Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Video Game Log: Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)

I don't think I mentioned that I got a Wii. Two of my good friends, Brian and Jay, bought me one as a wedding gift, and, well, they couldn't wait to give it to me, so they gave it to me a few weeks ago. The real reason they gave it to me back then was so that I could play Super Smash Bros. Brawl with them (Brian even lent me the money to buy Smash).

My initial impression of the game was at Jay's house, before they even had the Wii to give to me. He had two Wii Classic Controllers, and I tried to play using one of those. That just wasn't going to happen. This game must be played with a Gamecube controller (good thing I brought my Wavebird).

A little bit about my history with the Smash series. I played probably 2000 hours of Classic Smash for the N64 with Bryan and Ryan. We were absolute experts at the game. We could play as Luigi (worst character in Classic) and destroy anyone else. Then Melee came out for the Gamecube. Try as we could, Bryan, Ryan and I could not get used to the new game (windup smashes and spikes, weird sound effects, jumpy gameplay). We went back to Classic, while Brian and Jay played Melee. 

Once I got the controls down, I proceeded to set my character to random and just play. The more I played, the more I realized that Brawl plays a lot like Classic (Brian tells me the game engine for Brawl was based off Classic's, not Melee's, engine). The balance is good so far, the sound effects nice. So far so good.

Online play is kind of hit or miss. Sometimes lag enters the game in a really annoying way; the game will simply slow down until the consoles are synced up again. Sometimes it can get really bad. Other times it will be perfect. I played a three-person game with me in Boston, Eric in NYC, and Adam in Wisconsin. About 30% of the time it was perfect, 40% somewhat laggy, and 30% one of us dropped out (with either 2 there was almost no lag). I have yet to play random people online.

More as I see fit to post!

Update (5/1/08): Two things I wanted to add. I tried for about 20 minutes the other day to play a random game online and was unsuccessful. The UI isn't really helpful or responsive either.

Secondly, I played my first 4 player game last night (Brian, Jay, Bryan). I have to say, I was underwhelmed. We were all the same relative skill level (Brian the most technically competent, Bryan the most strategic, and Jay and I average), so balance wasn't a problem (I even won a game with Ganondorf, so you never know about balance). It was just "eh". Take that as you will.

BostonNow Shuts Down; Hundreds Cry

So yeah, the BostonNow newspaper is shutting down. Turns out it's for a totally retarded reason too; the Icelandic investors sold the company to another Icelandic investor, which is having trouble with deteriorating Icelandic economic conditions, so despite the BostonNow's profitability, the new Icelandic investors decided to shut down the American newspaper. 

I think I've made my point. 

But I'd like to take one last moment to enjoy the view from my BostonNow blog... I wrote this post in November of last year. Mostly I was just pissed about how I couldn't avoid hearing about Boston sports teams no matter where I went (in person, on TV, or online). Bob416, a good poster with whom I've had some good conversations, kind of put me in my place. I responded with a clarification and somewhat of an admission of incorrectness. 

Then, 5 months later, kmosher, a poster with no blog entries, decides to comment:

I am frustrated with people who complain publically about the sports coverage. It is the Public that keeps these teams going. If they do not advertise, commentate, speculate, etc. how is the public going to want to see/know about their team and whether they want to spend the money to see them. This is a business. For those that complain about "In-Your-Face" coverage? You obviously don't understand that this is a business. More coverage, positive or negative, keeps these teams playing, keeps their fans wanting to see them (fair-weather-or-not) and keeps the franchise going. No Advertising means no ticket sales means no team. Let's ralley[sic] and stop being so selfish. Geeze. Look beyond your little world. There are other things around you. If this is all you have to complain about, you are pretty lucky.
Ok, so clearly the guy is a little slow. He thinks he's smart, which is why he tries to pull the "you obviously don't understand" card. Sigh. He's probably one of those guys that when people say "I'm starving," he'll say, "You're not starving. Kids in Africa are starving. Quit your whining!" 

If I wanted to argue his point about news driving the franchise, I'd probably pull up some statistics showing that winning games (regular season, playoff series, and World Series) have the highest correlation with operating revenue. But I'm too busy in my little world to do that.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fool's Day; or, Time To Do Stupid Stuff All Day Long And Pretend That It's Really Funny

I'm sick and tired of April Fool's Day on the Internet. Why, you ask? Because everyone starts searching for what crazy stuff people will come up with this year. Oh, look at this, Blizzard introduced a new character for World of Warcraft! Google lets you send messages to the past! Thinkgeek is offering some ridiculous caffeinated robot nerf T-shirt. I feel like every website is like The Foreigner from Futurama episode Raging Bender:
"I am not from here! I have my own customs! Look at my crazy passport!"
Now Consumerist is doing a day long joke about becoming the "Conglomerist". OK WE GET IT, you can give up now.
(OK maybe I just wanted to work the Foreigner in really badly. But come on!)
All rights reserved. Take that!