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They're Back!

 

So we know that Nintendo is going to make Punch Out available on the Wii and now they've announced the return of head wiggling Great Tiger and the kid for Tokyo, Piston Honda.  This is awesome news and I can't wait to get my hands on this game.  Now if they'll only add my favorite Punch Out hero, Soda Popinski.  Mr. Sandman is also missing.  However, if things keep going as they are, maybe these guys will make a last second appearance.

 

 


Little Mac

 

If you ever got the pleasure of playing the original arcade Punch Out,,, what up bra!!!  Nuff said on that.  If not, there was the NES version, which in itself was pretty dang good considering you had basically a rectangle with a d-pad and an a and b button to work with.  My favorite dude to whoop up on was Soda Popinski, and to this day, that's the name of my hockey player on NHL09.   On top of that, Nintendo went out and did something historically significant, they released Mike Tyson's Punchout, how bada$$ is that.  To bad ole Iron Mike had to be the guinee pig of blockbuster video game deals, I bet if his peeps could turn back the clock, he'd be getting a little jingle off this new release for the Wii.  Why,, cause MT put punchout on the map yo.  Anyway, enough about video game history, let's look at this classic from Nintendo.

 

Viva La France

 

Here's the best part of the new Punch-out.  Glass Joe has a voice now, and while 17 year old 107 pound Little Mac is hookin up the rights and left, heavy french accented Glass Joe pops off with things like "Viva La France" and "Bonjour".  How awesome is that?  All the old foes are there, the big Canadian Bear Hugger, you can still bust King Hippo in the gut.  Let's not forget the german Von Kaiser or the vain Don Flamenco from Spain.  However, there is a surprise new opponent, introducing in the glitter corner, Disco Kid, a dancing fool that may try to grease lightning you if you get dizzy'd by his fancy footwork.

 

All in all, Punch-Out on Wii looks to be all the fun of the original arcade classic brought right into your living room, courtest of Nintendo.  You may not need your GhostGrip for Glass Joe, but make sure you dab rub and clap for the Disco Kid.

 

 

 


The Wii is just a toddler

 

At just 2 years old, the Wii has turned out some decent titles.  Here are my top 10.

 

10- Wii Sports  This is like the Super Mario Bros and Duck Hunt of the original NES.  Why?  Not only does it ship with the system, it's also a pretty darn good universal title that almost anyone can play.  It's replay factor is through the roof.

9.  Super Paper Mario  Mario, Mario, Mario.  All the great and classic characters in primary colors but great gameplay.

8.  Boom Blox  Games like this are what the Wii is all about.  Get your friends together for some exciting play.

7.  Metroid Prime 3  One of the more sophisticated Wii games graphically and control wise.  Great title.

6.  Okami  A great cultural and storytelling experience.

5.  Mario Kart  Dude it's MarioKart

4.  Super Smash Bros. Brawl  Get some well known characters together for some fighting action, what's not to like.

3.  Super Mario Galaxy  A game that has Super and Mario in the title are gonna make a top 10 list.

2.  Animal Crossing: City Folk  

1.  World of Goo  A good fit for the Wii.  Family friendly, mentally challenging, fun, and it's good for you.


Did someone say Wii rubber?

 

Ok, ok,, for most of us, ehh,, hmmm,, we can equate the use of the above mentioned substance to equal less sensativity.  Now, I don't know if you can officially say that the slip covers, gel covers, whatever covers that are made for the Nintendo Wii controllers are made out of rubber or not, the fact is, they are rather,, rubber-ish.  With that said, is there an alternative to putting a germ catching jelly jacket over your Wii controller?  I think so. 

 

Nintendo Wii Controller Sweat = Slippage

 

So, why the rubber controllers?  Maybe because the Wii remote was slipping out of players hands, threating LCD and Plasma screens everywhere.  What causes slippage, hmmm, maybe clammy clam shuckers, muggy mitts, greasy grubbers,  basically, sweaty hands.  So if you own a Wii and sweaty hands are causing you problems with controlling your controller, cut the problem off at the pass and get some help for those damp clampers.  For some, putting a bulky cover on the Wii remote is just not right.  It gets in the way, it's distracting, it's not natural.  If that's you, get some GhostGrip, shake it, put a dime size dab in your palm, rub your hands together, clap a few times, and GhostGrip will gently coat your grippers with a moisture preventing barrier, giving you a natural feel and grip on your controller.  

 

No need to wrap it, just get some GhostGrip, clap it and slap it..

 

 


There's the top 10 and then there's my top 10

 

Top ten lists are great, I mean, look at David Letterman, the dude's made a living off them.  Everyone like's a top 10, it kinda helps us put things into perspective.  So 2008 is over, and everybodies gotta top 10 for 2008.  They all line up and put in their 2 cents, hundreds of websites, publications, bloggers, editors, and millions of Gamers, all of them have a top 10 and each of their top 10 is different from the next.  

 

Put it into perspective

 

So here's the thing, I may have just discovered Soduko or whatever it's called in 2008 or maybe Connect 4 and played it a bunch.  So does Connect 4 make my list?  How about this scenario, I found some obscure independent game made in Norway in 2008 that I think is the show, does that make the top 10?  In order to have a top 10, we gotta first lay out some ground rules.  Number one, my top 10 list will contain games played on major gaming consoles (xbox, playstation, nintendo.  Number two, I said consoles, not some handheld device like a PSP or Nintendo DS.  Number three, these games will have been available to the general public, I'm not gonna pull some game out of my a$$ that only a few played but it never got released or made it anywhere.  No diss to independant labels and stuff like that, actually, if you wanna send my something I can spin on my 360 or PC I'm game to give it a go and it may make the top 10 independant games list sometime.  So, be fair.  I'm not gonna list my top 10 NHL players of 2008 and just randomly throw some WHL dudes in there.  

 

The top 10 listed and in one sentence, why.  Drumbroll...

 

10.  Little Big Planet - Reminds me of some early Atari computer games, I think Adventure comes to mind.  Allows players creative input.

9.   Deadspace - Graphics, intuitive controls, great sound, and some scary moments,, golden.

8.  Fifa 08 - Great soccer, good online play, very nice.

7.  Burnout Paradise - Awesome addition to this franchise.

6.  Wii Sports -  A staple and great introduction to the Wii, besides Super Mario Brothers, probably the best game to actually be shipped with the console.

5.  Assassins Creed -  Can get a little repetitive, but groundbreaking gameplay, smooth, awesome graphics, epic.

4.  Left 4 Dead - Simple to the point and fun, think Galaga, Centipede, or PacMan with good graphics.  Grab your gun and start shooting.

3.  Fable 2 - A great follow up to Fable.  No dissapointments here.

2.  Gears of War 2 - There's just something about chainsawing locusts,, call me crazy.

1.  Fallout 3 - To me, this is Bioshock on crack, excellent. 

 

Till next time, keep your hands dry and keep those zombies in check.


Where do Wii Start? D-pad replaces Joystick.

That's funny, get it.  Well, Wii start with Nintendo, why, because of the NES.  The original NES controller was the first game controller that made a multi-button game pad make real sense.  Sure, it had the pause button, an a and b if I recall correctly, but more importantly, the joystick replacing D-pad, sweet!  The D-pad is that little plus sign looking thing on the NES controller that allowed you to controll the direction of your player by using your thumb instead of holding a joystick in your hand.  It was ingenious, because with a joystick (like the one on an Atari 2600) the player would need to use his entire left of right hand manipulating the player, which would leave very limited use of that hand for any button controll whatsoever.  Yeah, I know, the NES contoller didn't have any buttons on the D-pad side, but, it paved the way for them to exist at least.  There were some joysticks out there that had multi button capabiltiy, but the problem was, you had to stick the controller to a flat surface like a desk or something to even use them (remember the little suction cups on the bottom of the Atari 2600 joystick, who ever used those?).  

Touche, 2 joysticks replace D-pad

It's ironic that the D-pad gets replaced by two joysticks.  Difference is, they're not called joysticks anymore, they're called thumbsticks.  The thumbsticks sit on the left and right side of your modern day console controller and made they're first popular debut on the Playstation controller.  This setup, although not utilized to it's fullest on the original PS1 would lay the foundation for the integration of them into more sophisticated gameplay, and ultimately to their use in the revolutionary twin stick controlls you see on tons of todays hits.  My personal favorite, NHL 2009 by EA Sports.  But tons of games take advantage of this setup, and if you play any first person shooters, you already know what I mean.  So the PS1 controllers gotta rank up there.

 

Commadore 64 and early PC games joystick.

 

This is old school, but I'll throw it in there.  Some of you younger gamers are probably like,, dude, what?  Anyway, you had to use the Commadore one to understand (the early Radio Shack contollers were similar).  Basically it was a joystick with a base like the 2600 joystick, but the stick was a steel rod with a little plastic knob on the end and it didn't return back to it's original postition when you let it go.  So basically it was like playing with a wet noodle attached to a lead base with a little rectagular fire button somewhere on the side.  Perfect!  Click on the paragraph title or here to go to the wooden joystick link, daaaannnnggg.  How sweet is that?

 

Full circle.

 

That brings me full circle to the Wii.  The Wii controller(s) makes the list, because like the ones mentioned above they are groundbreakers and pioneers of what's to come, basically the next step in the evolution of game controllers.  Pretty soon, you'll be able to head down to your local GameStop and they'll have a certified nuero-surgeon on hand to tap right into your brain stem.  Then all you have to do is plug your head into your consol.  Bingo, no more worrying about sweaty controller paws or burning out your plasma screen!!  Awesome!!!

 

Until then, keep your hands off your pants and on your controller.

 


Console Wars

You've got two major players in the console wars (not counting Nintendo of course, we're not going to talk about that right now, totally different issue), on one hand you have Sony, a huge manufacturer of electronics equipment, on the other is Microsoft, not generally viewed as a manufacturer of hardware.  The difference between these two powerhouses can be reflected as the differences between the people that buy their consoles.  It's rare these days to know someone that has both a Playstation 3 and an Xbox 360, unless they are some kind of spoiled rich kid that gets whatever they want or they'll go crying to their mommy (dude's 25 and living in the guest house for free, hah).  Generally, I've noticed that there are differences in the Playstation people and Xbox people. 

 

Brand loyalty

 

Most people that I know that have a Playstation have it for one reason, brand loyalty.  When the Playstation one came out, it left such a good impression, that these guys didn't want to try anything else.  Dude, at some point you gotta leave your highschool sweetheart behind and go to college. Here's an anology, when the Playstation hit the market, it was to competitors like Kimbo Slice is to some random schmoe on the street.  However, while the Playstation was busy beating the crap out of everyone, the Xbox snuck up from behind with a baseball bat and took a Barry Bonds rip,,, it could be,, back back back back back,,, gone! 

 

Online gaming changes the landscape

 

Microsoft's online community with a little help from a franchise some of us know (eeehhheemmm,,,, Halo), pretty much outclassed the competition, and in my humble opinion, still does handily.  What was Sony's answer?  Well, you gotta admit, the Plastation 3 is an impressive looking piece of hardware and,, whoaaaaaaaa, it's got a blue ray player,,pbbbbbbbbbbbbbhhhhhhhhhh,,,whatever dude.  That's what they decided on to set them apart?  Jacking up the price and forcing gamers to pay for a blue ray player?  Anyway, not trying to bag on something before I've tried it, so recently I went to a friends house to play the much anticipated Metal Gear Solid on his PS3. 

 

Some off the cuff remarks on the PS3, but it's definately becoming a respectable online platform

It was like playing the original Metal Gear Solid on my PSone, but with better graphics.  To put it simply, the game play sucked a$$ by todays standards, and the controller still hasn't changed, what's up with that?  So, to be fair to everyone and not dis to bad on PS3, they are getting better, and it definately has a very bright future.  I look forward to it, and hopefully they'll be an aftermarket controller (if there is one let me know) that is shaped like an Xbox 360 one and not like a wooden back massager.  Who knows, someday, I'll be the guy that's got both systems at my house, subscribing to both online services. 


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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.



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