Friday, December 26, 2008

The SuperPhillip Central Best of 2008 Awards - Opening Night

Welcome, one and all, to the first annual SuperPhillip Central Best Of Awards! Tonight we kick off our look back at the exciting year that was 2008. There were plenty of hits, but loads more misses this past year. What games will we remember for years to come, and what games are better left forgotten? We'll find out throughout these seven days! But enough of your gracious host (does this tuxedo make my butt look fat?), let's roll out the very first award!

Best Game That Probably Would Have Won an Award But SuperPhillip Didn't Play Enough to Fairly Add Them

What a marvelous mouthful! Let's get this one of the way first and foremost. A lot of games came and went through 2008, and unfortunately for me, I didn't have the chance to play all of them. Something to do with games costing money or something like that. These titles most likely would have been in the running to be nominated for at least one award. And the nominees are...

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PS3)

War has changed. Metal Gear Solid 4 is one package to be reckoned with. War has changed. The final chapter of Solid Snake's saga. War has changed. This summer blockbuster definitely looks to be a title I need to play ASAP. War has changed. Then again, I couldn't find it in the Movie section at Blockbuster.

Tales of Vesperia (X360)

The first mainline Tales game this generation landing on the Xbox 360 of all places. Developed by Team Symphonia, this RPG is not just a great looker, but by forum response the title appears to be one fantastic RPG experience, cliche story-- a Tales staple-- notwithstanding.

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (X360)

After waiting eight years for a brand new console Banjo-Kazooie title, I was shocked to see how Rare planned to tinker with the well-known and loved formula. For some, adding vehicles completely changed the experience to a turn for the worst. While others who did not enjoy the platforming of the original two Nintendo 64 games, love the game with open arms. Then there's people who enjoyed the originals and love this one. Which camp will I be in?

Animal Crossing: City Folk (Wii)

I purchased this game early this month, but I really don't have the urge to play it. It's a commitment to say the least, and the lack of changes from an outsider's view doesn't give me much of an urge either. Who knows though. This could very well be my third addiction to the adorable and charming Animal Crossing franchise.

Left 4 Dead (X360, PC)

Zombies. Shooting. 8 players. Valve. All elements of a very enticing 360 and PC game, Left 4 Dead. I don't doubt Valve's skill at crafting a game, but I do doubt that I'd have time to get into yet another title with the backlog I already have. But don't count this baby out for a review in the near future...

All right. The votes are tallied-- all one of them, and it's time to find out which title SuperPhillip did not play will "earn" the inaugural award of the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2008 Awards!

And the winner is...

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PS3)

Oh, Snake! You're supposed to celebrating by cutting into the cake, not someone's throat! Well done, good sir. We'll have to visit you again in 2009 for an actual review, don't you think? Now to get my motivation back for writing new reviews!

Runner-Up: Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts


Best Original Soundtrack

Let's leap into our next award, shall we? This time we're taking a look, er, listen, to the best original soundtrack of 2008. Does not matter if they're remixed versions of original music, they just cannot be licensed music like your Frank Sinatra and your Herman's Hermits or whatever you kids listen to these days. With no further ado, here are the nominees...

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (X360)

Mario Kart Wii (Wii)

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (PSP)

Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)

Wario Land: Shake It! (Wii)

The World Ends With You (DS)

The great thing about this category is that I don't necessarily have to play the game to enjoy the soundtrack. I can just hop on Youtube or do other means to listen to any soundtrack I can get my hands on. I'm more a fan of Eastern instrumental and/or orchestral music as there's a much heavier focus on melody instead of solely being about portraying an emotion like Western music.

And the winner is...

Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)

This isn't just about the sheer quantity of the massive soundtrack (easily over 150 tracks), but also the impressive quality. Some of the industry's best Eastern composers arranging remixed versions of familiar and not-so-familiar Nintendo themes. The majority of the soundtrack is fantastic, and there's something for everyone. This is why I have selected Super Smash Bros. Brawl as the best original soundtrack of 2008.

Runner-Up: Wario Land: Shake It!

Until tomorrow, the award festivities will be heading to the pool area for gelatin and cocktails. Do you agree/disagree with my selections? Give me a holler in the comments section!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays, One and All!

Christmas may be over for some of you, but don't be down. The holidays are still in full swing all the way to 2009! May your holiday season be very merry and bright.

Tomorrow kicks off the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2008 Awards. Will your favorites be honored? As for three missing reviews, Santa did not give me the time needed to write them up. However, if you're truly peeved by this, feel free to leave a comment of concern or irritation. Regardless, that's not really important right now. Spend time with your families and friends, away from the the glowing seduction of your computer monitors, and have a great night, everyone.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gears of War 2 Glitch List

Hmmm. Perhaps we were not harsh enough to Gears of War 2. I mean, you watch this humorous and wonderfully done Youtube video, and you realize that ALL of the glitches from the first freaking game are in the sequel! "Seriously", I cannot tell you how much Epic Games is a horrible developer with their all eye-candy, poor gameplay, poor polishing, poor testing, and movie-wannabe games. Enough from me though, let's just take a look at this video. Just some warning, the game is rated "M" for Mature, so there is a lot of content not suitable for younger viewers. Ah, what the hell- you'll watch it anyway.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Announcing the First Annual SuperPhillip Central Best of 2008 Awards

It's my pleasure to announce the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2008 Awards hosted by Patrick Stewart live in the Kodak Theater in beautiful, sunny Los Angeles, California. Okay... perhaps I am stretching the truth somewhere in there. Regardless, I'm doing my own list of the best of the best gaming in 2008. 14 awards, five days all leading up to the game of the year announcement December 31st at 11:00 PM CST. Will your favorites be listed?

~[SPC Best of 2008 Awards Categories]~

Game of the Year
Handheld Game of the Year
Multiplatform Game of the Year
Platform of the Year
Best HD Game of the Year
Wii Game of the Year
Developer of the Year
Best New Franchise
Biggest Unexpected Surprise
Most Overlooked
Most Disappointing
Best Presentation
Best Original Soundtrack

The fun starts this Friday, December 26th, so return your unwanted presents later and join us for some fun!

Sonic and the Black Knight (Wii) - Official U.S. Boxart Unleashed

Notice the new "Sonic Storybook Series" tag on the bottom right. It's seems like a very interesting idea for a spinoff franchise that I'd be putting my support behind. After all, Sonic and the Secret Rings was a decent effort! Speaking of efforts, that's really a very impressive cover! The second game of the Storybook Series, Sonic and the Black Knight, reaches America sometime in March.

Monday, December 22, 2008

SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs - "Merry Christmas" Edition

This week is that of Christmas. From Christmas to New Year's Day is what many consider the height of the holiday season-- the magical time of year. This week's SuperPhillip's Favorite VGM is a special occasion. I will be putting off continuing new videos, and just checking out themes from games which have a holiday/winter spirit to them. These aren't just my videos this time either, so I hope you'll enjoy this edition. Perhaps it will put you into the Christmas spirit if you aren't already! ...Oh, my. You and I seem to be under the mistletoe! You know what that means! *smooch* Goodness. I forgot. I haven't brushed my teeth for weeks! Well, at least it will explain that Frosted Flake and peanut butter aftertaste you're experiencing!

If you're having problems loading videos for whatever reason, try the direct link or isolate this story to its own page.

JANGLE BELLS ~ from Donkey Kong Country 3 (SNES)
Let's start off with the most Christmas-y of these twenty tracks! In order to hear this song, you needed to enter a special code. The code made this song, Jangle Bells, the theme of every bonus stage. And instead of collecting stars within each stage, you collected Christmas ornaments. A pretty cool Easter egg (well-hidden Christmas present?) if I do say so myself.

ICE CAVE CHANT ~ from Donkey Kong Country (SNES)
From the final installment in the Donkey Kong Country trilogy to the very first, here we hear Ice Cave Chant. I can just picture having those cheeky apes slip-sliding around that icy cave!

FROSTY VILLAGE ~ from Diddy Kong Racing (N64)
What else could you expect from a level with homes equipped with Christmas lights and light poles with wreaths hanging from them? Well, a lot of places, but none of them would be Frosty Village of Diddy Kong Racing fame, I betcha!

Direct Link

FREEZEEEY PEAK ~ from Banjo-Kazooie (N64)
This was one of my favorite worlds in the original Banjo-Kazooie alongside Gobi's Valley. In the center of the world stood a gigantic snowman which Banjo and Kazooie could traverse-- even sliding down a sled on his scarf! Surrounding the snowman were a Christmas tree in need of lighting, a bashful walrus who loathed stinky bears, a wintry village to the east, and several islands where some very throw-happy evil snowmen lingered.

Direct Link

ICICLE MOUNTAIN ~ from Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN)
Many of us did not know the existance of the Ice Climbers until Super Smash Bros. Melee. "Who are those dudes" was a popular question when the premiere trailer was unveiled at Nintendo's Spaceworld event. They may still not have a new title under their collective belts, but Nana and Popo do have two roles in recent games-- Melee and Brawl.

Direct Link

GLEAM GLACIER ~ from Super Princess Peach (DS)
From the fun albeit easy DS platformer, Super Princess Peach, comes the first theme of Gleam Glacier. A jaunty little ditty that makes you want to bob your head up and down as the melody chimes in. Very Christmas-like, don't you think?

Direct Link

WHITE THE HEART ~ from Star Ocean: The Second Story (PS1)
Not the most jolly song on the list, yet it still fits with this edition's theme. If you're looking for a snowy village theme with a little more pep, check out A Snow Light later on.

Direct Link

SNOW MOUNTAIN ~ from Super Mario 64 (N64)
Who could forget exploring their first fully 3D snow level? Slipping down slopes, leaping off the very top of the mountain into the abyss below either accidentally or intentionally, and racing a speedy penguin down an icy slide? Not me, for one. The theme for the two snow levels is a variation of the theme Slider which is used in many of the bonus stages of the game.

Direct Link

SNOWY MOUNTAIN ~ from Sonic Adventure (DC)
We're going from a plain old snow mountain to a snowy mountain! This mellow track is perfect for the glacier exploration that Sonic endured in the Ice Cap area of the blue hedgehog's first 3D outing, Sonic Adventure.

Direct Link

HOLOSKA DAY ~ from Sonic Unleashed (PS3, 360, Wii, PS2)
We're not done with that hedgehog yet. This is the day theme of the town area of Holoska from the newly released Sonic Unleashed for all major consoles. Love it or hate it, the soundtrack once again amazes.

Direct Link

FREEZE MAN ~ from Mega Man 7 (SNES)
I'm pushing it on this once, but I just had to have my good friend Freeze Man pay us a visit. Some find Mega Man 7 as the black sheep of the series. Bigger sprites meant less room for platforming. I'd take that any day over the extreme precision platforming and lazy "old school" sprites of Mega Man 9.

Direct Link

CHILLY WATERS ~ from Mario Party 3 (N64)
This is the very first board of Mario Party 3 which is my least favorite of the N64 trilogy. Note: they're all good games in my eyes. The board sits a top of slippery frozen-over lake. Who cares about watching your step? This song's jolly enough for me to fall on my rear with a smile!

Direct Link

SNOW ~ from Mario Kart 64 (N64)
This is the theme of Frappe Snowland and Sherbet Land from the multiplayer racer that kickstarted the genre, Mario Kart 64. Frappe Snowland would return in Mario Kart DS as Sherbet Land would make a comeback in Mario Kart Wii-- the most recent title in the series.

Direct Link

SHERBET LAND ~ from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (GCN)
Not to be confused with the Nintendo 64's iteration, Double Dash's version is completely new-- a version that I prefer as there's more to look at... and avoid! Skating shy guys, freezies that will impede your progress upon contact, and slippery slopes and turns makes this Sherbet Land one to reckon with. I also prefer the theme more than the 64 version, but it's essentially comparing platinum to gold here.

Direct Link

ICE VALLEY ~ from Metroid Prime (GCN)
Phendrana Drifts was not just a dangerous area, but it was also just one very good looking one, too. Never before had I been immersed in an actual winter world that I would just explore for fun-- not to find anything-- just explore like it was my very own playground. The mellow music which accompanied was just the "ice" on the cake.

Direct Link

A SNOW LIGHT ~ from Tales of Symphonia (GCN)
This is one of my favorite village themes. It's just a majestic song accompanying a beautiful snowy town. I think I was in this town more than I needed to just so I could the theme over and over again.

Direct Link

SNOW DANCING IN THE SCHOOLYARD ~ from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (GBA) Arranged Album
A song heard early in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, this track is the arranged album version. The tinny quality of the original soundtrack doesn't do it for me. I think my ears are too shallow.

Direct Link

WHITE ICE ~ from Bomberman 64 (N64)
Let me make it clear that I hate the boss of this stage. You stupid spider. I hope you get coal shoved up where you spin your web, you big meanie! Now after listening to this song again, I'm back in the Christmas spirit. I think I'm going to sew that spider a big "I love you" sweater with eight sleeves... but after Christmas I'm burning the bastard in it.

Direct Link

OVER SHIVER MOUNTAIN ~ from Paper Mario (N64)
The seventh chapter of the original Paper Mario took place in the frozen wilderness around Shiver City. Speaking of which, for another Christmas-like tune, check out Cold Reception in Shiver City. Anyway, Over Shiver Mountain is the type of winter theme that makes you want to dance... or bop your head... or take some ecstacy to-- wait, what?

Direct Link

SLIPSHOD SLOPES ~ from Wario Land: Shake It! (Wii)
Let's end with a song that is pretty laidback but full of Christmas sound. It's the theme of Slipshod Slopes in the wonderful Wii platformer, Wario Land: Shake It!

Direct Link

If you won't be around this week after tonight due to family gatherings and whatnot, then allow me to wish you a Merry Christmas and/or a very propserous holiday season while I get the chance. Also, remember to check out my Youtube channel as it's there that you can find all of my past and future volumes!