Wednesday, May 28, 2008

New Prince of Persia trailor

You must check this out! It looks amazing.

Definitely made me think I should be preordering this as soon as I can.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Reviews: The World Ends with You - 9.2

From Square Enix, the company behind Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, comes something new and different that will end up leaving you with a smile and satisfaction each time you close the DS's lid. The World Ends with You (TWEWY) is an adventure/RPG game that tries new things and recycles some of the old. It has the classic teen characters with crazy hair trying to save the day or just survive.

The spiky haired protagonist this round is one Neku. A boy finding himself in a parallel Shibuyo, the community within Tokyo, Japan. The game starts out with some great anime slideshow fluid cutscenes that reveals this game is gonna be big and strong. The art style is crisp and solid throughout the game which is just lovely for the entire thing. You can really feel the Japanese element of this game is quite strong.

The difference of TWEWY apart from the normal RPG you've come to expect from SE is this one involves fighting on both screens at the same time! Check off mind blown. At first this is incredibly hard and somewhat daunting to have to do right when you get in there. For you who don't like this element, sorry but your stuck with it throughout the entire game, though it does get easier. So the learning curve on this game is quite long. The game requires you to input button comands using the D-pad for the top screen while making specific movements with the stylus for the second half of the action. Fortunately they have ways of making this easier and you can focus on just one screen for the just.

Like the classic RPG, there is leveling up and like the various games, you can level up the weapons you use. Instead of swords or wands in this game, you fight with Pins, which are pins that have magical powers that perform different tasks depending on which stylus movement you use during battles. Some require tapping, slashing, drawing circles, making big lines, etc. and some even require the use of the built in mic. You do gain the classic experienced points or EXP so your characters can gain levels and get stronger, and you can also gain Pin Points or PP which is like experience points for your pins. Other than the obvious winning fights to get PP, there are several other ways of getting PP and even new Pins in TWEWY. When you save and shut off your game, for every 10 minutes that the DS is off, you gain one PP, so you can imagine how nice this is for when you wake up and see you have a bunch of PP from doing nothing. Also you can set your DS in Mingle mode which sets it into a wireless mode and if your DS gets near either another TWEWY player in mingle mode and another DS with anything doing something wirelessly you will gain PP. Even if your a person who wont ever be near someone else with a DS they added in an Aliens thing for mingle mode that are like the other two options, but just appear randomly every now and then - no second DS required.

Also added is the usual clothing system in which you can put on different clothing for stat boosts or special abilities. Though it would have been nice to see the new clothing on your character outside in the game or in a battle and such. So the clothes end up just being a short quick thing to do. Though the stores you buy clothes, food or sometimes pins have different shop owners everytime and you can grow your level of friendship with them to unlock new things. Becoming closer to a shop keeper will get you the abilities described on the clothes/food/pins they have and it can unlock new things to buy as well.

Overall TWEWY is an incredible game and Square Enix hit it off great. This was the perfect way to introduce a new game into the world. Having it on any other system would get rid of some of the key elements that you will grow to love and not want to leave. It has great visuals and audio throughout it all and to add on with a great story line that will make you want to find out what happens next. An amazing game for the DS and defiantly worth picking up.

- Great music
- Great art style and graphics
- Addictive gameplay
- Earning PP in different ways if a very cool and well thought out idea
- Interesting multiplayer mini game
- Great story line
- Fun battle system
- Unlock new things throughout the entire game

- Long learning curve
- Battling can stay difficult for a while
- Very easy for the first 8 hours or so

Overall: 9.2/10

Monday, May 19, 2008

7 days left

On my way home from my weekend vacation, I stopped by the local Walmart to pick up The World Ends With You for the DS. I had been wanting to get this game since it came out, but I just never really got around to it. It looks quite fun and I'm always drawn to games that are somewhat "off the radar" to the typical consumer or even the typical gamer (hardcore or not). Then again I'm basing this off of the news and stories we hear on major game sites like GameSpot or Kotaku for instance. When pinning this up against a game like Mario or Zelda, the answer you'd be receiving is "world ends with what now?" Though even in my group of friends that play games, not many of them know about it, or are interested enough to pick it up. This is one of the great things I love about games like Jeanne D'arc or Professor Layton.

Anyways, I'm quite looking forward to play this, but can't tonight since I have so much to do. All I can say now about it is that I really like the box art and I think the characters look really cool. It's definitely in my top box arts of all games I've seen. Look forward to a review on it in the next week or so (depending on how fast I move through it).

Friday, May 16, 2008

Pokemon Platinum announced

So a couple days ago, it was officially announced that the Pokemon series will be continuing with Pokemon Platinum. This will be the third Pokemon game to come out for the DS (I'm talking RPG versions). It will act as a compilation of Diamond and Pearl, like how Yellow is to Blue/Red, Crystal is to Gold/Silver and Emerald is to Ruby/Sapphire. It will be out in Japan sometime this fall.

So with that, it's quite obvious that there will be no new pokemon. There will however be a few new add ons and changes from the last two. The male trainer (only trainer shown so far) will be wearing some new clothes this time, though he kept his hat (picture below). Giratina (picture below) will be more in the story line this time and will now come in it's "origin form." Also, the underground will be wifi compatible, which I'm quite happy to hear.

I don't think I'll be getting this one, I'm still quite into Diamond and don't wish to start over. Anyone planning on getting it when it launches? Anyone with one of the current versions planning on getting it?

You can also check out Pokemon Platinum's official website, though it's in Japanese so I'm not sure how much you'll get from it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

WiiWare launched

The WiiWare service from Nintendo came out today, sometime around this morning. My Wii isn't in my vicinity so I wasn't able to look into it and see how things look and work. Next time I have it near me I'll go into more detail about how I feel about it.

WiiWare is a download service for the Wii that lets you download games for 500-1500 points. Unlike the VC download games, these will be exclusive to the Wii's WiiWare service and are only from there.

Personally I'm looking forward to LIT most out of all the titles I've heard about. It's about a boy named Jake (see the picture above) trying to save his girlfriend Rachael from within his high school. He has to fight shadow creatures. The darkness basically means death, so he needs to find ways of causing light to shine in order to stay alive. Whether this means crack open a window, or turn a computer screen on. The genre is said to be Horror/Puzzle.

This will be the first game I download off of the WiiWare service and the first game downloaded off the Wii at all. When it comes out, look forward to a review of it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

To Wiifit or not to Wiifit?

Ok. I know that was the worst title ever, but I really just wanted to get a post going about this and couldn't think of anything else to call it.

Wiifit is a game where you need to do exercises and workouts for the Wii. That's basically it. It comes with Nintendo's new periferal, the Balance Board. Which registers which way your body is leaning and what exactly it's doing.

About a week ago I wanted Wiifit a lot. I was at the point of thinking of preordering it. It just seemed really fun and I could honestly see myself doing a daily routine every morning before I showered. Though now with some of the reviews it's getting, I'm starting to think getting this game isn't the best idea. Especially for $90. Then again there's always reviews like these that make me think it will be fun.

Though with all the preorders this game seems to be getting, I might not even be able to find one when it's first out. Which will give me some more time to think and read some more reviews.

Though I find myself wondering why I want this. Working out really isn't my thing and I'm not really known to be the kind of person who is very fit or exercises regularly. Then again, maybe these are reasons I should look into this game some more? I think I'm just going to have to put some more thought into this and see what happens.

Guess I didn't think of a new title for this thing...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

23:25:27 Complete

Finally beat GTA 4


A short post about GTA 4 as I'm just about done but I was musing, How often does a game seriously make you consider something? Like sure bioshock had you choose between killing the little sisters but it really had no effect on the gameplay. GTA 4 however has me searching in my head for the right answer, I have 2 options which I will try and keep spoiler free, Kill someone or work for them even though they have betrayed me constantly and various people in the game have been suggesting different things. Now I am actually kinda stressing over what to do and I've had the game paused for a few minutes just thinking about if I should kill him. Well I'm glad a game has come along that made me actually feel bad about my actions so we shall see what I choose.

EDIT: I choose killing him

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Review: The Nintendo Channel - 8

The Nintendo Channel is the latest channel to be released on the Nintendo Wii's shopping channel. It combines video content on up to date Nintendo info, DS demos and more. Personally, I feel that this is Nintendo's best channel to date.

The channels that have been released before this are: Internet Channel, Everybody Votes Channel, Metroid Prime 3 Preview Channel and the Check Mii Out Channel. Unlike the other channels (save the Metroid one) this one doesnt have as much of an option to let you play around in there and do much. When starting up this channel, the first thing you are shown is the Digest Video which is essentially a wrap up of Nintendo latest and some of its biggest games, ex: SSBB, Mario Kart Wii, WiiFit. This channels main purpose is the video content library it has up. The videos are about Nintendo's latest games, interviews and 'how to' movies. There is currently almost 7 full pages of videos that date back to games like Animal Crossing: Wild World, Nintendogs and Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2. These video generally work well, though my connection for my Wii isn't the best, it has to pause and start quite a bit.

The next thing in The Nintendo Channel is how it lets you rate games or anything else you`ve spent atleast an hour on, on your Wii. This includes games and channels. Though for some odd reason, it doesn't show all of my games, and it`s not like it doesn`t show the newest game either, some of the old ones are missing too. The options is does show you, you get to select one of your played things and go through a little survey about how you feel it is. It asks you questions like Which Gender and Age most enjoyed/played this game, How you rate this game on a scale of Not very highly to Highly, who would most likely enjoy this game/what kind of gamer would like this and is it best with friends.

Another game related thing to note is how it lets you look up a ton of Nintendo game, whether they be on the Wii or DS. You can simply use one of their serveral searching ways to find a game your looking for and get info on it, it even has a link one the specific game's page that will take you out of the nintendo channel and into the internet channel where it'll bring you to that game`s website.

The last of the biggest services this channel has is the DS Download Service. Which, as you can assume, lets you download DS demos onto your DS. You simply have to choose which demo you want and then select the DS Download Play option on your DS, then just sit there and wait. This demo will stay on your DS until you turn it off. The list of demos from Flash Focus to Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword. I tried downloading Flash Focus today to see how this worked. I have no complaints, takes at most, 2 minutes to download the game on your system and it works just fine.

This channel makes a good use of several good ideas that Nintendo has and definitely needed to be on the Wii. The name itself isn't the best, but it does suit the idea behind the channel. It's a much download, epecially for the price (free) and I recommend it to all. Though you might not have much use for it if your the casual gamer and don't really care for the happenings of game companies and their products. Also, not owning a DS will hinder your ability to download DS titles completely. This channel seems more for the gamer that is involved with Nintendo, and if you are, you will enjoy this channel.

- Good use of DS Demos
- Recommending games can be a fun pass time
- Some of the videos can be enjoyable
- Good music and animations
- Able to choose to get messages sent to your Wii about new games coming out and info

- Videos lag terribly if you have a bad connection which makes them unenjoyable
- Can take a bit to load everything and the loading sound can stay around for a while

Overall The Nintendo Channel gets a 8/10

The music behind me tells me I'm downloading

As I awoke this morning and made my way down to my basement to fire up the computer. What was waiting for me? The Wii's glowing blue light. For anyone who doesnt know what that means, I have a new message. Expecting to turn on the system and find that another one of my friends sent me a repeated "yo," I was pleasently surprised when instead of the casual name in the envelop, it was 'Nintendo'.

Like usual, they had messaged me to announce a new Wii Channel was available. As I mentioned a week or so ago, The Nintendo Channel was going to be coming out sometime this May and that is what I was being notified for.

Behind me now runs little Mario back and forth getting coins and just now hit his first block. Once again, for those of you who don't know, this means I'm downloading something off of the Wii's shopping channel.

Once I actually get some time this evening or tomorrow to play around with what this channel has to offer, I'll write up some on here.

Expect a review very soon.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Why I love HMV

After feeling I was done with the nonsense of EB games' preorders and just general annoyance with their practices I decided to move on from them for my video game purchases. That is when HMV kicked in, as I hope many of you have noticed, the physical based music industry is currently floundering thanks to downloads and digital media so HMV has had to move into selling games and so far I am very impressed. Unlike stores such as superstore they get their shipments day one and all available at the right price unlike some other places that are still charging $70 despite our rising dollar. So I hoped to finally test them on preorders to see how well they would work. Now I would like to state that I feel preorders are mostly unnecessary because unless the game is going to be very rare or the preorder bonus seems worth it to you (see: Big Daddy figurine) you will find many copies of that game either way.

However I also felt the need to check how well they work at preorders to see if it is as good if not better then EB games. It was mainly on a whim though, I noticed a sign advertising a free shirt with a preorder of GTA 4 which I though was terribly lame and I'd never wear it but a fairly larger preorder bonus none the less. I went up to the counter and the young woman there looked at me like I was crazy when I asked to preorder the game, although she knew what it was she had no idea how to do it. However I feel this was mainly a problem with a new thing being introduced so they were unaware on what to do, but after a quick call to another employee it was resolved. So I was surprised at how it worked, first no deposit was required at all they just special ordered it for you and you pay it all when you come in which was great and they keep all your data in the computer if you have ever ordered anything from them before which although EB does it's still pretty handy for a newcomer to the preorder business. So I left with a new respect for them but not fully expecting to get the shirt (not like I really cared).

So on launch I walked in and promptly got my copy with no hassle, I walked up told them my name and got the game and to my surprise I actually got the shirt (albeit way to big but hey). All this work that HMV has apparently put into this has surprised me and I am very impressed with them so, keep up the great work HMV I will be preordering from you in the future.

Friday, May 2, 2008

GH cups at 7-11

So it seems that there will be Guitar Hero branded cups now coming to 7-11 in the future. I'll probably check out the various stores near my house to see if they have any. I'm personally looking forward to this new flavor thats going to be associated with all this. Knowing Canada though, I won't get it, duh.

These cups will have codes on them that you can use to enter contests to try and get a copy of the Aerosmith GH, Xbox 360 consoles or you can win Microsoft points. It also seems that there will be huge vans driving around to specific branches with playable GH on them that you can partake in. Along with various 7-11's giving away GH: Aerosmith posters.

If any of us here at GJ come across any in our neighborhood, we'll make sure to capture some of the stuff on camera and upload the images here to you.

For a full article check here.