Saturday, March 03, 2007

I heart Kid Icarus

I know I've already said this, but I'm completely head over heels in love with Kid Icarus. I'm sure it's partially because it was one of the first video games I played way back when, but I also think it's just one hell of a game. One hell of a *hard* game, for sure, but a good one too.

I just had to say that. Plus, I wanted to post this super cool piece of semi-educational game art (found at and needed something, even mindless drivel like this, to go along with it.

Gotta get Gurumin?

I've been eyeing the PSP for some time. Unlike a lot of Nintendo fanboys, I only diss other companies, consoles and games when it's warranted. I had a PS1, I currently have a PS2 and I'm considering buying an Xbox 360, and I'll be damned if I'm not considering a PSP as well for games like Loco Roco, the Final Fantasy Tactics redux and a cute little gem called Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure.

I have yet to play it of course, but from what I've read it's quite an enjoyable action/RPG romp. Don't take my word for it--take the word of the folks at Siliconera (they just posted a thumbs-up review for the game).

It's a Wonderful World living up to its name

I don't know about you, but I think Square-Enix is entering a Renaissance phase. In my mind, the company's heyday begin with the release of the SNES and ended sometime during the PS1's lifespan. The stuff they have released for the DS (and are still working on), however, reminds me so much of those days my head is spinning.

Take the dual-screen, action-RPG It's a Wonderful Life. Not only does it feature artwork reminiscent of Sega's Jet Set Radio series, but it features a hip, futuristic storyline and unique control set-up as well.

Go Nintendo has kindly posted a few new scans of the game, taken from some random Japanese magazine. Can't wait until this game comes to the U.S.!

Mother hasn't forgotten about you

Nintendo's "ho hum" attitude towards the future of its Mother/Earthbound series in the States confounds me to no end. OK, so Earthbound on the SNES didn't break sales records--that's the case for quite a few of the Japanese giant's titles, yet they've brought out sequels for many of them.

First we didn't get a the Mother 1+2 compilation for the GBA, and now we're not getting Mother 3 either (as far as anyone can tell). Thankfully it seems we don't need to rely on Ninty for either title, as the emulation community has stepped up to the plate to release English-language patches for both games.

Unfortunately, neither is all that close to being done. In the meantime, though, the great crew at have posted a video of what has been completed of the Mother 3 project. Check it out here

Finally--Heroes of Mana footage

One of the gazillion games I'm looking forward to playing on my DS is Square's Heroes of Mana. That decision is based solely on the few screen shots I've seen of the game, however. Well, those days are over now as a brief trailer for the game has hit the Internet for all our viewing pleasure ( Just a tiny bit of gameplay is included, but it should certainly be enough to whet your appetite for more.

Do the time warp: Zelda BS

Ah, I loved the SNES (Super Famicom if you're a purist). Some of the best gaming experiences I've ever had were on that system: Final Fantasy 4, 5 and 6, Secret of Mana, Zelda: A Link to the Past, Yoshi's Island--the list goes on an on.

One game I wasn't able to experience was the remake of the original Zelda on Nintendo's Japan-only BS system. It's more in the style of A Link to the Past and looks quite enticing for a Nintendork like me.

Go Nintendo put up a great YouTube video of a translated version of the game (available on a computer near you if you're into emulation). Check it out to see what all the fuss is about:

What do you think about the cutesy My Sims?

Wow, this one is strange. Along with the fairly straightforward port of SimCity coming to the DS, EA is bringing a new version of its popular Sims series to the Wii--and it isn't like any Sims you've ever played before.

Unlike the borderline realistic appearance of the hit PC and console versions, the Wii version seems to take its cues from Nintendo's Animal Crossing games. Everyone and everything is cute and cuddly--like little Stay Puffed marshmallow men.

I probably won't be picking this one up, but not because of the PG appearance. There's just too many other top-notch titles coming to the Wii this year that are grabbing my attention instead. If you haven't yet made up your mind, check out this video that just appeared on Siliconera:

Dawn of Mana makes an appearance

Square sure has been mum on the subject of the American release of Dawn of Mana for the PS2. Heck, I've hardly heard anything about the Japanese release of the game either, and it's been out for a while.

Well, the game is set to come to our shores in late May, and you can bet I'll be picking it up (even if it can't possibly compare to its SNES brethren). For those of you who feel the same way, take a few seconds to ogle the official cover image here. Hopefully it will help tide you over...

Why can't I see Mii in my Wii games?

Some interesting news recently came out of gaming pub Next Generation about the use of Miis in third-party Wii titles. Apparently the big N hasn't supplied other companies with the information needed to allow them access the characters for use in games. Also, the mag reports, there's no telling if and when Nintendo will put this information in the hands of third parties.

Unfortunately, the news isn't all that shocking to me. Ninty always has held information close to its chest, even when it seemingly damaged relationships with other companies (and, in effect, harmed its own consoles and company). We've already seen this with the Wii, in fact, with Nintendo only recently providing third parties with the information needed to add WiFi connectivity to their games.

I understand a lot of games that just wouldn't work with Miis replacing the main characters, but I'd like to see more of it nonetheless. Here's hoping Nintendo can work something out so it will happen to some extent in the future.

SimCity DS has designs on America

I don't know why, but I've been looking forward to this announcement--that the previously Japan-only SimCity DS will make its way to U.S. gamers this summer. It's probably because I put a lot of hours into an earlier version of the game (this one's based on SimCity 3000 on the PC) while I was in high school).

Some of the Japanese-ness (I know that's not a word) will be removed from the version we see, no doubt, but everything important should remain, including the cute little DS-only additions (sign proclamations with the stylus and blow into the microphone to put out fires).

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

As Arnold once said, "I'll be back" (and soon!)

In case any of you have come to enjoy my news updates, reviews and other quippy commentary and have missed it the past few days, I just wanted to let you know that my husband and I are in the process of moving across country (from Madison, Wis., to Seattle) and I'm unable to do any substantive posts. I'll be back in action on Friday, though, so in the meantime why not check out some of the great sites mentioned on the right side of the screen?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

PS3 to lose backwards compatibility?

Strange things seem to be brewing in the land of doom and gloom surrounding Sony's PS3. According to recent reports, the version of the system due to be released soon in Europe won't feature the hardware (included in Japanese and American systems) that emulates PS2 and PS1 games. Instead, "limited" emulation of the systems' games will be made possible through software.

When queried by, the bigwigs at Sony responded with the following quip:

"This move is a part of our cost saving measures, similar to the wide variety of cost saving measures we have applied with both the original PlayStation and with PS2. In time this leads to a reduction in the cost of manufacture and over time allows us to reduce the cost of the PS3 to consumers."

It isn't all that shocking to hear Sony's looking at ways to make its monolithic system cheaper, though it's a bit of a head-scratcher that the change hasn't created a price cut for European gamers (it's going to be just as expensive as ever when it's released on that side of the pond).

American and Japanese fans of Sony's latest attempt to take over the world shouldn't get too cocky--word on the street is the hardware-to-software switch eventually will be coming to our shores as well. All of which means I won't be tossing away my slimline PS2 anytime soon...

Ocarina of Time heads up list of upcoming VC offerings

Nintendo graciously gave U.S. gamers an early preview of this Monday's VC update in the form of a press release announcing imminent availability of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (originally developed for the N64).

Hopefully Nintendo doesn't follow the footsteps it took when it released The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past a month or so ago (the SNES classic was the only VC release that week). Even if that's the case, though, you can hardly go wrong by purchasing Ocarina of Time, arguably Link's best video game adventure to date.

In other VC news, the folks at GoNintendo claim two TurboGrafx-16 games will be showing up on a Wii Shop Channel near you sooner rather than later: the seminal Splatterhouse and the mediocre Double Dungeons. GoNintendo didn't specify whether they're due for release in Japan, Europe or the U.S. Here's hoping at least Splatterhouse comes to the States eventually.