Well, I did it, I canceled my $359.96 pre-order of the Sony PlayStation Vita - WiFi, ModNation Racers: Road trip, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and Hot Shots Golf on Amazon. It's not because it was too much money - it was - but I planned for it. It's not that I don't want it either - I do - but it simply doesn't make sense at this time. I have long gone on record - much to the chagrin of the Nintendo faithful - that I believe this is the last generational hurrah for dedicated gaming handhelds. In short, I believe they will still sell well this generation, just not anywhere near the heights of the last generation when the DS and PSP ruled the roost. I've given many reasons for this line of thinking, but I primarily chalk it up to smartphones and tablets being good enough as game machines and the inclination for most people to carry as few electronic devices as possible. In other words, would you rather have a device that does everything multimedia and Internet effortlessly (and, as a smartphone, makes phone calls and texts), and has inexpensive apps (and a great camera for stills and video, etc.), as well as plays good games, or would you rather have a device that plays really good games (thanks mostly to onboard physical controls), but is mediocre (or incapable) at everything else and has expensive apps? Some of us will have both, but many of us will only choose the most logical of the two. If you look at the issue without the emotion of a dedicated gamer, there really is no good argument for having anything other than a smartphone and maybe a tablet in your portable arsenal, particularly since the former has an excuse to be with you 100% of the time.
I thought I would pass along this note from Intellivision Productions. For a limited time you can order a Keith Robinson-signed copy of Intellivision Lives! for the Nintendo DS direct from the Intellivision rights holders, and they'll even throw in a free running man DS button, as well as a $5 off coupon good for a future purchase. All this for $19.95 plus shipping and handling, but the catch is there will only 200 of these available, so get cracking! Official announcement below:
We're proud to introduce a new contest for Codemasters' latest entry in their critically acclaimed GRID racing game series, this time for the Nintendo DS (and boy, does it look great!). The contest begins August 1st and ends August 15th at Midnight EST, so get your entries in now!
2K Games is proud to announce that Sid Meier's Civilization® Revolution™, the latest entry in the award-winning Sid Meier’s Civilization® franchise, will be in stores beginning June 3, 2008. Developed internally at 2K’s world-renowned and award-winning Firaxis development studio, Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution will be available for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Nintendo DS™.
To celebrate this release date announcement, new screenshots are now available to Armchair Arcade members, below:
Cooking and gaming have some similarities-- there are multiple steps to complete before finishing them, they require a wide variety of "moves" to be successful, and they are best served when piping hot. OK, scratch that last one. Majesco's Cooking Mama is a fun combination of Julia Child and Wario Ware and a must for fans of micro-gaming or kitchen mavens.
Though there are a few different modes, most of the action happens when players select Let's Cook from the main menu. You can unlock recipes as you go and even if you consistently fail each step, you still can complete a recipe. While this eliminates challenge, it also eliminates possible frustration-- players are never stuck on one particular recipe and they can replay them to win bronze, silver, or gold medals to their hearts' content.
Each recipe has several phases, whether it's as simple as measuring water or as tricky as filling dumplings. Controls are fairly responsive, but the goals are somewhat unclear as in Wario Ware. Since each phase only lasts 10 seconds at most, players have a chance to learn from their mistakes, but the lack of any tutorial is interesting.
The majority of cuisine represented is Japanese. They also have some American dishes, but with a Japanese touch (spaghetti cooked in a frying pan with a dash of ketchup?!). Having lived in Japan for a month, I have to attest to the accuracy of the dishes represented here. Gyoza (fried dumplings) and udon (typically soup with thick noodles in a fish-based broth) are more typical of Japanese cuisine than chicken teriyaki and fried ice cream.
Well, I must say, it's been very enjoyable gaming for me the past few days, despite having limited time to really get into anything at any length. I'm still chomping at the bit to sit down and play MLB '07 The Show from Sony for the PS2, which I've only had time to dabble in so far, and I only just took a few hours this morning to actually do my family's taxes, as well as there being the ever-present 800-pound gorilla ("the book") in my life and needing to finish organizing my videogame and computer collection (adding to many other things).
So, while these are not in-depth overviews, I wanted to quickly and specifically talk about LifeLine (2004, Konami, PS2), the infamous adventure game driven mostly by voice commands, and Jetpac Refuelled (2007, Rare, Xbox 360), the latest ~$5 release for Xbox Live Arcade based on a classic game.
American history buffs and folks just interested in weirdo history have probably heard of witch prickers. These were basically traveling charlatans who made their living providing "expert testimony" during witch trials (think Salem). The idea was that a real witch had a "devil's spot," or a mark somewhere under the skin that wouldn't hurt if pricked with a needle. Sound dumb? Well, you're talking about people who actually believed in witches. At any rate, now "witch pricking" is making a come-back in the form of a really bizarre Japanese game called DOKIDOKI MAJOSAIBAN (NON-WORK SAFE LINK. In what might sickeningly be called "innovation," you use the Nintendo DS's stylus to "prick" teenage girls to see which ones are witches...!
Though it looks like it makes unusual use of the bottom screen and may have a little too much detail in its visuals, fans of top-down console shooters going all the way back to Carol Shaw's legendary River Raid for the Atari 2600 VCS should keep an eye on Nibris's upcoming Nintendo DS game, Raid Over the River.
Here's the official press release from the Polish developer (note, the Nibris Website appears to be down at the moment):
I'm still trying to figure out what the bruhaha is over Nintendo's redesigned DS. So it weighs less and has a brighter screen. Excuse me if I don't break into hysterics. Real men (a) don't need a "lighter" handheld; that's why we have massive bulging muscles, and (b) don't need "brighter" colors. Bright colors are for sissies and pansies. Still, I can't seem to get away from news about launch "partays" today--it's on Kotaku, Max Console, Engadget and Joystiq just for starters. Who needs to pay for publicity when everyone's willing to do it for free? Geez. Well, if you're the type of man who would dress up like Mario or Luigi (or Princess) and stand around for hours to get your "Lite," then you deserve what you get. Funny thing is, though, everyone's so enraptured by the DS Lite blitz that they've managed to let this sneak-peak of the PS3 Startup Screen pass by without comment. I, for one, aren't going to mention the DS Lite at all.