Thursday, February 28, 2008

Blowing Off Steam:
Why Are Wii Just Friends?

Can you count on your friends?Hey Ya'll. I was invited to contribute to this little slice of the interweb. So I will do my best not to disappoint. After reading this, don't think of it as a bitch session. Think of this as an editorial.

Nintendo and I have a love/hate relationship. It seems many great things they do are often clouded by simple flaws. They give us Virtual Console but no hard drive. They give us great first party games but limited third party support.

What's been specifically on my mind lately that I'd live to talk about is Wii Friend Codes. As a concept, it works. But this is the age of Xbox Live. Nintendo WiFi Connection is like the younger annoying brother of the very dysfunctional console family who always bugs his older siblings by whining "Can I play too?!?"

The reason friend codes just do not work is that there is one for every game. On top of that, the system itself gets it's own code as well. OK Nintendo. You tell me I can live without having a "gamertag" or an online ID. But why can't I add someone's system code to a friends list and that's it? If he plays Mario Strikers, there he is. If he plays Battalion Wars, there he is. No muss. No fuss. Instead, Nintendo forces me to find out someone's friend code and type it in for each game. We live in a lazy world. I shouldn't need a rolodex with 12 digit numbers to play a game with someone!

It seems that Nintendo has been watching too much "To Catch a Predator" lately. It wasn't too bad until I heard about how online matches in Super Smash Bros. will work. Totally anonymous fighting? Haven't they heard of online rivals? Social gaming is huge and Nintendo is putting us all in the shadows. I can't even chat with someone I've added as a friend! They may call it "parental controls". But, it shouldn't be Nintendo's responsibility to control children’s actions online. I believe it's all on the parents. If you’re a responsible parent, you'll have a responsible kid.

It's all a matter of trust. They've been in this business a long time. I believe, in the end, they know what they're doing. Sometimes going against the grain works. But no matter what Nintendo does or what directions they go in, I will be right there behind them along with my fellow fanboys. Oh, Nintendo, we'd follow you off a cliff!


Monday, February 25, 2008

Think you i would forget such a thing?

So I know i said I'd type a little review on Devil May Cry 4 for the Xbox 360.But I've been busy playing 360 .


Yeah,I know.

Now with that out of the way.Devil May Cry 4 (ps3,360) is the sequel to the 2004 Devil May Cry 3,and along with introducing a new playable character in the form of Nero,it takes the ideas and mechanics of DMC3 and makes it more CUHRAZY.The story is as follows,Nero lives peacefully in a community that worships Sparda(Dante's father).Things are going relatively well until Dante shows up blasts the head priest in the face and THE PARTY GETS A LITTLE CRAZY.Then demons attack and Nero's once peaceful life is under fire.

Nero has some interesting play mechanics that are new to the Devil May Cry series,most notably the Devil Bringer,Exceed meter,and Buster.The Devil Bringer gives you the ability to grab demons and drag them to your proximity(or launch yourself towards them for larger foes)making combo strings easier to maintain.The Exceed Meter gives a power boost for whenever it has a charge or stock on it,making basic attacks even stronger or giving special attacks new properties.Lastly,the Buster is a move that lets you grab and slam demons with impunity and in some cases gives you a powerful and cinematic attack for boss battles.

Dante's arsenal of moves hasn't really expanded much since DMC 3 but you get access to all the styles on the fly as opposed to switching at select points.This makes for a more open fighting style that can change depending on the situation.Got a large group of mobile enemies to deal with?Switch to Trickster to move quickly through the crowd then flip to Swordmaster to start your combo attack,shifting to Royal Guard whenever you are about to be attacked, and cleaning up with Gunslinger when you get some distance.The Devil Arms are especially insane this time around and have to be seen to be believed.

Even with Nero and the new skills at your disposal Devil May Cry 4 maintains the hardcore difficulty it has throughout the series and is a definite must have for your 360/ps3 library.


Monday, February 11, 2008


Hey ladies, its Josh again. And you may have noticed that I'm going by Josh now because it has come to my attention that silly surnames and pseudonyms such as J-9 simply aren't cool. But enough chatter about that, I'm talking about something far more serious than that.

A couple weeks ago, my brother Eugene and I were enjoying a nice session of Dragonball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3 for the Wii. All of sudden, we noticed that there were these multicolored splotches that sort of resembled pixels from the Golden Age of gaming appearing in the corner left and middle of the screen. At that point, we already knew what the problem was, and what needed to be done.

We needed to ship our Wii to Nintendo to cure this ailment.

Now for those of you who have no idea what I'm actually talking about, listen up! These splotches are called artifacts. They can be as small as specks or as large as a giant streak running down your TV. This is a scene from Zelda: Twilight Princess with this very issue. Not very appealing is it? (Un)fortunately This only happens on Wiis that are set to display in 480(p), so if you don't have an HDTV, then don't worry about it.

This issue apparently happens when the Wii Connect24 fries the GPU or CPU or something like that. Since its always on, you can see how the GP-whatever I just said gets fried.

And so to play visual masterpieces such as Zelda or Metroid Prime 3 and Super Mario Galaxy with this horrendous affliction makes me sick to my stomach that it can't look as good as it should because of a couple splotches. This is why I am currently Wii-less. Though it is coming back today (hopefully), the past two weeks have been nothing but anguish. I've stared at that Xbox 360 in my brother's room and in my own, and the sheer weght of the truth that I can't play anything I have been playing for the past EVERSINCETHEWIICAMEOUT makes me very sad inside.

So how can you avoid being Wii-less? For one, buy a fan! I can't emphasis this enough. You have no idea how much that would actually help. There's no cooling unit for the Wii-Connect24 while its on 24/7 so I would recommend you go out and pick one up today. And make it Nyko. That's the only 3rd party I would trust, and so should you. They're the ones responsible for the awesome Wii Charge decks and the Perfect Shot after all! (I'm not counting the infamous Xbox360 intercooler. You know, the one that caused your unit to perform Hari-Kari.)

Another tip is to simply turn Wii-Connect24 off. Yeah, I know its cool to receive messages late at night and have the Wii glow an ominous, yet soothing shade of blue but in the long run, its just not worth the hassle I'm going through for the SECOND time. So yeah, just turn it off. Unplug it if you're that cautious. You'll receive messages and updates when you boot the system online for the sake of sanity.

Oh well, I've seemed to run out of things to say. And I still have 40 minutes left until my train departs. Well, I'm off today to pick up where I left off in Metroid Prime 3. There's some Metroids that need freezin.

See ya around!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


So quickly in it's infancy the 1st major glitch in Super Smash Bros Brawl has been found.It's pretty selective needing Falco to perform it but apparently it can't be escaped.

To some this is great news,the 1st real exploit of the game's engine,and even though it seems pretty selective in use and timing it could be a sign of things to come.To others it's a warning,the rampant glitches in Melee made it so the intended feel and flow of the game was completely warped and sped up dramatically.

As it stands now without the use of glitches like L-canceling and the like use of certain characters like Ganondorf have to be completely rethought and emphasis has seemed to shift to defensive play and space control as opposed to Melee's offensive mindset.With the American release a month away it seems like the Japanese release will be battered and beaten until every possible exploit can be found in preparation of March 9th.

But i digress...this isn't a smash bros centric blog(Boo-urns to me as well i suppose)

On another note,Devil May Cry 4 released today and once I've bought a copy I'll come back and give you all the details I can on the game upon playing.That and Apollo Justice will be my main focus in the coming days as far as things to come.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Well, ladies its nice to meet you all. I'm Josh, but I'll simply be going by J-9 going simply on the notion that I thought that was cool. Well anyway, like the blog says, we'll be discussing numerous different things video game related.

And right now, at this very instant, at this region, at this time of day, in this country (or not), I'd thought I'd let my thoughts out on the not so recently delayed Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Now, I'm sure there's a lot of you out there who simply couldn't wait and absolutely had to feed their eyes with every bit of spoiler out there. To you folks, I say BOO-URNS! Brawl is coming out in less than a month, and you've waited nearly 12 before than. You just had to go and spoil it for yourselves huh? Shame on you. For those of you who are waiting, I silently applaud thee.

But you're not off the hook people who can't wait, because I'd thought I'd share some techniques I've developed with my long lasting affair with the Big N.

When it comes to delayed ANYTHING, Nintendo is the reigning King of Kings. I'm sure Former President Yamauchi delayed his own birth due to the fact that "he needed to be polished and wasn't quite ready yet." So with all that anticipation, the question is how do you satisfy your hungry hungry-- eh. Hm. Eyes?

Simple. Do what I do. Pretend its never coming out.

Seriously, I've been doing this for so many years now its not even funny. From Majora's mask to Super Mario Sunshine and so forth. Pretend that the game is light years away, and suddenly before you know it, its March 9th!

SO how do you practice for that? Easy? Just anticipate Duke Nukem Forever. It will make it seem like you really are waiting Forever you know.

So in closing, I'd leave you with that nice nugget of strategy. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go to my Intro to Piano class and daydream about Brawl


Monday, February 4, 2008

but first i'll take care of YOU!!

As this my is first blogging here i guess an introduction is in place. I'm just some kid at some game store (this game store isn't Game Stop or EB games) writing about my misadventures, thoughts, reviews and predictions for all gaming systems. As I stand behind the counter of my store I was thinking about what to blog about, I was going to do a Mass Effect review but due to the utter stupidity of one customer I am way to upset for a calm and unbiased review. So instead of Mass Effect, you get a mini rant.

So here I am,minding my own business trying to think of what to write,when a customer comes up and asks me a question. For the sake of argument lets just call this customer Bob. Well Bob comes up to me and says ,"I'm having problems hooking up my PS2 to the internet" then I asked Bob "What type of internet connection do you have? Do you have the original bulky ps2 or the slim ps2?" Bob answers " I have a DSL connection and the slim PS2. The PS2 keeps telling me to type in some internet number thing and its not working." Now at this point I am a little upset. Usually if you have a problem with a piece of hardware and you want help from someone you really should know what that "internet thing" is before you ask me to magically fix it. But I kept my cool and thought to myself "Hey at one point we all didn't know what we were doing so he's no different." I told him that on the back of his PS2 there are 2 ports one for dial up and the other one is for high speed internet. He looked at me like I was speaking Greek and said "ohhhh".

Now i knew i was dealing with an idiot. He's not a bad guy he's just as dumb as a stone. So I gave him the play by play I told him " You need to remove the sticker on the back of your PS2 slim which reads high speed port only and take your DSL line out of the dial-up jack.",Bob then replied,"Ohh wow thats it!".... ,I took a a deep breath and told him,"Yes that should fix your problem. Next time you put in NASCAR '08 do an auto configuration and you should be good to go." Bob said " Thank you." And started to look around the store. Now at this point I clearly remembered who i was dealing with. Bob is the jackass that would come into the store for hours and play the same damn NASCAR '04 game on the Xbox at the store.

At this game store you try games before you buy them and well some people just try, try, and forget to buy. Well he's one of those guys. So as I go to talk to Alex (a co-worker and other dude on the blog) and Bob comes up to me with yup you guessed it NASCAR '04 for the xbox. I regretfully put the game into the Xbox and watched him play the same damn race and the same damn game for the hundredth time. But what really was the icing on the cake for me was that he was playing a game that he already has at this own home in the store yet again.


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Like it was killed by a crow or something....

Been in a weird spot as far as what to play next,so i find myself playing old school games most of the time like Sonic The Hedgehog 2...on my 360. Even though Sonic Mega Collection released for every console last gen,it feels exceptionally odd playing on the 360.The 'Achievements' are pretty arbitrary as well,with the game rewarding you for getting one Chaos Emerald or being Super Sonic for one minute and the like.After playing this i went on a bit of an Assault Heroes binge.After the last entry where i hoped that people would play some of the older Arcade games I decided to do so myself.

Yeah and i know Rez HD is out as well.There will be time for that though,I still have a ton of stuff to finish/play.I've been wanting to get a good round of Gauntlet or even SoR2 as well,if people care to i can send Friend Requests for Live if they are down to play any classic stuff.

Oh and here's something cool that came into my job,The Gen-x Dualstation.It plays Sega Genesis and NES(no Master System?) games.It's definitely an odd combo,but the potential to have Contra then switch into Gunstar Heroes is too good to pass up.An off-brand system(obviously.) it has the 6 button pad form for the controller and looks like a Model 3 Genesis if only slightly.

Gonna fire up Actraiser and finish that up for now though.