Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nintendo 3DS (Initial Thoughts -- Part II)

6) Okay, dig the analog nub. Good for long sessions. But where the hell is the second analog nub for first- and third-person action games?

I get that straight-up action games have never been the DS's thing -- but they would be the first system to release a 3D FPS title. Seems like they'd want to capitalize on that.

7) The graphics look pretty good. Not great, but pretty good. The Kingdom Hearts photos really show an improvement in anti-aliasing over both the DS and the PSP -- but the initial stills don't look significantly better than the PSP, which will be celebrating its sixth anniversary this year.

Nintendo has proved again and again with the DS and the Wii that graphics aren't everything, but if Sony can fix the inherent design flaws of the PSP and create a new handheld system that is far more powerful than the 3DS, then Nintendo will truly have some stiff competition.

8) The system uses two cameras in sync so users can take their own 3D pictures. And what is every guy going to take a 3D picture of first?

Their wang.

Then, they're going repeatedly dial the 3D slider up and down, to make it look like their wang is coming right at you, like the freakin' shark in Jaws or something.

I am both amused and horrified.

9) As it so often happens with the motion controls for Wii, I hope developers don't use the 3D effects as a crutch. The line between innovation and gimmick is very, very fine. These games should still be able to entertain after the initial "wow" factor wears off. I don't think this will be as much of a problem as it is with the Wii, but I'm sure we'll see a lot of lame movie tie-ins and crappy remakes of old games that will try to coast on the 3D graphics.

10) 3D Punch-Out!! That's all I'm saying.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Nintendo 3DS (Initial Thoughts -- Part I)

1) Feeling pretty screwed right now. The wife and I decided to get a second DS last Christmas because the wife was hogging the first DS (*). Now I wish I'd waited. Insult to injury: replaced my red-ringed 360 in February and now there's the 360 S coming out.

Fate and timing have totally deuced me.

2) This is, of course, wild speculation -- but I wonder if Nintendo just sent Sony back to the drawing board with the PSP2. Of course, Sony may have known about the 3DS for months and are working on their own 3D tech right now.

Either way, I will be very shocked if the PSP2 does not have 3D.

3) Nintendo needs to get demo models of the 3DS out to game stores much farther ahead of the system's release than usual. That way people can actually see how well this thing produces 3D.

4) Glad there's a 3D slider to lower or turn off the 3D effects. The 3D might make some people dizzy. Also, it caters to people with poor (or no) depth perception. Not to mention the fact that some people simply just won't like it.

Either way, good call.

5) The 3DS needs a proper Virtual Console store like the Wii, since it should easily handle all existing VC titles. The current DSi Ware titles leave much to be desired and should be replaced with a system that syncs with your VC purchases on the Wii.

That's one thing that Sony has over Nintendo at the moment: digital downloads of PS One games work on both the PSP and the Playstation 3 with no additional charge.

Take note, Nintendo.

(*) The wife is often -- but not always -- the stereotypical gamer, who stubbornly refuses to play games where shit blows up. The DS is, therefore, the perfect system for her, and the perfect "gateway" system for guys who want to get their spouses into games.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Guillermo Del Toro Quits The Hobbit (Part II) the final act of Hellboy 2, which felt a bit disjointed and incomplete (all the same, love that movie).

So, all fanboy gushing aside, I'm still glad he's free to pursue other, more personal projects. As good as The Hobbit would have been under his direction, I don't think it would ever completely be his film. He could never do what he did to Hellboy, which was to stay true to the main character and the basic concept and then recreate that world in his own image. Between staying true to Tolkien and Peter Jackson's interpretation of Tolkien, Del Toro would have had an uphill battle to make those films truly his.

Here's hoping that all the legal nonsense gets cleared up so somebody can direct those films.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Guillermo Del Toro Quits The Hobbit (Part I),41632/

Mixed feelings on this one. But I've been on the fence about this one since Del Toro was announced as the director of the Hobbit two years ago.

His version of The Hobbit would have been very, very good. I can't think of a better director for the job -- except, of course, Peter Jackson, for obvious reasons. Admittedly, I'm a complete Del Toro fan boy. I mean, forget Pan's Labyrinth, one of the best movies of the last decade. He made a Blade movie that was actually good.

Now that's talent.

And The Hobbit would've been his first time to work with almost unlimited time, money, and resources -- and I can't even begin to imagine how he would have brought Middle Earth to life, except for that it would've been spectacular. It's also safe to assume it would've been the strongest script he would have filmed to date, thanks to his work with the original writing team from The Lord of the Rings (Del Toro will remain to finish the scripts). In no way do I think Del Toro, who has written or co-written every film he's made save Blade 2, is a bad writer -- but his solo scripts have had a few bumps in them, most notable in...