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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


7:27 AM on 02.26.2008

Virtual Console Pick (2/26)

Sorry for the one day delay, but you probably don't care.

There were two great releases, but I had to choose a game that I was addicted to as a kid.



What made this game for me was the copy abilities. There are seven different copy abilities in Kirby 64, and any two can be merged to create a new copy ability. They are Burn, Stone, Ice, Needle, Bomb, Spark, and Cutter. Though Kirby only needs one element in his body to gain an extra attack, two of the abilities can also be combined, equating to 35 possible ability combinations. Combined abilities are usually stronger or have added effects. For example, the Burn ability alone makes Kirby turn into a fireball for a very brief period of time and fly through the air. The Cutter ability allows Kirby to throw his face like a boomerang, though its movements cannot be controlled and it has a very small impact area. Putting these two abilities together, however, results such that Kirby can pull fire swords out of his mouth (see picture). The sword automatically kills anything behind him (he drags it behind him as he goes), but Kirby can also swing it for enemies at close range, hold it above him for enemies in the air, or throw it as a projectile. After Kirby has copied an ability, he can spit the ability from his mouth in the form of a "Power Star", which can be thrown at other enemies with copyable abilities to create a "Combo Star". Combo Stars can be thrown at enemies if Kirby wishes to rid himself his current power, and it also works as a strong projectile.

The plot was great, and had many great plot elements... but the copy abilities made the game.   read


1:23 PM on 02.24.2008

EA may be taking over the WORLD.

Reportedly, EA is making a bid to aquire Take-Two Inteactive in an all-cash merger of about $2 billion, according to Kotaku.com.

An important fact to note is that Take-Two's board rejected the offer, leading EA to make their offer public to the shareholders.

This would only increase dramatically the grip that EA has on the video gaming world in the US. With EA Sport's recent agreement with the NFL to keep liscencing until god knows when, and the possible purchase of one of other big powerhouses of the video world, who knows how big EA will get.

For those who are uneducated, Take-Two Interactive owns fully 2K Games (which owns Civilization makers Firaxis), 2K Sports (Major League Baseball 2K8 and Don King Presents: Prizefighter), 2K Play (various young children games), and one of the biggest of them all, Rockstar Games (GTA IV).

There are pros and cons to this deal. A pro to this deal is the amount of quality games that would be released by EA. A con to this deal is the amount of control that EA has just gotten a hold of in the market of video game sales.

More info to come in the future.   read


3:55 PM on 02.23.2008

A freeware game you NEED to play

Okay, so a couple of days ago I downloaded this game called Crayon Physics. Crayon Physics is simple in design, but great in longevity. Honestly, all of you flash game nuts should definitely download it. With your left mouse click and drag you draw certain shapes that aid your circle in the quest to get a star to progress to the next level. The game is quite a challenge, and I have spent the past couple of days playing it.


This is a typical level design.

The game's graphics are a bit too simple. But, again, it is a great game. Oh yeah, and it won some awards too. Crayon Physics won the Seumas McNally Grand Prize at the Independent Games Festival (IGF). It is worth your time to download it. So, to prevent this post from being completely useless, here is a video of the game, followed by the link to where you can download it.

NOTE: This video is of Crayon Physics Deluxe, which according to the maker of the game, is coming out when it is done. It may or may not be freeware.

[embed]71915:8410[/embed]

So, here is the link to go to to download Crayon Physics:

http://files.filefront.com/crayonzip/;9044676;/fileinfo.html

Enjoy.   read


3:23 PM on 02.23.2008

WiiWare is unrestricted? Cool!

Well, I was watching THIS video and heard that the WiiWare service that is being released will be unrestricted.

In those terms, unrestricted means that the WiiWare titles can come out whenever they want, meaning that there will be no staggered releases like Wii VC. This is great for competition. As of right now, Square Enix is running away with the WiiWare hype because of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King and a possible Chocobo Dungeon release. But, since the releases are unrestricted, companies can release a bunch of games over a two week span to compete with FFCC.

There will probably more info to come.   read


6:52 AM on 02.22.2008

Top 10 Villains of Video Games #5-1

Well. Here we go, the conclusion of my top 10 villains of video games countdown. Here is the rundown so far...

The 5 that missed the cut:
15. Meta Knight (Kirby series)
14. Seymour (FFX)
13. Revolver Ocelot (Metal Gear Sold series)
12. Cats (Zero Wing)
11. Donkey Kong (Donkey Kong)

And the bottom 5:
10. Dr. Wily (Megaman series)
9. Wolf (Star Fox series)
8. Ridley (Metroid series)
7. Andrew Ryan (Bioshock)
6. Bowser (Super Mario series)

One common theme throughout these villains is perseverance. Almost all of them never give up in their hunt to take down the protagonists in their games. Who knows? Maybe that theme will continue...

#5: Dr. Robotnik/Eggman (Sonic series)



Being the villain in a world where hedgehogs run faster that hell is hard. But Dr. Robotnik/Dr. Eggman (whichever way you call him) deserves a spot in the top 5 for being able to keep up with Sonic and his friends. Dr. R/E stands out from the others on the list because he doesn't plan on taking over the world or anything, he just wants to steal cute, furry animals. Cute furry animals? Wow. Oh, and another thing. His obsessiveness about Chaos Emeralds is crazy. Way back when, when the original was released for the Genesis, Dr. R/E probably wanted some Chaos Emeralds for some bling, man. BLING BLING.

#4: Blinky, Inky, Pinky, and Clyde (Pac-man)



Yes, these four ghosts are on my list. The first major upset of this list, these 4 also happen to be the most inept villains. They are cool because they can kill Pac-man with one simple touch, but WHY IN HELL would you allow Pac-man to temporarily stun you and send you back to the start by letting him eat cherries??? Anywho, these guys stand out because they were, in essence, one of the first "villains" of video games. They were villains to the ball-hungry Pac-man, but were also villains to us. The 4 ghosts robbed countless people of their quarters, and for some people, their lives. My cousin happens to actually a Pac-man speed runner, and hell, those ghosts sure are dumb. But they deserve a spot on the top 5 because of their longevity.

#3: Psycho Mantis (Metal Gear Solid series)



The point is, this guy messed with your mind! Psycho Mantis is quite a unique character, one that creeped you out and maybe scared you the first time you met him. He creeped me out... a lot. What sets him apart from the others on the list is indeed his ability to mess with your mind. The way he "read" your memory card, and the way he knew your every move was just pure genius by Kojima's crew. But the best thing of all, he turned the screen off, replacing it with a blue screen that said Hideo in the top area. Pure greatness. He definitely grabbed your attention... he grabbed mine.

#2: G-Man (Half-Life series)



What we don't know about G-Man might hurt us. For all those who have played Half-Life or any other games in the series, what we know is that G-Man is one hell of a character to create. His ability to create illusions stands him out from the crowd. He was always in a room where you had access to, but once you got there, he was already gone. G-Man has the essence of a stalker that wants to know exactly where you are at all times. Another thing that stands out in my mind regarding G-Man is that we just do not know how much of a villain he is, and that makes him #2.

Okay, so after a long wait, here it is, the #1 villain in all the video game land...

#1: Ganondorf/Ganon (Legend of Zelda series)



Yes, Ganondorf is number one. The pentultimate antagonist of video gaming villains is the great dark lord himself. His ways of getting himself in the way of Link and Zelda time and time again just shows his perseverance. Even when you think that he wasn't the primary villain, like in Twilight Princess, he shows up and screws up your plans. His placement of ways to screw your plans up makes him great, and the fact that Ganondorf can transform into Ganon (who is pretty cool himself) and then kick your butt is fantastic. I'm running out of words to describe him. But, to sum it up, one of the most epic video game franchises has the most epic villain ever.   read


8:35 PM on 02.21.2008

Portal 2? SWEET.

Via Kotaku.com.

Portal 2 is finally revealed to be true, thanks to a recent G4 interview. Check it out HERE.

I loved Portal, and the thought of Portal 2 is just spectacular. I would play it for endless hours, and even though it probably will not get a 2008 release date, I will buy it. Oh, and another thing, Portal 2 better be longer than the original...   read


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