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Hey, I'm sonic429, just call me sonic. I've been gaming since the 8 bit days, my first system was the Atari 7800. I try to play as many different types of games as possible, but my favorite genres are platformers, adventure, and fighters. I grew up with Nintendo and Sega so they will always be special to me, but I also have love for Sony and Microsoft.

Being fair and balanced is always my goal when forming my opinions, and I'm a very opinionated gamer. So if you don't agree with me I have no problems hearing the other side of the argument provided you can back it up. That's the way we all grow in knowledge and gain maturity. But most of all I'm here to have fun and interact with the community.

Happy gaming.
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Let me start off by saying I think the Wii is a terribly misunderstood console. When comparing it to the PS3 and 360 it's hard not to bulk a bit when they are suppossed to be the same generation. Fact is, the Wii isn't trying to be like them, it was built to be a machine for everyon not just the core gamers. The thing to understand is your enjoyment of the Wii really depends on how you set it up. That means having the right connection (component video) the right kind of controllers (Wii remote+, Gamecube controllers, Classic controlers) and of course the right kinds of games; which is where this blog comes in. Anyone who tells you that the Wii doesn't have a respectable collection of quality games is either ignroant or lying. Not saying you don't have to dig through some shovelware to get to those quality games, but they are there to be had. So here's my list of reccomended games.

                                                  My crazy modded (limited edtion Wii)

For starters these are my top 10 Wii games, I'd reccomend these above all else.

1 Super Mario Galaxy

Without a doubt my favorite platformer of era and my favorite game on the Wii. Any disapointment that people have had with Super Mario Sunshine could easily be aleviated with Super Mario Galaxy. In many ways feels like the true successor to Mario 64. The graphics are brilliant, the challenges are well laid out, the pacing is spot on, and the variety is staggering.

2 Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword

While some may prefer Twilight Princess (also on this list) it's hard for me not to like Skyward Sword better. The motion controls that were an afterthought with the former are fully realized in the later. This is the game that truly showcases what Nintendo wanted to do with the Wii remote. The puzzles arewhat really won me over, the game is incredibly imersive and theres so much to do and see in the world.

3 Mario Kart Wii

To me this is the Mario Kart that got it right. I enjoyed previous and subsequent entries but something about Mario Kart Wii just feels right. Each of the 32 tracks feel like they are fine tuned, ready to be raced over and over until every turn is mastered. It's easily the best online experience the Wii had to offer, and even though servers are down local multiplayer can live on.

4 Super Smash Bros Brawl

I'm going to come out and say it, Brawl is better than Melee. Okay it's not a popular opinion, but I actually prefer the floatier mechanics and slower gameplay, it makes the game more tactical in my opinion. But even if you disagree it's hard not to appreciate the sheer amount of content to be had here, the roster is massive, there's an 8+ hour subspace emmisary, with mini games, challenges, stage builder and more options than you can shake a stick at. And if you really dislike the mechanics, Project M is an SD card away.

5 Metroid Prime 3/Trilogy

Which Prime game is the best? Well, Prime 1 obviously, but the other 2 are great games in their own regard. And you can get all 3 amazing games on a single disc. Here's the best part, the controls are updated so you can look and move at the same time! But I digress. Seriously, these are 3 of the best adventure games ever made. The world of Metroid is deep and there's nothing quite like exploring anciet ruins as Samus Aran, legendary bounty hunter. Very highly reccomended.

6 Tatsunoko vs. Capcom

I'll be the first to admit the Wii isn't a haven for fighting games. But this is easily one of the best fighters of the last generation. If you enjoyed Marvel vs. Capcom 3 or Street Fighter x Tekken, TvC is sure to please. 2 on 2 tag team fighting mixing the world of Tatsunoko and Capcom. Even if you don't know Yatterman from Karas it really doesn't matter, it's a fighting game people. If you are a Dreamcast fan this one is sure to resonate with you.

7 Donkey Kong Country Returns

Donkey Kong's glorious return after years of side games. It's a straght up ode to the Donkey Kong Country games on the SNES, but it's not a remake, it's more of a modern take on those games. The controls are tight, the platforming is tough, and the nostalgia is high. Seriously, if you can't appreciate old school hardcore gameplay like this you have no soul.

8 New Super Mario Bros Wii

Also a return of sorts to the old school days is New Super Mario Bros Wii. It feels like a mix of Mario Bros 1-3 and Mario World. People have called the art style bland, but I've always found the game to be charming. Much like Donkey Kong it's a challenging game, and gets even moreso as you add players. If you can mangage to beat the game with 4 players co operativley you are a better platforming guru than I, and this is coming from someone who beatlost levels without warps or cheats.

9 Sonic Colors

It's about time Sonic made a decent 3D game. I can't help but enjoy running through Robotnick's interstellar amusement park. The foundation of the gameplay is as old as Sonic Adventure 1, except the mechanics are a lot better. The twist though is the wisps that give Sonic Temporary powers such as digging though the ground or flying. It's by no means earth shattering, but it's the best Sonic game of the generation.

10 Kirby Return to Dreamland

Yes, another platformer. But that's one of the systems strengths. RTD is a love letter to fans of Kirby Superstar on the SNES. You can play as Kirby, Waddle Dee, King Dedede or Metaknight, each with their own abilites. It's also got drop in drop out gameplay, and really delivers on the promise of 4 player co-op in away Mario just couldn't nail because of difficulty. Yes, it's on the easy side, but don't hold it against it. Oh, and like most HAL games, it's packed to the brim with content.


These are the rest of the list. Not every game on here is a timeless gem, but each one I feel is worth at least checking out. Theese aren't in any particular order other than similar titles being listed together. 

Wii Sports/Resort

Wii Sports may have caught all the headlines, and it's a great game for what it accomplished, but it's hard to deny it's little more than a tech demo. Wii Sports resort is the real deal. All the ideas that Wii Sports had, feel much more fully realized in this release. Swordfighting is a particular highlightbut even things like Tennis, Golf and Bowling have a lot better fidelity with the Wii remote + . It's a fun casual game, that's best played with friends.

Kirby's Epic Yarn

If you had to choose betwen the two main Kirby titles I'd defenetly chose Return to Dreamland, but there is a certain charm about Epic Yarn. It reminds me very much of little big planet, everything is super polished and obviusly looks like fabric and yarn. It's a relativley simple game, a 2D side scrolling platformer where the goal is to collect as many gems as possible and complete the level. You lose gems when you get hit but you can't die, much in the same way that the Lego games work. I'm sure most guys here weren't chomping at the bit to play this, but in it's defense it wasn't made for you, it's made for younger kids and it shows that very clearly. If I had a kid, I would start them with something like this.

Super Mario Galaxy 2

This game is interesting in the sense that Nintendo usually doesn't give us a direct sequel to a major franchise on the same system, or if they do, they are ususally radically different. Mario Galaxy 2 in many ways just feels like a natural expansion on what the firt game offered. But if it isn't broken, don't fix it.Mario Galaxy 2 is bigger, more challenging and sports a lot of new ideas. It basically assumes you've already beaten the first game and are ready to move on. The cloud suit and inclusion of Yoshi are highlights. Still for what it's worth I like the first game a little more.

SNK Arcade Classics Vol 1

There's quite a few anthologies to be had on the Wii, but I would say this one is probably the best one to get simply because it has more variety than the others. If you have fond memories of that red machine with 4 buttons it's hard not to enjoy this game. I never knew about Shock Troopers until recently, it's a top down shooter (think Commando) with surprisingly great controls, tons of weapons and an co-op to boot. But there's also stuff like Art of Fighting, King of Fighters 94, Metal Slug and World Heroes, each of which have their own compliations. So it's a nice introduction to the world of SNK if you aren't familiar.

Metal Slug Anthlogy

If you've played one Metal Slug, you've played them all, but why not enjoy them all? Serioulsy, if you've never played a Metal Slug game you owe it to yourself to try it out. They are 2D shoot em ups, somewhat simiar in structure to the Contra games but slower paced. There's power ups vehicles, different paths and of course co-op. Each one kinda has their schtick.

King of Fighters The Orochi Saga

Reinhold Hoffman's favorite fighting franchise, or at least one of them. This compilation starts you out at King of Fighters 94 and takes you all the way to 98. While that's by no means a complete set, it's the main line of classic games. It's interesting to see how the series evolved in such a short amount of time. The game work on team play, you have 3 characters to chose from, but in the original you can't even pick your team, they're already pre determined. Each incarnation does something a little different and expands the roster. The main game you'll be spending time with is KOF 98. If you've stuck to the Street Fighter side of the pool then I'd recommend branching out. I still prefer SF, but I must admit I'm a fan of the more "deliberate" (for lack of a better term) gameplay.

Samurai Showdown Anthology

Maybe you aren't a fan of King of Fighters style mechanics, Samurai Showdown has it's own feel. Of all the SNK games, I would have to say I love the original Samurai Showdownt the best. The roster is small but each character feels signifigant, the pacing feels right, the controls are spot on and the visuals are stellar. However, popular opinion sides with the second entry which I'm also a fan of. But like I said in the other anthologies, why not try them all?

House of the Dead 2-3 Return

Oh I miss light gun shooters, it's a shame that those old guns won't work on our modern TV's. But lest we forget the Wii remote can easily facitiltate that function. I've always viewed the House of the Dead games to be the defacto light gun shooter. Sure the dialog is cheesy, and the hits are cheap, but think about all thememories you can relive with your friends. It's a straight forward port except as you play you unlock more credits so you can get better and farther, just don't expect to beat the game without cheats. It's a damn shame the original isn't packaged with this, the only other home port is on the Saturn.

Guilty Gear XX Accent Core/Plus

And people say Tatsunoko is the only game worth owning an arcade stick for. I beg to differ. If you've never played a Guity Gear game this is a nice place to jump in. I'm pretty much a casual fan of the series, I couldn't tell you all the differences between the versions, nor can I nail those 25 hit air combos. I can tell you this though, it's got a diverse cast of outlandish characters, beautiful animation, spot on controls, and a hell of a soundtrack. It's pretty hardcore to say the least, so be prepared to invest some time if you want to be proficent.

Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil/0

You might be put off by these titles, they are actually just re releases of the Gamecube games. If you've never played any of the classic Resident Evil games this is really a fantastic way to start. If you have to pick one the remake is the better game but I'd say get both for the full background. These are not the fast paced action games that 4-6 are, they are slow meticulous, scary, and require you to not only pay attention but conserve resources. Long story short, everything the new games
aren't. The reason I reccomend getting these instead of the Gamecube games, is the 480p support, ability to play them on the Wii with the classic controller, and the fact that they aren't split across 2 discs.

Resident Evil Umbrella/Darkside Chronicles

Okay, maybe you don't want to go through all the trouble of going through those old school Resident Evil games with human tank controls. That's cool, Wii has got youcovered here as well. Think of the RE Chronicles games as a readers digest version of the story of Resident Evil told by means of a light gun shooter. These games are nicley paced, story driven, and have rewarding gameplay. Unlike the House of the Dead these aren't arcadey, which means progress is saved, guns can be permantanly upgraded and theres more to come back to than just a higher score; co-op is great too. Darkside Chronicles in particular is a fantstic choice, it's the best light gun game I've ever played.

Resident Evil 4

How could I not reccomend the classic? People argued which is better, the Gamecube version with better graphics, or the PS2 version with more content, then the Wii version comes along with both and on screen aiming to boot. Even if you aren't the biggest fan of motion controls you can still play this with the classiccontroller. It holds up better than a lot of games do from 10 years ago. If you've never played RE4 I highly reccomend picking this up.

Metroid Other M

Okay this game gets a lot more flak than it deserves. No, it doesn't touch the Prime games, but frankly, it's not trying to. In some ways I feel like it's trying its best not to tread on Retro's work. You play with the Wii remote sideways and play in third person, when you need to look at something you just point the Wii remote at the screen and it switches to third person. It facilitates both action and puzzles remarkably well...at least most of the time. It's by no means a perfect game but dispite it's many faults I had a great time with it, the graphics are slick, the combat is fun and frantic in a way that Prime's never wasand that Ridley Fight was the series best. The game is only $8 at Gamestop, give it a shot, you may be surprised.

Sin and Punishment Star Successor

I'll admit, there are some Wii games that feel more dated than they actualy are, but this isn't one of them. Treasure has always had a knack for giving gamesamazing presentations and that's definitley the case with Sin and Punshment SS. From the instant you boot it up you know this game is special. You can use the classic controller, and for most Wii games I reccomend that given the option, but I never even considered it. The game itself is like a light gun shooter only your character is on screen, you have to dodge and weave with the analog stick and aim using the Wii remote. It feels so natural in a way that most motion controled games don't. It's a pretty tough game, but rewarding to progress.  If you enjoyed Kid Icarus Uprising but not the controls it's well worth checking out.

Naruto Clash of Ninja Revolution 1-3

If you've played the Clash of Ninja Games on the Gamecube, you'll know exactly what these games are about. I enjoy the games because they are simple fun. Combat has two attacks (light and heavy) a throw and special button. They all do great fan service, and have tons of content to go through. These are fun party games but there's a lot of content to go with that. Fighting games just don't have single player campaigns anymore for whatever reason. They aren't amazing gamesbut they are a lot of fun. If I had to reccomend one in the series I'd say the third one is the best as being the most refined.

Zack and Wiki: Quest of Barbaros' Tresure

They don't make games like this anymore. Fundamentally, Zak and Wiki is a modern day point and click adventure. It's a puzzle game with excellent motion controls, it's actually pretty challenging and requires you to pay attention. I adore the art style, it reminds me of the Dreamcast days where Capcom wasn't afraid to make their games "gamey". I never beat the game, but I had a great time with what I did play. I would love to see a follow up on Wii U but it didn't sell very well in the Wii's heyday, so it's rather doubtful.

Animal Crossing City Folk

If you want a slow paced game with no real goal or ambitions then Animal Crossing will be right up your alley. See, I'm not a fan of sim games in general but forsome reason Animal Crossing just resonates with me. I love the slow music, making relationships with the other animals, and avoiding Tom Nook and in general doing whatever I feel like. If an animal keeps threating to move away, I say GTFO. Because, yeah, I'm like that. Granted this isn't my favorite version of the game (3DS and Gamecube versions are more enjoyable) but I can't deny that it's still a fun game all around.

Rayman Origins

Admittedly, this is on every platform under the sun, so why would you get it particularly on Wii? Well, no specific reason, but that doesn't mean it should be takenoff this list. Rayman Origins is platforming heaven. If you've played Legends it's very much the same kind of game, only less refined. The game just feels right the art style is fantastic, the controls work well, it's totally replayable and with 4 player co op it's a great party game. There's a lot of trial and error if you like that sort of thing (I do), but I can't imagine someone liking platformers and not liking this game.

Pikmin 1/2: New Play Control

This is another example of a game improved by motion controls, it seems any game that uses the pointer aspect of the Wii remote instead of the motion aspect works to the games advantage. Pointing and clicking where things should go is usually a luxury only affored to the PC gamer, but here you get that kind of accuracy. Okay, maybe not quite the level of a mouse, but it works as a 3D mouse. Much like other Gamcube re releases you are getting 480p and 16:9 support, and even though the visuals are dated, the style hold up fairly well. Both games are totally worth getting but they can fetch a pretty penny online.

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat: New Play Control

Another Gamecube re release, there's actually a whole set of "New Play control games". The original game was made for the DK Bongo's (remember them?), but the Wii version changes the controls around for the Wii remote and nunchuck. While I still prefer the bongos to the new play control, it's a nice way to enjoy the games and the controls still work really well. It's a 2D scrolling platformer with a twist, it's built around combos and timing, you have to collect bannans,defeat enemies and platform in one fluid motion. The more combos you can stack together the higher the score you will get. It's unique in a lot of ways and feels like a great fit for Wii. I'm glad the game got a re-release because the original fell under a lot of people's radar due to being released late in the Gamecube cycle.

Wii Fit/Plus

Now this is a game I bet you didn't expect to see on this list, did you? But the fact is, this is a really well made game. It takes a balance board with your Mii wieghs you and tests you to see what kind of shape you are in. It does a remarkably good job of encouraging you and giving good advice. This isone of those games that feels really "next gen" to me as its got "an outside the box" kind of thinking. It keeps track of your stats, compares your progress to your friends, and makes suggestions. It's a little scary how much was thought of in the game. But the exercises are actually fun with multiple levels and makes a fantastic use of both the board and the Wii remote. IMHO it's one of the most innovative games that last gen had to offer.

Battalion Wars II

If you enjoyed the original game on the Gamcube this one is sure to please. You basically are a leader of a batallion and have to lead your troops into battle against the soviet army. Each of your men have a class and it's up to you to put them in their place to optimize performance and win. It's a strategy game of sorts but you control it all. You can fire the bazookas, ride in tanks, or take control of the artillary. It's pretty kid friendly, but that should be  expected from a first party title. Controls work well because, again, it works with the pointer, not the motion.

Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess

How could this game not be on the list? I case you've been living under a rock for the past 10 years you know that Twilight Princess is the Zelda game that fans were clamoring for for years. It's the anthesis of Wind Waker, which means the game is dark, mature, with more emphasis on the dungeons and less on thevoverworld. Even the story gets kinda out there. There was a few times where I was wondering if I was actually playing a Zelda title. Yes, this game is bettervwith traditional controls if you ask me, but it's certainly not bad on the Wii. It still plays quite well today, and it's increidby immersive.

Warioland Shake it

Seeing a pattern here? Yeah, the Wii pretty much has the undisputed crown for platforming last gen. This is an old school platformer in the style of the Wario Land games. It's quirky and has some limited motion controls, but they aren't too invasive. Acutally this is pretty obviously a Gamecube game that just got moved over mid development. But you basically go into a level getting all the treaure you can when you get to the goal you have to get back to the beginning with the allotted time. Obviously, not all the treasure can be had going in, some has to be gotten exiting the level. Which means there's quite a bit of  replay value trying to maximize the amount of treasure in a given run. It's not likely to melt your brain, but it's got a great sense of humor, nice mechanics
and fun gameplay.

Punch Out

Now this is how you revive a dead franchise! I've always loved the Punch Out games, never been good at them , but that doesn't stop them from being great. This is a love letter to fans. You once again control Little Mac and work your way through the ranks to become the heavyweight champion. But this is far from your typical boxing game, see it's more of a game of learning patterns and memorization than actual boxing. Enemies have weakness that you have to exploit as
well as attacks that have to be avoided, it's all about learning when to dodge, block and attack. I can't help but love all the characters as they each have their own personality and antics. It's as much of a reward to win as it is to see the next character you have to face. Never could beat the game but I had a great time trying.

Mario Pary 9

I'll admit I haven't sunk countless hours into Mario Party 9, but I do feel like it belongs on the list. As opposed to other MP games, you all travel in one car around the board, each player collects mini stars. It has more of a focus on mini games than previous entries and most of the games are pretty solid. Like any Mario Party it's best for 4 players as the AI is likley to use underhanded tatics.

Goldeneye 007

I know a lot of people wanted to see Goldeneye show up on the Virtual console, but it never happened for a lot of reasons. I think this was meant to be more of a homage to the N64 classic without being a re release. This is a game all its own. Essentially, this is a retelling of the 1995 movie as if Daniel Craig was acting in it. Before you cry blasphemy, it's very tastefully done and brings a new flavor that serves the plot well. Frankly, I'm glad it didn't ride the coattails of the N64 games as so many did before it. No, it's not that groundbreaking, but that doesn't mean it's bad. It's running on a modified Call of Duty engine with JB style objectives. I like the implementation of cameras and other gadgets so it's not a shooting gallery. The multiplayer is really nice as well. Grab 4 classic controllers and play split screen, just like the old days.

Dead Space Extraction

Remember when I said that light gun shooters made a return on the Wii? This is another fine example of that. EA could have shoehorned a bastarized version of Dead Space for Wii like Capcom did with Dead Rising. Instead they thought they'd do the fans and the series a service. This is a prequel to the orignal Dead Space told in the form of a light gun shooter. This is even slower paced than Resident Evil Chronicles but it does pick up. There's quite a few places where you have to use the Wii remote in intersting ways, you have to figure out how to block holes or cover your exit. It's not just about shooting and I can totally respect that. And don't worry about the tension and mood being toned down, that's not the case at all. It's very foreboding and well made.

Silent Hill Shattered Memories

To me this is my proof that some developers just didn't try with visuals on the Wii. This is proof positive that realistic games can look great on the system. The environments are carefully crafted with some stellar lighting. Seriously, go through the game and cast your light on anything and watch it reflect in real time on the walls with true to life accuracy. The snow, the architeure, even the texture work and character models are impressive, effects you just don't see done on the Wii. Oh, and this game is incredibly creepy, the audio is chilling and the tension runs high. Even the motion controls work exceptionally well here. There isn't much like this on the Wii and I highly reccomend giving it a shot.

Tomb Raider Anniversary

This is another game you won't see a whole lot of on the Wii, a single player puzzle adventure game. The game is esentaially a remake of the original on PS/Saturn, but uses the mechanics of Tomb Raider Legend. The controls work well enough, but I'm not convinced they are particually better, except for maybe the shooting. Much like, Dead Space and Silent Hill, there's a deep imersive expereince to be had here and it doesn't baby you at all. You have to learn the mechaics and avoid traps. Puzzles are challenging, and there's a ton of ways to die here. Thankfully the checkpoint system is forgiving. Theres a long game here to be had for those willing to see it to the end. I can't say I ever made it all the way through, but I'd like to revisit the game when I get some time.

Red Steel 2

This is not your traditional first person shooter, in fact I have a hard time calling it a first person shooter, more like a first persona action/adventure game. The gameplay revolves around taking jobs and and fighting enemies. The gamplay is rewarding as you are constantly getting better gear to take on more jobs. There'sa good amount of variety here as well. The controls work well due to requireing Wii motion plus, and I love the western theme.

Lego Star Wars the Complete Saga

This is anothe one of those relreleases that are worthg getting because it's an upgrade from the previous generation. You are getting both orignal Lego Star Wars games and all the extras with 480p and 16:9 support. Both of the games were alread chock full of content but both together is enough to keep you busy for a long time. The gameplay is a fairly straightforward afair with collecting lego studs, solving puzzles (which is basically finding the right character with the right ability) and a little platforming mixed it. It's got drop in drop out co op, and it works well either way. Lego games are as common as can be but the originals are still a lot of fun.

This is the rest of the list. Frankly, there's some games here that I either haven't spent enough time on to reccomend or that I simply don't have. I would really love to pick up games like Fire Emblem and Pandora's Tower but lack the time and money to get around to them. If anyone has any experience with these games I would love to hear them.

                                                            My entire Wii collection

Super Paper Mario
Super Mario All Stars Wii
Muramasa The Demon Blade
Xenoblade Chronicles
Pandora's Tower
Fire Emblem Raidant Dawn
Last Story
Fortune Street
Monster Hunter 3
Sakura Wars So Long my Love
No More Heroes 1/2
Mad World
House of the Dead OVerkill
Kirby Dream Collection
Pokemon Battle Revolution
Lost in Shadow
The Conduit
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3

So there you have it, Sorry to drone on. I promise I won't get offended if you just read the sections that you wanted. But I would like to hear back from the communuty. Have you guys played these games? Does anyone else appreciate what the Wii for what it was, or will it take a few more years before others start looking back at thesystem?

Photo Photo

While I’ve went into detail about my favorite game, I’ve never touched on my favorite console. After years of gaming, I must say that the Gamecube is my favorite and I’d like to give a history of how that came to be.

I’ve found in my life, some of the things that I am most fond of, I had a lukewarm initial reaction to. Over the years as I grow more familiar with a piece of hardware or software that I grow to appreciate it’s finer points. This was certainly the case with the Gamecube.

Roll back the clocks to 2001, much to my chagrin, the Dreamcast was being discontinued, and I had foolishly decided to sell the system while it was still worth some money, to invest further in my new PS2. At the time there was little to play on the platform, but by the end of the year some bigger games were coming out.

The N64 which I held so dear had tapered off in appeal. The big games had already came and went, and while I loved the system quite a bit, the second half of the systems life held far less interest to me in light of the upcoming PS2 games. The PS1 had simply offered me the kinds of games that I couldn’t get on the N64, and I was betting the PS2 would continue to do that.

I had little interest in Nintendo at the time but I was still hoping that their next generation console would be a return to form. See the N64 was notoriously hindered by the cartridge format, while it offered some distinct advantages, the system ultimately paid a high price for them. What I was hoping for was something more akin to the SNES or PS1, but as we all know, that was not what the Gamecube was.

Instead of moving away from the N64’s oddities it was as if Nintendo was embracing them. This didn’t feel like a more traditional console, it felt less traditional. The system was a purple cube with a carrying handle, the controller was a hodgepodge with buttons scattered around. It’s not what I wanted at all. But still, this was Nintendo, a company that I had grown up with, I had to at least try it.

                                                     What a strange looking console

And that I did. There was a Walmart that had one on display so I ran over there to see the new system. Now I don’t remember much but I do remember that Smash Bros Melee was on display and being really impressed with the fidelity it offered over the N64 game. That’s always been Nintendo’s deal, making a “super” version of the last game they made. As impressive as the current gen version of a said franchise is, the net gen blows it out of the water.

But I wasn’t a huge fan of the original Smash Bros (frankly I’m still not), so it wasn’t enough for me to jump in. It wasn’t until the Resident Evil/Capcom deal was announced did the system pique my interest. I was having some financial troubles at the time and I was still in high school, so purchasing the system wasn’t a possibility.

Fast forward a year when I was in a better financial situation, the system had got a price drop and a then limited edition platinum color, I bought in. My first game was obviously Resident Evil. The game floored me visually back then, and it still looks great today. Okay, maybe it hasn’t held up perfectly, but a lot better than many games do from that age. The way I see it the graphics from the original were improved more with only a 6 year gap, than the HD remakes are after a 12 year gap. That says something to me.

Anyway I think the reason I was disappointed with the system initially was that I was expecting to be wowed the same way I was with the N64, and frankly it just wasn’t there. Mario Sunshine didn’t wow me like Mario 64 did, Wind Waker fell short of Ocarina of Time, there was no Goldeneye-like FPS to bring my friends over, and Rare wasn’t present long enough to give us sequels to much beloved N64 games. I was hoping for a revolution, not an evolution.

In hindsight, I don’t think any system could have given me back my piece of childhood that I found in the N64. I think I looked back with rose tinted glasses and unrealistic expectations. I was an adult now.  I picked up some games here and there, got some ports, but nothing made me appreciate what the system was.

I moved to Pensacola, FL for Bible college in 2003 so I fell off the gaming radar a bit, didn’t keep up with gaming much, just played what I had, picking up a few games here and there. But in my senior year I was convinced that I was divinely lead to sell off my entire video game collection. Now I know what you guys are thinking, because I’m think it too, in fact I’ve been thinking it since the day I did it: what an idiot. All I can say in my defense is religion makes you do strange things. Thankfully, that chapter of my life is over. It’s a little painful to write about, but necessary for my story.

After I graduated and moved back home to Cincinnati, I got the itch to buy another Gamecube. I’m not entirely sure why I wanted one so badly all of the sudden, but I did. They were cheap by 2007, in fact I remember going into Best Buy asking for one, only for the salesman to try to “hook me up” with an Xbox 360. I understand what he was trying to do but he didn’t listen to me, I wanted a Gamecube.

A man usually finds what he’s looking for (that’s a great truth by the way), and that’s what happened. I bought one. I don’t know what it was, but something about the system just felt right to me, like I was ready to appreciate now, whereas I wasn’t before.

I think the thing that initially stuck out to me was the level of polish that the games had that PS2 games simply didn’t. The controller that I thought was so odd initially just melted into my hands. That Z button just felt right for bringing up the map in Metroid Prime. The system just booted up so quietly, the menus were simple and easy navigate, it was reliable and games looked fantastic.

                                                                                                I swear it's more comfortable than it looks 

Before long I started getting obsessed with the system. I tracked down those exorbitantly priced component cables, got the Game boy player, and started finding some of the hidden gems the system had. It turned out a lot of Gamecube games looked better than their PS2 counterparts, sometimes they would have exclusive Nintendo content or features. (Seeing that Nintendo in Wii U games now is just awesome.)  

There’s a lot more variety to be had on the Gamecube than there was on the N64. The N64 specialized in certain things like 3D platformers, first person shooters, and racing games, but there were hardly any RPG’s to be found. Gamecube has a little bit of everything to offer.

For adventure games it’s hard to go wrong with the Metroid Prime games, they are deep, immersive and very well thought out, Wind Waker is amazing too as it feels like an open world game where you can do whatever your heart desires.

For fighting games, there’s obviously Smash Bros, but there’s also Soul Calibur II (with Link!), it’s a much better port than the PS2 version. There’s also Naruto Clash of Ninja 1 and 2 which are exclusive. It’s got good ports of Mortal Kombat V, and VI, Dragon Ball Z Budokai 1 and 2, and Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO.

I could go on with RPG’s like Skies of Arcadia, Baiten Kaitos, and Fire Emblem, action games like Metal Gear Solid Twin Snakes, and Resident Evil 4 or racing games like F-Zero GX and Mario Kart Double Dash. I think you get my point though. Doing just a little digging, you’ll find that there’s a wealth of great games both first and third party. Sure a few big names like GTA never hit, but most of them came to the Cube. That’s more than can be said about the Wii and Wii U.

In 2007 people were having Wii fever and the Gamecube was only mentioned in connection with the system, so games were pretty cheap. But today it has had a bit of a resurgence, so it’s a bit pricier to collect for it. The component cables alone can run you over $100 and the Game Boy player is at least $50 complete. But if you’re willing to forego that later option you can get a backwards compatible Wii for $50. I recommend going that route for sure, even if it is annoying to have to boot the games with a Wii remote.

                                                           Not a bad way to go

I know not a whole lot of people appreciate the Gamecube like I do, but then again I’ve always been attracted to underground things. There really is no system like it. There weren’t gimmicks to try to lure you in, it didn’t try take over your living room being a DVD player, it was just a gaming console pure and simple. It may not have revolutionized the market but it’s got a fantastic library of quality games and at the end of the day that’s all that really matters.

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Every so often I get asked what my favorite game of all time is, and for a long time I didn't really have an answer. It's kind of like a favorite song, it just changes so often that it's hard to nail down one. But I thought about it and it dawned on me: it's Super Mario 64.

I wanted to give my story on how I came to that conclusion. For as long as I could remember I was always interested in video games. I only enjoyed watching at first, too scared I was going to die, but eventually I worked up the nerve to try it for myself one day. The game was the orginal Super Mario Bros, and yes I did die (at least I assume I did) but I don't remember that. I just remember having a great time, and then subseqently needing to get my hands on the game, and of course an NES to play it on.

For me that was a point of revelation. I was probably only 7 or 8 at the time, but I remember the exact spot I was when I fell in love with gaming. The fact that I can still go there is interesting to me as well, something about that is just special to me. Eventually, I did get the system and found myself growing with gaming as the medium evolved. So I played each game in order, I feel like I could fully appreciate the jump in fidelity that each game offered. Each of the original games and Mario World just resonated with me but in differerent ways. To this day platformers are my favorite genre.

At that time I would have considered myself a casual gamer. Sure I enjoyed playing games on a semi regular basis, but I knew nothing of the industry, I didn't know that the 3D revolution was about to begin, nor did I know how impactful it would become to me. 

The next turning point for me was the day I walked into a Toys R Us in 1996. I remember seeing multiple demo N64 systems playing and no one was around. I grabbed that strange new controller and saw Mario in 3D for the first time. Unfortunatley the analog stick was out of alignment so Mario moved of his own accord. I tried to fool around with the controller but ended up frustrated at the malfunction. If you would have watched me as a 12 year old you would have though I walked away disapointed. But that day it planted a seed in my mind. 

                                             Not the most intuitive controller ever made

The next year rolled around and I still had that seed in my mind. It had grown signifigantly so I asked for an N64 for Christmas. I wasn't so sure I could get it as my parents weren't in the best financial situation, but lo and behold my dad said yes...with some strings attached. See he wanted something out of me, I had to get on the honor roll at school and go out for wrestling. I wasn't the smartest kid but I had an easy enough schedule for 8th grade, but wrestling was another story. Wresting involved 3 hour practices through the week and 8 hour meets on Saturday's. Talk about having no life, but it was a way, I took the bargain.

That Christmas morning to this very day, was the best I ever had and probably ever will have. Now perhaps that has clouded my judgement, but I can't help but have the fondest memories of that Christmas.

Okay so what about Mario 64? Well I actually didn't get it till the following spring actually, money was hard to come by but at least Diddy Kong Racing (the game my parents bough with it) was enough to keep me occupied. 

                                              Yeah, I got the player's choice version...

But when I finally did get my hands on the game I must say I was estatic. I think what most impressed me about the title was the freedom that it offered. All previous entries into the series were all about moving left to right, power ups, and getting to the end with the allloted time. But now there was no time limit. If I wanted to spend 15 minutes trying to find a secret in the courtyard I could. If I wanted to complete objectives out of order I could. But I think what really got me excited, was the idea that if I wanted to complete an objective in my own way, I could do that.

One such example is the second world in Mario 64 called Thwomp's fortress. There was a star in a cage way up in the air. Now what you're supposed to do is climb up in the tree in the front and an owl would come out and take you up there. I had no idea about the owl so I got in one of the cannons and started trying to blast my way over there. I can't tell you how long it took, but I eventually got it.

There were other things that made an impression in my then 13 year old mind. Mario 64 brought a lot of new concepts to my attention. Flying in a 3D space for instance was something I was only vaguely familar with. I played the original Star Fox but changed the pitch to normal. When I grabbed the wing cap and blasted out of a cannon, I was forced to learn inverted controls and analog movement. I learned other things too, like how to control a camera, or how false walls work, and even got my first taste of survival horror. To this day the Ghost house music still creeps me out.

To me it was the perfect game to cut my teeth on, and is one of the few games that I feel deserves a perfect 10. No, it's not a perfect game, but it epitomizes what a 10 should be. It was beatiful, had amazing music, spot on controls (for Mario at least), tons of content and secrets, and has aged rather gracefully. I could knock it for the camera controls but it's 1996. That's like playing basketball with a retarded kid and calling him for double dribble, you gotta let a few things go. 

Long story short it took me from a casual gamer to a hardcore. It made me appecitate all the nuances that we take for granted in today's games. It pioneered 3D gaming and should be on everyone's list as one the greatest games ever made. 

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 It's no secret that the Sonic games have had their ups and downs for years. If you look at some of the games that Sega has really put their heart and soul into you can see some brillant examples of quality platforming. But conversly, you can see where Sega has just slapped games together for a quick buck or for a contractual obligation. What's odd about this is we've seen perfect examples of both in this past generation. So much like my blog on Virtua Fighter (which you should read, nudge, nudge) I want to discuss what I would like to see from the next Sonic game.

First off I want to clarify that I am talking about the next console Sonic game. It's not that I have anything against handheld Sonic games, it's just that the kind of scope I am looking for isn't going to be as easily accomplished on a handheld format. 

First off I want to address the overworld. I feel like Sonic developers have been fooling with different ideas for the overworld since the orignal Sonic Adventure back in 1999. While I really liked running around as Sonic and the crew in a fairly large hub world (for the time) I felt like it had far too many problems. There was a lot of tacked on puzzles, too much backtracking, and the camera went apeshit in tight quarters. The novelty of climbing up the terrain with Kunckles quickly died when I was constantly glitching the enviornment or scratching my hea trying to solve some cryptic puzzle.

The hubworld in any Sonic game needs to be straightforward and well thought out. The game I think that nailed this was Sonic Unleashed. Before you say it, yes, Sonic Unleashed was a bad Sonic game, one of the worst, but that doesn't mean we can't glean from some of the parts they got right. I liked that it had a litteral world map where you chose your world location. It was easy to see where you were and what options you had available to you. Once you clicked on a location you would then drop into the overworld for that region. The entrances to the levels were clearly maked as well as the requirements to enter them. There were also places to explore so there's room for hidden power ups. Sonic games don't need you to solve puzzles to unlock levels, they need to let you concentrate on platforming and exporation. Sonic games in the future need to adopt this philosophy in design.  

Secondly, the engine. This is the real mean and potatoes of the game. Admittedly, Sonic Team has been doing much better in this area as of late. The days of random pits, momentum killing obstacles, horrid cameras, and glitching through environments are over. Not to say that still doesn't happen, but it's far less frequent. If you don't think Sonic has evolved much over the years, go play Sonic Colors or Generations, then go and play Sonic Adventure 1 or 2. I feel like there's still room for improvement though. I would like to see differerent shields make a return, I also feel like water sections are sorely missed (I'm probably alone on that) as well as heavier interactions with enviornments. I also feel there are far too many sections that run in autopilot. Don't get me wrong, they look cool, but that's hardly something to base a game on. Long story short, I want to take the ideas from the Genesis games and convert them over into the modern 3D entries. 

Along with that I want more playable characters. Back in the day I used to whine when they shoehorned unfun characters into the game for the sake of variety, but that was because Sega couldn't get it right. For whatever reason they thought fishing with a retarded cat (Yes you Big) was a good idea. They fullfilled my dream of gliding around with Knuckles in 3D only to restrain him to digging for emeralds in a small space. I never understood why I can't tackle the same levels that I just cleared with Sonic, with Tails and Kuckles. That's what made Sonic 3/Knuckles the best game on the Genesis. It gave three destinct play styles but retained the fun and intuitive Sonic gameplay that we all know and love. Would it take some clever level designs? Yes, but that's what needs to happen. How cool would it be to go through the same level with each of the 3 main characters and have a unique expereince each time. I wouln't mind at all if each world had 3 acts. If the themes can bear the repetition I would welcome it.

Speaking of theme I feel that needs to be addressed. For whatever reason Sega seems to want to treat the Sonic like Mattel treats Barbie. What I mean by that is they keep wanting to spice up the franchise with a new gimmick or mechanic instead of just making a quaility game. The old Sonic games never did this but then again suppose you have to do something to make the annual Sonic release stand out. 

I never played Sonic 06 and from what I've heard I don't want to. But the aethetics sure looked like what I want from a sonic game. No goofy wisps, no scarfs and tape, just classic Sonic themes. I feel like they had a great idea in rebooting Sonic the hedgehog for a new generation it was just so horribly excecuted that it had the opposite effect. I would be really estatic just to see the character settle down in a good series of games with a consistant storyline. And I don't think it needs to be said that having any kind of kinky fanfiction relationships is just out of the question. 

Finally, I think the series needs some replay value. I've always been irrititated by how little there is to do beyond the main quest with more modern entries. I realized that there have been attempts with DLC (Sonic Lost World) side quests (Sonic Generations) and extra objectives like the Red Rings and Time Trials (all the recent Sonic games) but they just don't bring much t the table. I really loved the idea of raising chaos from the first two Sonic Adventure games. I never got into it becauise playing on the VMU screen seemed lame, and I never was quite sure how to get into it. But maybe if they adequately explained the process or better yet rebooted it, I might give it a legitimate chance. It doesn't even have to be chao racing, just the idea of a side game that can be played interchangeably with the main quest seems awesome. One of the best examples I can think of is the card game from Final Fantasy VIII. You could completley ingnore that aspect of the game or you could spend hours challenging people and building up an impressive deck, better yet use those cards to aid you on your quest. Something like that would be amazing for the Sonic games. 

I really enjoy the Sonic games. I feel like they have a lot of charm, the levels are fast and frantic, the music is often memorable and I usually look forward to the next game in the series. I just feel like more often than not the ball is dropped on the finer elements (usually in the second half of the game) that keeps it from being a stellar franchise. Just a little more variety, attention to detail and quality control would go a long way to bring Sonic back to its former greatness.

As I'm sure that most of you are aware last week Nintendo announced their plans to release a new model of the 3DS aptly called the "new" 3DS. The new 3DS features a slew of improvements basically fixing every issue the current model 3DS has. Let's go over them shall we?

1 Circle pad pro built in
2 Improved processor speed for downloads and web browsing 
3 Removed blur issue when viewing 3D content from off angle
4 Improved battery life
5 Improved screen
6 Improved web browser with better support for video playback
7 Now uses micro SD as opposed to full sized cards 

All this without a price increase, and it's coming to Japan this fall with an expected release date in the States in the spring. Pretty grand news right? Except there's one little problem: the announcement that Xenoblade Chronicles is coming and will be exclusive to the new 3DS. 

Now I will be the first to admit that I was a little taken back by this announcement. What this essentially means is that existing 3DS owners will be unable to play this new 3DS game. If this is a sign of things to come, it would essentially fragment the install base between owners of the original model, and owners of the new model 3DS.

So how did the gaming community respond to this news? Loudly and ignorantly. Now I shouldn't be surprised by this as the lack of information always seems to lead to rampant speculation and people assume the worst. The point of my blog is to put the whole issue into perspective. Let's look at similar situations in the past, and see how it turned out, rather than jumping to conclusions. 

Most of us are old enough to remember the release of the Game Boy Color back in 1998 (I'm using US release dates). The original Game Boy came out in 1989 and by the mid 90's it was getting long in the tooth, in fact at that point it in time, it was beginning to fade into obscurity. Nintendo brought out the Game Boy color with improved specs, a color screen and full backwards compatibility. While this was technically a generational leap because it came out during the 5th generation, from a practical standpoint, it was more like a half step. But you know what? It segregated the Game Boy audience. There were 3 types of cartridges, the original gray cartridges that we already knew, the black ones that could still be played in the original hardware but had color if played in a GBC, and clear cartridges that could only be played in a GBC. 

There were two types of GBC games

But that was 9 years after the original model was released, you might say, and you would be correct. I personally feel Nintendo waited far too long to release that model. In my humble opinion, that should have been released around 1995. Even if it would have been a bit bulkier, it would have given the GBC the proper shelf life it deserved, they could have always released a slim unit a little later. But even with that mistake made, it still turned out really well. Along with the release of Pokemon that same year, it revitalized the Game boy line. People loved the GBC and were more than happy to buy in with all the improvements. They didn't complain about being locked out of certain games, they appreciated the improvement in technology.

Fast forward to 2009 with the release of the DSi. The original DS came out in 2004, with the lite following in 2006. The DSi also offered a slew of improvements over the DS lite, built in cameras, SD card slot, built in apps, and access to the DSi shop. It came at a cost though, the DS lite was $129, wheres the DSi came in at $169. The price jump was a hurdle, worse yet, they removed the GBA slot which eliminated backwards compatibility as well as compatibility with any accessory that used it, rendering any game that required it unplayable. The DSi shop was only available on the DSi, so DS lite owners wouldn't be able to play any DSiware game on there nor any physical games exclusive to the DSi, there were 5 total. You want to talk about segmenting the audience? That just put a line right down the middle. Thing is, Nintendo kept selling the DS lite long after the DSi was released, I know, I bought a DS lite brand new in 2010. 

No one seemed upset that this couldn't be played on a regular DS.

How did people respond to this news? Surprisingly well, all things considered. People were excited to see the new model of the DS. They didn't complain about not having access to DSi games, DSiware or having to give up backwards compatibility to get it. 

So why on God's green earth is the gaming community throwing a fit now? Let's look at the facts. The only game announced that will not be compatible with the current model is Xenoblade Chronicles. That game has been out on Wii for over 3 years. If you were so hard pressed to play it, why haven't you done so by now? Even with the improved specs on the new 3DS I'm willing to be it's still going to look and run better on Wii. Will there be more? Maybe, maybe not, but do you really think Nintendo is going to put all their eggs in one basket? Do you really think Nintendo is suddenly going to stop making regular 3DS games and just start making exclusive "new" 3DS games? No. It doesn't make sense from a business standpoint, the install base is too large to just abandon the platform mid generation. Nintendo didn't stop making regular DS games in 2009 nor did they stop making original Game Boy games in 1998. So why would you think that suddenly Nintendo has abandoned the original 3DS?

The fact of the matter is Nintendo did this with the consumer in mind, they announced this months in advance. They were pro consumer enough to hurt their own holiday sales just to be straightforward and honest with people. If they were trying to get one over on us they could have easily waited till after the holiday season to announce a new model. 

As I said before they addressed every issue people had with the original model. Their response was that the "new" 3DS was the one they should have made back in 2012. While that would have been nice, Nintendo has always succeeded in the handheld market because they use older tech. Nintendo took a major hit when they dropped the price from $250 to $169, but that's what turned the platform around. 

By contrast look at what Sony has done with the Vita. They cheapened the materials used with the revised unit, the screen wen't from an OLED to a regular LCD. We did get  a price drop on the system and the memory, but it's still a notably more expensive handheld to purchase. The 3DS is getting a much better unit without a price increase, yet people are still complaining. By contrast to the Vita the 3DS simply has a better catalog of games (along with full backwards compatibility) more compelling features and a cheaper price. I'm not saying the Vita is a bad system, it's just outclassed by its competition. What I'm saying is Nintendo understands the handheld market. Do you really think that Nintendo who has dominated the dedicated handheld market for the past 25 years doesn't know what they are doing? 

At the end of the day I don't think we'll see much of a division at all. We didn't see much of one on the DSi, we won't see much of one on the 3DS. There will always be new models on the market with new features, that is the nature of the market.  I predict only a handful of titles that are exclusive just to get people to buy the new unit. So keep your 3DS that you just bought. I can't see loosing any sleep over the matter. This is a good thing, we are getting a good deal out of this and Nintendo is pushing the platform in the right direction. Be thankful that it's not being used as a companion device and that it has a slew of quality titles with many more years ahead of it. 

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6:48 PM on 08.23.2014

In a blog that is sure to be controversial I have decided to talk about why I am not a PC gamer. Now I don't write this to rekindle an age old argument, but to really settle once and for all my stance on why I prefer console gaming. This is not to say one is better than the other, I view them to be two different formats for two different types of gamers. Much like gas or electric powered devices, the best choice really lies in which application.

First off let me say that I grew up with consoles. I didn't have one to call my own till about 8 or so years old. I so badly wanted an NES, I had friends that had them, and I was just fascinated by the console. I begged and pleaded with my father to get me the system, and he responded...with an Atari 7800. It wasn't what I wanted but I'm glad I started with it. I got to play arcade perfect ports of games from the golden era. I later did move on to the NES, then SNES, Genesis and so on. In fact, I've owned every mainstream console (and some non mainstream ones) up until the last generation, and eventually I do plan on buying an Xbox One and a Playstation 4. And while I do love all 3 companies, it should be no secret to anyone following me, I have a special place for Nintendo games. 

This is the stuff dreams are made of

This really leads me to my first point is Nintendo games. While Sony and Microsoft have their exclusives, and some of them are near and dear to my heart, nothing really captures the magic of a first party Nintendo game. That is not to say everything they put their hands to is gold, but in my opinion they make the best games on the planet, and they only exist on Nintendo consoles. There's something about playing them, as if the hardware feels specifically built to play their games (ironically this is not far removed from the truth). I know of their third party problems, in fact I would say the last 5 years has been the worst I have ever seen it. But you know what, the Nintendo developed games have been better in the past 5 years than they were the previous 10. So it goes without saying that if I went strictly to PC, I wouldn't have access to those games, at least not legally.

But my issues with PC don't stop there. I would say in general PC exclusives do not appeal to me. Now this may be because I generally don't play on the PC enough to enjoy the exclusive games, but there has to be a certain level of initial appeal in order for me to jump in. Games like World of Warcraft, Sim City, Starcraft, Dota 2, and League of Legends just aren't my cup o tea. MMO's tend to be very time consuming and require a monthly installment. Yes, I realize that free to play is coming in, but there are still developed to take your money, even if it is given willfully. I'm the kind of person that likes more of a pick up and play game style. I may be very hardcore in my love of gaming, but my playstyle is remarkably casual. I rarely finish a game, I get bored easily and have wanderlust. There is always another game coming out grabbing my attention. If I do manage to finish a game I find that to be a testament to its quality. So any game that requires a hefty investment before a return is a hard sell for me.

Not exactly my cup o' tea

Another thing that PC gamers tend to enjoy is modding. Now I personally have never modded a game or spent much time in a modded game. I've seen them, they seem cool and  I can understand the appeal of them. People like to give games their own themes, or graphical changes, and it's all free. But I can't say that I have a desire to create. Will Wright (creator of Sim City) talks about the different kinds of powers that games offer. And one of those is creative power. His games are probably the finest example of creative power; the power to shape the world around them. I can't say that that aspect of gaming is something I have ever really desired. Frankly, I'll be honest, I'm not a creative person. I don't play D&D because I've never had much of imagination. I never spend much time in level editors or character creators. When I play a game where I can name my characters, I always choose the default, and have a hard time naming them if no default is given. I want to play the experience that was intended by the developers. When developers give me the option to create my own, I'm hard pressed to do so. Maybe it's a personal limitation, but modding has no appeal to me.

Now lets talk aesthetics. A point PC gamers tend to bring up constantly is that PC games tend to look and sound the best. And you know what, you'll get no argument from me. That's true almost every single time. It's an open box, there's no way a closed box could ever really compete. But something really strange has happened over the past few years, consoles have been doing a remarkably good job of keeping pace. Now obviously the PC games look better, but considering how long the PS3 and 360 have been on the shelf, they are still relevant consoles. And this is not just from a market standpoint the way the original Game Boy was relevant in 1998 (despite ancient tech) this is technological relevance. The fact is we have consoles that have been on the market for nearly a decade and they are getting ports of PC games fully intact. These aren't bastardized ports that are a shadow of the PC version, they are very respectable ports with only toned down visuals, gameplay is untouched. Adding further insult to injury the new consoles that we have are only offering a marginal improvement over the last generation, and these are fundamentally only mid range PC's. So if we're getting the same basic experiences with only the PC advantages (which don't appeal to me), why would I be so hard pressed to game on a PC?

As someone who has been gaming since the 8 bit days, I have to say I am impressed to see how far visuals have come. Today's games look so amazing, it's hard to believe how far we've come in my short 30 years on this planet. With that being said, I'm not sure I really feel like I need better graphics. I feel like Nintendo had this very same philosophy back in 2006 when the Wii was launched, but they were too early. They never fully embraced the technological advances that brought gaming to its current state, hence the Wii was ostracized dispute having some very forward thinking ideas. The fact that the Wii U caries this philosophy successfully without any significant sacrifices in terms of performance yet isn't seeing the success that was unduly lavished upon the Wii perturbs me to absolutely no end. In other words, Wii U is doing everything the Wii was attempting to do, but nobody appreciates it for doing so. I don't really need better graphics, I need new gameplay. This is why I connect with the system so deeply. I share Nintendo's vision for a future of gaming with new ideas. Progression is not just higher resolutions and better framerates, but fresh ideas, and new gameplay options.

PC evolves upon a linear path of improved performance, letting developers do all the legwork, but the interface is aggravatingly stagnant. We have been using the keyboard and mouse for the past 20 years with only marginal improvements. Sure there are other technologies in the works such as the Oculus rift and Leap motion, but I do wonder about the viability of those products. Perhaps the steam controller will come along and change how we think of interacting with our games, but every incarnation moves us closer to a traditional controller. By contrast Nintendo has brought us dual screens, touch screen, gyro controls, and motion controls. Not that they were the first to implement these technologies, just the ones to bring them to gaming successfully. Even Kinect has shaken things up with voice commands and hands free gaming. It may not have the respect and adoration of the hardcore gaming crowd (somewhat justified in light of how it was marketed) but still, it's a new way to game. Long story short, I find more innovation in the console gaming space than I do in PC.  

At least the graphics are better...

Now lets move on to my biggest gripe with PC is the hardware. I could go on with the cost of the building a rig, the time and research involved, and upgrade costs. But when the whole thing is said and done, I actually don't have a problem with that. It's not really that expensive to buy a PC, and there's quite a bit of leeway. There's older parts, and you can upgrade as you get money and even if you aren't a PC guru chances are you know someone who is. It's actually the PC itself that I don't like.

In my mind PC's are primarily built for computing (shocking, I know). I've always viewed them as the ultimate multimedia device. There is no better way to store files, type up a report, surf the web, or scan a document than a modern PC. I don't think this point needs to be proven. But when it comes to gaming on the PC itself, I tend to dislike the experience.

First off, I'm not a fan of the keyboard and mouse for gaming. Sure for RTS, strategy and sim, there really is no better way to play. But bear in mind those are games I never play. For most other types of games, a good old controller is the order of the day. Even for FPS's, I find the keyboard and mouse to be cumbersome, analog movements aren't available and finding the correct command in without looking is problematic. I realize there are many FPS players that could easily best me when challenged in that regard, but it's my personal preference. I feel more comfortable with a standard controller than anything. Can I use a regular controller on PC games? Absolutely! Is it already optimized and universally supported? No. Fact is, keyboard and mouse are the de facto inputs for a PC, and as such you need to rely on those primarily. 

The other problem arises is that I want to play games on my couch using my 7.2 surround sound and 60 in Plasma TV. Can I do that with a PC? Absolutely! Can I do it without making major concessions? No. I need my PC for those computing things, you know like typing blogs, surfing the web, storing multimedia files, and that's really hard to do when it's hooked up to a 60 inch television. There are solutions to that, such as having another PC for those functions, or setting up a desk with a second monitor, but those involve costly investments and difficult arraignments. Simply put, it's much more convenient for me to game on a console than it is to make my PC do it.

I like consoles for their simplicity. I love that I can simply plug in the device, connect to the internet and the work is basically done for me. Sure these new consoles have some of the headaches that a PC has but it's still generally easier to keep a console up to date and running properly than a PC. Granted PC's do a lot more, but we're talking about from a pure gaming standpoint. It just seems that more often than not I run into issues from PC games. I purchased Battlefield 2 in a yard sale and tried to play it. I downloaded the massive patch only to be told that it was older than the current version I just installed off the disc. I tried to run Diablo II only to run into heavy audio/visual artifacts rending the game basically unplayable until I found the patch. I purchased Halo 2, and it installed just fine but when I tried to boot it, it refused. Microsoft apparently knew of the issue and refused to update the game. Metro 2033 I purchased from Steam only for it not to boot. Now I fixed all of these issues through different means, be it fan made patches, or through back doors that others have found. I was grateful for the gaming community's resilience, but honestly, why should I have to do these things?

When I pop a copy of Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess into my Gamecube, it runs, no questions asked. When I download a game from PSN, onto my PS3, it just works. Not to say small issues don't come along here and there, but nothing of the magnitude of PC problems. The fact is PC's are designed to do so many different things, and considering how much it can do, I find it amazing how few issues do arise, but still, for gaming, it's far far too frequent for my tastes.

There are other aspects of PC gaming that I take issue with. One of the things that I really enjoy doing is local multiplayer. There's nothing quite like grabbing a couple of controllers and setting up a local match. Moreover, if I want to play a game of Halo with my friends over LAN, it's incredibly easy to make that happen. A few times a year I have my friends over to do just that. We hook our systems up via WLAN, and within minutes we can have up to 16 players simultaneously. Can PC's do this, yeah, but nowhere near as easily. For 16 players in Halo we only need 4 TV's, 4 consoles, 4 copies of the game, and enough controllers. Now that may seem like a lot, but between 16 people that's really not that hard to accomplish. Comparatively, you would need 16 PC's, copies of the game, capable PC's, monitors, and quite a few tables to make that happen. It's not just Halo either, people just don't get together to play local matches of games like Bomberman or Smash Bros on PC, it's just not done. To me, local multiplayer is a pillar of gaming, and one I'm not willing to give up to be exclusively a PC gamer.

There are others, I could go on about how I want physical copies of games, how I like to take my system to a friends house and play. I could bring up how I like to trade my games with my friends or to stores to get other games. I could mention how I enjoy used games. I love collecting for old gaming consoles, there's a certain nostalgic charm about getting a new Saturn or N64 game and playing it on old hardware. Long story short, I just love gaming on a console. I work in an office and I don't want to come home and get on my PC after being on it all day. I don't want to have to spend 10 hours downloading a 50 GB game only to find out I can't get a decent framerate out of it. If there's a problem with my video card, I can send the console in to the manufacturer and have it taken care of. Maybe that's not as appealing as being able to fix it yourself, but that's not where I personally stand.

Now this is my kind of party

Lastly, I want to say something to PC gamers is the attitude that I get from them in regards to this topic is shit and it needs to change. Now this is not a blanket condemnation, but you know there is an elitist attitude that comes from the PC gaming community that is very prevalent. Many PC gamers come off as snobs and I don't respond kindly to it.

I may not have had the highest praise for the platform, but believe me when I say I respect the PC gaming platform. I think it's a beautiful thing to have a passionate fanbase with people willing to help each other out. I think it's great that you share mods with each other, and are able to have games like MOBA's and MMO's with things like private servers. There's some very distinct advantages that PC's have over consoles. I respect that you enjoy it.

It's like an automatic transmission versus a manual. Sure the manual can do things the automatic can't, it's more efficient on gas, they tend to last longer, and I can see why people prefer the control. But that's not for everyone, it's for those who want it. For as many people prefer the manual, there are many more that prefer the automatic, technically inferior it may be, but for practicality's sake, it's hard to deny that automatics have their own appeal.

It's the attitude that comes across that console gamers are peasants and the real gamers game on PC that irritate me. There's no doubt PC can do everything a console can, but can it do it better? I trow not! Not in every circumstance, not in every way is the PC better, and the simple acknowledgement of that fact is all I really want from the PC gaming community. But that doesn't happen, at least not from my experience.

I was on IGN a few years back, and in my younger years I would call out the PC for it's faults. I had a 17 year old boy private message me and tell me how much I sucked for preferring consoles. He refused to acknowledge the weaknesses of the platform. He basically said that no one should even bother with a console given the absolute superiority of PC. Given his lack of maturity I should have just ignored the message but I wasn't one to back down from an argument. We went on for days, back and fourth until we reached a stalemate. Neither of us were willing to budge an inch. I finally came to the realization of the futility of the argument. I just ended up having to let the whole thing go. Since then I've began to learn the art of ending a fruitless conversation. I don't have to win an argument, I don't need to have the last word.

The point of this blog is not to levy some heavy grievances against the PC platform. Just to get the point across that I have weighed the pros and cons of each side and have come to the conclusion that consoles suit my playstyle much better than PC's. I love my PC, I'm on it all the time,  I just prefer not to game on it much. Why that point is so hard to drive across to some people is just baffling to me. What's so hard about listening when people say they prefer one platform or another, then accepting that, instead of insisting it's in ignorance they chose it, and then trying to convince them they are wrong?
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