Friday, June 5, 2009

SuperPhillip Central's One Year Anniversary - The Best of SPC

One year ago on this day I realized I had all of these reviews but no place to put them. I wanted to write, but I also wanted to game. The only solution I could find was creating a blog where I could write about gaming, and a year later, you have over 350 blog entries, almost 100 reviews, and 1 year of SuperPhillip Central. I'd like to take this opportunity to pick out my favorite reviews, articles, and random oddities to commemorate this anniversary.

SuperPhillip's Favorite Video Games of All Time

I had done plenty of installments leading up to this, but I had never ordered my top ten favorite game ever in list form as of yet. After writing said list, I couldn't say I hadn't anymore. Not one but two Muppet Babies games are on the list.

Past installments

June 13, 2008
June 20, 2008
June 27, 2008
July 4, 2008
July 25, 2008
August 1, 2008
August 8, 2008
August 15, 2008
August 22, 2008

SuperPhillip Central Best of 2008 Awards

Celebrating the very best games of the year 2008, this "award show" was a lot of fun to do with categories ranging from best music to best presentation. LittleBigPlanet became SPC's Game of the Year with Super Smash Bros. Brawl taking the runner-up crown.

The Best of the Best - E3 2008

We just got finished wrapping up E3 2009, but are you fond of E3 2008? The magic, the memories, the smiles? Who could forget those games we dreamed of playing and finally can? Games like Final Fantasy XIII, Wii Sports Resort, The Conduit... Okay. This is not going well.

SPC Mailbag - The Premiere Edition

Truth be told, I don't really have a mailbag. It's just an e-mail folder. SPC E-mail Folder fails to intrigue, I think. Read up on the very first "letters" every sent to yours truly.

Animal Crossing Update: Reunited and It Feels So Good

This was my very first look at Animal Crossing: City Folk. The segment would later be renamed "Animal Crossing Journal". Get warm fuzzy memories as you get reintroduced to two of the bestest friends in the whole wide world.

SuperPhillip: The Game - A Platforming Adventure Come to Life

Making nice levels in LittleBigPlanet is a lot of work. Like don't have a social life or go outside type of work. Making a game? Maybe it'll be finished in 20 years at this rate. Too many other games to enjoy, too much fresh air to breathe, and too freaking lazy, dawgs. Regardless, I'm still rather intrigued in continuing this fun project!

SuperPhillip's Brawl Snapshot Video

I love games that let you take snapshots of in-game play. I'm talking games like Halo 3, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. This was just a small sample of the photos I took inside the game. Some are cool, some are humorous, and the rest are filler.

Terms in the Industry that are Overused

Terms like "megaton", "AAA", "kiddie", "shovelware" "game", "of", "the", "Bob Saget blows", and many more. A fun article with plenty of insight-- perhaps not the kind of insight you share, but insight nonetheless.

SuperPhillip's What is UP With That!?

The premise is simple. Come up with something in gaming that doesn't make sense and ask "what is UP with that!?". This edition talks about the inaccessibility of fighting games, the price of strategy guides, and more.

Wii Music - The Struggle of Sound

Before, everyone was hating on a game called Wii Music. Now you can replace Wii Music with the Wii in general, and it's essentially the same thing. The level of hatred is beyond anything I've ever witnessed. It made for some hilarious logic, irrational anger, and increased "hey, these guys must WANT to be laughed at"thoughts towards many "gamers".

Wiitriol: Ask Your Doctor if Wiitriol is Wrong For You

Wii envy. It's only gotten worse since this article. Have you seen message boards since this past E3? Natal = Wii killer. It doesn't have to prove itself. It's not on a Nintendo console, so I hope it succeeds. I could do another volume with the material and hypocrisy rampant from these pathetic shells of gamers. I'm too much of a fan though. I don't hate everything all the time is my problem.

Rated "M" for Misnomer

This articles features a lot of cursing, nudity, gore, and sex, so it'd obviously be rated M for 13 year olds and grown men stunted mentally to enjoy. Read up, gentlemen!

How Shitty is this Industry? Very shitty.

Do you like rants? Do you hate the video game industry? Hate the gaming press and the hate-filled lamers that they cater to? Then pull up a chair and get ready to nod for the duration of this article.

How to Be A Video Game Comedian

A satirical look a humor on message boards when it comes to the video game fan-dom. Are you laughing with them or at them? Hm... looking at my writing, perhaps I should read this article...

Dudes... Do you remember when Filbert took over the site?

That was awesome of him to do, but at the same time... so gnarly.

SuperPhillip's Top Ten Video Game Soundtracks of 2008

Doot-doot-doot! Did you guess what tune that was? And you call yourself a video game player! For shame! This list was famous for having a bunch of people crying "wahh, Smash Bros. Brawl is a bunch of remixes!" I answered, "you're arguing a list made by SuperPhillip?" And then they reevaluated their lives. That's the power of SP, baby.

The Most Overlooked Wii Games - Part One

I've had past installments featuring the DS and PSP, but it was my Wii edition that garnered the most interest. Perhaps we'll see a part two in the second year of SuperPhillip Central... Yeah, you will. Sorry for hinting like that.

SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs - The Best of the Best

And finally, a celebration of the best of SPC wouldn't be complete without my favorite VGMs!

I've gone through my past 300+ favorite pieces of video game music, and I've selected my favorites-- the best of the best if you will. Please take a look and listen back to some of the most excellent, fantastic, beautiful pieces of music to ever enter the realm of video games!

Games include Super Mario Galaxy, Final Fantasy VI, Sonic Adventure 2, Xenogears, Star Ocean, The Legend of Zelda, and many more!

Favorite Reviews

The World Ends With You - the first new review on SPC
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
Resident Evil 5
Animal Crossing: City Folk
Excitebots: Trick Racing
The House of the Dead: Overkill
Madden NFL 09 All-Play
The Munchables
Super Mario Galaxy
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 All-Play
Wii Music
DK King of Swing (GBA)
Mario vs. Donkey Kong (GBA)
Dragon Ball Origins
DK Jungle Climber

There you have it. To the best of my ability, I have selected my favorite articles from the past year. I won't pretend to know if I'll be doing this gig for another year, but I do know that that it's great having so many people along for the ride. Let's have fun on this ride no matter how long it lasts! You keep reading, I'll keep writing. ...Wait! Where are you all going?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Around E3 in FIfteen Games

Last year I did a big recap of each day's press conferences. I didn't see a need for that this year since recaps are on hundreds and hundreds of sites. Just take your pick. Instead I'd like to take a look at about two dozen titles that stood out to me from this past E3. Just click on the title of each game for that title's trailer (if there is one available, of course).

Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)

This was quite a surprise. We've never had two mainline Mario titles in the same generation on the same console since the original Nintendo. You can't really count Super Mario World 2 since that was supposed to be an entirely different series as it is in Japan-- billed just as Yoshi's Island. The gravitational gameplay of the original is still here having Mario scamper around planets, but now he can do so with the help of his trusty companion, Yoshi. Super Mario Galaxy 2 takes off sometime in 2010.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)

I enjoyed New Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo DS, but it wasn't perfect. I didn't like how two of the worlds were optional or the mega and mini mushroom power-ups. The Wii installment is a brand-new side-scrolling platformer adding multiplayer into the mix as a main component of the game. There is no online functionality to be seen which is disappointing, but for those with friends or family to play with, nothing can be shouting at the screen together, laughing, and playing together. We'll see how well the game plays in single-player later this year when New Super Mario Bros. Wii leaps onto the Wii landscape.

Wii Sports Resort (Wii)

This past E3 both Sony and Microsoft unveiled their entries into motion controls. This summer (more like next week), the first game utilizes Nintendo's new MotionPlus peripheral will be released. Well, this is how the Wii should have been all along! Just like how the Super Nintendo is what the original NES should have been all along! ...Wait. Regardless, Wii Sports Resort comes with twelve events total from returning favorites like golf and bowling to new games like basketball, boating, jet skiing, swordfighting, and kangaroo-inseminating. One of those is not real. Find out which one at the end of July.

Metroid: Other M (Wii)

The "other M" in this case stands for a lowercase "m" as the "M" in the title is uppercase, the other "m" must be lowercase. Mystery solved. Who would have guessed that Nintendo would team up with Team Ninja best known for the Ninja Gaiden series? It seems like 2002 again where we're asking ourselves if Metroid can work in a different form of gameplay like we were pondering if Metroid could work in first-person. Hopefully the outcome is the same.

Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Wii)

I am a sucker for 2D games. I don't literally suck 2D games, dammit. Don't judge me unfairly like that, guys. I simply grew up on them, and I love them to this day. Muramasa is from the team behind the Playstation 2 action game, Odin Sphere ($20 by the way for those wanting a sample of what Muramasa may be). This is one of the reasons I love the Wii, too. Apparently, Muramasa would have been impossible on the HD consoles due to costs, so the cheaper Wii brought this game to us. A work of art visually, but will Muramasa be a work of art in the gameplay department as well?

Crackdown 2 (360)

Along with Dead Rising, Crackdown is one of my favorite Xbox 360 exclusives. It had an impressive visual package full of clever cel-shading and vivid colors quite unlike a lot of the dreary-looking games all around. All we received at Microsoft's conference was an announcement that the game is coming. That's announcement enough.

Perfect Dark (XBLA)

It's not sad that my most anticipated 360 game is a Nintendo 64 title. No. Why? Because it's only a remake/port of my favorite shooter of all time-- Perfect Dark! This is all we have, but the new theme is up now. Hooray!

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (PS3, 360)

A new Castlevania has been announced for the HD consoles, but this time there's no Igarashi to be found. Like the past console games, this one is a 3D open world adventure. Just check out the teaser trailer of sorts, and you'll be intrigued, too!

God of War III (PS3)

The God of War games are fantastic and epic-in-scope adventures full of visceral action and brilliant battles. God of War III is the first installment to hit the Playstation 3, and the violence is even more disturbing. If that's a major selling point to you, rent the Saw movies. For everyone else, the game simply seems as tight, responsive, well-designed, masterful, and fun as ever!

Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time (PS3)

I'm really glad Insomniac took a year off from the Ratchet series. Otherwise it would have been something like eight games in six years-- all in the same genre and game formula. Hm? Someone's whispering something from my earpiece. Oh... they didn't take a year off? Another company put out a PSP spinoff in its absence? Okay, but while the PSP games have not been up to snuff in quality, I am truly excited for another new Ratchet from Insomniac. Other the years the series has shifted away from having a decent amount of platforming to just pure action. Regardless, here's hoping A Crack in Time doesn't feel like more of the same. Seriously, Super Mario Galaxy 2, game of the generation, is yelled at instead?

ModNation Racers (PS3)

ModNation Racers is a brand new kart-style racer based off the success of Mario Kart Wii. However, while Mario Kart Wii was just racing, ModNation Racers is about racing as well as creating. Creating what? New racers as well as tracks that can be designed and detailed in a manner of minutes. It's like a LittleBigPlanet version of a kart racer but without Sackboy, a load of happy gadders, and the time investment it takes to make something decent.

LittleBigPlanet (PSP)

Somehow a game only playable with the power of the cell has appeared on PSP! I'm not complaining though! Hopefully the developers give players more accessible tools in order to create high quality levels in a smaller amount of time and without the glitches. It seems all the charm and fun of the PS3 original has been shrunk down to fit into the portable realm.

Dissidia Final Fantasy (PSP)

Not your typical fighter at all. Dissidia Final Fantasy takes two characters from each past Final Fantasy game, one hero and one villain, and creates a cast of fighters representing the best that the Final Fantasy series has to offer! ...And then there's Final Fantasy X. A 3D battler with all of the glitz and glammer you'd expect from Square-Enix, this PSP exclusive is definitely one to look out for!

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (DS)

Utilizing the same 3D engine used in Phantom Hourglass, the newest installment of The Legend of Zelda series uses the touch screen in even more clever ways-- and this just going by the short E3 trailer. Instead of traveling the seas to reach your destination, Hyrule has built an infrastructure of railroad tracks throughout its center for faster traveling. Now all I need to see is that there's no repeated trips to the same dungeon for many of us to be fully interested.

Golden Sun DS (DS)

The original duo of Golden Sun games for the Game Boy Advance were top-down 2D RPGs with a 3D battle system. Golden Sun DS turns everything 3D and in an impressive fashion at that. Whereas Golden Sun and The Lost Age used 2D sprites in 3D, Golden Sun DS uses full 3D models as the Final Fantasy-like Djinn summons show. No word on what this tale is. Is it a remake? Is it a new entry in the series? Only time will tell.

Other notables titles I liked in order of memory:

Jak & Daxter: The Lost Frontier (PSP, PS2)
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (DS)
Endless Ocean 2 (Wii)
Sin & Punishment 2 (Wii)
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (DS)
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers (Wii)
The Conduit (Wii)
The Grinder (Wii)
Little King's Story (Wii)
Gran Turismo 5 (PS3)
Red Steel 2 (Wii)
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (Wii, PS2, PSP)
Dead Space Extraction (Wii)
Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles (Wii)
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars (Wii)
Turtles in Time: Re-Shelled (XBLA)
Uncharted 2 (PS3)
Hot Shots Tennis [tentative title] (PSP) - Pics only

So there you have it. No matter what platform or platforms you own, there's a great amount of titles for all to be had. What a great time to enjoy gaming whether you play ten minutes a day to ten hours! I imagine there's games I'm not particularly interested in that you are anticipating, so there's a lot to be excited for. If not, find another hobby. Gardening is a fantastic choice, and it's great exercise!

Phew. I think that's the most work I've put into a story in a long time. A lot of descriptions to type, pictures to find, and videos to scavenge. Thankfully I have a year until the next E3 where this all begins again. Hope you enjoyed this year's E3 as it was tremendous for all.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mario Strikers: Charged (Wii) Review

Next Level Games recently released Punch-Out! for the Wii, the first installment of the classic franchise in over ten years. Let's take a look at their first Wii offering, Mario Strikers: Charged, a fierce and frenzied game of footie.

This game gets the Golden Foot award.

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Mario and crew return to the football field with Mario Strikers Charged. Developed by Next Level Games, as soon as the game is turned on the player is introduced in a very cool opening cinematic featuring Mario and Bowser aboard some sort of high-in-the-sky dropship overlooking a field. Bowser pushes Mario aside and leaps off the ship plummeting towards the field. Mario soon follows. What occurs next are the various Strikers competing on the various new stadiums in the game with some cheesy butt-rock. Butt-rock must be the new black in the video game world or something.

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Apparently someone is in need of rescuing,
and Mario is the only superhero that can do it.

The world of Strikers is a fierce, competitive one. Games are set up within electrified playing fields. But is it to keep the audience out or the players in? With the amount of physical damage teams face it might be the latter. Players begin by selecting one of twelve team captains-- each with their own special move, attitude, and playing style. Three of the captains need to be unlocked for offline play in the aforementioned Road to the Strikers Cup mode. After selecting a captain, it's time to select some sidekicks. Different from the original Strikers for the Gamecube is that a player can choose three different sidekicks instead of just all Koopa Troopas or all Birdos for example. There's actually four new sidekicks to choose from as well-- Monty Mole, Boo, Dry Bones, and Shy Guy. Each sidekick has their own strengths, weaknesses, and special skillshots which will be discussed later. So in a sense the sidekicks are as varied as their captains offering some excellent strategy when choosing the team right for any given player.

Unlike Super Mario Strikers, the ball starts mid-court, so it's anyone's ball to start off with. Charged is played with the Wii remote and Nunchuk, so passing is as simple as tapping the A button. By continually passing the metal sphere used as the soccer ball.. well... charges as the game title would suggest. When it is glowing white that signifies that it might be a good idea to shoot it at the net. The ball won't always go in when the ball is white, but there's a better chance it will than, say, when the ball is glowing purple. There's a whole slew of moves that captains and sidekicks and unleash upon each other. Players can lob the ball over their opponents and some very stylish goals. Holding the B button charges the ball, and when it's released it rockets toward the goal much more effectively than a simple tap of the button.

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One of the many sidekicks available to select from.

When on the opposing side of the field, sidekicks can hold the B button and unleash a skillshot. Each skillshot is exclusive to a particular sidekick. Koopa Troopa, for instance, shoots out a stone shell that can knock out the goalie in time for another player to make the assist. Meanwhile, captains when charging the B button can let loose a megastrike. If held down long enough up to six different shots can be made at the goal. When the meter swings the other way, by stopping it as close to the green line as possible, the megastrikes will be shot much more rapidly. POW! POW! POW! POW! Well, that's as close to an example that can be given in text form... Nonetheless, up to six goals can be scored with a megastrike. The only catch is that effective megastrikes take a long time to initiate. If the player is having a megastrike used against them, they'll be transported into a mini-game-like screen. By pointing the Wii remote where the balls are being shot, the goalie can successfully stop the onslaught unharmed.

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For once, Luigi is a bigger star than Mario... literally.

Mario Strikers Charged offers up an impressive seventeen stadiums-- seven of which are from the original. The newest stadiums are the most interesting as they have gimmicks tied to them. The Lava Pit, for example, features fireballs that leap out from the fiery abyss onto the field, burning anyone who touches the area where they erupted. Additionally, the Wasteland is an incredibly icy football field where players will slip and slide their way as they try to score goals. While not all of the stadiums have a gimmick associated with them, each stadium does have its own unique flavor and locale which is greatly appreciated.

Strikers Charged includes a wide variety of game modes to choose from. There's the cleat and potatoes mode Road to the Strikers Cup which is what players will want to experience if they wish to unlock anything for offline play. This mode has three cups which become increasingly difficult especially in the later matches. The Road mode is essentially your traditional round-robin style play. Each team faces each other twice, and what follows then are elimination rounds. This gets very stupid in later cups because a player is forced to participate in ten matches, and they could win all of them. Then they play their first elimination round and lose to the incredibly cheap AI. Not fun, not smart. Completely idiotic and a very crappy way to make players keep coming back for more.

Challenge Mode is another place where players can test their Strikers skills in various scenarios of rising difficulty. Most of the challenges include beating an opponent while being down a set number of goals, to being short-handed, to finding out that Jessie is taking pills to stay awake to study or she won't get into Princeton. ...Oh, wait. That last one was an episode of Saved by the Bell. Anyway, by completing a challenge the player will receive a cheat for use in Domination Mode-- the essential versus mode of Strikers Charged.

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A lot of action can happen on the field, so be ready for anything!

The presentation of Strikers is quite good. The arenas are varied, good to look at, and feature a profusion of details that might go unnoticed by most players. Games begin by the away captain taunting the sidekicks of the home team. Suddenly, the home captain drops in from the sky in an impressive display. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Daisy! ...Damn... I would have preferred a bird. Also, each captain has their own taunts for when they score a goal, win a game, lose a game, and when they have a goal scored against them. Some are incredibly entertaining like Waluigi who puts his arms in an "X" formation and proceeds to chop his crotch thrice. I think I went to high school with someone like that...

Most likely the most important question that folks have on their mind is "How is the online play?" Rest assured, the online is fast, fun, and lag-free-- even on the first week of North American release. A reason for this is that American and European players are on different servers. They cannot play one another even with friend codes. This is most likely to prevent lag and for other latency issues. Furthermore, there's an online leaderboard where one can play ranked matches against people from all over their region to compete to see who can be number one. Points are earned not only by winning, but also by staying in the game. Disconnects will take away points and give a player a big fat "L". Friend codes have returned for better or worse. The reason why they didn't just choose to use the Wii's code is unknown. It's most probable that they did so for protection reasons that are just complete crap. Who are the protecting exactly? There's also no voice chat which is yet another online opportunity missed for Nintendo. Overall, however, the online is quite fun which is the most important part obviously.

Ultimately, Mario Strikers Charged is a step above its Gamecube counterpart and leagues above the first Wii online title in America, Pokemon Battle Revolution. A person does not need to be a football/soccer/or whatever the hell else people call it fan in order to enjoy this title. With a vast array of techniques, characters to play as from the Marioverse, and numerous modes, options, and stadiums, Mario Strikers Charged will not be receiving any red cards from me except in the Road to the Strikers Cup mode. There's just so much other stuff in this $50 package to delve into. Next Level Games certainly made a goal with this one.

[SuperPhillip Says: 8.25/10]

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

We Love Golf: SPC's Top Five Golf Games Of This Gen

The brand new Tiger Woods game for 2009, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10, is setting up its approach to hit the green of all three major platforms next week. I, and probably a golf bag full of others, are most intrigued with the Wii version that comes with or without Wii MotionPlus. This is a perfect opportunity to take a look at the golf games that were this past generation whether you prefer to play against PGA pros or bubbly anime characters.

5. Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds (PS3)

The fifth console installment of the fantastic Hot Shots Golf series, Out of Bounds brought with it a new control scheme along with the traditional three input swing meter, even giving a player more distance just for using the new scheme. The online play is well-designed and very detailed as well. The main problem I had with this game is that it was essentially a reboot of the Hot Shots Golf franchise on home consoles. This wouldn't have been a bad thing had we hadn't gone from 14 courses in HSG4 to a pultry six in Out of Bounds. Combining the fact that there's more room on on a Blu-ray than a DVD, Out of Bounds is sixty dollars compared to Fore's original fifty dollar price tag, and there's far less modes and options, Out of Bounds, while still fun, is a huge disappointment.

4) Super Swing Golf: Season Two (Wii)

Although you could use the Wii's motion controls, Super Swing Golf Season Two didn't really utilize them well 100% of the time. Thankfully button controls were available. I definitely loved how much content was packed in the game, the handful of customizable characters that you could outfit with tons of costumes, shirts, jackets, pants, belts, shoes, and accessories to purchase as well as the amount of courses available from volcanic isles to a valley full of colorful cherry blossoms.

3) We Love Golf! (Wii)

A cheery and colorful golf game made by the makers of Mario Golf and Golden Sun, We Love Golf! is an incredibly entertaining golfing romp from Camelot with eight traditional courses, three short courses, twelve characters, one Capcom-inspired costume for each character, and one soundtrack composed by Motoi Sakuraba. While you aren't doing a real golf swing with the Wii remote, the motion controls used are highly responsive and are more akin to your traditional three-click golf mechanic used in the aforementioned Mario Golf. Couple online play and a new price of only twenty dollars, and you have an albatross in the making.

2) Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee 2 (PSP)

Open Tee 2 took all of the content from the original Open Tee, the characters and six courses, and added a whole new set of characters and courses on top of them. Add in a meaty challenge mode where players competed in tournament or match play, and you had a lot of golf to play on-the-go. Why, you could golf on your PSP while you're golfing in real life! My mind is blown! Additionally, this edition marks the first time for online play on the handheld Hot Shots Golf series, and it's a blast with friends or total strangers! Strange how a handheld game has more content than a console installment!

1) Tiger Woods PGA Tour All-Play 09 (Wii)

Playing a motion controlled golf game with swings that actually work? Sign me up! And that's exactly what I did. Tiger Woods PGA Tour All-Play 09 (shorten the title, will you?) has an exhaustive amount of content. There's three different single-player modes from the traditional PGA Tour season mode to the Fedex Cup to a mode where you complete challenges like closest to the pin and skins matches in order to earn enough points to face off against a pro. There's about two dozen famous courses to play on, a myriad of crazy arcade-style golf mini-games from driving the ball through targets to putting the ball into holes of various point values, and one of the most impressive online networks on the Wii (that might not be saying much for most of us, but it's still very much impressive regardless of the console).

As for the time being, stay tuned for the review of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 for Wii later this month!

Monday, June 1, 2009

SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs - VGMs > E3 Edition

Curse Youtube and its ability to time their maintenance at the most precarious times! The Favorite VGMs are here for another week of great times and good music. This week we have music from Wii Sports, Nintendogs, LocoRoco 2, and more! Sit back, relax, and enjoy some of my favorite video game tunes.

V321. Wii Sports - Title Theme

Holy crap. Look at that guy on the left. Looks completely ridiculous-- sort of like a guy with two polos with both collars up (as if one popped up didn't look stupid enough). I digress. Wii Sports is just a blast. There's just enough content for some sensational social gatherings and multiplayer parties. If you're all alone though, there's not too much here. The Wii Sports theme was composed by Kazumi Totaka who does a lot of music for Nintendo's in-house games like Nintendogs as well as Animal Crossing. It's a nice and mellow tune, wouldn't you say?

V322. Sonic and the Black Knight - Knight of the Wind

I haven't played Sonic & the Black Knight, and I probably won't before it goes on sale. Something about a hedgehog with a sword doesn't rub me right. Regardless, I do enjoy the music of the series both 2D and 3D. A vocal group seems to hate Crush40. Some of these same people go on to listen to death metal, so that sort of destroys any credibility. The music usually has catchy melodies and good instrumentation, and that's all I really care for anyway.

V323. LocoRoco 2 - Uwauwau

The Locoroco have invaded the favorites! With a soundtrack very akin to the quirkiness of the likes of Katamari Damacy, the Locoroco series has an eclectic mix of music. Most of it is performed by the Locoroco themselves although they can conspicuously sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks. Uwauwau is a chipper little ditty full of childish charm and a whimsical melody. 1:10 kicks in when enough Locoroco have been collected in the level. The song's layered. Each Locoroco collected makes a level's song sound fuller until you get what you're listening to now. Enjoy.

V324. Final Fantasy Tactics - Tutorial

From Final Fantasy Tactics comes a track entitled "Tutorial". It's a very jaunty theme that really kicks in with my favorite part at around forty-five seconds. The instrument quality even though synth is still impressive and sounds full to this day. Simply a superb soundtrack and one of the timeless bests.

V325. Nintendogs - Nintendogs Theme (Live Version)

This catchy jazzy live version of the Nintendogs (DS) theme can be heard on the Touch! Generations Soundtrack available on Club Nintendo in Japan. This song is performed by a bounty of Who's Who when it comes to Nintendo composers such as Kazumi Totaka (who composed the original theme), Hajime Wakai, Kenta Nagata, Toru Minegishi, and Asuka Ota. Enjoy this special track!

The Favorite VGMs aren't finished this week. Stay tuned for Friday for something special. There's a certain special day happening.

Central City Census - June

It's June 1st which means it's time for a new poll. Let's check out May's Census first.

Last month the Census asked what platform you'd like to see more reviews on. "Oh, wow, Phil. Thanks for reading that again for me. I didn't catch that the first time." No problem. I'm very surprised by the result since the most reviews on the site are for the Wii. Now you Wii owners want more? What are you people-- insatiable? No, I kid. I'm actually planning more 360 and PS3 reviews. There's just less there I want to play, and I don't want to unfairly review a game for just not being my cup of tea. Only if I were paid would I. New Census now!

Microsoft recently announced a new motion control peripheral, Project Natal. I imagine that's just the tentative title for it. I think it looks really cool, but the fact that it's an option and seemingly an afterthought for the 360 doesn't really invoke confidence. Additionally, I don't see games like shooters or adventure games working well. Regardless, what is your opinion on Microsoft's Natal? Vote now, and you may be entered to win a 12 inch replica of David Bowie!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Review Round-Up - May

Two Namco-Bandai Wii games bookend the month of May.

April showers brings a lot of reviews to SuperPhillip Central. We started the month with two Klonoa games, and we finished off the month with a review of an overlooked gem in the making, The Munchables. Even though my illness stunted the activity of SPC partway through the month, I really tried to make up for it at the tale-end. Hopefully you can see that with the three new reviews this past week. Apparently I was unawaringly fond of the number eight this month as the majority of the reviews are in the 8-8.75 range. To make viewing the list easier, I divided the new and classic reviews into two groups. The classic being italicized. Classic reviews are simply reviews written before this blog existed. Let's round these reviews up then!

All scores are out of 10.
5 = Average

Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil (PS2) - 8.5
Klonoa (Wii) - 8.75
New Play Control! Donkey Kong Jungle Beat (Wii) - 8.5
SPC Quickies: Volume One
Boom Blox Bash Party (Wii) - 8.5
Hammerin' Hero (PSP) - 7.5
The Munchables (Wii) - 8.5

DK Jungle Climber (DS) - 8.5
Donkey Kong Barrel Blast (Wii) - 6.0
Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure - 8.0
DK King of Swing (GBA) - 8.0
Dewy's Adventure (Wii) - 7.25

Any games reviewed this month that jumped out at you? Perhaps a review changed your mind!