June 17, 2012

Lazy Sunday – E3 Leftovers

E3 2012
Posting about all the games I spent time with at E3 has been an incredibe experience, which I remain entirely thankful for while winding down the task this weekend.

I hope you’ve dug our attempt at E3 coverage this year by the way, which owes a thankful shout-out to Shaun Hatton for providing some essential help during the typically crazy ride.

While it’s time to put E3 2012 to bed and get back to the business of more immediate releases, there were a few titles that warranted some words, and unfortunately many more that I haven’t caught up with as of yet.

In the spirit of lazy Sunday, I’ve rounded up a few more games I spent some time with at E3, which you can catch up with below.


February 5, 2012

Lazy Sunday – Dual Analog, On the Go

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 12:24 am

3DS Circle Pad Pro
Having recently gotten my mitts on Nintendo’s 3DS Circle Pad Pro attachment, I feel obliged to attempt throwing a few words at the device – with only one game that supports the add-on at my disposal, a few might be all I can manage today. The Circle Pad Pro isn’t flashy or visually appealing by any stretch of the imagination. Practicality is the name of the game, housing two rear triggers and one shoulder button along with the add-on circle pad on a very light-weight frame that cradles your 3DS. Open spaces provide access to the 3DS’ volume switch, power cord connection, and headphone jack. There’s also a thin opening for the wrist strap included with the device, which is meant to be attached directly to the 3DS.

An infrared transceiver at the back of the device uses science and magic to silently detect the connection, which the 3DS makes no mention of until Resident Evil: Revelations loads and acknowledges the situation by offering to enable control style-D. As expected, this control option allows players to tackle Revelations as if they were using the dual analog controls offered by the PS3 and/or Xbox 360.

Guiding Jill through the derelict cruise ship with the Circle Pad Pro offered two observations.


December 18, 2011

Lazy Sunday – Gorging on GBA

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , — Jamie Love @ 1:14 am

Sweet N Low Game Boy Advance
Nintendo’s GameBoy Advance kickback for early 3DS adoption is keeping my thumbs busy this weekend. Frankly, it’s a bit silly that I’m using shiny new hardware to play titles that can run on a machine I can pick up for change at a yardsale, but here we are. Being able to link my Club Nintendo account to the 3DS to earn rewards for purchases that can than be redeemed for even more virtual console titles means that this nostalgia trip isn’t likely to end anytime soon.

Normally I’d rank my memory as annoyingly sharp, but toss ten Nintendo published GBA titles my way and I have to stop to question whether I’ve ever really appreciated how many gems the system has to offer. From the delightful animation of Kirby using a cell phone to call on reinforcements in the Amazing Mirror, to the insane pace at which WarioWare Inc. spits challenges at players – and yes, even the simple joy of carrying Yoshi’s Island around in my pocket again – the burnout I’ve been feeling has subsided.

Yes, every now and again I worry that I don’t like videogames nearly so much as I thought, and I need reminding of why that isn’t the case. I get so busy consuming the never-ending flood of new releases, searching for the new aesthetic and digging around for adult-minded things that justify my immense investment of time, that the play and passion of that drive gets a bit fuzzy.

There are probably lots of important discussion points with virtual releases, about preserving the past and remembering it for me at wholsesale – all that jazz. But at the moment I’ve fallen back into an older language, the kind of excited chatter you squeeze in during recess. Is there a bit of escapism involved? Maybe, but I’m comfortable with it at the moment. All that matters is that this weekend, I’ve found some clarity in the finely aged sampling Nintendo handed out on Friday – though I’m sure it was waiting on any number of old consoles cluttering up my storage room, except the Jaguar of course.

If there is a point here, it’s that maybe I hope that some of you out there can relate. And if you can, then dig up an old game this weekend, a forgotten favorite or a freshly unearthed discovery, and as is the fashion in these uncharted Sugarlands, tell me about it below.

May 16, 2010

Lazy Sunday – Catching Up With An Old Friend

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 4:32 pm

Rocket Knight
Happy as I was at the idea of Konami bringing back their heroic opossum and former mascot, I had reservations about Rocket Knight from the word go. Most of my doubt rode on the 3D artstyle, which is quicker and cheaper than the way mom used to make games, but nothing worth doing is ever easy.

After more than a few play-throughs you still won’t change my mind about the charm of the oldschool approach, but Rocket Knight looks quite a bit better than I expected. Keep in mind that the game uses a zoomed out perspective, which offers plenty of space for details to overwhelm the eyes, with characters in the background, objects in the foreground, and Sparkster himself all fighting for attention. There were times I took damage simply from losing Sparkster for the trees.

The trade off is that you never really get a close-up connection to the characters, so smaller details that make me continue cherishing platformers of the past never really come into play here.


May 2, 2010

Lazy Sunday – Nostalgia Trip

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , — Jamie Love @ 9:38 am

Nostalgia Trip
Yesterday I took a road trip to Kitchener to meet up with some good friends and a few of my favorite game collector’s at CGCC’s annual videogame swap meet. I’m fairly certain that checking out stacks of classic videogames and shooting the shit for hours about collecting and playing them is what “good times” is all about.

It’s also earnestly refreshing to escape the new release cycle for an afternoon and remember where so many of us came from – there really aren’t that many places to soak in the nostalgia of the games that ruled my childhood and also talk with people about the titles that stood out for them. Every game has a story for someone, and picking up a copy of Megaman X or Castlevania IV and hearing how it came into someone’s collection is the kind of bonus you’ll just never get at a store. We even got to meet two very young kids that were collecting classic Mortal Kombat titles even though they had the newest consoles.

It’s also a great chance to catch up on filling some holes in one’s collection.

I can remember when my own collecting habits were guided almost entirely by the rarity of titles, grabbing them up to sit like fine jewels on the shelf. Lately however, I’m every bit as content finding a few common games that simply bring back good memories or offer a chance to play a game I missed altogether when it originally released. From the title picture it’s clear I have plenty to keep my thumbs busy today, but I did want to share two finds from yesterday that make me ridiculously happy, which is pretty much the guiding principle for any classic game I pick up these days.


April 4, 2010

Lazy Sunday – Shooting Gallery

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , — Jamie Love @ 8:45 am

Shooting Gallery
Seeing as the shmup is the genre I obsessed over the most during my childhood, I still waste a good amount of time thinking about it today. Most recently I’ve been obsessing over the simple diamond design of Star Fox’s Arwing, which while technically not a shmup, does deserve consideration in the halls of classic ship design.

I’m certain there’s something really clever to be said about the evolution of ships within these games, and how each of the truly great releases owes its success to the design of the ship over all other concerns. Within a really good shmup, the ship is the protagonist. And as such, each has something important to say about the games they inhabit, serving as a reflection of the worlds within those games.


February 28, 2010

Lazy Sunday – Join The Club

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , — Jamie Love @ 10:21 am

Join The Club
Drifting through aisles of older games is one of life’s more precious delights, one which I ended up enjoying yesterday, while actually trying to take an afternoon off from gaming – an utterly impossible goal. For some reason drowning in new title choices drives me toward seeking out ones I missed, the result being that I came home with Tomb Raider Underworld and The Club.

The continuing saga of Lara Croft is like a disease I willingly infect myself with – the game absolutely aggravates me to no end, but I can’t stop playing it. I’m pretty sure the answer for my illness is that repeatedly dying over simple mistakes makes me desperate to do it right doublefast. If I die fighting the toughest boss in the world, I never find it hard to put the controller down. But when I die because Lara misses a ledge grab, or decides to jump in the wrong direction, well then I can’t leave off looking that inept, even if no one is there to see it. As frustrating as this experience is, I’ll still take its worn-out wares over the stripped down Prince of Persia solution any day.

Now while I didn’t play it as much last night, The Club is a glorious surprise, one of those games that reminds me that I should occasionally pay attention to Sega titles that didn’t just get off the plane from Japan – it’s hard to believe the game comes from Bizarre Creations.


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