Friday, January 15, 2010

No, you witch, I *haven't* dropped my hips!

If you've spent any amount of time with the "push-up and side plank" exercise in Wii Fit or Wii Fit Plus, you've likely heard, oh, about a thousand times (if not more), the following question: "Have you dropped your hips?"

Whenever I hear it, I feel like picking up the nearest heavy object and throwing it at my on-screen, mannequin-esque trainer. As I don't want to replace my TV every time I use Wii Fit, I grit my teeth and mumble obscenities under my breath rather than give in to my fantasies.

Why mention all of this here--and now? Well, I worked out using Wii Fit for the first time in more than 40 days a few hours ago. And despite the fact that I had to hear that damn question about a hundred times (along with helpful comments like, "Don't forget to breathe!") in the span of a half-hour, I enjoyed myself.

OK, "enjoyed myself" probably isn't the best way to describe how I felt--in general, I don't enjoy sweating profusely and feeling like I'm going to die--but I know I'll enjoy how it makes me feel (and look) in the long run, as few exercises kick my butt like doing a few sets (of 20 reps) of push-ups and side planks.

Are any of you fans of Wii Fit or Wii Fit Plus? If so, what are your favorite exercises? Also, have you firmed up, gained muscle or lost weight thanks to the time you've spent with Nintendo's most famous "non-game"?

Monday, Jan. 18 = the gayest day ever for American Wii owners

You know why? That's when Muscle March will be added to WiiWare! (I didn't pull the date out of my butt, by the way--I found it right here.)

Oh, and it gets better: The powers that be at Namco Bandai Games America Inc. (that's quite a mouthful, isn't it?) have decided to sell the game for a measly 500 Nintendo Points (or $5, if you prefer to deal with actual currencies).

In case you've been living in a cave (hey, it happens) and, as such, you've never experienced the macho magnificence that is Muscle March, here's an "infomercial" that shows you everything you need to know about the title (and then some):

I know what you're thinking: I don't want to wait. I want it now!! Well, wait you must. In the meantime, you could busy yourself by checking out the official(ly hilarious) Muscle March site. Or you could head over to Twitter and read through King Pedroso's amazingly insightful tweets.

Whatever you do, be sure to do it while wearing your favorite pair of Speedos :)

The baddies in Zengeki no Reginleiv are *this big*

Have you ever dreamed of battling baddies as big as houses? If so, you'll get your chance when Nintendo's Zengeki no Reginleiv is released (in Japan--boo!) on Feb. 11.

You'll also get your chance to battle baddies the size of water buffalo, giraffes, sailboats and pagodas. At least, I think that's what this trailer is touting:

I know Nintendo of America doesn't have the best track record when it comes to localizing the smaller releases of its parent company (e.g., Another Code: R, Captain Rainbow, Disaster:Day of Crisis and Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse), but I'm hoping they'll buck that trend in this case.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nintendo of America thinks you're ready for Beyonce's jelly (again)

Last April, Nintendo of America paid "Single Ladies" crooner Beyonce an exorbitant amount of cash (or not) to promote Rhythm Heaven. The result: A pair of TV ads showing the former Destiny's Child frontwoman playing (and seemingly enjoying) the Tsunku-designed DS game. Here's one of them:

Surprisingly, the ads didn't lead to success on the sales charts. In its first month on store shelves, Rhythm Heaven sold somewhere south of 91,000 copies, according to NPD Group. In its second month (May 2009), it sold less (much less, probably) than 110,000 copies.

That's the last time Rhythm Heaven appeared on NPD's sales charts, which suggests the title hasn't followed in the successful footsteps of its Japanese counterpart. (That game, known as Rhythm Tengoku Gold, has sold nearly 2 million copies since its release in June 2008).

Anyway, to make a long story short (I know, too late), the folks at Nintendo of American don't seem to be all that bothered by Beyonce's lack of selling power. Case in point: Yesterday's announcement that Jay-Z's better half will soon appear in a pair of TV ads pushing the company's Style Savvy game.

Should the spots fail to spur Style Savvy sales (try to say that three times fast), maybe the powers that be at Nintendo will give "Friends" funny lady Lisa Kudrow (and former Personal Trainer: Cooking and Professor Layton pitchwoman) another go.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I'd buy this PSP in a heartbeat ...

... if it were commercially available:

Sadly, it's not. Instead, it's the creation of an artistically inclined Katamari Damacy (and Noby Noby Boy) fan.

Sure, the Keita Takahashi-esque faces that have been painted on the screen might make it hard to play (or at least enjoy) most games, but I'm pretty sure it'd still be worth the moolah.


OK, it's settled ...

... my next game system is going to be a PSP.

I thought it might be a PS3 or an Xbox 360, but then I saw this trailer:

The name of the game in said trailer: Million Ton Bara Bara. I'm not sure what that's supposed to mean either, but who really cares--it's the product of the same creative geniuses (at Acquire) responsible for the Yuusha no Kuse Ni Namaikida (Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman!) games, for crying out loud!

A demo of the game, featuring three stages that won't be found in the final build, will hit the Japanese PSN on Jan. 21, according to, while the full game will hit store shelves (again, in Japan) a few weeks later on Feb. 18.

Hopefully it'll hop the pond (to Europe and the U.S.) shortly after ...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Is Chulip getting a second chance at love?

While reading up on Natsume for my last post (about the upcoming DS title, Squishy Tank), I discovered some interesting information on the company's Wikipedia page.

In particular, "Chulip Special Edition" (for PC, Wii and Xbox 360) was listed among the works that have been or will be published by the U.S. arm of the Osaka, Japan-based company.

I couldn't find any information about the title on Natsume's website--or anywhere else on the Internet, for that matter--so it may just be a bit of Wikipedia misinformation.

See also: "Happy birthday to me :)" (I bought the PS2 version of Chulip as a birthday present for myself a few months ago.)

Squishy Tank: Already in the running for most 'awww-inspiring' title of 2010

My pun-loving mom would get a major kick out of the headline above, by the way.

Anyway, Squishy Tank. Here's the 411, in case you've never heard of this cute and cuddly DS title (and I'm guessing you haven't):

It's a basic match-three puzzler (developed by Success Corp. and published by Natsume) based on characters from "Yawaraka Sensha" ("Soft Tank"), a series of Flash animations (here's one of them, thanks to about "adorable baby tanks who are simply too cuddly and delicate for war" (according to JC Fletcher over at

Squishy Tank
will hit store shelves in North America with a rather reasonable $19.99 price tag on March 31. I doubt you'll find it at your local Target (you don't go to Wal-Mart, do you?), so head over to Amazon if you're at all interested.

If you need a bit more information before making your decision, check out Francesca DiMola's impressions over at

They ship to Seattle, right?

I think I just found my next gaming-related-but-not-an-actual-game purchase: The Space Invaders tights at

These snazzy leggings were designed by James Lillis and are made of elastane and polyester. Oh, and they'll cost you $80 before shipping. (You can order a pair here.)

New Toyota hybrid inspired by Contra, Mega Man and Super Mario Bros.

When the folks at Toyota unveiled a new hybrid concept car at the Detroit Auto Show yesterday, they mentioned that its design was inspired by video games popular during the 1980s--namely Contra, Mega Man and Super Mario Bros.

The car, known as the FT-CH Concept, is a "downstream version of the small hybrid Lexus LF-CH Concept" that was unveiled during the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, according to

Should it make it to production, the two-door, four-seat FT-CH (which is just 153 inches long and 68.5 inches wide) likely will be marketed as an entry-level version of the automaker's popular Prius.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Can't get you (or this damn game tune) out of my head

Earlier today, John Teti counted down the top ten game tunes that have been "chiseled into [his] gray matter for life" in Crispy Gamer's creatively titled, "Earworms I Have Known and Loved But Mostly Hated."

I agree with quite a few of the entries on his list--especially Yu Miyake's "Katamari Nah-Nah" (from Katamari Damacy) and Tomohito Nishiura's "Puzzles" (from Professor Layton and the Curious Village).

If I were to make my own list, it would have to include Hirokazu "Hip" Tanaka's "Balloon Trip" tune (from Balloon Fight):

Actually, my list would have to include a lot of songs from NES classics--namely the overworld themes from Kid Icarus, The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. Oh, and of course the battle theme from the original Final Fantasy.

Which game tunes have wormed their way into your brain over the years?

On this week's episode of 'Why I Want a Japanese Wii' ...

Japanese Wii owners will be treated to two Virtual Console releases this week: The MSX version of Parodius and the MSX version of Salamander.

(No worries if you've never heard of the MSX. Basically, it was a standardized computer platform that was developed by Microsoft in the early 1980s. Although it became quite popular in Japan, it was all but ignored in Europe and the U.S.)

I'd buy the MSX version of Parodius in a heartbeat if I owned a Japanese Wii. It's hardly the best iteration of Parodius, a series I've loved since the release of Parodius Da! in the early 1990s, but it is the most unique (in my opinion, of course). It's also the hardest--and "cheapest."

Here's a video that shows off the game's (fan-translated) first stage. (Which, I hate to admit, I have yet to clear. Yeah, I'm weaksauce.)

If you're lucky enough to own a Japanese Wii--and you decide to plop down 800 Nintendo points for this title--but you can't tell your hiragana from your katakana, go here to download an English version of the manual.