Wednesday, July 28, 2010

No, I Will Not Title This with a "Wii Pun"

A while back I was perusing, and came across a list of the "Top 50 NES Titles". Ah, actually it may have been SNES. Either way, I was stunned to think that there were so many good titles for such an old console, coming into it's own just after video games so nearly went the way of the dinosaurs. Yet now, when you'd be hard-pressed to find a home without at least two different consoles, there are barely 50 PLAYABLE Wii games, let alone really amazing, noteworthy ones. So what with the stunning lack of worthwhile Wii titles, I've decided to compile a two-part list. The first part will be currently available Wii games that are worth playing, and whether or not you should rent or buy. The second will be upcoming titles you should check out. Please, if you think I've missed something, comment on this post and let me know.

Games to Check Out Now:

  • Super Mario Galaxy 1 and/or 2 (Buy) - It's essentially the same game whether you pick up the first or second, which is basically Super Mario 64. It's a 3D Mario platformer. You know the genre well, and Mario kicks ass at it. It's a good system. You'll want to buy one (or both) of these, since there's such a vast amount of gameplay to be had.
  • Ookami (Buy) - You may have played the original on PS2, and while it is the same game, with little to no additions, I'd still recommend picking this one up. It's a beautiful game, easy to pick up and play, and highly addictive. You'll want to play this one through to the end, and be thorough in collecting all of the extras, so it's much more worth it to buy a copy.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Rent or Buy) - So, everyone really liked this game... According to the internet. Although everyone I've ever spoken to directly has had more or less the same reaction: "Meh." It's not bad, mind you. But as a Zelda fan myself, I just wasn't crazy about it, which is why I'm giving it the "Rent or Buy". Maybe you don't give two wits about LoZ games, pick it up, and love it. As I said, it's not bad for what it is. Or, maybe you're a game snob and can't see past that fact that it IS a LoZ game and decide you hate it. I'll let you judge for yourselves.
  • No More Heroes 1 and/or 2 (Rent) - A solid game, which utilizes the Wii's motion control surprisingly well, outfitted with quirky Japanese writing, makes either of these a solid play. I only recommend renting them because they're both relatively short, and you could get through each in about a week. Less if you are unemployed.
  • Super Smash Brothers Melee (Rent or Buy) - If you played SSB on either N64 or GameCube, you already have a good idea of what to expect on this one. A four-player beat 'em up with a whole slew of classic Nintendo characters (plus Sonic), and a variety of stages from various titles. It's basically the first two games, with improved graphics, and a crap ton of additional stages and characters. Not as fun on your own though, so if your an anti-social hermit this may be one to rent, rather than buy.
  • Mario Kart (Rent or Buy) - "See: Notes on Super Smash Bros. Melee" ... Okay, I'll not be quite that lazy. But honestly, with the exception of our good buddy over at The Sunshine Empire, I don't really know anyone who loved playing Mario Kart solo enough to warrant purchasing it.
  • Mad World (Rent) - A fun, violent, hack-and-slashy game, not too strong a storyline, but defiantly a very interesting game aesthetically. Again, not a long enough game to be worth more than a single  weekend gaming binge.
  • Animal Crossing (Rent) - Every time an Animal Crossing (or Harvest Moon) game comes out, I do the same thing: I get super stoked, fawn over every image and preview that comes out, reserve it, pick it up same-day, play it NON-STOP for about 3-4 weeks, then never touch it again. This short-term satisfaction is not untypical of the series, as it is a lot of fun, but gets repetitive rather quickly.
Part 2 to follow...

Awesome Geek Cakes are Awesome

I went on a binge. Here are the results for you to enjoy, without wading through all the muck of hilariously dreadful cakes.

Don't forget to show some love to Cake Wrecks!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Xbox 360 Arcade Unit Revealed?

Amazon's German site has listed an "Xbox 360 4 GB Arcade System Bundle", available for pre-order, with a  release date of August 20, 2010. It's not specified what form the 4 GB of storage will take, although it is likely to be either a USB stick or internal flash memory, rather than a hard drive as some had hoped (but let's be honest wasn't too likely). For the moment, the price is set at €149 ($190 USD), though Microsoft stated last month the new Arcade unit will be $199 when it hits the US.
Currently, the slimmer version of the 360 is flying off of store shelves; our store is selling out as the shipments come in the door, reminiscent of Wii sales a couple Christmases ago. Check out the link to the listing below.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tragedy Strikes!

So... I was pulling clothes out of my washing machine, when I heard something tumble out of a pair of pants and fall with a loud "clank" to the bottom of the machine. I peered into the basin and to my dismay found that I had washed my recently missing PokéWalker. It still looks alright, save for some trapped moisture behind the screen, and for one brief, fleeting moment, I toyed with the idea it might still work, after all, Nintendo makes notoriously durable systems. But alas, even after leaving it out overnight, it was dead. I was concerned I might have to restart my game completely, or do without a PokéWalker. I knew I could acquire a new one on eBay, but dratini was still locked inside the broken Walker, and I knew the game only allows one PokéMon out in the device at a time. After some research, I came up with a much more satisfactory solution, which I thought I'd share here, to save you the time.

(Dratini nooooooo!- Image © Nintendo)

 First of all, skip eBay when purchasing your new  PokéWalker, as they run anywhere from $25-$30, often without shipping. You can actually buy a brand new one from the Nintendo website for under $15 with standard shipping.

Additionally, you don't need to restart your game if you should wind up with a PokéMon "stuck" in your Walker. Via Bulbapedia:
"A Pokémon that has been transferred onto a Pokéwalker isn't actually sent to the device, but rather copied and the data for the Pokémon is sent. The targeted Pokémon is instead put aside, and can't be used in the game, until the data has been returned to the game. Therefore, if a Pokéwalker is lost or damaged, the Pokémon is not lost. Pokémon can be restored to the game it was taken from if a Pokéwalker is lost or broken by pressing and holding Up, Select, and R at the Pokéwalker connection screen. The Pokémon will be returned to the PC box with its level or happiness unaffected."

So all is not lost if you lose/damage your PokéWalker, although ultimately, I'd still advise you just keep an eye on it, rather than having to purchase a new one.

(Image © Nintendo)

NOTE: I got my new PokéWalker, and had to look up how to reset it. I found my solution, and the new Walker is working wonderfully, but so you know, while you will be able to keep all the paths you've unlocked, you will also lose all of your watts. Bollocks.

"How to reset your PokéWalker: From the main menu, select 'Connect to PokéWalker'. Hold down on the directional pad (+) and X, then L. After you see caution click 'Yes' and it will reset."