Yes, you can now sell murder simulators to impressionable youth....

At least that's probably how some idiot like Jack Thompson would interpret the Supreme Court Justice's historic ruling that Video Games are in fact protected speech and therefore criminalizing them is a no-no. Now, I do not think restricting minors' access to M-rated titles is a bad idea, they are for adults and anyone under 18 who can't get their parents to buy it for them just has to deal with it. Criminalizing it however is another matter altogether and not something that should be attached to a valid form of art (which video games are regardless of what some deluded movie critic thinks) that does enjoy first amendment protection.

Need another reason to buy Playstation plus? Today's update should give you 2 perfectly valid reasons (on top of all the other awesome reasons so far): Free download of Streets of Rage 2, arguably the finest side-scrolling fighter actually made and guaranteed access to the increasingly awesome-sounding Uncharted 3 multi-player beta.I try and avoid most mp these days as it's nearly all inferior attempts at aping stuff like Modern Warfare or Battlefield but Uncharted 3's mp sounds so vastly different it actually warrants attention. I may have mocked the idea of this pay for stuff you may not want plan at first but frankly in terms of perks it pretty much beats out Gold in every single measure, though IMHO (and most opinions) has a far superior set-up for online (i.e. not having to download and then install and not really being able to do much during).

Ok that's really all I have for today, but I should have another post up tomorrow or Thursday. Until then, here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Brave


Blast from the Past...

To say the years since the 16-bit heyday of the Genesis have not been kind to former Mario rival Sonic would be a massive understatement, as Sega has chipped away any goodwill they built up from his prime with terrible after terrible release. There was the rare bright spot, namely a majority of the portable titles and Sonic 4: Epsiode I was a decent attempt to return for form, but it's becoming harder and harder for longtime Sonic fans to give a damn anymore.

And yet, Sonic Generations shows us a glimmer of hope. Not a big glimmer, mind you, but the demo that popped on Xbox live a few days ago showed us just a glimpse of what Sonic could be, letting us play the Green Hill Zone in glorious hi-def. It was a brief experience but it was a magical one. Now, I'm not about to get fooled again, Sega has spent way too much time burying their once beloved mascot and pissing on the grave to get me truly truly excited again, but they do have me holding out just a little hope that Generations will bring back at least a little bit of the 16-bit glory.

I also saw Green Lantern yesterday. Maybe it's because my expectations were just a tad lowered because of the really bad reviews it has gotten, but I'm not understanding the hate at all. At least one review said it was worse than Jonah Hex. I can tell you it's far better than that laughably awful movie. It's certainly not up there with the greats like Dark Knight and I might rank it below say X-Men First Class or Thor but it's still a really solid flick with good performances and fun action sequences. People complained about too much CGI as well, but it's a movie about an intergalactic police force, what did you expect? I get this sense that people were either just suffering from too many comic movies or just expecting something way different and didn't get it and a perfectly good film suffered for it. Unfortunately this may quash the planned trilogy, which would be a shame because I would definitely be up for another one.

Ok that's really all I have for today but I should have another post up tomorrow or Tuesday. Until then here's your BIG BANG CLIP OF THE WEEK:


The Top 8 Nintendo classics that should be remade for the 3DS

You know what arguably the best part of Ocarina of Time 3D is? It actually looks like what I remember it like in my mind, because let's face it as much as it was an awesome title, it really hasn't aged well. Now it looks on par with a high-end Gamecube title, which is a huge upgrade, along with the improved z-targeting and 3D capabilities has made it the definitive version of a highly regarded classic, which is not an easy thing to do. And after playing it for awhile I can honestly say if all the 3DS ends up being good for is portable remakes of classics (i.e. Starfox 64 will hit in a few months and Tales of the Abyss should be released sometime this year) I'd be pretty happy as long as they are of the caliber of OOT. With that in mind, here's 8 Nintendo classics that could use a 3D upgrade: 

Blast Corps: One of the most original and fun N64 titles, Blast Corps, from Rare's glory days, always gets mentioned whenever someone puts up a list of best Nintendo or especially best N64 titles. Deservedly so, and it hasn't really made any sort of resurgence in the nearly 15 years since it originally came out. A fully realized re-release with some graphical upgrades and 3D capabilities added would make this classic even better.

Super Mario 64: The above picture should be proof enough of why we need a definitive version of this on the 3DS. One of the greatest games of all time and arguably still the greatest Mario game to date, much like OOT, the classic gameplay hasn't aged a bit, but the at the time stunning graphics sure as hell have not. This classic really deserves the same treatment that OOT got, and sadly we may miss out because of a quick and dirty port to the DS when the system launched that added virtually nothing to the game and it may be considered digging into the well once to often.

Banjo-Kazooie: Man, I forgot how many good games Rare made before Microsoft bought them (seriously, what the hell happened there?), and nearly all of them on the Nintendo 64. This being another prime example, one of the best-selling titles on the systems, easily stood toe-to-toe with any platformer at the time, only bested by Mario 64. And sure, it's gotten a solid digital release for 360 owners, but a portable version to bolster the 3DS' platformer library would be quite a welcome announcement.

Donkey Kong 64:  Another classic Rare title (I know they got paid a lot of $. but Rare seriously lost something when they left Nintendo), and another awesome platformer. A lot of N64 owners actually missed out on this because it was one of the few games that required the expansion pack, yet another Nintendo add-on that offered tons of potential, but was rarely used. A re-release with online for the extremely fun multi-player modes is very warranted.

DK Jungle Beat: Granted, mini-bongos would be awesome, but realistically the touchscreen is a perfect fit for this rather brilliant but virtually ignored title. It obviously wouldn't benefit too much from the implementation of 3D, but honestly just the thought of playing it on the go with a touch screen gives me very happy thoughts.

Super Metroid: Other M left a pretty bad taste in most people's mouths, so it's time to remind people exactly how awesome a 2D Metroid can be, and what better way then with a proper re-release of one of the greatest games ever made? I would keep it side-scrolling with a huge graphical upgrade, and use the 3D for things like map layouts, which would be a pretty awesome effect.

Wave Race: Just an incredibly fun racing game that seemed to sort of get ignored once Mario Kart 64 hit, it would do really well on the 3DS, taking advantage of not only the graphical boost and 3D effects, but the tilt controls could also be used incredibly well, like many other titles it could easily be the definitive version of a classic.

Star Wars: Rogue Squadron: I think it's been long enough that most of us would enjoy another Hoth level, especially in 3D. The 3DS seems custom built for this title, and the somewhat similar Star Fox 64 will probably be a perfect example of this. Done correctly this could pretty much be a killer app for the 3DS, and although probably unlikely at this point due to either licensing issues or Lucas just having his head up his ass for so long, it is easily the remake I would like to see most on this system.

Ok that's all for today, with a little luck I'll be able to get a post in tomorrow. Until then, here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Robinson Crusoe: The Game


Will you follow Suda 51 to Hell and back?

Ok unfortunately there will be no Ocarina of Time impressions as of yet as I wasn't able to get my hands on the game until this afternoon so I won't really get any quality time with it until tonight and hopefully I can give impressions sometime between tomorrow and Saturday. In the meantime there are several big games out this week worth discussing, the most interesting probably being the latest from Suda 51, who brought us awesomely weird games such as Killer 7 and the No More Heroes games, Shadows of the Damned, featuring a gun named Johnson. Yeah, it's not afraid to go for the easy jokes, but then No More Heroes was all about some ultimate nerd rage fantasy so it seems very keeping with the style you've come to know and sometimes love from Suda. I've previously mentioned I pretty much see him as the Quentin Tarantino of video games, which can be a polarizing factor, but for the most part I really enjoy his work and hopefully this wacky trip to Hell will be no different.

Dungeon Siege III also is out but judging from the demo and the reviews this strictly falls under the "buy if you've gotten everything else interesting" category. Shame too, as we could use a console-focused dungeon crawler that didn't really dumb itself down.

Finally there's F3ear. And no that's not a typo, it's the 3rd game in the desperately trying to be scary Fear series, but instead of simply going with Fear 3 they went with the absurdly stupid F3ear. This could be the best game ever and I probably won't ever get it just on principle. But since it's your standard shooter just mixed with horror elements I doubt it's much special to begin with.

Ok, that's all for today with a little luck I'll get a couple of posts in by Saturday. In the meantime, here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: The Muppets


Robin Williams and the Legend of his Beard...

Seriously, just look that damn thing. Sorry about no post yesterday but I've been fairly sick the last couple days, praying I'm mostly better tomorrow so I can actually go pick this up. Granted there is always a chance that a re-release, especially with a makeover like this will suddenly remind us of things that we somehow glossed over in our fond memories of a classic, but this is indisputably one of the finest games ever made. You normally don't mess with such a nearly flawless formula. Yet all the reviews point to this as being the definitive version of this highly revered title. It also finally is a title that really justifies owning a 3DS(because as far asI can tell the only worthwhile title before now was . Yes it would be bad if the primary reason to own this was 3D remakes of old classics, but this is a good title to really push the system early in it's life and hopefully this is mainly something to appease us early adopters til later this year when the system really starts getting some quality original titles.

Ok that's really all I've got energy for today, I should have a post up Wednesday at the latest with my impressions and with thoughts of other things. In the meantime, here's your BIG BANG THEORY CLIP OF THE WEEK:


Is the future of rpgs in the portable market?

Admittedly this was sort of touched on in a recent issue of Game Informer, but I mean to expand on it quite a bit more here. Truthfully if you take a good look at the libraries of the consoles and their portable counterparts these days, if you are looking for something besides the hugely budgeted, barely recognized as an rpg anymore efforts from the likes of Bioware and Square Enix, increasingly you are finding it in the portable market. There are smaller cultish titles, titles rich in and proud of their JRPG roots, beautifully remade classics, and occasionally the newest entry of a long-running series.

And maybe this is the way it should be. Games seem to ballooning in budget, which leaves little to no room on consoles for niche titles. If you want to do an rpg on there, it almost automatically suffers from it's niche market to begin with. Hell Mass Effect 3 was officially delayed to make it appeal to a wider audience. Now I love the ME games, but what started out as a futuristic rpg with slight shooter trimmings has become pretty much the inverse of that, becoming less and less what drew in rpg fans in the first place. It's happened with Dragon Age as well. The original was a harsh old school rpg while the sequel was much more casual. Now I enjoyed both these titles, but if everybody follows in their footsteps we are left with what we've got now which is a huge gap in worthwhile rpgs for the home audiences. Turn to portables and that is nowhere near the case, as between retail and downloadable releases you seem to on average having a couple every month. Admittedly I may get an PSP Vita just so I can play all the PSP rpgs I'm currently missing out on. And you are seeing series that previously were only on console migrate to the portables such as Dragon Quest and Paper Mario.

Now some of this makes sense fiscally, these titles are cheaper to develop on portables and much less of a risk. But despite the original idea of portables only being good for bite-sized gaming, this just seems like an increasingly good and natural fit for this genre, as it's just overall a great landscape to be more experimental and being something where it's easier to fnd your niche audience. I believe portables are pretty much the future of rpgs (at least rpgs as we've traditionally defined them) and that future is actually looking increasingly bright.

Well that's it for the main crux of today's post, but of course a new post for the week means a new bit of Zelda goodness: JOHN HUGHES THE LEGEND OF ZELDA

And of course your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK (and I should be back Friday with a new post): Level Up


Do Not Hail to the King.....

There was a short period where I actually enjoyed Duke Nukem titles. Way back when it was a series of 2D shareware games along with forgotten classics like Commander Keen. But then the FPS explosion happened and someone decided that Duke should suddenly take on all the worst extreme aspects of the 90s. Stealing catchphrases from much cooler characters, so much machismo that it would make Andrew Dice Clay say enough already and of course lots of nudity and swearing because that's "edgy". All this was put first and gameplay second, as it was pretty boilerplate shootemup action, but it sold extremely well anyways.

Now he's back and suddenly people are realizing what they should've realized 20 goddamn years ago. Duke Nukem sucks. They claim he is so iconic of the 90s, but in reality he is iconic of the worst of the 90s stuff that was truly great in the 90s is still either fondly remembered or still around as great as it always was.

Moving on, Zelda is 25, and along with Nintendo commemorating it for the rest of the year, I plan to commemorate it every post this week until the long-awaited release of LEGEND OF ZELDA:  THE OCARINA OF TIME 3D. You could argue every game Zelda title since then was pretty much a take on OOT in some form or another and that's because it's simply of of the greatest games ever made. So to start things off, here's a great vid of possibly the only person who could ever explain the Zelda timeline: DOC BROWN!

That's really all for today, but I should have another post up tomorrow. Until then here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: 50/50


The E3 game I'm currently most excited about...

 Is Luigi's Mansion 2 for the 3DS. Why do I even care about a sequel to a quickly forgotten Gamecube launch title that nearly everyone (including myself being completely honest) considers a poor choice when Nintendo had much more bankable stars? Well for one, I've always liked Luigi more than Mario. He's more human, has more personality, the he's the Donald to Mario's Mickey. Mario is almost lacking a personality at this point because they've been so concerned on making him the family friendly face of Nintendo that he cannot possibly be flawed and have any edge or flaws and therefore he is pretty bland. It's Luigi who gets to not be perfect and cowardly and actually overcomes his fears in most games he's in, so getting him another chance to step out from his brother's shadow is a great thing. Also, while a poor choice to launch the Gamecube with, the original was a really solid game that was a lot of fun, it was just short, like 6 hours max. This one promises to be much longer with several mansions to traverse and a whole ton of new tricks at your disposal to use. While not an original IP it is a pleasant surprise to see Nintendo giving one of their best secondary characters some long overdue love. It just sucks that I have to wait til next year to play it.

Ok that's really it for today's post.  I should hopefully have another post up this weekend, but no gaurauntees as it's pretty packed at the moment. In the meantime I leave you with your TRAILER OF THE WEEK:  Girl With the Dragoon Tattoo


Post-mid E3 thoughts....

E3 isn't quite over yet, but the big 3 had their press conferences, which are usually the thing people care about most each year, so let's break those down:

Microsoft: Awful, just awful. People complained about Nintendo abandoning the hardcore, but that was on full display here as it looked like the 360 was just becoming Kinect with a couple of trivial titles thrown at the core crowd to keep them satiated. Admittedly it wasn't as mind-boggling painful as last year But the only midly interesting thing in the entirely laughable 90 minutes was the live TV service which may not be much of anything depending on what they offer at what price.

Sony: Arguably Sony's biggest mistake this year was no big blockbuster announcements. There was nothing really surprising for the core players. The Move had nothing but really boring titles. The Vita looks perfectly serviceable but I didn't see one title that makes it a must buy. Honestly after the PSN network debacle I expected them to blow the doors off because frankly they needed to and they didn't. Pretty much the only positive is that a new Sly Cooper game was coming.

Nintendo: Ok yes, Nintendo. You sold me on the 3DS because while it started off soft, there are a ton of games in the near future that will be awesome. So I picked one up after the conference and so far I'm really enjoying it. But where's the new IP? There doesn't seem to be any. Wii support? None aside from Zelda which apparently is the last Wii game ever. Ok but what about the new console, the Wii U? Hell if I know. A bunch of major 3rd party titles were announced, but it was nearly all titles that would be out long before the system itself is. You want me to wait to play Arkham City? You're fucking nuts. And really, the main thing they seemed to focus on-that you can continue playing your game when somebody else wants to use the TV, doesn't seem like much of a feature. I mean I love the idea of playing Zelda in 1080p on my 42-inch flatscreen but not extremely thrilled about say my wife wanting to watch something and me really having no valid excuse to say no since I can transfer it to my much much smaller screen. And honestly the controller looks fucking huge and clumsy. I'll hold off judgement until I get to handle it and given that they've already announced Smash Bros. is at least in development I'll get one at some point but this is far from a day one buy to me right now.

Ok that's it. I should be back tomorrow with more E3 thoughts. Until then, here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Goin Up


My 9 most anticipated E3 games....

Ok so Kung Fu Panda 2 review may not be coming, it was frankly too damn hot out today and after running a couple errands I was in no mood to brave the heat again. I'm sure your all crushed. Unfortunately due to my schedule, I probably won't have time to watch and post about the 3 big E3 conferences until Wednesday (I'm considering cutting myself off from most of it until then and just watching the conferences in one solid block). But like everybody else I've got games I'm absolutely salivating over to read about and see new videos posted. So here are the top 9 I'm most excited to check out (and you should probably be too)

#9: Fable: The Journey-Fable has a really divisive history. I think most would agree the closest the series has come to actually attaining the lofty goals set by Peter Molyneux was II, with III being a huge step backwards. But I'm willing to give the 360's flagship rpg series another shot. Of course, they most driving thing is aside from a title, we really know nothing. Is it a Kinect spin-off? Major expansion/DLC? A collection of craptacular minigames? Either way as of right know I'm extremely interested to find out.

#8 X-Men : Destiny-Now granted, X-men games haven't been extremely exciting as of late, but this wholly original game not tied to any movies or TV shows that has you starring as a new member who gets to fight alongside the X-men just screams awesome potential. Of course, there's plenty of potential for it to go the other way, but over the last few years when we have gotten a licensed game that isn't tied into any movie or TV show we've actually gotten pretty solid results so hopefully this'll be true of this game as well.

#7 Uncharted: Golden Abyss-Sony's NGP/Vita/whatever has to make one hell of a showing considering how poorly the PSP did in order to convince people it's not going to be the same thing. Golden Abyss may be the exact title to do that. The Uncharted games are arguably the best reason to own a PS3 and could be a very. very compelling reason to buy Sony's new portable if they really do it right.

#6 Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One-Ratchet and Clank games always deliver compelling fun gameplay, and this should be no exception. Adding in co-op online play is a daring new step, but one that seems badly needed with all the "me-too" online shooters these days. It would be a well overdue breath of fresh air to have a title like this that is probably the closest thing we may ever get to New Super Mario Bros. Online.

#5 Super Mario 3DS-Admittedly the 3DS lineup has been majorly lacking in solid games. Hopefully at E3 this will change, spearheaded by an orginal Mario game that while we don't know a lot about at this point, has been promised to be a combination of Mario 64 and Mario Galaxy which just sounds like the best game ever.

#4 Zelda: Skyward Sword-Possibly the Wii's swan song, also possibly a launch title for Project Cafe? Nintendo has done it before. Either way, Zelda games are always amazing and usually great at showing what Nintendo consoles really are capable of and Skyward Sword will be no different, at this point I just want to know it'll actually be out within a year.

#3 Skyrim: It has been way too long since we have seen an Elder Scrolls game and I don't think I've spent more time on any one game, pouring a couple hundred hours into Oblivion. I'm very prepared to do it all over again. This will be a timesink like no other, and we will welcome it gladly.

#2 Arkham City-The sequel to the best superhero game ever aims even bigger and actually looks to outdo its predecessor with more villains, more gadgets and even a little help from Catwoman. I'm still amazed at how good Arkham Asylum is because according to all logic a licensed game just can't be that awesome and yet Arkham City seems primed to somehow top it.

#1 Mass Effect 3: The epic conclusion of the greatest video game trilogy of this generation (possibly ever) is finally here. And It'll be different for everybody. Who's still alive? Who's pissed at you? What seemingly minor decision did you make way back in the first game that has probably doomed the galaxy to extinction? It all comes to a head here in what promises to be one hell of a finale. And you know it will want to make you go through the series time and time again just to see all the possible outcomes.

All right that's the list. Most likely the next time I post will be Wednesday, but I may post sooner if possible. Until then, here's your BIG BANG THEORY CLIP OF THE WEEK:



Well sort of. If you don't regularly keep up with Penny Arcade, in addition to their pretty brilliant constant commentary on games and pop culture, does a lot of inspired one-off ideas that really seem like they could be developed a lot further into full blown comics, TV shows, Movies, etc. Nothing ever really seems to come of it, but hopefully this will be a huge launching pad for PA properties because really, we need to see a real version Automata as soon as possible...

Moving on to movies of the here and now, the X-Men reboot First Class opens today. Admittedly with X-Men's last outing being rather abysmal and the rights still being owned by Fox we shouldn't have too high expectations, especially of something that just screams quick dirty reboot. But you give Matthew Vaughn source material and he makes it work, as evidenced by the really high praise it's already getting. I unfortunately don't have time to see it this weekend, but I fully intend to check it out next week so look for a review sometime after all the E3 madness most likely.

The PSN network is back up, yay! No freebies as of yet but I did download the demo for Infamous 2, which hits next week. My thoughts? Maybe it was just the limits of the demo but for missions in an open landscape it seemed very arbitrarily limited. For example I come to a big park where a huge fight is going on between soldiers and monsters. The lead monster is called Ravager. I led it away from the park and killed it on a roof top that wasn't far away, but somehow that was considered failing the mission and I had to start over. Makes absolutely no sense. Otherwise, I have the same issues I did with the first game, and that's ultimately that the controls feel iffy and way too loose, making anything that requires precision difficult (especially say launching cars at enemies, which while a cool idea, is nearly impossible to do with any accuracy).

Finally, file this under incredibly stupid ideas. Now, I'd love to see an awesome Star Trek game based on the new Star Trek movie. Obviously a Star Trek game would involve space exploration & combat, possibly with some shooter elements thrown in if you are boarded by Klingons or whatever. But a whole game based strictly around co-op shooting with Kirk & Spock? Excuse me for a moment....

Ok that's it for today, but I will hopefully have another post up tomorrow with my review of Kung Fu Panda 2 as well as a couple other things. Until then, here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Dragon Age Legends Remix