Hey U – Give Me Real Controls

The Wii Remote & Nunchuk was last generation’s innovation in violence – still strong today, still better than the competition. This was the method of controlling the last true console Resident Evil experience the world would know: The Umbrella Chronicles.

For the previous console cycle, there’s a seldom-stated lesson Capcom briefly learned (see RE4:Wii) then immediately forgot (see their “HD” games): if you’re pretending to KILL in a video game, do it properly. It’s just a shame we don’t have to pretend anymore: modern games, such as Capcom’s premiere action series, have gotten so smart that they play themselves (step aside Super Guide). The games don’t hesitate to handle much of the excitement on their own, and work hard to convince us that quick-button-context-flashback-retrospection-cutscene was an artistic achievement (“Best QTE of 2012,” is there such a thing?). Opponents of violent gaming love to point out how video games “teach kids how to kill”, but I know that’s rubbish cuz most games suck at that, especially as more games suck at being games. It’s supposed to be like watching a movie, right? Why not an effing GAME? Thru these last couple generations of analog masturbation, popular shooters have more or less surpassed “REALISTIC EVERYTHING” – nevermind the gameplay. And in a (not really) fun twist, “more realism” cheerfully graduated to “more Hollywood”; new gameplay became movies that look like gameplay. “Wow, it’s like playing a game,” – thanks, my confidence in the new generation is at an all-time high.

Before proceeding, I want to be clear that the major ideas in the blocks of text below don’t necessarily apply to every genre or gameplay mechanic. Many of our favorites are derived from things like tennis, team sports, board games, gambling, mazes, vehicles, boxing puppets, and Donkey Kong – there’s no reason to mess with certain core elements. However, TANGIBLE VIRTUAL VIOLENCE has a raw, engrossing quality that the majority of the Industry has not been interested in embracing for some time; fluid human movements seek the spillage of human fluid, yet they insist gamers don’t like movement and just seek Mountain Dew. Trapped in the game industry’s electronic erection contest, the prestigious computing “arms race”, we continue enduring their fake war: fake gameplay and fake value. Cash and companies continue to perish in the high-priced struggle to show violence; rarely do we see genuine imagination towards playing violence. It doesn’t have to be this way; we can still search for decency. Aim off-screen and raise your real arms to rediscover what’s in front of you: the gameplay in your hands.

/wii joke

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Reggie Play: Motion – Videos

The REGGIE SERIES is BACK, barely ahead of some JRPG that a handful of psychos cried for. NOA REGGIE ignored their grievances, spending his time more wisely by Wii-Playing with himself.

It’s been more than a year since Wii Play: Motion arrived, and like it or not, it offered a few glimpses of near-future gameplay elements Nintendo demonstrated in 2011 via 3DS and the upcoming Wii U. It explored additional curiosities beyond Wii Sports Resort, bringing another variety of “basic” motion concepts to life with effective results. Shamefully, the MotionPlus possibilities were hardly revisited in the context of more “complete” products by other game makers (aside from disastrous gimmicks on other systems) until the release of Skyward Sword. Wii Play: Motion is not robust – this 12-mini-game demo pack was never priced to be – but it is somewhat diverse, and some mini-games surprisingly have a lot more content than others (the very term “mini-game” is a bit misleading, making it sound like a one-shot deal worth only a minute before moving on to something new; each activity has a varying number of single and/or multiplayer modes, stages, and difficulty like its predecessor), but you can’t really count on journalists like GI-GN’s Gerstmasamassina to share useful information, can you. To top it off, these itty-bitty games actually work – no privacy-invading webcams and neon balls to calibrate.

Anyway, I have some inappropriate video and gameplay to observe. Reggie demonstrates.

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Joy Ride Turbo – Now With Buttons!

A few years ago, Joy Ride Kinect was released as an example of how a racing game could benefit from Kinect controls. The game was a broken mess, to the point where you could win races without even moving. The developers have finally admitted this was a bad idea, and they’ve re-released the game with new “precision controls” (exact words used in the PR) using the normal Xbox 360 control pad. Joy Ride is finally playable in the form of Joy Ride Turbo, but what’s it like? Was there a nice personality hidden behind that awful piece of technology?


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Crash Car Racer (Wii)

YES! A budget racer on Wii, if there’s one genre I know well, it’s this one! I jumped for joy when I saw this game in Kmart, possibly scaring the lady at the counter. There was no sign of Zelda, Xenoblade, or The Last Story on the shelves, but sure enough: 20 copies of Crash Car Racer! It has to be good, right? At $15AU I had to find out.

The name Crash Car Racer does a pretty good job telling you what it is: a racing game with cars that crash. However, it’s not really ABOUT crashing, it’s just a normal racing game that happens to have completely broken physics, conducive to crashes. The disconnected car handling, poorly programmed AI, and bizarre tracks all combine to create a game that pretty much crashes itself every lap, no matter what you do.


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“Durpthroughs” – Fatal Frame IV – Batch 4

After a long absence, I return with the next Durpthrough session of Fatal Frame IV!

Beware the narrow hallways that make fighting ghosts nearly impossible, the deathly fear of potential game-breaking bugs, the bewildering persistence of that nurse I can’t remember the name of, the REVENGENCE of Ayako as I storm her room for sheet music, the wheelchair lady who somehow pushes herself, and the terrifying black death thing that scares the living shit out of me!

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The Last Story – A New Page In Game Design

The Last Story is captivating. It tells the story of a group of honest mercenaries striving to be knights – not so they can dominate the world – but merely on the hope of a good night’s sleep without one eye open. The story that unfolds is wonderfully intriguing and engaging, and with fun gameplay and interactive environments; you’re not just watching or reading the story, you’re PLAYING it. It’s a fairy tale set in a living, breathing world that embraces the interactive nature of videogames. It’s such a different game in so many aspects and brings a lot of new things to the table in terms of how you approach things as a player. I could fill this entire paragraph with buzzwords and verbal wankery, and still fail to capture what the game is like. Everything has a magical, whimsical story-telling feel to it, like a long descriptive dream with talented British voice actors. It’s a love story because I’m in love with this game.


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“Durpthroughs” – Fatal Frame IV – Batch 3

Ooooops, I’ve had these done for a while now, but I’ve been so busy I forgot to put them up.

In this round, Misaki battles a bully from her childhood and a new character surfaces to explore the medical wing of the creepy complex in search of the man responsible for the kidnappings.  The ghost encounter rate continues to increase as the setting gets spookier, so how long can I last!?  Enjoy!

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“Durpthroughs” – Fatal Frame IV – Batch 2

What do little boys, tag teams, creepy old men, nurses, and an old, abandoned hospital have in common?

Actually, don’t answer that.  The answer is, Batch 2 of my Fatal Frame IV Durpthrough!  The ghost encounters escalate as the plot sends me fighting an unexpected and familiar villain, puts me behind the eyes of yet another character, and teases a battle against a sadistic little girl!  Enjoy!

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Go Vacation – MotionPlus Games

Welcome BACK! Free Roaming time is over – it’s time to get into some more activities! Go Vacation supports a shitload of control options through its wealth of games, including Wiimote, Wiimote + Nunchuck, Balance Board, MotionPlus, Wii Wheel and the Zapper. Today we’re going to get out our fancy new controller to play some MotionPlus games.

Windsurfing is the first game I’m going to talk about, because it really took me by surprise. Expecting a passable point A to point B race, I got a creative use of Wii controls I’ve never seen before. No buttons are used in this, and there are two things you control. The first is the sail’s angle, and the second is the direction of the boat. These are BOTH controlled, simultaneously, with the Wii Remote.


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Big Beach Sports 2 – Motorsport Massacre

Oh yes, this game exists. Reception of the first game was mixed – some people actively hated the game, some passively hated it. Big Beach Sports managed to sell over a million copies; a very impressive milestone for any game. Despite this claim to fame, the game was a broken mess, and was only popular for being the first Wii game to feature Cricket. The motion controls didn’t work and it was a frustrating game to play. THQ decided this was a formula for success, and now it’s back. I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Big Beach Sports 2, and I thought I’d give THQ a chance to redeem themselves. After all, they went to the effort of getting a special team to handle this sequel. What could go wrong? With two all new racing mini-games, I couldn’t help but try it.


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“Durpthroughs” – Fatal Frame IV – House of Creepy Ghosties

Okay, here it is, a new round of Durpthroughs!  This time I take on another horror game, Fatal Frame IV, developed by none other than Grasshopper Manufacture (home of Suda 51, if you are one of those heathens).  Fatal Frame IV has a rather interesting history behind it, or rather, an interesting story of why it was never localized.  See, it WOULD have been localized if not for the fact that Tecmo was too cheap to go back and fix a bunch of glitches that were in the Japanese copy of the game (a couple of which prevent progress, and others that make it impossible to 100% the game no matter what you do).  NOE had actually started promoting the game in their region before NCL decided that it just didn’t make sense to localize a game that wasn’t to their standards.  So screw you, Tecmo!

Anyway, let’s hope I can pull through the entire game without running into anything game-breaking.  So grab yourself a bowl of popcorn, turn off all the lights, and enjoy the scares (or me shrieking like a schoolgirl, whichever fits your fancy)!

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Conduit 2 – One Man, Three Balls

Conduit 2 demands your attention. It’s a first person shooter with incredible controls, great graphics, good humour, addictive gameplay, a wealthy amount of options and customisation, and a whole lot of style. It’s a fairly short game, but it’s full blown entertainment from start to finish, and makes no compromises or excuses for it. Michael Ford is here to kick ass and take names, and he’s all out of names. Life’s too short for formality – there’s no time for “the” anymore – this is simply Conduit 2, and it’s time to shoot bad guys.

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