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BlueWolf72 Blog

July 2007 Archive

Counterpoint: Why you should fear casual gaming
Posted on: 03:32:05 PM on July 30, 2007
By: BlueWolf72

As you've probably seen, Lewzr's recent clogpost, much like a lucky crane game toy, was plucked from the crowd and deemed by the fickle whim of fate to be worthy of frontpage note, leaving the other two-dollar polyester toys to swelter in desperate loneliness under the garish carnival lights, their plastic eyes gazing in numb supplication as they await the cold touch of fortune's metal fingers that may never seize their scruffs.
And I'm glad it did, because it's quite on-point. Many of us have spent a good chunk of our lives lamenting our social ostracism, frustrated by our attempts to make others understand the allure of our beloved pastime -- or at the very least, to stop infantilizing and nerdifying us for it. As Lewzr points out, how stupid is it of us to excoriate the popularity of casual games' ever-broadening adoption when it brings the greater diversity, understanding and acceptance of game culture that we say we've wanted for so long?
For one thing, just because we say something doesn't mean we mean it. Most of us are no longer teenagers circa 1990, where in between headbanging to Rage Against the Machine and gripping our chests in paroxysms of torment to the Cranberries, we soulfully decried our oddball status while painting our fingernails black and marinating in the heady musk of the era's Teen Spirit. Our generation, along with normative society, has matured and diversified somewhat -- but while angst's a thing of the past, it doesn't mean we're truly over it. After all, we had to grow to embrace the angst of solitude, used it to define us, armed ourselves with a sort of twisted pride in order to survive, and I suspect we're not so ready to relinquish that pride as we often claim. It's admittedly offensive that, just when we're growing out of our resentment at alienation, "everyone else" abruptly about-faces and decides we're cool after all.
But the real reason we should quite rationally fear casual gaming is a lot less emo, and a lot more concrete. Read on for the awful truth, my brothers.
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Pretty new White Knight Story screenshots
Posted on: 03:32:05 PM on July 30, 2007
By: BlueWolf72

Some of us continue to breathe all hot and heavy when it comes to any new material from the upcoming PS3 RPG White Knight Story from Level-5. It and Folklore look to be the first two imports for the system that have some real appeal for the role-playing/adventuring gamer, though it remains to be seen if this title is actually more than just a 'pretty face' slapped on a standard RPG.

At least it looks nice. There's no denying that White Knight Story is a great looking title. What we've seen so far is visually impressive, and the blending of CG footage and real-time gameplay action is already a crowd pleaser.
Now, Jeux France has posted a few new screenshots from the game, including some bits from an in-game battle. The pictures appear to be in a progression, and it looks like some kind of 'summon' happens in the last few of the set. Also, we're still curious about the circle in several screens that reads "attack". Maybe it's some kind of status indicator?

The word is that we'll finally get our hands on this title at this year's Tokyo Game Show. Stay tuned, because there we will finally find out if this one is truly more than a pretty face.
[Via Jeux France]

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This week's VC releases: 13-year old cultural reference edition
Posted on: 03:32:05 PM on July 30, 2007
By: BlueWolf72

To all of those who have been waiting with bated breath, I apologize for the tardiness of this post. This is the second week in a row in which I did not receive in my inbox the "Wii-kly update" PR from Nintendo. I don't know what I did to anger the Ninten-gods, but I'd do anything to get back into their good graces, even do something as crazy as play a full game of Mario Party 8. Reggie, man -- call me, buddy!
This week's line-up assumes you have no friends and includes a handful of single-player games including: Star Soldier (NES, 1 player, 500 Wii Points), Dynamite Headdy (Sega Genesis, 1 player, 800 Wii Points), and Drop Off (TurboGrafx-16, 1 player, 600 Wii Points). Admittedly, this is a pretty wide variety of games we have this week -- a shooter, a platformer, and a puzzle game (in that order).
But did Nintendo have to drop a "like a box of chocolates" reference from a 13-year-old film based off of a 21-year old book? Don't get me wrong -- Forrest Gump was a good film (and if I could read, I'm sure I'd enjoy the book), and it won more Academy Awards in 1994 than I can count on one hand. But seriously -- "the Virtual Console&trade; is like a box of chocolates"? You guys are killing me.
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Soften the blow with NERF Wii Remote Sleeves
Posted on: 03:32:05 PM on July 30, 2007
By: BlueWolf72

The third-party accessory makers have been pitching mostly unnecessary add-ons for our game consoles and related devices for a some time now. This is the first controller accessory that we've seen in a long time that actually could show some benefit to gamers, and it manages to add a nice safety bonus as well.

The smooth, small Wii Remote lacks any kind of grip, so slipping on this Pelican Wii Remote sleeve by NERF makes a lot of sense. The sleeve simply slips on to hug the Wiimote, leaving the face buttons and IR emitter uncovered. Gamers commonly complain about 'Wii hand' after long bouts of game play, so this added bulk and increased grip-ability is definitely welcome.

The soft layer of NERF material can also provide a second line of defense (do we trust the Wii straps now?) should the controller manage to escape the hands of a player in a heated Wii Bowling frame. Your television and breakables will be a bit more safe now. A Wiimote to the face is still going to hurt, but NERFing out your controllers will help tilt things more towards bruising than breaking.
GameStop has these nifty sleeves listed for a October release, and they're accepting orders now for $9.99. The price may seem high, but it's definitely cheaper than a new television.
[Via Gamersquad]

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Wiimote hack measures vehicle acceleration
Posted on: 03:32:05 PM on July 30, 2007
By: BlueWolf72

There is a lot of technology in the Wii Remotes that we regularly wiggle around. While we were busy aiming for headshots and curveballs, one clever auto enthusiast figured out a way to use the Wii Remote to calculate G-forces and acceleration times. I've never felt so stupid!

VW Vortex is a web site for Volkswagon enthusiasts, and member klee did the fancy math and hacks to use the Wii Remote's accelerometers to measure his car's performance. He combined the Bluetooth accessibility used in other Wii hacks with some software, drivers, and clever scripting to create the system that could gauge his car's 0-60mph times. All of this data was processed in Microsoft Excel, and now you can see graphs and charts of his Jetta's performance.

In his post, klee admits that the results are not super-accurate, as the Wiimote gives G readings rounded to two decimal places, but it's pretty amazing that a gaming controller could be used for this kind of purpose.

If you're one of those big-brained people, hit the jump to see technobabble.

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Boulder Dash Rocks! DS and PSP screenshots
Posted on: 03:32:05 PM on July 30, 2007
By: BlueWolf72

First Star Software have sent over some screens for their upcoming Boulder Dash Rocks!, a graphical makeover of their classic PC title. The game will be coming to the Nintendo DS this November, and the Sony PSP version will follow in the first quarter of 2008.
The arcade-puzzler (developed by the smelly sounding British studio, Tuna Technologies) follows the adventures of the game's main character, Rockford as he attempts to collect diamonds and avoid perils which face him at every perilous turn. Rockford (not to be confused with 80s pop-singer, Rockwell of "Somebody's Watching Me" fame) has a number of tools at his disposal such a bombs, laser guns (pew pew pew!), and more.
Each version of Boulder Dash Rocks! will contain a platform specific mode, never before available -- so that means you'll just have to buy them both, right?


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Marathon: Durandal and Spyglass Board Games on XBLA this Wednesday
Posted on: 03:32:05 PM on July 30, 2007
By: BlueWolf72

Another Live Arcade twofer is planned for this Wednesday with the release of Marathon: Durandal (800 MP) and Spyglass Board Games (400 MP). You guys have been asking for these titles for way too long, so be happy!
The second game in the popular Marathon trilogy is getting an update and a new name for its Xbox 360 debut; Marathon: Durandal will feature the following:
&bull; Upgraded visuals: All images in the game have been redrawn in high definition.
&bull; Modern networking: Marathon: Durandal features a new modern networking layer built with Xbox LIVE in mind.
&bull; Superior control: The redesigned controls take full advantage of the Xbox 360 Controller and enhance playing a first-person shooter on a home console.
Do you love stripping in front of a live audience using your XBL Vision cam? Are you becoming tired of playing Uno over and over again? Spyglass Board Games is here to help:
&bull; Full featured games: Four classic board games to choose from. Play Chess, Checkers, Mancala, or Reversi.
&bull; Video integration with Xbox LIVE Vision camera: Fully integrated video chat lets you see your opponent. Use the video effects to personalize your game.
&bull; Customizable pieces: Choose custom game pieces that range from traditional marble, to metallic silver, to fuzzy and wiggling gel.
The achievements for these games can be found here and here. What&rsquo;s looking good to you this week Dtoiders?

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Mexican PS3 to cost mucho dinero
Posted on: 03:32:05 PM on July 30, 2007
By: BlueWolf72

&iexcl;Dios Mio! Even with Sony's recently announced price drop, many still feel that $500 is too much to spend on a video game console. The blogosphere is rife with complaints on Sony's price point for their flagship system, but now it seems that gamers from United States have no room to complain when compared to their Latin American neighbors.

Mexican gamers will finally be able to purchase their territory-specific PS3 for the price of 9,999 Mexican Pesos, which comes out to $910 USD and some change. They will recieve the new 80gb model, and it will be packed with the blah-worthy Forumla One Championship Edition. Wealthy Latino gamers can begin ordering their systems on Wednesday via the Mexican SonyStyle web page. The system is expected to launch on August 11th.

The official Mexican PlayStation blog states that the first sixty customers ordering the PS3 from SonyStyle will recieve a special edition package that includes a camera, knapsack, and a clock. Hopefully these extras will help make up for the $400+ extra cost - but that needs to be one nice knapsack! It is also mentioned that SonyStyle is offering 12 months financing without interest with certain pay types. Its good to know that they realize that their price point is so high that it requires financing.

We would like to wish our Latin American readers the best of luck on saving their pesos, but if you're reading this page, we recommend that you check out any of the fine American internet stores selling PS3s at almost half the cost.

[Via Total Playstation]http://feeds.feedburner.com/~a/Destructoid?i=dnIy8S</img>
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New releases for the week of 07/30/07
Posted on: 03:32:05 PM on July 30, 2007
By: BlueWolf72

Another eh week for releases if I do say so myself. Biggest game is easily Mario Strikers Charged (Wii). I played the 'Cube version for a little bit and did it enjoy it. Does anyone else find it funny that when Mario goes up for a super kick, he seems to turn evil? Brave Story for the PSP also looks really good. Well, the box anyway. I don't know why, but the cover for the game is hawt. What's looking sw33t to you this week Dtoiders?
PSN: Snakeball
XBLA: Marathon: Durandal, Spyglass Board Games
WVC: Star Soldier, Dynamite Headdy, Drop Off
PC: Combat Mission, Attack on Pearl Harbor
PSP: Brave Story
DS: Glory Days 2, Picross DS, Pet Alien
Wii: Mario Strikers Charged
MAC: Command & Conquer 3, Battlefield 2142, Harry Potter Phoenix
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Weekend Reading: What's the deal with PC games?
Posted on: 01:04:42 AM on July 30, 2007
By: BlueWolf72

In the attempts at coming up with a title for this week's column, my mind kept coming back to Seinfeld. I suppose it's because the question kept popping up in my mind after I was trying to kill some time in my local GameStop. I'd peruse the aisles, looking at games and making mental notes as to what I'd consider checking out on Goozex to see if the prices were cheaper.
I needed to kill some more time, though. So, my journey into the PC gaming section of the store began. While I was going through these games, my thoughts weren't, "which ones should I buy" -- rather, they were "which ones should I pirate?"
For those of you who don't know me, I'm strongly against pirating console games and movies. I'm even going so far as to search eBay and elsewhere for a cheap Japanese PS2 so that I can play import games, and not be tempted by the ability to play burned discs. Why is it, then, that I felt absolutely no compunction about pirating these PC games?
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