Liberation Maiden is by far the least weird Suda51 game. I mean, sure – there’s still flying robots and *gasp* a female president, but compared to Killer 7? No More Heroes? Using those as Suda’s typical benchmark, this is about as tame as games get.
This time around, Suda and Grasshopper Manufacture teamed with Level 5 to “bring AAA production values to the downloadable space.” For $7.99, you get a flying mech shooter game with solid voice acting, sharp graphics, and Rez-style gameplay that wouldn’t feel out of place in a third-generation PS2 game. All they put into the game comes at a price, however – it’s only about an hour long. Continue reading
I’ve written before about my love affair with physical media. The look, the feel, the smell, the touch. But Paper Mario: Sticker Star comes out today, and instead of driving allllll the way over there to pick up a copy, I’ll be downloading it from the 3DS eShop for $39.99, while I sleep. I will receive no physical manual. I will have no spot for it on my shelf. I won’t even be able to re-sell it if it sucks.
Never fear: I haven’t given up on the good ol’ hard plastic cases. I thought too long and too hard about this, and I made an exciting list of the reasons why – at least in the case of Sticker Star – I’ll be eschewing the tangible for the digital. This is the first full retail game I’ll have ever paid for and not held the physical game in my hand afterwards. Sure, there’ve been lots of full free PS+ games, but this is a big deal for me! Continue reading
I’ve been playing my shiny new 3DS (well, it’s new to me) long enough to determine that, at its heart, it’s really just a better DS. It’s not trying to reinvent the wheel; Nintendo just stuck with what worked, and gave it better graphics, a simply terrific analog stick, and some 3D-ness. One thing in particular I had hoped they would improve, however, is the audio. The speakers are much better, for sure (have a listen on Nintendo Video or Netflix and compare it to any DS game if you don’t believe me), but I still have exactly zero qualms about playing nearly any game with the sound off. When I think back to some of the incredibly catchy melodies from the original NES – over 25 years ago – this lack of advancement in the sound department is simply unacceptable.
This is one area in which Sony has always excelled – the PSP and the Vita have some pretty great speakers, and the games on those systems recognized that fact, so much so that investing in a decent pair of headphones to play games is actually recommended. (I’d expect nothing less from the creators of the Walkman.) The higher-capacity UMD format helped too, I think, as did the ability to play PSOne Classics on the systems. The CD format and the original PlayStation is when game technology finally made it possible to do sound design, spoken dialogue, and full orchestral soundtracks by real full orchestras justice, and the disc format has helped every console since do more with their games’ sound and music. But the 3DS and DS aren’t disc-based. Continue reading
I’ve never had a gaming experience like Super Mario 3D Land before. I’ve never before been so disappointed in a game, for hours upon hours, only to then have it perform a complete 180, destroy every negative feeling I was having before, and deliver a second act so wildly superior, so vastly, incredibly better in every conceivable way, that it was like it was made by a completely different studio. That’s Super Mario 3D Land in a nutshell: a first half of just complete, utter dredge, and a second half that reminds us all why Mario is the single most recognizable character in the world. Continue reading
Coworker: “I need to get rid of my old 3DS since I bought the XL. Want it? How about $50?”
Me: “YES. Yes I do.”
And that is the story of how I finally, finally joined the 3DS Owners Club.
It’s pretty cool. It does almost as much as my iPhone, and with graphics that are almost as good. Also: buttons! Screens! But there are a few little unforeseen quirks, possibly because Nintendo is one of those rare companies that has lived in its own little world, it’s own little bubble separated from the rest of time, space, and society, for the last hundred-or-so years. It is arguably the best (if you go by quantity and quality of games) – and definitely the most important – handheld system on the market today. What has my first day been like in 3DS Land? Well, it might have been a lot like yours. And if you don’t have a 3DS yet, well… there are a few things you should know first. Continue reading