Archives for February 2005

GameCube and the Reggie-lution

GameCube: The Nintendo Minute: Vol. 6: Quotes like this give us Nintendophiles such hope:

And finally, in speaking directly on what Sony and Microsoft did well — Sony launched aggressively with a strong third-party line-up, and Microsoft nurtured community with its Xbox Live service.

That is from The Leader of The Reggie-lution, Fils-Aime, a Nintendo VP (and VIP). We get these glimpses, and we hope.

Oh, how we hope.

Some thoughts

Animal CrossingAfter spending most of the week playing with WordPress, I’m finally able to do some real blogging.

I’ve been playing two games this week – Halo 2 and Animal Crossing. Guess which one I’m playing with my two-year-old? She loves when I catch fish and always cracks up when I get an old shoe or a tin can. “You have to go to the dump, daddy!” She didn’t particularly like me getting stung by the bees I rudely awoke by shaking their tree. “What’s wrong with his eye?” There has been some recent mentions of Animal Crossing lately: there’s the kid that proposed to his girlfriend via Animal Crossing’s in-game mail service. How cute. Jane at Game Girl Advance mentions playing AC with the animals asking her about how her ex-boyfriend was doing. Freaky.

It is weird how our Animal Crossing town, “pooptown” (I know, how original), continued down its virtual path even though my wife and I hadn’t played for over seven months. There were a couple pooptowners who hadn’t talked to my wife’s character for almost two years. But they happily lived their lives, oblivous to our abscence. Didn’t anyone send out a search party? Wasn’t anyone worried that tony and bella hadn’t been heard of in months? And the police officers? Don’t go there. Those lazy bums didn’t seem to notice were gone. But that creepy fat guy in the station still follows us around like a hawk.

When I had some time to game by myself, I popped Halo 2 in and played some Live matches and jumped back into the single player game. Earlier, I had read the analysis and review over at 7hr33 and as I read I kept thinking, “yup, uh huh” and, “exactly”. One quote in particular stuck out:

Though the weapons are supposed to be more balanced than in the first, they invariably end up feeling rather impotent and bland, and the weapons that most teams scramble over each other to get at are the sword and the rocket launcher, leaving those unequipped or unwilling to use them with no truly effective countermeasure (ie. a powerful, universally distributed mid-range rifle, etc.).

This is so true. I played on Live last night with some friends and it continually dawned on me that I was always looking for the rocket launcher/energy sword/shot gun. As soon as I spawned I knew exactly where I could go to upgrade my SMG. 7hr33 refers to the “the chaotic hail of bullets” (or bullet spam, if you will). So true. A fire-fight usually becomes a “I hope I pulled the triggers first”. Nothing is more frustrating that getting your bullet spam on with someone and a third party enters the fray and picks up the scraps. That’s not skill, that’s luck. One thing Halo taught me was patience. Take your time, pick your shots, go for the head, ease on back if you’re losing the upper-hand. One thing Halo 2 is teaching me is to run and find other people fighting with each other so I can have some easy pickings. Strategy and skill has been dumbed down in Halo 2, which is unfortunate, because it was done so well in Halo.

And I am really becoming disenchanted with Halo 2 on Live. It’s the same frigging three games, over and over. Assualt on Burial Mounds, Team Slayer on Coagulation, one flag CTF on Zanzibar. It’s becoming less and less fun. It’s still good for an occasional Rumble Pit, but unless I’m playing with friends, I doubt I’ll be playing on Live as much as I used to.

Playing the single player missions are still enjoyable, I’m having fun. I still think Halo 2 is a great game, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not a great game.

Wow.

Amazing. I am so thoroughly impressed with WordPress right now, I’m at a loss for words to adequately praise it. I just imported nine months of Blogger posts without a hitch. Setting up WordPress has been simple thus far. Now that I’ve got my posts imported, I’m gonna make sure everything looks okay before I move on. We’ll move on from there.

Update 1: Man, it just keeps getting better. Using Bloglines export feature (export to OPML file) I have now imported all my links from Bloglines. I still need to organize them and there doesn’t seem to be an immediately easy way to use Bloglines to update my links, but I’m sure someone out there has solved that problem, too. This is good stuff!

Update 2: Well, the links are organized. Next it categorizing all my old posts. I may put that off until later. Perhaps I’ll try a plug-in or two.

Update 3 (2/24): The process of converting my old Blogger posts continues tonight, I will make sure all of them are all categorized and edited for grammatical errors. Then it’s on to themes and plugins!

Update 3 (2/26): Posts have all be categorized and I’ve been looking at various plugins and themes. This is seriously great stuff, I can’t believe how seamless and easy it’s all been. Kudos to the guys and WordPress.

New and improved!

After fighting with mySQL for the first time (surprisingly painless after I realized what I was doing) we have a new version of buttonmashing. It’s late, so I’ll be going to bed now, but I’ll be trying all the cool WordPress widgets later, starting with the import of my Blogger posts. We’ll see how that goes.

I’m sleepy.

New blogging software?

I’ve been thinking about the managment side of my blog recently. I have been mostly happy with Blogger.com. I’ve been a member for a long time, and I really haven’t had a problem with it, but I think I’m ready to move on to new blogging software. Something with a little more flexibility and new challenges. I’ve been looking at WordPress, Moveable Type, and others. Right now I’m leaning toward WordPress. Most of the bloggers I read use it, it’s FREE (definitely the biggest bonus), and it seems well supported.

What advice to you, my fellow bloggers, recommend? Are you satisfied with your current software? Am I biting off more than I can chew? I am technically competent but I’ve never dealt with anything on the web-server side of things, outside of ftp’ing images and other files. I have programming skills, but I don’t have skillz.

Anyway, look for some possible changes in the next couple of days here. If nothing else, I’m gonna mash some buttons and we’ll see what we end up with. Thanks for any help/advice you can offer.

New Kids on my Block, Part #3 (BlogExplosion-style)

When I first started buttonmashing.com (I still can’t decide if I should capitalize the “B” and “M” in the name) I was looking for ways to attract visitors, so I signed up for an account on BlogExplosion (< -- my referral link, if you're interested in joining). Basically, BlogExplosion is a click exchange - you read my page and I'll read yours (for 30 seconds). I still use it occasionally, but they have a good directory of blogs, broken down by categories. I spent some time going through the list of gaming blogs and came across a few that I was unaware of and I thought I might as well share the game blogging goodness.

SpaceWorld looks like a blog I can relate to — he seems to love Nintendo, is a Conservative, and loves video games. That’s the trifecta for me!

I’ve been meaning to use my Bloglines to do a better job of organizing the blogs I read and one of the categories I want to add is one of “industry people”. I just found one of the first one’s I add: 3rd World Game Designer. Besides my fascination with all things Asian, this blog is a great read. Definitely one I look forward to having on the list!

Another Nintendo-phile, 4 Color Rebellion is heavy on the Nintendo side of gaming but has a great looking site, replete with reviews and great commentary.

I love watching the MMOG community through the eyes of the players. AFK Gamer is definitely my favorite, but Cabbage looks like he also will keep me updated on goings-on in other MMOGs. Great.

(On a side note, I noticed I was recently linked to by roXatopia as a “MMOG” gamer. Since I have played my share of MMOGs, I guess I qualify for that title but I haven’t played one regularly since I quit Neocron. Nevertheless, I appreciate the linkage, and I have been eyeing Guild Wars for a long time, so I may once again join the ranks of the MMOGs.)

We here here at buttonmashing.com are without borders, and yet we don’t have a ton of international flavor here. So with that in mind, we will be reading Geemusentaa for a Aussie point of view. And don’t ask, what the name means, just read the blog.

That raps up another edition of the New Kids. I hope you enjoy!

GameCube: RE4 the Best Seller in January

Resident Evil 4GameCube: RE4 the Best Seller in January:

“Capcom’s M-rated scare-fest debuted in Japan a couple of weeks ago and has sold an additional 180,000 in the region since, according to overseas data. Combined with US numbers, the game is already set to topple the 500,000 mark on a global level.”

This is great news. Rewarding a fantastic game with good sales its the best way to ensure top-notch talent is rewarded for their top-notch work. I am hoping this means more of Leon S. Kennedy. While those numbers aren’t in the GTA/Halo 2-osphere, they are pretty dang respectable.

Midway Arcade Treasures 3 – Screen shots on WORTHPLAYING

My top 3 arcade games of all time are Smash TV, Super Off Road, and Galaga. It is blasphemy to think a console could ever recreate the thrill of playing Galaga, so I avoid all “remakes” of that game. But both Smash TV and Super Off Road are easily translated to the TV screen, so when I heard Midway Arcade Treasures would have SmashTV as one of its games, I was immediately sold. I owned it the day it came out and me and my brother-in-law played the heck out of SmashTV. I wasn’t too keen on Midway Arcade Treasures 2 (although I may pick up a used copy) but when Arcade Treasures 3 was announced, I noticed Super Off Road on the list. Once again, I am sold. I must play Super Off Road. It’s like my destiny and stuff.

For your viewing pleasure, here are a few screen shots of Arcade Treasures 3, along with a nice little trailer. After watching the trailer, I’m pretty pumped to get some Super Off Road action in. None of that 3D off-road rubbish.

Tales of a Scorched Earth: World of Warcraft big in Europe

I still have an internal struggle about joining in on the fun of WoW. But for right now, I think I agree with gatmog, at Tales of a Scorched Earth. He says:

“Due to its level of accessibility and favourable conditions for short game sessions, I plan on getting into World of Warcraft eventually. However at this time I’m finding it more beneficial to observe this growing community from the outside.”

Same here.

Some more light reading.

Today we are going to look at couple articles with differing points of view on the direction Nintendo is heading. The first comes from the venerable hardware site, Tom’s Hardware. (NB: I love Tom’s Hardware, a great place for hardware reviews. I haven’t read much in their video game section, but I’ll be keeping my eye on it now.)

Titled “Why is Nintendo Ignoring American Men?”, Christiaan Allebest (Tom Hardware’s video game editor) talks specifically of the future of the DS but talks about Nintendo in general. He, like many others, feel like Nintendo is ignoring the “mature” audience of us American men, video gamers who were brought up on Nintendo. After complaining about the lack of DS games that would appeal to the male gamer, Christiaan closes with

Nintendo needs to reach out to older American gamers, not with the gloved, 3-fingered hand of Mario and his balloon animal friends, but with titles that deal specifically with what fascinates American males most: shooting things, blowing $%#@& up, and scantily-clad ladies.

I like blowing stuff up, just like the rest of us males, but I just can’t agree with this completely. There’s more to gaming that shooting and destruction. For me, I’ve got to think about who’s sitting next to me when I play. I have to be selective of what’s on the screen. The next article explains why.

From PC Magazine (WHAT!? PC Magazine? Bear with me, it’s worth it) we get this article by Jim Louderback, titled “For Families, Nintendo Slams Xbox”. He’s talking about his gaming experience with his son. From the article

Very few Xbox games so far have managed to hold our attention, though. The only one of note: Shrek 2 from THQ.

Shrek 2? That can’t be good. He continues

I’m using my Xbox less and less these days, and playing the GameCube more and more. I love console gaming, and I’m really glad my son does too. Someday we’ll be playing Madden NFL, Halo, and the rest. But not today.

Microsoft would love for the Xbox to become the center of home entertainment. But if the company can’t get its family-games situation together, that won’t happen. And based on what I’ve been playing, they have a long way to go. Without a family-game strategy, the Xbox will remain the province of older boys and men. My solution: Buy Nintendo.

There’s the key, at least in my case. Nintendo has always been my system of choice, and it grew up with me, for a while. People are always saying that Nintendo didn’t grow up enough and embrace us older gamers. But here’s the hitch – gamers like us have grown up. And now, some of us are getting married and having kids. I want some fun, gory games like the rest of us. Resident Evil owned me for weeks. But that’s not the kind of game I would sit down and play with my kids until they are much older.

“Mature” games are an important part of the spectrum of gaming. But Nintendo’s kid/family-oriented games are, too. Games like Paper Mario and Animal Crossing are currently influencing gamers that are as old as we were when we played Super Mario Brothers for the first time. I know after a kid turns 13 it’s all about playing Halo 2, but up to that point they should be playing games that are less serious and more about fun. Like it or not, Nintendo has the section of the market cornered. In the process, Nintendo is building another generation of gamers who know Mario and Luigi and don’t really care about Leon and Master Chief.