Archive | October, 2012

Wii U games…..Come on November!!!

25 Oct

With the Wii U less than a month out and driving me crazy, I thought I would turn to a look at the games that excite me the most.  The tablet control is receiving the lion’s share of the attention and I have to admit it is the part of the Wii U I am most excited about.  The ability to play games, impact other people’s games, and drag a game from the console to the control so the wife…..I mean the parents…..can take over the television is a wonderfully helpful device.  But the games will be what sales the console. What follows are the games that I think will be the best to play. 

Super Mario Wii U

I hate to say but Mario will always be a system seller for me.  When I was three, and playing Donkey Kong, the strange little Jump Man was incredibly fun.  As I got a few years older, I fell in love with the NES’s mascot Mario.  Sadly, it took me over twenty years to realize they were one and the same.  I loved all three original NES games and the SNES Mario World was an incredibly awesome game.  Unlike a lot of people, I was never impressed with his 3D adventures (except for Mario Galaxy 2).  But the recent Super Mario Wii was an incredibly awesome adventure, that I got to enjoy with my wife and the kids.  The new Wii U offers me the chance to do it all over again.  And unlike many games, I don’t care that it will be incredibly similar!  Mario never gets old. 

Nintendo Land

When the pack in stopped being the norm for console sales, I was horribly disappointed.  Console prices continued getting higher and higher and you couldn’t even play the console when you got home unless you bought a game priced at (usually) $50.  It made no sense and still doesn’t.  Fortunately, Nintendo realized this and the Wii got Wii Sports.  Really, it wasn’t a perfect game by any stretch but it was entertaining.  This time around though we get a game with levels based around many of Nintendo’s greatest franchises.  It looks like fun.  Some of the games will probably suck but as long as a few are good, it will be worth it all. 

Assassin’s Creed 3

I must confess I haven’t played much of the series before but the trailers for AC3 look fantastic.  As a history teacher and video game-o-phile I am truly impressed.  I could go for the X-box 360 version because the producers have a great deal of experience making the game for X-box consoles, but the added benefits of the Gamepad put the Wii U version over the top.  Surprisingly, micromanaging tools on a hand held screen sounds worthwhile. 

Mass Effect 3

Actually, I don’t have much experience with this series either.  I bought the original game for the Xbox but I wasn’t impressed.  The final game though looked nice.  And the opportunity to get it on a new console and have access to downloadable content right away makes me happy.  Hopefully, I will get the chance to try this soon. 

Other Games

My kids want Zombie U and Lego City.  Both games sound like fun.  I am bored of zombies in general but the game has been a break out hit leading up to the release date so it might be worth a shot.  I have always loved legos and really have enjoyed the lego games I played in the past.  I will try and get both at some point.  Also, other first party games will be fun.  Nintendo properties are bar none, the best in the business.  Smash Bros is my favorite fighting series out there.  Karting with Mario and friends also is crazy fun. I never thought I would get into it, but I finally tried it with the Wii and me and the kids played nonstop for months on end.  Finally, no game series is more eagerly anticipated than Zelda probably.  I literally cannot wait for this console.  But I have to.  In true game console fashion, the console has already sold out online and in many stores.  I am on a waiting list for the next stock, which will probably come out after Christmas.  Come on, Santa, I have been pretty decent all year!  No promises….But mostly!

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Wii U coming soon!

15 Oct

It hardly seems possible in some ways that it is time for a new Nintendo platform to be released and in others, it seems like forever since the Wii came out.  I was, like many, an early adapter, but haven’t played my Wii in a year or two now.  I really think it failed to live up to its potential but I loved the virtual console, ability to play Gamecube games, and a few of the games like New Super Mario Bros Wii and Mario Kart Wii.  When at first I heard about the Wii U, I wasn’t excited, but within the last few weeks, I have become enthralled by the idea of a new Wii.  Finally, I convinced my wife to let us be on a growing waiting list, that probably won’t have orders filled until after Christmas.  So what’s the big deal?

1)      Game Catalog – Nintendo has a history of incredibly fun first party games.  A new Super Mario Bros Wii U is a rare game I know I will be able to convince my wife to play with me.  And although Mario Kart Wii U and the new Smash Bros haven’t had dates announced (or in the case of the Kart even an announcement yet), but the kids and I will greatly enjoy them.  Meanwhile, all of the Wii games we bought will be able to be played on the Wii U and others will be much cheaper.  Even more exciting, there is the possibility of Gamecube games arriving to the Virtual Console.  And finally, all of the virtual console games I bought on my Wii (A Link to the Past, Mario 1-3, etc) will transfer over the Wii U.  That worried me a lot!

2)      The Gamepad – I came along at just the right age for the original Nintendo.  The simple days of two action button controllers are long gone. And now, a controller is going to be realized that utilizes a tablet for a controller. As someone who lives and dies based on my iPad, I am thrilled with the possibilities.  A recent Wii trailer showed a couple playing Othello just using the Gamepad.  Also, like with the mirroring function on the iPad, you will be able to send information from the web on the Gamepad to the television screen. The added screen will serve as a menu, status screen, map, etc for console games.  But my favorite use for the controller (and the concept that won the wife over) is the fact that on some games, I can play the Wii U on the controller, even after she takes over the TV.  And we can still sit together in the same room!

3)      And the final new bit of information I heard was the new Wii TV.  Now, I don’t know much about this function, and perhaps others of you can explain it to me in better detail, but they have stated that the Wii U will connect to your local cable, satellite, or TiVo service.  This will allow you to pause, rewind, etc your TV using the Gamepad.  They have stated it will have improved functionality with the TiVo to enable you to record TV from the Gamepad also.  Netlflix, Hulu, and the other staple video sites will also work with the Wii U.  It will even allow you to set preferences for TV viewing bassed on which Mii is signed in at the time.

The Wii U really seems to serve the best of many worlds.  It’s a video playing device, a tablet, a game console, a social networking tool and more.  Games from the Wii, Wii U, and the virtual console will all play.  And the peripherals I bought for my Wii will transfer over to the Wii U.  I certainly recommend you give the Wii U a chance if you like Nintendo or ever did.  And if you got burned in the long run by the Wii, give it a shot anyway.  The potential is endless and the sky is the limit.

One Year Later

8 Oct

The first year of DC’s new 52 is over, wrapped by an unusual 0 month.  I must confess, compared to the first go round of a 0 month, 18 years ago (ouch, I am getting old), I thought this year’s 0 issues was weak.  That said, I figure it’s a good time to look at what has been accomplished with the new 52 so far. 

5 Biggest Surprises

5) OMAC was all kinds of fun.  Now, this shouldn’t surprise me.  Keith Giffen is my all time favorite creator.  But he was teamed up with Dan Didio, one of my least favorite people in comic book history on a concept that is my least favorite Kirby creation.  But it was really good.  Although I never much cared for the Hulk (except for in the Avengers this year!), this read like what I would imagine a good Hulk series would be. And now, it’s gone. L

4) Demon Knights is also an incredibly fun book.  I have always liked Etrigan, as the occasional guest star in a book, but I never thought I would like to see him as the lead in a series.  Madame Xanadu and Vandal Savage similarly are fun guest stars, but I can’t imagine them headlining a book.  Finally, there is Grant Morrison’s Shining Knight.  I have always preferred the original Sir Justin, but thanks to Paul Cornell, I have developed a love for the new version.  Keep it up Paul!

3) I never thought I would enjoy a vampire comic book.  I love a classic vampire story but must confess, vampires rarely seemed to work for me in modern pop culture.  But I, Vampire works for me.  The star is great, but I love his sidekicks even more.  The zombie storyline that just wrapped up was wild to and I look forward to seeing how the newest development wraps up. 

2) A new Justice League is coming up.  I must say, I am on the fence about this.  Until recently, I thought Geoff Johns always nailed it.  But recently, I have felt like he has been slipping.  I hope he can make the two books what we should have gotten in the first place.  There is a lot of potential but I am worried it could be a disaster.

1) Aquaman has been a consistent best seller!  I have to admit, this was a wonderful surprise.  Although Geoff’s Justice League has been a disappointment, and the Green Lantern has been above average, but not as good as a few years ago, his Aquaman has been fantastic.  The current storyline, featuring the Others, is great.  I can’t wait to see how it pans out.

5 Worst Developments

5) OMAC was cancelled!  An incredibly fun book, with a great deal of potential, OMAC should have been given more time.  And then to add insult to injury, OMAC was moved to the joyless Justice League International.  Finally, most recently, Kevin Kho has been completely taken over and gone rogue.  This is terribly disappointing. 

4) This brings me to the Justice League International.  The Giffen and Demattias League is my all time favorite book.  Meanwhile, Dan Jurgens’ first run at the Justice League International was an interesting run.  The recent book, though, was a waste.  I hate to say it, but it was a mercy killing when this book was cancelled. 

3) I know I mention this frequently but the loss of diverse characters drives me insane.  Fun characters seem to no longer be allowed in the DCU.  Happily married characters (with the exception of Animal Man and Aquaman) seem similarly banned. And heaven forbid, that a character not have a tragic past in the current DC.  It’s really quite sad.

2) Billy Batson is a jerk. 

1) I will have to read a book by Grant Morrison to get the Blue Beetle I like?  And something tells me, it still won’t be “my” Ted Kord.  I have done my best to swear off Morrison’s books, but Ted Kord is my second favorite comic book character ever.  So I guess I will be buying “Multiversity” and pray it’s not as convoluted as Final Crisis.  I know some consider that a sign of his sophisticated, deep storytelling, but I couldn’t disagree more.  When Darkseid gets beaten by a song by Superman…..

3 Random Thoughts

3) I am glad to see Paul Levitz on the Legion still.  I hope they will bring the other characters back soon.

2) Can we not have stuck with a green Beast Boy?  I know at one point he was purple apparently, but for my entire lifetime (except for imaginary stories and the like), he has been green.  No offense, the Rot may be a wonderful story, and I confess I want to try it, but this too shall pass. So please return him to normal now?

1) And finally, who would have thought it would be so much trouble to get a writer to stay on Superman?  Perez was honest, and I appreciated it.  Working within Morrison’s constraints was a pain so he chose to leave.  Although I wasn’t thrilled with his 6 issue run, the fact that he announced he was leaving automatically did kill a lot of my excitement about it.  Then he was replaced by Giffen and Jurgens.  I was so excited!  One of my favorite Superman writers ever with my favorite creator ever?  Yes!  And then Giffen vanished almost immediately.  And Jurgens only lasted a few more issues?  And now, they have brought in Scott Lobdell to guide a crossover with the super-family. 

2 Final Thoughts

2) Can we get rid of Scott Lobdell already?  I know I just complained about the chaos that has been the Superman title since the reboot, but he turned me off of the Superboy title (my third favorite character) right after I realized just how much I was loving Lamire’s Superboy.  And I couldn’t get past issue one of either Red Hood or Teen Titans, two concepts that sounded like fun.  And now, we get Superboy-Prime Lite, as the first big supervillian?  Ugh…..

1) Could someone go find Karl Kesel and get him to write again?  I recently saw that his adopted child is sick and I certainly wish him the best.  But I have to say, I really miss his work!  He was probably my all time favorite Superman and Boy writer!  I cannot imagine how much fun he would have been on a title this go round.