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  • Dare to Play the Game

    Posted in: Dare to Play the Game, News and Opinions by Michael Durr on March 11th, 2009

    Extinction of Xbox 360 Elite, Van Halen Hero & Is there anybody left who can break EA’s NFL Monopoly – Welcome to the column that is considering releasing Gaming Column Hero where you write bad jokes, deliver second hand news and post pictures of hot women known as Dare to Play the Game.

    My gaming week was taken up by Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection for my 360. Even after my review was posted on Thursday, I spent most of the weekend exploring every sort of Genesis game I wanted to try out. However, the difference this time was that I was starting to get achievements. There were of course the easy style achievements like the ones in the Golden Axe series but then I also started to get some of the harder achievements like Columns (where the achievement title is very misleading). I have amassed 360 achievement points so far and while that may not seem a lot, it is a giant improvement from last week.

    Currently, I’m working on Flicky (still I know) and Mean Bean Machine. Mean Bean Machine, I’m stuck at Level 5 (need to beat Scenario Mode) and Flicky I have about 50-60k points (need to get 80k). I am confident about Flicky but not so sure about Mean Bean. Of course there are other games, but I do much better if I stick to 2 or 3 games at a time in this collection before I move on. Personal feeling is that I will top out around 600. I hope to get more but many of these games I’ve never played before. My task becomes two-fold, not only do I have to learn how to play a game but I also have to learn how to become good at it.

  • Ode To Gamer Girls
  • Olivia Munn - Chun Li

    Here is Olivia Munn being Chun-Li in one of her cuter moments. That reminds me, has anybody actually seen the new Street Fighter movie? I was actually curious if it was worth two cents. I mean surely it can’t be as bad as the first Street Fighter movie with Jean Claude Van Damme and more cheeseball than a wheel of sharp cheddar would produce. Maybe I’ll go see if I can find some pictures of the actual Chun-Li for next week’s column. Olivia probably still wins out.

  • News of All Types

  • Guitar Hero

  • Guitar Hero: Van Halen One Of Five “Hero” Games Due In ’09

  • After the release of Guitar Hero: Metallica, Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits and Guitar Hero: Modern Hits, Activision has plans to release an additional five games in the series, including one based on Van Halen.

    Sound familiar? It should, because Activision CEO Bobby Kotick hinted this time last year that Van Halen may be one of the artists being welcomed into the Guitar Hero fold. The other four music games probably won’t surprise you either.
    Eurogamer reports that, in addition to what they call Hard Rock Van Halen, Activision is releasing Guitar Hero V, Band Hero, another Guitar Hero On Tour for the Nintendo DS, and DJ Hero.
    While we’ve heard straight from the mouth of Bobby Kotick that DJ Hero is on its way, the publisher hasn’t been as forthcoming with its second half releases. But considering how well Activision can “exploit” its franchises, we have little doubt that this rumor holds some water.

    I fancy myself listening to Diamond Dave all the time with or without Van Halen. That and I actually like a few songs from the Van Haggar era as well. So would I be interested in a Van Halen disc? Sure. At $60, what were you smoking again? The main problem with all of these discs isn’t the content, it’s the fact they want to treat it as a new retail package. Some of these releases are plain ridiculous to boot (or overkill). Band Hero? More Guitar Hero DS games?? (I still have yet to figure out the point of these) DJ Hero??! At some point, over saturation of the market has to occur. This is the whole reason that Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is at the bargain bin for $20. Great band, but many people viewed the package as an expansion on GH3 rather than a new game. At this point, I’m waiting for the day when Activision decides to release Accordion Hero. It’s coming.

    Accordion Hero
    If they don’t have Weird Al Yankovic for DLC, I’m not interested.

    Xbox 360

  • Xbox 360 Elite to Become Xbox 360 Extinct

  • Microsoft may be putting the Xbox 360 Elite out to pasture, letting stock of its high-end version of the console slowly deplete, saving the hardware configuration for limited edition releases only.
    According to Fudzilla, citing retail sources, Microsoft may be making the decision to whittle down its hardware lineup to accommodate retailer concerns and as part of a reaction to the economic climate. Perhaps those $400 USD Elites aren’t moving as quickly as retailers would have hoped.
    Fudzilla claims that the Elite flavor of the Xbox 360 would likely only be sold in North America and Europe, thereafter, and possibly only in limited edition packages. Microsoft is currently offering a Resident Evil 5 version of its Elite, bundled with a copy of the game and a unique hardware color scheme.

    We’d think that if Microsoft does plan to let the Elite die off, it would also do so as part of reaction to a PlayStation 3 price cut. If Sony does drop the price of the PS3, it would likely be below that of the Elite model, a hardware configuration that starts to have a weaker value proposition.
    Fudzilla has been on target with its Microsoft-based rumors before, accurately pegging the announcement of DirectX 11 and laying out plans for cutbacks at the company. Microsoft later said that the outlet’s figures were “exaggerated.”

    We’ve reached out to Microsoft for comment, but have yet to receive a response.

    One could easily see this. In these hard times, the Elites are just not running out the door like they used to. Sure they are selling plenty of Arcade and regular units but people don’t think they need the 120gb hard drive and other fancy options. I don’t really have a problem with them saving the Elite configuration for special releases. That Resident Evil 5 version of the elite is pretty spiffy even if it just some red plastic. This also sells more 120gb hard drives in the long run. After a year with the 20gb or 60gb, you become concerned at space. So one runs out and gets the hard drive which is priced at an amount that is triple what it is worth and the rest is profit. I know, cause I was one of them. I didn’t pay $179, but I did pay roughly $100. But most people aren’t going to sit on Ebay sales for a month to find a deal. M$, you scoundrels!
    Resident Evil 5 - Xbox 360 Elite
    So when this turns on, does it automatically red ring?

    EA & the NFL

  • One Last Chance to Break EA’s NFL Monopoly

  • EA’s exclusivity deal with the NFL is bad news. Why? Competition is good for the consumer. FIFA only got better as a soccer game, for example, because of competition from Konami’s Pro Evo.

    So those hoping to see a return to the days when other companies could make games that not only competed, but outperformed EA’s own efforts in the football market will want to keep an eye on a lawsuit by the name of American Needle vs New Orleans Saints, et al.

    Why? The EA arrangement isn’t the only one the NFL has made. It’s the same with, for example, clothing: only Reebok are allowed to make official NFL apparel. But the above case – brought forward by a company that used to make NFL caps – seeks to overturn not just the NFL’s deal with Reebok, but any and all exclusive deals that grant such a monopoly, claiming they’re in violation of federal antitrust statutes.

    Should American Needle – the cap company – be successful, it’d be the end of exclusivity deals with the NFL, and other companies (like 2K) would be free to come in and resume competition with EA. Which would make 2K happy, except…well, it would end 2K’s similar deal with Major League Baseball.

    My fingers are crossed on this one. One of the reasons I don’t play many sports games anymore is this exclusive bs that has been around for quite a few years. I did buy All-Pro Football but the whole legends thing didn’t seem to work for most. The only good thing it created was that Blitz could be as hard hitting as it wanted to be. Too bad that didn’t translate to that many copies being sold especially this last one. American Needle has a point (ha, a point….I kill me). The NFL has killed off competition in a free market. Caps, video games, you name it. You better be Reebok or Electronic Arts.

    Before anybody goes there, I know 2k has a similar agreement with MLB. However, it is also fair to say that the only reason they have such an agreement is because Electronic Arts went there first. Well if you are going to take football, we are going to take baseball. I would also venture to say that if this does work out in the Needle’s favor, 2k would be more than happy to not have MLB exclusivity. The chance to make NFL 2k games would be a much greater upside than the downside of letting EA in on the MLB. That and EA has no clue what to do with a baseball game and 2k are pros for their football simulations.

  • Releases for the Week of March 11th, 2009
  • Xbox Live Arcade – Peggle (800 Microsoft Points) & Crystal Defenders (800 Microsoft Points)
  • Peggle  – Xbox Live Arcade
    Perhaps many of you have heard of Peggle. It’s been named as one of the 5 most addictive computer games of all time by MSNBC. PC Gamer Magazine lists it as one their favorite 100 games of all time. Peggle made it to #40 on that list. It has a very simple premise. Made by PopCap Games, you bounce a ball off pegs and other obstacles. One does this in an attempt to clear as many orange pegs with a given number of balls. There are also blue pegs, purple pegs and green pegs which give score bonuses and upgrades. Fifty five stages are included to conquer in what is sure to be a guilty pleasure for puzzle fans. I’m stay far away from this one, I don’t need another addiction. Still tempting.

    Crystal Defenders  – Xbox Live Arcade
    This is a tower defense game that is developed by Square Enix. This takes place after the events of Final Fantasy Tactics A2 and has units from the original. The objective is for the player to stop waves of monsters from stealing crystals by positioning units to destroy them before they escape. Each unit has their own special abilities and naturally have different strengths and weaknesses. Three hundred stages are included and actually I’m quite interested in the title but I would certainly like to see a demo first. If anybody has played the WiiWare version, I’m curious to know how to goes.

  • Wii WiiWare & Virtual Console – Gradius Rebirth (WiiWare – 1000 Wii Points) & Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars (Sega Master – 500 Points)
  • Gradius Rebirth - WiiWare

    I’ve played many a Gradius game, the graphics and fast gameplay usually draw me in but the challenge usually stops me 2-3 stages in. This game will be similar to previous offerings including a remix of stages from past games. Even the music will be from past experiences just remixed for the release. Two modes are included. The standard game with unlimited credits and Score Attack where you get one credit to play. Five stages are included and expect this to be another challenging shooter.

    Alex Kidd: Lost Stars – Sega Master

    Alex Kidd the Lost Stars has Alex Kidd looking for the twelve zodiac signs. Due to the limitations on the Sega Master system, many of the stages are recycled with increased difficulty and different bonuses. It’s hard to recommend most Alex Kidd games, it is even harder to recommend this one. Recycled stages, boring gameplay, what is the real point?

  • Console Releases
  • PS2
    Trivial Pursuit
    Samurai Showdown Anthology
    Totally Spies: Totally Party

    Mana Khemia: Student Alliance
    SBK: Superbike World Championship
    Samurai Showdown Anthology

    SBK: Superbike World Championship
    Trivial Pursuit
    Resident Evil 5

    Xbox 360
    SBK: Superbike World Championship
    Trivial Pursuit
    Resident Evil 5

    Totally Spies: Totally Party
    Trivial Pursuit
    Vacation Sports
    Marble Saga Kororinpa
    Pro Evolution Soccer 2009
    New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis
    New Play Control! Pikmin
    MySims Party
    M&M’s Beach Party
    Samurai Showdown Anthology

    My English Coach – Spanish Edition
    Avalon Code
    Animal Planet: Emergency Vets
    World Championship: Track & Field
    Jake Power: Handyman
    Dream Day Wedding Destination
    MySims Party
    Docomodake BOING!
    My Pet Shop

    Many releases this week but as usual it is overshadowed by 2 to 3 standouts. Resident Evil 5 is hopefully just a good as previous releases and keeps that nice blend of horror and adventure alive. I tend to prefer the Silent Hills and Condemneds but there is no denying the power of RE5. The other title I would be slapped for not mentioning is the stylistic MadWorld for the Wii. I’m not sure how the black and white shading plays out but it certainly wins for going outside the box. This just might become quite the ultraviolent masterpiece. The rest of the releases are the usual list of random games. Trivial Pursuit gets a very wide release which I find pretty funny when I found the 25th anniversary edition of the board game at my Walmart on clearance for $10. Samurai Showdown Anthology also shows up for the PS2, PSP and Wii. I wish SNK would start thinking about 360 releases. There is a chance I will pick up the PS2 version though.

  • Final Thoughts & Mutterings
  • Strange situations make people do strange things. This last Sunday I was going to go to the beach. I’m not a beach person, I like the mountains and I like the woods. So, I was thinking what am I going to be do while my girlfriend and a mutual best friend lay out? The 360 and plasma television weren’t going to fit in the vehicle. I need a portable gaming system. But I’m a cheap bastard as most of you know. So I went out and bought…a Gameboy Advance SP from Gamestop. $39.99, yeah I can handle that. Red was my choice of poison. I also purchased count them five GBA games from Gamestop and the nearby Target. Lunar Legends ($4.99), Super Dodgeball Advance ($4.99), Fire Pro Wrestling 2 ($4.99), X-Men the Game ($3.74), and Uno Freefall ($9.99). The last three included instructions and the box, Legends and Dodgeball were cart only.

    I’m sure many are asking why I didn’t go buy a DS especially when I might purchase a DS at some point anyway. 1)I’m a cheap bastard (didn’t you read above?) and 2)I had six lonely original GB games. Metroid II, Operation C, Castlevania, Final Fantasy Legend III, Rolan’s Curse and Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. They need some love. The odd thing about this whole experience is that I primarily used the GBA to play those old black n white classics (Metroid II looks awesome and so does Zelda). The other thing, is that I really didn’t play it that much. The weather was beautiful and there was a fantastic breeze going through the area. So sure I played, but I also stopped to notice nature around me. So breathe in a little fresh air this week, take that portable out and go to a park or something. Then don’t play it at all and spend the time enjoying all the things Mother Nature has to offer us. Have fun kiddoes.

    As Always,
    Kedrix of Aldrianian
    (*The Forgotten One*)

    Posted In: Dare to Play the Game, News and Opinions

    3 Responses to “Dare to Play the Game”

    1. teedub Says:

      MadWorld is definitely on my list of games to check out. I’m still on the fence about RE5, the Wii controls have spoiled me for RE4, and I don’t think I could go back to the dual-stick-tank-control. I tried the demo a few times, and it just frustrated me.

      Good call on the GBA-SP, but all you needed was a DS and a copy of Peggle Dual Shot. Holy crap, it’s awesome.

    2. billige flyrejser Says:

      Every time i come here I am not dissapointed, nice post

    3. Alvador Says:

      This is right here, in the present, not the future.

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