Sunday
Sep192010

Celebrating the Italian Plumber's 25th by Sean B.

If you're a fan of Nintendo's iconic Italian plumber, there's a good chance you've wanted to see a remake of Super Mario All-Stars on the Wii's Virtual Console. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing like the satisfaction of using cartridges on an archaic system, but this doesn't change the fact that most folks don't have access to these units anymore, and that fishing around for "abandonware" can be highly annoying if you're not naturally into retro game hunting. And yes, there's obviously more money in releasing individual titles for five bucks a pop, but time has passed, we've downloaded our favorites out of the bunch - we're still hungry for more nostalgia. Who else can remember the excitement of hearing Nintendo was releasing an enhanced 16-bit version of every classic Mario game on a single SNES cartridge?


It's felt like an eternity, but it looks like Nintendo will be answering the prayers of many hungry gamers. We were excited to learn that a 25th Anniversary Collection of Super Mario Bros. was announced to hit stores in Japan as soon as the 21st of October. That's right, all four classic Mario games enhanced with 16-bit graphics - this is the classic Mario compendium we've all been screaming for. The best part is that Instead of a download on the Virtual Console, we'll have ourselves a nifty collection on a physical disc, in a limited edition box with a history guide devoted to the life and development of the franchise. Fans who get a hold of this set will also be treated to a musical soundtrack including songs from Super Mario Galaxy 2. 



One can only wonder what else they could have done with a little bit of time. For example, imagine a remake of the original Mario games with the graphics of New Super Mario Bros. for the Wii. Another possible idea would be to make multiple volumes containing different Mario games aside from the obvious classics. It's Nintendo we're talking about here, so we could probably pull ideas out of our 8-bit asses all night. Most people might see this as another opportunity for Miyamoto and Iwata to "print money", but as a long time Mario fan myself, I see it as the perfect addition to any classic gamers library. Even the history book and soundtrack CD are enough to make this package an appealing piece of pixel infested bliss in a box. For now we'll just have to cross our fingers and hope this anniversary collection quickly makes its way to other regions including North America, Europe and Australia.

Thursday
Sep162010

PPR's E3 2010 Impressions: Sony

 

Ok so I know this all seems very stupid & I possibly not even worth posting because of all the time that was spent with it  not being posted & it being months after E3 but after the death of my PC & the fact that I thought that I both  needed to post up those impressions & it gave me another chance to rewrite the impression I said "what the hell" & decided to  write it all up yet again & recap on what good ol' Sony had in store us when E3 was high-lighting the future of the  Playstation brand's ventures so let us begin with Jack Tretton glorifying his image on the stage introducing the Keynote.


So as Jack Tretton walks out on stage, the first thing that Sony presents was not a presentation on a new game but Touting  how it plans to be the number one platform in everything it can do, that it can the console that can be enjoyed for any  member in the family where it can be both the Casual & hardcore gamer's console for video games & beyond as it wishes to  become a leader in "interactive entertainment" which kind of introduced me back into the familiar ground where Sony need to  indulge within transparent gloating but then Kazi Hirai came on to the stage & spoke of Sony planning to be the leader in 3D  gaming...& well you all know how I exactly feel about that being as again there's next to little no market in 3D games as I  have again & again mentioned low accessibility that it has to offer as well the ridiculous investment that comes along with  admission of "3D" visuals of future home entertainment.The first game that they debuted with the gimmick of 3D was Killzone 3  which the producers came to explain that the game is considered a live demo version of what is still considered to be  unfinished & they they were instructed to place their glasses upon their face & "immerse" themselves within the experience  which to be fair, it's not something that you can accurately get an impression of from webvideo coverage off a PC monitor  that doesn't support 3D imagery the way sony wanted me to experience it or the fact tht I didn't own a stupid fucking pair of  glasses. From what I was able to witness in the demo in the fight against the Helghast. the action & Gameplay all seemed very  tight & smooth which I would expect from the franchise but I again did not see the appeal of the possibility of the 3D.  Granted again I was not there to truly experience it but I can damn sure point out that there was absolutely no real change  or enhancement to the gameplay whatsoever, I mean I'm not one to downplay the importance of immersive visuals but the entire  affair of 3D feeling like an extra gloss of paint with the possible investment of finances driving you to open up a second  mortgage...I just don't personally see the appeal & even as non-biased gamer looking in, I will give it a chance if Sony  looks to make this accessible but they're not known for that which is what again adds on to the trouble of this entire  ordeal. As Killzone 3 demo then finished we were treated to a trailer of games that will be the lauch lineup for the  Playstation 3 3D game line up with big titles being Kilzone 3, Gran Turismo 5, The Sly Collection, & Crysis 2 along with a  slew of other with move support as well, got to hand it to Marketing on the flashy trailer for showing a montage of scenery &  action that pimps out the 3D visuals only showcasing the flash over substance verdict I gave it during Killzone 3, though I  have mention that "Brooklyn is Burning" By Head Automatica was an awesome decision by Sony PR but I'm a sucker for Daryl  Palumbo so not much else to say there. Tretton then came back out on the stage & touted the history of Playstation being as  it's upcoming 15th birthday (which recently took place now because again this is how late these fucking impressions are) &  then Tretton finally spoke of Move, here's where Sony then shows off it's intention to innovate & deliver in Motion control  for video games.


Peter Dille approached the stage & demonstrated the components & path of The Playstation Move in action since it's reveal  earlier in 2010 along with final chosen name. as I began watch video, the big hook that Sony was promoting with Move is it's  one to one precision, which in their subtle trash talk to the wii & it's games being able to just use waggle, I love how they  didn't address how the Wii has already have games using the Motionplus enhancement which does the same thing, & then the huge  emphasis on the Move wand sporting buttons...I went to go hold my Wiimote just to make absolute sure that I wasn't stupid &  indeed confirmed that...the Wiimote also has buttons...four major ones & the then the - & + so I guess I'm missing something?  The first game debuting Move came to be known as Sorcery, a very Harry Potter-esque game which seemed derivative in  appearance, however the control display was quite immaculate & soon I was realizing the "one to one" ratio that Sony kept  sublimably dropping & that there seemed to be no issues with the demonstration unlike the Motionplus display for Skyward  Sword which was met some abysmal technical difficulties which I again complete acknowledge because of the wireless interference  with the tech involved with the Wii but I soon began to witness what I wanted from motion control, an evolution beyond  "waggle". Kinect may be innovative in theory but the terrible execution of both visible lag of response motion input & lack of  response to me sitting down really ruins any interest I have in it.The sorcery game seemed interesting enough as well,  I enjoyed the different movement they implemented within the power switching & the balance that was kept in mind to keep it  fresh & innovative but not too complex enough to where it prevent any accessibility. Tiger Woods 11 was then demonstrated &  then again I was impressed with the accuracy with Move, with the promise of Move being patched for certain games that you  wouldn't expect it to come to like Heavy Rain, Socom 4, & Little Big Planet 2. The Braveheart speech from Kevin Butler was  amusing but just more of the bloated advertisements that I have come to grow tired of. Bashing on the competition worked for  Sega & no one else...it's the truth.


The PSP coverage came into play from this point with more of the pretentious advertisements I spoke of but with "Marcus  Rivers" leading on about PSP will be the revolutionary platform to strive to come out on top & honestly, I do have faith in  the PSP, but simply just to stick around & provide me games I can enjoy fitted for it over the DS which believe it or not but  there has been such games. Like the success of the PSP however, so came the weak presentation of games seen available in the  coming months from Sony & it's respective second parties & third party high-lights. So before I move on may all of the  obscure & niche JRPG developers & publishers keep the PSP alive as they have given it one of it's few edges against the  competition. Invisimals was the only thing that peaked my interest for what was offered in PSP software future, but this is  2010...cumbersome perpihal attachments for what is supposed to be my sleek all inclusive handheld just irks me off of this  path as I feel we have come a long way since the Gameboy Camera. after some showcasing of numbers & feature of existing games  that have been released already (Sony apparently missed the point of what exactly you should be showcasing at an E3 event?).  Little Big Planet 2 then came into play & it really looked more of the same which isn't necessarily a bad thing as I enjoyed  the experience I had with Little Big Planet but it's seriously so much more of the same, I would warrant what was showcased  as a full blown sequel as nothing more then inflated DLC, the only thing I saw that was different enough to turn my head was  mini-games, the game mechanic I have literally grown so tired of as it has been done beyond the point of saturation & is now  blatantly annoying mind you unless it presents some thing so innovative that it justifies it's placement into the game in the  first place. The long rumored Playstation premium online service was debuted as Playstation Plus. which after reviewing the  benefits of service it sounds promising as it sounds with access to downloads of Minis & PSOne classics, none of it is yours  to keep...it's just a glorified streaming service where you essentially rent with an monthly or annually content that will  leave when you discontinue the service, as well as the fact that the playstation Plus doesn't enhance or otherwise improve  existing online multiplayer lobbies like Uncharted 2 or Little Big Planet with extra moves or discounted DLC so, until I  again get to try this service out (which is out & I have yet to try so) I'm not completely sold on this service & I'll have  to play the wait game. I also enjoyed the Dead Space 2 surprise expose with inclusion of Dead Space extraction having Move  Support was really refreshing, I hope that inclusions or similar tactics used in the future with PS3 releases being as Move &  traditional control to where it's not forced down my throat like Kinect or Wii.

Last couple of big announcements that came about was Gabe Newell appearing on the stage to et all the crow he deserves to eat  for all the animosity he shared with the Playstation 3 as a viable platform & then not only did he then come out announce  Portal 2 being available on PS3 but he also announced that it will be considered the superior port amongst the other platform  releases & then as he continue to explain that there will be a Steam service available exclusive on PSN that would steam  cloud with Steam & PSN, very vague details but quite possibly the best thing going for Sony as they can provide the Steam  experience through a console & helps those who have their PC's with the potency of prize found in a cereal box (me) & they  can get in on an entirely different community from the same console & still participate in the same community of friends  they've built on PSN which is awesome beyond imagination because again it really does add some weight to the goal of having  the PS3 cater to everyone which I can honestly say I'm looking forward to. The last event was David Jaffe coming out to  display more crow eating with all of the denials of the new Twisted Metal, with a very theatric display of Sweet Tooth  driving out on stage in his Ice Cream truck, it made me smile to think that E3 was capturing back that old feeling it evoked.


So that's it, those all of my impressions, I apologize for how late this one came to be but again as you've heard on the show my computer died & went to Dinosaur hell, I had to perform several voodoo dances & animal sacrifices to pump my PC back into the land of the living & I have brought to you this last article, also I have the TGS impression write up real soon, thanks guys. again any comments or feedback? call the voicemail at 209-566-0190 or register on our forums & post on the TGS thread I posted. Thanks again guys, stay tuned for PPR#28 this weekend!

 

Saturday
Sep112010

Games club end: A retrospective on Limbo by Sean B.

 

This year's Summer of Arcade from Xbox LIVE has been packed full of satisfying titles, including a heavy dose of nostalgia from games like Castlevania: Harmony of Despair and Hydro Thunder Hurricane. Regardless of their success and popularity, one has stood out in front of the others, both as an innovative platformer and as a first submission from a new studio in town. The title is LIMBO from Playdead, a game of searching, puzzle solving and survival.


As you take your first steps through the dark and obviously gloomy setting LIMBO has to offer, one of the first things you'll probably ask yourself is "what in God's name am I doing in this place, and how in the hell did I get here?" All you really know is that you're looking for your sister, and she's lost somewhere in this horrible purgatory of darkness. As you set out on your adventure, there's no limit to what you'll find. That's one of the greatest things about this game, toying with your curiosity within the first few minutes of playing, also discovering that anything and everything could be your undoing. Traps, elements, potential savages from who knows where, there's really no telling what you'll encounter or how you'll handle it the first time around. In some instances, I even found myself being scared shitless - or at least freaked out to the point of checking my own darkened room or giant spiders before bed.

As the first hit from a studio comprised of two obviously talented individuals, I think I speak for a great deal of gamers when I say that LIMBO is pure genius. Each and every puzzle has you guessing what's going to be around the next shadowy corner, especially since the only way to solve most of them is by dying first. And to add insult to a great deal of injury, each death is more gruesome than the last, forcing you to either drop your jaw or chuckle out loud (depending on who you are) every time you see the poor kid get maimed on the screen. One tip I'll even give to newbies, don't go thinking he actually knows how to swim.


There's almost no limit to who or what can kill you in the world of LIMBO. If it weren't for the title of the game, I'd go as far as thinking this were hell as opposed to the shadowy cracks and crevices in between. No, this is an imaginative portrayal of a lost world of those who may have once had souls, a world of absolute chaos and darkness, a world of utter nothingness that can only be described as LIMBO itself.

Friday
Sep102010

Games Club: Limbo

Today's podcast is quite different from our previous episodes. On this inaugural episode of the Press Pause Radio Games Club, we are discussing the Xbox Live Arcade title Limbo. This dark and moody puzzle/platformer has received rave reviews, and was featured in Xbox's annual Summer of Arcade promotion. The crew will discuss the entire game, so please be aware of this if you have not played or beaten the game. We are hoping that Game Club will be a regular feature and podcast on the show, feel free to voice your opinions and comments on this and future Games Club titles on our forums or through our twitter feed. 

 

PPR Games Club: Limbo

Friday
Aug272010

Games Club#1 LIMBO

Hey Listeners! we here at Press Pause Radio will be doing our very first Games Club! & what game did we choose for this momentous occasion? why none of other than the most controversial release of the summer...LIMBO! The Erie 2-D Side-Scrolling action puzzle platformer developed by Playdead studios & one of the promoted titles within Microsoft's "Summer of Arcade". LIMBO is  a game we've all been kicking around the idea of playing but after little time with it, we've all decided that this game needed to be the game we choose for a Games Club & being as this is our very first Games Club,we'll be sure to include some surprises in the upcoming show as well! Want to participate in our Games Club? Purchase LIMBO off of XBLA for 1500 Allards & here's how you can do it.Also don't forget that we're doing a Community Poll on LIMBO for the Games Club on all of Social Networking sites so get in on that shit!

So you want to get it in on the latest Games Club by Press Pause Radio? play the game with us & send us your thoughts, comments, questions, or outlooks & we'll be covering every contact we can on the show all through out the show & here are the ways you can go about. First stop is the Forums, if you haven't already go register at the forums now at the top of our Website & post on the current Games Club thread what you have to say & reply to you on the forum as well as bring it up on the show. You can befriend us on one of or all of our Social networking profiles for Press Pause Radio at Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, & 1UP as you can comment, private message, wall post, or @reply anything you want to throw at us about the game featured in Games Club as this will be checked before & while we record, same goes for any comments on this post for the Website of course as well. Last but not least if you want to make sure that your literal "voice" is heard you can always leave us a Voicemail at 209-566-0190 & odds are that we will also play these through out the show. So what are you waiting for? go grab this Game that we're playing & join in on the fucking fun on our latest Games Club!

Wednesday
Aug252010

Announcements of importance

Hey listeners! I have some important news & announcements concerning Press Pause Radio as a whole. The first big announcement which is unfortunately a regretful one is that Paco is no longer apart of the show...between his school & work schedule & his personal drive towards Press Pause Radio, it was a mutual decision that we part ways, Paco may come back as a guest in the future but he's no longer apart of it & I want to thank him for the time & for the memories & wish him well. You can still find Paco at all of his online contacts that we have mentioned before so be sure to do so & continue to love him like we all will!

 Press Pause Radio for now will be a Three Chair cast for the mean time, which still gives us the opportunity to have guests appear on the show until we decide on a Fourth chair to join, We've been fortunate to have luminaries on such as Rob Thomas of Crush Frag Destroy & Nerd artist extraordinaire  Bill Mudron appear & we have plenty of guests in line for the future so it's all pretty exciting here  to imagine what the future holds for Press Pause Radio as we have plenty of awesome plans for the future in terms of content, merch, & surprises. Also changing from now on, our social networking site for Press Pause Radio (Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, & 1up) will only feature community polls for our friends & listeners for our new "Select Feedback" segment & announcement of our upcoming scheduled community nights that we have mentioned before as we will move them into play in the coming months with a newer focus on forums & upcoming "Games Club" episodes that we will now be having from time to time which I will cover in a separate entry soon for details. All other meaty content such as blogs, articles, reviews & other written material will be exclusive to www.presspauseradio.com from now, I've learned that the social networking site should only be just that, social, another way to reach you guys the listeners.

& with that update I just want to wish you all well, thank you again for sticking by us & we hope to garner many new listeners soon, we've got some big shit planned ahead & I mean big. Oh yeah before I forget, to make room & better improve our feed for not only us but for you guys as well, we will again go through a restructuring of it & I believe you'll have to re-subscribe as well, which I apologize in advance for all the listeners but trust me, this is going to be great for all of us & we'll remind you all of course before we go about it I can assure you, thanks again for taking the time to read guys & thank you! I also forgot to mention...

I recently had the awesome opportunity to be apart of an epic cross over show with one our favorite buddy sites Crush Frag Destroy! (I'm telling you we have a huge internet "Bro"ner for these guys) along with a new friend to Press Pause Radio which is Spawn Kill led by Stephanie "Tigresa" Palermo & her awesome staff so it was an awesome experience to say the least.

we got to discuss a variety of different games & news in the first half of the Podcast which was epic shit. The main topic was how we felt about the state of "Game Journalism" & how we reflect on performance & skill of amateur to even professional game media platforms of the industry & how we try to conduct ourselves in this realm as well as load more. I also couldn't help myself because it was just too fucking much, this podcast almost didn't even start because of all the fucking goof ups so I figured "what the hell..." & made a special blooper filled short episode for all you wonderful listeners to hear. Please go listen to the episode here or at CFD's website which is listed in our affiliate section of the site & review them or subscribe them on iTunes or even do both for Fuck's sake! enjoy the blooper & as always thanks for listening guys!

Team Deathchat/Press Pause Radio/Spawn Kill Blooper fucking blow out!

Tuesday
Aug242010

PPR 27

Press Pause Radio takes a break from browsing online for "sex turtles" to record the newest episode of the podcast. On this week's show Georgieboy, Toast and special host Noel welcome the talented Mr. Bill Mudron to discuss video games, love and life. You may know Bill's work from such publications as Electronic Gaming Monthly and Penthouse Magazine. His website showcases just some of the fantastic art he has created, with more on the horizon.  We have a lengthy discussion on Scott Pilgrim, with possible spoilers of the movie and comic. If you have not yet seen the movie, you can skip from 10:20 into the podcast to about 27:20 to avoid any detailed discussions. We also discuss Bioshock Infinite and Georgieboy reviews Wonder Project J: Kikai no Shōnen Pīno for the Super Famicom.

Our featured topic is about being a "gamer" in social circles and environments that may not play video games. Does being labeled a fan of video games still carry a negative connotation? Or do we live in a society that now embraces video games and all that video games have inspired? We discuss this question and much more on this week's episode. Special thanks once again to Bill Mudron for taking time to be a guest on the show. Contact our voicemail at 209-566-0190 with any questions or comments, and follow us on Twitter for any updates on the show.

 

PPR Episode 27

Wednesday
Aug182010

Quarter Circle Forward Review: Starcraft 2

Our resident PC gamer Toast reviewed Starcraft 2 for the PC on episode 26 of Press Pause Radio. Here is the full review.

How do you improve on a game that after ten years is still actively played by thousands of players, and has also become a national sport in South Korea? You release Starcraft 2. I’ll be honest with all of our readers, my experience with the original Starcraft is limited only to the time that I have put into the anthology that was included with the Starcraft 2 Collector’s Edition. When it comes to a Real Time Strategy (RTS) game, my abilities are almost non-existent. This is where I believe Starcraft 2 really shines. It has the depth and challenges that will please the hardcore Starcraft community, while also being accessible to any newcomers to the series.

The events of Starcraft 2 occur about four years after the events of the Brood Wars expansion. If you are not familiar with the story of Starcraft and it’s expansion, no worries. The installer of Starcraft 2 will explain the key points of the story, so everyone is up to speed once we see Jim Raynor casually drinking whiskey in an abandoned bar. The campaign, which I have not yet completed is simple at first. The first few missions will reintroduce the controls and different units available to the Terrans. After the first five missions, the home location will change, and the missions become more and more challenging. I must stress again that I am inexperienced in this type of game, so I have been playing on Casual. So the game at this point has been an uphill climb, but also is very informative. I feel that each mission will introduce a new mechanic or new strategy that I will need in order to succeed. This also will be beneficial for the huge multi-player portion of the title.
 

At the time of this writing, I have only played in the practice leagues, and have yet to play my placement matches. I actually feel very intimidated by the ladder systems and various leagues that are accessible through the game. However I believe this is a strong selling point for the game. Even after playing through the thirty missions in the first campaign, there is countless hours of play still available. Currently I enjoy just going online with my Battle.net friends and playing either 2 vs. 2 or 2 vs. CPU. Knowing that leagues and competitive play is still available makes me want to improve and learn more about the game. Hard to believe that this is only the first game released in the announced trilogy of Starcraft 2. This is the only criticism that I may have about the title.

I can understand that Blizzard develops titles that are polished and full of content. I also am aware that Starcraft 2 can be released years after being announced and still sell over a million copies in the first two days. What I do not understand is why the game is being released in three separate campaigns. The additional purchases do not bother me as much as some other reviewers. I truly believe that the other two faction campaigns will be expansions and not full retail games. The argument here is that I do not want to wait for the Protoss and Zerg campaigns. I suppose that waiting for over ten years was not long enough.  In closing, I can honestly say that I am now a Starcraft fan, and that this title has enough content to please new gamers and long time fans. This game is a required purchase for any PC gamer.