The AbyssThe Abyss

Posted on Dec 29th 2008 at 02:00:07 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Wii, Christmas

In Cincinnati, Cornhole has an entirely different meaning than the one you are probably thinking of. See, in Cincinnati Cornhole is the name of Bean Bag Toss, a game where you throw bean bags towards a slanted board with a hole in top center. This game is great with friends and alcohol, and on Cincinnati's West Side where they watch grass grow to pass time this game is certainly a fun diversion. Some people say the game was created in the West Side, while others claim it came to be elsewhere. Either way, the game is stupidly popular, almost as popular as the mom and pop sports bars that dot the White Oak neighborhood in Cincinnati.

Well, knowing how stupidly popular the game is in Cincinnati and surrounding areas, some shovelware developer created Target Toss Pro, a game that was certain to get a few sales in the metro area. The game can be found in sports bars around Cincinnati, and, if you so desire, you can buy it off of the Wii Shop Channel, and that's where things get precious.

See, my Aunt and Uncle have a Wii, and prior to Christmas Eve had an impressive tie-in ratio of two. The question though is since Wii Sports is bundled with the Wii does that go into the Tie-In ratio? Anyways, I digress. During December, it generally is too cold to really enjoy playing Cornhole outside, and lots of Cincinnatians enjoy that activity, so they'd love to have some comparable activity to keep them occupied during the warm months.

Well, luckily for them, some shovelware developer released Target Toss Pro: Bags for the Wii, which means that they can play a really shitty game during the cold months. Clearly Cincinnatians are an intelligent bunch and wouldn't waste their money on a shoddy game? Right? RIGHT? Well, Christmas Eve has shown me otherwise. My Aunt and Uncle are proud owners of the WiiWare Version of Target Toss Pro: Bags, courtesy of a relative.

Congratulations Incredible Technologies, you've hit a localized gold mine. Thank god the production value of the game is about nil, you might have lost money otherwise. What obscure game that only appeals to a single city will they release next? Chunkin': Pumpkins? Whatever it is, I am sure it will be wonderful.

Posted on Nov 20th 2008 at 02:04:25 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Nintendo, Wii, Birthday

Two years, has it been that long? I guess it has been. Two years ago today the Wii was released worldwide, because Nintendo loves youÖ or so we thought. What has the last two years brought Nintendo and itís Wii? Letís delve into the past, and see where the future lies for Nintendo.

Nintendo had a cool concept. Motion control in a game, would it be a gimmick or a novel innovation? Well, two years has passed, and honestly, the verdict is still out. There are the games that just tack it on, such as Super Monkey Ball did. Did they even play test their game? Super Monkey Ball should have been great on the Wii. Alas, it was not. Fortunately, there have been games that do make excellent use of the Wii Remote, and these games shine amongst the games that treat motion control like an afterthought. Games like No More Heroes, De Blob, Zack and Wiki, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption all make excellent use of the Wii Remote. Super Mario Galaxy was a refreshing reinvention of the platform genre. Truly there are the gems in what seems more and more like an endless pile of crap, and my, there is crap.

Why is there crap? Well, it might be because the Wii sells like hotcakes from McDonalds. It sold almost 850,000 units in North America alone last month, and quite frankly thatís impressive. Itís enough to make the Wii the clear market leader, and weíll talk about that later. But now, letís talk about the effects of being the market leader. See, being number one tends to bring a lot of crap to your console. Games like Target: Terror. What is that game like? Well, you know what Lethal Enforcers is, right? Well, it looks just like that, except with Terrorists. How novel for the Wii, especially when it could probably run on an N64. Great job there, Konami, you really must have been bitter after the sales of Elebits and Dewyís Adventure. I bought Elebits! Donít hate me! And donít think that itís just the third parties giving us steaming piles of shit. I see that the fourth worst ranked Wii game on Gamerankings is Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast. Now, I am sure that game is full of win, but the score speaks for the masses. And donít forget about Wii Music! Is that even a game? You decide.

If you would have told me with a straight face that the Wii would be far and beyond the market leader right now prior to its launch I would have laughed. I was a Nintendo fanboy at one point, but just because I was a fanboy does not mean that I am not a realist. Címon, Nintendo had a good idea, but was there really something as a casual gamer? I sure as hell didnít think so. I guess I was wrong, because as they sayÖ it prints money. Unfortunately, it only prints money really for Nintendo. See, the Wii third party tie-in ratio is rather poor. It seems as though the real winner in all this is Nintendo and the companies that realize shovelware. Itís sort of sad because it limits creativity. Why be creative when you can make money with a low budget piece of crap? Itís sad, and itís true.

Well, the future, what does it hold? Being on top means that Nintendo has the most to lose. Itís quite obvious that Nintendo cares most about the casual gamer these days, and it hurts. Nintendo really, really needs to either invest in games for gamers or encourage third parties to innovate rather than defecate. Maybe it could, you know, do both? Who knows, really? I certainly hope they do, because to a certain extent Nintendo has really tried to see what the breaking point of their fanboys is. Maybe to them thatís okay, but they have to realize that you can have your hardcore faithful in addition to being super trendy. Apple does it, somehow. Isnít that who Nintendo is trying to emulate anyways? Does that mean that weíll soon see a super thin Iwata in jeans and a black shirt with a goatee? God I hope so. The truth is though that Nintendo needs to know that some of Nintendoís biggest fans are becoming some very bitter people, and bitter people can bring some very negative press. Best then to keep the fans happy, I suppose. Might you start with localizing Captain Rainbow and Mother 3? Please? PLEASE?

Nintendoís console will probably have a bright future. I know I am personally as giddy as a schoolgirl for No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle and Mad World. I guess you could say Iíve become a person to enjoy violence more as Iíve gotten older. I also know that in the future Iíll probably own a PS3 to satisfy other needs. But donít you worry Nintendo, because youíve already made more than enough money off of me, and chances are youíll make more than enough money off of others. Congrats on that.

Well, what do you think? Where has Nintendo been over the last two years for you? Where will they be in the future? I know where I think theyíll be, but itís always more interesting to find out where you guys think the future lies, so tell us, wonít you?

Posted on Aug 22nd 2008 at 10:27:50 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Wii, Sega, Samba de Amigo

You know, I hear that Samba de Amigo is coming out for the Wii soon. Might be coming out on September 23 of this year in the US. Should be a lot of fun, but then I am a biased source. I love rhythm games. Probably now my favorite genre of games, either that or Sims, and Samba De Amigo is a quality experience, well, at least it was on the Dreamcast. Fortunately for those of you who never played it on a Dreamcast, it is coming out on the Wii, and it's coming out soon. Personally, I am enthralled by the thought of playing this game, I hope you will be too after playing this mini game, located after the jump.

Continue reading Samba de Amigo is going to be Awesome... Again

Posted on Jul 24th 2008 at 06:27:32 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Skip, Nintendo, Wii, Gamecube, GiFTPiA, Captain Rainbow

There is this rather quirky Japanese developer that goes by the name, Skip, Ltd. Stateside, you might know them as the developer of the Chibi Robo series. If you follow the Japanese scene also, you may know a bit more about them. In fact, most of their games have been released only in Japan. It's a real damn shame. You know, they developed many of the Bit Generations Games. These small, quirky games are sort of like the Wii Sports and Wii Play for the Game Boy Advance, but cooler. Way cooler. Of course, such is to be expected from the former Square employees, people who may have worked on one of the Best Games Ever, Chrono Trigger.

So, Skip really hasn't seen many releases Stateside aside from Chibi Robo, and it's a shame, a real damn shame. We've not only missed out on the Bit Generations series, but also other interesting and quirky games like GiFTPiA, a GameCube Game where you as the main character have to earn back your honor. It's a real interesting, and unique, game. Sadly, it's Japan only, and that pains me.

Skip has a new project, and I imagine that if you follow the gaming blogs at all you probably know what it is. The title is called Captain Rainbow, and aside from looking like a homoerotic fantasy, it looks pretty damn amazing. You play as a super hero, Captain Rainbow, who does all types of heroics on an island filled with washed up Nintendo Characters. The concept is absolutely genius, and given the track record, I bet it doesn't come out here. Very, very sad.

Check out the videos, after the jump.

Continue reading Why does NOA do this to US?

Posted on Jul 24th 2008 at 03:35:18 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Nintendo, Wii, Geeks and Otaku, OH NOOOO!

I remember a time and place when people who were asking for more storage space for the Wii were "geeks and otaku". I remember being very displeased by this statement of arrogance, and may have callled someone an ass. Whoops. Turns out that while in Europe people asking for more storage are "geeks and otaku," a different tune is being spun stateside.

Apparently, Reggie has a different story about the plight of the Wii Gamer, that, or he and Laurent are on totally different pages. See, Reggie says that while they have nothing to announce now, they are in fact working on a storage solution of some sort, and are aware of the situation. Huh. You don't say, Reggie? Furthermore, Reggie acknowledges that the problem extends far beyond "geeks and otaku":

From an Americas-centric perspective, here is the reality we see. We have a consumer base who loves virtual console. We have a userbase who really is enjoying WiiWare content. So for us really our challenge really is how do we satisfy all these consumers who are loving all of the product we make available on a download basis? As we continue to have things, as you point out, like ĎMario Kartí that has its own channel when youíre playing from an Internet perspective, weíre just making this challenge tougher and tougher. So in our view this is becoming much more of a mainstream problem, which is why we have a sense of urgency to solve it.

So, the storage problem is a problem? OH NOOOO! What are we going to do? Nothing has been announced, and there are games with DLC coming out soon. I need my Samba DLC! Please Reggie save us!

Seriously, though, this issue is sort of laughable. Let us actually use the SD cards we actually bought. Lots of storage there. Oh that's right, you're afraid of piracy, Nintendo. Perhaps you could code encryption? The truth is that holding out forever won't solve the problem, and the casual gamer isn't going to want to spend a crapload of money to fix the storage issue. So, for your sake, I hope you can find a marketable solution, and find it quick.

Nintendo: Wii Storage Limitations Becoming A ĎMainstream Problemí [MTV Multiplayer]

Posted on Jul 10th 2008 at 04:12:47 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Cynical Gamer, Feature, Nintendo, Wii, Crap

As you may or may not know, I tend to be skewed towards the world of Nintendo. I grew up on Nintendo, I supported Nintendo up to the Wii, and once the Wii was released Nintendo decided to defecate on every member of the Nintendo old guard and try to appeal to that elusive casual gamer. Theyíre doing a great job, they really are. Meanwhile, I really, really want LittleBigPlanet, and well, we all know what system that is on. But yes! The Nintendo Connection! You see, the Wii has the dubious distinction of being home to more crap than one can shake a finger at. Strike that, one hundred billion fingers. The more depressing thing is that people are buying this stuff. Itís really, really disappointing, and Iíll tell you why.

Continue reading The Cynical Gamer #7: Crap

Posted on Jul 1st 2008 at 05:56:36 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Classic Gaming, Wii, Mega Man, Capcom, WiiWare, OH NOOOO!

It seems as though some of you are pretty excited. Personally I am excited. It's certainly a throw back to retro roots, with graphics meant to imitate the original NES Mega Mans. In short, it's pretty damn cool, and hopefully the game play comes through. Time shall tell in that regard.

I imagine most of you expect Capcom to release this on all console digital distribution formats. Certainly, I sure did. You might notice that I said did. Yeah, about that... Kotaku and Ars both though have some troubling news. It appears that for you Sony and 360 Owners, Capcom currently does not desire your money, as it says that Mega Man 9 is only in development for WiiWare. Wow, that's a... shocker.

To mark this development, it's time to bring out the OH NOOOO! Otter. I imagine that lots of you really would like the opportunity to get this game, but have found their prospects of getting this retro odyssey somewhat... dashed. Perhaps Capcom has been misquoted, and meant to say it'll come out for other systems later. Perhaps they really meant what is being reported by folks like Luke Plunkett. You know, he writes for Kotaku, so he is part of that bunch of respectable game bloggers, so they wouldn't wrongly state something, would they? Well, regardless, the OH NOOOO! Otter feels your pain. Since I can't feel your pain because I own a Wii, at least the OH NOOOO! Otter can.

Mega Man 9: Wii Ware ONLY [Kotaku] [IMAGE]

Posted on Jun 26th 2008 at 08:38:14 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Classic Gaming, Modern Gaming, Wiiware, Wii, Mega Man, Capcom

You know, I thought the "Mega Man 9 will be done in 8-bit graphics" was an exaggeration. Something... lost in translation. Those things happen. That's why we say crazy Japanese translations like "SUPER HAPPY CRAZY FUN TIME". But you know, Mega Man 9. Wow, was it for real? Surely someone was jerking our chain, Capcom would never go back to revisit a class style of game, would they? Eh? EH?

WRONG! Turns out Mega Man 9 is very, very real. Complete with robot masters like Magma Man and my personal favorite, Concrete Man. More importantly, they weren't lying when they said it would be in 8-bit graphics. It really, really is. A part of me is saying WTF, while the other 4/5 says "Holy shit that's awesome!" Seriously, absolutely awesome, like "I AM BUYING THAT" awesome. Truly, Mega Man 9 has the potential to be quite the throw back to old school Mega Man. Here's to that. By the way, pictures can be seen at Kotaku

Old School Mega Man 9 Coming To WiiWare [Kotaku]

Posted on Jun 25th 2008 at 02:16:48 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Nights, Uber Bomb, Sad, Wii

Wow, this is sort of sad. Nights, the game that a lot of fans asked for, came out, was declared mediocre, and now can be found new for $2.99. Of course, you have to live by a Meijer, which for those not in the know is a nicer, Midwest version of Wal-Mart. I have one three minutes from my house, and there is another Meijer probably 10 minutes from my house, if not less. Will I go out of my way to get this game on the cheap? Nah, that's alright, the game didn't really interest me, but perhaps you are and you live near a Meijer. If that is the case, then go buy your game on the cheap.

Did Nights really do that poorly? I've heard it sold 100000 copies, which is more than some other games, like Boom Blox. Does it deserve the $2.99 price tag, or is Meijer giving this game the shaft? It might be on clearance now, but regardless, this price tag is almost disgracefully low. Someone must have it out for this game at Meijer HQ. Perhaps their son told them it was stupid. That's just too bad.

Also, before you ask, no, I am not going to go buy the game for you.

Come onÖNights is worth more than thisÖ [GoNintendo]

Posted on Jun 14th 2008 at 09:02:13 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Cynical Gamer, Feature, Nintendo, Geeks, Otaku, Wii

You know, I happen to live in Cincinnati. Itís sort of an advertising / marketing Mecca. Thatís bound to happen when Procter and Gamble happens to be based in your city. You know, Ivory Soap, Tide, Pringles, Gillette, Old Spice, Febreeze, etcÖ that company. Not to mention all of their recent divestures, we are home to the company who spends lots of money on their brands. In fact, they spend the most money of any company. So, certainly, we in Cincinnati have a company who knows how to do things right. God bless P&G. They make Cincinnati proud.

Some companies try very hard to be good at advertising. They try very hard to project an image. Theyíre so good that they do so at the expense of royally ticking off their old fan base. Nintendo seems to be that brand. Itís sad though, as they try to be just like Apple, but thatís hard when you have people like Laurent Fischer.

Continue reading The Cynical Gamer #6: Laurent Fischer

Posted on May 13th 2008 at 08:12:00 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Platinum Games, Mad World, Clover, Nintendo, Wii

Nintendo seems to be creating a niche market for ultra violent games, or at least games more violent than would have been seen on the GameCube. No More Heroes was amazing, and if you haven't played it you should check it out. Blueberry Cheese Brownie, anyone? What about Manhunt 2? Sure, it's (apparent) crap, but it's still super violent. Other violent games? Well, I can't think of any, except for one more that was just announced.

Turns out Platinum Games has a Wii title coming out called Mad World. Platinum Games, does that ring a bell to anyone? No? How about Clover Studios? In the mighty progression of development houses, it goes Clover -> Seeds -> Platinum Games. So, Platinum Games essentially created amazing games like Okami and Viewtiful Joe. I hope that you've played those games, especially Okami. Okami is everything that Zelda should have been. Too bad the Wii version of Okami doesn't make any references to the original developers, since one should always give credit where it is due, and well, Clover Studios created a masterpiece.

So, yes, I digress. There is a new game coming out from Platinum Games fort the Wii. It's called Mad World. Styled much like Sin City. It looks beautiful, and very violent. I urge you to do yourself a favor and check the game, after the jump. Be Warned, it's very violent.

Continue reading Nintendo now has a Niche Market for ultra violent Games: UPDATE

Posted on Mar 27th 2008 at 07:32:01 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, PS3, Wii, Xbox

Some of you may be die hard haters of other game consoles besides the ones that you own. For others, you might be such a fanboy that you need be reminded of reasons why you should curb your enthusiasm. Fortunately for you, Gamesradar wishes to fan the flames of console bashing during its hate week, where they harp about why you should hate everything. Thank God for that too, because I certainly could not think of my own reasons to be spiteful about the console manufacturers.

Shall we check out these videos? Because I am a nice guy, I'll start out with the company I tend to support heavily (aside from my latest Cynical Gamer piece), Nintendo. You can find Sony and Microsoft after the Jump.


Continue reading 100 Reasons to Hate Each of the Console Manufacturers

Posted on Mar 24th 2008 at 09:51:50 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Rock Band, EA, Harmonix, Wii

Let's not kid ourselves. I really like music / rhythm games. As such, I really like games like Guitar Hero. So, when the next Harmonix game was announced and it was Rock Band, it was pretty damn exciting. Then, there was the revelation that the game was only coming out for the 360 and PS3, which made baby Jesus cry. I myself, was one sad panda. The pain was lessened a bit when I saw the associated price tag, but the game still was amazing, and deep down, I still wanted it.

Fortunately, Harmonix announced that eventually Rock Band would be coming to the Wii, and that was about it. No price, no release date... nothing other than that the game was coming to the Wii. Well, that's nice, but I want more concrete information. The Wii owners want more information. Would it be expensive like its brethren, or would it be slightly more affordable? Would it be a quick cash in like Guitar Hero / PS2 Rock Band, or would the content be more like the 360 / PS3 versions? Most importantly, when would it be coming out?

Well, there is a release data and price for the Wii version. June 22, 2008. $170. Price, not too surprising, but hey! We now have a date. Additionally, it  will be a "Special Edition", with 63 songs, including 5 bonus songs. Oh boy, I can barely contain myself. Yay. Seriously.

So, the burning question of will this game be a gimped version like the PS2 version, or will the game be like the 360 / PS3 version has yet to be answered. Certainly, my excitement will either fall or rise with that announcement, and I can't wait to hear more about this version of the game.

Rock Band Wii 'Special Edition' on June 22, $170 [Joystiq]

UPDATE: Kotaku asked for comment about DLC... No DLC... yet. No DLC ==No Buy.

Posted on Feb 22nd 2008 at 09:00:51 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Nintendo, Wii, Wifi, WTF

So, Nintendo Wifi Connection. It sucks, really, really hard. Don't kid yourself, if you are looking for a competent online service you certainly will not find it in the land of Nintendo. Just hearing the words "Friend Code" is like listening to a teacher use her fingernails against a blackboard. It simply is not a nice thing, I tell ya. For a company leading the pack in sales, they certainly have no idea how to capitalize on the burgeoning market of digitally distributed content.

So, what is this I am hearing about Wii Pay and Play? An upcharge for online? Perhaps, but right now we just don't know. What we do know is that Wii Pay and Play will be collecting money for "services that will adapt flexibility". What the hell does that mean? Kotaku speculated, so will I. It sounds as though Nintendo wants to print more money. More money that it does not need. So, perhaps they want to screw you, John Q. Consumer. Do you enjoy getting screwed? Personally, the thought of being raped by Nintendo does not entice me.

Perhaps Nintendo will wow us with something that is truly amazing. Show us what you mean, Nintendo, rather than being ultra cryptic about things. Show us that you are going to use this "system" for something awesome. Given your track record in the world of digital distribution and online gaming, I somehow seriously doubt it.

Nintendo Announces Wii Pay & Play [Kotaku]

Posted on Feb 17th 2008 at 12:08:42 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Guitar Hero III, Wii, Replacement Disk, No More Mono

Check it out. Activision comes through. Did you find yourself ticked off by your Mono Experience known as Guitar Hero III for the Wii? Did you fill out the pre-claim form on Activision's Website? If you did, start checking your mail. You might be getting the above form and a prepaid, address envelope in the mail. Send in the disc and the form (click the above image to see it in its full glory) and you'll have a not so mono experience in 3-4 weeks.

Have not yet filed a claim? Do so here.  Kudos to Activision for staying true to their word.

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This is where my thoughts go and are never heard from again.

Well, maybe not, but this is the repository for all of my published thoughts and rantings. It'll make my day if you find at least 10% of it amusing and enjoyable to read.

Sorry for the other 90%.

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