Wiimote not to be threatened, GTA IV threatening the Wii, and Nazi killing gets a birthday – Welcome to the column that will not be threatened a second time ahhhhh (and bring us a shrubbery!) known as Dare to Play the Game.
Welcome to another edition of Dare to Play the Game. 40&22. Yes I got the silly emerald raptor. I still have half of my reputation bar for Undercity to go before I become exalted. By every calculation, it is near impossible to be exalted with Undercity by level 40 unless you are of course Undead to begin with. Will I get it by Level 60? Sure. I actually liked the Silvermoon area quite a bit when I was questing there last week. So much, that if I make another character (won’t be before one of my characters hit 60) it will be a Blood Elf Hunter. I promise I won’t be a huntard either. I played a max level Ranger in Guild Wars and know my way with a bow and a filthy animal. As to where I will quest with my Troll Rogue now? Stranglethorn Vale or Feralas seems to be the popular choice. Naturally I will still try to find any and all quests that have Undercity rep but my concentration will be in this area.
I like stylish pictures of Morgan, something more majestic for the gamer tastes. She certainly seems to command a reception anytime she enters a studio. Sometimes I wonder if in 10 years, we’ll see her do a hair commercial or two….like Cover Girl. Then she’ll say something about long lashes that last 24 hours and we’ll jump up and down and scream like little fanboys that she’s on our television doing Cover Girl commercials. Well at least I will.
Nintendo honcho Satoru Iwata, in an interview meant for an investment audience, says that if a rumored Xbox 360 Wiimote clone in fact becomes a reality, by itself it’s not much of a threat to the company’s top position in console sales.
Innovating on that console is the key, Iwata explains. And if Nintendo can keep beating others to the punch on new ways to play new games, it will do just fine.
“What matters to us is whether or not we can continue to constantly create and offer new surprises one after another. If we can, then (other company’s attempt to launch Wii Remote-like controller) should not be a big threat.
The efforts in this field to try to appeal to a wide variety of customers are something in which we saw potential early on and that we have been working on the longest, so there appears to be no reason whatsoever why we need to be concerned.”
Iwata says that the video game space can be a risky place for new entrants — sure, no argument. But Microsoft is hardly some art-house developer looking for a break, and it’s shown enormous tolerance for losing money here, too.
Still The $64,000 question here is more for Microsoft than Nintendo. Microsoft probably wants to use an “Xmote” to unify casual and hardcore gamers into buying a 360. Perhaps Sony thought the same thing too, and the SIXAXIS has gotten absolutely nowhere as an innovation on the PS3, where it is optional, not integral, to gaming.
Of course you can use a Wiimote for a driving game more serious than Mario Kart, but gamers have gotten by just fine without one. And there’s such an orthodoxy to FPS controls now, I’m not sure it makes much difference. So, yes, a controller by itself means little. The titles that are written specifically for it, that is where the threat lies, and its something no one can estimate just yet.
Cause the world would be grand if every system had a WiiMote. I mean it worked for the Wii, surely it is the wave of the future *caugh caugh*. Still a gimmick. Yeah I’ll catch flack as usual. Nintendo is absolutely right, it doesn’t matter if Microsoft copies their gimm…err controller, as long as they stay on the frontline of innovation; they will continue to sell a multitude of systems. Personally, I think it would be a very bad idea for MS to copy the gimmick. It doesn’t unify hardcore and casual gamers. It draws in casual gamers and forces the hardcores ones to adopt so they can play certain games. Wanna play Zelda or Mario, well figure out what to do with these *plunk*? Most hardcore gamers will figure it out, some will wish for their control pads (*raise hand*) and the Borg, I mean the console company will have their way. I bought a 360 because I felt it had the best games (still do) and the control scheme I was most comfortable with. To be honest though, I really do miss the days when we had a dpad & two buttons B & A along with Select/Start. I hope that the next Xbox or Playstation doesn’t leave me behind because they are trying too hard to be a casual system which will bore me to tears.
Yes, other games came before it, but that’s just nitpicking: for 99% of gamers, the first-person shooter genre kicked off with Wolfenstein 3D, which turned 16 yesterday. Happy birthday! Having played through the original only a few months ago, its funny how, sixteen years on, I still had more fun with Wolfenstein than I do with most modern FPS games. Maybe that says something about the pure, arcade pleasures of the game. Or (more likely) it says something about the appeal of mowing down a mechanised Hitler with a chaingun while stuffing your face with plates of bbq chicken.
Sweet. I was one of those 99% of gamers. I remembered playing it in my first year of college and really would be the only time period where I played a lot of pc games (Started with Wolf, ended with Duke Nukem 3d). But Wolf and its bastard cousin Blake Stone (source of many jokes on this column) were part of my world from sun up to sun down for a good part of a year. The best version arguably besides PC was on the Panasonic 3do. Yes, the 3do which also sported the best versions of Road Rash and Super Street Fighter II. Anyhow, I am still wishing for a XBLA version of this game, I think it would go nicely with Marathon, Doom and the rumored Duke Nukem 3d (let’s hope this is a reality soon as well). Shoot, if they included a map editor, I would actually pay 1200 points. Go ahead and steal the idea, I won’t mind.
Grand Theft Auto
Forbes’ Brian Caulfield asks if Grand Theft Auto IV, which isn’t available for the Nintendo Wii, will finally take some of the shine off that console and slow its sales. He doesn’t directly answer that question, but points out the Wii’s missing out on a $400 million party. Further, “It’s one of a series of good games that will each convince consumers that there is a lot of good content on the other two boxes,” an analyst says in the piece.
And if the Wii’s sales might is because it appeals to casual gamers, then it’s going to miss out when a title for more traditional gamers releases and starts doing gangbusters business. If a title for the Wii is that good, it’s easier to port it over to PS3 or the 360, Caulfield points out. Not so in reverse.
Here’s his scoresheet:
Sony: Fresh off victory in the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray war, which will help move consoles long-term. Plus GTA IV looks better on a PS3.
Microsoft: “Best-in-class online experience” which will see tons of DLC to keep it competitive and reaping money off GTA IV.
Nintendo: Pretty much zilch, and kind of backed into a corner. “It’s hard to imagine how the sprawling world of Grand Theft Auto IV — which already taxes the multicore processors powering the XBox and Playstation — could be recreated on the Wii,” Caulfield writes. This goes for other games like it down the road, too.
Verdict: “Wii won’t die, for sure. But Grand Theft Auto IV may have just given a new lease on life to the Playstation 3,” Caulfield writes.
I thought the PS3 and 360 versions looked near identical. Okay, we’ll give the edge to PS3 in graphics because of the Blu-Ray capability. I’m being nit-picky again. :). I also agree that this gives the PS3 life as they need every little liferaft they can muster to rescue the PS3 from third place. Actually to be fair, I would call it a near current tie with the 360 at this point and time. But back on topic, Nintendo simply doesn’t have GTA because of two reasons. 1)the ever popular family friendly system and 2)it simply doesn’t have the horsepower. If you believe the current crop of release games, most are Playstation 2 ports meaning it could barely support an enhanced version of GTA 3. A clone won’t help much as GTA has the name power necessary to move systems. Besides could you really see the Marios in Liberty City?…wait I seem to remember a certain Youtube. (And please don’t anybody mention Simpsons: Hit and Run on the GC as an alternative GTA).
Well we had nothing last week and we don’t exactly have much this week either. Okay, let’s be positive. *a few seconds pass*. That was certainly a positive few seconds, can we continue? Wits & Wagers is a trivia game, 700 questions have been included (until future expected DLC) and each game has 7 questions. Wait, what’s the gimmick you ask? You guess the answer but you also bet on the answer you think is right. Even if that answer is not your own. When the answers get tallied, they are assigned betting odds like 2:1, 3:1, and so forth. Whoever gets the right answer gets paid based on the odds. It supports the camera, and local play to 4 people. Online is 2 to 6 people but I would guess with only 700 questions, that could get old real quick. This is one game that is probably best done in small sessions with close friends and family huddled around your Xbox 360 console. Party game. So for fans of Scene-It, or You Don’t Know Jack, this might be right up your alley. (See, I’m positive!)
So we get another Pokemon game for VC because that silly camera game was feeling lonely or what? Pokemon Puzzle League is based on Panel de Pon. This style of play was also found in Tetris Attack. Basically, you clear blocks by arranging them in horizontal or vertical lines going three deep. New blocks keep sprouting from the bottom of the playfield to further hinder the playing process. It also includes various Pokemon characters and trainers, but none give a certain advantage on the playing field by picking them. So much for picking Pikachu and having an actual point to it. There were action modes (Stadium), Puzzle modes (Puzzle University), and a Timed mode (Marathon). Decent if you like da Pokemon (you poor poor person).
The father to Double Dragon (which is only fitting for it come out this week). This action arcade fighter limited the action to one or two screens per stage. It was typical punch and kick action with a few running moves thrown in. The NES version had some bonuses thrown in. The first three stages were very similar to the arcade, but it also had a motorcycle chase wedged in where you had to kick people off bikes prior to the boss fight. The final level was a maze of many rooms but with previous bosses and enemies before you got to the final dude. If you want to see where Double Dragon got most of its ideas, you might want to check it out.
Rebel Raiders: Operation Nighthawk
The Dog Island
Uhhh, yeah. In the nearly two years of doing this column, I don’t think I’ve seen a worse release week. I really did consider putting PC games in here or your local horoscope. (But I did not feel like shaking my magic 8 ball that many times, but your outlook does look cloudy) Speed Racer came out this week *twirl finger*. Everybody who thinks that movie will tank, raise their hands. I thought so. R-Type Command is at least some good shooter action, I mean they couldn’t possibly screw up R-Type, could they? Boom Blox for those who want to know is basically Jenga meets Tetris Blast and has actually gotten good reviews. Steven Spielberg even had a hand in this. What’s he doing making puzzle games? Another one of those weeks where I do have to give the slight edge to XBLA and the VC. Hey, Wits & Wagers might not be that bad.
If you payed attention last week, I mentioned I was pretty close to buying SNK Arcade Classics Volume 1 for the PS2. Well I bought it. And two others. I ordered SNK AC, World Heroes Anthology and Persona 3 FES for Playstation 2 off Amazon on Monday. According to the Amazon schedule, it should ship near the end of the week. I know a lot of people are probably thinking well you spent $60, why didn’t you just buy Grand Theft Auto IV? I mean, I do own every Grand Theft Auto game including the ones on PS1 and the Stories ones they ported over to PS2. (besides the common III, VC, and San Andreas). I don’t have a good answer to that, except I only bought Liberty City Stories & Vice City Stories on release week. The others I did not purchase until about 6 months-1 year down the road. Heck, San Andreas was not purchased until about several months after the Hot Coffee incident. I do enjoy the games very much, just have a hard time making that 1st week commitment I suppose. But as most of you know, I’ve been in a weird mood these last few weeks. But then again, what else would you expect from your favorite video game columnist (or at least your favorite in the last five minutes). Have fun kiddoes.
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)