Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New balls please

Taking a look over at my Favourite New Website, DS Fanboy, today I noticed the guys over there have a few new screenshots of Sega Superstars Tennis.
Tennis games aren't new. I mean, can ANYONE beat the likes of Super Tennis on the SNES or Virtua Tennis? Back in my time on Nintendo Magazine Mario Tennis rolled up onto the N64. At the time it was awesome, but looking back on it I don't think it was quite the classic everyone was talking about. What I DO remember is that we got told to shut up by a journo on a bike magazine we used to work next to as we were screaming like girls as Yoshi hammered a baseline winner down the line.
What was wrong with Mario Tennis wasn't the actual mechanics of being a tennis game. That it was very good at. What wrecked it was the usual Nintendo take on things - power shots you could only pull off using button combos, weapons fuzzing about the place and even a court suspended a lava pit that tilted as you ran across the baseline. Not good.
But this Sega Superstars Tennis preview got me thinking. By the looks of the screenshots there will be the usual crazy power-up shots, but what about the characters? Of course there's Sonic, Tails and that skater dude from forgotten Dreamcast classic, Jet Set Radio.
But that got me thinking. Why don't they include some classic Sega characters that aren't the usual frontline stars? What about the headbutting green Gimli from Golden Axe smacking a smash into the corner or one of those Super Hang On motorbike dudes - you could be your own Stig from Top Gear! What else? What about Billy Hatcher rolling around on his Giant Egg? You have gotta hand it to Sega though at least they've included Aiai from Super Monkey Ball. One of the most criminally forgotten titles on GameCube. Maybe of all-time.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Annoyed of Peterborough

I'm fed up. I move my 360 upstairs into the back bedroom and my Airport and router can't read it with a borrowed Microsoft Xbox Wireless Adapter. It did first time but playing CoD4 was like wading through setting concrete.
Half an hour of trying to get CoD4 to find a m/p room and I was ready to kill. Apparently a wireless router will sort all that out but I have no idea how to access my ancient BT router for the passwords to fix up a wireless router. We'll see how it goes. In the mean time, there's no Xbox Live and I'm bored.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ranting Round-Up

The 360 is back up and running, Call of Duty 4 has had a good workout tonight, and now it's the turn of the blog.
So, what have I been doing of late, here's the run down:

1. Finding my way around
I'm sick of having one enormous list of bookmarks. The Mac bookmark bar is handy, but limited, so I've turned to to store them in one place. I'll be able to access this while not at work (where I do most of my bookmarking) and will hopefully be able to start linking other games blogs to mine. Let's see if we can get a few people reading this rubbish.

2. Online gold
Well, I've found Xbox Fanboy and Wii Fanboy, so top writing that will give me the lowdown on the latest in 360 and Nintendoland. nearly got a purchase out of me until an old Nintendo Official Magazine colleague of mine said I could borrow Zelda: Phantom Hourglass.
CD Wow also nearly got a purchase out of me for NEW Super Mario Bros. I'm starting to feel the warm glow of Nintendo once again!
So too did eBay for some Xbox classics. Not 360, but some of the earlier titles that are going for peanuts. I think I'm gonna try my hand to Prince of Persia. I loved the original on my Amstrad (which you can now download from Xbox Arcade) and I've heard it's the tits so I think I'm gonna be grabbing that soon.

3. Missing classic TV
I love ER. Always have. I didn't know the new series had started on Channel 4 and I was too late for Channel 4 +1. Channel 4 OD doesn't work on Macs. Disaster. Why the hell don't video players not work on Macs? I mean, COME ON! You bang on about it on your website and on TV, yet it doesn't work on Macs. I despair. I don't have time to read a TV guide. Why doesn't someone send me news alerts to my mobile or desktop for my favourite TV show? Does anyone, for free? Or better yet allow me to spin back just 40 minutes on my Freeview box to start recording from the start of the show.

4. Blitzing LoveFilm
I've ordered the classics - Godfather, Chariots of Fire. I've got recent gems for the missus - Becoming Jane and comedy for me - 40-Year-Old Virgin, Evan Almighty and Family Guy Blue Harvest on order. It's £12 a month. If I went down to Blockbuster I'd have spent that on about three DVDs, and would have had to return them within two days. Now I can order online, they arrive, I can keep them for as long as I want and send them back for free. It's in Peterborough too. This place is good for something!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Power to the Pikmin

Nintendogs, quite rightly, was one of the cutest games to grace the Big N's consoles in recent years. But they're dogs, and puppy versions of dogs. Of course it's going to be cute and get females into gaming, if they hadn't already been succumbed by the likes of Yoshi, Baby Mario, etc.
But before the dogs, GameCube created some classic cuties, unfortunately now forgotten. One was called Pikmin, created by the genius of Mr Mario, Shigeru Miyamoto, and saw alien dudes with flowers coming out of their heads helping a stranded astronaut called Captain Olimar - almost an anagram of Mario, but not quite. Using their different colours (some couldn't swim, other burnt to a horrible death in contact with fire) they were your army trying to find the pieces of Olimar's ship and send him packing.
And now they're the new stars in the latest edition of Super Smash Bros - Dojo - on Wii.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Power of Wii (2)

Read today over at MCV that Wii Fit has sold over one million copies over in Japan. Once again we're seeing the power of Nintendo at work.
The game, which features a ton of exercises you can do standing on a 'balance board' just goes to show that like Wii Sports, Wii Play and Brain Training on Nintendo DS the Big N are opening up gaming to a whole new audience. It also shows that gaming isn't necessarily all about sitting on your backside with a headset on. We can get fit people, if only we could find a Wii in the first place…
Elsewhere rumours are flying around that the Nintendo 64 classic GoldenEye 007 could be heading to Xbox Live sometime soon. The GameLife blog at Wired certainly hopes it's going to happen, and they have reason to suspect that other Rare classics like Banjo-Kazooie (once mentioned in the same breath as Super Mario 64) and Perfect Dark (once mentioned in the same breath as GoldenEye) could also be heading to Xbox. Mr Gates, you'll make my year if this happens.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Big Mac Attack

Ronald McDonald's crazy clown grin has turned into a frown. That's because Steve Easterbrook, chief executive of McDonald's UK, reckons the obesity problem among the nation's youth is down to a variety of things, especially gaming.
In an interview on The Times website, Easterbrook said: "I don’t know who is to blame. The issue of obesity is complex and is absolutely one our society is facing, there’s no denial about that, but if you break it down I think there’s an education piece: how can we better communicate to individuals the importance of a balanced diet and taking care of themselves? Then there’s a lifestyle element: there’s fewer green spaces and kids are sat home playing computer games on the TV when in the past they’d have been burning off energy outside."
It's interesting comment and as I've said before on this blog gaming should be part of an active lifestyle, for all ages. Just as we should all have balanced diets and not grubbing up on chips, pizza and beer all the time.
Parents shouldn't use consoles as the easy option to keep kids amused, but at the same time why not let them enjoy some time each week to enjoy their Wii, Xbox, DS or PlayStation? As long as they are active in the swimming pool, on the football pitch or simply playing in the garden, and that it doesn't affect their education, then I don't see a problem with it.
The irony is that McDonald's have games on their website.

Monday, January 07, 2008

The power of Wii

First of all, Happy New Year to anyone who reads this. I'll be making a bit more of an effort to use and start linking to a few gaming blogs to see how far this blogging puppy can run.
So what's been happening? Well, I bought a new TV over the Christmas sales so my old telly, which is a bitch to haul up the stairs, is now sitting in my gaming den that my missus has allowed me to create in one corner of a spare room. I just need to rig it up online and off we go again with Call of Duty 4, which incidentally performed very well in the top ten best Xbox lives games of 2007.
Over the weekend I had a small reunion with my best mates from uni and their wife/husband/kid. After a red wine-fuelled evening Sunday morning was a little subdued until my best mate pulled out his Nintendo Wii. Nothing strange there you might ask, but two things came out of it. Read on.
Firstly, it was a joint present for his wife and him for Christmas. Read that again. 'For his wife and him'. Gone are the days of hardcore gamers in their bedroom - I even had a conversation with her about Mario Galaxy. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Put simply, Nintendo has done their job and it was great to chat to someone who is as passionate about Mario as I have been over the last 17 years or more.
Secondly, out came Wii Bowling. Up stepped my 58-year-old father-in-law. He's never been into gaming, but he was a dab hand at the bowling alley and you could tell he was intrigued. Nintendo has touched someone who's nearly 60, and a female. It's opened up gaming to those who never thought they would have a go. That, my friends, is the power of Wii.