As I am sure you are aware, the next Xbox console is all but confirmed to be only usable online. Likewise, I am most definitely not the first to tell you that this poses a problem for the many people in the world without high-speed Internet. In the U.S. alone, approximately one third of people lack broadband. However, even if you ignore these figures, requiring an Internet connection to play your single and multiplayer games will still be problematic. Consider the recent SimCity debacle. Now, imagine your entire console game system acting in the same manner. Having trouble? Here’s a picture to help.
Earlier today, at a local pawn shop, I purchased Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Much to my dismay, the game would not work. I even cleaned the connectors four times. This is a very rare problem. Only twice have I seen 100% dead video game cartridges. The other was Kirby’s Star Stacker for the GameBoy.
Instead of chucking the game to the moon, I channeled my frustration into something positive. Using Photoshop, I transformed the shell of a Ninja Turtles cartridge into The Wizard for the NES. Every retro video game fan should know what the deal is with this movie. If not, click here. Below is the label if anyone wants to undertake a similar endeavor. Either print it onto a real label for sticking or follow my cheapo example by covering it with clear packing tape. Now your broken or unwanted NES cartridges can become faux pieces of gaming history.
I’m sick of people associating dlc with expansion packs. Most of the time, this analogy is like comparing apples and oranges. If the last two sentences describe you, either The Sims has blinded you, or you’re truly out of the loop. Downloadable content in video games is supposed to enhance the experience. On the PC, retail expansions have served the same purpose for years. It is only in the online era that video game consoles have finally gained the same functionality. Continue Reading
If you play games even remotely as much as I do, you know full well that not everyone approves of your hobby. I’m not one to judge. They may even be right in some instances. The problem lies with how the media portrays games. Every day, we are bombarded by news articles about criminals who are “influenced” by the video games that they play. These isolated incidents don’t help matters in the least. This article focuses on a different angle.
“Video game” is an outdated and improper name. It has a somewhat negative connotation that goes back to the arcade days. I dare you to find someone who doesn’t consider movies or novels art, but video games are another story. The classic type of game such as a Pac-Man, is what I would call the electronic entertainment equivalent of an American Pie. It doesn’t need to have a cultural significance, other than being fun. It’s more of a way to take your mind off your problems. With the advent of better hardware comes something that throws new curveballs into the argument. Games like Mass Effect and Catherine surely have plots that are as good as, if not better than most movies. Being involved in a large than life adventure with your own personal choices surely has cultural and philosophical significance.
The problem is that most people today haven’t seen or played games like this. You’d be hard pressed to get a news reporter to sit down and play Mass Effect all the way through, let alone watch someone else do it for only an hour. I hope that one day, as games become more mainstream, this will not be the case. Movies and rock ’n’ roll all had to go through these issues to become officially recognized as art. I hope that my hobby will one day share the same success.
Having just visited a local arcade, I can tell you how different an experience it is to the upscale franchises. Before I moved, the closest thing I had to an arcade was a distant Dave and Busters. All of the independent gaming places had been closed for years.
When I entered the premises of this arcade, I noticed how calm it was. Sure, there were quite a few other groups, including a birthday party, but somehow, the atmosphere was nowhere near overwhelming. The service very reasonable compared to the corporate workers who work at certain other gaming establishments. In fact, “reasonable” is the best word to describe this type of place.
There was a fair amount of arcade games to choose from. The fact that a few were out of order or had minor technical problems just added to the charm of the place. Let’s face it. Dave and Busters is too clean. Sometimes you need to play a game of Tekken on a monitor turned purple, or the Simpsons Game without the ability to move Bart up to realize that in the end, it’s all about having fun.
The fact that arcade franchises try to be perfect is a tad off-putting. I always feel like they are trying too hard. The end result is sensory overload. An authentic arcade does not need to be big or bold. In fact, less is more. The less flashy the arcade, the more you feel right at home. It’s these types of personal experiences that are dying by the dozen. If you still have one, please support your local arcade. Big companies like Dave and Busters may have a good selection, but they don’t have heart.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. I’m just very busy with multiple changes going on in my life right now. To tide you all over, I have taken what little free time I have to write this review.
Fable III is a beast of a game. I wasn’t a big fan of Fable II because the story was a snore fest. Luckily, they fixed it this time. The multiplayer is also greatly improved. There are a lot less of the restrictions of having to play in the same location. You can even have babies with your friends online, which you can rationalize as "for the achievement". The RPG elements may have been simplified, but this allows for more of a focus on combat and moral decisions. I particularly loved being the ruler of Albion. At this part of the game, I was required to choose between pleasing my subjects or raising money to save them from a threat that they could not comprehend. I ended up trying to go back and forth between the two options in order to not be completely hated. It’s debatable which Fable game is the best, but I definately enjoyed III more than II.
If you haven’t already, please read Rajan’s review of the original Halloween movie. It may just be the start of a new era for Hindsight 64bit. With that out of the way, let’s move on to the title of this post.
Here on this website our game of the year is Sonic Free Riders. Just kidding. I haven’t played it or even read an outstanding review of it.
No, the actual game of 2010 is Disney Epic Mickey. Not since the 90’s have I played a game that captured my interest to the point where I played until 4 in the morning. From the moment I heard a warped version of It’s a Small World, my jaw hit the floor. Almost everyone is a Disney fan, even if they won’t outright admit it. Just seeing my favorite childhood worlds and characters in a new light was enough to make me jump for joy. The fact that I ended up with the good ending, having renounced my evil playstyle out of guilt, proves just how much of an impact Mickey’s paint and thinner adventure had on me. In the past, I have always been downright fiendish in games about choice. Having this game will make your purchase of the Wii 100% justified. It’s just that good. Okay, so maybe having only one game for a console isn’t too practical, but you get the idea. It doesn’t get much better than this.