Gamer Cinema: Street Fighter

Hope everybody had a great Christmas, I got lots of good gaming stuff-Into the Nexus, Puppeteer, Swapforce, Mario 3D World and a nice used Vita. I'll hopefully address them all in a post on Thursday or Friday when I've gotten some ample time in with them all. In the meantime, a bunch of movies are leaving Netflix after the new year. This is nothing new, movies and shows go away and come back all the time. Supposedly one of the titles is Street Fighter, so I'd figured it might be my last chance to watch this for awhile for free.

Now there have been several attempts over the years to make Street Fighter into a movie, this one is noteworthy for being the first and also unfortunately being the final performance of the late great Raul Julia beause it's pretty awful. I'll grant you that Street Fighter is not the easiest thing to adapt well but the basic structure is easy. The heroes (presumably Ryu, Ken, Chun Li and Guile) enter a shady fighting tournament run by M. Bison in the mysterious city of Shadaloo in order to take him down all with their own motives for doing so. See, not that hard. Hell it's essentially the plot of Mortal Kombat, probably still the best video game movie ever made (yeah that's not saying much).

Instead what we get is a ton of nonsense about Bison being an evil warlord who takes hostages and All American hero Guile (played by Jean Claude Van Damme because why not) coming after him. Instead of a British agent, Chun Li is a reporter. Her crew is E. Honda & Balrog (what?), Dhalsim is a scientist (huh?), Zangief is one of Bison's cronies as is Dee Jay. Ryu & Ken are con men who look nothing like their video game counterparts(sure why not). As you can see this movie was doomed from the start by changing a lot of things that didn't need to be changed and making the plot a hell of a lot more complex than it needed to be. To be fair, a couple things make sense-Sagat as a crime boss and Cammy as Guile's second in command for instance, but it's rare. Also, Guile may be the worst Commander ever. He routinely doles out important information (i.e. yelling out on camera to his buddy Charlie that they are coming to rescue him, so know Bison knows he has Charlie and specifically picks him out to experiment on) and when he finally goes after Bison he leaves the base completely unguarded. A joke is made of it but I'm pretty sure he'd be court martialed for that. Of course the acting is awful, with Raul Julia the only one really making a go of it.

But much like Double Dragon, the real disappointment is in the awful action. There actually is not a ton of fighting in the movie, more gunplay than anything else but the actual hand-to-and combat scenes are barely fights with awful choreography. I haven't watched any other Street Fighter adaptations yet, but I'm hoping this is the worst because it was pretty painful to sit through.

 That's all for today like I said I should hopefully have something up Thursday or Friday talking about the games I've played over the last week or so. Until then, happy new year.


Gamer Cinema: Elf Bowling: The Movie

Did you know Santa was a pirate who by pure circumstance (or DESTINY) ended up at the North Pole with elves who just love making toys for kids, then decided to become their leader because it meant his lazy ass would only have to work one day a year? Oh yeah, and there's bowling because it's ELF BOWLING. It all goes well for centuries until his scheming brother Dingle aims to take over and make billions in the process (by giving away toys to kids?).

 And you know what, I'm usually a sucker for even dumb crappy Christmas movies, but this flimsy excuse to milk a few desperate bucks out of kids might be the worst Christmas movie I've ever sat through. Like worse the the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas special. It's not just that even for a lazy dumb kids movie the plot is convoluted and makes no sense (i.e. even though Dingle is known for lying and has been caught cheating and stealing multiple times, Santa and the elves take pretty much everything he says at face value repeatedly throughout the movie). It's the awful "jokes" (i.e. every time the elves celebrate, they do it with armpit farts), the absolutely terrible songs and the downright terrifyingly bad animation that looks like CGI from budget PS one titles that just make this pretty damn unbearable. Avoid at all costs.

It's Santa kids! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

That's it for today. I'll probably have at least one post next week (probably Saturday) but not until after Christmas as between work and home stuff I'll be pretty busy, so everyone have a good holiday!


14 games I'm looking forward to in 2014....

Well, last year I did 13 games to look forward to, and I intend to up it every year as long as I can, but I doubt I'll be able to keep it up forever. This year is also a little more challenging because it's the transitional year between generations. Releases for the 360 & PS3 are starting to dry up and solid release dates for next-gen titles are sparse because it's new technology and that can take awhile to work the kinks out. A lot of things people are very excited for probably aren't even close to done and may not hit until well into 2015 or later. That being said, there's plenty to get excited about next year so here's what I can't wait to get my hands on:

14: Kingdom Hearts 2.5 remix: Normally a re-release wouldn't make this list, but this will be a great warm-up to the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III (which almost definitely won't make 2014) and I'll actually be pretty pumped to play Birth By Sleep in HD on a big screen as I enjoyed the PSP version but never got around to finishing it.

13.  Sunset Overdrive: Ok so Fuze was a bust, but that's mainly because it was lacking that personality you normally see in Insomniac titles. Sunset Overdrive looks to have that personality in spades and even though it's early, knowing Insomniac's penchant for great action and creative fun weapons makes this one of the next-gen titles I'm really looking forward to.

12.  Evil Within: Survival Horror has pretty much died off this last generation. Most games in this aside from a few notable indie efforts have just not been scary and also not very good. Shinji Mikami is looking to have the genre make a huge return with Evil Within and it looks pretty damn promising, and next gen usually allows for scares you couldn't do before, so while horror games usually don't even register on my radar, I'm very interested in this one.

11. Child of Light:  Holy hell does this look gorgeous. And it's inspired by the Jrpg style, but from the team that brought us the very awesome Far Cry 3? How could you not be excited about this game?

10. Tales of Xillia 2: Simply put, I love the Tales series and they rarely do straight up sequels, so I'm extremely interested to see the universe of Xillia after the events of the first game, especially how the characters are faring, which I'm sure they will touch on even if it's featuring a mostly new cast.

9. FFXIII: Lightning Returns: I liked FFXIII. It wasn't the greatest game ever, but it had a solid story and an awesome battle system. FFXIII-2 really cut what didn't work and tightened up what did, and Lightning Returns looks to be a great further refinement and really deliver on the promise of a proper FF game on current consoles.

8. Smash Bros. : Uh, it's Smash Bros, do I really need to say much else? Granted the Wii U entry was a tad underwhelming, but this one looks packed to with content and fun new characters. This may also be what finally really moves the needle on the flagging Wii U as many have said when Smash Bros finally hits is when they will get one.

7. Titanfall: Admittedly my initial reaction to Titanfall was meh, it's Call of Duty with mechs, big deal. But then you see elements like the parkour  and jet packs and how the mechs move and the fact that the mechs aren't everything and how insanely good it looks. Assuming I pick up an Xbox one in the next 6 or so months (and I'm hoping to) and Titanfall really has the legs it's promising this would probably be the first game I get and I expect it will rekindle my interest in shooters which has been nearly dead for years now.

6. The Order 1886: Alternate history with an ancient order protecting humanity from all kinds of monstrosities?  Sounds great. Add in somewhat future tech in an ancient time period along with awesome-looking action and you've got a pretty obvious winner here.

5. Destiny:  A new IP from Bungee that looks nothing like Halo? Hell yes. Plus this already seems to have emergent gameplay down to a T with constant events and changes happening. It could also basically be a prettier Borderlands, but I really don't see a problem there.

4. Transistor: Admittedly, as much as I want to be excited about the whole indie scene, most of those games don't really peak my interest either because I'm looking for a deeper, longer experience or seem to rely on a single gimmick that isn't worth the price of admission. Bastion was one of the few that what limited time I've had with it was completely awesome (I own it but it's one of many I've never gotten around to finishing) and I really can't wait to play the next game from SuperGiant.

3. South Park: The Stick of Truth: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE LET THIS FINALLY COME OUT! I'm a casual South Park fan, but this just looks so goddamn fun and hilarious and it's been delayed for frakking ever. If it gets pushed back again I'm not sure I can take it anymore...

2. Infamous Second Son: I wasn't that excited about Second Son, but not long after it's reveal I played through the first 2 games and absolutely loved how well they did the open world superhero thing. This one looks to really up the ante with tons of new powers and the first two had great stories and characters so hopefully this continues that.

1. Dragon Age: Inqusition: Some may have soured on Bioware, but aside from the ending, I thought Mass Effect 3 was amazingly epic, and Dragon Age II was a lot of fun with great characters (aside from whiny ass Anders), so I'm very ready for some more Bioware epicness and everything about the new Dragon Age seems to point to it be a combination of what worked best in the first two games along with some new stuff like open world exploration to possibly make it Bioware's best effort to date.

Ok that's the list, if there are some noteworthy admissions you are thinking of, there's plenty of other games I'm interested in trying out (like Watch Dogs) but not necessarily hugely amped up for and like I said, release dates aren't solid on almost any of these games to begin with, so these were ones I was fairly confident would be out this year. That's it for today, expect a gamer cinema tomorrow or Saturday.


Gamer Cinema: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale

I'm not horribly familiar with the Dungeon Siege series, but I'm sure this film follows the usual magical Uwe Boll formula of butchering it in every possible way. Jason Statham is a farmer. NAMED FARMER. Just let that sink in. Anyways, evil generic things apparently controlled by evil wizard Ray Liotta attack his village, kill his son and capture his wife, so Farmer the farmer must join up with King Burt Reynolds and his army to go rescue her.

Anything seem out of place there? I'm all for unusual casting but Burt Reynolds and Ray Liotta don't belong anywhere near a fantasy epic, neither does Matthew Lillard as the king's scheming nephew. Of course, if that was the worst thing about this movie, it might actually be ok. But everything about this movie is awful. How about that Farmer's trademark weapon is a goddamn wooden boomerang? Like the bad dubbing that is noticeably off even though this is not a foreign film. Or the war scene where there are a platoon of ninjas BECAUSE REASONS. Or how about where they claim confusion that Ray Liotta is so powerful, because apparently his power is based on loyalty to a king, and then he explains that he's so powerful because he named himself king of the monsters he controls? How about when Lillard has clearly betrayed and tried to kill Burt Reynolds, and he doesn't do anything about, leaving him to cause more trouble on the battlefield?

Even the editing is awful, with confusing cuts, terrible fight scenes and oddly off dubbing (in a film that is all in English, mind you, with actors who all speak English). I'm pretty sure this has been Uwe Boll's biggest budget to date and it just makes the usual problems in Boll's films all that more apparent. I really can't recommend this on any level other than pure morbid curiosity.

That's all for today, I'll probably have a post up on something by Wednesday.


Ten people who should be considered to host the VGX awards next year...

So, VGX happened this past weekend. It was mostly a lot of nothing. Very little in the way of mindblowing new trailers (aside from No Man's Sky, that potentially looks amazing) and no real surprises. And hosting is a thankless job that almost never goes over well, but bad hosting was epitomized in Joel McHale, who in addition to his usual snark just really seemed to not care and not want to be there. But I also think the blame's not entirely on McHale, as he seems like a poor fit. Assuming VGX continues to exist, their are plenty of celebs who would enjoy hosting such a show being gamers themselves and not completely piss off the people who would actually turn in to watch the show, here's 10 I think would do at least a watchable job:

10. Morgan Webb: Seriously, what the hell happened to Morgan Webb? Ok, X-Play was cancelled, but she's essentially considered a gaming goddess, it shouldn't be that hard for her to find work. And on top of that, she's got loads of experience hosting from her various shows so she'd be a natural fit. Though arguably, she's the least known "celebrity" on this list so if Spike was looking for any more casual viewers she may not be a draw.

9. Felicia Day: The ridiculously adorable Felicia Day is someone who clearly has a lot of visibility going with her various gigs like The Guild & Supernatural, she has a lot of cred with the gaming community. My only reservation would be that to my knowledge she has very little if any hosting experience, but hey you gotta start somewhere.

8. Nathan Fillion: Arguably the most well-known celeb on this list with the hit show Castle, he's also a nerd icon thanks to Firefly and Dr. Horrible and has various nerdy video game roles to his credit as well, so he's an easy choice. Though much like Felicia Day, to my knowledge he doesn't have much if any hosting experience and I'm not sure he'd be good at interviewing people. Might be at least interesting to see though.

7.  Ice T: Ice T is just an incredibly cool guy and he is a pretty major gamer, also having roles in several video games over the years, he's a very natural choice and would actually bring over some casual interest as well due to his crossover appeal.

6.  Olvia Munn: A gaming celeb and icon long before her now fairly steady acting career, Munn pretty much has all the qualities you'd want in a host, she's not too famous to overshadow the show, has plenty of current visibility thanks to recent stuff like New Girl and the Newsroom, has hosting experience and pretty solid comedic chops. Seems like a no-brainer unless she's not interested in doing gamer-related stuff anymore.

5. Vin Diesel: Ok, I'm not a huge fan of Vin Diesel the actor, but this guy made arguably the best video game movie to date-Escape From Butcher Bay and is a huge gaming and D&D geek. So he'd be a good choice to also draw in non-gamers who wouldn't think a guy like Diesel would be a gamer.

4.  Wil Wheaton: Nerd icon, actor, gamer, former game show host. Seems like an easy choice. Also, I like the idea that Wheaton would probably do his damnedest to make sure the awards show wouldn't be a complete joke as evidenced by his walking out on Arena after he was tired of the producers treating everyone like shit.

3. Jimmy Fallon:  Admittedly, I was not a fan on Fallon's SNL days, but he's really grown into his role as host of Late Night and that's in no small part due to his embrace of nerd culture, consistently showcasing videogames and videogame developers on his show along with nerdy stuff like singing Mario Kart Love Song with Selena Gomez. Clearly the guy is a natural host and would be able to handle the awards with a little respect and loving mockery instead of the pure snark we got from someone like Joel McHale.

2. A.J. Lee: You want someone who is just a huge fan of gaming and would be psyched as hell to host a gaming awards show that also happens to be a celebrity? Look no further. She dressed up as Kitana and did the character justice on a Halloween-themed episode of Raw, and is more than willing to croon about her gaming hobby on Twitter as she was just recently talking about how she's ready to get lost in Skyrim. I just really think she'd be a perfect host with her love of the industry, great personality, looks and crossover appeal, there's really only one person I think might do better.

1. Conan O'Brien: Here's the thing about awards shows: They are filled with awkward moments. Either someone doesn't know what to say, a bit falls flat, something goes wrong and you have to stall for time, etc. No one handles random awkwardness better than the Clueless Gamer, Conan O'Brien. Obviously his many years of hosting a talk show come in handy, and he's a good choice to speak to those people who might be watching who aren't gaming experts, and when something does go wrong or fall flat, there's few people who could improvise and save it like O'Brien. He's pretty much a master of making something out of nothing and would be the perfect host for virtually anything, but especially something like the VGX which needs a host that'll really inject life into it.

Ok, that's the list, feel free to suggest somebody I left out (or explain why someone on this list is a terrible idea). Expect a Gamer Cinema by the end of the week.


Gamer Cinema: Sonic X: The Complete Series

There have been several cartoons based around Sonic The Hedgehog over the last couple decades (most of which are on Netflix or Hulu) and I do plan to review for this blog at some point), and actually a new one on the way next fall on the cartoon network. But Sonic X to my knowledge is the first one that follows the game series pretty closely in terms of the characters. The plot isn't based on any of the games though. Essentially Dr. Eggman, Sonic and most of his friends get transported to an alternate Earth because reasons (seriously, even the opening theme of the show says "stuck in a new location without any explanation"). Initially he is treated as a fugitive and Eggman is seen as trustworthy, which actually could've been a pretty promising premise but I guess because the core target audience is little kids they couldn't do that for too long so within a couple episodes he's everybody's hero again and working to stop Eggman with the occasional help of the government and maybe eventually find all 7 chaos emeralds and return home (honestly, they seem like an afterthought half the time even though theoretically that should be their whole motivation). That's for the first two seasons, the third and final season has Sonic & friends planet hopping and fighting weird robots called the Metarex bent on ruling the universe (I guess the writers felt him making Eggmam look like an idiot evey week got old after two seasons)

Probably the best thing about Sonic X, even with a ton of original characters introduced throughout it's 78 episode run, is that it manages to cram nearly every Sonic game character that's ever been up to that point in his history. Seriously, aside from the core cast you see Big the Cat, Shadow, E-102 Gamma, hell even the guys from the Chaotix game make several appearances. And the characters are fairly true to form. Amy is a crazy stalker who may or may not be Sonic's girlfriend, Tails is a mechanical genius, Rouge is disturbingly sexual for a little kid's show, Knuckles is a short-tempered loner, etc.

And of course therein lies the biggest problem of Sonic X. Sonic's various furry friends are mostly really annoying. Especially Cream. Her mere voice makes me cringe every time she talks (and I had to endure 78 episodes of that). You might want to say it's aimed at little kids but I think that's not giving kids enough credit. On top that, Sonic's new human best friend Chris is just an annoying brat as well.

There are some interesting and straight out weird episodes (a highlight being a very absurd tournament between most of the characters for a chaos emerald that has very little actual fighting), but mostly it's very inane stuff. It probably would've benefited greatly from shorter season runs, because I really didn't marathon this show, I've been watching it off and on since September and it still felt like it took forever to get through. The final season is a little more focused but still has LOTS of pointless filler such as Amy trying a love spell on Sonic (and again it's still ambiguous if they are dating or not even after that).  Essentially this might be the series that at least in spirit sticks closest to the video games in terms of the characters and themes but it's still a mediocre kids show at best so unless you are a completely hardcore Sonic fan (and if so at this point you probably need therapy) you're better off just skipping it.

That's all for today. Admittedly game releases and news in general has slowed quite a bit, possibly for the rest of the year, but I probably will try and post something else this week.


The muti-generation generation?

Might need a few extra HDMI ports...

So the next gen is here! Clearly we should dump our ancient 360s and PS3s, right? Well not so fast. I don't know about you, over the last 8 years, I've built up a pretty decent digital library on both my 360 & PS3. Not to mention that at least through the next year, there are a ton of last-gen titles that seem worth holding onto your systems for awhile longer (South Park, Dark Souls II, Lightning Returns, Tales of Xillia 2, etc.). I feel like Sony & MS' reasoning behind no backwards compatibility (almost nobody used it) was very flawed as the PS3 and 360 were very different beasts than the PS2 and Xbox One. Nintendo clearly saw this, as it's pretty effortless to transfer you digital purchases from a Wii to a Wii U and it's backwards compatible with Wii software (also the Wii has essentially been dead since the end of 2012).  It certainly doesn't help that neither next-gen console has a ton of compelling software and really won't for months. My PS4 library is basically Injustice, Lego Marvel Heroes and Resogun because I have no interest in sports or car games, which seem to be getting the best reviews and it's going to be a long few months til Infamous hits.

So you have two systems with plenty of life left in them, and while I'm sure some were anxious to dump their previous consoles, but I really think you'll be seeing a lot of people hanging on to their older systems awhile longer. Hell, with the bundle deals this past week and last year (and probably next year as well) you are having a lot of people getting those systems for the first time so it's a whole new load of people that will keep those consoles going along with them seeing healthy software support through at least 2015. I probably will hold on to mine until my current ones crap out at least, then I'll probably have to evaluate whether it's worth the money to replace them. But I really see myself playing all 5 (when I get an Xbox One) home consoles plenty over the next few years at least, and I doubt I'm the only one.

That's it for today, but expect a gamer cinema tomorrow or Wednesday at the latest.


If it ain't broke, well fix it anyways...

Any other time, a Zelda, game, any Zelda game, would not be buried in the news, but a portable Zelda just probably isn't going to make a big splash in the wake of both the PS4 & Xbox One. But you should probably pay attention to A Link between worlds, as not only is it a direct sequel to the seminal Link to The Past, but also what many are calling the best portable Zelda entry to date, and some the best Zelda in years (probably depends on your opinion of Twilight Princess &  Skyward Sword, I thought those were awesome frankly). But aside from the portable remake of Ocarina of Time, I've honestly never gotten into a portable Zelda. Maybe it's because they tend to try different things that while interesting ideas, don't actually work all that well (I'm looking at you any Zelda game completely controlled with the stylus).

Anyways, I haven't gotten too deep into this game, just far enough to get the new power of being able to melt into walls as a painting, but I'm loving it so far. Firstly, they removed arguably the biggest annoyance of the entire series-the artificial rupee limitation. No getting bigger wallets, you can just pretty much farm rupies to your heart's content, which is awesome because then nothing is gated by your inability to save enough funds. Also in case you haven't heard, you can rent items from a shop right inside your own house or even outright buy them. eliminating the artificial gates in all previous Zelda games, meaning a lot faster track to uncover all the overworld secrets and of course tackling the dungeons in any order you choose. And another new feature I love is that your item meter refills over short periods of time so you're never too low to use something. As for the melting into walls thing? It seems pretty damn creative so far with the few opportunities I've been given so far. The closest thing I have to complaint is that it is the same overworld as LTTP and the gameplay itself is still essentially the same but then they've created a worthy sequel to one of the best games of all time (at least based on what I've played so far, if I feel differently I'll address that in another post), so slightly familiar gameplay and an overworld I'm very familiar with and fond of is hardly a complaint. Bottom line, if you own a 3DS, this is an easy buy, and if you don't own one, this should be one of many games that should finally convince you to get one. Hell the 3DS might arguably be the best console period with all the awesome titles it has had in 2013.

That's all for today, I should be back tomorrow with a gamer cinema, until then, everybody enjoy their new games/systems!


The Xbox One can't win this holiday (but that probably won't matter)

If you take a good look at the Xbox One, it's a pretty solid device with a solid line-up (Killer Instinct & Dead Rising seem to be reviewing better than Killzone or Knack, though Ryse is reviewing pretty much as expected) and all the media apps you could possibly want either here or on the way. Even Kinect 2.0 seems to have really found it's groove as a voice command peripheral(nearly every podcast has spoke very positively overall about how well the voice commands work, even though there are a few forgivable hiccups). Not a bad package for $500, really.

But it doesn't matter. Thanks to arguably the worst PR bungling in the history of everything, MS just can't win this initial salvo. Most still have the impression that their original draconian drm policies are still in place, or that Kinect will be a NSA spy device or that it's focus on media apps means it won't have much in the way of games (which could be the case later down the line, but it's certainly not right now and probably won't be). Throw that in with the goodwill, cheaper price tag and the fact that in one day in North America, PS4 sold over a million units, this holiday seems pretty unwinnable for Microsoft. That's a hard number of units sold to customers, and if Microsoft tries any sort of dumb PR speak bullshit (i.e. the fastest selling Xbox in history, which it probably will be or a million shipped to stores vs. a million actually sold) they will be absolutely trashed yet again. So what should they do, probably just be glad they got the damn thing out the door and focus on the next round, most importantly, SHUT THE FUCK UP. Because you aren't going to win this round, and any attempt to look cocky or spin stuff in your usual PR bullshit will just blow up in your face. I cannot stress that enough.

That being said, don't let any of what I just said make you worry about the long term viability of the Xbox One or that the Xbox One is a wrong choice. As I said it's a perfectly valid choice and as I have said previously if it was financially feasible I'd have both consoles day one. In the long run, the Xbox One will most likely do perfectly fine, but it's best move this holiday season will to just be out, let the games and the console speak for themselves and focus on the first real killer title in Titanfall and the far more important Holiday 2014.

That's all for today, but I should have a post up tomorrow about the new Zelda and a gamer cinema up on Saturday.


The best next-gen (current gen now?) of the year will not be on PS4 or Xbox One...

Sadly it seems like the Wii U has just been lost in the next gen conversation, even though right now there is virtually no reason to buy a PS4 or Xbox One over it. It's cheaper, has a better line-up, has all the initial kinks worked out since it's been out a year already, and hey it's backwards compatible! (and yes, despite a lot of pundits bashing the Wii as they look back at this generation, there are a pretty solid number of great titles that were on it). Hell with it's mix of classic and Indy titles the Wii U's eshop offers far superior variety as well at the moment than Sony or Microsoft will have anytime soon.

And the likely best Wii U game to date comes out this Friday in Super Mario 3D World, a follow up to arguably the first must-have 3DS title, Super Mario Land. Btw, I would not mind this as a pattern-Make an awesome 3DS game, and make a spiritual bigger follow up the Wii U. Luigi's Mansion Wii U or Fire Emblem Wii U would be awesome, for instance.

Anyways, at a cursory glance, 3D world may simply look like yet another New Super Mario Bros. game, just in 3D this time, but that's not giving it nearly enough credit.

There's a ton of variety to the levels, a huge number of new power-ups, and frankly a sense of fun that the more serious next-gen titles seem to be sorely lacking. Remember fun? The whole reason we play video games in the first place? Sadly I won't get to experience the fun myself til at least Christmas as aside from Zelda my video game purchasing is pretty much done til after Christmas. But anyone with a Wii U should obviously pick this up and anyone looking to get a new console this holiday season would be better off getting Wii U than what Sony or Microsoft is offering.

That's really all for today. I should have plenty of posts this week though, with something on the new Zelda & the Xbox One this weekend and a Gamer Cinema somewhere in there as well.


Playstation 4: Still waiting...

Sony's tagline for the PS4 has been "Greatness Awaits", of course with the buzz from E3 essentially making Sony the hero of the gamer crowd, maybe instant greatness is what everyone is expecting. And because we have extremely short memory, possibly. The PS2 did not start out great, many would say the PS3 didn't get great until the last 2 or 3 years (and the Xbox & Xbox 360 had growing pains as well). In that tradition, the PS4 does not start out great, but I believe it is the foundation for a great system, with great games coming for it, so I'll touch on the positives and negatives and talk about the near future.

Yeah, might wanna skip both of these....
The Bad: To say there are no good games for the system is unfair, but the best offerings don't make a great case for plunking down $400. Knack is absolutely awful. I hate the art style, the controls are terrible (i.e. your primary means of dodging just isn't remotely responsive) and it's filled with cheap hits that pretty much instantly kill you, the checkpoint system is pretty bad too, often knocking you back several encounters. It's not old school design as some defenders have claimed, it's just bad design. Killzone is a pretty decent shooter, but decent won't cut it with competition like Battlefield and COD. It looks incredible at times, so the tiny flaws really stand out (like the awful, awful rain). So what are your best bets? Well, it doesn't offer any significant improvements but I'm having a blast with Injustice: Ultimate Edition and Warframe is pretty fun. Reportedly NBA 2K14 is fantastic and so is Need For Speed Rivals. So you have a couple solid games, but for those looking for something mind-blowing that's exclusively next gen, it's still about 4 months til Infamous hits and then the games should start rolling out on a regular basis. But if you just traded up to next gen, it may seem like a long dry spell.

Also that hard drive is going to fill up QUICK. I already have over 1/5 filled with just a couple games and apps (along with whatever the OS takes up). This probably won't be a huge issue for the first year, but with a slate of amazing indie titles in the pipeline and AAA games later in 2014 it could be. Yes you can switch out the drive but that's an added expense on top of your already pricey console.

The other issue that is bound to bug core gamers is that by optimistic estimations, the controller has 8 hours of battery life. Granted, for a lot of people who have you know, jobs and other things in their lives, that's not a huge deal, I mean I'm lucky to get more than 10 hours in over a week. But that certainly could put a damper on a big gaming weekend.

Do I even have to mention the craptacular headset? I don't think many are using it because in the online games I have played, no one has been talking...

Ok, enough with the bad, because I think it's pretty awesome hardware, so on with the Good:

All other controllers bow down before me...

Granted, I have still have yet to play with the Xbox One's controller, which by all accounts is also great. But the Dual Shock 4 is easily the best controller to ever grace a Sony console and arguably one of the best gaming controllers to date. It's just feels great and comfortable, the triggers are much improved, the touch screen use is minimal so far but unobtrusive and really responsive. The loss of the long-standing start & select buttons will certainly throw some off but you get used to the option & share buttons quick enough. This is just a great controller for just about any type of game.

The UI is also pretty cool, it's just slick and clean, and the ability to run two apps at once is nice so you can switch back and forth quickly (though understandably not two games at once). We'll see if they can keep it up with tons of games and apps but it's a really good start. It's also fast, though I don't think it's as fast as the Xbox one claims to be, but way way faster than the PS3 interface. The loading also works fairly quickly as I was able to start games after they downloaded just a little bit.

I also have to admit that at first my attitude about social integration was basically "meh", but I enjoy seeing my activites and achievements quickly posted to facebook with no hassle, which was not the case on the PS3 and especially the 360.

Then there is the freebies-Warframe, Blacklight Retribution & DC Universe Online are all great free titles that you don't even have to have PS plus for those. Granted you can download those on PC as well, but it's fun to be able to play them on your TV with a controller on your couch. Have PS plus as well? Awesome you get Resogun for free too (the less said about Contrast the better). That could potentially keep you busy for months without buying a single game. Not a bad deal.

I also love the Playstation App on my phone, getting to send & receive friend requests wherever I am is awesome, no more writing down usernames and then forgetting them ever again!

 In the end, I believe the PS4 will be a great system, it's already got the foundation there, which puts it in a much better state than the PS3 at launch so it will get there a lot faster than its predecessor. It's just lacking some truly killer games, but those will come soon with titles like Infamous, Destiny, The Order 1886 and more on the way already in the next year. And a ton of great-looking indie titles are on the way to fill the gaps in-between.  Add in Gakai and you certainly have a great system that is really geared towards gamers that still throws in the social and media apps you want.

I wish I could say I'll be able to give an in-depth look at the Xbox One next week but that's just not financially feasible. But with a little luck I'll have that by next April so it won't be too long til I'm enjoying that as well. I should have another post up by Wednesday. Until then everybody enjoy their new consoles. Or their current still awesome old consoles for that matter.


Gamer Cinema: Far Cry

Ah Uwe Boll, he may have mostly disappeared from the spotlight thanks to going back to making terrible movies not based on beloved game franchises, but for many years he was pretty much the poster boy for gamer rage thanks to his awful low budget films based of stuff like Alone in The Dark and Bloodrayne. One of his (hopefully) last assaults on game franchises was Far Cry back in 2008. I'm not greatly familiar with Far Cry, I only just picked up 3 on the cheap and can't honestly remember if I played the first 2 games. But this one at least seems to follow the basic plot of the first game, with an ex-army burnout and a reporter investigating an island where a mad doctor is doing experiments to create super soldiers.

The highest compliment I can give this film is that for a movie that looks like it was made for way, way less than it's reported $30 million budget, it functional. Don't get me wrong, it's a bad movie. The lighting is awful and that's not something I normally notice. The dialogue and acting (and dubbing in some cases) is pretty atrocious. But the plot makes sense (relatively speaking) and it's got perfectly functional action scenes. Really the only times I really cringed was when the dumb annoying comedy relief showed up, and that was way late in the film (one scene with him and the hero handcuffed together was particularly awful). It's no better or worse than most of the straight to dvd low budget mediocre stuff you see all the time, which instantly shoots it up above a normal Uwe Boll effort, where the entire film is pretty incomprehensible on nearly every level. It's still a pretty bad film overall, just managed to beat my bottom of the barrel expectations.

That's all for today but I have acquired a PS4 along with plenty of games to try out so look for impressions either tomorrow or Monday.


5 Reasons to buy an Xbox One first (and 5 reasons to buy a PS4 first)

Oh the console wars. I'm more than happy to bash a company that is doing in what in my opinion are stupid decisions, but ultimately it's because I'm a fan and I hate to see them make stupid decisions. Ultimately I want to own everything. I want own a Vita, will I ever? At some point probably, though Sony's weird insistence on proprietary expensive memory has made me hold back so far. More to the point, though I certainly plan on picking up a PS4 first for various reasons (hopefully with a little luck I'll have one early Friday morning as my schedule has worked out so that I have the opportunity to camp out at Best Buy for a midnight launch), I do plan on owning an Xbox One down the line as well. Still debating which one to get first though? Well here are 5 reasons to to actually get an Xbox One first, followed by 5 reasons to get a PS4 first:

5.   You are already in the ecosystem: Odds are you own an Xbox 360 if you are reading this. Do you care about your online identity, friends and/or Gamerscore and want that to continue? Yup than Xbox One is the way to go. Sony admittedly has done a fairly mediocre job making their trophies as attractive and admittedly though I am not a huge online gamer I played way more online MP on the 360 than the PS3 and I hardly doubt I'm alone there so if these are things that are important to you it's a pretty good reason to buy an Xbox One first.

4.  Kinect 2.0 could actually be cool: See this, where Major Nelson is able to scan a code in a matter of seconds? That is easily the first time I've seen anything good about the new Kinect. And it's pretty awesome. I also heard one of the Weekend Confirmed guys talking very positively about it being used in Zoo Tycoon 2 of all things. So it seems like the potential for something great is there, and it could even just be a cool way to easily operate your system as long as it works. As much as I have issues with the motion controls, the voice commands could be awesome if implemented well.

3. The power of the cloud: I know it's become a stupid buzz term, but cloud technology is something everybody including Sony is at least dipping their toes in, and MS is betting big that it is key to the future of gaming. It's a good chance that it is and it being such a central pillar for the Xbox One means most likely any big cloud gaming advancements will almost certainly be on Xbox One first, and possibly never on the PS4.

2.  A Stronger lineup (at least initially): Dead Rising 3 looks better than any PS4 launch game IMHO. Any does any PS4 exclusive have more buzz than Titanfall, which will be out in just 4 months? Nope. And if we are strictly comparing game line-ups from E3, MS easily had a stronger showing. Sony didn't have a really good answer for stuff like Sunset Overdrive and Project Spark. Will this be the same a couple years down the line? Who knows, but at least the first couple of years seem to favor the Xbox One based on line-up and history. And MS can always bring out their bags of money to lock up more exclusives.

1. Xbox Live: Pretty much the defining trait of the 360 at this point is Live. Sure, nearly every feature is behind a paywall, but Microsoft has been able to get away with that because the Xbox Live service is virtually unparalleled. Essentially if online functionality is of utmost importance to you, be it apps, online play or whatever, be assured that MS is pouring all it's expertise and resources possible into making sure Live is once again a great selling point for their console.

And now 5 reasons to buy a PS4 first:

5.  It's cheaper: Granted, at the end of the day, you shouldn't let a $100 price difference be the ultimate determining factor in which console you buy first (in fact it could actually be argued that if you can afford it you should buy the more expensive console first because the other one will be even cheaper down the line), but given that the consoles are roughly the same (and especially that the PS4 might actually be more powerful) and the games outside of a couple of exclusives you may not care about are the same, why not save the money? Especially if like me, you don't care about gamerscore and have no particular brand loyalty.

4. The Sony Legacy Library: Granted, we don't know exactly when it's coming, but when Gakai launches, you'll supposedly be able to access Sony's fairly vast library of older titles. Considering MS basically said it was "too hard" to stream older titles, this is a good selling point, especially if (hopefully) you can access your digital purchases from your PS3. If I can access my digital library on my PS3, I'll certainly have very little reason to hold onto it which would be great.

3. PS Plus/Free Apps: Ok so you have to pay for multi-player on PS4. For some that's a real turn off, but guess what you get with it? Free games and insane Steam-level sales, that's what. Also don't do MP? That's cool because every other online feature is completely free, even free to play online games. That's a huge selling point for me and many others.

2. More exclusives (probably): Granted MS certainly has the money to lock up as many exclusives, but they don't have the army of internal development studios Sony has and that really showed the last few years as 360 exclusives boiled down to nothing and the PS3 flourished with them. Sony is also clearly the preferred indie console, with many games showing up on the PS4 first if they are showing up on the Xbox One at all. Given that a large majority of titles will be on both, I'm more likely to be interested in the one that has more exclusive offerings at first.

1.  There will be no Japanese game scene on the Xbox One: Sure, FFXV & Kingdom Hearts III will be on the Xbox One as well, but those are huge worldwide tentpole titles. What about the next gen Disgaea, Tales or Persona titles? What about the next gen games from Level 5? Japan may have taken a backseat this generation, but plenty of awesome games still came out from the land of the rising sun and pretty much none of them were on the 360 except for very early stuff like Blue Dragon and Tales of Vesperia. If we are going to see a resurgence in Japanese game development, it certainly won't be on the Xbox One.

Ok there you have it, 5 pretty good reasons to justify buying either console first, but yes eventually toss aside the fanboy bullshit and own both, because otherwise all you are doing is denying yourself some awesome experiences for pretty petty reasons.


Gamer Cinema: Life 2.0

I admittedly know next to nothing about Second Life, which admittedly may not even qualify as a video game, and more of a social virtual site thing. It's not nearly as big as games like World of Warcraft but it's got a very dedicated following that clearly sustains it very well. But hey what better way to get a good look at it than a documentary delving into the lives of several players? That's exactly what Life 2.0 is, but it might seem very slanted towards the more out there players (or are these the average Second Life player, I don't know?).

Like a pair of married people who met through the game and are having an affair both in the game and in real life. The woman who actually makes a living off the game, seemingly at the expense of doing anything else however. And the man who feels the need to play as an 11 year old girl, and apparently playing as a child is frowned upon (most likely because it seems like the number one thing to do in Second Life is having virtual sex). Is this is representative of Second Life? Maybe? It's hard to tell from the small sampling, which seems to relish in focusing on these people who have bad personal and psychological issues but avoid them by playing the game. Also maybe this is just the source material, but it's fairly boring, though I've seen other documentaries on people addicted to online gaming that were at least interesting if completely full of it. Maybe it was hard to find more players willing to be on camera about it, but I really would've liked to see a wider variety, or at least one or two (there's got to be a couple) average people who play the game just as a sight balance. If you are looking for an introduction to the game or play it and want some additional insight, I can't imagine this not particularly in-depth piece that focuses on arguably the more fringe players would satiate either need.

That's it for know, but I'm already tooling around with another idea for a post so that should be up tomorrow.


5 Things I want to see in the next generation...

The next generation of gaming is almost here! And with it hopefully we will eventually see more than just shinier graphics, a new generation usually brings with it (eventually) lots of new seminal ways to game, sometimes to the point where it's hard to go back to older systems and games. Here's 5 things I really would like to see happen during the lifespan of the new run of consoles:

5. Breaks for long-running series: COD is easy to point out here, but we are already on our second Mario title on Wii U (with probably another on the way as a "true" successor to Galaxy) in just a couple weeks, on the 6th Assassin's Creed title, & the 6th Ratchet & Clank game this generation! And don't forget the middling prequels in the God of War and Gears of War series that basically had both those franchises limp off into the sunset of this generation rather than let them go on on the high note both of their 3rd entries had ended on. I'm not saying kill the franchises, but how about give them a little breathing room? I really think 3 entries in a franchise should probably be the max in one generation and that's stretching it. People are going nuts over Kingdom Hearts III because by the time it finally comes out it'll have been a fucking decade since we had a proper title on home console. You can keep doing the weird little experimental spin-offs to try out new ideas, but core series entries should only be once in a great while. I'm good with only getting one or two Uncharted games this coming gen, any more is probably overdoing it and watering down the overall product.

4. A good wrestling game: 2K13 actually wasn't half bad, but that's only by the standards of this generation. I don't even know how, but the A.I. of your opponents in the great N64 era games really knew how to work a wrestling match and wasn't completely broken. Also, Royal Rumbles that are actually Royal Rumbles, Survivor Series matches, etc. Basically better AI and the ability to have more than 6 guys on screen at once so we can have better match types.

3. New Ways to play Online: I'm actually pretty excited about games like Titanfall & Destiny, which seem to offer exciting ways to shoot people online, that's great. But how about games where we don't shoot anybody? Because we seem to be flooded with pretty much that in the first wave of online games. I'll point to an old weird favorite-Phantom Dust for the Xbox, a very unique fun card battling game and you just really don't see fun unusual risky stuff like that anymore. Or in the spirit of shooting people, how about in a different way like making a long overdue follow-up to the excellent Crimson Skies? A new generation should bring different experiences for people, not the same old stuff, leading to my final two things:

2. Revival of an old genre: Genres don't really die, but some do hide on the outer fringes for quite awhile. The tail-end of this gen saw two big genre revivals in the adventure & strategy genres with games like Walking Dead & X-Com (and Fire Emblem) proving those viable when many thought they were pretty much dead. What will make a comeback this gen? Personally I'm hoping for the Jrpg, not really dead but it has fallen on pretty hard times. Hopefully games like Kingdom Hearts III & Final Fantasy XV will be among many that bring it back to prominence.

1. A New Genre: A new generation of consoles hopefully brings with it the ability to create something wholly new that we have never seen before. With this generation arguably being the smallest leap in technology it may actually not happen unless we see some incredible innovation in the indie arena. I'm really hoping that's not the case and we'll see something unexpected that'll just blow our minds on a level beyond how good it looks.

That's it for today, I'll most likely have a Gamer Cinema up by Friday.


Not a pirates' life for me...

Admittedly I'm not a huge fan of the Assassin's Creed series. The storyline has been fairly laughable, and I just never felt the various systems at work jelled very well. This new one however, promised to be a very different take on the series, focusing more on the ship battles so highly praised in the previous entry and on exploring the open sea as a pirate, building up an awesome ship and a fleet to take down other ships and forts and whatnot. Sounds fun right? I wouldn't know, as the part of the game that is most definitely vintage Assassin's Creed ruined the game for me before I could even get very far with it's atrocious "combat" horrid enemy A.I. and glitching (including one guy who was stuck in rocks), the mildly buggy free-running and myriad other issues (like having to go to eagle points to "synchronize" an area so many times in the first hour I never wanted to do it again). Is the ship combat awesome? Probably, but if I have to deal with this awful other stuff I don't really care. Maybe this was excusable way back in the first AC, but since then there have been a ton of open world games with far better close combat and ACIV pales in comparison. If like in GTA it wasn't a major part of the game I wouldn't care but it's a pretty damn significant one here.

Ah, Sonic, you got me again. After the fairly decent Colors and your awesome racing games, I had some hope. And from every preview, your Wii U (and 3DS) exclusive looked great. Sure it liberally borrowed from Mario Galaxy, but considering that was easily one of the best games of this generation, that's hardly a bad formula to copy from. But then maybe that was a poor idea to begin with as the spherical level designs are awful and rob Sonic of his defining trait of speedy platforming as you have to really slow everything down. The homing attack, your primary offense is pretty spotty as well, which leads to cheap deaths and hits, especially in a boss fight. I guess if you were absolutely starved for an even haflway decent platformer this might do but you should probably just wait for Mario 3D World which will be out in just over 3 weeks (or if you have a PS3 get the cheaper and far superior Puppeteer).

That's it for today, not completely sure when my next post will be but at latest I'll most likely have a new gamer cinema up by Wednesday.


Gamer Cinema: Hellraiser: Hellworld

Well, it's Halloween, and there's a Hellraiser movie where a video game is involved. That, along with the recent announcement of Clive Barker rebooting the Hellraiser series, makes Hellworld seem like pretty good material for the latest Gamer Cinema. The basic plot goes pretty meta: There's an MMO based on the Hellraiser franchise, and one kid out of a group of friends apparently got to into it and committed suicide. Two years later, most of that kid's friends are still playing the game (really?) and score special invites to an exclusive party for super fans of the MMO. But crazy shit goes down and something even more sinister is going on behind the scenes at the party.

Honestly the biggest problem I have with this movie is what I feel is false advertising. The Netflix description seemed to peg it as Pinhead trapping the kids in the videogame world and torturing them, when in reality the "game" is more of a quick plot device to get the teens to the party. I was hoping for either silly or creative video-game themed kills, but what you get is very run of the mill stuff here, along with the usual cliches' of people stupidly going off on their own and getting trapped in easily avoidable situations (which actually describes the party itself, even in 2005, teens weren't this fucking stupid in most horror films). There's also a lot of confusing back and forth about real & imagined stuff and it might be the teens dealing with the guilt of their friend's death but the movie stumbles pretty badly on that thread. Pretty much the only noteworthy stuff is seeing Henry Cavill just a little before he hit it big in Tudors and Lance Henriksen just slumming it here and clearly not giving a shit. Ultimately, as a horror film, it's not completely terrible, just wholly unoriginal and cliched. So not a completely awful choice if you are looking for a brainless slasher flick to watch on Halloween.


Arkham Origins is like Season 4 of Community..

Yeah, remember when Dan Harmon left Community? It was the same actors, same setting, but it felt, lesser. There were less risky jokes and plot lines and the same irreverent spirit was gone. Hell there were even some continuity issues along with retreading old plots. It was an ok substitute, but it wasn't the Community that was the best comedy on TV for the last 3 years. This is Arkham Origins, it's got a familiar style and setup to previous Batman games, and it does a perfectly ok job at imitating the previous efforts, but it's a noticeably lesser one, with virtually no risks taken, treading a ton of familiar ground and if you are a comic book fan, having some pretty big continuity errors. On top of that, nothing runs quite as smooth as it did in the previous Batman games, everything stutters just a little. In the end, do I like it? Yes, but I'd have a hard time recommending it at $60 to all but the most ardent Batman fans out there, who basically need a fix. Otherwise, you are probably better off waiting for the inevitable next gen entry most likely being worked on by Rocksteady as we speak.

This a huge release week in videogames, if your aren't counting the new consoles which will have a bunch of already-released titles, this is probably the last big release of multiple titles before the end of the year. There's Assassin's Creed IV, Battlefield 4, WWE 2K14 and Sonic: Lost World. Admittedly I'm not a huge fan of the AC series, but this change in direction means I'll at least give it a shot. The reviews for the new Sonic game are all over the board, I'm not hopeful but I plan on checking that one out too. I don't care about BF4, I just don't, so I'm not even going to bother, especially when the 360 & PS3 versions apparently run like ass, so why bother. Finally, as a wrestling fan, WWE 2K14 should peak my interest, but WWE games are sort of like Madden, yearly releases with little innovation. 13 was actually pretty good, but I honestly haven't played it a ton and see no reason to upgrade just so I can have official versions of wrestlers I downloaded. I'll be more interested when the next-gen version comes out and hopefully we can do things like survivor series matches, rumble matches with more than a few guys in the ring at once and competent AI, which was very present in the excellent N64 titles, but completely absent these last two generations. That's all for today, I will hopefully be back Wednesday with either a gamer cinema or some impressions depending on how my schedule works out.


Gamer Cinema: Dead Space: Aftermath

Though EA has bigger franchises under their belt, somehow Dead Space is the only one that's warranted two movies. It takes place between the first two titles, where a crew tries to salvage a piece of the alien artifact that tends to drive people insane, which they do, but of course it drives them insane.

 But where the other animated films based on EA franchises have just been mediocre, Aftermath, is truly awful. The most jarring thing about it is the absurd changes in animation styles. The "present" scenes look like a very low budget CGI kids cartoon wit awful stiff animation and I guess it must be budget, because the flashback sequences have pretty good animation for the most part (except for some reason it changes up again near the end to another style that's off-putting). It's another bunch of characters that are one-note and hard to give a shit about, having very little to do with any impact on the series, so it's hard to care about anything. The story-telling style is completely pointless and sometimes even redundant, re-telling scenes from a different perspective without getting any new insight or info. But the worst is probably the evil organization interrogating the survivors, it's like the worst of cartoonish villainy that makes no sense. They torture them for info before even asking if they are willing to co-operate, they kill all but one of them for no really discernible reason other than, you know, evil and all that. The previous film I could at least understand fans of the series getting some enjoyment of, this entry should be offensive and off-putting as an incredibly cheaply done quick cash grab that even the most hardcore fan would have trouble enjoying on any level.

That's all far today, I should be back tomorrow with some game impressions-Definitely Arkham Origins, possibly Lego Marvel Superheroes if I have time.


TheTop 7 best and worst launch titles...

Firstly, apologies for now Sonic Lost World impressions, admittedly I had not kept up with the release date and  with all the reviews popping up I thought it was coming out this past Tuesday. But, with two huge console launches upon us, it should be remembered that as always, games make the system, and while console launches are usually flooded with mediocre or simply forgettable titles, so are so bad and ill-conceived that you wonder how they even got made, while on the other hand, every console usually needs one big standout title to get running off the ground. Here's 7 prime examples of both the worst and the best of console launches, starting with the worst:

 7. Perfect Dark Zero (Xbox 360): You know what, Perfect Dark Zero is a perfectly (no pun intended) ok game. The problem is that given it's pedigree and the fact that Microsoft dumped a Scrooge McDuck's money bin worth of cash to acquire at the time super developer Rare ok wasn't anywhere near good enough. Merely being competent for the flagship launch title and follow-up to one of the best shooters of all time just wasn't going to cut it. Maybe it was more a victim of hype than anything else, but it's not like those expectations weren't earned, it'd be like if Valve released Half-Life 3 to launch their new Steam OS and it was just a decent title, it would be a huge letdown for so many it's virtually unfathomable.

6. Altered Beast (Genesis): It was impressive that the Genesis gave us damn near perfect home versions of arcade hits such as Golden Axe and Altered Beast, the problem is once you get some of these games home and they aren't quarter-munchers, the cracks really start to show. Altered Beast is a prime example of this with sloppy controls, bad hid detection, cheap boring gameplay and the fact that you plunked down good money for a game that at home could be beaten in under an hour.

5. Make Your Music (Sega CD): You know what would be awesome? Being able to edit and make music videos of your favorite musicians. Was your favorite Marky Mark? I won't judge. What I will judge is this sorry excuse for music editing software, with horrible low-res FMV, bad editing tools and a surprisingly limited number of clips and videos. A constant presence on worst games of all times lists and it's well-earned.

4. Street Fighter The Movie: The Game (Playstation): Til my dying breath I'll defend Street Fighter the movie as one of the most hilariously awful yet entertaining flicks of all time, I can't help but love Zangief's stupidity, Raul Julia chewing every bit of scenery he's in and Jean Claude as All-American Guile. But it did result in arguably the stupidest unnecessary game of all time. So we already have the Street Fighter video game series, which is well-regarded, so they make a movie. The movie bombs, whatever, you still have the hit game series. But what do they do? Make a game based on the movie that's based on the game! On top of that, it's truly awful, trying to be like Mortal Kombat with digitized fighters, but nowhere near as polished, and I've never thought of Mortal Kombat, especially early Mortal Kombat, to be particularly polished to begin with.

3. Donkey Kong Jr. Math (NES): Imagine you wake up one Christmas morning in the mid-1980s to find you got a NES for Christmas! You'd be one happy camper. Unless your parents thought you needed an "educational" game and got you this monstrosity instead of Duck Hunt or Super Mario Bros or hell even Gyromite. Don't get me wrong, educational software can be fun (see Carmen Sandiego, Oregon Trail, Typing of the Dead, etc), but Donkey Kong Jr. Math is one of the worst examples of "edutainment" titles there is. It controls horribly, it's not creative and it's just boring.

2. XY/XX: Feel the Magic (DS) : Yup.  I'm not actually opposed to dating sim games as a rule, but they have to be wrapped up in some attractive packaging like say an RPG. When you make it a bunch of confusing poorly designed mnigames that make us of some of the DS' more embarrassing features to use in public (like the microphone) you have a huge loser on your hands here.

1. Night Trap (Sega CD): But really, I'd gladly take any of the above over Night Trap, which sadly I actually owned. The first of many awful FMV-driven games that were barely games, besides terrible low-res vids, a plot that makes Uwe Boll movies look like Oscar contenders and actors they mostly grabbed for your local dinner theatre (along with Dano Plato in literally one of her last desperate grab for cash roles) the game didn't even function half the time, missing button cues so traps wouldn't go off and having the most convoluted house-monitoring system ever. An eternal top contender for worst game ever and easily the worst launch game I've ever played.

So there's the worst, but hey sometimes literally all it takes is one great title to really sell a system, as evidenced by these 7 seminal games:

7. Soul Calibur II (Dreamcast): Ah, Dreamcast, we hardly knew ye. But we still got some awesome games with your short time on this Earth, one being a better than the arcade port of Soul Calibur II, still one of the best fighting games of all time. It's one of the few 3D fighters that truly excelled at being 3D, something even current series like Dead or Alive haven't really mastered. That along with tons of single-player content which is still very rare for fighting games.

6. Halo (Xbox): Very simply put, without Halo, I don't know that Microsoft would have a significant presence in gaming today. Sure, there would've been an Xbox, possibly even a 360, but I think both would've basically sputtered and been non-contenders without this flagship franchise to carry them. Halo presented multi-player FPS on a level not really seen before on consoles and it really resonated in a way I don't think even modern series like Call of Duty or Battlefield have done. And the single-player is surprisingly solid as well, which nearly now modern FPS games even really attempt these days.

 5. Wii Sports (Wii): The best pack-in of all time? Probably. Its easy to look back and see Wii Sports as merely a shallow tech demo, but it's what made Nintendo undisputed king of this last generation after falling into near irrelevancy during the last two. Why? Because it's simple, unintimidating fun for literally nearly everybody and in one session you "get" what the Wii was all about when other consoles constantly struggle to really define themselves at their launch. For better or worse, it also made motion gaming a thing that will probably be around from now on in some form, and very few titles can claim to really push such new and different technology forward like this, especially a launch title, which usually doesn't take advantage of the best aspects of the system it's on.

4. Tetris (Gameboy): The original gameboy wasn't a great system. The battery life stunk, it was bulky as hell and many of the games released pretty much sucked. But that didn't matter, because it had TETRIS, easily the most popular puzzle game ever. Hell, without Tetris to bolster the Gameboy's success at launch, Pokemon may not even have been nearly as popular because the install base wouldn't have been there to buy it.

3. Super Mario Bros ( NES): Quite literally, Super Mario Bro. saved the video game industry. I have no doubt games would still be around today, but would they have the same cultural imprint? Probably not. It's still a masterpiece in not only platforming, but general game design and the reason Mario is head and shoulders above all other video game characters.

2. Super Mario World (SNES): Is it possible to improve on perfection? Because That's exactly what Super Mario World did, and when it was most needed, as Nintendo was facing heavy competition from Sega with the Genesis, which already had a good head start. But Super Mario World is arguably (and probably not really arguably) the best 2D platformer ever made. It is just ridiculously fun and filled with secrets you may never find even spending 100 hours on it. The blue-print for every platformer going forward, and still better than 99% of modern ones.

1.  Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64): When you only launch with 2 games, one of them better be the best game of all time. And arguably, that's Super Mario 64. It wasn't just completely amazing, it invented a new genre, the 3D-platformer, and got it right the first time. That pretty much never happens. Nothing else has really come close, except maybe the Mario Galaxy titles, and they are more of an evolution of the same formula that started with this title. You could've never gotten another game on your 64 and still been pretty happy because it's just so re-playable. And that makes it the best launch game of all time.

Will either of the new consoles have something to top any of these games? I doubt it, but on the bright side, there doesn't seem to be any serious contenders for worst launch game either. That's it for now and next time I'll be back with a gamer Cinema hopefully tomorrow.