Super Smash Bros Brawl Delayed

Super Smash Bros Melee

It appears that Nintendo has delayed the Japanese release of the upcoming Super Smash Bros Brawl. What was supposed to be released this year is now To Be Determined! Nintendo has said that the game won’t be released until sometime after January 28, 2008.

What kind of impact will this have on the other territory debuts of Super Smash Bros Brawl, no one exactly knows. It’s possible that Nintendo will push the American version to a release date of 2008 as well.

My guess is that Nintendo is focusing on the American version first and foremost. Nintendo may need the extra man power from the other versions to focus in on the American version. Considering that Super Smash Bros Brawl took off in the States and is what convinced people to buy a Gamecube, Nintendo needs Super Smash Bros Brawl in its Holiday 07 lineup.

But as of right now everything is up in the air.


Nintendo Rules America

Already riding a streak as America’s No. 1 seller of video game consoles, No. 1 seller of portable game systems and No. 1 publisher of video games, Nintendo added more chips to its pile in April — with not just one, but the country’s four best-selling games.

According to independent sales data gathered by the NPD Group, the two best-selling games in April were Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl, exclusively for the Nintendo DS hand-held game system, followed by Super Paper Mario and Wii Play for the Wii home video game system.Combined sales for the two related Pokemon titles exceeded 1.75 million units in just 14 days of availability during the reporting period.

The DS remained the most popular game system of any kind in April, with projected sales of more than 470,000 units. At the same time, the Wii from Nintendo, despite nearly universal sold-out status, was still purchased by twice as many consumers as any other home game console, according to the NPD data. Unit sales of 360,000 Wii systems in April bring the console’s installed base in America to nearly 2.5 million in less than six months on the market.

“Nothing is more valuable in the entertainment world than an evergreen franchise,” says Reggie Fils-Aime, president and COO, Nintendo of America. “These new Pokemon titles have cemented their place alongside the most enduring intellectual properties of the book, music and movie industries. And that appeal will expand even further with the introduction of PokemonBattle Revolution to our Wii home console next month.”

Timesplitters 2

There hasn’t really been a good FPS on a Nintendo system since Perfect Dark. But finally, there is hope for Gamecube-owning FPS fans. Even though Timesplitters 2 is also for the Playstation 2 and there are a few shortcomings in the technical area, this is still the best FPS to hit the Gamecube, and this game is fun to play for a really long time.

The story mode of Timesplitters 2 is fairly plain, with 10 missions that you can play on three difficulties. The story mode is definetly good for one or two runs, but the good quality stuff lies in the Arcade Mode. The Arcade Mode is a ton of fun to play by yourself, but it is way better if you’ve got a few friends over. There are dozens of characters, a number of excellent levels, lots of gameplay modes, and the best part of all: customization. You can set how many bots there are, how difficult they are, what weapons you use, how frequent the different weapons show up, and you can even select which music you want.

Besides the excellent customization, there are a ton of different gameplay modes to choose from, and each requires a different skill. Besides the regular deathmatch and capture the flag, there is some really fun ones, like ‘Flame Tag’ and ‘Monkey Assistant.’ In Flame Tag, one person is on fire, and you must pass on your flame to someone else by touching them. Whoever is on fire for the least amount of time is the winner. In Monkey Assistant, whoever is in last place, gets a swarm of monkeys to help them attack other players.

The control scheme of this game will not take much time to get used to. The only thing that may be 2a little different than other FPS games, is that the control pad is used to switch weapons. Another nifty little feature is that you can view detailed information for each profile. You can see things, such as how many levels that person is beaten, how far they’ve walked, and how many shots they’ve fired (over the entire time you’ve played). Its kinda neat to look back and see that you’ve shot 1200 people in the head.

The graphics are a little disappointing, and this is especially obvious during movie sequences. Character models are so poorly done it is disturbing at times. Luckily, most of the time the bad graphics don’t matter, as the game is in first person. And even though some of the character models aren’t that great, some of them are kinda cool, because you can play as characters such as the gingerbread man.

The sound of this game is much more impressive than the graphics. The soundtrack in this game is phenomenal and really does add to the awesomeness of this game. The voiceovers are not quite as good, but I really found myself not caring, as the music is much more important.

Overall, this is the best FPS for Gamecube and is a really, really fun multiplayer. Its too bad the Gamecube doesn’t have online capabilties for this game, because sometimes I really wish I could have more than four people. Oh well, there’s always Timesplitters 3.

Resident Evil

When Resident Evil was first released in 1996, it started not only one of the most popular franchises in the history of gaming, but it set the stage for all the survival horror games we know and love today. The original Resident Evil is on many people’s list of best of games of all time, and the remake for the Gamecube does homage to the original Resident Evil and is a fabulous buy for Gamecube owners, regardless of whether you have played the original.

The opening sequence of this game will absolutely blow you away. The graphics are one of the best of any Gamecube game, and probably even beat the much-appraised Metroid Prime. The stunning realism, the lighting, the character models, and the voice-overs are all not only good, they’re perfect. The look and feel of this game are part of what make this such a scary game, and even if this weren’t meant to be a scary game, the incredible realism would have you wetting your pants.

You have the choice between two characters at the beginning of the game, Chris and Jill. This choice will not only affect the storyline of the game, but will also affect the difficulty of the game, the enemies you meet, and the weapons you get. Regardless of who you pick, you are dropped off in a huge, dark mansion alone. And every once in a while there is something not too friendly around the corner. The zombies in this game are simply amazing. They cannot be any cooler. The zombies will amaze when you first see them, but after a few bites on the neck, you realize they are not to be dealt with like a five year old. You must use your arsenal of weapons to destroy them as best as you can.

Even though the combat of this game is a lot of fun, most of the game will be spent exploring the mansion and solving puzzles. And, this easier said then done. There are several different areas to this mansion, including three floors, a courtyard, and a guesthouse. You must collect all the items and find out in what room to use them, and how they are used. The other aspect that makes this game challenging (and realist) is you can only carry a limited number of items, you have limited ammo, and you can save a limited number of times. This challenge not only makes the game funner, but it adds to the replay value.

My only complaint gameplay wise is the controls. Its not that the controls are really bad, they’re just hard to get used to, because they are very different than the average game out there. Pushing front and back on the control stick moves the character in the proper direction, but pushing left and right on the control stick rotates the character to the left or right, sometime making movement slow. The C Stick can be used to do a quick 180 degree turn, but sometimes it still takes a while to go where you want to.

The graphics, like I already said, are spectacular. You simply have to see it once to know that this game not only has one of the best graphics of any Gamecube game, this game has one of the best graphics this gen. The sound, while impressive, is not perfect. The voice-overs are great, but there if often a lack of music, that can make exploring the mansion a little dull. Usually when you encounter a zombie (or are about to), some scary, fast paced music will switch on. But if you’re just walking around, there is often no music on.

This game is long enough to play through with just one character, but when you add there are two characters, each with multiple storylines and difficulties, the replay value of this game goes up quite a bit. Especially, if you have not played the original Resident Evil, you may have the desire to play through this game more than once. Even if you have, there are a number of differences between the remake and the original, so you may still find a few new surprises around the corner…

Overall, this game rocks. So, if you have a Gamecube, then buy it. And if you don’t have a Gamecube, get one. This is just a great remake and a great game, with some really strong aspects that make deserving of the title “must have Gamecube game.”

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Two words describe this game: must have. This game is a sequel of the successful N64 Super Smash Bros. Melee and has the same idea as the original Super Smash Bros. with just a few upgrades. There are better graphics, more characters, more levels, more moves, more weapons, and more game modes. However, some of these upgrades are a little disappointing. For instance, none of the new characters are really that spectacular, especially because many of them have almost the exact same moves as one of the original characters (Young Link, Falco, Dr. Mario, and Pichu). Also, some of the new weapons are not useful, just annoying (Mr. Saturn, umbrella, cloaking device). The graphics are only slightly better than the N64 version, and none of the new levels are anything special.

However, there a few good changes. Some of the new game modes (like Adventure Matches, Stadium mini-games, and Tournament Melee) are interesting and can be played over and over again, and still be fun. One difference that I really liked was the trophies. Where as the original Super Smash Bros. only gave information on each of characters, in Melee you have little segments of information to all kinds of old Nintendo characters and items. Collecting Trophies and looking through your collection may be one of the funnest parts of the game.

There are also a few differences in the controls and the moves. One part that is very cool is you can now perform your special attacks using the C stick, but you can only do this in VS Mode. All characters now also have a B over attack, in addition to a B attack, a B up attack, and B down attack. The controls are very easy to get used to, especially if you’ve played the original Super Smash Bros. a lot.

Overall, I think the differences between the original Super Smash Bros. and Melee are little disappointing. However, if you look at Melee by itself, it is an excellent game. Besides very good gameplay and good graphics, I think that Melee has exceptional sound. Try playing Melee with the volume all the way down, and I think you’ll find it is a completely different experience. While this is probably reasonably true for all games, I think it especially true for Melee because of the noises we normally wouldn’t even pay attention to. The little bangs, or umphs, you hear when characters hit each other or when they hit the ground. We hear these sounds, and pay very little attention to them, but they make Melee a good game none the less.

In summary, you should buy Melee if you already haven’t (especially because it’s only $20 now). Despite the fact that the differences between the original Super Smash Bros. and Melee are a little disappointing, Melee is still an exceptional game. I should warn you that it would be futile to rent the game and try to get enough play-time in the five days you rent it for. Melee just has too many hours of fun packed in that little disk.