Good News and Bad News

For all you Street Fighter freaks out there – some good news and some bad news.

The good news: If you have heard rumors that Street Fighter IV has new characters – it’s true!

The bad news: If you want to play against the new characters Sagat and Balog (aka The Boxer) you must travel to Japan where they are being tested in select locations.

Even in the test version, you will not find the new nemeses in the select screen, the right conditions must occur in the single player mode for a fight with them to occur.

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Two Xbox Live Games That I WANT to Play

Marathon

You know every now and then there’s an Xbox Live Arcade game that I actually want to play. The games that I want to play today are Marathon and Wing Commander Arena. Of course I still can’t play these games because I have yet to even receive the box to ship my Xbox 360 back to Microsoft for repairs!

But if I were you I’d download these two games right away – demos at first and purchase later if they are any good!

For those of you that know the history of games, you should know that Marathon is Bungie’s first game. Bungie is the studio that brought us Halo, you know that game right? Wing Commander is an amazing series that I loved dearly so everyone should play it. The issue with this new Xbox Live Arcade game is that EA changed the gameplay formula to a third person 2D space shooter gameplay in a 3D world so it might suck. Plus with no Full Motion Video scenes including Mark Hamill I’m already disappointed.

Wii Fit Skateboard, Snowboard, Surfboard

Arguably the most exciting revelation at Nintendo’s E3 Media Briefing this year was the Wii Fit. A new peripheral that is able to sense where a person is stepping. Nintendo showed off the possibilities of doing exercises and fun mini-games by using this “stepping platform”.What Nintendo now presents is yet another merge between the arcade and the home console. Imagine using the Wii Fit, not as a excercise platform but as a skateboard, snowboard, or surfboard! Turn the Wii Fit sideways and you’ve got a two-in-one peripheral. Sure you probably won’t be able to do crazy tricks with the board, but for people who can’t find their balance in the real sports Wii Fit is going to be a fun alternative.

For all of the above sports, you’d steer with both feet on the platform. Since Wii Fit is tilt sensitive the peripheral can be as accurate as the real sports. Skateboarding would be a little more tricky, if you want to consider having one foot step down to have your avatar push the skateboard faster difficult.

The real brain teaser is why didn’t Nintendo market the Wii Fit at E3 with more of these amazing game possibilities? As Reggie talked about during the presentation Nintendo is going for the general gaming audience and then the hardcore users. It’s plausible that Nintendo realizes that this peripheral is probably not going to be used by the average male gamer at least as a fitness machine. Lets face it, this is what the game industry considers as a serious game. Have serious games sold well thus far? If you have no idea what a serious game is, that just proves my point. By marketing this peripheral as a fitness machine, it’s the female audience who will most likely be the first to purchase it. If specifically mothers were to buy this peripheral for their family Wii console, Nintendo gains access to the whole family. It’s at that point when Nintendo will unveil more casual games like they have already done with their Wii Sports and Wii Play series.

These short gameplay session games are becoming a key to Nintendo’s success and with the Wii Fit a whole new door of gameplay has been opened.

Who wants to eat at GameWorks?!

 

GameWorks

I’m sure that’s the question that all American families go through… I know it’s a tough decision but apparently Sega wants people to eat at its arcades… Read on for the full press release.

Sega Entertainment USA, Inc. is ready to compete in the casual dining arena. The company, which operates five different restaurant concepts nationally inside its GameWorks chain of entertainment locations, is confident that their restaurants can compete with other casual dining establishments. What is their edge? According to Clint Manny, Senior Vice President of Marketing, the answer is simply, “More.”

“We offer more than the typical restaurant,” stated Manny. “We know that our restaurant experience and food quality compete with those in traditional casual dining, but we truly offer our guests more. Take the guest experience at any other casual dining competitor, it’s a drink, an appetizer, a meal, dessert (maybe) and out the door…… with great restaurants, bars, entertainment, sports viewing and interactive games and attractions that can’t be duplicated at home, we give guests more of everything they want – and they won’t have to leave to get it. We will succeed by providing excellent food quality, delivering exciting new food and beverage programs, unique entertainment and establishing in consumer minds that more is better at the Grill in GameWorks.”

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Arcades on the Rise

Hallelujah! It is a great week already! The number of arcades has been on the decline ever since the peak in the 1980s, leaving only 2,500 currently active sites in recent years. That number has grown to 3,500 today! Fox News claims that it is in part due to nostalgia.

The question is will we finally see a rise in new arcade games? That has always been the problem with the arcade industry – there really isn’t any coverage of it. Do consumers know when a new game is released – no. Whenever I go cabinets are broken and never updated to the latest games. So sadly this is one of the many reasons why arcades have died over the years. I hope that the growing trend of arcades in the US continues, but ultimately there are a couple of issues that need to be resolved with this industry.

Arcade

Metal Slug Anthology (+)

A compilation of the Megal Slug arcade series.

One of the great things that the Wii offers is its retro gaming with the Virtual Console. If you love the games on the Virtual Console or just in general like old-school arcade games, pick up Metal Slug Anthology! Not only does this game offer you six different ways to control your character, but it also packages in seven Metal Slug games! Even if you’ve played Metal Slug in the arcades you’ve never experienced it quite like this.

The objective in all Metal Slug games is simple: go from beginning side of the level to the end of it. Fight variety of enemies such as soldiers, mummies, undead, and terrorists. Throughout this game you’ll be dieing over and over. Unlike in the arcade, the Wii version allows you to respawn over and over again. You don’t have to insert more coins, simply press continue and let the mayhem keep on rolling.

It’s amazing to see what the Wii controller allows developers to do and Metal Slug Anthology is a prime example of how the Wii-mote can be used in different ways to simulate similar gameplay. While none of the control schemes work perfectly, it is fun to try them all out. The most difficult of all of these controls  Wii-mote and nunchuk, nunchuck only, tilt Wii-mote, Wii-mote, arcade, and Gamecube controller – is the arcade mode. It’s hard to emulate the feel of a joystick by holding the Wii-mote vertical. After a while it hurts your hands.

The 2D graphics aren’t comparable by today’s standards. When they are blown up on any big screen TV they just look nasty. Thankfully though it is still easy to see all of the action on screen. The blood that spews from enemies as you shot them or cut them with your knife is graphically speaking the best part.

There is co-op which allows for at least some replay value. The unlockables, music tracks and concept artwork, aren’t worthwhile though. For seven games Metal Slug Anthology is worth at least a rent. Since all the games were built for the arcades, the gameplay offered in them doesn’t last that long. But again if you like old-school games Metal Slug Anthology is a must buy.