If you require more than one cup to entice your body to face another day, feel free to adjust the lyrics accordingly.
-Matt (@LittleTMart on Twitter)
I’m over a week deep into the wonderful world of Wii U ownership and it’s been pretty great so far. Well… pretty great outside of that dreadful day one update, some overly lengthy load times, and the occasional lockup/vuvuzela serenade. But I think there’s a lot of potential in this little system, especially if third-parties are able to make good use of the GamePad in ways that provide experiences unique to the Wii U – ZombiU, for example. I’m excited, and not just because they already have my $370!
I made it through Shoppin’ Brawl 2K12 intact and under budget (except for that whole $370 I mentioned last paragraph). New additions to my backlog are: Dishonored, XCOM, Lollipop Chainsaw, Asura’s Wrath, New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land, and Hotline Miami, all of which I should get around to finishing by this time next year, or hopefully sooner now that I’ve gone cold turkey on achievement/trophy hunting.
I played entirely though Halo 4 without ever checking the achievements and it was fantastic! The game is aces to start with, so I suppose I shouldn’t be that surprised, but not having to worry about getting 500 Needler kills from the passenger side of a Warthog or whatever while progressing freed up my brain to actually take in the sights and enjoy myself. Play on Nightmare difficulty without dying between the hours of 2-4AM for 100G? None for me, thanks – I’m learning to let go and love video games again. You should try it.
There's a great THQ Humble Bundle going on right now! Steam copies of Saint's Row: The Third, Darksiders, Metro 2033, and more, all for under six dollars. I guess you do what you have to when your company is on the brink of collapse. If this helps them stay afloat until they can get The Next Great Sequel in the Saint's Row Franchise out the door, then good on 'em.
See you next week!
-Matt (@LittleTMart on Twitter)
I think the words GUT, SEX, and ABS have appeared on the cover of every issue of Men’s Health, which at one point used to be a really helpful publication. Nowadays? Not so much. I guess I’ll just have to manage my diet better and exercise more. BORING.
Perhaps I’m enjoying Halo 4 because I went in with zero expectations, but I AM enjoying it. The most noticeable difference between Halo 4 and every other Halo game you might’ve played is that Halo 4 is pretty. Really pretty! Previous outings on the 360 weren’t particularly ugly – they just had a blockiness to them and never seemed to stack up very favorably against the other big games they were released alongside of. The new Forerunner enemies and weapons are neat, but there aren’t many of either. In fact, most of the time I’ve spent with Halo 4 has been spent fighting the Covenant with the same weapons and vehicles I’ve been shooting and piloting since 2001, which, honestly, miiight’ve been the way to go for 343 Interactive in their inaugural run with the franchise, if only to show Halo loyalists they’re up to the task before taking the series in their own direction. Personally, I would’ve rather seen them play things a bit less safe, but they’ve proven themselves capable of making a Halo game that feels like a Halo game – Here’s hoping their next step pushes the series into less familiar territory.
Next stop: Wii U! The reviews are in on New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land, and both have fared more favorably that I expected. I was in no way banking on either game being a bad product, but I also wasn’t expecting them to be as fresh as the reviews make them sound. Mario in particular sounds like a much more interesting experience than the one I had constructed in my mind from screen shots and video clips and my lowered expectations in the wake of New Super Mario Bros. 2. If anything, it will be nice to play games with people in person again. No more days spent without hearing another human voice for THIS guy!
See you next week!
Blowguns have always fascinated me, and not just because my first experience with one was my neighbor shooting a 6” steel dart into my knee at point blank range. But I hold him no ill will - It was the 80s. We practically spent every summer throwing shuriken at each other, honing our skills for the day we would inevitably be called to honor our (Irish and German) ancestors in combat with our mastery of the ninja arts. And if that didn’t work out, we could always fall back on the butterfly knives and brass knuckles we picked up at the local flea market.
What I’m saying is – if you didn’t get to be a kid in the 80s, you fucking missed out on a lot. Like BB gun tag and holding fireworks in your hand when you lit them and jumping your bike off of a sweet homemade ramp into a small mountain of broken glass.
And somehow I still have two working eyes and all my fingers and toes. Go figure.
-Matt (@LittleTMart on Twitter)
P.S. Sorry, mom and dad.
Unless something goes drastically awry in episode 5, Telltale’s The Walking Dead is on track to be my 2012 Game of the Year. I haven’t played X-COM or Dishonored yet (waiting on a Black Friday sale) and Assassin’s Creed III will probably be a strong contender, but for those to stand a chance at dethroning TWD they also have to get past my current runner-up – Journey. Not to encourage a fool’s errand, but… good luck, I guess.
It’s been a banner year for downloadables! 2012 has already given us TWD, Journey, Fez, Spelunky, Tokyo Jungle, Mark of the Ninja, and Double Dragon Neon, and this is the first time (as far as I can remember – I’m old) that I’ve wrung more enjoyment from this year’s XBLA and PSN offerings than I have from any of my $60 AAA purchases. That doesn’t mean I’m denouncing the big games – hardly – but as my free time becomes more scarce, I find myself gravitating towards more distilled gaming experiences. I expect that I’ll be back to Pong, and only Pong, sometime around 2015.
-Matt (@LittleTMart on Twitter)
What can I say? I grew up with a sister and the line between boy cartoons and girl cartoons has been sufficiently blurred. Care Bears, Raggedy Ann & Andy, Strawberry Shortcake, Rainbow Brite, She-Ra – You name it, I’ve watched it.
Fun fact: She-Ra’s horse, Swiftwind, has the best voice of any cartoon character ever. Skip to 4:22 in this link for magic to start pouring out of his mouth, gallons at a time.
I recently started watching Jem and The Holograms on Saturdays while I eat breakfast and I now approach episodes as I would a police procedural, forming a case against The Misfits as their monstrous crimes continue to mount. Look, The Misfits and Eric Raymond are basically terrorists; they do whatever they think it will take to show up Jem and The Holograms (except, you know, recording and selling music) and worry later about the collateral damage, if at all. In any given episode they might burn down a TV studio, try to sink a yacht full of innocent people, cause an avalanche, or they might just outright hire an assassin or kidnap a band member and hide them in an erupting volcano. Looking back, Cobra and the Decipticons had nothing on The Misfits.
Strangely, Jem & co. rarely involve they law in their ongoing plight, as if calling the police when someone uses a hang glider to blow up part of your building is taking the low road. In the unlikely event the police do become involved, the hired thugs always take the fall, and should Eric Raymond or The Misfits ever be implicated, they’re right back in the game, sometimes in the same episode, because their lawyer is always able to “pull some legal strings.” I’m not sure where Starlight Music is located, but the laws there are pretty terrible, or the judges are really susceptible to bribes. You probably don’t want to live there. Or maybe you do; maybe you’re a monster who has long since abandoned your humanity in the pursuit of glamour, glitter, fashion, and fame.
It’s probably for the best that Jem is so good natured. If I had access to a powerful computer that projects holograms, I would be using it to drive people insane, like, DAY ONE.
As always, you can find me on Twitter @LittleTMart. Give me a follow and let’s talk, why not?
Is that the name of the achievement you get when you beat Borderlands 2? I haven’t beaten it yet so I had to make that up. My fingers are tightly crossed for guns that fire through time, but I think I might have to wait on the sequel for those.
This is the same problem I had with the first Borderlands. I would skip playing for a night and when I rejoined my group, I was greeted by three gods of marksmanship who just happened to look like the guys I had been playing with the night before; gods with equally godly arsenals that made my mishmash collection of guns that shot acid or lightning once in a while seem all the more pitiful. This is really the problem with every loot-based multiplayer game after life is kind enough to bequeath adult responsibilities unto you. Assigning one night a week to play would probably be a good solution, but I usually tend to solve the problem by not playing that game anymore.
Hey, remember back in the early days of the PlayStation when Sony had a pretty good reputation going for selling any old weird thing they felt like making? Those were good times. Tokyo Jungle feels like a product of that era, and if that notion is appealing to you, you should probably give it a look. The elevator pitch is that humankind has disappeared and, as an animal of your choosing, your objective is to survive as long as possible in a world without man, which basically translates into “kill and eat everything you can.” But you don’t live forever, and when your time is done, you must find a mate and breed to continue the struggle through the able, young bodies of your progeny. As you become better at surviving, you’ll unlock more story missions, more powerful animals, and adorable pet clothing. Look, it’s pretty weird, but it’s also pretty excellent and is the perfect cure for shooter fatigue. If you want to know any more, Giant Bomb has an excellent Quick Look that will show you what’s what.
See you next week!
Be ever vigilant, for they walk among us.
I did almost fail out of college – IN PART – due to Mister James Bond and his gun-savvy gang of pals. That much is true, but there were a number of other factors involved, one of which was my choice to frequently skip class and go work, completely off the clock and without pay, at my local Electronics Boutique. I would hang out in there and check out the new games that came out. And then open the shipments. And then process the shipments. And then stock the shelves. And then work the floor. And then cover the register.
Wow. Thinking back, I guess I used to love working there, but they were a different company then. I wanted my own store, or perhaps even my own district, but those same jobs at the company they are today are probably comparable to any of the circles of Hell. You pick.
I feel the need to speak up on the behalf of Double Dragon Neon. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ve already heard my song and dance on this, but guys – that game is FANTASTIC. It’s taking a bit of a shellacking in the reviews, and a lot of the criticisms leveled against it seem unfounded. The ones that crop up most frequently are that the game is slow and the hit detection is bad, both of which are crap. The game is as fast as you are. There’s a run button and you can progress just as briskly as your ability to beat up dudes will allow, which leads into the hit detection thing.
No, the hit detection is not bad. You can only hit enemies at certain times, when they are open. It’s not faulty hit detection; it’s a mechanic that makes you pay attention and try to get better. Enemies usually have patterns. Exploit those patterns to defeat them and progress. This shit is like Video Games 101: An Intro to Video Games taught by Dr. Space Invaders.
Next week’s assignment: Shoot the core!
I don’t have anything bad to say about Double Dragon Neon other than it could really use online co-op, and WayForward is patching that in, AND they’re giving you the game’s awesome soundtrack (which you can download HERE) as an apology for not having it ready at launch. It’s the part DD remix/part faux-‘80s synth equivalent of a greeting card with a picture of a crying teddy bear on it that reads “We’re BEARY sorry!”
I guess a lot of it boils down to “Am I old enough to appreciate this game?” If you didn’t grow up in the mid-‘80s, a LOT of its appeal will probably be lost on you, from the gameplay, to the humor, to the overall aesthetics, and you know… that’s fine. I just want to put a second opinion out there from the exact type of person this game was tailor-made for. I got Double Dragon Neon for free with my PS+ subscription and I’m buying it again on 360 when they patch in co-op because I WANT to give WayForward my money in thanks for making such a thoroughly enjoyable romp down memory lane.
See you next week!
When I feel good, this thing happens to me and I become super productive, overly optimistic, and a bit of a hippie. I write, draw, read, exercise, and cook , as opposed to my usual lineup of sit, sit, sit, sit, and order takeout. This feeling usually spurs the purchase of at least one issue of Men’s Health magazine. I think I’ve heard people refer to this phenomenon as “happiness.” Luckily it doesn’t happen very often, and when it does, its effects are usually short-lived.
I feel like I’ve been neglecting the site for the past few weeks – probably because I’ve been neglecting the site for the past few weeks – but the worst of what was eating up my comic time is past us, and everything should be back on track now. Sooooorry about that, babe.
Tekken Tag Tournament Two (dat alliteration) is poised to eat up all of my spare time between now and Borderlands 2. I bought it last night and am eager to jump online just as soon as I post this to receive today’s allotment of beatings. I’ve logged my share of hours in Tekken Bowl and Tekken Ball over the years, and while I usually applaud the absurdity of Tekken’s extra modes, I’ve never understood or particularly liked any of Namco’s attempts to turn Tekken into a 3D beat-em-up. When just such a mode took center stage in Tekken 6, my faith in the series was shaken, so it’s a relief to see the focus being put back on the fighting this time out.
Something else I’m excited about is Namco’s approach to DLC in TTT2. Time-released hidden characters, an extra stage, and lots tons of bikini costumes - all for free! What is this, 1997? It’s amazing how much more positive my outlook on a game becomes when it feels like a product the developers are proud of instead of a trap to capture as many of my dollars as possible before I get fed up or lose interest. You have my $60, Namco, as well as my thanks for a job well done.
Hoooookay. Please follow me on Twitter @LittleTMart and I’ll see you next week!
Oh, hello there. What’s new with you guys? Oh, that’s cool. That all sounds like a lot of fun. I’m finally getting everything resituated around here from Drawmageddon 2012 (when my drawing software magically stopped working) and things are finally getting back to normal. But you can only spend so many hours out of the day cussing at your PC and pestering friends for help, so after I hit my daily allotment of all that, I played some video games. Weird, huh?
I’m currently working my way through Dust: An Elysian Tail on XBLA. It’s very impressive, especially given how few people were involved in its creation, but I’m not having the love affair with it that most other reviewers seem to be swept up in, mostly because I strongly dislike the characters and the voice acting. It feels like a motion comic of an old issue of Antarctic Press’ Gold Digger. If you can roll with that, more power to you, but having to endure the advances of a tomboyish rabbit blacksmith is not what I’m looking for in a video game.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 served its purpose of giving me a reason to turn my 3DS on during the month of August. It’s a solid game, I guess, but it sure doesn’t feel special in the way that Mario games typically do. Coin collecting is the name of the game this time out, as our plumber-turned-numismatist jumps, flies, and swims his way toward his goals of rescuing the princess and banking one million coins. There are a lot of coins in the game, of course, but other than giving the developers an excuse to put a whole bunch of coins on the screen at the same time, they don’t really seem to serve any other purpose than to keep you playing a bit longer than you probably otherwise would. It’s also ridiculously easy, and if you’re even the slightest bit familiar with Mario’s basic workings, you’ll quickly accrue more lives than you’ll ever need. I don’t want to sound down on New Super Mario Bros. 2 because it’s not a bad game, but at the same time, for a game with “New” in the title, there’s very little here you haven’t already seen.
See you next week!
-Mattout. (You can follow me on Twitter @LittleTMart)