Sunday, July 31, 2011

Review: Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon

Ah, Xseed Games, what would us Wii gamers do without you publishing these lesser known games? Fragile Dreams was released here last year in Spring and I had been wanting to play it, but didn't order the game until a couple weeks ago. The game is an action rpg, though it seems to play more like an action adventure. You are able to equip items and weapons and level up throughout the game. None of it is very crucial to the main point of the game though, since the story and atmosphere are the things driving it.

You're given a short back story by the main character before you head off on your journey, and you're not quite sure what happened to the world, you just know that there aren't many humans left. The game revolves around finding this silver-haired girl that you meet early in the game. (Pictured in the reflection on the cover art to the left.) You do meet other characters in the game, but some of them aren't really living.

For example, the first companion you meet is an artificial intelligence contained within a box of some kind. She is basically the tutorial level of the game, since she helps you along with all of the game mechanics you come across. Though the world seems to be rid of humans, you are never truly alone throughout the game, most of the time, you'll have a companion with you. The companions usually just help with hints but never help in combat. The world is full of wandering spirits, so you need to fight them off when you encounter them. The combat is a bit clunky, perhaps because there is no lock-on targeting, but I have gotten used to that mode of play thanks to Monster Hunter. The difficulty of the enemies never really exceeds a certain point, but some of them can get annoying. There is a bit of exploration, but most of the time, you are on a linear path and there are a few times where you need to backtrack, but thankfully it doesn't really slow down the pace of the game too much. You also find these items scattered across the game that give you the memories of people that once lived. Some of them are entertaining, and some of them give a bit of insight into the game's deeper story.
The game's art style really shows in the outdoor areas.
One of the main draws of this game is the atmosphere. It's unlike a lot of the post-apocalyptic settings in that it doesn't go for the nuclear fallout. I can't tell you the full details since that's part of the mystery of the game and I wouldn't want to spoil it. I think the main draw of the game is that sense of being alone and trying to find another person in the world. Though I did mention that you do come across companions in the game, they never seem to last that long, and there is quite a bit of heartbreak throughout the game's story, so prepare to shed some manly tears.

The game's music helps quite a bit in that brooding feeling of isolation and despair. Above is just the title screen's theme, and I think it's pretty moving emotionally. The game's music may be moving but the voice acting... well... isn't so great. Take my advice, if you want, change the dubbing to Japanese so you won't have to hear the English voice actors. All of it is subtitled anyway. The English voice acting just feels so drawn out. It seems like a sentence that should take five seconds to say will take twenty. I realize that some dialogue needs to be like that, but not all the time.

The Verdict:

Fragile Dreams is a pretty unique experience that I haven't encountered often. The only game I can think of that even comes close to something like this would be Ico. (Though Ico probably being the better game.) Fragile Dreams really felt like it had something going for it, the story, the music, the characters... but at the end of the whole thing I wanted more. Perhaps I just expected more out of an action rpg, but I can't blame the game for that. The game is still one of the better lesser known experiences on the Wii, and I would recommend it if you are looking for something different.

What I liked:

-The story
-Great atmosphere

What I didn't like:

-The English voice acting
-Ended a bit sooner than expected

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Songs that should be in Rock Band: Again

Yes, again, I am late for this article and I probably will be again and again and again and again. Get it? This is one of my favorite songs by Alice in Chains, and it wasn't included in one of the two packs that have been released so far. I'd really love to see this song become available so I can can sing it at my nonexistent rock band parties.

By the way... doesn't Layne Staley look like Albert Wesker from Resident Evil in this music video?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Nintendo slashing 3DS price $80 plus 20 free games for early adopters?


Press Release Source: Nintendo On Thursday July 28, 2011, 3:30 am EDT

REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Nintendo of America today announced plans to drop the suggested retail price of its portable Nintendo 3DS system to $169.99 in the United States, as new games based on some of the world’s most beloved video game franchises head to the system. The new price, down from the suggested launch price of $249.99 and effective Aug. 12, makes an outstanding value even better and sets up a strong holiday season for the system.

“For anyone who was on the fence about buying a Nintendo 3DS, this is a huge motivation to buy now,” said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. “We are giving shoppers every incentive to pick up a Nintendo 3DS, from an amazing new price to a rapid-fire succession of great games.”

Nintendo 3DS has the strongest software lineup of any video game system this holiday season and the new price now opens up the glasses-free 3D experience to many more consumers. Building on the popularity of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, which launched June 19, the upcoming game calendar is a Who’s Who of iconic video game franchises. Star Fox 64 3D arrives on Sept. 9, followed by Super Mario 3D Land in November, Mario Kart 7 in December and Kid Icarus: Uprising during the holiday season.

In addition to great games, Nintendo 3DS has a host of attractive features* that make it the must-have video game system this season:

  • The new Nintendo Video service automatically delivers short 3D videos from the worlds of music, comedy, animation and Hollywood.
  • A free application allows Netflix members with unlimited streaming plans to instantly watch TV episodes and movies streaming from Netflix.
  • The Nintendo eShop is a digital store for Nintendo 3DS owners that provides access to a wide variety of downloadable content, such as original 3D software, classic games that have been re-mastered in 3D called 3D Classics, Game Boy and Game Boy Color “Virtual Console” games in their original 2D glory, and more than 350 Nintendo DSiWare games. Visitors can also view video game trailers, screen shots and product information for games, including those available at retail locations.

Since Nintendo 3DS launched in the United States on March 27, more than 830,000 people in the U.S. alone have purchased one to enjoy 3D visuals without the need for special glasses. These Nintendo 3DS owners represent some of Nintendo’s most loyal customers, and Nintendo is rewarding them for getting in on the action early with 20 free downloadable games from the Nintendo eShop.

These free games are available to anyone who owns a Nintendo 3DS system and uses a wireless broadband Internet signal to connect to the Nintendo eShop at least once before 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Aug. 11. These users will automatically be registered in the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program. The program contains two elements:

  1. Starting Sept. 1, Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors will be able to download 10 NES Virtual Console games at no charge and before they are available in the Nintendo eShop to the general public. These games, including Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Jr., Balloon Fight, Ice Climber and The Legend of Zelda, are slated to become paid downloadable games, but Ambassadors get them early for free. Once the paid versions of the games are posted to the Nintendo eShop later in the year, the updated versions will be available to Ambassadors for download at no cost.
  2. By the end of 2011, Nintendo will provide Ambassadors with 10 Game Boy Advance Virtual Console games. These include games like Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Metroid Fusion, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ and Mario vs. Donkey Kong. These games will be available exclusively to Ambassadors, and Nintendo currently has no plans to make these 10 games available to the general public on the Nintendo 3DS in the future.

More details about this program will be announced in the future.

Remember that Nintendo 3DS features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other features, visit

*Some features require a broadband Internet connection.

Either Nintendo is desperate or this was a cynical plan on their part. Why not both?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Roo from CoTGW and His Earthbound 0 Cartridge

That lucky bastard Roo from Clan of the Gray Wolf got his hands on one of the prototype cartridges for the long lost NES game EarthBound (or Mother if you are so inclined). To be frank, I am insanely jealous and am considering a trip to North Carolina (what I believe is his state of residence) to brutally murder him and take his cart.* But in the meanwhile he shows us what is to be seen from a prototype cartridge.

*Note: I'm only considering, not actually doing.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Songs that should be on Rock Band - Lonely is the Night

Wow, I'm super-late for this article for this week. Better late than never though. I just put on my grooveshark and this song came on and reminded me that I should post this article. I think since no one around me, even online, doesn't talk about Rock Band anymore and I haven't been playing it as much lately, so I just haven't given thought to this article series. I still love the idea of having a music collection that you can "play" though, that's my main draw to Rock Band.

Anyway, enough of my whining. This is "Lonely is the Night" by Billy Squier. He only has one song on Rock Band, and it was a Christmas song. Christmas songs are nice to have during the holidays, but c'mon, no one would play them year-round, it would get annoying. "Lonely is the Night" however has been a favorite song of mine ever since I was a kid. Yep, it's another one of those songs, where I would hear it on the radio during family trips to the beach. If Harmonix does put anymore Billy Squier on Rock Band, I'd love to have at least this song.

Oh, speaking of those songs. A pack of songs from Yes is going to release next week with one of those songs. Yep, I'm talking about "Owner of a Lonely Heart", it was another one of those songs that came from the 80's that I kept hearing as a child. Most Yes fans tend to hate that song because it's so unlike what Yes does, but I love it. I also love the other Yes tracks as well, so I'll be picking up the whole pack once I get some MS points.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday's Video Game Tunes #7 [Pokemon Edition]

Sorry for missing a week on this feature, last Thursday was incredibly busy for me. It's not that I didn't have a few minutes to type this on my computer but I was swamped and couldn't even think of cool music to post. But fear not, we're back this time. With Pokemon music. Oh yes.

Pokemon Black/White - Vs. Pokemon Trainer N (Final Battle)

Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver - Azalea Town/Blackthorn City

Pokemon FireRed/LeafGreen - S.S. Anne

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Brawl in the Family: 350 - It Takes A Lifetime

From the Brawl in the Family web-comic. I thought I'd give it a post since it was such a well done piece.

If you don't read the web-comic, you really should since it is a fantastic Nintendo based web-comic and run by one of the Negative World's users, TriforceBun.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Playing The Classics: Little Nemo The Dream Master: Vol 1

So I've wanted to write this and play this game again for a long long time. Life got crazy, hence my absence from the site, and while I'm not necessarily back in some full force, it's damn time in my life to get some rest and visit Nemo in his dreamland. So here that goes. I remember playing this a ton as a child. I've had the NES game since I can remember though I have no recollection of how I came to have it in the first place. Still, it's always had a special place in my heart despite me never really getting that far. I've heard this game is very hard, so lets see if that's the case. Lets play a classic! Little Nemo Dream Master!

From the moment I booted it up, that wonderful music graced my ears. I am such a fan of the music from this game. In fact, you should be checking out the Mega Ran & K Murdoch song, Dream Master as well as the The Adventures of Duane and BrandO song Little Nemo. They are both awesome songs that sample this classic tune. The title screen is classic and colorful and well designed. This game already is starting off right. Time to dive in.

Dream 1: Mushroom Forest
A weird looking frog man greets me in his purple suit and shoes. They call him Flip and he feels like he should help me figure this world out. Yep, this is an NES game alright, as if the purple hair sprite didn't help give it away. The art of the game looks pretty great. Just detailed enough. Though, it's not overbearing.

I avoid an easy snail and then find the frog. The infamous frog. The character I remember most about this game. I throw him some candy which makes him nap, and thus I jump into his body! His sleepy mouth is open as my head sticks out and I control his muscles and nerves. Who the hell thought of this game concept? Then again, it is the dream land after all... I now remember what made this game so challenging, initially anyway... the respawning enemies. Wow that's frustrating already. Still, I found a mole and in a weird moment of instinct, I went way left and found a secret area... with a purple lizard... just dying for me to throw candy at.

Like any good salamander, it climbs walls. Too bad the damn thing doesn't stop on enemies though. I died trying to kill the respawned version. How frustrating. Then again, when I restarted I died again when I jumped on a tiny frog. I think perhaps I can't kill these baddies unless I'm in that frog skin. By the end of a challenging level, dodging tiny frogs and pissy flying ants and such, I finally made it to a door with six key holes. Thank God! I had six keys. I was worried for a second there.

Then that amazing little tune plays, the same one Mega Ran initially samples in their song. A cutscene plays. A nice touch.

Dream 2: Flower Garden
The sound of running footsteps... a leap... and SLAM into the bed! Nemo is ready for action again. Time for another weird purple character. This is the extent of my memory of the game I think. I remember this world but not very well. The music is less familiar also. One thing I gotta give to this game is the nice water mechanics. It's like using the Frog Suit in Super Mario Bros. 3 except you have a natural buoyancy. That's surprising. Oooh! I remember the Gorilla. I'm so gonna pwn this world. He is like a mix of the salamander with his climbing but also he punches like Donkey Kong. This dude is the honey badger of the Dream Land and he don't care! However one thing he does care about are these ridiculous spores that hone in on you and your awkwardly moving monkey ass. With the respawning feature, you have to essentially take the hit to get to the salamander again. Damn. Plus they KEEP COMING which makes it nearly impossible to avoid taking tons of hits while nabbing that salamander. Damn. There's a reason as a child I didn't make it that far.

Luckily the continue takes you to the last level you were at. Phew. Finally I nabbed that lizard! After some careful platforming I made it to the bee. Now I went left because the cave goes left... I traversed some tricky spike pathway... and in a dick move... nothing was there. Nice. Nemo you dope. Oh also, as to be expected, the bee will drown. Son of a! I kept drudging through and eventually I made it to another door, with six keys in tow. Yeah... this game is a challenge indeed. But I'm looking forward to sinking my teeth further into it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Why won't Nintendo let us give them our money?!

This video has been quite popular and gaining attention by the people who want Operation Rainfall to succeed. This guy makes some very excellent points and I love the way he just lays out the money to show how much Nintendo could be making with each person if they localized some of the games we've been wanting.

Zelda-Nation: Gamesradar: A Link to the Past reimagined as a 242-card Magic: The Gathering expansion

I personally know next to nothing about Magic: The Gathering but this quite amused me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Songs that should be in Rock Band: Bound to the Floor

Now here's a song that sort of fell under my radar as I got older and it's still under the radar of a lot of people. Not just the song, but the whole band... all two of the members. Bands consisting of just two members aren't seen very often in rock, let alone grunge-type sounding music. Also, this is probably the only song that I've ever heard the slang term 'copacetic' used in the lyrics. I listened to the album this song is on by Local H and I've heard a few of their other songs on some custom internet radio sites, but for now I'd just like to have this one major hit of theirs on Rock Band.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thursday's Video Game Tunes #6 [Boss Battles Edition]

Sorry for not posting this early in the morning like I actually do, I'm not feeling too well, so I think I unconsciously hit the snooze button on my alarm and almost got in late to work. So I was in a total rush, all with my flu-ish state. Wasn't pretty. Thank you Ibuprophen.

What do you guys think of me doing categories more often now? Please leave a comment about that if you care.

Mega Man 10 - Boss

Super Mario Galaxy 2 - Bowser, the Almighty Koopa King

Pokemon Black/White - Vs. Kanto Champion [a.k.a Gary Motherfucking Oak's Theme]

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Top 5 of the 1st Half and Top 5 Most Wanted For the Second Half of 2011

Can you believe that we are already more than half-way through the year? Though with the Wii sucking wind (thanks to Nintendo apparently not interested in delivering games the core would like) it was relatively boring one for me. Mostly marked with buying used games and some previous year releases. I did manage to sneak in some 2011 releases though and here is how I'd rank them:

Top 5 of the First Half of 2011

1. Portal 2 - PS3

This game is incredible. If you've played it, you'd know that. Taking the simple, yet refined mechanics of the first and expanding it greatly, not only in terms of gameplay but also in story. Not only do you get an incredible single player but also an amazing co-op mode that does more than just be an add-on but its own story in its own right. Remember if you don't play this, Cave Johnson is going to burn your house down, with the lemon!

2. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - 3DS

A remake of my favorite game of all time? That is a no brainer for me. This remake improves quite a bit, mostly graphically. Link has more animation, the world is more detailed, etc. Also moving the menus to the touch screen makes the thing that so many players hated, doing the iron boots in the water temple. Plus the ability to take OoT on the road with me is awesome.

3. de Blob 2 - Wii

And here what I believe to be the best game on the Wii this year. Sigh. Don't get me wrong, de Blob 2 is a great game. The review I posted said as much. It expands on a lot of what made de Blob great and improves on what was wrong.

4. Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition - 3DS

The 3rd of now 4 versions of Street Fighter IV is a great port from the PS3/360 versions. It is in the vein of the ports to the SNES for Street Fighter II. Gives you everything you love about the console version without having to pay for the DLC. Can't go wrong with that.

5. Radiant Historia - DS

While I am not very far into this game I am loving the use of the time travel aspects of using the Historia and opening up many different plot lines and scenarios. And with a pretty fun battle system I'll certainly enjoy this even more as I go.

Top 5 Most Wanted for the Second Half of 2011

1. Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword - Wii

The wait for this has been a long one, 5 years since the last console version actually. With a great mix of TWW and Twilight Princess' art-style and hopefully some fun new gameplay aspects with Wii Motion+ this could very well be the game that beats out Portal 2 for my favorite of the year.

2. Batman: Arkham City - PS3

Arkham Asylum was a fantastic take on Batman and is arguably the greatest super-hero video game of all. It just nailed how Batman truly operates in the shadows to take out thugs and the relative brutal efficiency of his fighting technique. Arkham City promises to expand on it with a larger environment and more villains showing up.

3. Team Ico Collection - PS3

If you hadn't noticed, I just posted a pair of trailers for this game. Improves to HD will hopefully just make these fantastic games even better and make the wait for The Last Guardian a little easier, or harder. Hard to say.

4. Kirby - Wii

A Kirby platformer with some of the ideas of New Super Mario Bros. Wii of 4 player co-op? Count me in. Kirby games are always a ton of fun and will help ease some of the pain this year.

5. Star Fox 64 3D - 3DS

Another remake of a classic but much like OoT3D getting to take this on the road will be a huge plus especially that the game feels suited to handheld experiences. Plus we get to be annoyed by Slippy all over again. Yay?

There are other games that I wanted but these are the ones with the definite release dates. Mario Kart, Super Mario, Paper Mario, MGS3, etc all look great but I'm not sure if they'll all make it out this year. If they do, wow that will be a lot of stuff.

Trailers: Ico and Shadows of the Colossus HD

Ico and Shadows of the Colossus rank as 2 of the top 3 games I played for the PS2 and we are lucky to get them in one collection. Japan is getting kinda hosed on that deal though they do get the benefit of full boxart.

The collection is due to be released September 27th. I am excited. If you have a PS3 and have never played these gems, I implore you to buy the collection. Otherwise you'll make me sad and you don't want me sad, do you? And then go buy The Last Guardian whenever that is due to be released.

Songs that should be in Rock Band: Head Over Heels

So... there's this thing on the radio station here called the "80's mix cafe" that I started listening to during my lunch break at college because that's the hour that they play it. This is one of the songs they play pretty often, and it's reminded me of just how awesome Tears for Fears is... so yeah, "Head Over Heels" is an incredible awesome song, from the beginning melodies to the fantastic ending, this song is just all kinds of 1980's perfection. I'd buy this song in a heartbeat if they ever released it on the music store, so Harmonix, please get this song on there!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Operation Rainfall (And Happy Independence Day!)

I made a video earlier today pertaining to the whole thing about Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower called Operation Rainfall. I may have called it a couple of months ago, but I'm still upset about Nintendo of America's decision not to localize these games and giving us no explanation for it.

So... here's the video:

And here are the links I mentioned in the video:

Operation Rainfall
Negative World

Negative World Podcast #12
An Open Letter to Nintendo

Also, to my fellow Americans:

Happy Independence Day!

It's raining here, so no fireworks for me. :c