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5:30 PM on 03.09.2008  

Super Smash Brothers Brawl FULL REVIEW

As you all may have heard, Super Smash Brothers Brawl was released at midnight this morning and many people went and bought it. I am one of them. I was the first person at my store to get my hands on a copy (along with a nice poster and guide), and was the first one to play it at my house. I played nonstop from 1:00am until about 4:00am, then slept from 4:00 until 10:00, and I have been playing it all day since then. At the time of this post, it is 7:30 EST and I just put the game away for the first time since I got my hands on it. Its addicting.

Anyways, to the full review of the game.

Warning: If you do not own the game, but you wish to buy it and not know any secrets about the unlockable items, characters, stages, etc., do NOT read this review.

To start off, I will talk about the Adventure mode, The Subspace Emissary. Many other gaming publication companies have given out negative comments about TSE, and sadly to say, I am one of them. The Subspace Emissary does feel like a fan-fiction that is way too drawn out. The adventure mode of Melee was more fun than this. Yes, TSE has a somewhat intriguing storyline, that the Melee adventure mode did not have. But that may be the only positive. I feel like TSE was just too much for the game. The monotonous levels (despite the change in scenery and music), the over-elongated length (over 9 hours), and the unnecessary sticker stat boost system all weigh down TSE. The one positive that I got out of completing it is that one can unlock almost all the characters (with the exception of Toon Link, Wolf, and Jigglypuff) on one full run of The Subspace Emissary. But anywho, onto the presentation of the game.

I own a 50' widescreen HDTV. Brawl looks beautiful on it, the picture is crisp and clear, and the character models look superb. The attention to detail graphics-wis e is great, which is evident in the backgrounds and foregrounds of the various stages of the game. Brawl is the second best looking game on the Wii, besides Super Mario Galaxy, but the smoothness in framerate (a STUNNING 60 fps) is beyond what I imagined for the game itself.

One large notch in the stick that is the presentation of Brawl is the "in-fight" music. I love video game music, I have a 300 song folder of some big names on my iPod, and I am still amazed by what they have on there. There are over 200 remixes and rerecordings of songs from famous video games, and the amount of them is still astounding. Some of my personal favorites include the Mushroomy Kingdom 1-1 theme (a jazzy/latin Super Mario Bros. 1-1 remix), and the Ridley Boss Battle music from Super Metroid. The soundtrack is one of the highest points in the game itself, for me.

Next up is the gameplay. The gameplay of Brawl definitely has a different feel than Melee or SSB64, but in this case it is a good thing. Gravity feels more existent in Brawl than in the other titles. Each control scheme actually does work. I have played with all four schemes (Classic controller, Wiimote and Nunchuk, Wiimote on side, and GCN Controller), and have indeed picked my favorites. The GCN controller brings back memories with easy to remember button placements and configuration, while the Wiimote on its side brings back memories of the NES days. I have officially decided to use the GCN remote from now on, though. I use it with my own personalized control configuration, which really helps in a game like Brawl.

Each character has a distinct moveset and final smash. But there are some exceptions. Fox, Wolf and Falco all have a Landmaster FS, and that does get annoying when you are playing with your friends who, in my case, love Star Fox. Luigi does control differently than Mario, which makes me happy, since Luigi is my favorite character. But that is getting beyond the point. The character movesets and final smashes are great and feel different than the way they were in Melee.

When one thinks of fighting game, what do most people think of? They think of the Multiplayer modes. And this is where Brawl really shines. Events, TSE, stadium competitions, even training can include at least one more player. But the Super Smash series was born for free for all 4-on-4 matches. And Brawl makes that work like no other fighting game before it. The amount of characters (35), the amount of stages (40 someodd), the amount of items (around 30?), and even the amount of Special Brawl categories (about 10) expands an already expansive multiplayer mode new heights. The number of characters in the game is perfect for this game. Not too many, but not too few.

Meanwhile, everyone has their own quibbles about the character inclusion in Brawl, and I have mine. No Megaman? Bummer. No Geno? Shucks. It all doesn't matter because we at least have a GREAT game.

And that is what Brawl is. Brawl is a FANTASTIC game. When I left for the store yesterday to get Brawl, I was expecting an okay game with enough modes to keed me tided over until Mario Kart Wii. What I got was entirely something else. Brawl is not only one of the 3 best Wii games on the market, but it happens to be one of the best multiplayer experiences of our generation. With the exception of Rock Band, no other game has gotten this close to perfection in multiplayer modes.

Brawl is great. Brawl is awesome. I can't even think of enough adjectives to describe it. If Brawl is not a contender for any Game of the Year prizes come December, I have have no idea what else will. Brawl will blow your minds away.

[size=18]FINAL VERDICT: MUST BUY
FINAL SCORE: 39/40[/size]
(deducted 1 point for lack of single player fun in TSE.)

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By the way, I will be away from Wednesday the 12th through Sunday the 16th.   read


6:23 PM on 03.07.2008  

The Tracks of Mario Kart Wii

Well, IGN has recently posted videos regarding Mario Kart Wii. Both of them dealing with tracks for the game, they are all the new tracks.

Here you go...

Mushroom Cup
[embed]74366:8940[/embed]

Flower Cup
[embed]74366:8941[/embed]

In Mario Kart for the Wii, the first two cups are entirely ALL NEW, but the last two are all returning.

According to IGN, more videos will be coming in the next few weeks, even without a US release date.   read


3:50 PM on 03.07.2008  

Belated Game of February 2008 Announcement

Well, the nominees for the best game of the month of February were...

Sins of a Solar Empire (PC)
Patapon (PSP)
Devil May Cry 4 (PS3)
Lost Odyssey (360)
Harvest Moon (Wii (VC))

It was a very hard set of games to choose the best from, and even harder to choose a winner. But the winner deserved it in EVERY respect.

And the winner is....



PATAPON (PSP)

Simply put, Patapon ran away with it towards the end. I was torn between Patapon and Lost Odyssey for the 360, but Lost Odyssey missed out because 1) I do not own the game, and 2) I am not the biggest fan of JRPGs (or RPGs in general).

Patapon is depth. I have been playing the game since I got it the day it came out, and I am still playing it. I have already beaten it twice, and am trying to get a better score for #3. The rhythms will get in your head and mess with you, and you will enjoy it.

Anywho, if you own a PSP, GET PATAPON. PERIOD.

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The game of the month for March will be a close call, btw.   read


3:56 PM on 03.06.2008  

SSB:Brawl Final Countdown: Hype Evaluation

What is hype? Hype is the promotional publicity of an extravagant kind. Brawl is hype. Nintendo has hyped up Brawl to the maximum, and I believe that it will pay off. Brawl has been atop the Japanese charts for 4 weeks (only just recently being bumped down by Dynasty Warriors Gundam), and I have NO REASON to believe that it will be atop the US Charts for a long time.

Back to the hype standpoint. There are more pros than cons regarding the hype of Brawl. One of the big methods of hype was the DOJO. The DOJO was a great resource to check everyday and surely brought up the hype of the game.

Other than the DOJO, a lot of the hype was brought up by all the fan boards out there on the interwebs. A lot of that is negative, but some is positive.

I really can't say if the hype will help the release or not, but once the game comes out at 12:01 on the 9th, we will all know.
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Here is a Boss Battle Mode movie from YouTube. (Just in case you cared.)

[embed]74041:8882[/embed]   read


8:21 PM on 03.05.2008  

Prince Of Persia filming in Morocco?

According to a Moroccan news source, Mike Newell's Prince of Persia film based on the popular video game series most recently in the hands of Ubisoft will be shooting in location in Morocco. Morocco is most famous for its largest city, Casablanca, the setting for a film of the same name that is doubtlessly 2,000 times than this one could ever hope to be.

I really hope that a good thing comes out of this movie. Usually, video game movies suck (Far Cry to be included), but I have high hopes for a PoP movie.

A possible casting idea for the title role is any mexican actor. Hell, even Antonio Banderas could work.

Your thoughts?   read


4:51 PM on 03.05.2008  

JP Wii: TV Guide Channel Tour

When I first heard of this channel for the Wii menu, I was really hoping for a US release date to be named right away. But, that isn't the case here. Recently, the TV Guide Channel was released for Wii Consoles in Japan, and looking at this video makes me wonder how cool it would be to have this in the states. It is only a matter of time until a date of release is announced (just like Everybody's Nintendo Channel). This video is brought to you by WiiFolder.

[embed]73852:8835[/embed]

There you go. From what I can tell, it looks identical to the actual TV Guide channel that is on some TVs here in the states.   read


3:34 PM on 03.03.2008  

SSB:Brawl Final Countdown: Top 3 Stages

With only 5 days to go or so until the release of SSBB in the US, I am doing a series of countdowns regarding different parts of the game. The first countdown regarded the top 3 newcomers to Super Smash. Well, this one is about the top 3 stages of Brawl. To be eligible, the stage must be new/made for Brawl. So Melee throwback stages are out of the question. Here we go:

#3: Pictochat
Pictochat gets my #3 spot because of its spontaneity. The fact that floors and hazards are drawn without you really knowing what to expect is pretty cool. I think that this stage will be one of the most remembered or linked to Brawl. I plan on using it a good amount. It also has cool music like the Wii Sports theme, Cow Racing from Wii Play, etc.

#2: Smashville
Remember Animal Crossing for the GCN? Well, this level was made just for you AC fans out there. The one thing about this level that I love is that depending on the time you play, the background will be different, (at night it is dark, etc.) and at 8:00 on Saturdays, KK Rider shows up to play a song or two. As an Animal Crossing fan, I love that concept, and the layout is simple, and I like simplest stages.

#1: (tie) Frigate Orpheon and Mario Bros.
Yes, #1 is a tie. Frigate Orpheon comes from the Metroid Prime series and is a very cool stage. What makes the stage awesome is that at points, the stage rotates 180 degrees, sending you down to another platform-heavy area. The small size works well with me, too. The music is awesome with the Meta Ridley boss theme and the Parasite Queen boss theme.

Mario Bros. is the ultimate stage. The concept of Smash goes right out the window, and you are all sent to an equal playing field and told to throw those pesky creatures at your enemies. The Mario. Bros. classic medley is some of the greatest music in Brawl. I will play both of these levels the most.
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Pictures of the stages can be found HERE

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To save this post from completely going to waste, here is the Extras tour from the guys at WiiFolder.com

[embed]73463:8757[/embed]   read


6:41 AM on 03.02.2008  

Advanced Smash Bros. Techniques Collection

These vids are advanced techniques for Super Smash Bros. Yes, they are long, but they teach you a lot. They are made with Melee, but most of the techniques are transferred over to Brawl. I think that any budding Brawl master wannabe would want to watch these three videos. I just did for the first time last night and totally destroyed some of my friends on Melee thanks to wavedashing. GO! WATCH!

Part 1
[embed]73258:8679[/embed]

Part 2
[embed]73258:8680[/embed]

Part 3
[embed]73258:8681[/embed]

This is just another part of my Brawl Final Countdown, expect a Top 3 new stages countdown tomorrow.   read


7:19 PM on 02.29.2008  

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Trailers

[embed]73040:8642[/embed]

Genesis v. Sephiroth. Fanboy crying commence. This video makes me extremely happy. As a fan of Final Fantasy and a big-time PSP owner, watching this trailer makes me want Crisis Core so badly. I know that none of these scenes will be in the game, but it just probably makes every Final Fantasy fanboy cry out at the action-packed scenes of fighting bliss.

[embed]73040:8643[/embed]

This video, meanwhile shows the basic combat of the game, which looks a lot different than some of the other games in the series. If combat is improved, so will the game.

So it looks like Crisis Core will be a good game. It has a great storyline, returning characters, and great graphics. I am looking forward to buying this game, and all the PSP-owning FF fans out there should be too.   read


4:34 PM on 02.29.2008  

SSB:Brawl Final Countdown: Top 3 Newcomers

Okay, so with Super Smash Brothers Brawl coming out in only 8 DAYS and counting, I have a series of countdowns to show my favorite parts of the game. The series will consist of top 3s of whatever the hell I think of posting about regarding Brawl. I will do enough of these to lead up until the release of the game at midnight on the 9th. From then, I will have my first impressions up Sunday night or Monday the 10th, and my full, in-depth, possibly two post worthy review up in the next week or so after the release.

Anywho, back to the countdown.

With a new installation in the Super Smash series, there are bound to be newcomers to join the fight. That holds true for Brawl, too. The complete list of newcomers is impressive, with the ranks of Meta Knight, Lucario, Ike, Pikmin and Olimar, Snake, and Sonic joining the brawl, there are bound to be new fans of the series due to the inclusion of these newcomers.

I myself have my favorites and I am sure that all of your opinions may differ. The rankings are in order of the amount of time I will play as them against friends and online.

#3: Pit



Being the hero in the world of Kid Icarus is tough, and joining a massive, universe wide fight is not that easy either. Pit, aided by the Sacred Bow of Palutena and Palutena herself (in the form of his Final Smash), is a formidable character in the hands of the player that knows how to use him. The arrows Pit's bow unleashes shoot out like beams of light. Players can control the curves of their trajectories, too. The reason I will play as Pit is his recovery time. Since he has wings, it only makes sense that he has a great recovery time. You can recover easily with him, period. That alone makes him unique.

#2: Pikmin and Olimar



The reason I will play as the Pikmin and Olimar is that they are just so unique. Each colored Pikmin that you pluck out of the ground as Capt. Olimar has its own special ability. For instance, the red Pikmin has a higher attack power and is immune to fire. His special smashes are unique like his character. His Up smash is a tether recovery that works extremely well and his Down smash is a Pikmin call to order sort of thing. It rounds up all of the Pikmin that you have plucked (and are not dead) and gets you back to fighting with them over again. I like the uniqueness.

#1: Sonic



SONIC. Just a mention of his name and Brawl in the same sentence and I become overwhelmed with happiness. The thing I like about Sonic is that he is fast. I am the type of tournament player that blinds people with speed and combos, and Sonic will be the newcomer that I will play the most as. His attacks are spectacular (spin dash, spring jump, homing attack), his stage looks awesome (dont even mention the awesome music), and he just has one of the greatest final smashes of them all... SUPER FREAKING SONIC. Point proven, Sonic is the best.

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So there you have it, the top three newcomers in SSB: Brawl. Up next: Top 3 Stages.   read


2:46 PM on 02.28.2008  

Game of the Month for Feb. 08 Nominees

Every month there is one great game, and that is my game of the month, so, these are the nominees for my Game of the Month for February 2008. One per major console.

Nominees:
Sins of a Solar Empire (PC)

Sins of a Solar Empire is a really fun strategy game. As one of the few games on this list that I do not own, but have played with a friend, I found this game really addictive. Sins is a space-bound game. The playing field is a 2D web of 3D planets and other 3D celestial objects clustered around one or more stars which looks great on a high end PC like my friend's. The sheer brilliance in HUD design, the huge scale of the game, and the amount of fun in multiplayer makes this game worthy of the PC nomination.

Patapon (PSP)

Patapon was just bought by me yesterday, and I cannot put it down. It will keep me busy until Brawl comes out for the Wii. But anywho, Patapon is a highly addictive rhythm game. The reason it got the PSP nomination is fourfold. One, the songs will get stuck in your head, in a way. Two, you feel like you are playing a cartoon because the graphics are THAT good for the PSP. Three, the simple gameplay mechanics are great. And four, I put this game down for 10 minutes and I was fighting the urge to pick it back up. It is the best game to come out for the PSP in my opinion. And at 20 USD, it is a bargain.

Devil May Cry 4 (PS3)

DMC4 has everything that fans expect of the game over the top fight sequences, tons of replayability and an experience with an excellent production value. I have become that fan. DMC4 is fun and action-packed, and I would recommend it to anyone who owns a PS3 right now. Even if the story focuses less on Dante and more on Nero, it is still a great game in the series, and definitely better than DMC3 and DMC2.

Lost Odyssey (360)

Lost Odyssey proves that a good turn-based RPG still is alive and well. Lost Odyssey creates several memorable characters and a somber setting that should please those sick of JRPGs that seem made for little kids. I'm not the biggest RPG fan, but I was impressed with the game overall. Its not as good as Mass Effect, but its a decent addition to anyone's 360 library.

Regarding the Wii nominee...

This was a very bad month for the Wii, so I had to resort to a Virtual Console game, which in my process, counts. So...

Harvest Moon (Wii (Virtual Console))

I simply LOVE this game. One of my childhood favorites. What makes this edition's re-release on the Virtual Console especially compelling is its simplicity and its value. It's the first Harvest Moon game, so it's a great entry into the series that's more accessible to get into than some of the most recent, more complicated franchise installments. Farming is fun.

Expect my verdict anytime next week. Discuss freely now.   read


4:54 PM on 02.27.2008  

XBLA Pick of the Week (2/27)

No doubt, there really is one game being released to XBLA, and that game also is my pick. I would not have made this pick if the game was not good, so here it goes.

TRIGGER HEART EXELICA is my XBLA pick of this week. Please do not yell at me for making my pick of the week the only game being released, but THE is a great game. I have played the original Dreamcast game, (yes I own a Dreamcast), and it is damn fine. So, is this XBLA port.

The game involves playing 1 of 2 anthropomorphic fighters to battle against 5 stages of enemy ships. Exelica specializes in wide area attacks, while Crueltear uses concentrated front shots. Players can fire anchors to catch enemy ships, then use the caught unit as a shield or throw it to inflict more damage.

It is a shoot-em-up, and I love shooters, so it gets my pick. I really enjoy this game, and is a great buy.

I really think that February is one of the best months of XBLA in a long time, in my opinion.

Trigger Heart Exelica Xbox page:

http://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/t/triggerheartxboxlivearcade/   read







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