Archive for category: Entertainment (Page 37)

Tron 2.0 (GBA)

07 Feb
February 7, 2008

Picked up a little gem of a deal the other day.  Tron 2.0 for the Game Boy Advance; only $4.99 on clearance at a Best Buy I visited.  The game itself isn’t that hot (probably why it was on clearance), but that’s not why I got it.  It also includes the classic 1982 arcade game Tron and the 1983 arcade game Discs of Tron, which are awesome.  I loved those games 25 years ago, and I love them today!  There’s just something addictive about the simplicity of those two arcade ports.  But it makes sense; video games based on a movie based on video games?  Pure gold.

As far as the main game, Tron 2.0, not so hot on the Game Boy Advance.  It’s a spinoff of the XBox game of the same name which is set up to be kind of sequel in story to the original Tron movie.  I did have the XBox game back in the day and while the multiplayer combat stunk, the single player game was great.  Absolutely captured the feel of the original movie, yet with a whole new storyline, new characters and ideas that made it all fresh.

At the end of the day, what would really just be the greatest is an actual Tron movie.  It’s time for a new one!

Love for the Wii

06 Feb
February 6, 2008

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my Nintendo Wii?  I’ve always been a Nintendo kind of guy (except for the Nintendo 64; for whatever reason I have never been a fan and never got one).  I’ve been playing some form of Nintendo for just about twenty years now – it never gets old!

Now, while I get a kick out of the new games for the Wii, with the motion control system and fun group games, my real love for the Wii comes from the Virtual Console.  Don’t me wrong, I love games like SSX Blur and Zelda … but having the ability to download games to my Wii from half a dozen different classic systems, including all the incarnations of Nintendo and the Sega Genesis?  That’s just awesome.  Even after twenty years, some of these games just don’t old.  And I get a kick out of playing them with my kids!  Unlike my XBox 360, I can let them play with Wii and not worry about what they’re going to see on the screen!  So far I’ve been able to get a few of my old favorites from the original NES on the Virtual Console; Super Mario Bros. 1-3, as well as the Japanese version of #2 (not released in the US because they thought it was too difficult for Americans … I was all offended until I played it … that game is a KILLER), Zelda II, Metroid, Punch-Out, Excitebike and Ninja Gaiden (sweet!).  However, there are a couple games I’m DYING for them to release:  Super Dodge Ball (I think it’s going to come out in March when the new version drops on the Nintendo DS), Contra (What?  They’ve released every incarnation except the greatest!), and Kung-Fu.  Anyone else have any favorite old school games I should add to my list?

Super Mario Bros. trivia

27 Jan
January 27, 2008

I just saw this bit of info floating around the internet … the bushes on Super Mario Bros. are just recolored clouds.  It totally made me laugh – I’ve been playing this game for twenty years now (seriously, I’ve gone through several original Nintendo systems, I had it for the Super Nintendo, on my Game Boy Advance, and now on the Wii), and I never noticed that, not once.  Which is even more amusing to me considering that this game doesn’t really have a whole lot going on in the background anyway!

Anyway, just thought it was a bit of interesting gaming trivia!

A second piece of trivia? In twenty years of playing Super Mario Bros., I have only beaten it once.  I’ve logged more time on this one game than any other, and all I have to show for it is the time I beat it fifteen years ago …

Undertow & XBox Live

25 Jan
January 25, 2008

I downloaded my free copy of Undertow and tried it out (if you have XBox Live, act now – it’s only free for a couple days) … it’s okay, but I certainly wouldn’t have bought it.  Not really my kind of game, I guess.  The graphics are good, and it seems like a fun challenge – but I have a hard time seeing which guy is mine at times.

At the end of the day, though, I think some of my lack of excitement about it is more because of how XBox handled the whole Live outages over the holidays.  Basically, there were several weeks where people had a hard time connecting to the online gaming service because so many people got new memberships for Christmas that it overloaded the system and crashed it.  Or something like that.  To me, the natural response would be to extend everyones’ memberships one month to make up for it – but that would cost XBox a lot of potential revenue.  Instead, they let us all download a game for free that wasn’t really selling and kind of bombed – in other words, they weren’t getting any revenue off it anyway, so let us have that.

I’m not really worked up about it – I’m still happy to get a new game.  It just kind of left a bad taste for me.  In my family’s coffee shop, if I sell someone a dud latte and they come back and tell me, I make them a good one and replace it with what they originally wanted … not give them a cookie and call it even.  But now it sounds like I’m complaining – which I’m not, it’s just a weird response in my opinion.

Gauntlet + Middle School = Fun!

17 Jan
January 17, 2008

Memory lane.  Oldschool Gauntlet.  Absolutely awesome decades later!  I pumped so many quarters in the arcades back in the day on this game they shoud have sent me a complimentary copy, but I’m not bitter.  Actually, I’m such a nerd that not only have I bought this multiple times over the years (for my Commodore 64, NES), I actually own two copies of it now.  One for my Nintendo (Gamecube’s Midway Arcade), and now the XBox live version on the XBox 360 (I wanted to be able to play it online with others!).

Anyway, I got such a kick out of yesterday afternoon at the middleschool afterschool program at the YMCA.  On Wednesdays I bust out the Gamecube for an hour of gaming at the end of the afternoon.  Usually that means an hour of Mariokart or an hour of Smash Bros., with an occasion Mario Strikers diversion.  Well, just to throw them off I threw this game in – I thought the angry mob would be funny.  Instead, they were all mystified.  They had never seen the game!  So for the next hour they took turns working their way through the levels – we turned it off after they finished level 27.  They loved it!  What amazes me is that in spite of all the technological advances we’ve made, some of the greatest games are these simple things from decades ago where the emphasis was on gameplay and not graphics.

All that to say, Gauntlet is, and always will be, amazing.  End of story.

Pokemon Snap (snow day!)

14 Jan
January 14, 2008

Wow.  We are getting BUCKETS of snow.  It started in the wee hours of the morning (do people still say wee?), and it’s been going non-stop all day.  Which means we are cooped up in a little house with three maniac boys (according to Heather, four maniac boys … but she’s just crazy).

Enter the Nintendo Wii.  : )  I love the virtual console on the system; you can download classic games over the internet to the system.  Sweet!  The boys have been on a Pokemon kick lately, begging us to get them something to do with it, so I finally caved on got them their first Pokemon game: Pokemon Snap, the Nintendo 64 game.  Unlike all the other Pokemon games which are fighting games, this one is  kind of safari photo shoot adventure.  You ride a car and try to snap photos of all the different Pokemons on the island.  The better the picture, the greater the points.  If I’m honest, I thought it sounded kind of lame, but Heather liked the non-violent aspect to it, the boys were pumped about the Pokemons, and I was excited to quiet ’em all down for a while.  Three hours later, all five of us are STILL playing it.  It’s a complete blast!  Because different creatures come out randomly each time you play, it’s new every time; add to that the fun of saving your photos and trying to improve the shots of each character makes it a great challenge.

This game gets five out of five possible Nutthouse votes.  It’s unaminous: well worth the $10!  It’s a great family game that the kids will play over and over – and the parents will have fun playing with them!

Call of Duty 4

11 Jan
January 11, 2008

Well, now that I’m home I’ve finally busted the shrinkwrap off one of my favorite presents: Call of Duty 4.  People have been freaking out about it for a while, some saying it’s the first perfect ten in gaming, etc.  The graphics really are stunning, and the time I’ve logged on it has been amazing so far (I haven’t beaten it yet).  What really blew me away, though, was the multiplayer maps.  Awesome graphics and gameplay – absolutely love it.  I own an XBox 360 because of this kind of game!

But I might be about to say something blasphemous to some … I think I still prefer Call of Duty 3.  Something about the WWII weapons and locales just really appeals to me.  Yeah, I like COD4’s grahics and new gameplay, but I love going online and duking it out on COD3 the most (yes, even more than Halo 3).

 Meanwhile, in other gaming news … when is Nintendo going to release the classic NES game “Super Dodgeball” for the virtual console?  I’ve been dying to get my hands on that game again for almost twenty years now … my buddy Joel and I totally stayed up all night playing that bad boy.  Sweet memories of gaming days gone by …

Star Trek: Conquest

30 Dec
December 30, 2007

My favorite present this Christmas was the game Star Trek Conquest for the Nintendo Wii!  My wife knows me well!  In between everything else I’ve snuck in about five or six hours of gaming with this title!  I love it!  My first impression was that it was a dud; but after I gave it a second chance (and actually learned how to play) it really grabbed a hold of me.  I finally realized why last night: it’s basically the classic board game Risk (which I have loved for close to twenty years now) set in the Star Trek universe.  Great turn based strategy game which I find challenging, yet fun.  The graphics are good (although, for the best Trek graphics, Star Trek Legacy on the XBox 360 takes the prize), but they’re not going to blow anyone away.  One caveat (wow, big word … I’m impressed with myself); Gene Rodenberry (star trek creator) is probably turning in his grave – a game where the federation is trying to take over the universe by conquering and eliminating all other races?  Definitely doesn’t line up with the ‘core philosophies’ of Star Trek, but it’s still a good game!