April 2 – April 6

The best thing I can say about this Monday morning is that April Fools Day is over. Actually, that's not true. The best thing I can say about this Monday is that it's one day fewer before PAX East begins this Friday.

I've gone from anticipatory, to excited and now almost anxious. I always get like this before a big trip anyway, but attending a big event with a GWJ panel is almost too much for my fluttery humors to handle. I had the same feeling going into PAX West a couple of years back, and it was a tremendous experience. Once I'm shuffling through security at the airport early Thursday morning I expect to be back to relative normal.

As for the week in gaming itself, I want to believe that Kinect Star Wars is going to be fun. I don't expect Game of the Year performance, but jumping around swinging lightsabres with my kids is, I think, a reasonable expectation, so if it can deliver something that makes jiggling around like a fool fun then I'll consider that a win. Still, it's not hard to imagine the many ways this game could be a disappointing catastrophe, and we should simply call my skepticism healthy and leave it at that. Still, unless you're a huge Tropico 4 fan who is eagerly anticipating this week's expansion, there's not a lot else to get worked up about.

[edit]Unless something called -- *checks notes* -- uh, Xenoblade Chronicles is a thing that you like. It is, umm, let's see, some kind of JRPG thingy for the Nintendo Wii. Which is, given those two qualities, obviously a thing I am very excited about. Only a fool wouldn't be, right!

PC
- Confrontation
- Shoot Many Robots (Steam - $10)
- Tropico 4: Modern Times

Xbox 360
- Devil May Cry HD Collection
- Fallout 3 & Oblivion Double Pack
- Kinect Star Wars
- Anomaly Warzone Earth (XBLA - $10)
- Diabolical Pitch (XBLA - $10)

PS3
- Devil May Cry HD Collection
- I Am Alive (PSN - $15)
- The Price Is Right Decades (PSN)
- Wheels of Destruction: World Tour (PSN - $10)

Wii
- Xenoblade Chronicles
- TNT Racers (WiiWare)

Nintendo 3DS
- Funky Barn 3D
- Colors! 3D (eShop - $7)

PSP
- Canabalt (PSP mini)
- Farm Frenzy 2 (PSP mini)

Nintendo DS
- Penguin Patrol (DSiWare - $2)

Comments

Whoa...

So, are you guys telling me that I should try this game, because you only get one shot every blue moon, but if it's that good, I'll give it a go when I get back from PAX.

You should try it for the masses. Because some of us masses (at least some of the masses who don't own a Wii) are intrigued but cannot play.

And, masses.

I take back my comment regarding Star Wars.

Curse you, Tanglebones, for showing me this.

Elysium wrote:

So, are you guys telling me that I should try this game, because you only get one shot every blue moon, but if it's that good, I'll give it a go when I get back from PAX.

Well, most of us won't have it in our hands until Friday, but the fact that we're excited about a game on the Wii should tell you something.

I'm not a big Metacritic proponent, but:

IMAGE(http://img577.imageshack.us/img577/7130/bbbbcex.jpg)

It's been out in Japan for a long time and many months in the EU, so that's where most of those reviews are coming from. They're not all "day 1" or "early" reviews. Preeeeetty impressive.

Elysium wrote:

So, are you guys telling me that I should try this game, because you only get one shot every blue moon, but if it's that good, I'll give it a go when I get back from PAX.

I'd love for someone on the podcast crew to take a look at it, and Certis already said that he probably won't.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

I take back my comment regarding Star Wars.

Curse you, Tanglebones, for showing me this.

Aaand now I want the game.

Edit: That's an utter disgrace.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I'd love for someone on the podcast crew to take a look at it, and Certis already said that he probably won't.

Wouldn't Lara be a good fit?

EDIT: Bah, what is it with me today and not being able to spell names properly?

shoptroll wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

I'd love for someone on the podcast crew to take a look at it, and Certis already said that he probably won't.

Wouldn't Lara be a good fit?

EDIT: Bah, what is it with me today and not being able to spell names properly?

At least you knew and corrected it.

Sure, but wouldn't Elysium be a hilariously bad fit, too? That's worth something.

garion333 wrote:

At least you knew and corrected it. ;)

I should just use the host's usernames instead of their first names. It would save me a lot of trying to remember which Sheawn is which.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Sure, but wouldn't Elysium be a hilariously bad fit, too? That's worth something.

He'd be a great fit too. Maybe he'd even try another JRPG if he liked this one *GASP*

shoptroll wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

Sure, but wouldn't Elysium be a hilariously bad fit, too? That's worth something.

He'd be a great fit too. Maybe he'd even try another JRPG if he liked this one *GASP*

The World Ends With You it is! Get to it!

garion333 wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:

I take back my comment regarding Star Wars.

Curse you, Tanglebones, for showing me this.

Aaand now I want the game.

Edit: That's an utter disgrace.

I......but......what......

Actually, you know what...never mind. For all I know that's a scene from Lucas's next revision of Empire

stevenmack wrote:
garion333 wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:

I take back my comment regarding Star Wars.

Curse you, Tanglebones, for showing me this.

Aaand now I want the game.

Edit: That's an utter disgrace.

I......but......what......

Actually, you know what...never mind. For all I know that's a scene from Lucas's next revision of Empire :(

Random Youtube commenter: "lmao!Still better than Episode 1 XD"

Agreed.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Sure, but wouldn't Elysium be a hilariously bad fit, too? That's worth something.

If it results in another rant similar to the one he had after playing TWEWY, then I'm all for it.

Elysium wrote:

So, are you guys telling me that I should try this game, because you only get one shot every blue moon, but if it's that good, I'll give it a go when I get back from PAX.

You can watch the first hour on youtube.

garion333 wrote:
Elysium wrote:

So, are you guys telling me that I should try this game, because you only get one shot every blue moon, but if it's that good, I'll give it a go when I get back from PAX.

Well, most of us won't have it in our hands until Friday, but the fact that we're excited about a game on the Wii should tell you something.

I'm not a big Metacritic proponent, but:

IMAGE(http://img577.imageshack.us/img577/7130/bbbbcex.jpg)

It's been out in Japan for a long time and many months in the EU, so that's where most of those reviews are coming from. They're not all "day 1" or "early" reviews. Preeeeetty impressive.

You guys actually got me looking at reviews but as soon as I see the art style I know it is not something I could be interested in.

I am aware this is a personal failing and there are games like Tactics Ogre that look interesting but impossible for me to play because I can't handle the onslaught of kawai-ness.

Metal Gear, Ninja Gaiden and all things Nintendo are examples of franchises that have handled this 'issue' well and fostered cross-cultural appeal.

TrashiDawa wrote:

You guys actually got me looking at reviews but as soon as I see the art style I know it is not something I could be interested in.

I am aware this is a personal failing and there are games like Tactics Ogre that look interesting but impossible for me to play because I can't handle the onslaught of kawai-ness.

If it makes you feel any better, I have a huge blind spot when it comes to classic-style fantasy RPGs. Skyrim? Dragon Age? The Witcher? It all looks like grainy photocopies of a John Howe collection. I can't get past that generic Western fantasy look to try the games.

Pretty much the only franchise I've seen that's managed to overcome that is Fable. They're not very original in their designs, but they're brighter and less obsessed with being grim, gritty, realistic fantasy.

I suddenly have the urge to go out and buy a Wii...

Yay, our peer pressure tactics worked for once!

That face palm was posted with much love, Mr. Sands. Sometimes a bucket of ice water to the face is needed to wake us from out Kinightmares

All I have to say is the following:

(...)

TrashiDawa wrote:

You guys actually got me looking at reviews but as soon as I see the art style I know it is not something I could be interested in.

I am aware this is a personal failing and there are games like Tactics Ogre that look interesting but impossible for me to play because I can't handle the onslaught of kawai-ness.

Metal Gear, Ninja Gaiden and all things Nintendo are examples of franchises that have handled this 'issue' well and fostered cross-cultural appeal.

Give in to the cuteness! Not everything in gaming needs to be block-chested military people with scars and buzz cuts!

Though, I play a little of both. I find there to be far more charm in colorful and stylized games than the typical gritty shooter.

MadcapLaugher wrote:

I suddenly have the urge to go out and buy a Wii...

Use the Dolphin Emulator on a PC. The game looks so much better in 1080p anyway(well, obviously!)

kazriko wrote:
TrashiDawa wrote:

You guys actually got me looking at reviews but as soon as I see the art style I know it is not something I could be interested in.

I am aware this is a personal failing and there are games like Tactics Ogre that look interesting but impossible for me to play because I can't handle the onslaught of kawai-ness.

Metal Gear, Ninja Gaiden and all things Nintendo are examples of franchises that have handled this 'issue' well and fostered cross-cultural appeal.

Give in to the cuteness! Not everything in gaming needs to be block-chested military people with scars and buzz cuts!

Though, I play a little of both. I find there to be far more charm in colorful and stylized games than the typical gritty shooter.

Same. A great art style can make up for less-than-stellar graphics, and there are tons of "realistic and gritty" games, since that styles seems to be the default. I like when a cute and colorful game comes out.

Garden Ninja wrote:
kazriko wrote:
TrashiDawa wrote:

You guys actually got me looking at reviews but as soon as I see the art style I know it is not something I could be interested in.

I am aware this is a personal failing and there are games like Tactics Ogre that look interesting but impossible for me to play because I can't handle the onslaught of kawai-ness.

Metal Gear, Ninja Gaiden and all things Nintendo are examples of franchises that have handled this 'issue' well and fostered cross-cultural appeal.

Give in to the cuteness! Not everything in gaming needs to be block-chested military people with scars and buzz cuts!

Though, I play a little of both. I find there to be far more charm in colorful and stylized games than the typical gritty shooter.

Same. A great art style can make up for less-than-stellar graphics, and there are tons of "realistic and gritty" games, since that styles seems to be the default. I like when a cute and colorful game comes out.

I think we'll have to agree to disagree. I understand the cultural background of the art style but in my RPGs I prefer a merry band of blue aliens/pirates/clever thieves (all things Bioware as you may notice) to the parties chock full of 美少年 in JRPGs like Xenoblade.

I am glad you folks that like such things have a quality game to enjoy and in some alternate universe where I have unlimited time to indulge in long games outside my comfort zone I may develop an appreciation for JRPGs.

TrashiDawa, I don't think you ever will come around because you mentioned Tactics Ogre and I would've sworn that game was free of just about all the kawaii stuff. Don't know what you'd need to get over the hump if Tactics Ogre "offended" you.

garion333 wrote:

TrashiDawa, I don't think you ever will come around because you mentioned Tactics Ogre and I would've sworn that game was free of just about all the kawaii stuff. Don't know what you'd need to get over the hump if Tactics Ogre "offended" you.

Let me be clear, I'm in no way offended by JRPGs, I am simply not very interested in them partially because the aesthetics do not appeal to me.

I do understand why other folks like them and I think they should continue to prosper as long as people are interested.

It is interesting to me that you don't see the cuteness in Tactics Ogre and this may be an example of why people that don't like JRPGs and people that do sometimes seem to talk past one another.

Here's what I see:
IMAGE(http://files.g4tv.com/rimg_606x0/ImageDb3/255163_l/tactics-ogre-let-us-cling-together-screenshots.jpg)
The characteristics in this screenshot I associate with excessive cuteness are the squat, childlike character models and the stylized faces with large eyes.

I assume that you are feel Tactics Ogre is on the left side of the cuteness spectrum (or does the Japanese cuteness scale go from right to left...) because it has a complex and mature plot and it there aren't many chokabos involved (maybe there are, I haven't done much research). I am interested to see examples of where your cuteness bar is set.

It's probably a matter of taste. I can both see and not see where that pic might be considered "cute" TrashDawa. I don't find it particularly cute, because many of the features that turn you off I consider basic in terms of essential visual presentation, especially in a strategy game.

Large, exaggerated features are also common in things like Battalion Wars, Great Little War Game, or Starcraft, so that the character icons don't need icons to identify what they are. If your icons need icons, your basic icon is a failure, IMO.

Trashi, is Bastion too cute to your eyes? World of WarCraft? Genuinely curious.

TrashiDawa wrote:

I assume that you are feel Tactics Ogre is on the left side of the cuteness spectrum (or does the Japanese cuteness scale go from right to left...) because it has a complex and mature plot and it there aren't many chokabos involved (maybe there are, I haven't done much research). I am interested to see examples of where your cuteness bar is set.

Yup. For that game I look past the character design. The game came out on the SNES and that's pretty much how everything looked (from Japan). I wished they had done more for the graphics of the game with the PSP release, but the character drawings are what I "see". The people on the battle fields and whatnot are avatars, if that makes sense.

Tactics Ogre is missing a lot of the things people tend to find offending in JRPGs, which is why I don't think you'll probably ever find a JRPG you like. The art and anime-style look seems pretty entrenched in that country. Tactics Ogre has a hell of a lot less whining girls and androgynous teens than other JRPGs.

For instance, Hyperdimension Neptunia is the sort of thing that's over my cuteness bar. Thing is, I would still play it ... if it were a decent game, but it's not, so I spend my money elsewhere.

I'll give you something else to chew on. I love Final Fantasy IV to death when it came out. Here's a screenshot of that:

IMAGE(http://src.sencha.io/http://www.thunderboltgames.com/s/reviews/gba/ffivadvance_2.jpg)

Then they went and remade it on the DS, and it came out looking like this:

IMAGE(http://www.romulation.net/files/screenshots/roms/NDS/2495/s_0.jpg)

I'll take my pixel art over that crap 3d art. Anyway, that's just me. Granted, I'd rather not have a new game look like the 1991 FFIV, but at the time, what more could we ask for?