Friday, March 05, 2010

'I want to flyyyy sky hiiiigh. Let's goooo together.'

I don't know about you, but I often get caught in "YouTube loops." (I go onto the site to watch a single, specific video and end up watching about 30--many of which have little or nothing to do with the original video.)

I got caught in such a loop yesterday afternoon. At one point, I came across the following:

For the next 30 minutes or so, I scoured YouTube looking for other tracks from Daytona USA. Why? Well, I played the hell out of the Saturn version of game when I was in high school and I have fond memories of singing along with tunes like "Sky High" while (desperately) trying to win a few races.

Listen: "The King of Speed," "Let's Go Away" and "Sky High."

If I owned an Xbox 360, my Gamertag would be 'gay4play'

Or, maybe it would be "evengayerthanilook." That's kind of a mouthful, though, isn't it?

Anyway, you're probably thinking, "What planet are you on? On this planet, Microsoft doesn't allow Gamertags like that." Au contraire, mes amis!

Earlier today, the folks at Microsoft announced an update to the Xbox LIVE Terms of Use and Code of Conduct that allows users to "more freely express their race, nationality, religion and sexual orientation in Gamertags and profiles."

Previously, some of those expressions of self-identification were not allowed in Gamertags or profiles "to prevent the use of these terms as insults or slurs," Microsoft's Marc Whitten said in a press release that announced the update. "However, we have since heard feedback from our customers that while the spirit of this approach was genuine, it inadvertently excluded a part of our Xbox LIVE community."

Of course, Whitten added, "this update also comes hand-in-hand with increased stringency and enforcement to prevent the misuse of these terms."

It'll be interesting to see what happens moving forward. I think it's a foregone conclusion that some (OK, a lot of) gamers will abuse the system, but what isn't a foregone conclusion is how the folks at Microsoft will respond to that abuse. Hopefully it won't prompt them to pull the plug on the update and go back to banning people with Gamertags like "thegayestgamer."

See also: 'Microsoft still hemming and hawing over gay gamertags on Xbox Live' and 'The Advocate: Microsoft Tries to Mend Rift With Gaymers'

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Suggestions? I'm all ears ...

I've been meaning to post this for a while now, but I've refrained from doing so for a number of reasons. OK, so there's just one reason: I'm pretty sure only one or two people will respond!

Just in case I'm wrong, I'll go ahead and ask: What do you like about this blog? What don't you like about it?

Would you like to see more of something, or less of something? Would you like to see more features, interviews or reviews, for instance, or do you get your fill of those things from other blogs and sites?

I guess what I'm asking is: What brought you to this blog, and what would get you to come back more often? Oh, and what, if anything, would get you to comment more often?

Like I said in the header, I'm all ears!

'I'll pause this game so our love will never end. Let's go again.'

While perusing a NeoGAF thread about "the best fan-made songs about games" yesterday, I came across this little gem:

Sure, it's a little corny, but it's also kind of sweet. Oh, and it doesn't rely on "teh lulz" like so many songs about games.

To open or not to open, that is the question ...

I received my first Club Nintendo "reward" yesterday: the DS Game & Watch Collection. Here's a glamor-ish shot of it:

I haven't opened it yet because I haven't decided if I want to play it or save it and sell it (unopened) later. What would you guys/gals do?

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

I've got a serious case of DS 'Phat' envy

Until recently, I considered the original design of the DS (aka the DS "Phat") to be downright ugly--due in large part (I think) to its tank-like boxiness.

Well, a switch in my brain must have been flipped in the last few days, because I now find the DS "Phat" design rather appealing. In fact, if I had the dough--and if I didn't want a DSi, too--I'd do my best to nab one off of eBay.

In a perfect world, I'd pick up a DS "Phat" that's been modded to look like those old Game & Watch machines (like this one). Of course, this Koopa Troopa-inspired design is pretty terrific, too:

Which DS design do you prefer: DS "Phat," DSlite, DSi or DSi LL/XL?  


I'm not so sure the following, NSFW-ish (if you're not wearing headphones) video is genuine, but it doesn't really matter. What does matter is that it made me laugh out loud (you know, the real-life version of LOL) a few minutes ago.

I can't laugh at this guy too heartily, though, because I know that if Mario Kart Wii (and webcams) had existed back when I was a teen I would have embarrassed myself in a similar fashion following a particularly brutal online race. Or not.

Did hell freeze over last night?

I ask because that's when I finished a game--and, well, I guess I assumed hell would freeze over before that happened.

So, which game did I finish? Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon.

It took me just over 32 hours, by the way. About 30 minutes of that time was spent watching the title's painfully boring closing credit roll. I sat through it, though, because I knew a number of post-game dungeons would open up afterward. 

After I conquer those dungeons, I think I'll tackle another Final Fantasy spin-off that I started (but never completed) long ago--Final Fantasy IV: The After Years.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Games that have withstood the test of time

A few hours ago, the retronauts folks asked the following question via Twitter: Which one game do you think best withstands the test of time to be as great today as it was when it first launched?

My response:

Other games that I believe have withstood the test of time: Bubble Bobble (and its sequels, Rainbow Islands and Parasol Stars), Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr., Final Fantasy VVI and Tactics, Ms. Pac-Man, Tetris, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and the first three Super Mario Bros. titles. (OK, throw Super Mario World in there, too.)

So, the question is: Which titles do you guys and gals believe have withstood the test of time?

Monday, March 01, 2010

I'm guessing this was a precursor to the propeller suit?

If so, I have just one thing to say to Shigeru Miyamoto: What in the hell were you thinking?

The propeller suit introduced in New Super Mario Bros. Wii is nice and all, but it in no way compares to the awesomeness of this:

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you. What you see in the image above is Mario
(and two of his toad-ish companions) in a chicken suit!

The image above was included in a recent Nintendo of Japan recruitment pamphlet, by the way. Additional images from this pamphlet can be found here.

(Thanks to NeoGAF's mehdi_san for scanning and sharing this and other images.)

See also: 'Alternate New Super Mario Bros. Wii box art and 'Tingle tank' FTW'