Monday Madness?

This is going to be a big madness. Due to recent excitement, we’ve got to catch up three weeks worth.

GAME: Gamers With Jobs featured a game a while back called Ether Cannon. It’s Asteroids with pretty visuals, concussion visuals.

PICS: Ever heard of the website PostSecret? Gamers With Jobs (again) started the same thing with games. The Teamfortress 2 pyro is my favorite. Post 1. Post 2.

GAME: Luminara, a much better take on Asteroidsómuch better. Now with trippy visuals, excellent controls, and a catchy soundtrack.

GAME: Do you like the Civilization games? Then you’ll love this FREE, dumbed-down, web-based version. Call it Ikariam. I’ll be sharing the server I’m on eventually.

PICS: Somebody took some screencaps of Metroid Prime 3 and made them 3D. I’ve got some glasses and I’ll admit: awesome. Thanks, Kotaku.

GAME: Audiosurf has recently added some new features. Why do I keep coming back to this game? Oh, yeah, because of allowing me to use my own songs. I don’t have to pay for each and every new song. Zing?

VIDEO: I usually cannot stand watching sportcasters, but somebody at TNT is teh phunny.

GAME: Zombies. That’s all I’m going to say. The Last Stand gets a sequel.

GAME: 1up has the first footage of Gears of War 2. Can you say $60 expansion pack? Sure you can.

GAME: Make your own Ouendan (Elite Beat Agents) clone for the PC. They’ve got video. N-E-A-T.

PICS: Warning! LEGO! I have two excellent posts. These guys have skills we should all have: the Germinated Ruby and the works of Izzo.

Well, the post was not as large as I thought after I weeded out some links I’d like to dedicate time for their own posts.

Ouendan translations

I’m letting a friend borrow my copy of Ouendan for a couple days to give it a try, see if it’s what he’s looking for. Since everything is in Japanese, I figured I’d try to explain to him what the different menu options were. Sure, I don’t know a lick of Japanese, but I have figured out what each option does, so I thought it’d be easy to explain the basics.

Then I found the site Cracked Rabbit Gaming. In addition to their ongoing translation project for Ouendan, they also have a mini-fansite that includes a translation for the menus. I wish I would have found this a couple months ago!

They’ve overlayed the English translations over actual screenshots of the game, so you can figure out what the heck is going on. This makes things a lot easier. My Resident Evil 4 translations are the most visited page on buttonmashing.com, so I know there are people out there looking for this kind of thing. I’m glad I found Cracked Rabbit. Makes things a lot easier.

Go here for the Ouendan menu translation.

I wish I knew how to quit yOu(endan)

Last night I got ready to play some Burnout Revenge before I retired for the night. Then I saw the DS sitting there, calling me. I fired up Ouendan around 10 o’clock, figuring I’d help out the fat Egyptian lady win over her Roman heartthrob. Then, three and a half hours later I was struggling to keep my eyes open while I was trying to help out a dad save his city from a giant rat. The game is that flipping good. I must have said, “one more try,” an hundred times.

What sets Ouendan apart from other games that rely on patterns is that it’s actually fun doing the same level over more than once. Even though the patterns are exactly the same, the music is so infectious and the rythm tapping is so satisfying that you never feel cheated when you fail at the level once again. It’s just “oh well, let’s do that again.” No biggie. That is the hallmark of a great game.

Another bonus is that it passes the “Wife Test.” Mrs. Buttonmasher loves this game. She is very casual gamer, so getting her involved with this game was something I didn’t think I could do. But all it took was one round at the easy level and she’s already hooked. In fact, she’s probably better than me at it. I only get to play when she’s done.

Speaking of the music, even though I have no idea what they’re singing about, I am now a huge fan of Japnese Pop music. I found all the soundtracks from the game and there are on heavy rotation in both iTunes and my iPod. It is so easy to listen to. Even the little buttonDaughter loves it.

So even though I have a pile of good games I could be playing, I just can’t quit playing Ouendan. I owe the Nintendaddio a huge thanks for recommending this game to me more than once.

In my hands…

OuendanI know I just mentioned I picked up Contact, but my copy of Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan showed up over the weekend and I’ve been able to get a chance to play a couple games and I’m already hooked. In fact, if I wasn’t watching Prison Break and Heroes right now, I’d be playing it right now. It’s consuming my thoughts. I hear rhythms in my brain and see targets converging. I can’t wait to get back to it.

Thing is, Contact is starting to get fun, too. So now I have to strike a balance with my DS time. Luckily it seems like Ouendan is definitely a pick-up-and-play kind of game, without much of a time commitment. I like that.

Detailed impressions of both games to come.