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Psst! Your balls are showing...

I guess I was a hardcore gamer before I knew what hardcore gaming was. I'm a 35 year old lifelong gamer who lives in Campbell, CA with his wife and son. I currently work at an MMO/online gaming company in the Bay Area. I used to post on Destructoid a lot more often than I do now, but I have a lot less free time now that I have a family.


I took over Dtoid Community Discusses from Tactix for a short bit until I started working in the industry full time. If you are interested in checking them out, I have them linked below.

Dtoid Community Discusses pt 20*: Nintendo 3DS Hype Edition
Dtoid Community Discusses pt 21*: E3 2010

I will also be doing a podcast with Hubert from Flixist in the near future. We are just ironing out some kinks in regards to production and finding time where our schedules sync, but I'm sure I'll be posting about that later.

==Games I'm playing now.==

Tomb Raider (PC)
Thomas Was Alone (PC)
Hotline Miami (Vita)

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Hello everyone for another installment of Destructoid Community Discusses. For the uninitiated, this is a community blog in which we allow our community members to converse with other community members and talk about various video game related topics. So it's pretty much a giant geekfest that anybody on the site can participate in.

Since E3 was a few weeks ago, I figured that there was just no getting around the topic. So this week's discussion is focused around the various announcements. We also had the a very large number of participants from the community, including Tactix, CrimeMinister, Daxelman, Josh Hest, Y0j1mb0 and Gun Sage. Here is the prompt as it was presented to them:

E3 2010

"Christmas in June has started! The E3 press conferences have all been concluded and a ton of announcements have been made. Kinect, the 360 redesign, Zelda: Skyward Sword, the official unveiling of the 3DS, PlayStation Move, PlayStation 3 3D capabilities and Twisted Metal to name a few of the bombs that were dropped earlier in the week. There was plenty of announcements that were made, so I canít list all of them, but allow me to fanboy out and state the following:

OMG!!!!! CHILD OF EDEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG!!!OMG!!OMG!!!

::Ahem, compose yourself ErbilT, youíre a big boy now::

As I was sayingÖ.

So, I have to ask if there is anything that made your jaw drop in excitement? Is there anything that was shown that you cannot wait to get your mittens on and why are you excited about it? Also, Iím interested in hearing what you thought were the absolute stinkers of the show and why are you repulsed by their very existence. ď



Why was I the only one excited for this?

CrimeMinister

Alright, so I guess I will start with my raging hard-on for the 3DS, holy shit. Nintendo's presser was the gift that kept giving. They kicked it off with the only game that I knew was happening coming in and then moved into high gear. They kept going with tons and tons of reveals that blew my mind more and more each time. I haven't played too much Donkey Kong Country (only one of them for gameboy) and the result was me not really giving a fuck about the whole series. I still managed to get giddy when they revealed Donkey Kong Returns. Due to the 45 seconds of what I saw I'm now anticipating that game like mad. They also brought me Kirby MADE OUT OF STRING. The 3DS happened and was cool, but I was yelling like a Mexican soccer announcer when Kid Icarus was announced.

The fun didn't stop there, they kept pumping out games for 3DS that got increasingly more awesome. I was really surprised by the stealth announcements of the 3DS remake of Ocarina of Time and Star Fox64.

That turned into more of a recap...


Daxelman

Yeah, I have to agree with Spencer. The 3DS won best of show for me in the overall category, and Kirby's Epic Yarn won best of show in the game category, but there's a far share of a lot of things that I'm excited about from E3. Contrary to popular opinion, I'm actually looking forward to seeing what happens with Kinect beyond launch. Ubisoft's fitness game looked really cool the way it showed off the sensor capabilities, and Dance Central is going to teach me how to dance. Hey, if that white guy can do it, I can do it, and I'm black, yo.

Sony's got me interested with Portal 2 and Steamworks, which could lead to the Orange Box finally getting some love on the PS3, or on a broader scale, if MS wises up and stops forcing payment for free updates, the Orange Box getting love on both the PS3 and 360, which I really hope happens. I know some guys who can't stand PC controls for FPS games, but would really like to get into TF2. Other than that, I'm just kinda perplexed why we didn't see more of games like Brink or Marvel vs Capcom 3 or even the new Castlevania. Did MS/Sony just pay of Activision/EA respectively to show stuff and not anyone else?


We both said a lot of things that you're going to regret.

I bet it's because they knew how awesome Konami's presser was going to be and didn't even bother. EXTREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEM!


Pure sex.


Josh Hest

If no one else is going to do it, I'll be Tactix: KARAOKE REVOLUTION -GLEE EDITION!

One of these days, I'll watch this.
Seriously, I was blown away by Nintendo. I've been looking for excuses to put down my newfangled XBOXes and PS3s lately, and taking some time to revisit old friends in the form of Ocarina of Time and Kid Icarus sound like just the right way to do that.

Also, I'm trying to play the optimist on the Kinect. In my opinion anything that lets gamers interact with the medium in a different (preferably tolerable) way is a good thing. And the system as I saw during the demos looks tight and responsive--something that wouldn't drive you insane (Forza ftw!).

Congratulations to E3 for making such a great comeback as one of the premiere trade shows for the industry; more than that, congratulations for making gaming something to be excited about in the coming year!


Just had to throw a little wrench into the 3DS lovefest that's going on... :-)


Y0j1mb0

I'm going to echo Spencer's rather strong sexual attraction to the Nintendo 3DS. Hearing about it's 3D capabilities without glasses is what turned my initial reaction to it when it was first announced from "meh" to " I NEED one." I'm itching to get my hands on it to see with my own eyes how its 3D implementation really is and if it compares or equals what is being shown on the latest high end 3D HDTVs. Yet even though my curiosity is beyond piqued I can't help but feel that Nintendo pretty much bamboozled all the people that purchased a DSi or DSi XL. How long will this new 3DS be out before the next iteration comes out with an added upgrade for a little more money to sap from us.

Not trying to dampen anybody's excitement here but Nintendo's handheld, as future revisions of the 3DS are a given and it wont just be one or two but way more if you take their history into account. It sure would be nice to purchase one of their handheld systems and it not become obsolete immediately due to the next one one in the assembly line they're putting the finishing touches on and haven't rolled out the door yet.

As for their lineup of games... hell yeah. This is the one area where Nintendo ( and Sony ) were head and shoulders above Microsoft showing. There's a reason why I buy a Nintendo console without fail everytime they put one out, and that's because of their first party games. Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Kirby, Donkey Kong Country and Kid Icarus? Yes please. The only thing missing was a new Pikmin game for the 3DS and that's probably in the works. I know they ( Nintendo ) got reamed for past presentations but it takes time to reload for awesomeness and it looks like they are fully armed with a wealth of first party games that look and play fantastic.

As for Microsoft's showing I was less than thrilled. I really wanted to see something shown gamewise that justified a purchase for Kinect. Newsflash: I did not. Seriously the people that ridiculed Nintendo for their "waggleness" should of had a field day with what was shown. And this is from someone who could see Kinect and its potential as ground breaking. Unfortunately the majority that was shown, in my humble opinion, equated to silly flapping about nonsense. What I feared most about it came true... it's merely a tool to utilize for more impending shovelware to make a quick buck out of the casual crowd and those that don't know better.

As for their games shown it looks like they really need more fantastic 1st party support or just new exclusives because aside from the usual standbys of Gears, Fable and of course Halo, I didn't see a lot there that got me wanting for anything. If it wasn't for their new "Slim" console reveal their showing would of been really really poor. But hey, I'm sure people will pick up one of their new slicker 360s. Hell, I almost felt a tug at my wallet to get too when I saw it. I think I'll wait til a little bit to see how they fare as far as longevity is concerned. They should of put Blu-ray on that puppy and I would of been sold on the spot.


Good to see you back, Sweettooth


As for Sony, well they had Twisted Metal. I'm good. Seriously though, I'm weary of motion controls now being the rage but at least like the Wii, the Move's implementation in games seems less convoluted than Kinetic. And more practical as well. I really would love an RTS with Move, hell with the Wii's stuff too! I just fear a flood of shovelware of waggle crap coming for it too. Overall I was still excited by E3. How could you not be? I LOVE videogames, you love videogames, new videogames were shown. I found at least 3 games from everybody's presentation that I have to get, if not way more, that I didn't have on my purchase list. Mission E3 was yet again a successful endeavor. Here's to the future and all the games that come with it.


Gun Sage

To be completely honest, at first I really didn't care. This is because A) there were a lot of games I'd forgotten about or didn't think would be shown (and some weren't) and B) last year's E3 was kinda meh. Boy, am I glad I was wrong. I was a little peeved that most of Microsoft and Sony's shows were trying to justify technology both they and their fanboys originally scoffed at and now are trying to get into the market with.

Even still, in their own respective ways, there are a few titles that supposedly utilize these new hardware features that could be good...then again, we thought Red Steel was going to be good, too. I was especially wow'd by the Nintendo conference as they dropped all kinds of stuff I wasn't, but probably should have, been expecting.
If anything, I felt the Sony conference was lacking the most wow factor, which doesn't speak well for them as I'm still not convinced I "need" a PS3. Metal Gear Solid Rising does look like the sex, though.

Daxelman

I'm more interested in the games that didn't get the most E3 spotlight though. Brink's caught my eye even more that it did before? Customizable on the fly missions based on how much I suck at whichever class? Gone of the days of apologizing to the rest of the guys for sucking; now the game gives me stuff that I can do, and is actually important to the overall success if the team. Finally, I will be a credit to a team.


Will Brink be able to lure non-FPS players into the fold?

Rage looks like the first FPS game that gets in-game driving right, but I only think it'll work if your using a console based controller. I saw some of the gameplay videos, and you don't see that wonky controlled camera, or stop and go driving. It looks like it controls kinda like Burnout would, except with auto turrets on your car.

And lets face it, we're all going to buy Metal Gear Solid: Rising because cutting things in half is awesome.


Tactix

Microsoft Kinect

I want to believe.

While the technology is totally awesome and futuristic, the games that were showed in order to showcase the technology were just disappointing to me. Dance Central was a great game and fun to play, but other than that the other games just didn't scream "awesome" to me. The games looked "cute" but for the hardcore gamer in us, I feel they made the mistake of going the route of Nintendo at last years conference.

I had hands on with the racing game and Kinect adventures and while they were fun to play, I don't see myself wanting to play them outside a fun 10 minute at a time thing.

The other problem is the rumored price point which was sort of confirmed just yesterday, at 149.99. If that's what this Kinect Experience is going for, I think most people, including myself, are going to just turn away.
(And also, just to add to the above conversations...yes...you need a 3DS. I can tell you from experience that it freaking WORKS as advertised and is AMAZING to play with)


CrimeMinister

Alright, I guess I will jump back in. I didn't hate the Microsoft conference as much as everyone else seemed to, I thought they had some cool stuff that I might like. I was really impressed by gears of war 3. I thought it looked fantastic. This isn't to say that the first two weren't impressive but there is something about jungles that impresses me.

I also thought the Xbox redesign was neat. I don't have an Xbox myself, and I haven't really wanted one, but the sheer sexiness of that small Darth Vader looking box made me want one pretty badly. My one complaint with the new Xbox is that the system is glossy and the controller is matte, which bugs the shit out of me.


Josh Hest

Tell me how much the 3DS is going to cost.

NOW.

Anyone that knows me also knows that I am amazingly and sometimes irrationally cheap. How much this thing costs is going to play a huge factor in whether or not I'm a first-run adopter or not.

Think about it--you can get a Wii for almost $150 bucks now and an XBOX360 for something way less than that...I know they're not totally comparable but that's a lot of purchased distraction before I absolutely have to have something new...


Yeah, we know what it prints....


y0j1mbo

Josh,if your frugality thinks 150 bucks is too steep, your status as a first-run adopter will be non existent. It will be more than that. My guess is it will be 199.99 and it will sell like hotcakes. Who knows, it may even be more with a pack in game.


CrimeMinister

I feel like the 3DS could use a Metroid Prime: first hunt style thing to help push the 3d deal.


Josh Hest

I was thinking that another Dementium game would be amazing on 3DS. It already scared me enough with the pixel-ridden, 3D-ish monsters in the last one!

------------------------------------------------------

And that concludes the 21st Community Discusses. Please note that all of my CD blogs will be denoted with an asterisk, as they are not written by Tactix. I won't be kicking off another discussion until the middle of next week, due to my birthday and the upcoming 4th of July weekend. With that said, I am hoping that I'll be set up to actually make the next discussion into a Podcast. So as always, if you are interested, by all means send me an email at timothy.erbil@gmail.com and I'll be sure to keep in contact with you guys. Thanks for reading and stay awesome.








Hello World!

I guess an explanation is in order. About four months ago at one of Agius's NARPS, I was asking Tactix why there have not been any Destructoid Community Discusses updates in quite some time. He basically told me that since he has been tied up with work and handling some of the SF community tasks, that he has not had time to carry fourth with maintaining the blogs. Long story short, he asked me if I wanted to help out with it, told him I'd love to and started getting an article prepped a few weeks later.

So I will be helping out in continuing the Community Discuess blogs until Tactix has enough time to pick it up again. The conversation I am about to present to you guys actually took place from April 8th - April 14th, so if you were wondering why the conversation seems a little dated, well.... it's because it is.

I am hoping that I can stick a bi-weekly schedule. It's been kinda tough finding time to update the blog, given that I got sick shortly after the conversation was concluded and spent the remaining months extremely busy at work, or sick at home with strep. So even though you guys probably had no idea that this was going to be started up again, I apologize about the lateness in posting the article and I will from this point on be able to keep a more regular bi-weekly schedule. As this is my first article, I wanted to keep the conversation light. So our panel this week consists of Joshhest, Chris Healy, and myself, with a little assist from Tactix. Here is the prompt as presented to them:

The Nintendo 3DS


Image stolen from Chris Kohler's Twitter feed.

With the announcement of the Nintendo 3DS, there has been more speculation made about the successor to the DS as opposed to actual facts about what the system is going to offer gamers. I know that I am paraphrasing, but the only known facts are that the system is going to have a 3D solution that does not require the use of glasses and that it is backwards compatible with all DS titles. There have been some questions about the timing of the press release as well, since the DSi XL was on the verge of being publicly available, as it seems as if Nintendo is putting the success of that particular hardware revision at risk with this announcement.

So my main question is that are you excited about this announcement?

Since we have not seen any new consoles since 2006, ďand no new portable systems since 2005Ē, this will most likely be the first major system release in 4-5 years, given if the hardware is revised. Do you believe that the system will be successful, or will it drop off the face of the planet like their last stab at 3D gaming? Also, what kind of experiences would you like to be explored on the system?

JoshHest

I would like to start by saying I'm really excited by the impending release of the DS3. In theory. I would also like to say that I have complete confidence in Nintendo's understanding of what people want in portable gaming (I adore my original DS Heavy), but then I slip into that pile of gaming muck known as Virtual Boy.

Hopefully the pain and embarrassment of Virtual Boy's implosion is enough to ensure that this latest entry into the portable market doesn't rely too heavily on gimmicks at the expense of producing a fun, gamer-friendly machine.

Of course all of this hedges on what specs / features end up in the final product, so I'll wait and see--cautious optimism is my watchword.


Supposed leaked 3DS photo taken from albotas.com

Chris Healy

I'm sort of in the middle, not too excited, but very interested. I can't quite say if it's gonna be successful or not yet, it's going to largely depend on how clear the 3D clear is and if it's going to add depth or pop out towards the player. I don't think it's going to hinder sales of the XL too much though because I think a lot of people had made up their mind about whether they were going to pick one up or don't read into video game news very much and don't know about it yet. If i remember correctly it's going to come out some time around spring next year in Japan which would mean a Fall or Winter release in America, I think that a decent amount of time from the release of the XL.

ErbilT

I think making the announcement so close to the DSi XL release was a bit of a mistep. I was dead set on buying an XL, but with this announcement and the knowledge that the system will be able to play my DS library, I figured that I can wait a year for the new version of the system. It seems to be the opinion shared by a lot of my friends as well.

I am excited to see what Nintendo does with the new 3DS. Given Nintendo's track record with handhelds, there is really no reason for me to doubt the potential success for the system, but some questions remain. Will this just be a simple DS upgrade like the evolution of the DS to the DSi, or will it be the portable system with Gamecube-ish graphics that has been rumored. As far as press releases are concerned, the release was very lacking in content and I was hoping for a little bit more information. Screens would have helped me form a better opinion.

JoshHest

I'm not entirely convinced that it's a misstep. Depending on how much of a leap the 3DS ends up being (and by extension how much it costs) it could open up an interesting market for people who aren't quite ready to make the jump and pay the premium for a new and slightly experimental 3D system.

My guess is that since the DSi XL seems to be more or less a body redesign with a slightly bigger screen, Nintendo is hoping to get a few more people interested with a product that they don't have to spend much more research or development dollars on (unlike the 3DS).

That being said, I want to wait for June and get some details.

Also, can we have a round of applause for how awesome Nintendo's Hype Machine has become? I have no doubt that regardless of how cheesy or flop-worthy this 3D ends up being, it will inspire the same Tickle-me-Elmo level of consumer fever that the Wii did: moms fighting, kids burning stuff, Jim Sterling shitting all over it--the whole bit.

Chris Healy

I don't see it as a misstep too much either. I believe a lot of people who didn't make the jump from the DS to the DSi are still gonna go out and get the XL then sell their old DS.

Putting out such a vague press release was a smart decision in my opinion, because it gets people talking about what it's gonna be able to do and it's going to get a whole lot of people to check out their E3 press conference to find out more.

I will definitely agree that this thing is going to get a lot of hype, if only for the fact that it's going to be doing 3D without glasses. Little kids across the world are sure to be entertained by that alone.


We can only hope. :-)

Tactix

In response what Tim said about holding off on buying the DSi XL because of the announcement of the 3DS, I dont think those are the core market that the DSi XL is really aimed for anyway. I'm sure that those that would be most appealed to the DSi XL are the more casual DSi owners who probably dont read Dtoid or Kotaku or whatever.

For them, I bet that they are probably consumers who have seen the DSi and kinda wanted one....the release of a "new and improved DSi!" is probably all they need to have them pick one up. Take into account that the XL comes packed with Brain Age games, and you know that the system is totally marketed for Grandmas with bad eyesight.

So even if Nintendo doesnt get the hardcore gamer money with the XL, I'm sure they are more than satisfied to get it later with the 3DS.

I kinda want to know what you think about how the 3DS will work? There is tons of speculation on it....one thought is that it will be like the Japanese Wii Ware release game (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5QSclrIdlE&feature=related) which uses the camera to track motion and give the DS a sort of "pop in" 3D effect. In the most recent Game Informer magazine there was also some speculation about multiple layers of screen that might give a "pop out" 3D effect. What do you guys think will be the case? (that video is amazing btw :P)

ErbilT

Eh, I see it as a mistake where Nintendo could have easily made a ton more money sitting on the announcement while they push the XL for a few months. They are only charging $20 extra for a bigger screen and we all know Nintendo will not release a system unless they can turn a profit on it. I just think Nintendo could have pushed the announcement back to E3 and still would have been okay as far as getting enough pre-release hype.

Aaaaaaaaand enough about the DSi. :-)

As far as the Nintendo 3DS's tech is concerned. I am really hoping they use camera motion mixed with the parallax barrier tech that Hitachi is developing. (http://www.destructoid.com/potential-nintendo-3ds-screen-hitachi-s-3-1-inch-170782.phtml for more info on the screens and it's maybe a possiblity for Nintendo's new handheld.)

The only thing that I have an issue with the camera tracking is that the effect can be very frame rate dependent. I remember during E3 2007, a bunch of companies, "along with Sony" were demoing potential camera based head tracking solutions that was demoed earlier in the year with that amazing Johnny Lee YouTube clip for the Wii. Although it did work, quick and sudden movements did not really give an effective 3D effect to any of the items demoed, due to the framerate being unable to keep up with the movements. With that noted, I really want to see how convincing the Hitachi screens look, regardless if it does not end up on the 3DS.

ChrisHealy

I'm hoping they use the hitachi screens as well. From what I've read about them, they seem like a perfect fit for the 3ds.

As for the framerate issue, it's been a few years since those demos and they could very well have worked out those problems by now. Since it's a handheld too, I don't how much quick and suddens movements would be used.

All in all, I'm very excited too see what nintendo has in store for us at D3. I can't wait to see what the 3ds look like and how the games look. It's sure to be a very exciting press conference.

------------------------------------------------------

And that concludes the 20th Community Discusses. Please note that all of my CD blogs will be denoted with an asterisk, as they are not written by Tactix. I am looking to start up a new discussion at the end of the week, so we can all talk about the craziness that is E3 this week. So if you are interested, by all means send me an email at timothy.erbil@gmail.com and I'll be sure to keep in contact with you guys. Thanks for reading and stay awesome.








So yeah, I was going to write up this long blog post about what I liked and disliked about the year, but yeah... I just realized that all I really wanted to say was that 2009 was fucking amazing and meeting you guys definitely helped make it awesome. You guys are amazing and I hope that you all have a great New Year.












So a few months back, one of my friends over at Cryptic asked me if I wanted to be put in Champions Online as an NPC character. Of course this made me really excited and I agreed. I didnít really think much about it until this message popped into my Facebook page yesterdayÖ.

I was impressed to see that you showed up as Timothy "7 Fingers" Erbil in Champions Online. How did you pull that one off?Ē

So yeah, I havenít gotten around to playing the game yetÖ my video card is dead and Iím currently using onboard video, but apparently Iím one of the leaders in a prison riot. Itís an open world mission, so people will be beating me up constantly.

So yeah, Iíll end this post with a quote from my brother when I told him the news.

Itís pretty cool though. Being put in a video game is one of the better geek honors.... maybe just short of being made into a webcomic character or being a Star Wars extra.Ē

So yeah, this totally made my day yesterday.









If you ever go to the Mission District in San Francisco and are just craving a milkshake or some decent diner food. There is a place on 24th street called St. Francis Fountain that is pretty amazing. Not only can you get a fine milkshake at the place, but they also sell vintage Topps movie and entertainment cards for the 70's, 80's and early 90's. One of the sticker packs that caught my eye at the place was the Video City sticker cards.



I remember my mom buying these for me when I was young, but it's been so long that I forgot about them until I saw the Turbo scratch off card included in one of the packs. The date on the packs state that these were produced in 1983, so these cards are a good 26 years old. Kinda crazy that I remember them due to the Turbo cards, but they also had some stickers with some horrible artwork for Frogger, Donkey Kong Junior and Zaxxon. Anyway, I'd figured that I'd post them so you all could see. Sorry about the quality of the pics, I took them at work with my iPhone, but they get the message across.











They had another card set that was dedicated to Donkey Kong Junior and I'll probably go back and pick up a pack of those later, but I just wanted to so you all how awesome the art was for these cards. There were some other cards that I wanted to pick up for the nostalga factor as well, ""they also had Yo MTV Raps cards, cards from the movie Dune, Garbage Pail Kids stickers and New Kids On The Block cards"








As everyone knows, the Xbox Indie Games channel has been a complete cesspool of crap over the past few months. Granted, there is some titles that come through that are genuinely rewarding and surprising, but most of it is shoveled out crap. Still, I continue to check the marketplace out once in a while in hopes that I find an awesome game that puts my faith back in that platform.

So I checked today and the first title to pop up in the new releases was a game called I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES!!!1 and immediately thought that it was the worst fucking title that I have ever seen in the world. Still, I give it enough of a chance to take a look at the screen shots and it looked familiar. There used to be a freeware game put out about 8-10 years ago for PC in which it played like a dual stick shooter which was awesome for a free game. Now, I am not sure if this is the same game or not, but its pretty close.



The game is basically an arcade dual-stick shooter in which you just go around the screen, blowing the crap out of zombies, 8-bit happy face snake like creatures and other sorts of villainy. Not exactly innovative for sure, but it works and if you are a fan of these types of shooters, I think there is a lot to like with the game. There is a decent weapon selection and although the first song that plays is horrid, the background effects actually react to the music and there are some pretty neat effects that happen during gameplay. The music gets better, if not more generic after the first song plays out... but the arcade-style gameplay will definitely appeal to fans of Robotron and Smash TV. Which brings me to the reason why I decided to make a blog post about the game.

It is actually extremely well done for a community game, and its only a buck. Now granted, I have only played the game for about 30 minutes, it's still worth checking out at least the demo. I went ahead and purchased the title since I am a sucker for dual stick shooters and will probably post more about the game when it's not 1am in the morning.



But yeah, definitely give the demo a spin. I'd argue that with the time that I have spent with the game already, it's already better than some of the dual stick games that have appeared on the XBLA service. I'll try to write more when I spend some more time with the game and when I am a little more awake.