Monthly Archives: February 2012
I’ve been pretty busy lately and haven’t really had time to come here and work on anything. No fantastic insights, no new stories, no reviews, haven’t really played anything new lately. I’ve been wrapped up in real world problems lately; Financial issues, car issues, moving, trying to buy a house, get a loan, find new job, etc. A lot of this searching I’ve been doing online and anytime I spend lengthy periods of time on the internet, I need some background music. My music of choice – video game music.
There’s two really good sources of video game music that I always turn back to. A fan of video game music himself who goes by the name, Garudoh, has his own YouTube channel with over 500 listings for games from all systems and all genres. The best part about his videos is that you get a mix of tracks in each one. Instead of one song as a time, he posts videos that are generally about 10 minutes long splicing together various tracks all from the original game soundtrack. The only downside is that sometimes (probably more than sometimes) I get distracted by the video and end up watching instead of just listening. His own website, Gar’s VGM Site, has a more visually appealing interface than youtube, but all links still lead to his youtube channel.
The other is OverClocked Remix. This site has way more music and is updated constantly and is probably one of the first websites that will come up if you do a search for VGM on google. I’m not really a big fan of song remixes, but every now and then I stumble across something worthwhile. OCRemix is more of a huge hub for video game music and fans, so there’s a lot more going on and requires more of an active participation and isn’t as useful if you just want to sit back and listen to music.
There’s way more out there too, but it would take forever to list all the good places to get video game music and the different types and avenues that people have been pioneering in creating their own new video game inspired music. Perhaps another time as we get closer to BlipFest I’ll talk some more about that.
Last year Nintendo revealed their next home console. The Wii U was unveiled to a less than overwhelming reception and it was pretty much unanimously agreed it had the dumbest name in console history. But it was just the project codename… or so we hoped. Nintendo is now rumored to be considering a new name for the console. When I heard this, I knew there was one person I had to contact immediately.
I had the pleasure of sitting with the Nintendo prophet, Jim Peterford. Yes, THE Jimmy Peterford, who back in a 1991 issue of Nintendo Power, predicted the Wii console. Hoping that lightning would strike twice, we united our brains together until divine inspiration bestowed us with the NiRVGSCBAYSi. That is, the “Nintendo Real Video Game System Coming Back At You Suck it” (see how I worked those two lower case i’s in there like the Wii? Clever huh?) This no holds barred approach to naming is symbolic of Nintendo’s intention to show gamers that they’re back and they mean business and they’re more than just a toy for the whole family.
Peterford came up with his own artist’s rendition of what he believed the NiRVGSCBAYSi will look like. The front panel of the console itself seems to resemble a TV remote, which probably implies Nintendo is going more towards being a multifunction entertainment unit. There doesn’t appear to be any ports for inserting external media, which hopefully means there’s a substantial hard drive inside and any data transfer will be wireless. The most notable aspect of the new console is probably the controllers. Taking a more SNES look and style, the remotes are wired, forgoing the wireless motion controllers, thus restricting any sort of motion gaming programmers would throw in. Which is fine, because flailing your arms around and dancing to video games is stupid.
I’m pretty confident Jim Peterford is right on the money with this one. If our predictions are accurate, and they almost certainly are, Nintendo will once again be the top contender in the home console market for hardcore gamers.
So the Vita is almost available for retail consumption.
I think this is a device that the consumer population does not need. Am I going to get one? Absolutely, but it’s not necessary. Think of all the other devices out there already that do more than what the Vita does. The only thing the Vita has going for it is that it’s a dedicated portable gaming system. But let’s break this down a bit more. Portable? Maybe in the sense that it doesn’t have to be plugged into the TV, but it’s hardly something you could fit in your pocket. Although, the 5 inch OLED screen is the most beautiful thing these eyes have ever seen – it actually makes me feel like my vision has gotten better. But still, the system is just too big. Like Sega Game Gear big, but skinnier. It’s basically a small iPad or a large iPod touch, either of which serve as a multipurpose device to a much greater degree. It does however answer my main complaints about those devices. I always felt that gaming on apple products and tablets was a waste of time. The games available for it are largely casual and can never really be considered viable for the core gamer audience. In addition, the lack of button or a control pad of any kind hinders gameplay. The onscreen control pads are awful. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need my large, obtrusive thumbs getting in the way of the action. And without the direct tactile sense of control, they never are as response as an analog stick.
Now since it is a dedicated gaming system, what does it offer in games? There will be 16 games available on the 15th and another 6 by the 22nd. But are any of them a system seller? Uncharted is just about the only game that would be a must buy, and Sony knows it since Uncharted is the only game with a $50 price point. All other games falling somewhere between $30 – $40. Sony wants to cash in on the one game they know everyone’s going to buy. Here’s the list so you can make up your own minds:
- Asphalt: Injection
- Virtua Tennis 4 World Tour
- Lumines Electronic Symphony
- FIFA Soccer
- F1 2011
- Dungeon Hunter Alliance
- Michael Jackson: The Experience
- Rayman Origins
- ModNation Racers
- BlazBlue: Continuum Shift
- Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
- Wipeout 2048
- Hot Shots Golf World Invitational
- Ben 10 Galactic Racing
- Uncharted: Golden Abyss
- Little Deviants
- Ridge Racer
- Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen
- Touch My Katamari
- Army Corps of Hell
- Dynasty Warriors NEXT
- Ninja Gaiden Sigma PLUS
Sony has thrown in a few goodies with the $299.99 3g version, most likely due to the poor reception of the system in Japan. An 8gb memory card and a free game download will be bundled in now, making my earlier prediction on the US getting a price drop on the system shortly after launch seem less likely. I still believe it’s a waste to get the system at launch.
I’m surprised at myself that I’m not giving in to my usual, “I WANT THAT!” impulse when it comes to a new console. The last time I’ve cared so little for a system launch was when the Atari Jaguar came out. But I would never insult the Vita to compare it to the Jaguar that way… even though I kind of just did.
Can you spot the mistake? Normally things like this make a nifty collectible but only when they’re not terribly widespread. Apparently the entire first shipment of these got send out this way, so it’s not like they’ll be in short supply. The IGN watermark on the Wii version of Okami didn’t hold up any collectible credibility, so I doubt this will be any different. Wait a minute… Okami.. wasn’t that Capcom too? Capcom, what are you doing?! Where’s your quality control?