Sunday, March 28, 2010

I need to watch more Anime

I've been thinking about the sort of TV/Movies/games/etc. that I like and I've come to a few conclusions about the sort of things I like: Fun over-the-top 'awesomeness,' generally with lots of camp and cliché, with plenty of "what the crap?" moments that are just so crazy awesome you just can't help but laugh.

Examples of this are some of my favorite movies: Press Start, Dragonball Evolution and, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Games such as Castlevania, (where you whip a wall and get turkey,) Super Mario Brothers (What the crap is a goomba, anyway?) and many other games full of those "What the crap" moments. Malstrom wrote in his blog about this sort of things, the "What the Crap" moments making a game fun, but I can't be bothered to look it up to give you a link.

This is only spurred on by some of my favorite TV shows when I was a kid: Power Rangers, Xiaolin Showdown, Jackie Chan Adventures.  These all have that same over-the-top awesomeness/silliness.

Anime has it too.

All of the things I've mentioned have that same over-the-top awesomeness/silliness that comes from anime.  I haven't even mentioned my favorite shows growing up that were anime: Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Digimon, Escaflowne, and others.  Power Rangers is pretty much just a live-action anime.

And so we come to today, where I've browsed through various anime and found this (it's about a half hour long, so be warned.  Also apparently Veoh won't work in some countries, so sorry if you can't watch it):

View More Free Videos Online at

This is exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about.  This is what I mean when I say that games, movies, music, books, et cetera, are all getting too 'serious,' 'artsy,' and generally just 'adult,' and aren't fun anymore.  They should be more like this.  Fun. light. Not afraid to be corny, cheesy, or campy.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Monster burger

I must say, Nintendo's advertisement department is certainly doing their job.  If you haven't seen this or the other commercials for Monster Hunter Tri, then go to youtube and find them.  They're as hilarious as this one.

I really want to play this game, and I think that these commercials actually had their part in that.  The game itself looks fun, too!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Nintendo announces their Ace in the Hole

Well, that's surprising.

I thought it would take longer for the next Handheld to come out.

Is it just me, or does "3DS" seem like a tongue-in-cheek response to "DS2"?  In fact, it seems as if Nintendo is pushing the "3D" part of it, and it's certainly looking like everyone's taking the bait.  Don't forget what Iwata said:

Interviewer: "The graphics for the next DS will be highly detailed and it will contain a motion sensor, right?"

Iwata: "Those things are naturally being required. But do you think it would sell with just that?"
"Highly detailed graphics": Check
"motion sensor": Check

But wait, there's more!

This has to be it.  This must be the reason that Nintendo's 'big' games have already been announced.  They've been cleared out so that they won't get in the way of what Nintendo wants to show off.

But wait, is there even more?


I feel like I'm reading a Brandon Sanderson book, where the obvious 'twist' is almost a ploy, something to make you content when you figure it out, so when the other seven twists simultaneously slap you across the face you go down for the count.  Are we going to see something similar?  Will there be a "Sanderson Avalanche" of Nintendo products this E3?

In any case, Nintendo knows they have the better hand, and they're calling Microsoft's and Sony's bluffs.

I might actually follow E3 this year.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why I Like Brandon Sanderson

Those of you unfamiliar with the fantasy genre (or books in general) probably have never heard of Brandon Sanderson.  Those who are probably have heard of him the same way I have: He's the guy who's finishing the Wheel of Time series. 

For many of you that may not mean much, but I can say this: I enjoy reading his books.  His books are thoroughly engaging, manage to stand on their own even when part of a series, and for the size of the books (general fantasy fare, roundabout a thousand pages) I don't usually feel like I'm reading a huge epic.  He manages to keep things interesting, and I've found that the way he writes manages to be very comfortable and transparent.

But enough about that, what I want to talk about today is a planned 10-book series of which the first is due out in August.  The Way of Kings.

 But I don't really want to talk about the book itself (yet,) what I want to talk about is everything surrounding it.

The book industry is having a heyday with this.  As you can see on the cover, #1 New York Times Best Selling Author is advertised, the name Brandon Sanderson takes up a good fourth of the cover, the Industry is hyping this thing up to be the next Wheel of Time, the next Lord of the Rings.

The author, however, has a different view:
My editor, bless his heart, compared THE WAY OF KINGS to DUNE and LORD OF THE RINGS in the catalogue copy that he wrote. He’s a wonderful man, but I cringe when any new book is compared to masterworks like those. DUNE and LotR have proven themselves over decades, passing the test of time. They had monumental influences on their respective genres.

No new novel has the right to claim such a comparison out of the gate. If you go into KINGS expecting the next LORD OF THE RINGS or DUNE, you will be disappointed. I am not Tolkien or Herbert. I am what I am—a largely unproven writer still in the early days of his career.

Early in my drafting process for this book, I fell into some traps by putting too much weight upon the future of this novel. I began to think that KINGS would be the book that would define my solo career, and I began to worry (with all of the recent eyes that have been watching me) that this book needed to be something incredibly jaw-dropping and earth-shattering, otherwise it would be a failure.

That’s a bad way to be thinking as you write a book, and probably an even worse way to be thinking as you start reading a book. The Wheel of Time didn’t start to really make its mark until book three or four; it was the same for Harry Potter. Series like this take time to build. Beyond that, you can’t go into a series with the mind-set that it needs to be a huge blockbuster to be successful.

I’m not sure what I want people to think about this book. I want them to read it, enjoy it, and say nice things about it. I want them to anticipate it and talk about it on blogs, waiting for the day it is released. But in the end, it’s just a book. Let’s not hype this thing to death.

This is the sort of thing that gains my respect.  Mr. Sanderson isn't full of himself as many 'artists' are. He sees himself as an author just starting to make his mark.  He sees his books as just that: Books. 

When he was selected to finish off the Wheel of Time series he acted in a similarly humble manner.  He didn't take what is quite frankly the opportunity of a lifetime for himself, for money or his own vainglory, but for the fans.

Brandon Sanderson writes for the love of the craft, he writes so that people can have fun reading his books.  He writes for all the right reasons.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Returning a favor

Gee, does this look familiar? at all?

I just can't seem to place it.

Oh, wait, I know!

Yeah, that's what it reminds me of.  Definitely.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Something Smells Fishy (and it's not the Chinese food)


A "required" day-one patch for Starcraft 2?  That doesn't really sound good.  Apparently it's for the new, not the game itself, but I'm still a little cautious about this.

Now, I haven't had any professional experience in game making, but is it too late to just implement this stuff in the code? Are they that far along already?  They haven't put out a release date yet, so why the patch?  Are they planning on releasing the game sooner than I thought?

Or is this just like the day-one DLC in other games like Mass Effect 2?  I doubt it, but the possibility actually scares me a little.

*Sigh*, I guess I'll just have to wait a little longer and see.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Chef's Nightmare

You find yourself seated within a grand hall, fit for plays, symphonies, and live Television showsThe curtains are closed and before you can question where you are or why, a well-dressed man approaches a lone microphone in front of the curtains.
"Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to Tonight's edition of Chef's Nightmare, where one mad chef aims to combine greasy, fatty, delicious foods in ways that will almost raise your cholesterol even while salivating in anticipation.  I am your host, Kyle Skyshot, and it is my proud honor tonight to bring to you none other than the latest breakthrough in bacon and cheese technology.  But first, we treat you to the comic stylings of Jim Gaffigan."

 Jim Gaffigan, wearing a white shirt, suit jacket, and jeans takes the stage and promptly begins.

Before you can fully wonder where the stool appeared from,  Kyle returns and shoos Jim Gaffigan from the stage.

"Thank you, Jim.  I'm sure we're all hungry now for some BACON."

The crowd laughs instinctively, but quiets down as the house lights dim and a spotlight goes on Kyle.  A drumroll starts as he begins talking.

"And now, the moment you've all been waiting for, it's time to reveal the latest creation of mad chef CID Farwin..."

The curtains open dramatically, revealing CID Farwin, holding his newest creation.

"The Chupaqueso Bacon Cheeseburger!"
"It's a cheeseburger! it's a chupaqueso! It's on whole wheat bread!"

The crowd cheers among fanfare as Kyle walks to the young man.

"Simply amazing, CID.  Once again you've shocked not only me but this wonderful audience as well.  Now, tell us about your newest creation."

"Well, Kyle, this delectable dish is so easy to make, even you could make it! Simply fry up a Hamburger in your average skillet, fry up some bacon, fry up some cheese, and combine in whichever way feels most intuitive.  Serve on a Hamburger bun or whatever bread is handy, or eat like a regular chupaqueso."

Kyle takes a bite out of an offered Cheeseburger and his face takes on a look of euphoria.

"Mmm, simply fantastic.  But don't just take my word for it, everyone in tonights audience gets a free Chupaqueso Bacon Cheeseburger!  Simply show your ticket stub in the front lobby, or buy additional burgers for $4.95 apiece.

"Unfortunately, that's all the time we have for Tonight. We hope you enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) tonight's creation! Until next time..."

The audience joins in shouting the show's motto,


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I don't believe this

*resumes crying*

Why....what...who...Oh just watch this

Why do people keep confusing Metroid with this?  Once again, the title comes up and says Metroid, but I don't believe it for a second. Where's the Metroid?  Where's any Metroid?  Where's Samus?  She can't be that emo blonde chick  (who'd make a great Squeenix protagonist, albeit a well-endowed one).  It's Final Fantasy M, I'm telling you! (that's 1,000 for those of you unfamiliar with roman numerals)

People are funny #5, "Biggest innovation in gaming this generation"

There is, at least some semblance of sanity on the internet, even on what I would expect to be a haven for 'hardcore.'

However this thread and the people trying to defend their points are borderline hilarious.

Let's look at our options for 'biggest innovation':

Online Multiplayer:Oh, yes, because this definitely hasn't been around for thirteen years or anything like that.

Achievements: Right, because high scores haven't been around since arcades or anything like that. 

The same people today that obsess over achievements and gamerpoints would be the same as the kids years ago at the arcade, except instead of being the "1337 Haxx0rz" "p0wning n00bz" with their "N1nj4 Sk1llz," they were "da bomb," wasting the wannabies big time with their totally wicked badness.  I kid you not.

Technological Leap:  Bringing PC graphics of 10 years ago to a console! Such an innovation!  Don't believe me?  Computer graphics have been capable of 1280×1024 resolution (enough to display 720p) since 1998.  1920x1080 (1080p) was emerging around the time sony announced the PS2.  Such innovation.  What, you mean the resolution of the games?  Computers have always had better graphics in their games.  (not to mention that the nature of PCs make it so you can adapt the computer to your game, and games are made to let you adapt the game to your computer)

Not to mention that "Technological Leap" is pretty much what defines a generation from it's predecessors (8-bit generation, 16-bit generation, 64-bit generation, and so on), so the 'technological leap' isn't so much your biggest innovation, since it's kind of expected.  If that's you're only innovation, then there is something horribly wrong.  I'm looking at you, PS3.

It's like what Iwata says about the rumored "WiiHD" or "Wii2,"  Of course it's going to be HD, what else are they going to do?

DLC: Downloadable content?  Like, stuff from the developers that I download enhance my game?  Like a patch?  A map pack?  Expansion?  Or the stuff you got with the Dreamcast?

Hm, it seems there hasn't really been any defining innovations this generation.  So sad that the Video Game Industry has run out of ideas.  Wait, did I miss one?  What was it again?  Oh, yes.

Motion Control:  Oh, yes the Wii remote!  A computer mouse fused with a remote control!  Gyroscope technology, first invented in 1817!  Peripherals for the Wii just like in the NES days!  The Miis, planned for the NES!  Motion games that totally have never been done in arcades and the like!  So innovative! 

What? You're shocked?  You thought I was going to pick motion controls?  Why would you ever think a thing like that?

There is, of course, the final option.

Other: The real innovation this generation comes from the Wii, but is not motion controls.  If it were, than Microsoft and Sony would stand a legitimate chance with Natal and Arc, respectively.  It is not a graphical or technological achievement.  It is not a feature. To modify a quote: "It is not what they are on the inside, but what they do, that defines them."   It is not the Wii, it is not the Wii remote, but what they represent.  It is the revolution. 

The revolution is more than a discarded name for the Wii.  It is the gamer, playing his shiny, expensive HD (or 3-D) game, with all its 'art' and 'story' who has the ability to say "this sucks" and shut it off.  Maybe he turns to an arcade-style 'old-school' game and has some fun.  Maybe he makes his own game.  Maybe he goes out and does something else with his time.  Maybe all three.

It is games like Wii fit, a game where I stand on a scale and shift my weight around (whee?)  and actually have fun doing so.  It is games that push the boundaries of what a game is.  It is games which, rather than say "look how awesome I am, look at the one who made me and how awesome he is," turn around and say, "Forget about me, forget about that guy, look how awesome you are!"

It is a change in the perception of the game.

Nintendo appears to understand this; they did, at least, through the development and launch of the Wii, but the lack of complete, solid Motion Plus games does not bode well.  Malstrom says that Nintendo pushing their "Super Gamecube" games at first opportunity is so that they can announce true Motion Plus games at E3.  'Gaming' sites and analysts say Nintendo is pushing the last of their 'core games' so they can announce a new console.

Honestly, looking at Nintendo's recent actions and the news/buzz, I don't know which to believe, though I hope Malstrom is right.  Whatever Nintendo is planning, they obviously think it's big.  We shall see.  Only time will tell if Nintendo will ride the revolution they started or grow content and let it crush them.