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Wed 5th Mar 2008

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thewiirocks commented on Review: Bloons (WiiWare):

You know what? I must have a mental block or something. Because even after reading that whole review with the WiiWare controls embedded in the text, I still came up thinking DSiWare!

I think the reason is that on the Wii, their market is non-existent. I can't verify it at the moment, but I bet if you point your Wii browser at the flash game, it will work just fine...



thewiirocks commented on Review: Bloons (WiiWare):

I find it interesting that Ninja Team feels like they can get away with such a sloppy port. If the DSi supported Flash, their market for this game would be completely non-existent!



thewiirocks commented on Cursed Mountain Developer Closed:

I take it as a bad sign that I have no idea what anyone is talking about. It seems to me that all the TV advertising the in the world won't help if you fail to connect with your customers.



thewiirocks commented on Nintendo: Hey, We're Green, Honest!:

@mastersworddude - I find it insulting that you think this is about Nintendo. I've been angry about Greenpeace's tactics LONG before Nintendo was targeted.

Go punch "Greenpeace tactics" into Google and learn something. Maybe you'll even stumble across the long list of companies Greenpeace has been using this latest, deceitful tactic on. Nintendo is just the last in a long chain of companies.

I will repeat again: DO NOT encourage Greenpeace. The stunts they are pulling amounts to illegal defamation of a number of companies. This isn't about environmental responsibility. It's about power. Greenpeace wants power and all the trappings that go with it. They hide behind environmentalism as a shield against all responsibility. If you don't support Greenpeace, you must not like the environment, right?

Look up Dr. Patrick Moore sometime. He was a co-founder of Greenpeace who now opposes their tactics. He has actual science on his side. They have scare tactics and self-serving illegal acts. Which one is really looking out for the environment?

Anyone who is for a better environment cannot be for Greenpeace. The two are polar opposites. But don't listen to me. Do your own research. I'd be shocked if you can still defend Greenpeace after 10 minutes of reading up on them.



thewiirocks commented on Nintendo: Hey, We're Green, Honest!:

@RyuZebian - What of the excessive polluters who are getting "passing" grades during Greenpeace's Quixotic quest? What of the 300 watts being burned by every person playing a PS3? What of the number of 360 parts ending up in dumps due to repairs? Where is Greenpeace in making sure that they are holding those company's accountable?

That's right. They're chasing press releases. And you're giving them Kudos for doing it. You sir have graduated to someone who does NOT care about the environment. Anyone who supports these sort of tactics is against cleaner air and a better environment.

@Sylverstone - Let's be careful here. Greenpeace has every right to ask for environmental information. Nintendo has a right to say 'no', though I doubt they'd do so. What the issue is is that Greenpeace does NOT have the right to defame companies to get their own name in the press.



thewiirocks commented on Nintendo: Hey, We're Green, Honest!:

@Fox - Do I dispute that Nintendo did not publish environmental information on their website? Nope. Do I dispute that this is proof-positive that Nintendo is not "green"? Hell yeah.

Are you claiming I am wrong to do so? Please explain. I'm very interesting in hearing an inspiring defense of the chickens--err... gentlemen.



thewiirocks commented on Nintendo: Hey, We're Green, Honest!:

@Strofan7 - Incorrect. The report is about what Nintendo says about their manufacturing process. A process which they do not provide information on their website about. According to Greenpeace, not posting information on their website makes them automatically EVIL and therefore they get dinged.

Nevermind that it would take only a minor amount of prodding to obtain the information from companies like Nintendo. A simple email to the "Contact Us" form probably would have gotten Greenpeace everything they wanted.

The key is that Greenpeace does not actually want the information. They want to generate press by giving companies low environmental scores. By using this nonsense methodology of looking for manufacturing information on a company's website, they are able to generate outcry by giving companies low scores.

They did this before with Apple. Apple already used the most environmentally friendly manufacturing processes available. (Jobs was something of a hippy himself. He's pretty core about these things.) But because Dell and HP had information on their websites claiming that someday, somehow, somewhere, they would START implementing environmentally friendly manufacturing... Dell and HP got a passing grade.


It would have taken 10 minutes to pick up the phone, send an email, puff smoke signals, SOMETHING. Nope. Greenpeace gets too much press from targeting companies like this. So they will continue until someone uses legal means to shut them down.



thewiirocks commented on Nintendo: Hey, We're Green, Honest!:

Stick those details on your Web site, Nintendo, and you'll be raking in the points for next year's report.

I'm unhappy Nintendo even justified the report with a response. If I was Nintendo, I'd rather sue Greenpeace for defamation. Those a*hats make sure that their methodology (which is not anywhere close to scientific, thorough, or even correct) targets the most popular company in an attempt to get more press for themselves. Meanwhile, they give a passing grade to the worst offenders of environmental responsibility.

Greenpeace lost whatever little credibility they had left when they pulled these stunts. The only thing left to do is throw them all in jail and dissolve the organization.



thewiirocks commented on Review: Happy Hammerin' (WiiWare):

@Objection_Blaster - You should have seen the bumper sticker inspired by the board game (and now console game) "Settlers of Catan":

I got wood for sheep

I mean, who wouldn't trade their excess sheep for some helpful building materials?

Oh BTW, Phoenix Wright WiiWare: Monday Jan 11. You heard it here first.



thewiirocks commented on Review: Intellivision Lives! (GameCube):

hear you, but collecting that old stuff is just too much work for little old me.

Hehe. Fair enough. Thanks for putting up with crotchety ole' me. As you can tell, I love getting my hands on old hardware and try to get everyone to follow.

BTW, I don't think I said it before. Thanks for doing an excellent review of this title. It's one of my favorites and never got nearly enough attention.



thewiirocks commented on Wii Dominates 2009 Sales:

@PTJohe - I believe in overall sales over all time, COD has outsold NSMBW. (~8M copies on the XBox alone.) Of course, it's been out longer. Over the holiday season, which @Fox I believe is what Reggie was referring to, NSMBW outsold COD by ~400,000 copies.

I pulled my numbers from VGChartz, so keep in mind that there may be some unexpected adjustments in the future.



thewiirocks commented on Review: Intellivision Lives! (GameCube):

I downloaded the game ROM somewhere and run it through Atari800MacX.

You don't know what you're missing. Yeah, the 5200 is hard to clean and maintain. Yeah, it requires a rebuild every time you leave it in the closet for more than a week. Yeah, it's bigger than a PS3. (Which is saying something! )

But it's history, man! Games just don't feel the same or play the same through emulators as they do the real thing. Some translate over okay (as this collection demonstrates) but the best of the best are meant to be played in their original glory. In this case, with a smooshy analog controller and keypad or with a control disc and less smooshy keypad.

Just make sure you get a later model of the 5200. You'll avoid the "power supply hooked through the RF cable" weirdness and the controller boots won't disintegrate. You'll still have to take a pencil eraser to the flex circuits, but that's not anything difficult. Just be careful not to pinch the circuits when you put the controllers back together. (I broke a pathway on a controller that way. )

As for Inty's, anyone looking to get one should avoid the Inty II like the plague. Either get the original model (and give it plenty of clearance for heat dissipation) or get the late-model "Intellivision III" or "Intellivision Super System" version. The later versions were based on the original design with a few positive tweaks. The Inty II was just a cheap piece of plastic designed to reduce costs.



thewiirocks commented on Review: Intellivision Lives! (GameCube):

@Sean Aaron - The ROM? Do you have Sean Kelly's multicart or something? (Since I assume you're not playing on an emualtor. ) Those things cost a friggin' bundle. I wanted one in the past (especially since I happen to know Sean Kelly IRL) but I just couldn't justify spending $100+ on one when I could get tons of 5200 carts for the same price.

That, and I got Dreadnaught Factor 5200 new in the box, still sealed. Sean sells some great stuff.

I completely hear you on Astrosmash. The thing is, it's not about how long you play. It's about getting your score as high as possible. With the constant ups and downs of the game, that isn't easy. In fact, the games go by much quicker if you push your score higher rather than trying to stay alive. As you said, the game happily obliges you if you want to live forever.

I know a lot of people preferred Astroblast (the 2600 M-Network version) because Mattel cranked up the difficulty. As I recall, they did some market research and found that Atari players preferred short, intense games over longer, more thoughtful games. (Which is a nice way of saying they have short attention spans. ) This fed into their decision to increase the difficulty on many of these games.

What's interesting is that I have both and I almost see them as different games. Astrosmash is fun for chilling out and shooting a bunch of stuff. Astroblast OTOH is an intense action game that makes excellent use of a properly cleaned and rebuilt paddle controller.



thewiirocks commented on Review: Intellivision Lives! (GameCube):

"Big Fish Eat Little Fish"

Little fish nip Shark to death. Mwhahaha!

I looked up somewhere online that the Intellivision was the first 16-bit console.

It was. Though it's important to remember that this was before anyone made a big deal out of such things. Hardware was so expensive back then that just about every system had a weird architecture. The Inty was no exception. A 16 bit processor running with a 10-bit memory organization. The circuit paths were rather weird too. I don't recall the details, but the startup sequence confused a lot of people since there appeared to be no path between the startup firmware and the CPU. (Or something like that. Again, it's been a while.)

"And so I plaaaaaayyyy myyyyy, Intellivisiiiiioooooonnnnn..."



thewiirocks commented on Review: Intellivision Lives! (GameCube):

This package was so underrated when it first came out. My kids and I have spent hours playing some of the games on this compilation. Which is good, because I'm far too protective of my original 1980-model Intellivision to let them hook it up and play by themselves.

For anyone who's never played Shark! Shark!, you need to play this game NOW. Despite being the original "eat the fish to get bigger" game, it displays a depth and addictiveness of gameplay that is simply unmatched by all the Flash and iPhone fishy games that have followed. (There's an interesting history behind those flash games that, oddly, ended up being completely disconnected from Shark! Shark!. If anyone is interested, ask me sometime and I'll give you the full rundown.)

Astrosmash was an extremely interesting shooter for its time. The game got harder or easier depending on how well you were doing. In fact, your score actually went up and down placing a lot of pressure on the high-score fanatics to nail every rock that came flying at them! Astrosmash was one of those games that you loaded up and then entered a zen state for the next 2 hours. It really is quite the experience.

@StarBoy - Space Spartans! Man I love that game! Having the computer vocally explain status, telemetry, and other information so that you're not distracted by readouts? Not even modern games do that! It really was a unique experience that is difficult to replicate without the keypad controls of the 2600.

Of course, my all time favorite game (which is sadly missing from the GameCube collection) has to be The Dreadnaught Factor. Making bombing runs was nothing new to video games, even then. But making strategic bombing runs was. You weren't just blowing stuff up, you were strategizing about what to take out on each pass such that you could slow the ship down, reduce cover fire, or aim to overheat the vessel. Even more exciting was that you weren't just making strategic bombing runs, but you were doing it under such a massive weight of fire that you really felt like you were attacking an honest-to-God dreadnaught. I mean, this was a game where even the best players were expected to die.

Again, I have never seen anything like it before or since the Intellivision. The Inty truly stands alone as a long-lost branch of incredible video game history.

(As an aside, I have both the 2600 and 5200 versions of The Dreadnaught Factor. The 5200 has better graphics, but it somehow lost the excitement and charm of the original. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I can say that the Intellvision version is superior by far.)



thewiirocks commented on Zelda Producer Could Use More Crossbow Trainin...:

Nonsense. The Zapper shell greatly stabilizes the remote and makes shooting far more accurate. The tommy-gun design feels weird at first (especially if you're used to the NES Zapper), but you get used to it.

Ghost Squad is another game that's much betta' with da Zappa'!



thewiirocks commented on Golden Wii An Exercise In Excess:

@Bulbasaurus - Pure gold is extremely soft and would not hold its shape very well. Alloying the gold is more effective at preserving the shape and look of the object.

I suspect the key reason why the Wii Remote didn't get jeweled the same way is that it would be completely impractical. The console at least just sits there, but the remote is subject to a number of stresses that would be guaranteed to cause dents, scratches, warping, lost stones, and other undesirable wear and tear.



thewiirocks commented on DSiWare Dragon's Lair Hits US Next Week:

@warioswoods - iPhone is an even better answer. Space Ace, Cobra Command, and Dragon's Lair are all available and inexpensive. (I snagged Cobra Command for only $0.99!) More LaserDisc games are expected to make the trek to the phone in the future, so it's a good time to be an iPhone owner.

As for the DSi version, I'm suspicious. I don't care how much they compress the video, they're not going to manage quality in 20MB. My fear is that the imagery will be of poor quality (e.g. pixelated, low color count, dithered, etc.) and that the frame rate will be something atrocious like 5 frames per second.

I'm looking forward to being proven wrong, but I'm not exactly hopeful that this will end well. Especially with such high powered names like Digital Leisure behind the title...



thewiirocks commented on Old Cart on the Block Has the Right Stuff:

@Orgone - That's easy. People put velcro on their TVs to attach the remote control when it's not in use. Especially if the TV was from some sort of public area. The remote control was probably tethered to keep people from stealing it. The velcro is so that people wouldn't leave it hanging. (Quite literally.)



thewiirocks commented on Talking Point: How Does The DSi LL Compare To ...:

@Ren sez... hmm do I want a little one for the bus, or a big ol' screen since I play more indoors?

Keep in mind that these are DSi systems. Games are locked to the system. You're going to be deciding which one to play based on the games each system has, not the size.



thewiirocks commented on Make Miyamoto Smile: Show StarFox Love:

I remember my reaction to Star Fox: Assault. I played the first level and said to myself, "This is awesome! And this is just the first level!" Then I got to the second level and my joy turned into, "WTF is this?" But what really soured me was fighting from the wing of the Arwings. At that point I just put the game away and forgot it existed.

Dear Nintendo: Spaceship games should have spaceships. Not 3rd person shooting. And it would be a hella' lot more effective taking down General Pepper with Star Wolf's Arwing than with a hand blaster. Just saying.

"Don't mess up that Arwing!"



thewiirocks commented on Talking Point: How Does The DSi LL Compare To ...:

@roro44 - The processor is almost the least of the problems. Without a boost in screen resolution, the web browsing experience would be just as cramped. Bigger, but still cramped. If you want to understand how, try setting your computer monitor to 640x480 and surf the internet. As big as your monitor may be, that's painful.

@GonzoMontana - I have to agree. I still can't believe Nintendo gave the DSi only 256MB of internal flash. The fact that they aren't taking this opportunity to correct that oversight, even in some small way, is shocking.

It does seem like Nintendo is thrashing a bit, doesn't it? Perhaps this has something to do with it:

Guardian: Nintendo profits plunge as Wii sales slump



thewiirocks commented on Talking Point: How Does The DSi LL Compare To ...:

@maka - 72 points per inch is a standard that was developed way back in the early days of graphics and printers. While there were once devices that matches this spec, most modern devices significantly exceed this figure. An average computer monitor tends to be 98 points per inch, and printers go from 300 - 1000 points.

Which actually bolsters your point. 60 dpi is pretty awful by modern standards.



thewiirocks commented on Talking Point: How Does The DSi LL Compare To ...:

I'm getting this odd impression that Nintendo is trying to make the LL into a more professional device that goes beyond gaming. Possibly with more useful apps that would make executives want to whip one out and use it at odd moments. (Note how the stylus now looks like a pen and how it is photographed on a business desk.)

Unfortunately, I can't see that strategy working anywhere except Japan. Nintendo has relied far too heavily on their classic namesakes to make a professional want to use this. i.e. Can you really see a guy in a powersuit whipping out Mario Calculator to crunch some numbers? Neither can I. Doesn't quite jive with his Mercedes or BMW.

IMHO, Nintendo is entering somewhat dangerous territory here. Until now Nintendo has enjoyed a somewhat walled off gaming market that neither the PSP or even the iPhone could disrupt. If they attempt to enter the market that the iPhone current manages, they're going to get squashed. Even if for no other reason than the fact that the DSi lacks the always-on networking of a cellphone.



thewiirocks commented on Doc Louis Wants to Fight You:

If it's just a code, anyone know if you can resell it?

Edit: Based on what I see on eBay, it seems the answer is "yes". Anyone want to buy a code? $100 to a good home.



thewiirocks commented on Review: Rock-n-Roll Domo (DSiWare):

Are you sure all the songs are original? I swear that the first song is one I've heard before.

@mjc0961 - Normally there'd be little use to a practice mode that doesn't let you practice. However, in this game it's somewhat important to familiarize yourself with the tune before you can play it effectively. It sucks that there's no way to actually practice, practice, but the tool does have its uses.

@Phillip sez.. Curiously, Domo's singing sounds more like a guitar than any singing voice we’ve ever heard, complete with hammer-ons and pull-offs. He must have had one heck of a voice coach.

You're just jealous!



thewiirocks commented on NVIDIA-Powered DS Successor Coming 2010?:

@Kawaiipikachu sez... The DSi doesnt actally have any faster processor just a faster WI-FI module .

I'm sorry, but this is incorrect. The DS processor was 67MHz while the DSi's processor is 133MHz. Nintendo basically pulled the same stunt as they did with the Wii. i.e. Double the specs and add additional interface options. The only difference is that Nintendo has failed to make the same impact with the DSi that the Wii made.

IMHO, the DSi was a little too rushed. If Nintendo had taken more time to plan the platform and exactly how it would differentiate itself, there'd be more DSi owners right now. (Though I still love DSiWare. It was definitely time. )