What’s Cookin’?: (Almost) Everything in Moderation…


Yep, I’m still alive. My brain has been percolating a lot these past two weeks on stuff galore, so it’s been tough to focus on being too entertained. That said, I do like what Nintendo is up to on a few fronts despite me not even being interested in Super Mario Run because I don’t own an Apple device (yuk!), have zero plans to buy it on Android and even it it rears its cute run ‘n jump head on Switch, it’ll be a “meh!” as far as making a dent on my playlist. While a decent platformer gets played here and there by yours truly, I just don’t get that same thrill I used to back in the arcade to 32-bit era. A new Mario game gets the same sigh and pass as a AAA first-person shooter from me, Miyamoto magic or not.

Yeah, it’s cool and all, but I just can’t. The good here (it’s only ten bucks! – take THAT, $99.99 mobile game DLC!) is counterbalanced with the need for an always online connection to play. But given that ALL mobile games need to connect online at some point during play and Nintendo’s strict requirement is to prevent piracy and cheating, it comes off as a necessary evil more than a draconian law being laid down.

Well, to me at least.

On the other hand… The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild? Yep, sold. I’ve even gone and bought a few Amiibo to use in order to take advantage of the freebies that drop if you’re smart enough to have a few lying around. Hell, I was Amiibo-resistant until Hyrule Warriors revealed you can get five random gifts per day just by tapping figures on the Gamepad.

Anyway, let me close here for now and get back to cooking my actual dinner. My mind clears up a lot when I cook, so this post is a result of a meat sauce with ground turkey playing the part of beef. That’s going with some linguini that…(taste!) just turned al dente. Back in a bit, a trip to planet Nom awaits.


Pocky & Rocky With Becky On Virtual Console: Bust Up Cute Baddies, Not Your Wallet


Given that complete used copies of the low production run Game Boy Advance title Pocky & Rocky With Becky can fetch over $200 and new/sealed ones over $300, Natsume finally getting the game out on the Wii U Virtual Console is a great thing for those who missed out on the game and don’t have hundreds to drop on a copy these days.


For a fraction off those ridiculous auction prices (and yes, the Japanese versions of that cart run a lot more) you can get all the deceptive cuteness the game delivers along with harder than you may have thought gameplay. Well, the game isn’t really that difficult. It’s just that one hit from any enemy will knock Pocky, Rocky or Becky out of action and if you lose all your lives, you’re restarting from the beginning of one of the seven stages. Anyway, that’s your heads up for this one. Natsume has been on a nice roll of getting a few GBA titles onto the eShop such as this one, Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town and the great, under appreciated RPG, Car Battler Joe (which also comes highly recommended).


Other Natsume GBA games headed to the eShop are Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town along with the two Medabots games, Medabots Rokushu and Metabots Metabee. All three should be popping up in the eShop in North America later this year. Alrighty then, let me let you get yours. Off and away with you now – you’ve got some cool (and now cheaper) games to buy and play.

Zombi: U Will Want To Play This Wii U Port On Your PS4 & Xbox One


Call me only mildly surprised that this is happening, although I’m shocked (shocked! But not really) that it didn’t happen sooner. ZombiU was one of the Wii U’s standout launch games in that it made the GamePad and touchscreen mandatory for the gameplay to work best at what it was trying to accomplish. Looking down at it to check one’s inventory or prepare a weapon or something else only to look up at your TV and see something (or a few somethings!) shambling and scrambling out of the dark was a terrifying thing to experience. Yes, Vita or Windows tablet support for that second screen would be beautiful to see. But even Sony has mucked that up quite a bit by taking so long to implement it into games and only as a means of playing portable games on a larger TV. I don’t own a Surface tablet, so I can’t comment positively or otherwise) on anything Microsoft has done for dual screen gaming. Oh well.

Anyway, without that second screen this might look like another zombie game to skip over if you’re tired of the genre. You’d be sorely mistaken for thinking that based on looks alone. My frightening and sometimes fearfully frustrating (Do I want to go on through that door? Hell nope! Oh… okay. CHOMP!) experience with the Wii U version says that if approached with an open mind by smarter PS4 and Xbox One owners who don’t resort to insults whenever they see a Wii U game, the experience should be quite a worthy one. The rogue-like random elements add infinite replay value and there are some really effective scares to be had. Anyway, August 15, 2015 is the big day for this and I hope to hell it not only does well, but gets some of the all-out naysayers about the Wii U to ‘fess up and admit that there are actually some great games on that system they haven’t played (er, until now that is).

Guitar Hero Is Back. Plastic Guitar Gods, Rise!

Out with the old...

Out with the old…

GH Live (1)

…in with the new!

1. The new Guitar Hero Live logo looks a wee bit like the original Star Trek TV show logo. That made me laugh a bit because it’s not intentional at all. I’m just really old.

guitar hero live 333 (Custom) 

2. Plastic guitars are back after a five year hiatus.It’s hard to say how those who bought the rock games that required real guitars will feel about this. However, it’s entirely possible that both camps will find something to like or not about GHL.

GH Live 4 

3. There are no colored buttons this time and instead of five colored buttons, you get three buttons set into two rows. This is because testing showed most people play GH using three fingers and never got past the harder modes. The game’s easier modes use only three buttons while the harder modes use all six.

GH Live 5

4. There’s an autoplay button on the controller for people who just want to practice the songs or look good cheating. Longtime GH players seem to hate the new controller already, but EVERYONE will need to get used to the new controller should they pick up the game. It shouldn’t take long, though.

Yes, this is ALL actual gameplay.

5. Or: If you owned a PC, Sega CD, 3DO, PlayStation or Saturn back in the 90’s, you’ll be pleased to know FMV games are back (but much better looking). Yeah, that’s right. Gone are the cartoon-like players and now it’s you onstage playing that plastic guitar in front of an actual audience in first person mode. But this time, it’s for PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U and mobile devices. Yes, the crystal-clear FMV can run on any current console out there, so you’ll see all looking exactly the same (like it or not).

GHL 215 

6. There’s a music video channel-like online play mode. You can choose from hundreds of videos to battle someone against, there will be a MASSIVE library of songs from classics to indies and overall, this mode may be the bigger deal for some players who love their social sharing stuff.

GH Live 10 

Guitar Hero Live is coming this fall for those systems noted above. So many changes after five years off, right? Will it be a house band in millions of homes, or is the new look and focus on both simplifying and complicating things be too bumpy a ride for the loyal fan base? As usual, we shall see.

Super Smash Bros. Direct: System Seller To Some, System Savior To Others…

While I think The Wii U and 3DS versions of Super Smash Bros. will do incredibly well, I’d bet a solid five cents that those numbers won’t be as huge as some are thinking. Granted, it’s been a while since a new SSB was released, but I’m thinking this, like Mario Kart 8, will appeal mostly to the already system-owning Nintendo fans more than it will anyone who’s yet to buy a Wii U or 3DS just to play it. Sure, I’m reading comments on boards from people waiting to buy a Wii U “just for this game”, but I take those with a whopping grain of salt, as if you’re a Nintendo nut, you probably already have a Wii U and are in the holding pattern loop waiting for more first party games to drop. Granted, there WILL be people snapping up a Wii U just for this one and MK8, but those numbers probably won’t be as massive as even Nintendo wishes them to be.

That said, with the 3DS version coming first this summer, it’s going to be a massive game launch and push for that handheld while poor Wii U only owners have to sit it out until the winter when that version ships. Granted, Nintendo also knows that many Wii U owners are 3DS owners (but it’s not a 1:1 ratio at all), so they get to make money twice selling two versions of the same game (although I’m betting there’s not a line of code shared between them in terms of visuals). Anyway, this video reveals a ton of stuff, so stick around for the whole thing, as there are a few minor surprises during the last third and at the end.

Gallery: Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure

SNDC_Wii U_2D_E10p5th Cell’s latest game features the return of Maxwell and plenty of fun user-created content… but with a nice twist as you’ll see in that rather fun-looking trailer above. But wait, there’s MORE! Act now and every single Wii U, 3DS and PC copy of Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure also features a rather robust character edit function that allows you to create and play as any character you can come up with (with a DC Comics focus, obviously). I’m planning to scour that selection of classic to current heroes just to see if 5th Cell has stuck some of DC’s more oddball heroes and anti-heroes into the mix, so I’m hoping to see a Swamp Thing, Deadman and maybe Etrigan in there somewhere but mot likely there will be no Ally Babble or Madame Xanadu unless I can cobble them together myself. We’ll see. I do love little surprises like a smart development team that sticks in some really obscure characters into a game this flexible. Having a Bat-Mite to play around with would be quite cool, that’s for sure.

It also has (or at least HAD until I shrunk them down with Picture Resizer) some HUGE honkin’ screenshots in its press kit, which is quite amusing for a game that relies on a simple and effective art style. I had to shrink them to a more manageable size just so they’d upload faster (OK, well that and no one needs an 8000 x 4500 screen cap to scroll around like it’s a map to some lost Inca gold! Anyway, enjoy!

Assorted Heroes (Custom) Batcomputer_Dex-Starr (Custom) Dancin in the Streets (Custom) Omega Beams (Custom) Riddle (Custom) Superboy Prime (Custom) MarvelFamily_TrinityofSin (Custom) Mask-Erade (Custom) Meeting (Custom) MindGames (Custom) GettinTheGang (Custom)

Shantae Is BACK… As A Kickstarter Project Well Worth Funding!

Shantae_Half-Genie Hero KS

After a pretty crappy early part of the day… now I actually feel like dancing around the room (but I’m in the library today and that’s not a really good idea). Anyway, WayForward Technologies is indeed working on a new Shantae game for anything that can play it (consoles and PC are the main targets) and YES, you should drop a few bucks to fund it for the stretch goals to make it even better. Here’s a peek at the pitch:

Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is the name of the game and it’s already set for a release on a few platforms (it’s already confirmed for Wii U, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Windows PC via Steam), but WayForward wants to make the game even bigger and is offering up some awesome bonuses as well as cool stretch goals if they fly way over their target. You know the drill: You have a month to pledge (well, 29 days and counting down) and this one’s worth your time to check out just because you’re a fan of the company’s work or you’ve never played a cute as hell platformer with a genie (or half-genie) before and Shantae’s shimmy has you intrigued.

I used to work in a game shop years back and I actually passed up the chance to buy a copy of the original Shantae, which was a DUMB move on my part as that old Game Boy Color title fetches a few hundred bucks thanks to a low production run (and the fact that the game is really fantastic). I’ve missed out on the sequels thanks to them being digital only (boo!), but I’m backing this new game because it’s coming out on a few platforms I can actually get it for (I’ll probably get a Wii U version just to use that GamePad more than I currently do). Anyway, I’m off to that screening I noted in the above post – go make WayForward happier and pledge towards this instant classic, I say…

Shantae Kickstarter

BIFF! POW! Scribblenauts Unmasked Gets a Cool Digital Comic Bonus

Scribblenauts Store Front Cover FinalScribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comic Adventure is shaping up to be a weird little game indeed in a good way, with Maxwell meeting the DC Universe and playing hero with his heroes against some classic villains. The Wii U, 3DS/2DS and PC exclusive should be in stores and online September 24, 2013 and for a limited time, will come with a free digital comic, Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure – “A Battle Most Bizarre.”

Here, I have to get clippy with the press release below the jump (and there are some new screens to ogle as well), as stupid me forgot my power brick for the laptop and my time is bleeding away by the second (eek!)…

Continue reading

Scribblenauts Unmasked Will Keep Your Superman Fix Going Into the Fall…


Yeah, Warner Bros. Interactive and 5th Cell have got your Superman right here. Pick one from that list above and you’d best believe he’s going to be in action in the upcoming Scribblenauts Unmasked – A DC Comics Adventure,set to launch itself onto Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and PC in September.

To the press release, Robin! (Hey, Batman is in the game too, so I’m just representin’ here!):

Scribblenauts Unmasked – A DC Comics Adventure is a new game that melds the boundless creativity of the award-winning video game franchise with thousands of DC Comics characters and objects across DC Comics worlds – all drawn in the classic Scribblenauts art style.

The game features a story where players embark as protagonist Maxwell on an imaginative and comical quest, taking them through Gotham City, Metropolis, Atlantis and other iconic locales from the DC Comics universe. Fueled by the player’s imagination, Maxwell must use his magic notebook to put a stop to the villains’ evil schemes and save the day! Scribblenauts Unmasked – A DC Comics Adventure will be available on Sept. 24, 2013 for Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and PC.

Scribblenauts Unlimited Lets You Make That Obscure Object of Desire A Playable Thing


I want a Wii U for plenty of other reasons, but Scribblenauts Unlimited is making me want one even more just to see how well the Object Editor works. Since you can create “anything” you like, I’ll be poking around in some old books just to see what sort of ancient devices i can bring to life and how the game responds to my brain thinking too much. Eh, if anyone can make it work, it’s the team at 5th Cell… I can’t wait to dive in. Even though this is coming to PC as well, I much prefer the longer distance a living room, TV and new controller provide, but I won’t stop you PC-only gamers from enjoying the game on whatever rig you’re planning to play it on…