Archive for the ‘wii’ Category

Never trust a gamer who doesn’t own any bad games

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

It’s no secret to anyone that’s visited the Crummysocks family of sites that I do sometimes play the odd, or sometimes very odd, terrible game, and then talk about it at length. Sometimes that’s because the game I played was so bad it crossed over into awesome, but that’s not always the case. A lot of times, the game is just bad. And, yet, I keep most of them.

That doesn’t make a lot of sense, especially for the truly bad ones. Why would I keep something around that I didn’t like, and have very few (if any) good memories about. I’ve touched on this before, but I think it can be summed up as: bad games make me appreciate the good games more.

Take a site like IGN for example. They love to gush on about how great Latest Blockbuster 4 HD is, and you will find the occasional review where they find something terrible and treat it appropriately. They even address this in their site’s Ratings FAQ

And yes, sometimes people are eager to play games that turn out to be really bad. No one wants to review just the AAA titles. It gets boring after a while to write high praise for everything.

And, even though IGN is currently hovering at about a 68% aggregate rating, which tells me that they might give some of the good games a little too much praise, and might knock a few too many points off for the faults in the less-than-stellar ones, they at least acknowledge that if all you have is wonderful things, those wonderful things become pedestrian, and your perspective is skewed.

So, with that said, I figured I’d share a few of the games from my actual collection, and how they make me appreciate something better.

Exhibit A:

Kung Pow

The uploader of this video has disabled embedding, so you’ll have to click the image above to view the video, and you really should. 15 years later, I’m still wondering how this game got released.

Game: Clayfighter 63⅓
Genre: Fighting
System: Nintendo 64
Released: October 21, 1997
Offenses: Aside from the massive delays, cut features, and the most unfunny jokes imaginable, this game also includes: poor controls, uneven difficulty, blatant racism (it was a different time, 1997), unbalanced characters.
What it makes me appreciate: The very games that this is attempting to parody: Killer Instinct, Street Fighter, Marvel v. Capcom, etc.

Exhibit B:

Game: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan
Genre: Side-scrolling beat ’em up
System: Nintendo Game Boy
Released: August 1990
Offenses: Prerendered cutscenes, challenge-free gameplay, somehow combines cartoon ninja turtles and video games to create something that boring and tedious.
What it makes me appreciate: That we live in an era that allows for video previews, enemies smart enough to not get stuck on terrain, player characters who aren’t just re-skins of each other.

“Oh sure,” you’re probably saying, “pick on games that are 15 years old or more.” Alright, how about something from the last five years?

Exhibit C:

Game: Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Burning Earth
Genre: Beat ‘Em Up
System: Xbox 360
Released: November 12, 2007
Offenses: Just the one. If you’re (somehow) unfamiliar with how the Xbox Achievement system works, it goes something like this: the game developers put in a series of tasks that a player can perform during the course of the game. These can range from hitting certain plot points to collecting some arbitrary number of widgets, to finding all of the secrets hidden in the whole game, to just about anything. Each of these tasks is worth a certain amount of points, which go on your profile along with a little picture and date you performed the task. Most games top out at 1,000 points for completing all of the tasks. Avatar, however, dispenses with most of the challenge of completing the tasks, and instead of giving you numerous varied tasks to perform, it asks you to do one thing. And, even if you weren’t trying to complete all the achievements in two minutes, you’d do it in pretty short order anyway.
What it makes me appreciate: I get it, coming up with achievements that are interesting, challenging, and achievable in a reasonable length of time, is really hard. So, it’s really great to see a list of achievements are actually fun to do, and not tedious grinding.

Now, I’m sure someone will point out that a lot of people sell their used games back to Gamestop or wherever. That they take the bad ones back and exchange them for store credit on something that they’d actually enjoy. And that’s fine. But if I can’t find something at least a little bit bad on their shelf, I start to wonder about where they’re coming from.

Let’s Play!

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Back around 2006 or so, some of the folks over at the Something Awful forums apparently decided to start playing through some video games and providing commentary via screenshots and captions. Which is a great way to vicariously experience a game while you’re browsing the Internet at work.

Then, sometime in 2007, the Video Let’s Plays started to appear. This was essentially the same thing, but instead of pictures and captions, we get full video and running commentary. Kind of like one of those old hint videos in the 80s/90s, but going through the entire game. (Without the commentary, it’s what’s called a Longplay)

There are lots of kinds of Let’s Play videos, but I think I can break them down into four categories:

  1. People who play through games just to get angry and yell/cry.
  2. People who play through games without a specific goal, just to play until game over (they may or may not complete the game)
  3. People who have a vlog, but with a video game playing instead of showing their face
  4. People who play through the game to completion, showing off gotchas, tips, and tricks, while providing interesting commentary

The barriers to making a Let’s Play video these days are absurdly low. All you really need is a game to play, a video capture device, a microphone, maybe some video editing software, and an Internet connection. Since I had all of those things handy (and there are about 7 million Let’s Play videos on Youtube already), I figured I’d dip my toe into the world of Let’s Play as an excuse to play through some of the games just kind of sitting around here, but I didn’t want to do any of the first three, since they’re pretty boring to watch. So, I figured I’d give #4 a try, which you can see below.

So, if you ever wanted to know what I actually sound like, or if I actually have any video game chops, now’s your chance to find out!

Re : Webform: Wii > None Selected

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

If you’re one of the few dozen people that bought Fire Emblem : Radiant Dawn to go along with your copy of Path of Radiance, you might want to give the following a look:

Hello and thank you for contacting Nintendo,

I’m sorry to hear that you’ve encountered a problem transferring your Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance save file to your Wii console for use with Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. We have determined that the problem is limited to files completed in “Easy” mode. That said, I am pleased to announce that there is a solution for this issue and that it will be ready in mid-December.

This solution will require sending in your Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn game disc in for repair. Once the disc is returned to you, you may then transfer the Path of Radiance save file information into a new Radiant Dawn save file.


Nintendo of America Inc.


Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

Imagine my surprise this morning when I had a message waiting for me on my Wii. It’s not my birthday, so what could it be? Some goodies from Nintendo?

Turns out that it was an update to the Channels menu. The message essentially told me that if I wanted to continue to enjoy using the News and Weather channels that I’d have to update. Not wanting to lose my beloved weather forecast, I complied. Now, not only do my Weather and News channels not look different in any appreciable way, but there’s this snazzy new digital clock taking up what used to be whitespace.



Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Looks like the folks at Left Field Productions have been busy since I left. Their new Wii title, Nitrobike has finally been announced. This, of course, means that I no longer have to deny that I’ve heard of it.

“Ubisoft says players will take control of rocket-propelled motorcycles in this arcade-style game, racing against the clock or in various offline and online multiplayer modes and unique online mode.”

I understand that the game is shaping up to be a bit better than last year’s Dave Mirra game.

Link! to the announcement (Gamasutra)

Wii more entertaining than Japanese television, ‘stealing’ viewers

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

According to Fuji TV, viewership of their channel is on the decline and the Wii is to blame. Somehow folks would rather spend time with their game console than whatever drivel they show on Japanese televisions these days.

“The quality of programming has always been a little cyclical in Japan, but there has never been a period of decline like the one we are seeing now. There are outside factors at work. One is people watching TV on their cell phones where we can’t track them, but the really big factor is the time people are spending on the Wii,” quotes the Times of an unnamed TBS channel executive.

It’s fairly obvious to me that everyone in Japan that owns a Wii needs to also purchase a second television. That way they can tune in to the fabulous prime-time programming that they’re apparently missing out on, while still playing their Wii. They don’t even need to have it in the same room, just turned on somewhere. It’s for the greater good.

Link! (Gamasutra)

Wii demand outpaces supply seven months in

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

Seven months after the Wii has been released and you still can’t find the thing on store shelves. Had I not been at Target just after they got a shipment in, I probably wouldn’t have one. Heck, I could barely get accessories for the thing until a couple of months ago.

“Back in April, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata acknowledged an “abnormal” Wii shortage. Since then, the company has increased production “substantially” to help meet worldwide demand, said spokeswoman Perrin Kaplan.

But Nintendo also has to manage its inventory, said Colin Sebastian, an analyst with Lazard Capital Markets.

“Unfortunately you can’t ask a contract manufacturer to make a million a month, then 5 million,” he said.”

Link! (

Wii controller teaches violence

Monday, June 25th, 2007

The Boston Globe is running a piece exploring how the Wii can teach violent behaviors to people that might not manifest until later

“As more violent games become available for the Wii, the debate about their participatory nature is intensifying. Researchers who have been critical of first-person shooter games — in which the player pushes a button to activate a weapon — say the Wii’s increased interactivity raises the risk of antisocial behavior. Others say that while the violent content may be disturbing to some people, there is no evidence to support a link between violent games and aggression.”

You really need to read the whole article to get a nice view from those ‘outside looking in’ on the industry.

Link! (via GamePolitics)

The Wii For Will Fund

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

Due to circumstances beyond my control that I won’t be going into here, I’ve been a little behind in riding the Wave of The Future and realizing the Next Generation of Gaming. To that end, I’ve decided (via prodding from some select individuals to utilize the power of the Internet and Micropayments(tm) to set up the Wii For Will Fund (the WFWF).

Any contribution, big or small, will not only earn you my everlasting thanks, but I will also give you a link on this page to the site of your choice (within reason, of course), and will keep this page up for as long as this site exists.

Here is a list of people that have contributed to the WFWF. If you would like to be included on this list, and have your name immortalized let me know here. Many thanks to all who contributed!