Thursday, January 31, 2008

Japan Brawl Day, USA Brawl Day, Everyone's Nintendo Channel/Wii Preview Channels (and Brawl)

Whoa, where did January go? That was quick. I'm not one to wish my life away, but if February goes by as quick, we'll all be playing Brawl in no time! And if you lived in Japan, you would be playing it. Right. Now.

Brawl has been released in Japan, if you're trying to avoid the spoilers (full character list, levels, final smashes), then you better go ahead and turn off your internet.

Rumors of shortages in Japan have been popping up. This sort of thing can push people into a 'preorder' frame of mind, though it may just be a scare tactic. Though I am not a huge fan of preordering...

*FLASHBACK* November 21, 2004 - The Nintendo DS is released! I preordered through Gamestop as soon as they started accepting preorders, and was the first person in the parking lot on that bright sunny Sunday morning - and I'm glad I was there early, because the Gamestop employee told me that though a ton of people had preordered a DS, they had only gotten 20 in, so it was first come first serve. */FLASHBACK*

I will search the stores on Brawl day, but I will also kindly ask duB to search for a copy for me that day as well (to which I would gladly take the trip to pick it up, even though it is a weeknight...).

RAWR Brawl!

I'm stoked about the Everyone's Nintendo Channel. I've seen some videos of it on the net, and it looks spectacular. There has been no North America announcement for this channel, though Japan got it back in November. With it, you'll be able to download games, like Ninja Gaiden, to your DS, as well as rate Wii games, view promos of upcoming games such as Wii Fit.

And I'm guessing that since the ENC has previews, that we'll no longer be seeing any stand-alone Preview Channels? Remember the Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Preview Channel? You'd figure Nintendo would be dropping Preview Channels for all first party games, but only Metroid got one, back in August. That was five months ago, and several first party games ago... think we'll see any more? I wouldn't mind one bit if a Brawl Preview Channel was released.

I am also fully expecting Super Smash Bros 64 to make its way to the Virtual Console any week now, though I will go ahead and put myself out there, and predict Monday, February 25 (barring any more delays of Brawl that is).


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Second Shot

I had all intentions of making a rather sizable rant that dealt with the sake post of B!Z and the quick game overview that Zon produced. Those plans were checked after some rather unsettling events happened around my job and knocked me into a rather sticky situation. That put all my plans into a bit of a tailspin, luckily the plane has righted itself, now it is clear skies and smooth sailing.

Next order of business, a shout out must be given to Snowkissed for giving us some much needed advise in our feeble attempt at this whole intertubes thing. Thanks for your help! Guild Wars seems like forever ago.

Even with the decreased amount of time I have been gaming lately, I finally managed to beat Super Mario Galaxy. That being said, I can not begin to claim I have seen the "real ending". I plan to keep working on getting the remaining 59 at my leisure. I don't think I need to really review the game, what with all of those already done. I will say that it is one of the best games ever made.

On the other hand, as much fun as Medal of Honor 2 is in the campaign mode, the online matchmaking leaves something to be desired. I just want to play with my friends online. To be able to create a group that my friends can join so we can play together, to use some of the capability that we know is in the Wii and allow us to voice-chat. Why, why must you torture me?
I guess CoD4 has been spoiling me.

I am completely vexed over the amount of games that I desperately want to buy, but won't let myself until I have cleared some of the pile of games on my table. I suppose that with Mario somewhat done I could pick up a Wii game. No More Heroes is calling my name, loudly. I hear it's call now, beckoning me to get in the car and drive to walmart @ 11pm.

I will resist, but for how long....
maybe 16 hours...

I just read over B!Z's post again and that reminded there are more than a few games that I have let slip off my radar. Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors, Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed, Burnout Paradise, Devil May Cry 4 come to mind.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ramblings about procuring a Wii

Although I threw a temper tantrum when they changed the name from Revolution to Wii, I eventually got over it via playing Wii Sports with duB, and bought one myself - this involved me sitting at Target the week before Christmas 2006 at 4:30 in the morning in 20 degree weather for a couple of hours to secure myself one - this after plenty of detective work figuring out where and when a supply of Wiis would arrive. I will also add that my knowledge allowed my nephews and duB's mom to pick up a Wii as well at said Target on said Sunday morning. It was a lot of fun!

There was a sense of camaraderie among the first arrivals - there were only 15 Wiis (I was number 4, I was definitely the first person at Target (having had time to go and check Wal Mart first, and still being first there), but I was sitting in the car with the heat on, until 3 people, one of which being my brother-in-law, go power-walking/running to the door, to which I grabbed my DS and did the same...), and the lady who was sixth in line said if we saved her spot, she'd go buy us all coffee. Good times...


Monday, January 21, 2008

Nintendo, 3rd Party games, Online

What is up Nintendo? I love you and all, but you can be infuriating sometimes. I know delays are just a way of life for first party titles, and I would rather have it delayed and good, then on time and crappy. The longer you delay though, the higher the bar gets set. I'm not too worried about Brawl though, as that 40/40 from Famitsu was high praise indeed. Just make sure you get the Online play as good as it can be.

Now, in regards to your online, please don't drop the ball. Look at how long the DS has been around now - 3 years. Yet we've still got first party games coming out with NO online features. Mario Party DS would have been the PERFECT candidate for some online action - I totally would have bought it. As it stands though, I have plenty of games I can play locally with friends and family, and I really don't need another.

Then we have games that DO have online, but could have had better online - Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass should have included Four Swords. The Force Gem collecting it has is nice, but man, what a missed opportunity! I even would have been satisfied if it was flat out ported from the GBA cart and given online capabilities. (PS, I still LOVE Phantom Hourglass - so hot...)

Now we've got the Wii, and hardware sales are through the roof. Demand is by far exceeding supply. I'm really happy about that, because I think that if the Wii had been another Gamecube for Nintendo, they may have called it quits for home consoles, and focused more heavily on the DS domination. But the hardware numbers are good, and that's a great start. However, the software numbers for 3rd party games are not so good. A Nintendo home console curse.

This is partly Nintendo's fault, and partly 3rd party developers' fault. Nintendo makes such great games that they're purchased into the millions in a matter of short months. But the mass majority of 3rd party titles suffer almost always.

Nintendo made a system so different than PS3 and 360, that developers have to do something different for the Wii. They can't just make a game for all three systems, they have to either exclude the Wii altogether due to lesser graphic capabilities, or change it and add in the motion controls (extra work).

This can be good and bad in my opinion - good, because we get original games like Zack and Wiki, and Elebits, and bad, because we get games now that are PS2 ports, or games like Soul Calibur Legends instead of Soul Calibur IV (or even SCIII).

How can we expect Capcom to make some hot games for us when a game like Zack and Wiki, which is absolutely brilliant, but only sold ~35,000 copies in its launch month? More than 6 million Wiis were sold in 2007, and a ridiculously high percentage of said owners are missing out on this great game.

If Wii owners continue to neglect 3rd party games, and/or 3rd party developers continue to make crappy games for the Wii, those same 3rd party developers could end up pulling their support from the Wii, just like they did with the Gamecube.

I guess the bottom line is - Nintendo can NOT succeed on first party games alone.

Hope that made sense... /ramble


Sunday, January 20, 2008


Okay, just for fun... who's a skrull?

Speculations are running high, as the Secret Invasion draws near...

So far, the answer to that question is Elektra, Black Bolt, The Revolutionary of the new Liberty Legion, and an unknown individual at Camp Hammond (whom Revolutionary reports to, and hints that there will be a skrull on all 50 of the Initiative teams...)

Judging from the Mighty Avengers #7, I' would to bet good money that Sentry's wife, Lindy, is indeed a skrull.

Why? Because it appeared that Ultron killed her - shortly thereafter Lindy is alive because Sentry brought her back to life? Okay...

Also, because she asks Tony to find a way to depower Sentry before he kills them all. Now why would Lindy do this? Sure Sentry is a unstable, but the real reason she says this is because Sentry is a huge roadblock in terms of skrulls establishing any sort of front. Plus didn't Sentry think Lindy was dead when he first appeared? We were warned that anyone with a mysterious resurrection could be a skrull (I hope Ronin (Hawkeye) isn't a skrull...).

As much as I hate Sentry, Marvel has made him uber-man, and he'll be crucial in whipping skrulls en masse. Also, in New Avengers #8 I believe, some of Sentry's old adventures are shown, and he is fighting a number of skrulls... coincidence? I think not!

Over at the Marvel Boards, people are coming up with some very interesting theories...

This post, for instance, talks of Silent War, where Black Bolt smiled at an inappropriate time, and also speculates that perhaps M-Day was the result of the skrulls.

Also, some people seem to think Dr. Strange and Spider-Woman are skrulls... this would make me sad, as I am a fan of them both.

Brian Michael Bendis has been working on this story, and setting it up since 2004... there are bound to be some huge shockers in the coming months.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

X-Men Messiah Complex, New X-Men - and Mutant Zero

Wow, Messiah Complex has blown me away so far. Madrox and Layla investigating the future, the mutant 'messiah' getting handed around more than a hot potato, and betrayals galore.

I am really pleased with the pace of the story too - a new chapter every week has really made me look forward to Wednesdays (almost as much as Virtual Console Mondays!).

The only thing I am disappointed with is character usage. I'm glad to see Bishop in a main role, as well as Cyclops's development as a better leader. But it seems like recently every issue is X-Force, of which I'm just not that interested in. I really enjoyed Storm's team and their assault on the Marauders in X-Men 205, as well as Wolvie slicing Gambit up real good.

It seems like the only X-title that actually uses their own team during this story is New X-Men, who are sort of bleh in my opinion. Cyclops and Emma really need to keep a tighter leash on them. Even though their book is coming to an apparent end after Messiah Complex, I always thought they should have had an elder X-Men on their team, like Banshee and Emma were to Generation X. For New X-Men though, I would have loved to see Forge or Storm as their mentor. Maybe the "Young X-Men" (so lame, sounds so DC) will see this implementation.

Now, onto Mutant Zero... I was browsing the Marvel Comics forums the other day and came across a thread that was titled to the effect - Mutant Zero is Jean Grey. I sort of thought it was a joke, but no, the guy was serious. Dan Slott, writer of Avengers: The Initiative, has stated that Mutant Zero is someone that people who don't follow comics will recognize, and who has been cover-worthy many times, and when she unmasks, fans will say "whoa."

Who in their right mind would think that Jean Grey would be resurrected outside an X-title? Hands please? I can't see any... that's right, because the thought of that is ludicrous...

So who could it be then? Well browsing further into that post, some speculated it could be Revanche - but I don't think non-followers will know who that is...

Also, it would have to be someone who is NOT on the 198 list, since she's referred to as #199...

I had originally thought it would be Firestar, since she's been cover worthy, and TV worthy (Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends), and she and Vance Astro have a connection, and since she was a New Warrior, but she's on the 198 list.

Well I don't have an answer, but I will say that I doubt with all the doubt I can muster that it is NOT Jean Grey. I'll also be pretty irritated if it's the Scarlet Witch...


Friday, January 18, 2008

Opening Shot

I have been meaning to start this little project with a few of my good friends, for i don't know how long anymore. At first, it was easy to try to do too many things and incorporate too many people that it left me unable to act due to some kind of overload.

The next serious attempt was a few months ago, with two of my true best friends. The ideas were easy to come by, but I think that was my problem. How do you implement an idea about how to create our dream, when the next day you come up with an entirely different approach to get our idea off ground.

Right now, thanks must be given to Zon for pushing me to put pen to paper, as they say. His nudge became the spark that set off this little fire, who knows what will catch. Zon has started by reviewing a game that I gave him for x-mas this year. FFXII for the DS. A better place for the beginning, I don't think that would be possible.

One that note,

I believe I will start off with a general and in no possible way, shape or form binding, statement about the trajectory we proceed in as a camarilla. I think that Zon's first post is both appropriate and indicative of what one can expect from us here at duBiZon. We will have several things at any one given times we are into, therefore you never know what you can expect from us. Video games and comics could be labeled as our major interests, but I don't think that's entirely accurate. I don't think you will see us the venture from those to for very long, but we are all interested in varied endeavors. They will no doubt pop up time from time in our ramblings. Other areas I expect a lively debate are in t.v., movies, sports (mainly of a N.C. Variety), music, comics, books, politics, religion (but always in a respectful manner), travel, current events and pop culture to name but a few.

“TO THINK, THE MOST INCREDIBLE POWER OF ALL TIME HAS BEEN HIDDEN IN THAT CAVE, WAITING TO BE FOUND!! BUT...I'VE WASTED ENOUGH TIME! THE WORLD MUST BE WARNED OF THE PRESENCE OF THE STONE MEN!” Sorry about the cap's , I guess I have been reading too much Essential Thor. I don't really have enough of the first book under my belt to give a good review of the material, but that being said I do have more than enough experience with golden age comics to ask a few very simple questions. One, why the hell does ever sentence necessitate full caps and at the bare minimum one exclamation point? O.K., I understand it was a volatile time and no one was sure if comics would take off again after the war. Does that mean that even side character's mundane inner thoughts require exclamation points? The thing is I have seen this in FF, Spiderman, Hulk, X-men and to my knowledge all the books coming out of Marvel at that time.

Don't get me wrong, I have The Mighty Thor 153 and 186, they are without a doubt my most favorite comics... maybe. Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, it doesn't get any better than that. The point of that rant was to set the tone of the future of this adventure; sometimes it rambles, sometimes it pisses you off and sometimes, just sometimes, we make a little sense.

P.S. Looking over everything up so far, I am going to be coming up with a post tonight or tomorrow that responds to some of the great stuff my confederates have posted.


So many games, so little time

Ever had too many games, and not enough time to play them all? This happens with me occasionally, especially around the holidays. For Christmas, I got 3 NDS games (Puzzle Quest, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, Contra 4), 2 Wii games (Zack and Wiki, Puzzle Quest), and one PC game (Heroes of Might and Magic V, plus the expansion). On top of that, my birthday came one month before Christmas, to which I was given Zelda Phantom Hourglass, Super Mario Galaxy, and Fire Emblem (Wii).

Okay, so that’s 8 games. I’m also a big fan of the Wii Virtual Console, and I usually purchase new games the day they come out, as if they were going to disappear if I didn’t buy them that day. So I’ve got 3 or 4 games on there that I have barely touched – though I have the utmost intention of doing so.

AND on top of that, I recently picked up on eBay Final Fantasy Chronicles and Final Fantasy Anthology (which in total, compiles Final Fantasy IV, V, VI, and Chrono Trigger...)

So what have I actually accomplished in these games so far?

Super Mario Galaxy - 33 stars. So, a little over a quarter of the way to 120.

Fire Emblem - Played this about 15 hours. Completed the first act, of which I am guessing there are 4. This game is an epic saga. The first act felt like a whole game, and the second act started a totally different story with different characters, so I decided to take a little break.

Zelda Phantom Hourglass - Beat it, and played it about 75% of the way through again before Christmas

Puzzle Quest DS - Level 23, I played this first after Christmas, but after I started seeing different colored gems when I closed my eyes, I decided it was time for a break ;)

Zack and Wiki - Played this about 12 hours. I was playing this more heavily until I tried out FFXII:RW...

Final Fantasy XII: RW - Played this 15 hours. 60% completed so far. This game has the most of my attention at the present time.

Puzzle Quest Wii - Not yet played. Why do I need two Puzzle Quest games you ask? Because it's that great of a game, and I want to be able to play on the TV or on the go.

Contra 4 - Not yet played. When I think about playing this, I can hear a female Forsaken Rogue from WoW say "Not Enough Energy!"

Heroes of Might and Magic V - I've played a little bit of this. I recently got a new computer that can actually play this, so that's pretty exciting. But I've got so many other games that I'm going to wait until I have more time to devote HOMMV.

Chrono Trigger - Why did I even put this in the Playstation and turn it on? Well, I had to test it to see if it worked okay, so I can leave the guy on eBay feedback...yeah... I'm going to try really hard not to turn this back on for awhile...

The good news is that this happened almost the same way last year, but I did end up getting to play all my games, and then some. But in my honest opinion, it's a bad idea to play multiple games at once. I don't think I am getting the fullest experience from my games if I'm not dedicated solely to just one. I love Super Mario Galaxy, but if I think about playing it, I'm like "But I just gained access to land in Ivalice in FFXII:RW..." or "But I need to get back my treasure map in Zack and Wiki..."

Gaming can be tough sometimes...



Welcome to duBiZon! That last part of the name belongs to me - Zon. I've been playing video games probably earlier than I can remember, but we're going to pinpoint that to when I can first remember - playing Pepper II on the Coleco Vision when I was 4. My mom was our home's gamer at that point, as she was a stay-at-home mom. She and the lady neighbor from next door would play Coleco for hours each day I'm told - Q*Bert, Mr. Do, Mouse Trap, Pepper II, as well as others. I own or have owned the NES, SNES, N64, Playstation 1, Gamecube, the Wii, as well as Gameboys galore, and of course the best handheld to date - the Nintendo DS.

So you see, it's kind of deep rooted in me. Now, we've all got plenty of other stuff going on too - but that's not the point of this blog.

Here's what you can expect to see from me if you frequently check us out:
  • Info on the games I'm playing - Wii, DS, and retro titles
  • Info on the comics I'm reading - Marvel Comics, X-Men, New Avengers, etc.
  • Info on the Football teams I support - Panthers, Steelers (not much to talk about now though...)
Next Post: So many games, So little time...