Saturday, October 18, 2008

EDITORIAL: Wii Music - The Struggle of Sound

Wii Music is a popular martyr for the hardcore crowd. There's just something about the game that threatens their very being. If this succeeds, this means that Nintendo will no longer make anything but casual titles, and the only third party efforts will be Wii Music knock-offs! ...Or at least that's the unfounded fantasy of the haters. Let's take a look at three reviews of varying viewpoints from 1up, IGN, and Gamespy. We'll go in order from review release.

1UP Review - A-

Okay, okay, okay. Positive Wii Music review. This definitely means that the irrational Wii and Wii Music haters will jump all over it looking for a way to discredit it. Forget all the words of the review. That part isn't important. Let's just read the top: "By Jennifer Tsao". Ah. There you have it. A woman. She's obviously a casual gamer because she's a woman, so this review doesn't count. Did I mention that most of the Wii Music haters and hardcore gamers are sexist?

IGN's Review - 5.0 (Meh) out of 10

I don't really know how to be nice about this. It just proves my point that game journalism has a long way to go. You have Matt Cassamassina, editor-in-chief of IGN Nintendo, who during the podcast after the E3 show said that he was going to absolutely trash Wii Music when he gets to review it. Oh, well, that's an incredibly unbiased stance to have. Fast-forward to a week ago where his preview was entirely negative, and the videos shared went out of their way to make the game look bad when other videos were showing quite the opposite. I don't know if it's a question of Matt not getting it or a question of Matt not wanting to get it because then he'd have to eat crow. We know how well Matt eats crow with his lies on "Halo DS"-- you know, that unauthorized third-party effort he tried to pass off as real-- and Kid Icarus Wii-- which a year and a half later is still coming! Nintendo's just not ready to show it... or has yet to even start developing it probably. But you can be sure that two years later when the game is announced after having been just started development, Matt will go, "see? lol I was right again! lolololol". Ugh. Of course, since this review is entirely negative, the fanboys will jump on it and hold Matt's review as the messiah. Then again, before Matt was just an uncredible Nintendo fanboy before he started hating on Wii Music by the same said fanboys who are now riding the review's jock. Then you have people like me who greatly dislike IGN altogether, especially the obnoxious and trying-to-be-credible-and-failing Nintendo crew.

Compare Matt's videos to someone actually playing the game how it is meant to be played. (Here's the nicovideo if you can't load it.)

Gamespy's Review - 3.5 stars out of 5

Last but not least, we have Gamespy's review. The only thing I have a problem with is this con: "The more traditional "hardcore" gaming audience will simply not care about the experience it offers." Really? That's not a generalization at all. Obviously, every single hardcore gamer "will simply not care about the experience it offers" as that is how the sentence reads. That statement relates to the myth that "a hardcore gamer's favorite next-gen system can't be the Wii" as both statements are steaming piles of donkey crap. All it would have took is just to say "some hardcore gamers" instead of generalizing like that.

Finally, it's amazing to me how the opinion of many NeoGAF users have changed. I mean they're honestly huge hardcore gamers. I imagine anyone really who frequents a message board to talk about sales and get 100% on countless games is pretty much a hardcore gamer. See this list of comments from people who despised everything Wii Music stands for and went onto have some very favorable impressions. I guess that's what people call "giving a game a chance". I know that's a foreign concept to the hardcore hivemind of following the leader, but it works wonders. Then you'll have the people once the game comes out who will pretend they've played the game already after it's released and will say they hate it anyway completely screwing over the opinions of people who legitimately played it and didn't enjoy it. Meanwhile, I will be drinking their bitter tears.

In conclusion, game journalism as well as the irrational (not the ones who back up their claims) Wii Music haters can be summed up in one picture:
That's freaking adorable-- I don't care who you are. To be fair, I've only played ten minutes of the game at a friend's house who got an early copy. I enjoyed what I played, but perhaps I will be eating crow next week or the week after when I sit down and review Wii Music. Stay tuned. It ought to be enjoyable no matter the outcome!

SuperPhillip's Top 100 Games of All Time - A Quick Guide to Past Installments

For those of you who haven't been with SuperPhillip Central until recently, let me explain how the Top 100 worked. I originally posted ten of my favorite games every Friday. This was later shortened to five per week. However, I didn't want to continue adding new games to the list when there were so many possible candidates that I hadn't played yet, so I took a hiatus. Rather than make everyone wait for my Top 10 games of all time, I posted those yesterday as seen here. The rest of the entries on my list will show up in the coming months, so no worries. Here's a list of the past editions for everyone to catch up.

Friday, October 17, 2008

SuperPhillip's Top 100 Games of All Time - The Return!

Hey, it's our old friend, SuperPhillip's Top 100 Games of All Time-- a list of my personal favorite, most enjoyable games ever. It's been a loooong time since we've had a Friday where I've listed games, but it's back for a very special edition. Now I stopped adding to the Top 100 because I still had, and still do have, a large backlog of games to play though that are potential favorites including God of War 2, Silent Hill 2, Sly Cooper, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Shadow of the Colossus, Chrono Trigger, Uncharted, and so forth. However, my top ten favorites have been decided for a long time now, so why wait on sharing them with my readers? No longer as I'm posting my top ten games of all time right here tonight. Unlike the other ninety games, these ten are in a particular order. I hope you enjoy this list, and I hope you'll stay with the Top 100 for the other 20-30 games waiting to be revealed.



10. Metroid Prime (GCN)

I didn't play any Metroid games before Metroid Fusion for the Game Boy Advance, and I only played that one to introduce myself to the series before Metroid Prime came out later that same year. To say I was blown away is a severe understatement. I absolutely loved the ambiance, atmosphere, sleek graphics, level design, enemy design, the adventure structure of finding new items to open up new areas, and just getting lost in the world of Tallon IV. Suffice to say, now I'm absolutely in love with the franchise, and I'm very excited to see that the game is being ported to the Wii with console-specific controls.

9. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)

The wait for the newest Smash Bros. made fans nuts. If you followed the progress of the game, you could see the desperation, anguish, and anger of fans when the Smash Bros. Dojo site didn't update on time or had a useless update. To me, it was all worth it because you had a wide assortment of content and options available-- a virtual catalog of Nintendo history. You had a wealth of characters, stages, assist trophies, items, a bounty of modes, online play (broken on random, but I'd rather play with friends or the CPU), and so much more. So many hours were sunk into this title. Could another game promoting party play beat it?

8. Perfect Dark (N64)

You bet there could be, and there was eight years earlier and two console generations prior in Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64. It took was great about Goldeneye and made it all even better! The single-player experience-- which could be played cooperatively with another player or three-- was designed well having players partake in objective-based missions as opposed to just running and gunning through a level with no pretense. However, the great single-player was no match for the even more impressive multiplayer mode. I don't understand why bots are less used nowadays. I mean, bots don't call you racial and sexual slurs while screeching into the mic and teabagging you, do they? Not only could you add eight simulants (AI players) to the match, but you could customize their personalities. They could fire thirty shots and miss all but one, or they could kill you from a football field's distance away. The weapons were fantastic and innovative, the maps were large, gave players the need for strategy, and were fun to explore, and the music kicked all kinds of Skedar butt. This is my favorite FPS, and no, not even Halo 3 can touch it even with PD's framerate issues.

7. Banjo-Kazooie (N64)

It's time to take a look at another Rare-developed property, the Chuck E. Cheese-like (as said by Game Informer in their previews) Banjo-Kazooie. Some say that Super Mario 64 was the penultimate platformer for the Nintendo 64. Others such as me declare that Banjo-Kazooie was even better. The levels and worlds were more expansive, Banjo and Kazooie had much more interesting moves and were more enjoyable to control, the humor was just great, the amount and variety of things to do was mind-boggling, and the soundtrack is still one of Rare's best to this day. I'm equally excited that this game will be up on Xbox Live Arcade next month for download with improved textures and graphics. Additionally, that damned Stop 'N' Swap mystery will finally be solved!

6. Mega Man X (SNES)

There are few games that I can play through over and over ad infinitum and never get bored. Mega Man X is one of these games. It took the original concept of Mega Man and made him much more fluid and fun to control. Now he could nimbly dash, climb up walls, and earn new armor upgrades from Dr. Light's capules accessed in areas off the beaten path. No longer was Mega Man facing men anymore-- Cut Man, Guts Man, Wood Man, etc. No, prolonged war turns men into animals, and that's exactly the type of bosses Mega Man would now face-- Chill Penguin, Flame Mammoth, and Storm Eagle! It's one of those games that one or two months later I'll jump back into and start playing and enjoying myself. Then again, I really do love the Classic and X Mega Man series.

5. Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition (Wii)

Take the graphical performance of the Gamecube version, add the bonus content of the Playstation 2 version, implement the precision and fluidity of the Wii remote and nunchuk, and you have the ultimate version of Resident Evil 4. RE4 was such a brilliant game to me that once the PS2 version came out, I purchased it even with already owning the Gamecube title. Then the Wii version released, I snagged up that one, too. There's few games that I've purchased more than once, and you can bet that if I've bought a game three times it must be a blast to play. Boy, is that ever true! The claustrophobic, fixed camera and the tank controls of the past games were all thrown to the wayside in lieu of more fast-paced action, quick-time events, and a behind the shoulder camera. The game was more action-oriented, but don't be fooled. There were plenty of foreboding, frightening, and unsettling moments for players to feel suspense.

4. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)

Here's another game that I like to go back to and play through 100% at any moment's notice like Mega Man X. And like Resident Evil 4, I've happily purchased or received the game three separate times-- once on the original SNES, then the port on the GBA, followed lastly by a purchase on the Wii's Virtual Console. This is by far my favorite 2D Zelda with Link's Awakening following behind. There's not just one world map to explore, but two-- the light and dark worlds. There's a plethora of dungeons to overcome, bosses to slay, items to retrieve, heart containers to discover, and hours to sink within the land of Hyrule.

3. Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)

I saw the early photos of Super Mario Galaxy, and I certainly did not know what to expect. Thus, I kept my very own expectations of the title to modest standards. I did enjoy Super Mario Sunshine, so I was sure I'd enjoy "Mario in Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace". But no, I didn't just enjoy the game-- I absolutely fell in love with it. Few games nowadays have so much invested into them. Few games have the level of polish that Super Mario Galaxy has. Few games possess the same kind of wonderful, magical charm that Galaxy has-- though I'd say the upcoming LittleBigPlanet fits the bill. The game was just perfection in controls, level design, music (orchestrated Mario music?!! Whaaaat?!), graphics, and fun. I feel ashamed for giving the game a 9.75 just because I was afraid of saying another game was perfect or as close to perfection as possible. Well, forget all that. Super Mario Galaxy is as close to platforming-- nay-- gaming perfection as possible!

2. Super Mario World (SNES)

We go from my favorite 3D mainline Mario title to my favorite 2D mainline Mario title-- Super Mario World. While World has a much narrower focus than Galaxy in scope and name alone, it has an immense amount of secrets and content to reveal. The game was incredibly non-linear as soon as you reached the second area. You could choose to follow the main path, heading through all the worlds up Bowser's Castle, or you could find the key that unlocks the way to alternate levels. The majority of levels in Super Mario World has alternate exits disclosing new paths and secret levels for Mario to take. This was also the game that Yoshi premiered in multiple colors to help the portly plumber out and make his journey easier. There's Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario World, and then there's the rest.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)

Well, actually, make that "there's Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario World, this game, and the rest"-- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64. The wait and constant delays for this game were painful for this at that time sixth grader, but it was definitely worth it. Shigeru Miyamoto and his team had successfully brought Mario into three dimensions, and they had done it again by bringing The Legend of Zelda into 3D. Hyrule came to life with a more cinematic story, larger bosses, a greater catalog of items, and more puzzling dungeons requiring the player to do something he or she never had to do before-- think in three dimensions. The final confrontation with the primary antagonist, Ganondorf, is to this day one of my most cherished and memorable moments in my gaming career. Ocarina of Time took my love for The Legend of Zelda and elevated it to masterpiece, gaming god-like status.

There you have it, everyone! My Top 10 Games of All Time. I hope you really liked this list because it was a lot of work and I'm very proud of it. In the coming months I'll be finishing off my Top 100 with more installments of the other games that didn't make the Top 10. Please share your favorite games and what you think about tonight's article in the comment box!