Friday, May 30, 2008

Dr. Mario's got the prescription for fun

Dr. Mario is back in a new Wii Ware offering:  Dr. Mario Online RX.  Now you can juggle those pills on the Internet against your pals.  Also in the hopper:  Metal Slug for the Virtual Console. Better stock up on Wii points.

Ronald loves his DS

What this page says, apparently, is that McDonald's of Japan and Nintendo...of Japan have struck a deal where you can browse the WWW in Mickey D's for free with your DS.  Also, they're offering a "special present" for Pikachu.  Respect.

Hack a Wii

Check this article from the Globe and Mail about the new generation of Wii hackers.  Or, if you just want the meat in the sandwich then throw away the bun and go directly to Hack a Wii.

Big Daddy N sends its regrets to Leipzig

Nintendo ain't gots the time to attend Games Convention 2008.  They gots business to take care of yo!  Miyamoto's busy countin' his cash.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Guitar Hero DS: How it works

Great informational content in this video about how Guitar Hero DS: On Tour works but the video overall is pretty cheesy. Anyway, the game looks great and the two player versus sports some very nice features. Looks like a sure buy to these tired eyes.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008

Miyamoto the Disney of our time

Fascinating New York Times piece on the man who has shaped our generation more than anyone else:  Shigeru Miyamoto.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Speed Racer: The Video Game

If you're an F-Zero fan, you'll love Speed Racer. Not since F-Zero for the Snes have I played a racing game which feels new and fresh. This game is bad............ASS that is. Fun oozes from the veins of this game and the graphics are real good. This game is a cross between F-Z and something new. It's fast paced and deadly. The control is quite intuitive. For example to steer you hold your Wii Remote sideways and to turn right you tilt it right and tilt it left if you want to go left.
The game is smooth and nice. Your opponents love trash talking you and you can also try to make allies before each match. Some will decline and some will accept and there are plenty of new characters to unlock. If you do make allies they will make sure they don't do any deadly car-fu moves on you, but they will still try and beat you.
You can jump, slide, barrel roll and do al kinds of kick-in fighting moves on your opponents. If you do happen to attack your allies during their slip stream maneuver, they will break your alliance and you will be penalized.

This game is serious fun and looks reaaaal good. If it had multiplayer online matches like Mario Kart has, I would without a second thought shout from the rooftops that Speed Racer is way better than Mario kart.

This is a definite buy for all you racing fanatics out there.

DS as cooking coach

Don't confuse Cooking Guide: Can't decide what to eat? with Cooking Mama.  This cart actually guides you through making a delicious supper for your damn family.  It's even voice activated so you can have your hands on the damn bowl and spoon or spatula or something and still advance to the next set of instructions.  I no longer fear death.  From starving.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hot Samus Cosplayer

Impressive work on the power suit.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

20 Wii games Nintendo needs to make

A fellow blogger outlines the 20 titles he feels Nintendo needs to release on the Wii.  I didn't find it all that interesting only because at least 15 of his picks will or conceivably could be released on the Wii eventually. In other words, saying that F-Zero should be released on Wii isn't very newsworthy.  I'll eat my Mario cap if Captain Falcon and his buds don't make an appearance on the little white box.  And Zelda?  Yeah, I'm sure Nintendo hasn't even considered that one.  The real reason I'm posting this is because of pick number 9.

DIY Mario Kart trainer wheel

If you're having difficulty getting the hang of the Wii Wheel but you're dying to have the Wii Wheel icon next to your Mii while playing online you may be in luck.  For a ten spot down at your local Wal-Mart you can build your own "Training Wheel" that'll help you hone your skills in the driver's seat.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fatal Frame: The Mask of the Lunar Eclipse

Let the countdown begin. For those regulars who read the site and listen to our cast, know, that i, Vanilla Assassin, can NOT wait for fatal Frame: The Mask of the Lunar Eclipse. So after the summer when it does come out on our shores, i will be throwing a FF party for a select few. In the meantime. Eat This!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Podcast IV

For all you Nintendophiles; Podcast IV from Leave Luck To Us Radio.  In this episode, Vanilla Assassin and Von "The German Steel Machine" Kaiser discuss Kart, Wii Fit and fat kids, CrossworDS, Fritz, Furu Furu Park, Pinball Hall of Fame, the richest man in Japan and much more!

Grab it up and throw it on your 'pod for your listening pleasure.  Our best 'cast yet!

Podcast IV  (M4A file.  33MB.  Rapidshare.)

Well, well, well

Some new numbers from Tokyo show that Nintendo has a stranglehold on the software charts.  They've locked up 9 out of 10 slots.  How'd that dirty PSP title slip in?  Ah well, I guess we can throw 'em a bone.

Mario Kart (Wii) - 107,000 / 1,227,000
Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G (PSP) - 82,000 / 1,992,000
Wii Fit (Wii) - 53,000 / 2,039,000
Link's Crossbow Training (Wii) - 49,000 / 141,000
Meccha! Taiko Drum Master DS! Adventure of 7 Islands (DS) - 34,000 / 133,000
Pokémon Ranger Batonage! (DS) - 27,000 / 535,000
Deca Sporta (Wii) - 22,000 / 207,000
Wii Sports (Wii) - 21,000 / 2,979,000
We're Fossil Diggers (DS) - 17,000 / 102,000
Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii) - 16,000 / 1,620,000

Big Daddy N sponsors handheld learning conference

Nintendo is set to be the lead sponsor for London's Handheld Learning Conference. I don't really understand what they were talking about at this conference before Nintendo jumped in but it seems clear that the DS will provide more than a few talking points for the tall foreheads.

Nintendo bans certain names from Kart online

Nintendo has taken to banning certain names from the online component of Mario Kart.  Just your usual bad words and junk.  Interestingly Hitler has been banned but Stalin has not.  If you're just going by bodycount then why isn't Stalin banned?  I'll never understand why Hitler is "bad" but Stalin is "A-OK" to most people.  Dude killed 100 million.  Whatever.  As long as I don't have to race Mr. C*ckhead from England anymore.  Jerk.

Mario Kart Wii truck roams the countryside

Nintendo's built a truck that would make Michael Knight jealous.  They've taken a cube van and packed it with Wiis and Karts in order to promote the new Kart title.  They drive it around and catch kids in it like the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  Be forewarned.

Three hotties pegged for the Metallic Rose campaign

Nintendo's launching a new color for North America: Metallic Rose.  They've also announced that they've tapped Carrie Underwood, Liv Tyler and America Ferrara to promote the new color on national television commercials.  These'll definitely be spots that you won't want to TiVo out.

Mars playing M-06

This is a bit old but I just realized I hadn't posted it here yet:  Mars playing M-06 on her DS.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Wii Fit: You're fat.

Remember I told you about the parents outraged that Wii Fit dare call their precious snowflakes "fat?"  This blogger says "Hey.  The truth hurts.  You're fat." 

Wii Fit Review: "It's life changing."

According to this Wii Fit review the game is "life changing."

GTA IV? It ain't no thing.

Despite GTA IV being released Nintendo held onto its crown as king of the video game makers.  Wii outsold those other boxes by more than 3 to 1 in April.  Ruh-roh Sony!  

Pokemon getting a shakeup?

Good news is that the next Pokemon might be out before year end.  Pokemon Platinum is slated for a Japanese release in the next couple of quarters.  Gooder news is that the developer is hinting at new gameplay elements in an attempt to mix it up a bit.

Good luck getting Wii Fit on release

If you haven't pre-ordered Wii Fit at this point you're going to be waiting awhile before you'll be able to step on the balance board.  Even the Nintendo World Store is sold out.  Sold out of pre-orders that is.  That's right.  The store has stopped taking pre-orders in NYC because they're ain't no more to sell and it's not even out yet!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection

It was a chore even finding this title in the wild.  Greasy Long Mane over at Scabies Games told me that it just came the other day but then why has it been for sale on Amazon for the last few weeks.  Whatev.  When I finally found this on the shelf I grabbed it without thinking.  Imagine my surprise to find it's a bargain proposition at $19.99!  Bonus.  I was ready to pay FIFTY BUCKS!

Long story short, the hype around this game is all deserved.  It really is like you're standing in front of these old machines in a pizza parlor in the 80s drinking RC, listening to Rush and trying to beat ACE's high score.

The tables have been recreated perfectly.  At least as far as I can tell.  My memory's a little shady in this area and I've read that a couple of tables are missing ball locks or something.  Dunno.  What I do know is that if you like pinball you'll love the controls for this game.  With your Remote in one hand and Nunchuk in the other you can almost feel your hands wrapping around an old school table.  Shake either controller and you can shake the table and maybe save a drained ball or too.

Great stuff and the price makes this a buy.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

All the news that's Wii Fit to print

Interesting review of Wii Fit by the New York Times.  Also confirms that the Wii has sold upwards of 25 million boxes despite what Microsoft may claim.

Rare mouthin' off; looking for a beating I guess

Rare, forgetting who made them, has gotten a bit mouthy in this trailer for their new turd Banjo and Kazooie: Nuts and Butts.  Near the end of the trailer Bingo and Achooie are flying a plane and shoot a missile at a Mario billboard cutting his 8 bit head clean off!  'Ger off Rare!  Now I'm not sure if I will buy Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise.  Skanks.

Can't win 'em all

Nintendo's been spanked.  They lost a patent lawsuit to Anascape.  Not sure what the patent involved but apparently Nintendo infringed on it in the design of the Wii Remote, Wavebird, and Gamecube controller.  The good news is that the judgment was only for 21 mil; a sum that Shiggy pulled from his back pocket and started counting out in the courtroom.  Nintendo plans on appealing the ruling.   It's all good.


Nintendo World Report is reporting that Nintendo and Target are teaming up for a one-off sponsorship deal to plaster Target's NASCAR ride with Nintendo Wii Fit ads.  They have a beautiful image of Target's racing team branded with the white and green of Wii Fit.  Gorgeous.


Thanks to the new Nintendo Channel I was able to download a demo of CrossworDS onto my DS before trying.  I played through a couple of puzzles and I was hooked.  I purchased it the next day. I've previously played the New York Times Crosswords cart for the DS and although I found the puzzles of a very high quality I wasn't a fan of the clunky interface.   That's not to say New York Times Crosswords isn't worth it; it is and I highly recommend it at a $19.99 price point.

Between the two crossword titles however I prefer CrossworDS.  The only flaw with the game is the impossible to google title.

The fit and finish of this game is what you'd expect from a Touch Generations tite (yes I wrote "tite"):  gold of the purest percentage.  The input system is very good and will seldom make a mistake once you learn its quirks (enter a lowercase i instead of an uppercase I for better results for example).  If you're riding a shaky bus it is difficult to enter text without errors. The game uses the "hold like book" orientation of the DS that feels great for a text game like this.  There are 1000 puzzles here that gradually ramp up in difficulty.

As a bonus two other games are included: Anagrams and Word Search.  To be honest, I've been hooked on the Anagrams lately and haven't done a crossword in the last couple of days.  The two extra modes don't feel like add ons at all but something I'd have paid for separately.

The best part of the whole deal is the price point: $19.99.  You simply can't miss with this title.

The demo is still available through your Wii if you're still on the fence but if you have even a passing interest in word games and especially crossword puzzles this title must find a space on your shelf as soon as possible.

 Strong buy.

Best game title ever?

Hooray!  Cornhole is being released for the Wii.  I love Cornhole.  I love to play Cornhole.  I just love saying Cornhole.  Cornhole being the name of the pastime popular among US tailgaters.  The game consists of throwing a little bag filled with corn at a hole in a board.  This is what the Wii is all about.  I can't wait to check my shelf and see Cornhole right there beside Kart and Brawl and whatnot.  Cornhole.

Microsoft in the sauce again

As I type this on my Mac I'm wondering if Microsoft has truly lost it this time.  They've issued a press release that Xbox 360 is the first console to crack 10 million units sold beating out the Wii and PS3.  That's great and all but the Wii has already sold near 30 million units.  What are they on about?  Brain damage.

Touch Darts coming to our shores

I mentioned Touch Darts in passing during one of our Podcasts.  It was a European only release that I really enjoyed but I was under the impression that it would never reach North American audiences.  IGN is reporting that it's now on our release schedule.  Touch Darts is a really entertaining game that I spent a few hours on trying to climb the ladder.  Watch for it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fatal Frame Update and Furu Furu Park Commentary

Hey hey folks,
Welcome to the Warped Zone

So for those of you who listen to the PODcast know that i'm itching for the Wii Fatal Frame. I found out a while back but didn't post right away that Producer Keisuke Kikuchi has said that the Wii remote and FF are a perfect fit. Wow, what do i do now?? This sucks cause i'm even more excited about it. I should go to Japan this summer and grab a copy. Then again, i guess i can wait a few more months. I have also heard rumors that Nintendo has purchased the license to FF. I hope that's true!

I recently got my hands on Furu Furu Park for the Wii. I barely even cracked it open but i will. Furu Furu Park is loaded with 30 mini games ie bubble bobble, Arkanoid...etc. There's a puzzle game in there which indicated 3 different modes which i can't remember. I believe it was expert, something else(maybe normal), and the mode i thought was funny was called "Girl". I don't have it with me right now, so that's why i'm bein so vague.

Anyway that's it for now,
Seeya all next time in the Warped Zone

Snapshot Safari

Remember Pokemon Snap?  Well, it's back.  In African form.  (Incidentally, Pokemon Snap is also back in Wii form; it was released for the Virtual Console awhile back.)  

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

EA's Skate coming to Wii and DS

EA's Skate created a lot of buzz a couple of months ago by seemingly knocking off Tony Hawk as the most innovative skateboarding video game franchise.  EA is going to release the game on Wii and DS as Skate It.  Interestingly, Skate It Wii will make use of the new balance board that's packaged with Wii Fit.  Sign me up.

Nintendo reclaims top spot in dev charts

Nintendo has reclaimed its crown as king of the dev charts according to this report. 

Viva Pinata for DS has a name

Viva Pinata for the DS will be subtitled Pocket Paradise.  The original title almost made me want to think about considering purchasing a 360 but then I came to my senses.  Luckily, Rare's upcoming DS version of Viva Pinata means I can continue to "make mine Nintendo."  VP: PP is scheduled for a fall release.

Manage a Convenience Store in new DS title

Combini DS is a Japanese title that allows the user to try his hand at managing a convenience store.  The game is set for a fall release in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Mario Kart should be rated "M" for mature

Mario Kart may be the most violent video of the year.

Monday, May 12, 2008

First smashed TVs; now broken hearts?

A couple of articles here about the latest trend:  teens who feel traumatized because Wii Fit called them "fat."  lol.  I'm sorry but that's funny.  Of course, parents are "outraged."

Nintendo Channel launches

The other day my Wii's glowing blue light let me know something was up.  That something was the launch of the promised Nintendo Channel.  It allows you to use your Wii as a DS download station.  If that's not enough there are video reviews of new releases and vids of Shiggy!  There is a downside.  You tinfoil hatters may not like to hear that the channel wants to log your Wii usage and send the data to Nintendo.  Personally I don't have a prob with it and the channel is well worth the data exchange.  Your call.

Nintendo controller coffee table.

It's one thing to build a coffee table shaped like the original Nintendo controller.  But to build a coffee table shaped like the original Nintendo controller that actually works as a controller?  This man should never have to work again.

DS turned my kids into monsters: Some nut mom.

Some nut mom has written an article claiming that the Nintendo DS turned her kids into monsters.  She urges parents to stay away.  Glad she ain't my mom.

Send your DS to Japan and they'll pimp it for you

Check out these pics of blinged out DS's.  Having your DS covered in damn jewels will set you back about 10,000 yen or $100.  All the rage in Japan, I'm not sure how well this over-the-top styling would go over here but you have to admit that the Japanese know how to rock a DS.

Barf! Latest Wii knockoff looks like a pile of junk.

This latest Wii knockoff is so lame I don't even think it could fool a grandma.  Then again . . . .  Thanks China!

Wii prints enough cash to make Yamauchi the richest man in Japan

The Nintendo Wii's unprecedented success in the console space has vaulted former Nintendo chairman Yamauchi into top spot on Forbes' list of richest Japanese dudes.  

This guy doesn't even work there anymore and yet the Wii has made his wallet bulge.  He still owns 10% of the company.

There can't be anything better than being super rich in Japan.  Must be tough to hold onto all that cash.  I'd blow it all in one night in Shibuya.  

Boo hoo! THQ crying that Nintendo is crushing their business.

THQ is the latest company crying that they can't stand up to the Nintendo juggernaut.  They claim that Nintendo's first party titles are biting into their line up.  What do you want?  A subsidy?  

Guitar Hero DS for preorder

I was able to plunk a fiver on Guitar Hero DS at my local Toys R Us this weekend.  I suggest you do the same.  If you're on the fence I think the pics of the peripheral will change your mind.

Wii Strip

No joke; a pole dancing sim is being developed for everyone's favorite little white box. The game "may come with an interactive pole" according to a spokesman connected with the title. Wii Pole Dancing is designed as a fitness tool not stripping sim.  Pity.

Fritz landing on the DS

When I first read that the famed chess playing engine Fritz was coming to the DS I assumed it was a homebrew project but it looks like it's an official release.  Wow.  This is something I'll definitely be picking up.  I wonder if it'll allow worldwide online play with match ups by rating.  It's gotta be better than Chessmaster: The Art of Learning.

What happened?

My computer died.  Again.  This time by my own hand.  I killed it.  It's gone.  But now I'm rocking and rolling on a nice shiny new Mac and the blog is back on track!

Podcast IV on schedule for this weekend! 

Lamp made from Nintendo Zapper

A crafty girl has constructed a lamp made from a Nintendo Zapper.  I'd buy that for a dollar.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Grand Theft Kart

An immigrant coming from Europe to find the American Dream.  His heavy accent and blue collar stylings mean the only job he can find is as a manual laborer fixing people's pipes.  Looking to make his fortune he gives it all up for the rush of street racing.  With his heavily modified muscle car he has no compunction in running people off the road or even shooting at them.  Shells litter the roadway.

Grant Theft Auto?  No.  Mario Kart Wii.

This game is pure badass.  Haters need not read on.

Easily the best Kart since . . . Kart; the original SNES version of course.

The game is deep.  Tons of characters, more carts and bikes than you can shake a stick at, control options out the ying-yang, playing modes that'll make your head spin; all squeezed onto one disc of pure Shiggy Fan Love.

The addition of bikes is far and away the best add on to the game in years.  The bikes look and handle great.  Pulling a wheelie not only looks super cool but gives you a little speed boost when you most need one.  Of course, it's not all wine and roses because when you're up on one wheel you can't steer worth junk.  It just goes to demonstrate the perfect balance in the game.  I run a Standard Bike L almost exclusively.

Having the option to run bikes is fantastic but a close second has to be the new option to race as your Mii.  I don't think I've ever seen anything as wonderful as ME racing alongside Mario riding dirtbikes.

The online options are as smooth as silk!  No lag, no drop outs, 12 players from around the world at a time and you'll think you're playing in the same room.  

The single player modes are so deep that if you live in a cave without internet you'll still need this game.   Trying to come up with your best times on each track will take you hours alone.

Outstanding.  This is a must buy.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Wii Mario Kart and Big Brain Academy

Hey hey folks,
Welcome to another episode of the Warped Zone.

Yeah it's been a while since i posted. I've been real busy with work so I havn't had much time to play games.
I did pickup Wii Mario Kart. That game is killer. Twelve characters dukin it out on some kickass surfaces and well lack of surfaces.
If you want a great single player game or group game, this is a total BUY. The new addition of the wheel is great. It takes a bit to get used to but as soon as you do get warmed up to it (which doesn't take a long time) it's pretty rad.
I still use Toad as my character and now i get to use a baby carriage to kick everybody's ass with and the whole morphing into a Bullet Bill and shooting across the track is my fave part. There are some new characters ie Waluigi. If you have been a fan of this franchise, or even if you never were, grab this game.

My brain has been feelin a bit dull lately, so i decided to grab Big Brain Academy. I put this game off for quite a while. I mean i had Brain age so i thought that was enough but i took the plunge and grabbed BBA. I'm so glad i did. I actually love this game better than Brain Age. From patterns to memory to computing and more, this game makes learning fun. You start off by going to the Academy school office and enrolling as a student. You enroll as your Mii character and then you're off.
I really enjoy the part where they show you a number of birds in cages and a number of empty cages. They toss a sheet over them and shuffle them. You have to guess where the birds end up.
At the end of the game your brain is measured.
Even if you hate school, buy this game. BBA really does make learning fun....If you have young kids, buy this game they'll love it. I know my niece and nephew did.

Anyway, that's it for now.
I'll see you all next time in the Warped Zone.