The Eternal War: A Look at the Repeating Console Cycle

Sega Logo

I’ve been reading Console Wars, a new book by Blake J. Harris that chronicles the rise of Sega during the 90’s. It’s a delightful book, full of endlessly fascinating details, such as how Target’s lenient return policy allowed customers to return years-old NES’s in order to get credit towards a SNES. Needless to say, this didn’t sit well with Nintendo and it led to Target pulling Nintendo products from the stores for a time. I lived through this era and reading the behind the scenes drama that went on has been very enjoyable. My nostalgia bones are all tingling right now. Continue reading The Eternal War: A Look at the Repeating Console Cycle

Skyward Sword Comes Crashing Down

Link Skyward Sword

I couldn’t finish The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. In fact, I could barely start it. I played for 3 hours, entered the first dungeon and then paused the game while I consulted a walkthrough just to see what was in store for me. The thought of enduring all that I read made me recoil in horror. So I traded it in, which is a historic moment for me. The first console Zelda that I didn’t finish. A dark day for Anthony and a dark day for Nintendo.

You see, Zelda was always my second favorite video game franchise after Final Fantasy. Final Fantasy was the barometer for which console I would buy, but Zelda was the mark for WHEN I would buy my inevitable Nintendo console. I got a Nintendo 64 so I could play Ocarina of Time. I got the N64 Expansion Pak solely for the purpose of playing Majora’s Mask. I bought a GameCube one month before Wind Waker was released and I jumped for joy when Twilight Princess was released on GameCube AND the Wii because that meant I didn’t have to buy a Wii yet. Continue reading Skyward Sword Comes Crashing Down

Nintendo Hits You in the Feels with Wind Waker HD

Wind Waker HD

Man, Nintendo sure does have a bullseye right on our nostalgia bone, doesn’t it? In a totally unsurprising move, Nintendo revealed this morning (via Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma) that an HD version of Wind Waker will be releasing this fall.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Reborn is meant to tide maniacal Zelda fans over while the real Wii U game is in development, but this doesn’t just look like a straight port. Based on some of the game’s gorgeous screenshots, I think it’s safe to say that Nintendo is updating this classic game in an even more beautiful way, in addition to all these new-fangled definitions.

While it’s easy to sour on HD remakes as nothing more than the often-brandished money grab, I still stand by the position that playing a timeless game in a more future proof fashion is a good thing for video games. It’s a way to preserve some of the medium’s history, and really, I can’t think of a more excellent game for Nintendo to have done it with. Wind Waker had such a lovely style to it, I can’t wait to see it on current hardware. Once I get a Wii U, that is.

So what do you guys think? Are you yay or nay on a Wind Waker HD? And seriously, check out the Wii U Facebook page for more awesome screenshots.

The Last Disappointment

The Last Story Cover

There will be no review of The Last Story.

No, it’s not because I am too lazy to write it. It’s because I played 10 hours and couldn’t take another minute. It wasn’t a terrible game, exactly. It just wasn’t fun. I wasn’t having a good time and one of my promises to myself going forward is not to feel obligated to play something if I am not enjoying it. The second I turned off the game and drove to GameStop, I felt better. Justified. Like a new person. That’s how I knew I made the right decision.

I’m sure you are asking what was so wrong with The Last Story? What could be so bad coming from Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of Final Fantasy? Well, let’s start with the story: it’s pretty bland. You play as Zael, one of a group of mercenaries who dream of becoming knights and gaining a higher station in life. Zael is a standard RPG hero: compassionate and boring. His comrades are far more interesting, even if they all fall into easy to categorize descriptions: the drunken woman who parties too much, the womanizer, the emo mage…I didn’t hate any of them and the British accents made what they said pleasant to hear. The problem is, it was all so mundane that the second the screen went black indicating a cut-scene was starting, I was checking my phone to see if anyone made a Hero Academy move. Not a good sign. Continue reading The Last Disappointment

Review: Xenoblade Chronicles

Xenoblade Bionis vs. Mechonis

Hardcore games on the Wii have been few and far between lately. Despite Nintendo’s proclamations that their next system will focus on hardcore games before casual, it still took a massive online campaign to get the Big N to release Monolith’s epic JRPG, Xenoblade Chronicles, in the United States. Now that they have, was it worth the wait? Continue reading Review: Xenoblade Chronicles

Behind the Scenes of Video Game Journalism

Video games writer

A dream that I’ve had for most of my life has been to get paid to either 1) write for a video game company or 2) write about video games. It combines two of the great loves of my life, which should be obvious from the career choices and their similarities. As such, I always find it fascinating to see behind the curtain a little bit for either career.

In this case, the peek happens to be the life of a video games journalist. Over at Kill Screen, writer Joseph Bernstein recently put up a piece titled Intern Affairs: Behind Closed Doors, which happens to be a series about the time he spent as an intern at GamesRadar. This particular entry covers the world of previews and handshakes between developers and journalists, and it’s actually kind of fascinating to see how the sausage is made, so to speak.

Bernstein basically shows the way previews are handled in some cases, and the gang mentality that occurs because of that as developers try to win you over. In the end, Bernstein even posts the preview he wrote as the result of this encounter, which happened to be for the game MX vs. ATV: Untamed for the Wii. I don’t think it necessarily exposes anything shady or surprising, I just find it interesting.

So what do you guys think after reading this? Does it jade you a little to what goes on behind the scenes at some video game sites? Go!

Source – Kill Screen, Image Source – PlatformNation

Review: Epic Mickey

Mickey Paint

Mickey Mouse has become a mascot, so much so that many young people have no real idea that he was once a pretty great cartoon character. Enter Warren Spector and Epic Mickey, a Wii-exclusive designed to relaunch the lovable mouse, while also introducing the world to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Walt Disney’s prior creation that he lost the rights to oh so many years ago. Sadly, Mickey and Oswald both deserve better than this.

Epic Mickey starts out as Mickey is pulled into the Wasteland through a series of events brought about by pure mischief. See, in the olden days before Donald Duck, Mickey was the one who was always getting into trouble and it appears that Disney is looking to bring that aspect of his personality back to the forefront. Messing about with Yen Sid’s magic paintbrush leads the Mouse on a great adventure, trying to undo the damage done by the Shadow Blot, which Mickey inadvertently created. Continue reading Review: Epic Mickey