Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Poll #94: "What do you think of Chinatown Wars being ported to the PSP?" results, banner

"This is terrible news!" 1 votes (4%)
"I'm kinda miffed" 4 votes (19%)
"I don't really care" 11 votes (52%)
"Sounds good to me!" 2 votes (9%)
"About damn time!" 0 votes (0%)
"Wait, what?!" 3 votes (14%)

It seems the majority of voters didn't really care, and now that I think about it a week after the announcement, I suppose I don't really care, either. Also, not to sound fanboyish, but I think the DS version will end up the superior game in the end. Those touch-controlled mini-events really added so much to the experience, a feature I doubt a wider screen can replace.

This week's banner is based on the upcoming New Super Mario Bros. Wii for... Well, the Wii. I think the screenshot used in the banner perfectly shows what this game will be: Old-school platforming fun with three friends joining in on the action. And it looks glorious.

This week's poll is simple question of opinion: "Do you prefer 2D or 3D platformers?". I really can't decide, personally. I've had so much fun with both sides of the coin!

No idea when the next article will be up. I have a few ideas, I just don't know when I'll get the chance to write them. Thursday, perhaps?

New poll and banner tomorrow

Way too tired to do it tonight. Garry's Mod is eating my life again. This post will probably be deleted in a matter of hours, so if you see it, well, hooray for you, I guess.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Poll #93: "Which of the three motion controllers seems best to you?" results, banner

"Wii remote (With MotionPlus)" 7 votes (33%)
"Project Natal" 3 votes (14%)
"The PS3 motion controller" 4 votes (19%)
"They all seem great" 6 votes (28%)
"They all suck" 0 votes (0%)
"I don't know" 1 votes (4%)

Wii MotionPlus swept the competition, taking 33% of the votes. This win was no doubt partially helped by the MotionPlus being so much more "real" to us all, what with it already being in the market, and having tonnes of consumer and media reviews behind it. The competition's controllers look promising, of course, but they both still seem more like "proof of concept" than a real control style as of now. Like the flying car and man walking on Mars, it's something many will have to see before truly appreciating and believing. Or in this case, referring back to what Reggie Fils-Aime said in 2006, "Playing = Believing".

This week's banner is in celebration of The Conduit, High Voltage's Wii-exclusive shooter launching mere hours from now. With nearly every media outlet praising its name, it's hard not to get excited. I've already got tomorrow all planned out!

Finally, for this week's poll, the question concerns a recent bit of news. Apparently, Rockstar wasn't happy with how Chinatown Wars performed on the DS (Can't say I blame them), and decided to port it over to the PSP (Short for Playstation PORT-able, amirite?). While I can see why they decided to do this (GTA sells like mad on Playstation-brand systems), it still makes me a little mad. Just when I thought Rockstar was proving how much they cared about the Nintendo fanbase, they turn around not four months later and announce it's headed to the PSP. So much for the DS having its own little slice of the pie... I guess I'll write more about this later, but back to the poll, I now ask you: "What do you think of Chinatown Wars being ported to the PSP?", and don't be afraid to elaborate on your feelings in the comment section.

That's it for now, folks. I may get writing a bit more later tonight, so look out for that. Until then, keep on gamin'!

Friday, June 19, 2009

DSi firmware update ideas

The DSi is a great handheld for those willing to make the investment (More details in my review), but there are a few minor shortcomings noticeable in the system's built-in software. It used to be that, when a console shipped with problems like this, it was stuck that way for good. That's no longer the case, though, as the DSi's firmware can be updated much like the Wii's, allowing features to be added and existing software to be tweaked. As of yet, Nintendo hasn't even hinted at an upcoming firmware update for the DSi, but that hasn't stopped me from brainstorming the possibilities. Following are a few ideas I've thought up that would make the DSi that much more great.

SD card compatibility similar to that of the Wii since Wii Menu 4.0

I was really getting annoyed earlier this year. I had to keep deleting games off of my Wii's internal memory, redownloading ones I wanted to play again, and performing the mind-numbingly long task of shuffling others to the SD card and back. Finally, Nintendo delivered with Wii Menu 4.0, allowing lightning-fast play of WiiWare and Virtual Console games stored on the SD card. Since then, all's been good...

...but a similar problem may soon be arising with the DSi. It was recently found out that, if you've downloaded all the DSiWare software available, your DSi is officially full. Of course, much of what's on DSiWare right now is, well, crap, but that could surely change in the near future. In the last few weeks alone, Mighty Flip Champs and Mario VS Donkey Kong: Minis March Again have appeared on the DSiStore, and many more titles are on their way. Eventually we're going to run out of space for it all. Sadly, unlike the Wii, the DSi lacks the ability to directly run software off of an SD card... for now. Surely Nintendo could do the same thing on the DSi as they did on the Wii? Since I see no reason why not, yes, they can do it... And don't call me Shirley*.

Pause gameplay and access the main menu

You're sitting on a park bench, playing a good round of Fire Emblem, when all of a sudden you look up and see a hawk perched on the tree nearby. But you left your camera at home, and your cell phone's recharging! Well, you could just tap the power button and return to the main menu... But that would mean losing your progress in that round of Fire Emblem (And you were doing pretty damn well, too!). Well, it's either that, or miss an awesome picture of a hawk. Decisions!

This wouldn't be a problem, though, if you could just pause the game and jump back to the main menu. Like minimizing a program on a computer, you could duck out, take a pic, and jump right back in. The way I see this working out (Mind you, I'm no tech-expert, so stop me if this isn't feasible) is the game just pausing as usual while the picture's being taken. In fact, this may even be what Nintendo was planning all along. The DSi 16MB of RAM, four times as much as any previous DS model. RAM dictates how much a computer can do at once, and it's sure to be the same with the DSi. With 4MB being taken up by the game, that leaves 12MB to do whatever we want. Surely that's enough to handle taking a simple picture? Theoretically, yes, it is enough... And stop calling me Shirley*.

Now, the next question is, how would this function be accessed? Every button on the DSi is already taken... So why not make it replace the one-tap-to-the-menu function of the Power Button? Instead of a single tap taking you directly to the menu, a window would pop up asking what you want to do: Pause the game and access the menu; shut down the game, lose all progress and access the menu; or simply cancel and return to the game.

A final problem arises with upcoming, unknown software... Nintendo can't have put all that extra RAM just for the sake of this function. Upcoming, more hardware-intensive games are coming, and they'll be using higher amounts of the DSi's RAM. When it comes to this, my system outlined above won't be possible (That is, if it wasn't already rendered impossible by my lack of tech knowledge. Experts, feel free to chime in!). When games like these come along, I propose a new function: A quick-save feature built in to all software... And really, that's all there is to it. Just a quick-save feature. Why don't all handheld games have this already, anyway? It's a portable console, for crying out loud, we should be able to save and quit whenever we need! Pick-up-and-play, people!

MP3 support on DSi Sound, and a playlist feature for music

No matter how hard I tried, I was never able to get any AAC file loaded on an SD card to play on my DSi (Click here, hit Ctrl+F and punch in "Continuing along" for more). With so many hoops to jump through, there's probably somewhere along the way where I made a mistake. Why not just cut all the crap and put MP3 support in there? Post an updated DSi Sound Channel on the DSiStore, charge 200 points to cover the format licensing fee, and we're in business. That's all there is to it.

Sadly, I doubt this will happen. Nintendo seems to be running away from the MP3 format for no reason, straight into the land of AAC. Makes no sense. Whether or not this becomes a reality, though, I still want the following feature to be implemented: Playlists. As it is, audio files can only be played one by one, and in order to change to the next one, we have to fiddle about with the touchscreen. Doesn't exactly make for easy-playing of our music, does it? I know, DSi Sound is more meant for messing around with sounds and stuff than replacing a separate music player, but if the possibility for improvement is there, why not go for it? Toss in the MP3 format (Just do it, dammit), slap a 200 point price tag on it and label it "DSi Sound 2.0". Money in the bank!

Increased volume control sensitivity

I do a lot of my gaming at night when everyone else is asleep. When I was using my DS Lite, I usually had little trouble using the volume slider to find an appropriate volume level that was both loud enough for me to clearly hear yet quiet enough so as to not disturb my family. With the DSi, though, the slider is out, the buttons are in, and my ideal volume level is between two of the settings. The one below it is too quiet, the one above it is too loud, and I really don't like gaming with headphones (No idea why, I just don't). I've heard other people complain about the different volume levels, too, so I know I'm not alone on this. It can't be that hard to just make each press of the button adjust the volume less, so go on and do it, Nintendo!

Easier main-menu image viewing

I take a lot of pictures with my DSi, since I usually have it handy. When I want to go show off those pictures, though, it's a bit of a pain. After starting up the system, I then have to navigate to the DSi Camera channel, select the Album option, wait for the first image to load, then wait for the next image to load, and so on... When right on the main menu I can see one of my many photos. So why not just let me shuffle through them on the main menu?

I'm suggesting a button for the lower screen, maybe called "Random Image". Tap it, and the photo on the top screen would randomly switch to a different one. Of course, this would only select images you'd labeled to show on the upper screen, so that random picture you took of a door but forgot to delete won't be popping up. Surely this can't be very hard to implement (You should know where this is going by now)?

What do you think of my ideas? Are they great? Stupid? Technically impossible? All of the above (I don't doubt someone will find a way to make that possible)? Have your say in the comment section, or in this thread.

*You there. Watch Airplane. NOW.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Poll #92: "What did you think of E3 2009?" results, banner

"It was amazing!" 10 votes (37%)
"I thought it was good" 16 votes (59%)
"It wasn't good or bad" 0 votes (0%)
"I didn't like it much" 0 votes (0%)
"It was awful!" 1 vote (3%)
"I don't know" 0 votes (0%)

Good to see that the reactions were generally positive. For the person who said it was awful... What exactly was so bad about it? Was a lack of Zelda and Pikmin 3 info really that big of a deal to you? Well, I guess you really just can't please everyone.

As I said in my last post here, I'd be spending a lot of time chilling out by screwing around in Team Fortress 2. While screwing around, I happened upon an interesting killcam image, and decided to incorporate it into this week's banner. So then, I present to you some incredibly angry BLU Heavy, in all his glowing glory*.

Next up comes this week's poll. Announced at E3 two weeks ago were motion-based alternatives to the 360 and PS3 controllers, no doubt attempting to tap into the expanded audience the Wii remote brought in. Also showcased at E3 (And released the week after) was the Wii MotionPlus, a little device that grants an incredible amount of precision to the Wii remote's motion capabilities. The question is, "Which of the three motion controllers seems best to you?". Personally I think the MotionPlus sounds best, mainly from reactions coming from those who have used it (I've yet to pick up one for myself). What's your take on the situation?

Those two matters aside, we turn to the main part of this blog: Articles. When will a new one finally surface? I'm not making any promises, but I think I can get something written and posted within the next few days. It may not be an epic-length essay or anything like that, but rest assured I'll do my best to get something on the front page in the next few days. For now, though, I'd better get to sleep. Here's hoping my plan holds out!

*For anyone unfamiliar with Team Fortress 2, when invulnerable, a Heavy will sometimes say "Now is coward killing time!". The text in the banner is based on this.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Well, so much for that.

Back on this blog's second "birthday", I said the following:

May those droughts be a thing of the past, and the one thing to be left behind in this new year!

As you can tell by the fact I haven't written anything other than poll results in over a week, I've failed utterly at leaving that behind. Not for a lack of trying, though, as I have seven article fragments sitting in wait, but I just can't figure out how to finish them. In short, I have author's constipation, or rather, writer's block (Take your pick). I suppose it could be worse, though. Chris Livingston hasn't updated in four weeks. Let's just pray I get over my writer's block in a more timely manner!

I won't make any promises as to when the words will start flowing again, but rest assured I'll be doing my best to restore activity... As I frag people in Team Fortress 2. While some people take showers to clear their minds, I'm the guy who's decloaking behind them and pulling out my knife. "PEEK-A-BOO!"

Friday, June 5, 2009

Poll replacement, new banner

Well, that poll was a bust, garnering only seven votes. It sure isn't easy making a poll referring to an event that will still work after said event. Instead of attempting to gauge overall thoughts based on seven votes this Monday, I'll just be replacing the poll with a new one, and letting it run straight through until the 15th. Now then, the question is "What did you think of E3 2009?" Simple, yes? Personally, I was pleased with what I saw. Nintendo fans got Super Mario Galaxy 2, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Metroid: Other M and the long-awaited Golden Sun DS. That's plenty enough for me to consider this a good week.

Now then, for this week's banner, the subject is Super Mario Galaxy 2, one of the games announced on Tuesday. The original Galaxy was an incredibly fun adventure that was downright beautiful to boot. If the image used in the banner is any indication, Galaxy 2 will be carrying on both traditions.

As with the poll, this banner will remain up until the 15th. Now then, with this taken care of, I'll get to work on a few article ideas I have floating about. Expect one (Or more!) to appear later today or over the weekend.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Super Mario Galaxy 2 logo: Slapped together in a hurry?

This is just a little something I had to toss out there. Make sure to check below for two other articles written today!

When randomly taking a look at the above logo (I do that sometimes), I noticed something strange. You can't really make it out in the above image due to Blogger having a size limit for uploaded pictures, so I've posted below a narrower scope of the image, allowing its full-quality to be uploaded.

Now, you're probably going to have to full-view this image to see what I see. Look at how clear and crisp the lines on the 2 are... Are how utterly blurry and low-res the letter above it is. It looks like someone just slapped a two on a slightly blown-up copy of the Galaxy logo.

Of course, I'm not suggesting any sort of conspiracy by this. It was on the stage, so it's real, no doubt. I'm just saying it seems that this was put together in a hurry. The only thing it could possibly indicate is that "Super Mario Galaxy 2" is merely a title-in-progress, and that the game will sport a name much more suiting of its pedigree in the end, because, let's face it, a "2" on the end of a game title is a pretty lame name for a sequel. Let's get some artistic flair in that bad boy! A game like this is deserving of so much more than a lame "2" to set it apart from its predecessor.

Discuss This Finding On The Forums

Nintendo's E3 2009 press conference: Recap, commentary and observations

Don't forget to check the article below this for a rundown of how my predictions fared!

After last year's E3, people had lost much of their faith in Nintendo. The script was pretty crummy, the announcements were sparse, and what was announced (Animal Crossing: City Folk) wound up being somewhat underwhelming when it landed in stores that November. Surely this E3 would have to be better than last year's event... Right?

The first game shown (After a brief bit of sales talk) is one we saw coming thanks to that loose-lipped Japanese newspaper; New Super Mario Bros. Wii is the name of this new side-scrolling adventure for the Wii. Stylistically very similar to the New Super Mario Bros. game on the DS, players can play as Mario, Luigi, or different-coloured Toads. Nothing was said on the subject of other playable characters, but I wouldn't be surprised to see more join in on the fun.

The multiplayer aspect of the game is seamlessly integrated with the single player, with people free to come and go as they please. This new mode is both competitive and cooperative, much like what you'd see in the Four Swords games in terms of player interaction. Whenever someone dies, a bubble appears on screen containing them. If other, living players are inclined to do so, they can pop the bubble and free their allies/foes and continue along. Although they didn't say, I'd assume that if all four die without freeing a bubble-encased player, the level ends. The same probably occurs when all players exhaust their supply of free lives. An additional way players can work together is picking eachother up on their shoulders and carrying them around. This comes into play with the following power-up...

One new ability was shown off in the demonstration, and that was the Propeller Suit. From what I could see, players can save themselves when falling by activating the propeller and whisking themselves to safety. It can also be used mid-jump to add a bit more height to a leap. If a player without a Propeller Suit grabs another play who has one, they can be flown around as a passenger. A neat little touch, gently forcing players to work together if need be.

In the official trailer, another new power-up is shown off: The Penguin Suit (Not an official name, just what I've dubbed it). Acting sort of like an Antarctic Hammer Bros. Suit from Super Mario Bros. 3, the Penguin Suit gives the wearer the ability to toss about snowballs at his or her enemies. So far, this and the Propeller Suit are the only known power-ups, but seeing more wouldn't surprise me in the least.

Not much else is known about New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but if the DS game was any indication, it's sure to be a classic side-scroller with enough content to keep people busy for a good while. New Super Mario Bros. Wii will be available worldwide this holiday season.

Directly following that was the announcement of the other game leaked by Nikkei: Wii Fit Plus. Despite its name, it doesn't seem to use the Wii MotionPlus at all. In fact, it still uses just the Balance Board and Wii remote, with no new peripheral or anything attached to it. Several new modes are the draw this time around, with different work outs designed to focus on different parts of the body.

Also new are 15 minigames, from a platformer-like distraction to what Cammie Dunaway referred to as "Brain Age for your behind". Yup. It's Butt Age (See below).

Wii Fit Plus doesn't look to bring a whole lot to the table in terms of new content, instead serving as more of a, well, a Wii Fit Plus. Anyone who has yet to get into the craze (Such as myself) should probably just wait for this to hit shelves this fall, sold in two packages: With a Balance Board (For newcomers like myself), or without (For Wii Fit owners looking for a little more).

After this, Reggie appeared on stage to show off the Wii MotionPlus (I know, I was expecting more sales talk, too). After talking a bit about how revolutionary and accurate the device is, he handed the show over to Bill Trinen, who proceeded to demonstrate for us a few parts of Wii Sports: Resort.

To begin, Bill Trinen started off at the first part of the game players will experience: Skydiving to the resort island. By twisting and turning the Wii remote (With MotionPlus) in the air, players can make their Mii do all sorts of moves, and even grab a hold of other sky divers and create formations in the air. This little beginning level is a perfect way to introduce the player to the abilities of the Wii MotionPlus, but like this is merely the start of the game, this is also merely the start of the new peripheral's abilities.

In the archery game, the Wii remote is held pointing up, with its back facing away from the player. The Nunchuk takes the role of the player's other hand (Which one depends on the player's hand dominance). Aiming is achieved by moving the Wii remote around, and this is where it gets cool. Even though the IR sensor is pointed straight at the ceiling, the Wii MotionPlus can still determine where on the screen the back of the remote is "pointed" at. Bill moved it around in space in front of him, and the way it was matched so perfectly on screen almost made me forget there's no IR camera on the bottom of the controller.

After this, Bill called Reggie back on stage to demonstrate the basketball free-throw game. By holding their hands above their head as if holding a basketball, with the Wii remote in the "throwing" hand, the two of them managed to have a nice, fun and challenging round of free-throws, with Reggie barely edging out Bill by sinking a "money ball" worth extra points. I'm no fan of basketball (And as such probably just used horrible terminology), but I must admit I'm excited for this part of the game. It looks challenging, yet fulfilling, and truly shows off the scope of the MotionPlus' abilities.

Wii Sports: Resort looks like an excellent sequel to the Wii game that started it all, and I'm quite looking forward to getting my hands on it on July 26th.

After this, a string of trailers for already-known games began to play. Final Fantasy: Crystal Bearers (With some pretty crummy voice actors, sadly), Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and Mario & Luigi 3: Bowser's Inside Story (Excellent title) all went by, followed up by a trailer for something no feasible reach of the imagination could have possibly foretold...

Oh, people dreamed about it and people hoped for it, but I don't think anyone ever truly believed it would ever happen. Now, I never played the first two games personally, so I don't know a whole lot about the significance of any people shown in the trailer, but I can say that it featured some truly beautiful graphics. Screenshots really don't do it justice, so be sure to check out the trailer on Youtube.

A string of less-significant announcements followed, with stuff like Style Savvy (Localization of Girl's Mode), James Patterson Women's Murder Club: Games of Passion (Sort of an interactive novel based on the book) and C.O.P. The Recruit (An actually somewhat cool, GTA-style cop game from Ubisoft). Following this was a bit of shilling in the DSi's direction, and the announcement of Flipnote Studio (The localized name for Moving Memo Pad). Following this was the announcement of an all new game: Mario VS Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!

The third title in the Mario VS Donkey Kong series, Minis March Again! looks to consist entirely of user-created content shared over the Nintendo WiFi Connection. Going along with this is a level editor said to be even more robust than that of the previous game, giving the player an insane amount of space to work in and many additional tools and traps.

Now, what's the coolest part of this? Mario VS Donkey: Minis March Again! is exclusively for DSiWare. That's right; Nintendo is finally throwing their weight behind the fledgling DSiShop, and Mario VS Donkey: Minis March Again! will be debuting their on June 8th. Once again, you're not misreading this; This game is coming out next week! Sometimes digital distribution can be an amazing thing, huh? No price point has yet to be announced, but I'm expecting it to fall in the "800+" price range, possibly becoming the first game to actually be of a "+" price.

Following this are three more less-notable presentations; WarioWare: Made in Ore is to be called Wario Ware: DIY in North America, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is once again shown off (No new information), and they announce that we'll soon be able to upload our DSi pictures directly to Facebook.

After the above, Iwata appears on stage and begins to say how many people on Earth are playing games these days and how Nintendo has enlightened millions to the wonders of gaming. Basically sales talk in disguise. Iwata then turns to something new...

...another peripheral? But... I thought we were through with such things! Oh well, maybe it'll be something coo-What? It's a glorified heartrate monitor?

...I'm honestly speechless here. Apparently, so was Iwata, as he basically told us that it monitors our blood pressure as we play to gauge how we're reacting to it... Or something. He was being incredibly vague. My guess is this is still waaaaaay in the experimental stages, making it a mystery as to why they chose to show it off today.

At this point I'm pretty blown away by all the announcements (Excluding the previous one). Although I wasn't thinking it at the time, I'd probably have been alright with it if they decided that was enough for today and ended the conference. But they still had at least one more ace up their sleeve, and that was...

Super Mario Galaxy 2, a sequel to what is probably the Wii's greatest game yet. This was just crazy to me. After hearing of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, I was sure that the major Mario-related news had wrapped up for the day. I was gladly shown otherwise. Although no story details explaining why have surfaced yet, Mario is once again taking off into space, but this time he's got a friend in the cold depths of nothingness: Yoshi, mashing together dinosaurs and intergalactic adventure in a way I never imagined could qualify as not cheesy. Dinosaurs in space: Only Nintendo could make that work.

Yoshi seems far-improved from his last 3D platforming appearance in Super Mario Sunshine, though, gaining a Super Mario World-style ability to eat fruit and take on new powers and colour schemes. When turned orange, Yoshi gains Sonic-like super-speed, and turning blue causes him to blow up like a balloon then deflate, floating into the air and taking Mario to new heights.

Many other enhancements seem to have been made to the formula from Mario's first space adventure, with actual planet-sized planets and a new drill item showing up in the trailer. Also appearing in the trailer was a Super Mario Bros. 3-style "giant" galaxy, featuring humongous Goombas and blimp-sized blocks. Now who says you can't build on perfection?

Nintendo is expanding upon a winning formula here, and I have every reason to believe that this will be an amazing addition to the Super Mario Galaxy universe (No pun intended). Super Mario Galaxy 2 is currently slated for a vague "2010" release.

Bringing us back to Earth after the previous announcement (Okay, pun intended that time), Nintendo turns to showcasing a few mature third-party Wii efforts; The Conduit, Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles and Dead Space: Extraction all get their time on the big screen. I'm glad to see Nintendo pushing third-party Wii software. It's a lesson they've done well to learn after the N64 and Gamecube days!

After this, I thought, the show's bound to be over. A goodbye from Reggie, a final wave, and the lights go off. That's what I thought. That's not what happened. Instead, Nintendo announces that their partnership with Team Ninja has begun to pay off, and that the two have been working together on an established Nintendo franchise. First thought: Zelda. The trailer starts, and I see waves. Okay, so it's Wind Waker... Wait, that was just the Team Ninja signature. Whoops. So now we're in deep space, floating through a debris field. Oh my god, it's got to be Star Fox! Wait, who's this? Some woman in a space station? That's not Star Fox at all... Some commander-like guy asks her a question and OH MY GOD IT'S A NEW METROID.

Samus is back, but this isn't a first-person shooter. It's more of an action platformer, similar to Ninja Gaiden (A Team Ninja product). But in space, and with an arm cannon, so by default it's infinitely superior (Nerd alert). Freed from the restraints of first-person shooters, Samus now takes matters into her own hands... Literally. I mean, look below.

She has a freaking space lizard in a headlock. That's just plain badass. Samus is now able to punch the crap out of things, as well as shoot them. If that alone doesn't make this game awesome enough for you, watch this trailer and try not to smile. Go ahead, I'll wait...

...finished? Did you smile? Damn straight you smiled. And did you hear that at the end? She spoke. Samus talks now. She's probably the only silent protagonist I ever wanted to see go vocal (Except maybe Gordon Freeman, he's gotta have tonnes to say), and here it is. I really have to get my hands on that Metroid Prime Trilogy when it comes out and get back into the universe of Metroid. I've got to be ready for when it lands next year!

After this, Reggie takes the stage once more. What, he's announcing more? Stop, you're going to kill me! Well, I'm alive, so I guess that tells you no more announcements were made. And now, after all these surprises and revelations, the conference finally comes to a close. Looking back on it as a whole, I'd have to say this was definitely in the same league as the 2007 presentation, and nearly up there with the 2006 showing. If you honestly came away from this conference disappointed, I'm sorry, but I don't think you'll ever be satisfied. Nintendo delivered today, and they've shown that us gamers that have been with them for all these years still fit in with their plan. Thank you, Nintendo.

To summarize: Yes, it is better than last year's event. And don't call me Shirley.

Discuss This Article On The Forums

Nintendo's E3 2009 press conference: Prediction accuracy

There's much to say after today's conference, but let's start with seeing how well my predictions fared. A green "YES" for whatever happened, and a red "NO" for whatever didn't. First off, my "highly likely" predictions:

Mario Wii 2 and Wii Fit Plus: Mario Wii 2 turned out to actually be two games: New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Super Mario Galaxy 2. Wii Fit Plus also made the scene, sporting that exact name, no less. "YES"

Sales talk, sales talk, sales talk...: Sales talk was actually spread out through the whole conference, and not just spewed out in a big chunk at the beginning like last year. A nice change, in my eyes. "YES"

Pikmin 3: Sadly, the long-awaited Pikmin 3 never did show up. Here's hoping that it appears in some form at some time in the remainder of E3... "NO"

Wii MotionPlus showcase: Wii Sports: Resort was surprisingly the only game they showed off with the MotionPlus, but I was no less impressed with its abilities because of it. "YES"

A new Zelda Wii: Like my Pikmin 3 prediction, this, too, didn't turn out right. I think after all we got, though, I'll forgive them for this one. "NO"

Some third party game will be shown off: Correct, except it was not just one game, but many! The Conduit, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, Dead Space: Extraction, C.O.P. The Recruit*, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Final Fantasy: Crystal Bearers, and a game based on a book I've never heard of and a fashion-based game. Besides the last two, it all sounds good to me! "YES"

Not bad. Four out of six! Now then, moving on to the "50/50 chance" part of the list:

A new "expanded audience" title: Surprisingly, no. Well, not from Nintendo, at least. That fashion game and the one based on the book are pretty "expanded audience". Good to see Nintendo pushing third-party efforts, though, despite what I may think of them personally. "NO"

A new Star Fox or F-Zero: That's a big no on both sides, sadly. One of these days, though, it just has to happen... One of these days... "NO"

Yipes, a big no to both of them... Quite sad about the last one not coming true. Finally, then we move onto the "not gonna happen" category.

The revealing of the Wii 2: This basically should have gone without saying. It's far too soon as of now to pull out the next one. "NO"

A new peripheral: Like I said, they're not gonna bring out a new peri-...what. What is that thing? The Wii Vitality Sensor? It's like those heart rate monitors they slip on your finger at a hospital! Since when was medical equipment part of gaming? Sorry, Nintendo, I'm not into reliving my hospital visits while I game. "YES" (Sadly)

That last one really threw me off. I was looking at it and almost expecting Iwata to go "Just kidding, here's a new Zelda". I was so sure there'd never be another peripheral, but there it was...

I suppose my predictions didn't turn out too badly today. Would've loved to see something about a new Zelda, or even just see Miyamoto take the stage for a minute. Oh well, there's always the rest of E3. And if it doesn't happen then, there's always the Fall conference!

More E3-related articles coming up soon.

Discuss This Article On The Forums

*A new GTA-style game from Ubisoft taking place on the other side of the law. Finally!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Nintendo's E3 2009 press conference: Predictions

The time has finally arrived; Time for some predictions! I honestly found it hard to wait so long.

It's that time once again... Time for rampant speculation and oodles of predictions! Yes sir, it's round three of my annual list of Nintendo E3 predictions, and here are this year's group, starting with the most-likely. Read on, and hope that some of the better ones wind up becoming reality!

Mario Wii 2 and Wii Fit Plus: On the weekend, the Japanese newspaper Nikkei let slip word of a new Mario game for Wii, and an enhanced version of Wii Fit they called "Wii Fit Plus", both due to hit this year. These games are going to come out, and they're going to come out soon. Thus, they'll also have to be announced soon. Waiting until Nintendo's Fall conference will be too late, so I'm betting they'll pull back the curtains on both of these tomorrow.

Sales talk, sales talk, sales talk...: Nintendo's currently this generation's #1 company, so of course they're going to brag about this after being last place the previous two generations. This may be the third E3 since overtaking the competition, but I wouldn't put it past them to shove Reggie on stage with a teleprompter full of numbers.

Pikmin 3: After Shigeru Miyamoto said last year that Pikmin 3 is in production, I'm all but certain we'll be seeing it in some form tomorrow. Whether it be a teaser trailer or even just a logo once more confirming its existance, Pikmin 3 will almost certainly be showing up tomorrow, or at least behind doors during the rest of E3 (Hey, it worked for Brawl!).

Wii MotionPlus showcase: Red Steel 2 and Wii Sports: Resort are going to be huge titles, and undoubtedly will be the two biggest MotionPlus-enabled games. It would be foolish for Nintendo not to show them off tomorrow, especially considering the imminence of the peripheral's release. Also, don't be surprised to see a few other games join in on the presentation. I'm sure EA will have something to contribute in their tennis game, and perhaps even more on top of that!

A new Zelda Wii: When Nintendo decided to port Twilight Princess to Wii, they were already planning the next Zelda. This was in 2006. Now we're in 2009, and the memories of Link's last console adventure are beginning to fade, and fans are clamoring for more. Miyamoto even said last year that the Zelda team was hard at work on the next Wii title. If we don't see it tomorrow, we'll almost definitely be seeing it at the Fall conference.

Some third party game will be shown off: Nintendo's been doing their best to help push third-party titles lately, so seeing them show off a game from one of the many developers working on the Wii is pretty much a sure-thing. What the game will be is a mystery, but Red Steel 2, The Conduit and Shaun White Snowboarding: World Stage are all likely candidates. Maybe we'll even get to see Bethesda's secret Wii project? Only time will tell...

Next we have two predictions that are equally as likely to come true as they are likely not to. This is basically the "50/50" part of the list. If the announcements in this category happens tomorrow, I won't be any more surprised than I would be if it didn't occur at all.

A new "expanded audience" title: Nintendo just loves their expanded audience; The virtually-untapped market of soccer moms, businessmen, and all other types of people that just don't have gaming as apart of their life. Wii Sports was the first to rope them in, and the "Wii" game label has continued to do so ever since. While I'm not exactly expecting a new installment in the "Wii" series (Besides Sports: Resort, but that's already announced), something may show up. I'd probably consider this more likely, but there's also the above "basically for-sure" announcements; I'm doubting Nintendo will cram so much into their conference. But hey, you never know...

A new Star Fox or F-Zero: Star Fox and F-Zero are pretty much the only two established Nintendo franchises to not have appeared on the Wii so far. It's going to happen sometime for sure. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life. Both of these titles are just begging to take advantage of the MotionPlus, and Nintendo would be crazy to deny them the opportunity.

And now for two announcements that I consider incredibly unlikely. If either of the following wind up being announced, I'm going to be incredibly surprised.

The revealing of the Wii 2: The Wii's selling like crazy in almost every major market, over 50 million are in homes worldwide, and developers are beginning to churn out some truly amazing things for the little white box. I somehow doubt that the Wii 2 will be pulled out of any coat pockets tomorrow. Heck, Nintendo's still yet to release the Wii MotionPlus. They're not about to cannibalize sales of it by announcing a new console with the functionality built-in. It ain't happening tomorrow, folks. As for a new DS... I think I'll let my less-than-two-months-old DSi answer that question for you.

A new peripheral: Every year since the Wii launched, Nintendo has released at least one new peripheral for the console. First it was the Zapper, then the Wii Wheel and Balance Board, and this year it will be the MotionPlus. And no more. There will not be a new Wii peripheral announced tomorrow, or ever. Wii MotionPlus is the end of the plastic-paved road here, and Nintendo themselves has been quoted saying this (I can't find the link myself, but it's out there). If you're thinking we'll be seeing a new chunk of plastic to stick a Wii remote in, think again.

Am I being optimistic with all those "most-likely" predictions? Or am I actually expecting too little of tomorrow? The only ones who can answer these questions are Nintendo themselves, and that answer is... Wait a little longer.

Discuss This Article On The Forums

PS: Just to clarify, I'm not expecting ALL of the first few to predictions to come true. Just stating the likelihood. I've learned better than to keep my hopes too high...

Poll #91: "Who do you expect will have the best conference at E3?" results, banner

"Nintendo" 10 votes (43%)
"Sony" 2 votes (8%)
"Microsoft" 0 votes (0%)
"They'll all suck" 1 vote (4%)
"They'll all rock" 2 votes (8%)
"I have no idea, but I can't wait!" 8 votes (34%)
"I have no idea, and I really don't care" 0 votes (0%)

I suppose these results are expected of a blog focused primarily on Nintendo, but that doesn't make it any less interesting. The total lack of votes for Microsoft was a bit of a surprise. I just finished watching the second half of the conference, and I'd say it was decent, but not mind-blowing. Of course, their "Natal" controller thingamabobber is pretty interesting. I may talk more about that later...

This week's banner is... Well, it's E3 week, so what would you expect it to be? An E3 banner, right? That's what I expected, too, except the one I made seems to have disappeared. I think I'll whip up a new one later in the week, possibly using some new assets and stuff from whatever's shown off tomorrow. Sorry about that. I apologize for my computer's anomalies.

And now for this week's poll: "How does your excitement for E3 2009 compare to E3 2008?" It wasn't easy figuring out a poll that'll work both before and after the event, but here it is! I'd say my excitement is greater this year, as the probability of sequels to some of the biggest games grows with each passing day since the release of the last game in the series. Of course, Valve decided to completely kill my patterning with Left 4 Dead 2, but I'll forgive them due to it being, well, Left 4 Dead 2.

I'll be whipping up a nice serving of E3 goodness shortly, so hold on!