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Ramblings from the Marginalized » 2007 » May

May 2007

Games and General May 31st, 2007 by HMTKSteve

GameProSAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IDG Entertainment (IDGE), a leading interactive entertainment-information provider, announced today that GamePro magazine now reaches 3,836,000 readers, according to the recently released 2007 Spring Mediamark Research Inc. Survey of American Consumers.

The survey states that GamePro magazine’s readership has grown by a record 27% in the last 12 months, the largest growth rate of any interactive games magazine surveyed (Spring 2006 vs. Spring 2007, MRI). The survey also states that GamePro magazine’s readership is now larger than that of Electronic Gaming Monthly.

Hold on a minute. Didn't I just read a bunch of rumors stating that Nintendo Power was going away? Who buys these magazines?

The chief problem gaming magazines has is the web. Kids get the magazine and then post the information from the magazine on the web for all their friends to read. How do you compete with that? I even find people who post the top selling games list from Nintendo Power on their blogs as a news item!

Way back in the day gaming magazines were it. If you wanted to know about the cool new games you had to buy the gaming magazines.

Looking for the secret to beating Kid Icarus? Pick up a copy of Nintendo Power!

Looking for the Konami code? Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start. Before the Internet you had to find that thing from a magazine! Now you can even ask God for it 'cause even he knows it!

I'm just really surprised to see a video gaming magazine with such a high number of sales.

Games and Nintendo May 31st, 2007 by HMTKSteve

NarutoLOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--NARUTO™ and his friends are unstoppable in 2007 as TOMY Corporation and D3Publisher of America, Inc. (D3PA) today announced the upcoming release of NARUTO: Path of the Ninja (working title) exclusively for the Nintendo DS™. Anticipated to ship in the fall of 2007, NARUTO: Path of the Ninja will be the first Role-Playing Game (RPG) for NARUTO in North America and will offer original content and scenarios that have never been seen before! Based on episodes from VIZ Media’s hit anime series SHONEN JUMP™ NARUTO™, the new game will feature a unique time-based combat system in which players must determine each character’s strengths and use them accurately to help them defeat the enemy.

Choosing from six available characters, players will be able to explore the Village Hidden in the Leaves and the world of Naruto as you roam across forests, fields, rivers and mountains. Along the way players will encounter bosses and enemies that they must use their special techniques to defeat.

I have to admit that I have never gotten into the Naruto anime. I have always seen it as a re-worked version of DragonBall with more action. Face it, watching two guys square off for a whole show while never moving, "I need more power cap'n!" just never hooked me. The few episodes of Naruto I have accidentally seen were not that bad but also not enough to pull me in.

It is popular in Japan right? How bad can an anime-based DS game be?

Games and Nintendo and Wii May 30th, 2007 by HMTKSteve

Mario Party 8 BoxNow that I have my copy of Mario Party 8 and I have spent some time playing it I feel qualified to report to you my first impressions of the game.

After reading all of the negative reviews about this game I was prepared for the worst and hoping for the best. Some of the points in those reviews have turned out to be true, others not so much true.

The Mario Party line of games is like a Bill Murray movie, either you like them or you don't. Most of the people I know who enjoy the Mario Party line of games do have a favorite but they also like all of them. Just like with Bill Murray movies!

I tried out the Donkey Kong board and the Boo board tonight. I played the Donkey Kong board solo and my daughter joined me for the Boo board. Yeah, I know only losers play Mario Party alone but, I just happened to have a little bit of time to myself before she got home.

The game play is typical Mario Party. There are no great innovations in this game other than the use of the Wii-mote. Some of those uses are good and some are just annoying.

Take the Alpine Skiing game for example. I found it simply annoying trying to tilt the Wii-mote side to side to guide my guy down the hill. The Lasso game though was great! Just twirl the Wii-mote then throw it out and pull back.

Laso Game

Not all of the games I played used the motion sensor technology of the Wii-mote, and that is good. Some just have you use it like an NES controller. Others use it as a gun.

In all other respects the game is classic Mario Party. You roll the dice to move around the board and try to get the most stars. Animations were fast enough to keep me entertained when it was not my turn. There is not an abundance of text to read either (cough Super Paperwork Mario cough) so game play is smooth.

The boards I have played on were good. The Donkey Kong board is your basic starter board while the Boo board changes every time someone gets a star.

Mini-games follow the standard formula that is based on who ends their turn on what colored space. I played through a good variety of mini-games that covered the gamut of 3-on-1, 2-on-2, and 4-way games.

The only complaints I have are the same ones I had for Cooking Mama on the Wii: The Wii-mote is not designed to test fine motor skills.

Should you buy this game? You will just have to wait until I do my full review!

Technology May 30th, 2007 by HMTKSteve

Now that the news about Microsoft's new product "Surface" are beginning to surface all over the net I have a few questions that I would like answered.

1. When will the 'killer app' be released for this? What killer app? Why there is just one killer app that I am thinking of and that is using this device as a fully customizable audio/video mixing board.

Current audio/video mixing equipment on PCs and Macs all stink because you can only manipulate one control at the same time. With this device you could manipulate as many controls as you can physically reach! Think about it.

2. How does it handle devices that are identical? If I duct tape two Bluetooth cameras together and place them on the surface of the Surface at the same time will this device know which is which?

3. Will it work with all wi-fi enabled devices? Can I just plop my phone down on it and have it work or will it balk and complain about missing drivers?

4. Beyond the demo, what real-world applications have been written for this thing?

Yeah, it's just so cool manipulating photographs with two fingers but I need more than a computer representation of my cluttered desk to excite me.

Games May 30th, 2007 by Stephen

Are you wondering just how well Nintendo is doing these days in regards to hardware sold? If you are then sit back and read on!

Wii U.S. *
Wii Hardware: 2.48 million units
Wii Software: 7.5 million units

Worldwide +
Wii Hardware: 5.84 million units
Wii Software: 28.84 million units

DS U.S. *
DS Hardware: 10.85 million units
DS Software: 43.9 million units

Worldwide +
DS Hardware: 40.29 million units
DS Software: 183.98 million units

Game Cube U.S. *
GCN Hardware: 11.72 million units
GCN Software: 107.8 million units

Worldwide +
GCN Hardware: 21.59 million units
GCN Software: 205.88 million units

GBA U.S. *
GBA/GBA SP Hardware: 35.67 million units
GBA Software: 170.7 million units

Worldwide +
GBA/GBA SP Hardware: 79.46 million units
GBA Software: 366.25 million units

Nintendo Total Worldwide +
Total Hardware: more than 387 million units
Total Software: nearly 2.2 billion units

* Source: The NPD Group (April 2007)
+ Source: Nintendo Co., Ltd. (FY 2007 Results)

Franchise Figures

    Source: Nintendo [as of March 2007]:

  • Total Mario series: more than 198 million units sold worldwide
  • Total Zelda series: more than 52 million units worldwide
  • Total Metroid series: more than 13 million units worldwide
  • Total Pokémon series: more than 164 million units worldwide
  • Total Donkey Kong series: more than 48 million units worldwide

Games and Pokemon and Wii May 30th, 2007 by HMTKSteve

DS WiFiNintendo® Wi-Fi Connection has crossed two huge milestones within just days of one another. Worldwide, since its launch in November 2005, Nintendo's wireless gaming service has now connected more than 5 million unique Nintendo DS™ owners, and those gamers have racked up more than 200 million game-play sessions. Worldwide, nearly 65 games can be played via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The five most popular globally are Animal Crossing®: Wild World, Mario Kart® DS, Metroid® Prime Hunters, Pokémon® Diamond and Pokémon Pearl.

Yep, you heard that right, 5 million DS owners are connecting to the Nintendo Wi-Fi service. I'll tell you right now that I am one of them and I can believe it.

Not to bash Nintendo or anything but... I have been having a lot of trouble using the Global Trade Station in my Pokemon game of late. I think it is due to severe server loads on Nintendo's part.

Get it together Nintendo! Pokemon Battle Revolution is only a month away. I don't want to have to deal with dropped connections the way I do now with the Global Trade Station.

Ramblings and Random May 30th, 2007 by HMTKSteve

In a fit of jealous rage a two-timing pregnant woman ran over the father of her unborn child, then she backed up and did it again!

Janine Harrington (25) was so obsessed by the belief that her boyfriend, Jeffrey Moore (45) was sleeping around behind her back that she took her live-in boyfriend's Nissan Pathfinder to run him down. She found him, sitting on his bike, in a one-way street. She turned the vehicle down this one-way street (the wrong way), jumped a curb and ran him down. She then backed up and did it again and again!

Relatives of Jeffrey Moore have said that Janine had threatened him before and had even tried to run him down on two prior occasions. "She was very jealous of him," said Moore's sister. "She comes down a one-way street on the sidewalk to murder somebody. This ain't the first time. So she finally succeeded."

"The bike was under the wheel. She got out, pulled the bike out from under the car, backed up and left. He was just lying there looking straight up in the air," said Eric, who withheld his last name.

Cops credit her long time live-in boyfriend with calling the police on her.

She is also being held for possession of a deadly weapon, the SUV!

Source and more information.

Technology May 30th, 2007 by HMTKSteve

No, I did not stay up late just to see Microsoft's newest offering Surface. I saw it this morning and all I can say is, "didn't someone else already do this?

When you boil it all down Surface is nothing more than a touch screen set into a table top that allows for multiple touches to be recognized. A great idea for sure and I have no doubt it would help to make an awesome digital mixing board for audio/video folks. But, it's old news.

Does anyone remember that? Sorry about the advertising embedded within but this was the first copy of the video I could find.

Yes, Microsoft, never known for being original has just purchased (?) tech from someone else.

As cool as the demo is to look at I can't help but ask why anyone would want to buy one of these. What real world applications will benefit from this device?

Oh sure you can drop a wi-fi enabled camera and pull pictures off of it but I can already do that with my computer. Further, what if some of the pictures on my camera are ones that I would not want to share? Will they all just spill out on the table as if I dropped a box of photographs?

Painting is nice. Having the ability to make virtual paint pots of varying colors does make the painter in me drool. But, can I use different brushes on the surface or will it treat all things touching it as the same?

I can see uses for this in regards to a map kiosk. Lost? Just touch the screen and find out where you are and where you are going!

Otherwise, I can't see myself using the Surface for much else. Yes, you could use it for web browsing but you can already do that on so many things. Remember, this thing does currently lack a keyboard though one could be emulated on its surface.

You know what? I just do not see enough reasons for a consumer to purchase on of these.

Further reading.

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