Despite earlier failures of the 3DS, Nintendo has managed to launch back with surprisingly strong sales in Japan. It has sold over 5 million units there and 15 million units worldwide. It’s become the fastest selling portable console in Japan and has already surpassed the Nintendo DS sales.
This was definitely surprising news because of Nintendo’s reported losses. They hadn’t lost profits in twenty five years, and the 3DS was certainly the cause of it. Maybe now that the 3DS has picked up, Nintendo will show a profit? One can only hope for the studio behind Mario, Link, and Donkey Kong. Have you seen the commercials for their latest games? It definitely makes me want the 3DS more.
Let’s just hope that the Wii U has a major success worldwide.
Alas, I am the bearer of bad news today. Amidst all of the rumors about the new Xbox 720, French marketing director Cedrick Delmas has told the site Lepoint.fr that there will be not be a 2012 release of the newest Xbox. Rumors have been flaring up recently about the technical aspects of the Xbox 720, and it’s only made the anticipation worse. The Wii U is also being released late 2012, so many people assumed Microsoft would be going head to head against Nintendo. Delmas stated that they were basically going to let Nintendo have their fun, and steal all their glory later on.
Delmas also mentioned E3 in his interview with Lepoint.fr, but he isn’t really sure what Microsoft will do for this year’s convention. I’m guessing that maybe they’ll introduce some aspect of the new Xbox 720 and make it official (like the rumors about the processor being seven times more powerful). Maybe they’ll hint at what the new design for the controller looks like. E3 will be bombarded with questions about these rumors, so Microsoft better have some answers ready.
I have to say, I’m kind of grateful that another Xbox won’t be released this year. Like most gamers, I only have so much money set aside for games this year. Besides if the Xbox 720 bans any used game then I may have to boycott them.
Ok, not really, but I will probably end up switching to PC gaming anyway. Steam always has some good deals going on, and I heard there are many advantages to becoming a PC gamer. I will miss that controller in my hand though. Consoles better not ever become a thing of the past; I’m too nostalgic to let go of the good old days when glitches meant you had to start back at the beginning. If a new Xbox does come out in 2013, it better blow us all away.
I fear for the future of gaming sometimes. I really do. Just like we’re all required to read literature classics in high school, we should all encourage younger gamers to play arcade and NES games. It allows the legacy to live on.
As a self proclaimed nerd, I do reddit. I’m noticing more and more that these younger gamers have a slight hatred towards retro games. There’s not enough blood or violence or the graphics aren’t good enough. I shouldn’t be feeling old at 23 when I remember how violent and bloody Mortal Kombat was when it came out. I remember my mother banning me from this game and later sneaking over to my neighbor’s house to play it. Has the culture of gaming really been passed on to fifteen year old twats who teabag every soldier they kill?
Those of us who do remember how difficult Pacman was are lucky. I was born a couple years after Super Mario Bros. for the NES was released, but I was lucky enough to play every Mario game since. I may have a huge bias towards Nintendo (at least I admit it), but that’s because I enjoyed the simplicity of these games. I remember the frustration of getting a game over in World 4-1 and having to start back at World 1-1. Things weren’t as easy. I thank God for respawning in games like Halo, but sometimes I feel like my skill isn’t developing as much as I’d like it to. I like to think that I got good at Mario because I played World 8-3 a million times before I finally got to the castle.
No one can take that feeling of achievement away. That final moment of success when you’ve realized that all your hard work has finally paid off. I still get that in a few games today, but I have yet to find a platformer as satisfying as Super Mario or The Legend of Zelda.
We saw those games fade away; then the internet happened. All of a sudden we could relive our best childhood moments. It was glorious, and then it was heavenly when we discovered what a save state was with emulators. All of these games are accessible to anyone with a computer. This up and coming generation should examine the roots of games like Call of Duty by playing Doom. These older games are classics because they are a work of art in their own way. Hipsters may be taking it to the next level, but they are appreciating a fantastic era.
I’m not saying that these classics are better than newer classics like Portal, but we call these games classics for their legacy. If I could give a message to all these younger gamers, it’d be this: give these games a chance, learning how far we’ve come in gaming technology is half the fun. If anything, we can all laugh at how pixelated the older games are compared to now. You should probably get on that too before SOPA passes. One day you’ll be having the same problems. The games we have right now are already awesome, so why not try something different?
Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of legendary franchises like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, has announced his retirement from his current position at Nintendo. This doesn’t mean that he’s leaving Nintendo altogether, he just desires to work on smaller projects that require a smaller development time. He recently told Wired magazine in an interview, “Inside our office, I’ve been recently declaring, ‘I’m going to retire, I’m going to retire. I’m not saying that I’m going to retire from game development altogether. What I mean by retiring is, retiring from my current position.”
It seems as though working on a Legend of Zelda game can be quite toiling, especially when the company tries to promote it as the best game ever. He’s been working on Skyward Sword for five years now. That’s like watching a newborn grow into their kindergartner years. Miyamoto chose a good time to step down, seeing as the Wii U will be coming out very soon and they’ll be needing another Mario and Zelda game for it.
As of now, he is 59, so announcing this demotion might be a good heads up to younger designers and developers. His intentions were to let them realize that he won’t always be around to supervise projects like Zelda. Gamers will always crave a fantastic Mario game, but the franchise will live much longer than Miyamoto will. This could bring a fresh new perspective to these classics, or it could lead to their very demise. Then again, he already has a gaming project in development and expects to have it done in the year 2012.
Maybe this is what Nintendo needs. I fear for their famous franchises, but maybe Miyamoto will create another great franchise just by working on something small again. This could also lead to better sales for Nintendo if he creates better games in shorter amounts of time. As long as it’s not something silly like Nintendogs or Brain Age, Nintendo will do just fine.
What’s strange is how much Nintendo is denying his current announcement of retirement. They’ve already tried to reassure stockholders that he just wants to inspire the younger designers to work higher, but there’s already been a 2% drop in stock price. I say if he wants to retire, then let him retire. The man has created legends, and I have a feeling he just needs to work on something smaller for a bit.
Need to get that special geek friend of yours a gift for the holidays? What if you could get all of your friend every classic game made into one portable console? This isn’t through the Nintendo DS shop; in fact it’s much cheaper. Thinkgeek.com has a portable emulator on sale for $79.99. It can play any game made for an 8-bit or 16-bit console. It contains 4GB of storage with an SD card slot for added space. Truthfully, 4GB can get you at least thirty classic video games. It’s also very easy to download these games for free. I already use an emulator to play games like Super Mario World, and finding these games is very easy. All you have to do is search for NES ROMS or SNES ROMS. You could always play Mega Man as well or any other SEGA related game. The best part about ROMS is they are FREE.
I know these games are surfacing on the app market for the Android and iOS, but having a legitimate D Pad feels much nicer and doesn’t block your view. Hurry and purchase it now though, it won’t be $20 bucks off for too much longer.
Since the holidays are coming soon, I’ll be posting a new geeky toy every Tuesday to help you decide on what to get your friends.
Today we should be thankful for all of the great games released. Tomorrow we should be thankful for all of the amazing deals on video games. If you’re not one of the unlucky souls who have to work at the crack of dawn on Black Friday, then you should definitely be heading to one of these stores.
Best Buy has an Xbox 360 bundle that includes Fable III and Halo Reach for $199. You can also buy two pre-owned games and get the third one free. Best Buy also has the 3DS bundle that comes with either Super Mario 3D Land or Ocarina of Time 3D for $170. If you haven’t gotten a chance to play Bioshock 2 yet, they have the special edition on sale for $9.50. Arkham City is also on sale for $29.99 but that’s only the PS3 version. All of these are sold out online, but I’m sure there should be some online.
Honestly, my best advice is to buy everything online. I can’t speak for the rest of you, but I’m broke beyond belief and can’t really buy any games this year. Steam will be my new best friend. Although there were some security issues with Steam, you can’t beat their holiday offers. They have over 1,000 games under $10 and 1,000 games under $5. Even if you’re not a PC gamer, I would recommend trying it out. Some of their games don’t require a supercomputer to play. One of my favorite games, VVVVVV is on sale for $1.24. If you don’t remember what VVVVVV is, click here for my quick review. They don’t have any new releases on sale, but they’ve got Fallout: New Vegas for $4.99!
You can also hit up amazon.com. Their sale has already started and are boasting sales for games like Battlefield 3 (which is only $39.99). Older games are also becoming cheaper. Asassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is on sale for $25 and Red Dead Redemption is selling for $30. Batman: Arkham City is more expensive than other places but $44.99 is still better than $59.99. It looks like it might get even cheaper too. Amazon has a timer on multiple objects; once the timer has completed a new deal is unlocked. Batman happens to be one of them. They’ve also got a golden treasure chest timer for an FPS that involves some military combat, but that could be practically any game for the Xbox 360.
Beware of stores like GameStop, from what I’ve heard they have nothing special going on over there. I have an insider who’s merely preparing for the crowds on Friday. Be smart about your shopping, compare prices and fix a budget. Try not to forget that there are more holidays on the way too, this may help you decide in getting gifts for others instead of yourself.
Otherwise, Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your turkey, steak, or lunchables.
This may not be the infamous San Diego Comic Con, but Wizard World Austin Comic Con has plenty to offer. Walking into the convention center and just seeing that sea of booths was an achievement in its own. Every time I thought I had seen all the booths, I found a couple more in the corner offering everything from companion cubes to a Lando Calrissian disguise kit.If you are a comic book nerd, then this would be your paradise. Booths like Dale Roberts Comics had boxes full of comic books on sale for $.50. They may not have been the most popular comics, but there was a vast amount of rare comics like Amazing Fantasy (which was Spiderman’s first ever appearance). Other booths have comics like The Walking Dead, but forget trying to get the first one. You can even try and chat up famous comic book artists like Kevin Maguire (Justice League) or Tyler Kirkham (Green Lantern). The convention has plenty of famous comic book artists for you to drool over.
Even if comics aren’t your kind of nerdy, this magical land of nerdiness had a place for everyone in it’s not so tiny cubicle heart. The merchandise covered every type of nerd imaginable. For dedicated Star Wars fans, there was a booth called Collectors Rebellion that had original unopened Star Wars toys from the 70s. Another booth was selling ID badges from Aperture Science, Doctor Who, and the Umbrella Corporation. I saw at least twenty different shirts featuring Sheldon from “The Big Bang Theory.” If you wanted a Katana, consider it done for only $20. Custom high quality dolls ranged from barbie zombies to your favorite superhero. One booth offered free decoration on blank superhero masks for free, (just pretend you’re a kid). If you didn’t come in with at least $50 after you’ve purchased your ticket, you’ll be teased to death to spend your rent money on an original piece of artwork that features a parodied Mario Bros.
This convention is perfect if you need some prints to geek out your place. There’s a whole section of the room dedicated to comic book artists, painters, and sculptors. I couldn’t resist an 8-bit Lakitu made of melted beads made by EEK! Creations. The amount of talent that these artists have is simply astounding. Their inspirations vary from everything from superheros to kitties. Prices may be a bit steep for the nerd on a budget, but they’ve always got smaller prints at a decent price.
What Comic Cons are famous for though, are their celebrities. Wizard World did not fail to deliver. I promised I wouldn’t get starstruck like every other geek, but when I saw Adam Baldwin for the first time I muttered a few OMGs under my breath. Adam Baldwin is most famous for his role in “Firefly”as Jayne Cobb, the loveable hothead. Wizard World Comic Con even managed to reunite the cast of the original “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” for it’s 40th year anniversary. It’s interesting to see how child stars grow up, especially when you see Violet rocking a pixie cut. Other celebrities like Hayden Panettiere (“Heroes,” “I Love You Beth Cooper”), James Marsters (“Buffy,” “Angel”), Kevin Sorbo (“Hercules,” “Andromeda”), and Chandler Riggs (“The Walking Dead”) also made an appearance. It was impossible to miss Jake Lloyd (Anakin from “The Phantom Menace”) and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca from Star Wars) for those die hard Star Wars fans. If you wanted an autograph from most of these celebrities, the asking price for a signed picture was $40.
If you go for the panels, make sure to go on a Saturday. There were only four panels on Friday and a comparable amount on Sunday, but all of the Q&As took place on Saturday. I missed most of the panels on Sunday, but managed to sneak into the panel titled “The Spoken Nerd Revolution.” This was a surprisingly funny poetry slam that touched on levels of nerdiness and ended with a ferocious Star Wars vs Star Trek haiku battle. It breaks my heart to say that Star Trek won, but it was a great witty fight.
Tickets are $25 for one day if you buy them in advance and online, but you could always buy a three day pass for $45. These are the online prices, but you could knock out every activity in a single day and save your money for some cool merchandise. It’s definitely worth it.
I can hardly believe it myself. I saw this on G4 and it made me laugh and yell in anger at the same time. PETA felt the need to create a flash game showing how Mario’s Tanooki suit promotes the skinning of Tanukis. Tanukis are actual raccoon dogs that are skinned for their fur. The game is called Super Tanooki Skin 2D and is a simple side scrolling platform with horrifying backgrounds.
Super Tanooki Skin 2D takes place in bloodied, bastardized version of Super Mario World. The tunnels have a tiger or a zebra skin and are dripping with blood. The once friendly hills in the background are now giant mutated long cats topped with blood. You play as a half-skinned Tanuki that’s somehow still alive after having a skeleton for a tail. Mario is flying with your skin hanging off of him loosely, and he is of course dripping with blood. Your one control is to press the space bar to jump and you must avoid getting squished or jumping in a hole. Once you catch Mario, you beat him to death and walk away smiling with all of your skin back. Let’s stop violence with violence. Makes total sense.
Why must they go after everyone’s favorite plumber? To quote their site: ”When on a mission to rescue the princess, Mario has been known to use any means necessary to defeat his enemy—even wearing the skin of a raccoon dog to give him special powers. Tanooki may be just a “suit” in Mario games, but in real life, tanuki are raccoon dogs who are skinned alive for their fur. By wearing Tanooki, Mario is sending the message that it’s OK to wear fur. Play Super Tanooki Skin 2D and help Tanooki reclaim his fur!”
I hope they realize that he gets that Tanooki suit by grabbing a freaking leaf. If they really want to go off on Mario they better burn some forests to save the skins of those Tanuki.
I’m not saying that I support those that wear fur, but when you mess with my favorite plumbers you’ve crossed a line. I’ve seen Mario’s game bastardized many times, but this is just unbelievable. The amount of idiocy behind this is just…disgusting.
Walmart is offering Battlefield 3, Batman: Arkham City, Gears of War 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and Infamous 2 for $28 this Black Friday. No word on whether or not Skyrim will be that cheap, but maybe they’ll cut some kind of deal. That is of course if you haven’t bought it already. I’m sure most of us are glued to the screen right now (making this article pointless until tomorrow).
Not only will they be offering games like Dance Central 2 for $15, but there will also be a blue Wii special for $99. It will be bundled with the latest Mario vs Sonic game among others. That will be the lowest price for the Wii, but remember the Wii U will be coming out next year so it might be a good idea to save your money. (Unless of course you need a Wii for Skyward Sword). Here’s the link for the weekly ad, but good luck trying to actually read it on the website. The ad has some really good deals for TVs as well but the bottom line is: it’s Walmart.
People have been trampled to death in that store. So how bad do you really want to play that game?