Friday, April 30, 2010

Indie Games Review - Pew Pew Pod

It kind of saddens me that you can't throw a baby into the XBLIG Marketplace anymore without watching it land screaming and crying on a twin-stick shooter. Don't get me wrong, I love the genre and eagerly play each one I can find with the hopes of snagging a few hours of bullet-filled entertainment. But for every one quality game that I see, ten more follow it that make me want to pull an Oedipus Rex and gouge my eyes out with hair brooches. (Somewhat related: I slept with your mother.) After playing Pew Pew Pod, it saddens me to inform you that the next ten twin-stick shooters I play will be trash, as this one is nothing short of pure gold.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday Update - What the hell has this guy been up to?

Something I've felt bad about lately is the fact that my posts have become fewer, the ones I do post have become shorter, and my reviews have become a little rushed. I'm here tonight to say that I've actually have been doing something that doesn't involve humping trees like the picture of me above. Too many things, actually. I've been doing reviews for, and this in addition to work, Super SF4, and contributing to (the crew there is awesome, by the by), has worn me down more than I thought it would. But that's neither here nor there. Starting next Tuesday, I'll do a weekly recap of everything I've done for other sites, and next Thursday will start a weekly session of me discussing random things from what I've been playing to what I hope to be doing in five years to how much I like Happy Joe's pizza and wish it wasn't so freaking expensive.

For the rest of tonight, however, I will relax, play some games, and get ready for a weekend of work, reviews, and getting my ass kicked in Super Street Fighter IV. Suit up.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday Update - XBLA Release/DOTW

Alright, so the above image isn't from the game being released today due to license issues. Still, Tecmo Bowl Throwback is up on XBLA today, marking a re-release of one of the greatest football games ever created. 800 MS Points buys you a lot of childhood memories right there, even if you can't scream out TOUCHDOWN BO JACKSON legitimately. I won't hold it against you if you do, so go right ahead.

Also this week, Dishwasher: Dead Samurai has its priced chopped in half (see what I did there?) for the rest of the week, costing you 400 MS Points instead of the usual 800. A great game that is definitely worth the five bucks, even if I did think it got a little repetitive...could just be that I sucked at it. Probably that. :(

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Update -- Wii Releases, Review Choice

It's slightly difficult to be excited over Wii releases when there's so much SUPER STREET FIGHTER FOOOOOOOOOH going on right now, but somehow I'll try to talk about games that don't involve Focus Attacks and Guy.

WiiWare sees two releases this week. Brain Drain looks somewhat like a slide puzzle, but instead of sliding things you spin them. At 500 Wii Points it actually looks like a somewhat fun and inexpensive diversion, and considering I paid like 15 bucks for Polarium and 30 for Magnetica I consider that a steal. The other offering, titled 5 Arcade Gems, gets a raised eyebrow from me as I'm always leery of minigame collections. At 700 Wii Points, it could be a good value and a fun time or it could be a complete waste of seven bucks. I recommend research and, if you're nervous, just go back and buy Cave Story. ;P

The Virtual Console gets a lone update in the form of King of Fighters '95, the second in a long running series of fighters that still stands strong today. Being more of a Capcom fan than a SNK one (SUUUUUPAAAA STREEEEEET FIIIIIGHTAAAA FOOOOOOOOH), I don't know how high KOF95 ranks on the huge list of King of Fighters games, but I do know that 98 and 2002 are held pretty high up. Hopefully SNK will get around to those soon. For the time being, this one's available for 900 Wii Points.

Two games that are far less expensive but still hold tons of fun are the subject of my reviews this week. XBLIG titles Breath of Death VII and Pew Pew Pod will both be reviewed by week's end, much to the fanfare of troubled nations and their mysterious yet beautiful women. No, I can't back that last part up. But I will review both 80 MS Point games this week and let you know if the old guy from Robocop would indeed buy that for a dollar.

Friday, April 23, 2010

XBLA Review -- After Burner Climax

Disclaimer: I might be slightly biased in favor of this game. I watched Top Gun RIGHT before I started playing it. Let it be known that there's no actual PROOF that I said "talk to me Goose" or "negative Ghost Rider the pattern is full" during any part of playing After Burner Climax...and you know I'd just deny it anyway if there was.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Update -- Wii Releases, Review Choice

When the Wii first came out, each Monday usually meant 3-5 new VC titles. It saddens me that most Mondays now mean 1 or even less than that. This Monday's no different, with NES title Mega Man 4 on the Virtual Console for 500 Points. For the exact same amount, you can also get this week's lone WiiWare game, arcadey puzzler Bang Attack. (Is "arcadey" a word? Should be.)

This week's review will also be a little cramped for time, as the game I want to review, After Burner Climax, doesn't come out until Wednesday. Expect me to curse a lot if you're around me from Wednesday night until whenever the game is completed and the review is typed. See you then!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

WiiWare Review - WarioWare DIY Showcase

I'm getting old. This is a sad but true fact and if there was a graph to show this it'd only depress me more. As I get older, I just don't have the patience for these 50-100 hour epic quests. I like my games to be over in a matter of minutes. Strike that. Matter of seconds. If my game isn't finished during a commercial break or before my friend gets back from the crapper then I don't know if it has a place in my life. Thankfully, the WarioWare series understands this need and delivers games that are done quicker than a rodeo. Nintendo released two versions of the latest in the series, a full game on the DS and a lighter version on the Wii. How does the latter stack up on its own?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Four Quarter Frenzy -- Blazin' Balls

There are two kinds of games on XBLIG. (Well, three, if "trash" is a valid category.) One is a "console" game. That sounds kinda weird, but hear me out. These games are ones that are designed to be played in long sittings, have passwords/save points, and have some sort of beginning and some sort of end. Platformers come to mind. The other kind of game is an "arcade" game, where you can almost hear quarters going into coin slots when you hit start, where you care deeply about your score and how many lives you have left, and where "game over" actually means you start from scratch. Blazin' Balls fits firmly into that second category.

Wednesday Update - XBLA Release

Incredibly short and incredibly late post about a game that's incredibly relevant. Final Fight: Double Impact was released on the 360 for 800 MS Points. Not only does it have the first Final Fight (I hate "Final" games that end up being a series) but it also has Magic Sword, giving you two beat-em-ups for the price of one. Get a friend, buy the game, and have a good time with a couple of arcade classics that are still fun to this day.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Update - Wii Releases, Review Choice

Once upon a time I used to have every Monday off. For me, Monday was the end of my week as opposed to the beginning. Unfortunately this isn't the case, but Nintendo looks out for me by releasing their digital goods on todays like today. I'd like to think they're personally giving me a little bit of sunshine. Wasn't that special? You can go throw up now.

Now that you're back from that, onto the releases. WiiWare gets a dose of turn-based strategy in the form of Military Madness: Nectaris. If you don't know what that is, imagine Advance Wars with hexagons instead of squares. Ten bones in the form of Wii Points (1000 to be exact) will get you this update of the TG-16 strategy classic. The Virtual Console gets an entirely different classic with Zaxxon, an arcade shooter from Sega circa 1982. 800 Wii Points buys this isometric shmup.

The WiiWare is also home to this week's review choice, WarioWare: DIY Showcase. I've been too busy to play it yet and what better excuse than to write about it for you guys? (Hint: there isn't one.)

I've also done some writing for a couple other sites, but that'll wait until after food and rest. I'm a nerd, not a robot. ;P

Friday, April 9, 2010

Indie Game Review - Mechanoid Army

I've mentioned that I like "cute" (like teddy bears and kittens) in ways that grown men probably shouldn't. It's not something I'm proud of but, hey, we all have our faults. I also like robots. This isn't quite as embarassing as liking cute. So it figures that I REALLY like cute robots. Yes, I think R2D2 is adorable. Yes, I wish I had a real working "Johnny Number Five". And yes, I cried at WALL-E. Also, I'm broke as hell and enjoy my games cheap. It isn't fair, then, when there's a decent-looking platformer for three bucks where you control a small handful of cute robots, but that's exactly what Mechanoid Army is. A game aimed at all of my weaknesses.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday Update - Wii releases, XBLA DOTW, ForceDisconnect, Review choice

Nintendo must not believe in the Easter Bunny because he didn't bring too many goodies for this week. WiiWare gets a couple of kid-focused titles, Learning with the PooYoos Episode 2 and Fishie Fishie for 500 Wii Points a pop, while the Virtual Console snagged the (previously) rare Neo Geo shmup IRONCLAD, priced at 1,000 Wii Points.

Microsoft, however, must believe in the basket-bringing bunny because this week sees the discount of XBLA game Geometry Wars 2 from 800 MS Points to 400. If you don't have this game yet, get it. Five bucks is theft for something that good.

Speaking of XBox Live, last week's XBLIG-related writings on ForceDisconnect were an interview with HermitGames (developer of Leave Home) and a mini-review of my three favorite indie game offerings from those seven days. I've been enjoying writing for them. In addition to feeling somewhat important (don't worry, I know better), the crew at ForceDisconnect are good people. You can also listen to us bicker and whine about crap on last week's podcast. Only listen if you can stand my nerdy voice.

And, lastly, my review choice for this week. I'll have some extra spare time this week so, in addition to my one XBLIG game for the week, which is platformer Mechanoid Army, I'll probably put up at least one Four Quarter Frenzy review in the form of Geometry Wars clone Pew Pew Pod. That is, if I can stop playing it.

...I post a lot of links, don't I?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Wii VC Review -- Sin and Punishment

Originally I was going to review Star Fox 64. Upon booting up my Wii, however, I remembered that I'd purchased another N64 rail shooter, Sin and Punishment, around the same time but never actually played it. So, instead of going back and visiting a game I knew I'd see through rose-colored glasses, I decided to see how Treasure's cult classic would hold up with today's standards.