Love The Tree, Hate The Fruit?

The day that we all get to play a new Nintendo console is getting close and what used to be a momentous gaming event for me is currently leaving me slightly cold. The above shamelessly paraphrased title from the 1UP Boards sums up how I feel, I think.

I’m reticent to speak out on my concerns about the Wii because, if I’m honest, I thought the DS was a crap idea. Now, having owned two of them and a decent library of original and entertaining software for it, I’ve eaten my words but I’m still not convinced that Nintendo will be able to replicate it on a home console. I want to play games for more than quick bursts, which is a format more suited to a handheld like the DS.

Looking at incomplete lists of launch titles the one Wii game that screams “MUST PLAY!” to me is a GameCube game with annoying-looking controls and, apart from a few obvious fits like Wario Ware and games designed to suit like Mario Galaxy (neither are launch titles), I’m extremely concerned that that it’s going to get games for other consoles shoehorned onto the new controls like Call of Duty 3 or Madden. I’d probably change my tune if Eidos made a Wii Hitman game with the nunchuck as a virtual garrotte but until I see that I’m sticking to my guns.

Of course the DS was much the same for the first year and now has some fabulous software, but what I want to play on a handheld is very different to what I want on a home console and I don’t see the experience transferring effectively. While it may be worth it for the Virtual Console alone, I applaud Nintendo for trying something different, WiiConnect24 is a great idea, and the Wii is unique as the only aesthetically pleasing console of this generation, with so much else to play this year I’m increasingly tempted to hold off until 2007 when the likes of Wario Ware will be out.

Am I the only one who isn’t drinking Nintendo’s Kool-Aid yet?

This is Getting Silly

I make no bones about how annoying I find the tendency of the games industry to pile all their big releases into the Christmas period and leave an incredibly lean summer. I understand why they do it but for those of us to whom picking up the latest releases is an obsession – part of the growing Xbox Live mentality where you have to play what all your friends are, I suppose – it’s tantamount to torture.

I went through various release lists and worked out all the games and hardware that I intend to buy before the end of the year. Take a look:


  • Contact (US DS)
  • Final Fantasy XII (US PS2)
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (US PSP)
  • Power Stone Collection (US PSP)
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 6 (UK 360)
  • Splinter Cell: Double Agent (UK 360)
  • Tony Hawk’s Project 8 (UK 360)


  • Call of Duty 3 (UK 360)
  • Elite Beat Agents (US DS)
  • F.E.A.R. (UK 360)
  • Guitar Hero II (US PS2)
  • Football Manager 2007 (Mac)
  • Final Fantasy III (US DS)
  • Final Fantasy V Advance (US GBA)
  • Gears of War (UK 360)
  • HD DVD drive (UK 360)
  • Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (US Wii)
  • Lumines II (US PSP)
  • Rainbow Six Vegas (UK 360)
  • Wii (US)
  • World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (Mac)
  • Yoshi’s Island 2 (US DS)


  • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (US DS)

Throw in a few HD DVDs and all the summer movies that are hitting DVD and you have some serious wallet rape going on here. The average person isn’t going to be able to afford to spend a tenth of that on games alone so surely this practice of all saturating the market at the same time can’t be beneficial.

I’ll bet that there’s more than a couple of European gamers out there who are silently thankful that the PS3 was delayed.

21 Today

So 21 years ago today I came into the world. I don’t know why the 21st birthday is still important – I’ve been able to vote and drink since I was 18, after all – and even why an arbitrary number like 21 ever was the coming of age (why not 20?) but if it’s a chance to celebrate me I’ll take it. Apparently I’m now old enough to supervise a learner driver, so that’s something.

Birthdays just aren’t as exciting as they used to be. I remember not being able to sleep the night before and getting tons of presents, and now I get some money. Admittedly that’s always cool and what I asked for (I’m out to get a MacBook Pro in the near future), but it lacks that mystery and anticipation that a shitload of new toys had. At least the post-18 ones add alcohol to the mix so I can spent Saturday night in a stupor.

To end on a vaguely existential note, now that the 21st has been done the next big one is 30. There’s an encouraging thought…

Back To Uni

I started back at uni today which is an odd experience having been away for the best part of five months. Still, I don’t have to do shorthand this year because it’s an option. Thank God…

I had to laugh today when I had my first seminar in the online journalism unit. The guy is a former editor of a major Internet magazine and then told us that one of the most popular blogging platforms is ‘WorldPress’ (ahem) and that web development isn’t done much in raw HTML since the arrival of Dreamweaver. You know that old “those who can’t, teach” phrase? Yeah…

Hard to believe that I’m in my final year of university and in eight months or so I’ll be kicked out into the big wide world. With any luck then I’ll be able to give the ‘aspiring’ in the site header the boot, completing what I’ve been planning to do for over a decade. Yay for me.