Archives for January 2009

Proud Dad

I just have to take a moment to say that, as a gamer dad, I am a proud dad.

A while ago, I posted the video of the live-action Super Mario Bros. My oldest son has watched that video a hundred times. He loves it. Recently, he’s been loving New Super Mario Brothers and has even tried his hand at Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii. He doesn’t get far, but he loves every minute of it.

But he really made me proud when my wife asked him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday (he’s turning four). When he said he wanted a “Mario Cake.” I couldn’t be prouder.

So, to help out the wife and set expectations unreasonably high, I used PicLens to search Flickr for some “examples.” (This one makes me mad) The quality of the cakes range from “so-so” to “no way I’m making that” (both direct quotes from the wife):

Mario Cake

Mario Star

And the one I’m voting for:

Mario Wedding Cake

My daughter, not to be outdone, asked for a Princess Peach cake. Good luck with that, mom!

Monster Trucks Nitro – PC GOTY 2009?

UPDATE: I correct myself. There are no achievements or online leaderboards. This is sort of confusing because it’s one of the things that makes Trials2 great. I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens though. Redlynx has been giving Trials2 some excellent support. Is Monster Trucks Nitro worth $20? No. But I do believe it–in it’s current state to be worth $10.

I came came very close to considering last year’s game by Redlynx, Trials2, to be my pick for 2008 Fun Game of the Year. I did mention that a I had a little bit of a renaissance with PC gaming, and I’ve also become a little bit of a Steam zealot.

To explain, here’s a conversation I had with Brock today via Google Talk:

3:55 PM Brock: Did you see that the guys who did Trials 2 did one with monster trucks?
3:59 PM me: who wha?!?!
4:07 PM Brock: It’s on Steam.
Monster Trucks Nitro

Let me just begin by saying it was the quickest demo-to-purchase time I’ve ever had. I don’t even think it was thirty seconds. One race and I was sold. Bonus: You can get it right now on Steam for 50% off.

It’s simplistic, runs on just about anything, and is pure racing fun. It appears to follow the same format as Trials2 (but with a little more forgiveness), but also adds a boost option in Nitro. The goal of the game is to get through tracks as quick as possible–jumping over buses, cars, barrels, and all other sorts of smashing goodness. Yes, there are explosions.

Leaderboards, achievements, a great introductory price, and fun, fun, fun.

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

Mount & Blade on ‘Da Cheap

Sandbox RPG Mount & Blade is on Steam this weekend for 75% off. That brings the price to $7.50. Yep, I’ve heard good things and I’ll try it for that.

Mount and Blade

I seriously love Steam.

Changing lives, one Wii at a time.

Two articles posted without comment:

The Dawn of Weight Training on the Wii

‘Wii Fit helped me to walk again’

Any buttonmashers out there have Wii Fit?

In my hands

The Gamefly fairy came by the house recently, dropping off a couple new games:

left4dead_boxart

Hasbro Family Game Night

I probably won’t get to Left 4 Dead until this weekend, but I’d love to meet up if anyone has it for the 360!

LittleBigFrustration

Back in October I was looking forward to flying through LittleBigPlanet in order to do a 2 Minute Review of it. I got sidetracked. By the game. My son and I have basically spent the last two months playing nothing but user-created levels. Some have been excellent (search for Little Dead Space by darknessbear), but most are downright atrocious.

While I think this game is great, I feel that is does have some flaws. Many of them are minor and not deal breakers, but allow me to let you in on my frustration.

HEARTS

  1. Do you know how to find all the levels you’ve hearted so you can play them again? I didn’t know myself, and a quick search online showed that most other casual players didn’t either. Try the info world on the left, select My Levels, and then use a combination of shoulder presses to bring them up. Wouldn’t it be easier to put a “view hearted” option in the search menu?
  2. Are there some levels in your “hearted world” that you cannot play or unheart? I’ve got three. They are user-created levels that the user has deleted. Yep, it’s a glitch. Media Molecule has known about it since the beta. By golly, we have our weekly DLC though.
  3. There are also times where levels you’ve hearted don’t show up in the list. Hopefully you remember the title and user. Oh, wait, they don’t show up when you search for them most of the time either.
  4. All the “plz heart my crap lvl” SPAM. Puh-lease. Make a good level. It’s Media Molecule’s fault on this one. There never should have been a trophy for hearting user-created content.

INCLUDED LEVELS

  1. The initial game levels are amazing, somewhat challenging, and fun. They soon turn into an exercise in frustration. We’re talking thumb-fu difficulty. I saw you could leave comments on the Media Molecule levels. I was curious to see what people said about them. Yep. “Plz heart my crap”
  2. The developer who came up with the Asian themed level with the spinning wheels can fall off a building and catch their eyelids on a flagpole for all I care. I honestly think you can twist a PS3 controller in two.
  3. It would be neat if these levels could be star rated. I’d be curious to see what people thought of the Media Molecule levels.

USER-CREATED CONTENT

  1. Some people are so ingenious with the level design that they should be professionally hired. All the crap though? Geesh. I wish I could just list the levels by star or heart. Instead we get a “cool level” option. Sadly, what’s “cool” is levels of music, cheating, and costumes. Yeah, do nothing levels, get trophy levels, and levels that fill up my content slots when my son plays them.
  2. We can take pictures and do what with them? Make a sticker? It would be awesome if the pictures were stored in a folder on the PS3 hard drive, then you could, oh, I don’t know, post them on a blog? Oh, and if the stickers were a little better in quality? Maybe? It would also be great is you could use pics off your hard drive as stickers. (This set of gripes actually may be addressed already, but I’m not seeing a plethora of images on the web. Are you?)
  3. That promised youtube “functionality” would be great. I can see why there’s a delay though. I really don’t want 1,000,000 videos of “get easy trophy levels”

It’s not much, but these are the frustrations I’ve faced. I’ve not created my own yet and I understand that towing the line is necessary in order not to face heavy moderation.

It looks like the next patch won’t be until mid-February and none of these appear to be addressed.

If anybody here has answers, I’m all ears..er, eyes.

What Are You Doing Tonight?

I don’t know about you, but I am enjoying the best show on television right now with my new sub $1000 47″ 1080p HDTV.

I love the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl (cheap TVs), All those stories you’re hearing of Circuit City liquidating stuff fast? Yeah, 10% off right now, and it’s still expensive. Pass.

I love Sam’s Club.

Feeding your addiction

… one flash game at a time. This time it’s Scriball.

See you in a few hours.

High Voltage Hot Rod Show

A WiiWare game—that dare I say it—looks like fun. This $10 game might be a good diversion for my son and me.

Mario Gravity

Because I am a gigantic nerd, I love this: Acceleration Due to Gravity: Super Mario Brothers