Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mario Kart Wii: The Verdict

(I'd like to preface this post by saying that this less of a review and more of a hands on impression after playing Mario Kart Wii with a few of my friends on sunday)

Prior to the release of Mario Kart Wii, I made a post about how I probably was not going to buy it because it wouldn't bring anything new to the table for me. Boy was I wrong. In fact, it brought LESS.

Before you dismiss this as another overly negative impression of Mario Kart, please put the torches and the Miyamoto masks down and let me finish.

The problem with Mario Kart Wii is that it doesn't take the gameplay further at all. Not even a little. It's a massive back step for the series. The way that most things function in the Mario Kart universe have been dumbed down to a downright stupid degree. For example: Power sliding and boosting.

As always, power sliding is done by holding down the jump button while turning. However, this time around the boost comes automatically during the slide, instead of after having to preform the standard left right left right movement on the analog stick. Thus taking away pretty much all skill from that maneuver. Also if you aren't even skilled enough to hold down a friggen button while you turn, you can set the game to make you automatically powerslide at the expense of your boost . Thats right, you can AUTOMATICALLY POWERSLIDE in a goddamn Mario Kart game. Because apparently powersliding is such an incredibly difficult thing to master. The severe dumbing down of many of the mechanics of Mario Kart comes as an surprise to me, since Nintendo's biggest strength is usually the ability to make games that are simple enough for kiddies and new people to play, but also deep enough for the vets to the series to enjoy (Smash Brothers and past Mario Kart games for example). It is extremely evident that this iteration of Mario Kart was designed for all of the brand new Wii owners who probably haven't played anything since the NES or SNES and no one else.

I wont go into any more detail about all of the other aspects of the game that have been robbed of skill (cause someone already beat me to that), or how the motion controls aren't quite ideal (though that is a highly personal argument. I hated the motion controls most of my friends loved it. Take that as you will), so I will simply sum up this piece by saying Mario Kart Wii is totally Mario Kart. If you are a rabid fanboy, you will love it. If you just got your Wii and you want something new to play, you will love it. BUT, if you are like me, and you are completely burned out on Mario Kart games (or if you really really enjoyed Mario Kart DS) you will find this game very lacking and, quite frankly, boring.

Mario Kart Wii is not Dauragon approved, but go play it for your self and make up your own mind about it. :)

Monday, April 21, 2008


Not many updates as of late. I apologize. I figured I would post a slight distraction just to remind this little slice of the interwebs that I still love it.

Here is the official music video for the song Animal by Mindless Self Indulgence. Directed by M Dot Strange (the director of one of my favorite movies of all time, We Are The Strange) with help from Edgar Nielson (of mediamuffin.com) Darkshadow8181 (who has some awesome artwork here) and Disk Read Error's very own Demonic Pascal.

- Dauragon

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mario Kart DS (or Why I Have No Need To Buy Mario Kart Wii)

A game I've been playing a lot lately is Mario Kart DS. So much so that I fear its sheer existence will keep me from buying the upcoming Mario Kart Wii. Quite honestly I am finding it very hard to discern any greater qualities in the upcoming Mario Kart game that aren't present in Mario Kart DS. Mario Kart DS already has everything that I could possibly want in a "kart" game. All of the great characters (R.O.B the friggen robot!!), tons of extra karts, online play, sugar sweet soundtrack, and courses from all of the previous Mario Kart games. From what I have seen of Mario Kart Wii (which has been quite a bit), The only bonus would be motion control (which I am only slightly optimistic about), shoddy text communication, and amagad, BIKES! None of which really excite me at all or compel me to cease getting pwned to shreds by Japanese school children on my DS.

But then again, I could be wrong and for all I know my next post about it may say "OMFG MARIO KART WII IS AMAZING!"

You never know about these things.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I apologize....

I just want to say Im sorry for my cohort Dauragons Smash impressions post. I know the many (thousands) of you were amazingly insulted as of the lack of any footage or images at all of the by far greatest character in Smash, Captain Falcon.

I hope that this can make up for my co-bloggers enormous lack of foresight in the contruction of his post. Don't worry, he will be punished in the only suitable way, with a falcon punch to the nads.

Know that the way of the Shinobi...is terribly harsh...

Xbox 360 - $349

Ninja Gaiden 2 reservation: $5

Knowing that you have some red stuff to look forward to besides RRoD:


The Grand Adventure to Smash Broatia

So as many of you (thousands of ) readers may know, last Sunday was the release of Super Smash Brothers Brawl. After all of the waiting, anticipation, more waiting, delays, more anticipation, and squeegeeing all the jizz off of your computer screens, Nintendo has finally granted the keys to the magical kingdom of Smash Broatia. I unfortunately cant afford a copy of Smash Bro's quite yet, but I was lucky enough to be surrounded by Smash-head friends who went to go pick up the game at launch. Here is my story of the Smash Brothers launch, in very hazy detail. (and with a few pictures thrown in every now and again)

The story starts midday when I met up with my buddies at Wheaton Mall, where we all entered the Brawl Tourney at Gamestop.

The Set up was pretty great. There were four TVs. Three for the Brawl tourney and one for the kids Melee tourney. A giant crowd of people of VAST age range hovered around the displays all waiting for the impending Brawlage. We chit-chatted for a while with a guy who was "probably one of the best smash brothers players in the country" while we waited for the games to begin. He seemed almost TOO knowledgeable of all things smash, so I didn't doubt his claims for a second. Of course me and my friends being not so good at the whole "doings things right" thing, totally spaced and forgot to sign up. So we had to run into the Gamestop for a hot second to quickly sign in. Once we got out, the manager finally stood up in a great big chair and said "THE TOURNAMENT WILL BEGIN IN A FEW MINUTES!", to which the crowd responded with a resounding:

After several tedious moments of the manager and employees yelling out peoples names and handing out name tags with numbers on them. the tourney finally began.

Now if you have never played a game of smash brothers in front of a fucking huge crowd of people, let me tell you, it is quite the amazing experience. It's almost akin to being at a football game, or a pro wrestling match. Every little thing that you do prompts a "OOH" or a "AAAH!" or a "DAAAYUM SON!" from the onlookers.

Infact, many of the games mechanics seem to be almost designed around the whole spectating aspect. For example, the Final Smash ball. For those not in the know, the final smash ball is this erm, ball that shows up randomly and floats around the screen. Players have to smash the ball to gain their "Final Smash" which is a super powerful move that wil
l change the tide of battle. At the tourney, whenever the smash ball appeared, the crowd when FUCKING INSANE! The whole area is enveloped with a deafening roar of hundreds of people screaming "GET THE SMASH!!!! GET THE SMASH!!! OOOH HE GOT THE SMASH!!! OOOOH!!!!"

(on a side note there was a particularly amazing match up that I didn't capture on camera unfortunately. It was a match between two Links, normal Link, and Dark Link. The match was pretty much even, until the final smash ball appeared. Both links went for it, and Regular Link got it. He activated his final smash just as the time was running out. EVERY SINGLE SLASH hit before the time ran out except for the very last one that rocketed Dark Link off of the stage! The crowd went into pandemonium as the match went into sudden death. Both links charged towards each other, and Dark Link sent Regular Link Straight into the stratosphere. The crowd completely lost it)

Back to my standing in the tourney. Long story short me and all of my friends were knocked the hell out in the first round, and went to go eat our feelings at the Mcdonalds, before heading off to pick up two more friends. We went back home watched some
Princess Bride (screaming "AS YOU WISH!" and "INCONCEIVEABLE!" at all the right times) to kill some time before going back to pick up the game at midnight. We wrapped up the movie and headed back.

Of course when we came back to the mall there was quite the line in front.

This Gamestop actually had quite the nice set up for getting the game. There were two lines. You got in one line, bought the game and grabbed a receipt, then you got into the next line and waited until midnight to pick up the game. While we waited in line we saw the same guy we were talking to earlier, and of course while we were drowning our sorrow in double cheeseburgers he went and won the tourney. Things went pretty smoothly all night long. We got our copy, and headed straight home for some brawlin.

There isn't much to say about this game that already hasn't been said a million billion times over, the game is just DAMNED FUN. If you enjoy having fun, and having friends, you WILL like this game. It's that simple.