Thursday, June 24, 2010

Too Little Too Late Episode 5: E3 2010: Wrap-Up: Games/Periphreals/Systems I am excited for. [Archived]

The magical event that comes once a year. The moment us gaming nerds eagerly wait for every June. I'm an Atheist, and I don't celebrate Christmas, this IS my Christmas. That's right, it's the Electronic Entertainment Expo! (Or E3). This is the only thing all year that has me jumping around in joy like I am a little kid again, and LIKE IT! If you're a serious gamer like myself, then you most likely know what I'm talking about. Hell, you may even do it too. Anyway, this is my entry on what I considered to be really cool announcements for E3. If you're looking for standard FPS's, you're not going to find them here since I pretty much hate them with a passion. ...Except one, which you'll see below.

Too Little Too Late: Episode 5
By Grover

Nintendo 3DS Handheld

This by far has me to be the most excited out of everything that has been announced so far. The last main series of handhelds that Nintendo released was in 2004 and everything they have made has built on that old hardware, now this pretty much declares the birth of a new generation of Nintendo as far as handhelds are concerned. The processors are rumored to be as great as the Xbox 360 and Wii as well as the graphics (according to what I've seen in Kid Icarus) to be between the latter Gamecube titles and Wii titles. So far this will be ahead of the PSP (in my opinion) until the new iteration of Sony's handheld is released. Now, I know for sure that I'm getting one, as this promises to be very awesome.

(Is it me or has that girl never played a DS before? Explaining how the bottom is a touch screen... Anyways!)

Release Date: Before March 2011.

Final Fantasy XIV

The spiritual sequel to Final Fantasy XI, this next installment of the Final Fantasy series is going to be entirely online, but not be as medieval as its spiritual predecessor.

The setting looks like it's going to be very similar to Final Fantasy VI so I'm excited, that was one of my favorite Final Fantasy games.

Even though my PC doesn't pass the Benchmark test (only can get it to 1000 something. Ugh, Nvidia), I may end up purchasing a PS3 primarily for this game. It looks beautiful! I hope to see you guys in the game, as I will definitely be playing it from launch (if at least the retail launch).

Release Date: Retail: Late 2010. Beta: Summer 2010.

More info about Final Fantasy XIV can be found at its main website:

Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii)

One of my favorite platform series, this game is is the sequel to the game: "Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!" Though, it's not developed by its original development team Rare as they were bought out by Microsoft in 2003. This new iteration to the series is being developed by Houston-based Retro Studios who previously worked on the Metroid Prime series for Nintendo.

Release Date: Q4 2010

Goldeneye 007

This game doesn't need an explanation. It remains pretty much my only favorite FPS. I would play this game in multiplayer and single player for HOURS. I miss those days. >< This is a remake of another game made by Rare, but because of its acquisition by Microsoft, development has been handed to EA Studios which now possesses the license to the 007 series in terms of film-to-game franchise.

Release Date: November 2, 2010.

Twisted Metal (PS3)

For the end of the 1990's, Twisted Metal dominated the PlayStation as "the car battle game" for the console, until SingleTrac handed things over to Sony's in-house game development studio "989 Studios" which single-handedly raped the whole franchise with Twisted Metal III and IV. (Which are still good games mind you, just not in the Twisted Metal essence)

Development was then handed to Incognito Studios in the early 2000's which was made up of former SingleTrac employees to work on the new Twisted Metal: Black for PS2. Even though that studio is pretty much finished now since the main people have left the company, a new one made by Incognito team and the Twisted Metal creators are in "Eat Sleep Play" which will develop this new installment.

Release Date: 2011

Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light
(Nintendo DS)

Matrix Software, the company that made remakes of Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV for the Nintendo DS made their own FF from scratch. The musical director of FFXI, Naoshi Mizuta is doing the score for it too!

Release Date: October 8, 2010.

Sonic Colors (Nintendo Wii/DS)

Release Date: Holiday 2010.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)

The trailer for this game looked pretty damn awesome. Needless to say, the controls were unresponsive, but nothing ever goes well in a show now does it?

Release Date: 2011

Dragon Quest IX (Nintendo DS)

Work in progress.

Metal Gear Solid (Xbox 360)
Work in progress.

Fallout: New Vegas

Work in progress.

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
(Nintendo DS)

I never really gave the series a chance, but I really want to try out the series starting with this title. It's the third game in the franchise after "Golden Sun" and "Golden Sun 2" for the Game Boy Advance. Other than that, I really don't have any other details for it since I've not played the series.

Release Date: Holiday 2010.
Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals (Nintendo DS)

Remake of the first RPG series I've ever played for the SNES. I'm eagerly waiting for a release for this!

Release Date: Fall 2010

Pokemon Black and White Version (Nintendo DS)
They said this would be mentioned in E3 2010, but didn't make it? I don't know...

Release Date: Spring 2011.

Mario Kart 3DS
(Nintendo 3DS)

Announced for 3DS, but no major details for it were released. It's presumed to take advantage of the capabilities of the 3DS.
The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time 3DS (Nintendo 3DS)

Announced for 3DS, but no major details for it were released. It's presumed to take advantage of the capabilities of the 3DS.

Super Street Fighter IV
(Nintendo 3DS)

Announced for 3DS, but no major details for it were released. It's presumed to take advantage of the capabilities of the 3DS.

Star Fox 64 3DS (Nintendo 3DS)

Announced for 3DS, but no major details for it were released. It's presumed to take advantage of the capabilities of the 3DS.

Pilotwings (Nintendo 3DS)

Announced for 3DS, but no major details for it were released. It's presumed to take advantage of the capabilities of the 3DS.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Too Little Too Late Episode 4: Super Mario Galaxy 2 [Archived]

I can't think of any serious gamer who hasn't played or heard of a Mario game. His 8-bit theme pretty much defined the sound of video games for decades. When a non-gamer thinks of video games, that catchy tune comes to mind almost instantly. Anywho, his newest installment came out for the Wii a couple of weeks ago now, and being the massive gaming nerd/geek that I am, not only did I play through it and rescue the princess, I wanted to write what I thought of the game. Now bear in mind, I didn't go for all 240 stars or all of that shiz. I will eventually. So far I've nabbed the princess back and I was on my way to getting all the extra green stars.

Too Little Too Late : Episode 4
By Grover


Storyline (20 points) -

The Super Mario franchise has had the same story throughout the whole series. You shouldn't expect any major deviations from the formula.

Mario loves Peach, Peach gets kidnapped by Bowser, Mario goes through levels to catch Bowser, Mario rescues Peach. They do unspeakable things to each other while the credits roll. Pretty simple.

The story is actually not as significant here as in Super Mario Galaxy 1. Rosalina's role is pretty much non existant in this one and it's just Mario going for Bowser.

You get a nifty hub area too, but that will be explained in the gameplay.

Score: 20/20

Gameplay (20 points)

The gameplay and controls are identical of Super Mario Galaxy 1. One uses the Wii mote and the nunchuk to control Mario. Shake the wiimote to attack enemies, and so on.

Attacking an enemy and killing them by shaking the Wiimote yields star bits which can be picked up by walking into them or pointing at them with your Wii mote.

Though the biggest change in the gameplay from Galaxy 1 was the addition of Yoshi. One can lick/eat enemies by pointing with the "tongue" (via Wii mote) and spit out star bits. Yoshi is also required for some of the levels.

Speaking of levels, some of them are pretty damn imaginative. See for yourself! The levels themselves use the same engine as Galaxy 1, but they've massively split the different galaxies into many different levels. In Galaxy 1, one galaxy would have 3-5 different stars. In Galaxy 2, with the more diverse set of levels, each of them only have between 2-3 stars. It's a welcome change (at least in my opinion) because I didn't like being shot to the same level four-five times for a slightly different objective.

Also, the hub area! It's much more accessible and straight to the point. In Galaxy 1, the hub area was this giant space station that took 5 minutes to get from one place to another. Galaxy 2, it's a small area which is in the shape of Mario's head. All you have to do is run to the cap (where you usually start off anyway) and then you go to a world map (reminiscent of Super Mario Bros 3, World and New Super series) where you can literally jump right into the action from there. It's a very welcomed change, and it puts way more emphasis on level creativity than ever before.

Also: You can play as Luigi, he's not too different than Mario, other than flutter while jumping instead of flipping around. Developer ghosts also appear if you clear the level with Luigi.

Score: 20/20

Music/Sounds (20 points) -As in Super Mario Galaxy 1, the music was done by the great Koji Kondo of all Mario music fame as well as Mahito Yokota and Ryo Nagamatsu. As with Galaxy 1, the Galaxy series has taken more of an orchestral influence to most of its themes rather than the traditional approach.

Some of my favorite music from the game:

Score: 20/20

Innovation to Genre (20 points) -

Although Super Mario Galaxy 2 set a new standard for all platforming games from here on out, I personally believe Galaxy 1 had a way bigger impact, before Galaxy 1, no platformer had such precision despite the massive change in physics in the game engine and how it worked. But in any case, it only is outranked by its predecessor, and that's really saying something.

Score: 16/20

Re-playability (10 points)This game is the poster child for re-playability. You only need 70 stars to "beat" the game, but there are so many extra stars to catch once the main quest is over, the total racks up to over 240! That's not to say it's easy, because it's not. You need 120 stars to even unlock the second half, and it only increases in difficulty from there. Needless to say, I'm not much of a completest myself, I'll probably come back and finish the stars once I've finished some other games I've been working on. But the challenge is still there.

Score: 10/10

Nostalgic Inclusion (10 points) -This game bleeds itself with nostalgia, two of the three themes I posted were from Super Mario 64, the game starts off and has many levels which takes place in a 2D side-scroller position, there are notes around the level that make up tunes to well known themes from earlier mario games. There's a nod to the series all around here, and that's not really a surprise there.

Score: 10/10


This game is an absolute must have for anyone who has a Nintendo Wii. If you have a Wii and do not have this game, I can legitimately ask this question: "What the hell is wrong with you!?"

Final Score: 96/100 (A+ HIGHLY-HIGHLY Recommen