I also have a band called Leech, so check that out.
And I have a personal blog called PeZ Wants An Arcade, which serves as my portfolio and game stuff blog at the SAME TIME. So check that out, too.
And I love Retroforcego!
Oh god this is so embarrassing. A bunch of people who clearly know what sort of shit they've got on their hands, trying to justify it. The editing makes it worse still with "comedic" cuts.
Poor Bob Hoskins and Dennis Hopper.
Also, what's with the damn "Mario Mario"? That just makes no sense whatsoever.
Whilst in this game monsoon season, I've got just enough money to buy one new release this month. So, when it came to choosing on what to spend my hard earned money on, there was bitter competition. Mirror's Edge for fast paced action and innovations in gameplay? Gears 2 for gritty man-on-locust action? MK vs DC? Dead Space? But I'm experiencing a bout of grit and shooter fatigue and my choice fell on Banjo - Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. Especially after the demo, which I found, to my great surprise, to be really really fun. I don't mind collecting a lot of stuff, or the colors, or even the bit loose controls, because, it was really fun. And not only that, when I preordered, I also got a free copy of the original Banjo - Kazooie! So it saved me money, even.
Now, Chad really nailed what I feel about this game. I have a much greater attachment to it than Mario 64, it always seemed more intricate, controlled better and felt more immersive than the 3D outing of our favorite plumber. Not saying that M64 is a bad game, but I've always liked BK much more. But I'm sure that there are people who are on the fence, and want to know how's the technical side of the port. Here's my verdict after playing for a hour and a half last night, completing the first two levels -- it's AMAZING.
First of all, everything runs in HD and widescreen, and what I suspect to be 60 FPS. There's some slowdown though, just as in the original when your jiggy count pops up, and when you're in water in the second level and the shark chases you. By the way, wasn't the shark named Bruce like the Jaws shark in the original? I'm not sure, but now his name is Chomper or something like that, which struck me as odd. If it's true, it's most likely a copyright issue, but not a big deal. But in the same level, you can see the biggest change - the draw distance is immense! The n64 games were always full of muddy fog and you really couldn't see more than a couple of feet in front of you, but now, when you fly to the top of the lighthouse, you can literally see the honeycomb pieces at the ground! Awesome! And speaking of honeycombs, the don't fade out any more, but stay around for as long as you don't quit the level. This makes everything a bit easier, since honeycombs were always quite tough to come by, and if you missed one, tough shit. Speaking of easier, it seems that now you don't have to recollect all your note pieces if you quit the level or die, something that always kept me from getting everything from all levels. Now though, I just might go for it. And I'm not a 100% sure, but seems like your air lasts longer underwater, fixing another point that always annoyed me. And then there's the biggest difference of all - the control.
The difference is like this, but more.
The controls are spot on. The sticks of n64 don't even compare to 360 controller, which is a granted, but the whole scheme has been remapped. The easiest way would have been an almost 1:1 conversion, you hold a trigger, and use the d-pad for Kazooie, but it's been remapped so that you use mostly triggers, and face buttons which is a lot more intuitive scheme. The only gripe I have, is that you can't adjust any of it, and can't flip the Y-axis in first person, but that's really minor, since it's used so rarely.
Fuck you, I'm a shark.
But the weirdest thing was this - when I got all the Jinjos in the second level, Bottles popped up to tell me, I've been awarded a gamerpic. I've never heard of any games that give out gamerpics or themes or anything for ingame goals, but damn, it's a great idea! I'm hoping to see more it, hopefully in other games aswell. I'm sure there will be avatar clothing scattered in future titles.
So, if you weren't sure before, hopefully I helped. It's one of the best retro ports I've seen in XBLA, and if you're in any way into collectathons or oldschool style 3D platformers, it's the best 15 $ you'll spend this year. Now if my copy of Nuts & Bolts would just arrive ...
As I was logging in to xbox.com today (to send a letter to support, querying why can't I download Duke Nukem 3D, Doom, Penny-Arcade and some other XBLA games, a topic that I think deserves it's own post some day), I was greeted with this image:
What the hell, Microsoft? Don't you think that this is a teeeeensy pit condescending and even offensive? It's clearly marketing doing something they don't understand, but still. Look at the grin on the guy, you can almost hear the "Yeah, I let you win but I'm so going to give you a stiff beating later". It goes against the basic rule of evoking a positive feeling, and/or surprise. If it had been the other way around, the guy playing and cheering, and the girl going, "Yeah, I let you win", it would be funny, because it goes against the current stereotype (sadly) about women and gaming, therefore being a bit more provocative and interesting.
Maybe I'm reading a bit too much into it, but it MS really should know better.
This song has been a lifter for me for ages, from the first time I heard it on the 4cr podcast way back in 2006, and today with the autum sun shining, it was the perfect song to start the day with. I hope the guys are ok with me hosting the song since the offical site has been down for years, it would be sad if it would be forgotten so fast.
As trivia bit - it was a huge influence on our band when we wrote our album. During an extremely frustrating period when we had almost all of the material together, we had one song that we couldn't figure out what to do with. We tried at least 4 different vocal melodies and lyrics but nothing really clicked. After a weekend of nonfruitful experimenting I played the Thesaurus song to the other guys - that's when we all realized we should make our song about games, being we all game a lot, and it fit the context of the album. So the song became Five Frag Combo.
Are there any other awesome songs about games I should know about? I remember a nineties hiphop song that was about PSX and Genesis games (Hertzog Zwei, even), The Streets has a lot of game references on the first album and of course all the nerdcore groups, but anything else?