each other and our experiences have been so different that we often have to be weary of not spoiling anything for the other!

To sum it up, MH3 and DQ9 have impressed me in a manner that hasn't happened in a while. Games like these make me feel lucky to be a gamer in 2010 and have me looking forward to the future.


Speaking of surprises, I've got a rather monumental surprise in store for this website... a big change in the near future. Let's just say "stay tuned" and leave it at that.

Friday, September 3, 2010

RECOM: Sin & Punishment: SS by Rocket

US Title: Sin and Punishment: Star Successor
EU Title: Sin and Punishment: Successor of the Skies
by Rocket (Contributing Author) | Edited by Mop_it_up (Site Editor)

Here's a very nice arcade style rail shooter that's all about running and gunning. Developed very closely between Treasure and Nintendo, there are seven main levels, which actually sounds kind of offputtingly short.

If it were any longer, it would be a bit too much, and one wouldn't be as likely to return to it. With an RPG, for example, you'd usually just play once or twice because it's so long, but with this kind of game, you could just have a quick go of any level you completed and have a great time with it.

What you're mainly doing the whole time is shooting, dodging, charging big shots, and batting enemy shots back at them (this one is really fun). The action is very heavy all the time, and it requires every bit of your attention and focus to play.

The Wii Remote's pointer helps to make it a more improved experience than the first game, but you have a variety of control options, and the buttons are 100% remappable.

What we've got is a game that's really easy to just pick up and play, yet extremely action-packed with lasers and explosions everywhere, and makes for a good challenge. It hits that sweet spot where a game instantly satisfies and tests your skills at the same time, which makes it one of the best.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

DSi and DSiXL to receive price decreases on September 12th

Starting September 12th the DSi and DSiXL will lower in price.

DSi will be $149.99 from its current price of $169.99.

The DSiXL will cost $169.99 from its current price of $189.99.

The DS Lite will remain at $129.99.

Anybody going to grab a DSi or DSiXL when this price cut happens?

Are you going to wait for the 3DS instead?

I don't have a DSi yet. If anybody does what would be good software from the DSi shop?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fall Release Schedule for all Nintendo systems

A few days ago Nintendo released release dates for all of the major titles for the remainder of the year.

Here is the list.

First party Wii titles are as follows.
Metroid:Other M on August 31st.
Samuri Warriors 3 on September 27th.
Wii Party on October 3rd.
Kirbys Epic Yarn on October 17th.
PokePark Wii on November 1st.
Fling Smash on November 7th.
Donkey Kong Country Returns on November 21st.

For 3rd party Wii titles we have this.

New Carnival Games on September 21.
NBA Jam on October 5th.
Just Dance 2 on October 12th.
Goldeneye 007 in November.
Sonic Colors on November 16th.
Epic Mickey has a "Holiday Season" time frame for release.

For the DS from Nintendo we have Professor Layton 3 on September 12th.
Pokemon Ranger 3 on October 4th.
Art Academy on October 25th.
Mario vs Donkey Kong 4 on November 14th.

For 3rd parties on the DS we have these titles.

Super Scribblenauts in October.
Final Fantasy:The Four Heroes of Light on October 5th.
Rock Band 3 on October 29th.

For Wiiware we have And Yet it Moves on August 23rd.
Bit Trip Fate sometime in the Fall.
Super Meat Boy coming in the Holidays.

Finally for DSiware we have Need for Speed Nitro-X coming September 20th.

Shantae:Risky's Revenge coming this Holiday season.

The ones I'm interested in is Metroid:Other M,Samuri Warriors 3, Kirbys Epic Yarn, Fling Smash,DKCR, NBA Jam, Sonic Colors, Epic Mickey,Super Scribblenauts and And Yet it Moves.

Anything that catches your eye?
Anything you are curious about that you might not know much about?

Let me know what you think.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Knock Knock.

Who's there?

Looks like things have really died down in my absence. Especially on the forum.

Is it just the summer lull?

Well, in any case, if you're around, post here and make it known!

Let us know what you would like to see the site do next? What's on your gamer mind these days? Talk it up!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Out of Office Reply

Hey guys,

Just dropping a note to let you all know I'll be out of town until mid-August.

I may be able to hop online now and then to check in but no promises.

See you all later! Have fun and be good while I'm gone!


PS - Maxi, don't trash the place =P

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pokemon Bug Tourney is ON!

Round 1 is happening.


By the way, it's not too late to sign up. Just click [here].

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Reminder: Site Chat Tomorrow

Just a reminder that our second weekly site chat will take place tomorrow at 8pm EST.

I may not be able to make it to the chat because I may be trying to get all the stars in Mario 64 with a friend of mine.

But whether I'm there or not, I'd like you all to feel free to get together, talk shop, make merry, whatever you want!

You might want to start making arrangement for the upcoming Pkmn Bug Tourney. Be sure to copy Maxi on the details using the forum.

See ya next time, my koopa troopas.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Bros by Any Other Name

There was a time when aliens slowly moving towards the ground was the height of plot development in a game. Times change. Games change. But when games endure that test of time, the remnants of an... unspecified ... backstory can rear their ugly head.

Some of those unspecified details involve character names. When first creating a game, developers never know if it's going to be "Ninja Gaiden" or "Ninja Crusaders." So while it may seem like a confusing choice to put a Ryu and a Ken in a game that isn't Street Fighter, it isn't an issue when no one can identify even one character from "Ninja Crusaders."

Well, there are a couple popular Nintendo characters whose names have either changed, or not changed, and it can be a little confusing if you stop and think about it.

Mario Mario and Luigi Mario
Ok, we all know that Mario and Luigi do not have official last names according to Nintendo. But the games' titles, "Mario Bros.," certainly confuses things. But hey, I can't blame Nintendo. What were they going to call the games? "Plumber Bros."? "Fireball Bros."? "Jumping-on-walking-mushroom Bros."? It's a little easier to just say "this is Mario, and he has a brother - they're the Mario Bros."

Fruits and Veggies
In Japan, she was always a Peach. In America, it was decided a Toadstool would be more appropriate. The popularity of Super Mario 64 finally brought the Princess' fruitful ways to the West. But you still hear confusion that stems from her ruling "The Mushroom Kingdom." Wouldn't a Toadstool rule the Mushroom Kingdom? Why a Peach?
Why do some people think her first name is Peach and her last name is Toadstool? "Princess Peach Toadstool"? Not only is that a mouthful, it's a bad-tasting mouthful!

Toad and Yoshi: Misplaced Identity
Keeping with the mushrooms, we all know the 4th playable character in SMB2. He's cute, he's got a voice that is both harsh and adorable, his name is "Toad" and he is a Toad. ... His name is Toad and he is a Toad. That'd be like a human named Human. Especially since he is but one of many inhabitants of the Mushroom Kingdom. Toadsworth knows it. Toadette knows it. Even Ala-Gold and Bucken-Berry kind of know it. But Toad? He's just ... Toad. And we'll have to love him for it.

Yoshi doesn't have it any better. It's the same deal, his name is "Yoshi" and he is a Yoshi. But I feel the waters get muddied when you consider the other colored Yoshis. Do they have names? Identities? Are they really other Yoshis? Seems some games have different colored Yoshis with different abilities. While other games have the same "Yoshi" whose skin changes color depending on his diet. Hmmm.

I'm Stubborn as a Monkey
Last but not least, I've heard Shigeru Miyamoto confirm a million times over that the large guerrilla who throws barrels was intentionally named "Donkey" to reflect a stubborn, oafish nature. However ... he's a big monkey! Why not name him "Stubborn Kong"!? There are no donkeys in any of these games. And is DK really any more stubborn or oafish than Bowser or any other recurring game antagonist? Especially considering the character he's become, DK seems pretty darn sway-able since he's mostly been a PROtagonist for years!
So let me say this, I take Shigeru's word as gospel. When you do what he's done, you earn the right to some credibility - even if it's implausible. But dang, Shiggy, it's pretty darn implausable!


Well, ike I said, it can be a little confusing if you stop and think about it. ... I guess that's why most people chose not to!

How do you feel about curious naming in gaming? Fun? Annoying? Funny?
Any game names that boggle your mind? Any Dr. Robotniks that became your Dr. Eggmans? Let us know!

Monday, July 5, 2010

RECOM: Fragile Dreams by TofuFury

Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon
by TofuFury (Contributing Author) | Edited by Mop_it_up (Site Editor)

Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon, developed by Tri-Crescendo and released by X-Seed, is a game that mixes a variety of different genres to tell a story about survival and hope. Seto, the main character, has just buried the only other person he’s ever known. Everyone else has apparently been wiped off the face of the earth by an unknown cause. Before the man died, he told Seto to head towards Tokyo Tower to find other survivors. Right away, he meets a silver-haired girl, who immediately runs away from him. Seto spends the rest of the game trying to find her again. Along the way, he will meet other “people” or ghosts to which he can interact with and bring peace.

Fragile Dreams has been described as an action RPG, but it’s more complicated than that. If someone bought this game expecting Kingdom Hearts, they would be very disappointed. While you can level up, the only stats in the game are for your HP and attack. There’s not much variety to your attacks, though it will change depending on the class of your weapon. It’s not the game’s greatest strength by any means, but it doesn’t get in the way of the game.

The game also borrows a lot from survival horror games, but with more of an emphasis on survival than horror. Now, most people probably won’t get frightened while playing, but there are a lot of tense moments. You’ll exit a room and see a very dark corridor up ahead and not want to travel in that direction. Unless it’s a cat, everything in this game wants you dead. Add the fact that Seto isn’t much of a fighter, and each encounter can keep you on your toes. Thankfully, you rarely have to backtrack through old areas to get where you need to go.

The controls work well with the Wii Remote. The main focus of the controls is Seto’s flashlight. You point at the screen to shine Seto’s flashlight to find objects, messages, and to find your way around the dark and foreboding surroundings. Seto turns in whichever direction you point the flashlight. It takes a moment to get used to, but once you get it, it’s not a problem.

The visuals can take your breath away. The developers at Tri-Crescendo obviously put a lot of love and care into their creation. The world in Fragile is in decay and ruin. Shopping malls and amusement parks waste away, slowly being reclaimed by the plants and earth. They give the world new life amidst the death. You can’t help but stop sometimes and admire how beautiful the world is.

Sound is also an important part of the experience. What’s interesting is that most of the game has no music whatsoever, just background sound. The ambiance drives in the point that you are alone in this world. The only times you hear music are for cut-scenes or fights. Another unique feature of the game is that it uses the speaker on the Wii Remote, usually to warn you of an upcoming enemy. The English voice acting does a good job at not detracting from the emotion in the game, though a few performances are a bit ridiculous. If you find it annoying, you can always switch to the original Japanese voice acting.

It’s rare to encounter a game that wants the player to think about the world around them. However, Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon does exactly that. The world is a very fragile place. People aren’t meant to live alone. Deep inside, we all need someone to share our lives with. Someone that we can laugh with, cry on, and talk with. Seto’s journey is grueling, but you can’t help but do everything you can to help him succeed. Fragile Dreams isn’t a perfect game, but there’s enough here to keep interested players busy for a while. Fragile Dreams is truly a special game, and one I won’t forget for a long time.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

So today is America's Birthday.
What is everybody doing?
I am going to have barbecue chicken later and probably play Animal Crossing:City Folk later tonight.

In your part of the world do you celebrate anything on July 4th?

Do you have your own day for celebrating your countries birthday.

Let me know.:)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Half way through 2010

Well today, June 28th, we are halfway through the year.
What are your thoughts on the year thus far?
Any games you still need to pick up from the first half of the year?
I still have to pick up No More Heroes:Desperate Struggle and Tatsunoko vs Capcom. As well as Fragile Dreams and Red Steel 2.
Has anything in particular surprised you the first half of the year?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Prepare for Pokemon Infestation!

hey all, the bare bones info for the Pokemon Bug Type Tourney is up in the Tournies section.

Check it out! Then buzz on over to the forums to sign up!

Monday, June 21, 2010

RUMOR - Guitar String Controller Silenced

The Harmonix/Fender/MTV Games peripheral that uses real strings for game input may be on hold or canceled all together.

Our source demanded anonymity but has spoken with someone "directly working on the project," and went on to say "there is a rather large error found in the software that is not allowing for the guitar to work. The guitar might not ship at all, or at least not launch with the software as the software problem is rather large."

Is this rumor cause for concern or just an expected hiccup in the progress towards new hardware? Has anyone else got information that might shed more light on this subject? Anyone had first-hand experience with the peripheral?

The Hunt Rages On

So MH3 has been out for two months now.

Here's the deal: I'm still completely obsessed with it. Seems like everyone else is too. This past week I've had some excellent quests with Mop, Maxi, Luxray, hoseph and other members of the WiiAreDeep community.

I know E3 has taken everyone's attention from the present to the future, but at least we have awesome gaming to pass the time until the future becomes the present.

How has MH3 been for you? Is it what you were expecting? More? Less?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Well, well, well... E3 2010.

What were your hopes? What were your dreams?

Doesn't matter - they all just came true at Nintendo's conference.

Let me give you my impressions.

The Bad:
-Zelda's control. I hope there is a good explanation for why that didn't work on stage and I have faith it will work fine at home.
-Kirby's design in the game. I love Kirby's usual look. I love the way that game looks. I just wish the normal Kirby appeared in that awesome looking game! The yarn Kirby is a little sad for me.

The Good:

Kid Icarus!? YES!!!
Donkey Kong Country!? YES!!!
Prof Layton!? YES!!!

Bye bye, wallet, it was nice knowing you!

What do you guys think?

Nintendo's Press conference starts in 40 minutes! is where the live stream is going to be.I will likely be watching that stream.
Gametrailers,IGN, and Gamespot will likely having video streams as well. Feel free to use this blog post to comment on the goings on of Nintendo's conference or better yet check out the chat room or the forums to post your thoughts.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Project Natal becomes Microsoft Kinect

Well yesterday Microsoft had a reveiling of Microsoft Kinect.


I thought the name was good before with Natal but I guess things change.
The software at launch is going to be similar to titles that Nintendo has had. Wii Sports,Mario Kart,Nintendogs(except Microsoft is doing a game about cats)
There will be a dance game as well from MTV.
Other than those few there will be something from LucasArts and Disney.
Rumors around have been circlating that Kinect will have 2 versions and that it will cost $149 for the higher end model.
Your thoughts on Kinect?

Friday, June 11, 2010

New ... and Improved?

Hey all.

Does the new look of the blog work well for everyone?

I've had some massive layout issues with it and tried to resolve them best I can but I'm not sure how they will look on all screens.

Please let me know if you have any positive or negative feedback and I'll put it to good use!

PS - an E3 draws near. command?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Earthbound is 15 years old today!

So I came across this and I am pretty excited about it. Earthbound is 15 years old.

I myself haven't played Earthbound.At the time of its release I wasn't really into RPGs yet. So it was somewhat not noticed by me. A few years ago I started to notice the series thanks to the inclusion of Ness in the Smash Bros games.

Do we have any Earthbound fans here?

If so what are your experences with the game? Are you one of the long time fans of the series or are you a newcomer to the series?

Feel free to share your thoughts on the series.:)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hello Everybody

Hello all of Wiiaredeeps members and future members.:) I am going to be contributing here on the front page as well as Crashman. I thank Crashman for letting me do this.

Just a little about me. I am a Nintendo fan through and through. I like to try out new games when I get a chance. I also enjoy the Classics as well. Other than games I enjoy playing Basketball and swimming.

So yes that is a little bit about me.

I hope everybody here enjoy my contributions to this great site.

Monday, May 24, 2010

RECOM: Opoona by Rocket

by Rocket (Contributing Author) | Edited by Mop_it_up (Site Editor)

This RPG has many big pluses that you notice about it straight away. The graphics are done in a style that is very colourful, and everything is drawn with bold, well-defined lines. The onscreen text in the dialogue boxes is nice and big, which makes it very easy and pleasant to read. Your characters move very swiftly across the screen when you move them, which means getting from point A to B never becomes a chore. Load times when going from scene to scene are almost non-existent, which is a thing everybody loves!

This game has random encounters and turn-based battles like many other RPGs, but its own unique take on this is its active bonbon battle system. Your weapon is a sphere called a bonbon, and you just use the analogue stick to attack. Flicking it will throw your bonbon at an enemy, and holding it will build up a stronger attack. The longer you hold, the longer it takes until you can take another turn. Also, holding it in any direction will let out a curved shot, which can help a lot when an enemy is hiding behind a bomb. You can even hit an enemy in mid-attack, cancelling it out so the enemy's attack fails for that turn. It's a refreshing and simple system, although it has a nice bit of depth to it too. You don't even use a menu during battles, except for using items and casting spells.

I like the fact that this game has social related stats you must build in order to advance the plot in key moments. Among these are "Love," "Integrity," "Fame," and "Arts." You can raise these stats by making friends with NPCs and doing part time jobs for them. If you think about it, it's just another form of "leveling up," but instead of battling you're taking part in social scenarios which involve a lot of charm and quirkiness on a scale not too dissimilar to Earthbound. It helped maintain my interest in the game and deepened my enjoyment of it.

I advise anyone who plays this game to draw maps of the towns while exploring them. They're these futuristic domes that are gigantic and labyrinthine, and can be overwhelming if you're not prepared! Then again, I suppose it does successfully make you feel like you're taking on the role of an alien kid who crashed on a strange planet and got separated from his family.

Another thing I love about this game is its nice short title. Many games nowadays have long titles with colons and subtitles, so to have one that's just one short easily identifiable word is refreshing. However, the game itself isn't short at all! It took me about seventy hours to complete it, though I'm sure most people will beat it in forty or so. I just got wrapped up in completing the social tasks.

There are some big names behind Opoona's development too! Artepiazza, the developer, has worked on the famous Dragon Quest series. The design ideals of the DQ series appear to have strongly influenced this game. The company is also known for CG illustration and art, so that would explain all the art exhibits you find throughout the adventure. This was clearly a game they really wanted to make, and it's great they had the freedom to express themselves like this. Also, famed composer Hitoshi Sakimoto, known for his work on many other game titles like Final Fantasy XII and Muramasa: The Demon Blade, composed Opoona's fully orchestrated soundtrack. Very pleasant and easy on the ears it is too.

Opoona is a great addition to the library of any Wii owner who’s a fan of RPGs and cute, quirky characters.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Funny Cuz It's True

"It's Your Funeral Nintendo ... AGAIN!"


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Info de Mayo!!

This guy's article on GameSpy is really in line with our whole philosophy here. Please check it out.

Link: Five Things the Gaming Community Needs to Stop Obsessing Over

do you recall a bunch of people (like Michael Pachter) saying there wouldn't be much of an audience for Netflix on the Wii because:
A) Wii users don't connect to the internet
B) Wii users don't understand new technology
C) people won't watch things that aren't in HD
Well, I do.

Good ol' Reggie seems to think the service did pretty well.

Observe: [link]

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Some News is Good News

Here's a little lovefest I've put together from recent news.

Tatsunoko Vs. Myths

"On the topic of Tatsunoko Vs Capcom's sales-

'[Tatsunoko Vs Capcom] certainly beat the initial expectations. It didn't set any land speed records, but it was a success. And that's really saying something considering that we're talking about a game that was not only never coming out, but has a title that most people can't even pronounce.'

It's nice to hear a developer own up to the notion that when their games don't set any 'land speed' sales records on the Wii, it's not necessarily the fault of the Wii and/or its audience. Games that start with the word Tatsunoko, ultra-violent, black-and-white beat 'em ups, FPSs with no online play; no matter how great these games may be, publishers should [not] expect them to sell in the millions, not on the Wii, not on any platform."


Sega Confirms Their Success on the Wii

"Overall, Sega remains a big supporter of the Wii, Hayes stressed. 'Our general view of the Wii is that it's a platform that's done Sega particularly proud; we've been very supportive of it with the success we've had with the Mario & Sonic series, success we've had with the Sonic series, and some of the redesigned IP like House of the Dead. So the Wii remains a very important part of our mix. So you will see certainly quite a few more announcements on Wii titles that Sega will be producing and publishing,' he said."


HVS Continues to be Awesome

"There is a definitely an audience out there. We remain a Wii-exclusive title and clearly did well-enough to warrant a sequel. At the end of the day, that’s really all that I can ask for." - Josh Olson, High Voltage


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thanks for Shooting!

Hey all, just wanted to say a big thanks for Saturday's Conduit showdown. I think I speak for everyone when I say: it was a great time.

So, couldn't have done it with you you awesome folks. Aside from myself we had: Maxi, Mop_it_up, G. Scout, BwrJim, Luxray20, EasyCure, Arkia, bustin98, and a special guest appearance by Gaubot.

Special thanks to Maxi & Mop for coordinating the whole darn thing.

Let's do it all again soon, gang!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

WAD vs. NWR Conduit showdown!!

That's right, friends! Today is the big Wii Are Deep vs. Nintendo World Report Conduit showdown!!

And by "showdown" we mean entirely friendly set of matches that is not even designed to determine a winner. How much friendlier can you get!?

But it is designed to produce fun! And I think that's a great output.

Game times are at 2PM EST today and 11PM EST tonight. Join the site Chat or hop on the Forums to get involved!!

[UPDATED 9:45PM] Here are the rosters...

WAD: CrashMan, Arkia, BwrJim, G.Scout and special guest, Gaubot.
NWR: Maxi (I know, it's cool), Mop_it_up (I know, it's cool), and bustin98.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Difference? Maybe. Noticed? Yup!

So there have been some murmurs that we might finally get some news about the long-announced Dragon Quest X for the Wii.

The (sometimes) good folks over at Kotaku ran this story and ran it in a very objective, professional manner. Observe: [link]

Now, if you look over many of the initial comments, you'll find plenty of non-Wii gamers whining and complaining about why this (presumably awesome) game is coming exclusively to the Wii.

I was immediately reminded of an online cartoon I once saw, and though I couldn't find that cartoon in a quick google search, I crafted a comment that embodied the message of that cartoon.

Well, cool as he is, the Kotaku user "Justinzero" appreciated my comment enough to post it on his blog. You can find Justin's blog, and my comment, here: [link]

If you look in the comments on Kotaku, you'll see that several people (including Justin) agreed with what I had to say. So did I make a difference? Well, it's really hard to make a difference on the internet, right? But did some people sit up and take notice? Yup. And that's the first step, is it not? I mean, that's why I even bother posting at a place like Kotaku ... in the hopes someone will notice enough to feel like maybe their minority view isn't so minor.

The only way gaming journalism and game culture will change is if enough people are brave enough to open their mouths and ask for it.

It's no fun, but I try to do my small part. Do you?

Monday, April 12, 2010


Just thought I'd get around to sharing this because it seems so darn rare to hear a dev vocalize this sentiment:

Nintendo Life: "The Grinder has gone multiplatform; will Conduit 2 follow suit or remain Wii-exclusive?"

Josh Olsen (HVS):
"We’re staying Wii-exclusive. We like the Wii."



Friday, April 9, 2010

RECOM: Sonic Unleashed by Rocket

Sonic Unleashed
by Rocket (Contributing Author) | Edited by Mop_it_up (Site Editor)

Playing as Werehog Sonic with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk feels amazing.

To recommend Sonic Unleashed - a Sonic game where you spend most of your time not running at high speed, but as a roaming beat 'em up style platformer - would take someone who genuinely enjoyed these levels. I'd like to tell you why these sections are at least worth trying out.

With the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, you just have to do little alternating flicks of your wrists to get Sonic punching. The other control method, which is to keep tapping the shoulder buttons, can get tiring very quickly. This is why I'm convinced playing as Werehog Sonic was primarily designed for the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. A little flick is all it takes to fling a crate at an enemy, which feels quite satisfying as opposed to button pressing.

When you're not punching, you use the Wii Remote to do platforming tasks. These include swinging the Wii Remote when Sonic's hanging off of poles sticking out from the wall, and doing alternating drumstick motions with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk when climbing to the top of a pole sticking out of the ground. It's fun and involving to do this. I'd imagine using a different control scheme where you're only pressing buttons instead must make the game feel so much like just another generic platformer. Pulling the Wii Remote and Nunchuk upwards to open a door adds to the experience, making you really feel like you're the character making his way through the level.

It takes some time getting used to the fact that you're not running all the time in a Sonic game, so I suggest you approach the Werehog sections with an open mind as they take longer to play than the daytime ones where you do get to run fast. The daytime running sections are very much like high speed roller coasters, and Sonic feels like he's just a racing car with legs during these levels. The Wii Remote's motion controls help to make them more fun than that. A swing will give Sonic a burst of speed or activate his homing attack when a target appears onscreen.

It feels really satisfying to do this! Like hitting a ball with a bat and really sending it flying, except you're hitting Sonic with your remote and making him go so fast he breaks the sound barrier. Pressing a button to do it couldn't possibly be as fun. It's definitely more fun than doing the spin dash in the older Sonic games.

Then there's defeating a chain of enemies with homing attacks as we've done before in previous Sonic games, but this time you feel each individual "WHACK!" with each swing you do with the remote. I never want to do this with just buttons again after experiencing this, it would be a massive step backwards.

There's one thing I'm glad the Wii version doesn't have, and that is the outer hub sections the 360 and PS3 versions have. In those versions you have to wander around to find people to talk to, and find out where you are to go next. In the Wii version, you just select these people from the map. I suppose with the other versions that makes it feel more like a "World Adventure" (part of the Japanese title of the game), but the approach with the Wii version helps put more emphasis on the action stages.

Sega's experiment with the slower, brawlier Sonic the Werehog is a fun and successful one, as long as you don't play with just buttons. The motion controls really make this game more involving and fun, and it is the best way to play if you're curious enough to check it out.

Everyone Needs to Read This

The guys over at NintendoEverything put some effort into quantifying the reality of Wii sales versus the HD consoles.

Now, obviously this doesn't mean every 3rd party Wii game is a success ... but it does show that things are a lot more balanced than "hardcore" media would lead you to believe.


Sunday, April 4, 2010


Hey, gang. I found a little time to hop online, found this, and thought I should share.

Unlike the author, I don't think there was ever reason to let the Wii gather dust, but I post his article because it is the epitome of what this site hopes for: a day when "hardcore" gamers chill out, open their eyes, and realize that quality gaming comes in more than just HD resolutions.

So thanks, Jim. Even though you're getting a lot of flak in the comments. You've done the right thing.


Friday, April 2, 2010


Alright, folks ... I hope you all enjoyed our April Fools special. I'm sure I'll have some other hilarity for next year. And if you missed it? Well you should check the front page more often! ^_^

Anyway, I am heading out of town tomorrow to spend Easter weekend with my in-laws.

I'll be back on Monday. Try not to trash the place while I'm gone. I'm looking at you, Rocket! jk jk

So, happy Easter to those who partake. Even for those who don't, maybe you can celebrate by playing some nice [egg-themed games], hmm?

By the way, this community is pretty awesome. I wonder if I thank you all enough for that?


See ya in a few...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Red Ain't Dead!!

Ok, that's it. I am sick and tired of the mainstream media and fellow gamers making fun of the most innovative, immersive console of all time. Of course, I'm speaking of the Virtual Boy.

So from now on, that's what our site will be focused on.

Spreading the word of the Virtual Boy and it's small but potent library of games.

I hope you're ready as we take these first important steps towards true gaming reality -- virtual reality.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Retro Nouveau - Why Greatness Never Gets Old

So, if you keep up with the forums (and why wouldn't you?), you'd know that I just got Cave Story on Wednesday but am already well into my fourth play-through of the game.

I've already gotten all the endings. I've already gotten all the items/weapons that I care about. I've already tried all the modes. So why am I playing? Cuz it's a damn fun game! That's why!

This game really got me thinking: unlike MegaMan 9, 10 and Sonic 4, Cave Story's "retro" style isn't actually retro. That's just what Cave Story is. We're not revisiting something from 20+ years ago.

Is this revival in "classic" gameplay just a byproduct of downloadable games have file size restraints? Or are people's tastes in gaming just as cyclical as anything else? (Swing dance and boy bands made a come back in the late 90s, 3D movies are back in fashion, the list goes on ...)

Or has gaming just gotten so bloated that a void emerged for simple, fun games to fill?

I don't have the answer for you. I only know how I feel.

So how do I feel? I feel like I love Cave Story, I loved MegaMan 9, I'll probably love MM10 when I get around to it, I loved NSMBWii, and I'm incredibly excited for some 2D elements in Metroid Other M. Of course, I'm still looking forward to the big budget, online-driven release like Monster Hunter Tri and ZengekiNR.

But that's just it - I want both. I don't think retro has to be "retro." Yes, as a style it is firmly rooted in a time long since past. But as an aesthetic? I think if the content is fresh, the game will be too.

8bit or 1080p? I'm diggin' it either way.

What about you?

Friday, March 19, 2010

I would like some free Mario.

Anyone actually get [this]? Any idea why?

Where did you get it? Via email? Wiimail? Snailmail?

We need answers people!! ^_^


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hunting for the Hunter? Take a Map!

This is a sweet little project in response to the GameStop/Monster Hunter Tri scandal.

It keeps track of GameStop locations that are either being cool about the demo discs or trying to swindle you (just a little bit).

I've done my civic gamer duty and added my info to the map. Have you??


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Imitation is the Sincerest form of Rip-Off


Sony, Sony, Sony.

I loved the PS1. I loved the PS2. When the time is right, I will love the PS3.

But "Move"? For shame, Sony. For shame.

The design is the same.

The ads are the same.

And yet the product itself doesn't even seem to work as well as the already-in-our-hands WiiMotionPlus.
"My first impression of Sony's Move controller is that it has a lot of promise, but it's not quite there yet. But for the sake of this interview, let's assume it duplicates the Wii experience -- nails the controls and they work just as well as Nintendo's, if not better."

~Matt Casamassina, IGN in an interview with Reggie Fils-Aime

So, what have we learned?

Well, seems every gaming journalist with a "hardcore" following thinks Sony's Move is fresh, innovative and fun. I've already read dozens of articles in which the author treats Move like a breath of fresh air. As if the doors to Nintendo's dank, musty, motion-controlled basement have been flung open! "A ha!" they proclaim, "this is how motion controls should be!"

Somehow games with [party in the title] are now fun!
Non-games where you raise [furry little creatures] are now for "hardcore" gamers!

But, that's for the delusional "hardcore" media to think - it seems they will never change. Despite reports of lag and detection worse than the WM+, they are enthralled with the promise of the Sony Move.

For me? I'm just disappointed in Sony. They had a chance to take something good and make it better. I have always subscribed to the theory that "good artists borrow, but great artists steal." So I see nothing wrong with the essence of Sony Move, it's Business 101, for Pete's sake!

But in execution? Well, let's just say that it really seems half-assed. And even the most staunch Nintendo hater has to admit, Nintendo approached motion control with their whole ass. Good night.

Monday, March 8, 2010

RECOM: Muramasa by Gwaihir Scout

Muramasa: The Demon Blade
by Gwaihir Scout (Contributing Author) | Edited by Mop_it_up (Site Editor)

Muramasa is an enjoyable 2D action game featuring cool swords, hordes of monsters, and very large bosses. It is notable for its distinctive (and gorgeous) style of artwork, using 2D hand-drawn art for the character models and backgrounds. The basic premise is that you control Momohime and Kisuke as they travel across Japan from boss to boss, stopping frequently to fight off a wave of monsters, with the next chunk of story delivered when you reach the boss. The story itself is nearly nonsensical, with almost no exposition given.

The highlights of the game are the artwork, the music, and the combat itself. The artwork, as previously mentioned, is highly unique for a modern video game, and combines with the fantastic music to give a great atmosphere to what would otherwise be a dull overworld. Things only get really interesting when you reach an enemy encampment and have to fight through to reach the boss. The bosses are very fun. They are mostly enormous creatures with huge life bars, requiring a fair bit of agility and patience on your part to bring them down.

Now for the combat, which is the only true reason why this game is worth your time and money. Your characters are sword-wielders, and use a fighting style which is inhumanly agile and acrobatic. You can literally perform aerial dashes from one end of the screen to the next, slashing whatever you pass. It's a great deal of fun, and important to avoid getting hit. It's also extremely easy to block, using the same button as to attack, and you will block automatically if you are attacking when you get hit. However, if you block too much or too strong an attack, your sword will break and you will still take some damage. At this point your sword is almost worthless. Fortunately, your swords are magic and will repair themselves while in their scabbards. You can hold three swords at one time.

Here's where it gets interesting: You make or find more swords as you progress through the game. Each sword has its own set of attributes, particularly its Secret Art, which is a special move that the sword can perform at the cost of some of its strength. These range from spin attacks and special slashing combos to throwing fireballs or calling lighting from the sky. These take practice to use effectively, particularly as using them means you will not be able to block as much damage before your sword breaks.

The best part of the game doesn't come until the post-game content. After you beat the game with both characters, you can use all swords with both of them, and all bosses can be re-fought with boosted stats. Whereas before your choice of swords was mainly based on their strength, now you can pick your favorite Secret Arts or stat boosts and really enjoy yourself. There are also enemy lairs that throw wave after wave of monsters at you, including simultaneous bosses. It's a true endurance test and really shows the best of what the combat system has to offer. There are also new final bosses and endings for you to find. Unfortunately, you will have to level up both characters, which can be a chore because they both control exactly the same.

Don't worry too much if you're not that good at this kind of game. I'm only so-so, and I didn't have much trouble beating the game on easy mode. You don't have to use the Secret Arts that much, and mistakes in dodging are usually only fatal if you're too slow to keep your health up. A few bosses can be trouble, though, and you will have to learn to dodge their attacks if you're not stuffed with healing items. I haven't tried the difficult mode myself, but I understand it can be as hard as old arcade games. (There's also a crazy-hard mode if that's too easy for you.)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Food for Thought - March 2010

Third party games don't sell on the Wii?
[Exhibit A]

No one plays the Wii online?
[Exhibit B]

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Just Sayin'

If they put every episode of Nintendo Week on DVD? I would buy it.

Just sayin'.

I just finished watching this week's episode. They are so hilarious yet trippy yet good-clean-fun yet informative.

Nintendo's marketing strategies get a lot of flak. This one never should.

Monday, March 1, 2010

CrashMan disagrees with Malstrom. .... wait, what!?!?

It's true. For the first time, maybe ever, Sean Malstrom has written some things I do not agree with.

Of course, this doesn't mean you shouldn't agree with them. But let me share why I don't. They deal with Metroid: Other M and the initial trickles of info we've seen.

Malstrom says: "Seeing the end of Super Metroid in ridiculous CGI brings back no nostalgia and actually ruins the ending of Super Metroid (now when we get the Hyper Beam, we will have that stupid saying in our head of 'Mother, time to go!' Ugh)."

Why I disagree: I think the new cutscenes look/sound awesome. Your witness, Mr. Malstrom.

Malstrom says: So what do the intros of Other M and Super Metroid have in common? They both have bad voice acting*. Perhaps Sakamoto should have stuck to text instead.
*Does not include baby Metroid whose voice acting has always been excellent.

Why I disagree: Well, that was genuinely funny. But, we're not here to make 'em laugh, Mr. Malstrom!

For a guy who admires change so much (constantly praising the Wii's business strategy), it surprises me how much he seems to be upset by the fact that Samus now has a voice. Perhaps worse, it seems that he is not judging the voiced Samus as much as he is condemning whatever is not the silent Samus.

Malstrom: "I’m rather fond of the intro to Metroid Prime. In that, no words are spoken. The camera only swirls around to show that you are now in 3d and then zooms into Samus’s helmet."
"The Metroid Prime 2 intro was also pretty cool. All it shows is Samus crashing into the planet, camera swirls around, and then you are good to go."

Why are we striving for a striped down experience, Sean? I feel I am in the minority, but for me, depth is paramount (*cough*cough* Wii Are what?).

So why single out this small difference in opinion from someone I truly respect and admire?

Simply because, in this scenario, his reactions seem to articulately sum up the reactions of a lot of gamers. They are psyched about the game itself (Malstrom: "...keep in mind I do not think these games are ‘bad’. They are very well made. ... these games are a zillion times better than the User Generated Content software."), but they seem to resist and fear change because it is such a well-established franchise.

I can't agree with that mentality. Especially not in this case. It's not like they gave Samus a mohawk and a skate board. Also, Nintendo detractors have been complaining for years about how Nintendo doesn't give their big franchises enough fresh new ideas. How they are "lazy" in how they leave Mario, Metroid, Zelda relatively unchanged.

Yet, these same folks are first to the soapboxes when Nintendo actually does take risks (Wind Waker, Sunshine, Star Fox Adventures and now Other M).

The way I see it ...
Giving Samus a voice only deepens the character and lore of the game. I believe this holds true for any game. Yes, you run the risk of poor execution, and not everyone will be pleased - but you run those risks no matter what!

All things considered ...
Sonic has spoken for years. So people are used to it. So they don't complain (about the voice anyway).

Mario has spoken (a little) for years. So people are used to it. So they don't complain.

The cast of Resident Evil has spoken for years. So people are used to it. So they don't complain.

I can't help but feel the same would hold true for Samus. A few years from now, assuming the entirety of Other M makes the game an enjoyable one, no one will be irked about Samus opening her mouth. They've always wanted to blast alien lifeforms, now they'll just want to know "what happens next!?" after they do it.

Disclaimer: You da man, Sean.