Nintendo Lunchbox

No, not a retro lunchbox like this one. An actual Nintendo Entertainment System lunch box.

Nintendo is almost the most fun a kid can have

You can hear it straight from Bill O’Reilly’s mouth (h/t TheLeetGeeks):

Bowser’s Minions Revolt

A little foul-mouthed in places (but not really, I just feel obligated to say that), but the payoff is worth it. You can watch the full-sized version here.

(I just noticed this is post 1,001. Nat’s Geometry Wars 2 post was our 1,000th post. Woohoo!)

In my Hands (literally)…

A bunch of first impressions forthcoming.

Let Me Know When It’s Over

While Tony will be writing about E3, I’ll be the devil’s advocate. As gamers we gut FUD all year long. For events like E3, it just goes over the top.

Bill Harris says it much better than I can.

In a sense, to me, it’s all epic fail. All I know is that Nintendo prints money and really wants to get into the controller business (for each individual game), Microsoft overprices hard drives (is it up? down? a new size? a phased out kit? wha…?), and Sony still appears to be in denial (everything else is just niche) .

Geesh.

Magic Mushrooms and Tanooki Suits

Today, during the Super Mario Galaxy show (for the munchkins), I defeated Bowser for the seven hundredth time in my life, saving the Princess yet again (from herself). I haven’t “finished” SMG yet, as there are plenty of stars still to be had, but the Princess is safe, at least for the time being. I plan on heading back to get the rest of the stars. I had found 70 before I saved her highness.

Super Mario Galaxy, as frustrating as it can get every so often, is a great game.

But that’s not the point of this post. I have really enjoyed the new power-ups added to this iteration of Mario. Besides the Fire Flower and 1-UP mushrooms, there are a bunch of new power-ups for Mario. So I want to know: What is your favorite Mario power-up? (from any game).

I really like the new Spring power-up in Super Mario Galaxy. In fact, I think it’s my favorite power-up mushroom of all time.

What’s yours?

[Gamer Responsibility] Growing Another Hand

Wii Fit comes out this week.

Nintendo, please…stop.

Actually, my wife and I were excited about the possibility of Wii Fit—more so about the possibility of using Wii Fit. We’re not getting it now. For having the cheapest selling (more on that in a minute), fastest selling, and most unique console, Nintendo kills you when it comes to peripherals. I would assume that most readers here who have a Wii don’t just have the basic remote and nunchuk.

How many other games are going to use the Wii Fit peripheral? Looking back, how many used the drums, dance pads, guitar(s), microphones, wheels, etc. other than their bundled games?

Since the release of the console, it appears that almost every AAA first-party title on the system has needed more than just the Wiimote. Sure, many titles can be played with just the included controller, but many of those same titles play better with the nunchuk (also included). Let us see: Super Mario Galaxy, Mario Strikers Charged, Metroid Prime 3, Mario Kart Wii, WarioWare: Smooth Moves, Super Paper Mario, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Wii Sports, Wii Play, and Wii Fit. Yep, it seems as if every title needs a controller add-on. Excite Truck may be the only other major title that can be played with just the remote. It looks like the good ol’ ‘chuck needs to be used on most of them. What happens when you add a player? That $250 console just became a $310 console (another controller plus nunchuk). Now add two more players.

Ouch. We’re in Sony and Microsoft territory now. Their better online play exempts buying another controller for me. I have two 360 controllers. Interestingly, most third party titles get away with just using the standard remote. Of course, they don’t have a need to sell an add-on either.

We won’t even discuss the “classic” controller which is not really all that classic in look, style, or feel. (another $20). And the Wii Zapper? Terrific.

A couple of the games listed earlier let you use the Gamecube controller to play, and ironically it’s even preferred by most gamers on one title. Speaking of Gamecube, I own three drums and two dance pads. Ask me how much we use them.

Why do we need all these extra controllers? Why? I’ve not even touched on all the guitars and instruments that usually work for one game or their sequels…maybe. It appears that the next Guitar Hero is going to have it’s own instrument set. My guess is that it’ll even be exclusive. I really don’t know. I could care less about the music games—Boom Boom Rocket is my level of video game music depth, oh, and Audiosurf—a music game that doesn’t need an extra device to play. In the end, some gamers are going to have more instruments than most real bands.

When I saw the Wii remote for the first time, I was pretty excited about the possibility of playing games with as few buttons as possible. Control simplicity seemed like it was back in our grasp, so to speak. Pointless thinking. (Pun gloriously intended—both times). I will admit, however, that the Wiimote/nunchuk setup for some games is rather intuitive. Excellent, even. I cannot imagine Metroid Prime without it. Keep the gaming design there. Stop. No more add-ons—by anybody. Nintendo is certainly the leader, but, terrifyingly, it appears that the big money is in peripheral bundles.

We already have a Rubbermaid box by our couch that holds all our system controllers and add-ons for a 360 and a Wii. It’s full—a five gallon tote. No more room for another device will use for a period and it’ll sit in the box not to be used for anything else.

The game we keep coming back to: Excite Truck.

Mario Kart Wii First Impressions

This picture says it all:

Corinne meets Wii MarioKart

When a game can produce “the smile” (parents of young kids will know what I mean by “the smile”), it is okay in my book.

A lot of Mario Kart was played this weekend. It was played by kids 5 years old and 65 years old. Everyone had a great time. They say Nintendo has “dumbed down” Mario Kart for the Wii. They’re wrong. They didn’t dumb anything down. They distilled an already great game to its essence and made it accessible to the masses.

This is not a bad thing.

Nat and I will have more Mario Kart thoughts later.

(Look how much concentration this game takes!)

Weekend Gaming, at last!

I have been swamped (SWAMPED!) at work the past couple of weeks on a project that has sucked up a large portion of my free time. When I finally to get a free moment, I’m so spent from my other duties that I haven’t had a desire to do much gaming. I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel at work and my mood is already lifting. I’m ready to pick up the familiar controller and get back in the game.

In order to gear up for a great week of gaming when GTA IV and Mario Kart Wii are released, I figure I should knock out another game in my queue before everything gets pushed back to make room for the newcomers. I got very close to finishing Bioshock last year, so I figure now would be a good time to get back to that and finish it up. I really want to see how it ends.

I’m also making my way through Super Mario Galaxy, which I am still thoroughly enjoying. The kids love to watch me play it, so that’s our bonding game. I can’t get over how much fun platforming is again.

I’m also eying a couple DS games, but I’ll probably hold off on those until the real gaming lull hits this summer. I’ve got enough on my plate.

What are you guys playing? Planning on picking up either Mario Kart Wii or GTA IV?

In my hands

Super Mario Galaxy

That’s right! It’s Mario time! Yeah, I don’t have a Wii yet, Santa screwed it up and left it at my parents’ house (he still thinks I’m twelve years old, I guess) but it will be in house this weekend. Can’t wait!