Archives for November 2004

Back to the old grind.

Back to blogging. I haven’t had a great chance to play many video games the past few days. With the Turkey Day break and house hunting, I haven’t had much time. We’ve made an offer on a house, but we’re waiting to sell our condo. Fun stuff, but not really video game stuff. (Okay, maybe it is)

Anyway, I missed my last two round ups, so I wanted to comment on some things I’ve come across recently.

Mario 128 was confirmed, which I am extremely excited for. I loved Mario Sunshine, so a new Mario should be great. With a new Zelda and maybe Mario Baseball, it looks like the Gamecube has a lot of life left. This note (link from Kotaku) does dismay me a little. Shigeru is an amazing video game artist, but I think he’s a little off here. I would have backed him up on this, I used to think online console play was a gimmick, but after experiencing Halo 2 on Live I am a believer. I’d love to see some Gamecube games online, but I’ll wait.

I had a chance to play with the Nintendo DS the other night, and I’ve got to hand to Nintendo (yet again). I’m part of the skeptical masses who thought the DS would be swamped by the PSP and go the way of the Virtual Boy. I played the Metroid Demo which impressed me. It looks fabulous. After a few minutes getting used to the touchpad, the game moved pretty well. I doubt I’ll be an early adopter with this one but I’ll eventually end up with one. Nintendo has done it again. I’m not declaring it the winner in the PSP/DS grudge match but I will give it the leg up.

That’s it for now. I picked up ESPN NBA 2K5 tonight but didn’t get a chance to jam with it. I’ll let you know when I do. I think the last good basketball game I’ve owned was Bulls vs. Blazers. Man I loved that game.

Happy Thanksgiving

Corinne and Greta

The buttonDaughter and buttonWife want to wish all the button-mashers a happy Thanksgiving. And we gamers have lots to be thankful for this year – in addition to all the great games.

Let’s eat some turkey!

Holiday Weekend

This week blogging will be sporadic as we are away visiting family this holiday weekend. (Man, Thanksgiving weekend is great). I brought along the Gamecube to play with the younger cousins and hopefully get a game or two of NCAA in, but we’ll see. I don’t see a bunch of gaming playing much but no biggie, I need a break.

While at my parents house, I’ve finally experienced G4/Tech TV. I’ve wanted to see some of the stuff on there for a while but we don’t get it from Time Warner. I must say, after watching a few shows, I don’t feel like I’m missing much. It’s great to see these hosts passionate about gaming, but sometimes it feels a little forced and almost like pandering. But at the same time, it was good entertainment. It could be much worse. But I don’t mind not getting it at home.

Since Santa will be shopping soon, I’ve got to get him my list. I think I’ll be asking for Metroid Prime 2, Mario Tennis, and a racing game, either NFSU 2, Burnout 3 or Outrun 2. Any suggestions? Either way, it is going to be a great Christmas.

Why I haven’t blogged this weekend

OSU 37 Team Up North 21 – So there’s a little game that’s been played 101 times between two storied college football programs. It often has national championship implications and almost always has Big Ten Champs implications. This year has been disappointing for OSU. A win over Michigan can erase a lot of those bad memories, and this win certainly did that. OSU took Michigan behind the woodshed and threw a beating on them. Even though they still get to go to the Rose Bowl, we have the bragging rights for another year.

Here in Columbus, it’s an all weekend affair, so I haven’t done any blogging this weekend because I’ve been too happy with our victory. While this has nothing to do with gaming, College Football is another one of my passions, second only to Video Games. Just thought I’d rub it in to any Wolverines who happen to read here.

render – HL 2

So I never experienced Half Life. It came out around the same time I was busy with Age of Empires I and II. I’ve always liked FPSs on the PC, but this one never tickled my fancy. I also skipped out on the whole Counterstrike thing. Again, I may have missed gaming nirvana but I’ll never know. So during this month of Video Gaming Mana from Heaven, another beauty in the form of Half Life 2 was dropped in the laps of rapid gamers everywhere. I’ve been reading a lot of stuff out there, praising HL2 as one of the best games, ever. Am I missing out on something? I don’t see myself picking up a copy anytime soon, but after I read this post on render gaming, I may have to rethink that:

“As I headed back to the hovercraft, I passed the bodies of the dead Combine soldiers I had fought. The overall feeling was one of loneliness and isolation, following a frantic battle. When I got to the hovercraft and continued, I felt that I was leaving the scene of a truly dramatic event.”

This is the kind of goodness I could get into. I really enjoyed reading his HL2 posts, but this passage caught my eye. This is what gaming (and game blogging, for me) is all about – taking an experience in a game and expressing it in not only words but also feelings. I felt the same things he describes here in Metroid Prime.

I’m still thinking about picking up a copy of Half Life 2, and if I do, it will be because of that little passage.

Celebrities First to ‘Touch’ Nintendo DS at Exclusive Premiere Party

Celebrities First to ‘Touch’ Nintendo DS at Exclusive Premiere Party:

“‘Yo, this is the dopest thing I’ve seen in my life.’ — Donald Faison”

If Turk is down with the DS, count me in. Although, on second thought, I’d like to know what Ted thinks about it. What, he wasn’t invited to Nintendo’s party? That’s just not right.

Gold GBASP Competition

gamesTM.co.uk – Gold GBASP Competition:

“Win a gold Game Boy Advance

A gold GBASP could be yours, exclusively on gamesTM.co.uk”

These golden Gameboy SPs are pretty tasty.

Halo 2’s AI

Stuffo: Movies. Games. Web. World Domination.:

“Are you tired of getting whipped by the Covenant? Learn how they think from the man who created the artificial intelligence for ‘Halo 2.’ In this exclusive Stuffo interview, Chris Butcher of Bungie Studios enlightens us.”

Interesting article but I’ll warn ya, there’s lots of ads and pop-up crap to try and ignore. Also, the article might seem to end abruptly but I think the end is the end.

Bungie.net : Halo 2 gets patched

On EvilAvatar there’s a post from Bungie preparing everyone for a patch for Halo 2 – Bungie.net : Top Story:

“The Autoupdate should be available by the time you read this, and getting it is as simple as logging into your Xbox Live account. Xbox Live gamers are probably already familiar with the concept of an autoupdate and this one behaves exactly the same way.”

I think this is a shame. I know Halo 2 shipped with free Live, that’s how I’m enjoying it, but for the thousands who don’t have Live won’t get the progessive scan fix, ruining(?) the Halo 2 experience for them. I don’t have an HDTV widescreen, so I don’t know if this cheapens the experience or not, but it seems like it’s proof of a rushed product nonetheless. I can understand PC games shipping with problems, there are millions of hardware combinations out there and there’s no way everyone of them could be tested. But with the Xbox, I would imagine there’s no more than a few thousand televisions out there. With Bungie and Microsofts money, they could have easily tested Halo 2 on a good sample of those TVs and easily found this problem. At least it seems simple to me.

I do find it funny to see all the Xbox/Halo 2 fanboys in full-force defending Bungie, praising them with their rapidity in releasing this bug fix. Some say it’s great that it was taken care of so fast, others rationalize it off by saying it’s no big deal. However you look at it, it is setting an extremely bad precedent. I am all for new downloadable content, new maps, levels, etc. but this is not the path I want to go down.

On a side note, I’ve already updated and Quickmatch has certainly received a nice boost setting up games. Kudos for that.

GameSpy Holiday Guide – 2004

GameSpy Holiday Guide – 2004: “This may go down as one of the best holiday seasons in gaming history.” – This is going to be a great holiday season. I’ve always like Gamespy’s Holiday Guides but mostly as solely as an affirmation to my astute previous judgements.

I do disagree that Fable is a good choice, it’s mediocre at best, there’s much better out there. Metroid Prime is at the top of my Christmas wishlist, along with Burnout 3 or Need For Speed Underground 2. I really liked NFSU 1 on the Gamecube, so I definitely want to pick up #2 although I’m not too keen on the whole Snoop Dogg thing. X-Men Legends looks solid, either Gamecube or Xbox style. Of course Viewtiful Joe 2 would be a no-brainer, even though I never finished the first one – got a little too hard there at the end. Paper Mario may just be a rental for me, but I may pick it up nonetheless. And Mario Tennis, too? Man this season looks great!