The Wii U is a year old and while I’m having a great time with my system, and have since I got it, the reaction has been pretty mixed. Sales aren’t hitting the levels that Nintendo had hoped and third parties aren’t exactly showing the biggest support for the system. That’s not what I’m here to talk about though. Those thoughts are best left for another day. There are a couple of things I’ve been thinking about a lot and it’s something that I think could really benefit the Wii U and that’s the 3DS and the GameCube. Let me try to explain my thoughts.
The 3DS is on a roll. It’s been hugely successful in the last year or two, and that’s after a floundering start that is very similar to what the Wii U is going through right now. The internet was full of posts about how the 3DS was dead and that mobile phones were going to be the death of Nintendo. We’re still waiting for that to happen and in the meantime the 3DS has exploded in popularity. The library has grown to include some of the best games of this generation and it only seems to be gathering momentum, despite the constant death threats from Apple and other mobile devices. They’re threatening, but Nintendo doesn’t seem to be scared.
We’re not here to talk about video game violence, whether it’s good, or whether it’s bad. That’s irrelevant to the bigger conversation I want to have which is that of the mainstream press drumming up controversial headlines in order to vilify a video game. It’s been reported on numerous times, and the biggest offender is Fox News.
It goes back to subjects like the news channel calling the Xbox the “SE”Xbox when referring to a love scene in Mass Effect. Of course, we all know about the Hot Coffee scandal. Every time a gun is shown on TV the first conclusion that any of the “experts” jump to is that a video game made the person do it. Do I think video games make people violent? In general, no I don’t. Do I think they might have some effect on susceptible people? Sure. Any form of media can do that.
Hi. My name is Tony and I have a problem. If you’re a regular listener to the podcast then you know everyone on the staff has a tendency to buy a lot of stuff, sometimes expensive stuff. I’m probably the least guilty simply because I don’t have a lot of expendable cash (you know having a large brood and all). However, there is one thing I just can’t stop buying.
The item that I can’t stop buying is something that I know I’m going to end up having a lot of over the next five to six years. Some of these things I’ll buy. Some will be given to me and some will probably be traded for. What could that one thing possibly be? Read on and find out. Read more…
Wii U launches in exactly a month. We’ve heard a lot about what’s going on with the system, but there’s one thing that’s been glaringly absent from discussions; what’s going on with the Wii U and online? Most of the talk you hear is that those options are still being explored and there are no firm announcements by any developer out there. Nintendo themselves aren’t talking about what’s going to happen with Wii U when it comes to online infrastructure.
We have a few things that we know for sure. The Wii U will allow streaming video from a number of different services. All of it will be concentrated in one service called TVii. We know you’re going to have some sort of online communication system that will allow you to post messages about different games on the Miiverse service. Some games have made announcements when it comes to what you’ll be able to do online with your friends. Ubisoft has shown off some messaging systems inside ZombiU that will let you post messages, giving your friends hints about things in the game. These are neat ideas but they’re small details about a system that is shrouded in mystery.
So, we’re a week away from E3 and everyone’s getting ready for Nintendo’s big show. Last year was a trial run for what we’re going to see this year. It was basically Nintendo’s chance to let everyone see their early thoughts and designs on what their next home console can do. The controller was fairly well received with many of the people that got hands-on time with it praising the comfort and the possibility of the design. As we inch ever closer to this year’s event more and more details are surfacing about the system. Some of them are true and some of them are more or less speculation. We know the system is going to be HD capable and it’s going to be on par, slightly less powerful or slightly more powerful than the current HD consoles. My thought is it’s going to be slightly higher spec, but that’s just me thinking out loud. I want to focus more on the controller and I can’t help but toss my thoughts out about what I see in the controller. Read more…
Let me just start by saying, “I’m a huge Legend of Zelda fan.” Not to the point where I get into philosophical debates about where each game falls in the “timeline” or anything like that, but I love playing these games. I have fond memories of skipping another Super Bowl featuring the Buffalo Bills to play the first game in the series; and staying up way past when I should have. The sense of adventure from these games is unlike anything else I’ve ever played.
The worlds always seemed so huge and vast. You could spend hours and hours, or weeks of your life exploring every nook and cranny only to realize you’d barely scratched the surface. It’s always about finding that next hidden secret and using some newly acquired item in ways you didn’t think were possible to discover all the things Miyamoto and the development team had tucked away in some far corner of the world.
Xenoblade Chronicles is more than I ever could have expected. When the game was first announced I knew going in that it was going to be a grand RPG experience. I knew there might be a chance the game wouldn’t come to North America, but in reality it was the game highlighted by Operation Rainfall that I was least interested in. I don’t really know what it was that failed to draw me in, but I wanted the other two games (Pandora’s Tower and The Last Story) more. One reminded me of a God of War style action game and the other was from the creator of Final Fantasy, both things that appealed to me more than this seemingly unknown game with a weird title. When the game was announced for North America I took a look at some coverage from Japan and Europe and had my mind changed. I was unprepared for what I was going to experience. As of the time of writing this I’m about 17 hours into the game and I have been blown away by everything I’ve experienced.
From the very beginning of the game you’re told it’s going to be something very different. Most Japanese-role-playing games tend to start out very slowly with a long introduction sequence that is unplayable. Many of these moments are unforgettable gaming moments, but they’re just something you watch. I can remember the first time I booted up Final Fantasy IV and watched those airships fly over the rotating ocean below then get attacked as the characters ran around to defend themselves. It was a truly epic beginning to one of my favorite games of all time. It’s nothing, though, compared to what I experienced with Xenoblade Chronicles. From the second the game opens up you are thrust into the thick of fighting. You get a quick introduction to the characters through their battle planning, but within just a couple of minutes you’re in control of the action. It was absolutely a great way to learn the basics of the game. You’re given all of the information you need to survive; how to attack, and how to use arts. Once the opening battle is over you get a moment to collect yourself and relax while the story truly begins and you meet the characters you’ll be playing with in a more relaxed setting. Read more…