I play the most dangerous game of all--Scrabble. What, did you think I was going to say "hunting people"? That's sick. Also, expensive.
My favorite games of all time? Let's the run list!
1. Final Fantasy VII
2. Super Mario Bros. 3
[#1 and 2 frequently switch positions depending on how I'm feeling that day; the point is they're both better than you]
3. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
4. Chrono Trigger [which I actually have the Super Nintendo cartridge and will one day send my potential spawn to college as I imagine the selling price for that item will doubtless rise with the rate of inflation]
5. Super Mario RPG
7. Mario Kart DS
8. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
9. Kingdom Hearts
10. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
And what am I playing now? Well, look me up on XBox Live and you'll see.
The Nintendo World store is still Mecca for Nintendo fans and a haven for black market Wiis. They have the popular console every morning. They only allow one per person, but you could just walk in, buy a system, sell it on eBay and double your investment, rinse, repeat. Do that and you're looking at about $1,250 a week all because Nintendo doesn't know how to run manufacturing plants.
However, while I was standing in line to buy Power Up energy drink (which thankfully did not taste disgusting) and a Mario figurine, I overheard the people behind me being retarded. They described the Super Nintendo as "so-so" and I'm surprised I had the restraint to not just turn around and pummel them in the organs. But then they kept going and said that the only good game for the Nintendo 64 was Goldeneye 007 at which point I had no choice but to turn around and shout, "Ocarina of Time!" "Oh yeah..." the guy dumbly responded. He then went back to his conversation of ignorance and said that "the mario game" for the 64 wasn't that good. Again, I gritted my teeth and decided it wasn't worth the energy explaining to this pile of worthless that Super Mario 64 was a revolutionary game and it basically determined how we play 3-D games today. All he's ever determined is that people who don't know what they're talking about should shut the fuck up.
There is little doubt in my mind that Brütal Legend will be brilliant. Psychonauts is one of the best games ever made. I wish I had easy access to Tim Schaefer's other games but I don't have a DeLorean and even if I did, it would have to be equipped with a Mr. Fusion in order to generate the 1.21 gigawatts necessary to power the flux capacitor (This reminds me: isn't about time we had a good Back to the Future videogame? You could pimp out the DeLorean, sneak around in BTTF: Part II, play the world's easiest drinking game with Doc Brown...actually, nevermind. The game would end up sucking. No use in dragging one of the greatest film trilogies (and even Part III is acceptable) through the mud).
But no one other than hardcore gamers who were in the know bought Psychonauts. Unless a game starts with "Madden," "Halo", or "Grand Theft Auto", it will have a tough time getting older gamers to open their wallets (Sure, Mario and Zelda games sell great but they've had about twenty years to establish a brand). Imagine if in movies, the only films that were successful were franchise flicks. Granted, these are the ones that make the most money, but they're also the ones that cost the most. Films like Superbad and Knocked Up would be under-marketed, unnoticed, and totally flop at the box office instead of making $121 million and $148 million, respectively.
Brütal Legend is destined to financially flop because it's clearly genre bending, very stylish, and not easy to stuff into an easy, predetermined category. And while you could argue that Jack Black will be a selling point for the game, I'd like to remind you that Black has never opened a film based solely on his presence. Yes, School of Rock did well but it had fantastic word-of-mouth and generally positive reviews. Since then, the only film he's tried to open by himself is Nacho Libre, which granted, did do well but paled to the grosses of School of Rock and Jared Hess' previous film, Napoleon Dynamite (it was a small indie flick; I don't know if you heard of it). While you could point to the success of King Kong or The Holiday, he wasn't carrying the entire film. There were enough stars or other elements (love, giant apes) to attract viewers. So calling your game Brütal Legend and saying it's from the creator of Psychonauts and features the voice of Jack Black isn't going to get it off shelves. It will go in the ranks of great but underplayed games, alongside Ico and Beyond Good and Evil.
And that's the marketplace. I love that these sites devote so much time and energy to so many videogames and I appreciate that. I really and truly do. But they should know as much as anyone that while the hardcore gamers are always trying to find the great games that are gonna fly under the radar, the best selling games are the ones with a pedigree. Ironically, the non-franchise titles that gain that pedigree only get it through the work of the hardcore. So why wasn't Psychonauts a huge success. I wish I had the answer. I truly do because then, I might know how to stop Brütal Legend from sharing a similar fate.
So guess which system gets the black guitar with non-removal faceplate. I'll give you a hint: it's the one for poor-people who don't have the money to buy a next-gen system (and if you say "The Wii is super-affordable!" I'll respond "Then find me one, asshat!").
I'm torn about purchasing Guitar Hero III for PlayStation 2. On the one hand, I'm hard-up for new songs and I didn't get Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s because quite frankly, 30 songs from the 1980s aren't worth $50. I also like a lot of the songs, including, but not limited to "Devil Went Down to Georgia," "Knights of Cydonia," "My Name is Jonas," "Paint It, Black", "Rock You Like a Hurricane", "Ruby", "Sabotage", and "The Seeker". Plus, I don't have to buy the wireless guitar bundled with the game because I already have a guitar. The wire isn't great but it's hardly a dealbreaker.
On the other hand, I think Neversoft and Activision may have royally fucked this game. I don't want boss battles. I don't want silly things like "broken strings" and "lefty flip". What was wrong with the game? [url="http://www.1up.com/do/previewPage?cId=3163483"]1UP wrote a recent article[/url] about the game and said that the developer "has rejuvenated the series," I didn't know it needed rejuvenation. I thought it was borderline perfect and the only things that were missing were character creation (because let's face it, no one's really attached to any cast member), online co-op and versus, and new songs. That's it. And while they've definitely delivered in terms of songs, they've laced the game with gimmicks, still have no character creation although it would be simple to implement since all the character models have standard poses and movements, and that to unlock an entire tier of songs, you need to play co-op and you can't do it online. That last one is what would spur me over to Rock Band this holiday season if A) I owned a 360 and B) if Rock Band hadn't fucked itself by only selling the game as a bundle until January.
And point "A" is my other point of hesitation. I don't want to slap down $50 for Guitar Hero III if I'm only going to re-buy II and III and a guitar when I finally get a 360 (and it IS going to happen one day!)
While this game is definitely a must-buy for anyone whose DS has been gathering dust for the past few months (like mine) as well as a given for any Zelda fan, I do have a couple issues so far:
1.) They assume you're gonna figure out what you can and can't do, for instance:
- Closing my DS was what I was supposed to do in order to "press" the map against the tablet, but I didn't know I could do that so I was just rubbing my lower-screen like a schmuck for an hour (slang!)
- I also didn't know that crystals could be removed and replaced in different locations. Again, no talking tablet or stone thought this was useful information.
2.) They could have implemented the buttons to take advantage of the need for multiple items. It can be a killer as I struggle to replace my boomerang with bombs when just being able to assign these items to any of the letter buttons could have made my life and Link's much easier.
I don't have a Wii. Even if I could find one, I couldn't afford it (I'm super-duper un-full-time-employed). So that's why I'm not playing METROID PRIME 3. But my younger brother was good enough to not take his Gamecube to college so I picked up a copy of METROID PRIME for $6 used at Gamestop and decided to play what many have hailed as one of the best games evar.
Well, it's certainly good but, having almost reached the end, I gotta say that unless you were raised hardcore-Metroid and you went in with super-low expectations about the whole 2D to 3D transition, the game doesn't exactly overwhelm.
Don't get me wrong. There's a lot to like. As always, the game nails atmosphere, almost to the point where it's distracting. For example, you have your standard lava and ice levels and the game elevates these kind of levels to where they feel real instead of just videogame go-tos. But when you take a look at the design of each room, it's hard not to get inside the heads of the Chozo ancestors and you see them looking over the blueprints:
Chozo 1: So how do we reach this door?
Chozo 2: Oh, that's simple. First, you morph into a ball. Then you lay an explosive in this little slot. The momentum from the explosion will propel you upward and then you just morph back into your normal form.
Chozo 1: Uh-huh...and what about this door? Why does this door need a shot of...ice?
Chozo 2: That's for security.
Chozo 1: Security.
Chozo 2: Right. Think of it like an access card except instead of a piece of plastic that's easy to carry, you'll be using a giant cannon that fires a deadly blast of sub-zero energy.
Chozo 3: Hey guys, we're running low on grapple points!
But you've got to love the small details, especially when it comes to visors. I'm not talking about switching from X-ray to Thermal to Combat and all that noise. That's kind of irritating. I'm talking about the nice little effects like when the steam fogs up your vision or when you catch the briefest glimpse of Samus when the light hits the visor just right (it's a good thing she's hot).
And in translating Metroid from 2D to 3D, they did the impossible but they also brought some of the series' shortcomings. Words cannot express how much I hate backtracking. Sometimes I'll play a session not to find a hidden item or complete an objective, but just to backtrack to a better save point and then go on to actually play the game.
Also, I realize that in the game I'm playing right now, I'm probably not going to get 100% and will probably have to start a new game using a game guide to get that fabled 100% and see the TRUE ENDING. But as I dive into the Impact Crater and have to face off against self-replicating Fission Metroids as I avoid the deadly floor and try to find where the hell I'm supposed to go next, the game has become just slightly irritating. I'm not saying it doesn't deserve it's acclaim, but at this point, I'm not so much aching to finish the game as I am aching from exhaustion.
Not to diminish the experience of all the journalists that get to go to E3 and actually play the games and meet industry professionals, but as far as announcements and trailers go, I'm pretty much getting the same thing except maybe one hour later and in a more comfortable chair with less people to gawk at my hideous naked form (do they frown on nudity at E3? I imagine they would frown on nudity...wait, nevermind. I just saw the SOUL CALIBUR IV trailer). Anyway, here are my worthless impressions of what I've seen so far:
ASSASSIN'S CREED: Holy depressing. I don't know who I feel worse for: Jade Raymond showcasing her game only to have it glitch up like a motherfucker. For a game set for release this November, you're showing off something that's clearly not ready for primetime if your making phantom contacts with NPCs and having floating bodies.
MARIO KART WII: I don't know how you make a Mario Kart game seem not cool, but they pulled it off. Major selling points of online play have already been accomplished in Mario Kart DS and points like newbies being able to go "bumper to bumper" with veterans doesn't seem so much "appealing" as it does "lame". I mean, if I play more of a game, I want to be better at it. I don't want Lucy McReadsalot to just pick up a Wii-mote and start kicking my ass. And that Wii-ell, well, if you think it's lame me calling it that, then clearly, you have way too much respect for something that already exists and already doesn't sell whatsoever.
WII-FIT: If you thought Wiis were hard to find now, just wait until parents find out that they can put their kids in front of a TV AND keep them healthy. Gamers may scoff, but has once again shown that they have their finger on the pulse of the mainstream.
HALO 360 CONSOLE: None more green. Also, it takes a big pair to announce a Halo 3-themed 360 and then say it won't come with Halo 3.
NEW 360 ACCESSORIES: Until you learn the value of transparent plastic, I'll just stick with the black and white controllers, thank you very much.
My Post :: DESTRUCTOID :: Hardcore gaming blog
WII ZAPPER: Let me see if I have this straight: you show off Resident Evil 5 but not Duck Hunt? FAIL.
MASS EFFECT: Still not sold on this beyond "It's an RPG from Bioware".
LOST ODYSSEY: Not bad but I'm not in the Cult of Sakaguchi so I'm not gonna splooge all over it.
ROCK BAND: I guess the only question left is which instrument I'm gonna get.
MY LIFE COACH: The signal that perhaps its time to kill yourself, now on the DS!
THE SIMPSONS GAME: I want this to be good, it even looks kind of good, but since when have The Simpsons been good and since when has a Simpsons videogame ever been good?
GUITAR HERO III: Not much newness. It really remains to be seen whether or not Neversoft screwed the pooch on this one or if they've managed to at least keep the game as good as it ever was.
More of my armchair quarterbacking as new stuff to criticize based solely on appearance becomes available.