Category Archives: Gaming

Joyous holiday season

Just kidding, Merry Christmas.

Last week, company joined my roommate and I.  My mom visited for four nights, his g/f came to town (and is here for another week), and we had some friends over during the weekend.  We ate tons of food and played plenty of games.

The roommate and his g/f cooked up some delicious Korean food Tuesday night.  Some bulkoki and some other dishes were prepared.  Plenty was served up, so there were leftovers for a few days.

My mother and I went out to a Polish restaurant here in Houston.  From the outside, it looks a little shady; however, the inside is quite nice, and very warm.  While I’ve never been to Europe, nor do I have any desire to venture there, the interior felt very homey and very European.  Most people there, staff and patrons alike, spoke the native tongue, and most people seemed to know each other.  My mother is of Polish descent–though not first generation–so it seemed familiar to some places she’s visited and grown up in.  And as a bonus to this, Polish Christmas carols were playing on the radio.

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Living on the edge of the mirror

Mirror's Edge pic

The Mirror’s Edge demo came out last week.  Now, this is a came I’ve been excited about since it was first unveiled last year.  Well, I finally got a chance to get some time hands-on, and if the rest of the game is as good as the demo, EA will have won itself back into my heart.

ME combines aspects of free running and parkour in a somewhat dystopian society in the future.   “Runners,” athletic couriers, exist and try to remain out of society to help deliver message.  So the demo has you go through some basic training and then has you make one delivery.  So just how fun is jumping from rooftops, kicking open doors and running from the man?  It’s quite fun.

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Things afoot

So in one month I’ll be halfway across the world and living it up in Japan.  I plan to eat tons of food (melon pan, fugu, sukiyaki, okonomiyaki, tonkotsu, etc.), walk around a lot and burn off some of those calories, and pick up a few gaming-related goods.

I’m trying to figure out what things I may want to pick up for myself.  DS games are an option, as they’re small and not terribly expensive.  But what to get?  Rhythm Tengoku Gold, as that still has no release date in the U.S.  Maybe an old PC-Engine/Turbo Grafx-16 game, I dunno.  Anyone have suggestions?  I’m trying to avoid picking up an entire gaming system, though I am tempted to pick up a Japanese Wii to play some of the games I know won’t ever get released here.

Copy editing needed; Nintendo needs to answer questions

Mr. Period from Penny Arcade
Penny Arcade

A few posts back, I mentioned the need for professionalism in the world of gaming journalism.  I neglected totalk about one of my pet peeves: copy editing. Not a day goes by that I browse the various gaming news sources where I don’t find an error.  The problems range from incorrect word usage (homonyms, incorrect denotation) and comma splices to the inability to spell common words.

I can understand the occasional slip. I mean, large metropolitan newspapers have errors in each issue. But when almost every single post on your site has an error, that reflects sloppiness and laziness, both on the part of the writer and the editors that should be checking the article.

Now onto other gaming news: the new Nintendo DSi. It adds two .3 MP cameras, eliminates the GBA slot, adds music playback (AAC format), enlarges the screen and adds an SD card reader to a. Oh, and in Japan it’ll cost about $50 more than the standard DS Lite.

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I’m so blue

Mega ManSo, Mega Man–also known as the blue bomber–has made a return to his roots with Mega Man 9, available for Wiiware, Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network.

Capcom has said publicly, in interviews and on its blog, that the game is a throwback to the games of yesteryear. It keeps the gameplay fron 20 years ago intact, and I’m really amazed just how much it feels like it could’ve been an NES game, except for fade-ins and fade-outs that seem a little too smooth.

But really, the game delivers. Graphics that are pixelated with few minimal frames of animation, music that is catchy and uses limited hardware to produce it, and the “challenge.”  I say challenge, because the game is hard, but it’s hard because of the many cheap deaths you may come across in your venture.

This game does put to rest a question I’ve had for years: Are games nowadays too easy, or am I just getting better?  Well, I browsed a few message boards and read page after page of comments from people complaining about how hard the game was. I feel that the difficulty is about up there with the old MMs when I would first play them.

Several of the comments were about an elephant you fight in Concrete Man’s stage of people unable to beat it. I didn’t find this to be a challenge.  Got past them in my first life (after encountering the first elephant with so little life that one hit killed me).  Then someone asked about the octopi in Splash Woman’s stage. Ugh.

Now, those are some incredibly easy enemies to defeat.  I mean, if you can’t kill those, you probably shouldn’t be playing video games.  Or perhaps at least give it more than 30 seconds before you run to a message board asking for help.

The game is wonderful and feels like something straight out of 1990. Definitely a bargain for the $10 price tag it carries. When we can have content this good come out on download services, it makes me wonder why the big three allow some shitty content to come out. Yaris and Undertow on Xbox Live Arcade quickly spring to mind.

What does gaming journalism need to be taken seriously?

Over the years, I’ve heard people argue and voice their opinions that videogame journalism needs to be taken seriously, as do games in general. Many people in society still consider games to be something meant for kids and arcades, despite many games receiving content ratings listing them for mature audiences.

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