GRID Autosport – Switching Gears

Racing simulators have quite the history of avoiding Nintendo consoles entirely. The last really good one I remember playing is F1 2009 on the Wii, ten years ago. Since then I’ve just got my racing fix from other consoles, with their analog triggers and in-house games like Forza offering a very solid driving simulation experience. Suddenly out of nowhere, a port of GRID Autosport has landed on the Switch eShop. I was a little cautious at first, as racing developers have treated Nintendo consoles with the bare minimum apathy in the past. Anyone remember Project CARS on Wii U? Exactly. However here we are in 2019 with the Switch kicking arse and taking names, and GRID Autosport is the real deal.

To say this game delivered what I wanted would be an understatement, it vastly exceeded expectations. Feral Interactive have not just ported the game, but upgraded it in every way imaginable, with a higher resolution and framerate than the original game, and controls and graphics optimised for both docked and handheld mode. This game is quite simply the best racing simulator to ever grace a Nintendo console, and by extension, the best one ever to grace a handheld. It’s an absolute miracle.

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Metroid Prime – The Brightest Star

The cosmos. In the vast universe, the history of gaming is but a flash of light from a lone television. The light of a single console should be lost in space and time, but in the disc tray there is one light that burns brighter than all the rest. The light of Metroid Prime. Its legacy extends beyond the GameCube’s life and etches itself into gaming history. Today, a review of that legacy will be written.

samusgazing

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Part of the Nintendo Difference: E3 2001

As a follow-up to my previous E3 scan, here’s some subtle marketing Nintendo spread around E3 2001, again, on the back of the E3 Show Daily magazines. Checkout the “interesting” front covers, too, and maybe you’ll question how there could be any excitement for such an unappealing video game industry at the time (as presented by the magazine). “Doug Lowensteins’ State of the Industry 2000-2001 Report: IDSA findings indicate games are fully mainstream…” Yes!…? Wait, is that really a good thing or a bad thing?
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PieHaus Digest – Pro Daisy 2002

Forget all the modern gaming crap for a moment and let me offer a slice of my life leading up to the Casual Gamer I am today.

Let’s go back, umm 13 years, when times were simpler, and gaming was getting interesting and taking a turn for the worst at the same time (bloating budgets, wannabe movies, dumb-downed gameplay, with a corrupt and/or unskilled gaming press shoving it all down your throat; you saw what happened). OK, off-topic, I mean… just trying to say this is an informal snapshot of life surrounding that hobby; a new feature about old stuff. Continue reading “PieHaus Digest – Pro Daisy 2002”

Pikmin 3 – PAX Australia Demo Challenge

I played a lot of games at PAX Australia over the past few days; Mario 3D World, Wind Waker HD, Sonic Lost World, but I’m writing about Pikmin 3 first because it was the best. That’s right, the conclusion is in the introduction. You can stop reading now. Pikmin 3 is out here on Saturday and may already be out in your part of the world, and I never initially planned on playing this demo for that reason since the game is so close. My innocent eyes had not seen much of the game because I enjoy surprise in games, so I don’t much care for trailers or screenshots. Once I caught a glance of Pikmin 3 however I had no choice, I had to play it.

pikmin3demo

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Wii U Wii Mode Audio-Video Mishaps

It’s a good thing the big April Wuu update isn’t out yet, giving me a chance to complain about stuff while it’s valid.  Let’s briefly revisit some of Wuu’s non-features, or why I didn’t fall for that “trap”: never performed that permanent “system transfer” of my Wii data as soon as I got my Wuu. As with any dangerous entertainment content migration of this sort, I had to find out: does Wuu’s “Wii Mode” retain all the features the Wii did?

cooldude-A

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The Wind Waker – Sailing The Forgotten Seas

We’ve all heard the announcement by now, Wind Waker is being completely remade for Wii U. The seas aren’t exactly forgotten, but I had a different motive for this article. The Zelda Symphony hits Sydney this weekend and I’ve been playing Zelda games in frothing anticipation, namely The Wind Waker which I just finished an entire playthrough of. I’m so glad I did because it’s every bit as amazing as I remember, it was the great gaming cleanse I needed. When Nintendo made the announcement of the remake I almost shat my pants because I was playing Wind Waker a few hours before the conference and hadn’t even thought about the idea of a remake. The game is pretty much perfect already in my eyes. My last playthrough was in 2005 according to my save file, and playing it now allowed me to enjoy it with a different perspective.

grandmaperspective

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GrooveRider – Extreme Slot Car Racing

While Americans have been updating their Wii U’s and drawing dicks in Nintendo Land, I’ve been playing GrooveRider, the best slot car game ever made. Browsing the Playstation Store I noticed this PS2 classic for $8 with an average user review of 4.5 stars. Could a slot car game really be that good? Sure, why not? I downloaded it immediately without even consulting the internet, because that’s the kind of risk worth taking.


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Geist Videos – Revisiting The Mature

About a month before suffering my Professional Engineer Exams at the end of October, I fired up Geist for the Nintendo SHEETKYUUB (actually, my Wii system) in an effort to update my aging, neglected GC video library. This recording session was the FIRST and ONLY time I played ANY “dual analog” shooter this entire generation (2006-2011). This experience was HORRIBLE. I kept tarding-out into walls like classic Resident Evil controls, and the screen was stiff and jerky while the camera dragged ass. And the enemies were kind enough to shoot me with 20-30 rifle rounds without killing me, sympathetic to your inability to be a real threat (impotence) given the limitations of the “traditional” input method.

From what I hear, today’s shooty games treat customers like children more than ever; probably because it’s the most appropriate thing to do.

Why do people keep playing like this after 10 years? (and keep paying for it?)  Why are games still made this way? What’s wrong with this industry?

Luckily, the game’s first-person adventure (FPA) principles are still intact and meaningful after all these years.

Does anyone remember the former upcoming next-generation “possession mechanic” zombie action-strategy title, Possession? Nope, nobody.

Congrats, n-Space – despite the cruel passage of time, your masterpiece is still unrivaled.

View/Download:
Geist, 7 videos (DivX)

Krystal Media Blowout – Screens and Videos

Special thanks to Deguello for providing me with explicit, uncensored access to the best moments of the StarFox franchise. This update would not be possible without him.

Let us celebrate – the release of StarFox 64 3D? NO! I don’t give a crap. This is about KRYSTAL – those eyes, that accent, that fur. I finally finished capturing the StarFox Adventures media I originally started years ago, but almost abandoned because I didn’t want to play it again to get to the critical parts (got so busy with all the casual games).

Aside from her cutscenes, some of the screenshots have great facial expressions and can be taken out of context. All this, for the sake of archiving high-quality media of Rare’s surviving legacy (maybe Retro can make a Krystal game for Wii U?). The content is stored on my homepage; see the links at the bottom.

…(deep in thought)…

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Sony’s Treachery, Ten Years On

As the eleventh of September rolls around, the thoughts of everyone around the world will turn back to the victims of this terrible tragedy. And as we do, we let our minds wander towards the powerful feelings of sorrow, hate, and eventually a thirst for vengeance against the extremist group. Why? – we ask in exasperation, why did thousands have to die? Who could commit such atrocities? Certainly not Al Qaeda, a ragtag group of gun hobbyists in Central Asia. There is only one organisation with the resources, motive, willpower, and flagrant disregard for human life to disrupt the Nintendo GameCube launch in such an atrocious manner: Sony. Sony, the entertainment and electronic conglomerate were responsible for 9/11!!!!!!!

In the picture below, taken from a website that said it was from video footage of the World Trade Center attacks, you can clearly see the Sony logo on the tail of the plane. The other circles indicate where explosives, disguised as PS2s, were strapped to the exterior of the plan. You know, in case you’re too blind to make them out. I mean it’s clear to see, really.

911ps2circles

But why would Sony, not Al Qaeda, fly planes into buildings? Let us paint the picture.

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The Capcom Five – Video Memorial

NEVER FORGET

Before they cancelled Mega Man Legends 3, before they ignored Wii Pointer controls in Monster Hunter Tri, before they rewarded Resident Evil fans with rail shooters, before Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop could handle 6 zombies at once, before they announce Resident Evil: Revelations including the free Mercenaries HD for PS Vita launching simultaneously with the 3DS version (hi-ho 2012 release date) – Capcom presented… THE FIVE.

Never one to forget 3rd Party achievements, I put this little post together to help last generation’s players and this gen’s newcomers remember the pain for years to come. Actually, before rambling about the quintet’s history that everyone’s heard before, I want to bring attention to the titles as they were announced: by sharing nice-quality versions of their debut trailers (well, 4 out of 5 of them). If we’ll remember ANY of it, let’s at least see clean copies of them; one last face-to-face before closing the casket. I know you can search for the moldy Flash videos originating from Matt C.’s IGN, but try to have some respect for the departed. Those videos came from a time when magazine, internet, and even Nintendo’s own coverage made “good” GameCube games look crappy.

Tracking down known copies of these trailers a couple years ago took some time and $rupees$. My search was narrowed to a couple auctions for rare promo DVDs from Japan, eventually making some sellers very happy. In addition, I managed to gather almost all the promo videos for these games since their announcement. One last step (took forever), each video was processed piece by piece – deinterlacing, cropping out blank borders, scaling the frames for consistency – whenever reasonable, trying to help them look their best. It’s only these past couple months that I seriously sat down to finish converting this junk. When hobbies start to feel like work… I tend to avoid them. Recently feeling an urgent sense of justice, I could delay no more.

So here’s what I got: a few custom screencaps, my personal thoughts/description of each game at inconsistent degrees of relevance, and links to the DivX-formatted media on my homepage. But seriously, I went overboard, so don’t read all of it.

This first one up was the first one to go down

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King of the Jungle

It’s 2 am.

We just held a party at this house. Pre-drinks included some sort of Wii Fit Plus championship. It was Ok. Obviously I didn’t take part because Wii Fit Plus is an uncool, casual, kiddy extravaganza, and any fun the party guests were having was just hollow, fake fun, compared to the hardcore gaming experiences they could be having. Their laughter, hollow, fake laughter. Obviously such shallow gameplay couldn’t hold them so we had to walk to the pub to continue the night. We arrived at the pub and they said they were closing, the bottleshop was still open so we bought a couple more cartons and walked home, knowing only the despair of Wuhu Island awaited us.

Upon returning, the unwashed masses returned to their Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit Plus, gleaming whatever hollow enjoyment they could out of the household’s two Wii boxes; the second Wii, purchased by my casual gaming housemate, symbolising the kind of callous opulence Australians lived in during the naive days of Emperor Rudd and his economic stimulus packages. The other hardcore gamers and I discussed hardcore subjects like international communism, capitalist-anachronism, and the scourge of democracy in holding back this society from ideological purity. But as the beer and goon ran dry, so too did the crowd thin out, the short lived thrills of Wii Basketball running thin. Desperate for companionship, and the cheeseburgers retrieved from the mainstream, 24 hour Mcdonalds, the hardcore gamers and I went back to the living room.

“What silly game are the bongo drums for?” asked the most beautiful girl in attendance. I glanced over at the gimmicky, novelty plastic drums and fished out the game so desperately attached to them, so obviously strangled at the design stage and shoehorned with ridiculous sound based controls.

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat

There are so many ways you could demean this game.

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