05/12/2004

Certainly, this has to be a new record; almost two months without a single update. My site is getting way too outdated, with so many emulators updating. This, combined with my utter laziness, means that I do not feel like updating all the emulators on the site. Such a pity, eh? Indeed. So why am I writing something here? Truth be told, I was not going to write anything today, or ever. Well, not ever, but I would try to shrug it off as long as I possibly can. The more I shrug off the site, the less interest I get in it, thus the more I will shrug it off. Odd how that works.

My site is very outdated, indeed. All those other professional sites use xml or shtml or whatever, and here I am, using nothing but the simple basics of html to manage my site. Suffice to say, my site sucks... a lot. I would learn some of that complicated stuff to improve the site, but that would require quite a bit of work and time. Apparently I do not have time, and I despise work in every known way possible. I still have loads of video games to play, that keep getting further pushed away until they are so old that no one plays them anymore. That includes me.

Ah well, at least my site would be a fine example of the old days of internet coding, when basic html and css was all that you needed. Who knows, I may one day partake in updating the site with all those flashy menus or whatever, but right now I certainly won't do that. Why, you ask? Because I am lazy. If this situation one day changes, I will let you know (hint, it won't happen).

Right, what it is that I wanted to talk about then? Well, you see, there is this thing. Indeed, a thing. This thing, what I dub to be the thing, it is happening now. Right now, actually. They call it, the thing, they call this thing, it is called E3. Indeed, the famed E3 thing that comes around once a year. In this event, a lot of cool stuff about the future of gaming is shown. Now, if I remember correctly, there has not been much excitement surrounding E3 for a few years, but this time, oh yes, this one is different. This E3, the one for this very year, it is quite exciting. Quite exciting indeed. Did I say that it is quite exciting? Indeed?

Where is all this excitement coming from? I would personally say Nintendo, and the stuff they are showing at the famed E3 event. But there are other people, showing some other interesting stuff, as well. However, and I say this because I can; I think Nintendo stole the spotlight this year.

A few things; I will save the best for last. Firstly, let us talk about the other guys. Sure, the other people has some cool stuff to show, such as Resident Evil 4 (which looked pwnsome) and uh, yeah, some other stuff. The most famed however, is the PSP, Sony's new handheld. Sony? Handheld? If you have been cut away from gaming news for a bit, this sounds new to you. However, for people such as I, the PSP started out as a small rumor and then eventually evolved into what we see now. There are quite a bit of screen shots and pictures and such for the new stuff that is appearing at E3, so when you have the time, if I were you, I would go to some good news sites and change my eyeballs into little mini-vacuums, sucking in every image I can see.

The PSP looks sleek, and although I did not see any videos of it in action, you know, actually playing games, I did see a few screenshots of a game planned for it. It is a Metal Gear Solid type game, so as you can only guess, the PSP will certainly not be a pushover. This game looked pwnsome. I mean it; the thing resembled a PS2 game precisely. For a handheld, that is quite a large step. It seems that Nintendo will actually have a worthy opponent in the handheld market this time around... with Sony's legion of developers, who are most likely eager to develop for the PSP, and the uber pwnsome graphics of said PSP; Nintendo will have to do something more than simply manage their current handheld. Best for last, I say.

Let us see, what else? Oh, did I mention that there will be a new Zelda game for the GameCube? No, it's not Wind Waker. A new one; newer than Wind Waker.

As you previously already knew (or I hope to assume), Wind Waker took a unique approach to its graphics; quite a unique one, I would say. They went with, I'm quoting from Miyamoto here, "toon shading," whatever that is. Some people call it cell shading, others call it heresy, but whatever the case, Wind Waker was certainly a Zelda to remember. Now, a lot of people might have read some updates I made before, and remember that I disliked Wind Waker. That is not the case actually; I just disliked how short it was. The game was amazing, but way too short. Not enough dungeons or even requirements for dungeons, and you can not make an entire game out of side quests, really. Personally, I enjoyed the graphics of Wind Waker very much; it was rather smooth and cartoony. Certainly no fault that I could point out myself. However, not many others have the same opinion. In fact, a lot of people despised the new Zelda because of the unique approach it took in the graphics. Everyone wanted the realistic graphics from the N64. "Hey, if it looked amazing on the N64, think how much better it will be on the GameCube!" was the thought of many. Others simply despised the graphics of Wind Waker outright. I was more with the other guys, the ones who enjoyed Wind Waker very much, but would like to one day see the GameCube's hardware put to the test with a realistic Zelda, such as the one for N64.

That time is now. "What?!" you say? "WHAT?!" you yell until you blow out a lung, "WHAT?!?!?!?!" you scream, until the very insides of your brain can no longer contain themselves (well, actually, no, you probably know about all of this already). Indeed, there is a new Zelda in the making, and it appears to use the realistic graphics that everyone hopes for. No, it's not just a video this time; there are actual shots of some form of game play and scenes from the game. Thus I assume this time it really is true; they really are making a realistic Zelda. Of course, you know that Nintendo is doing that, because Nintendo makes Zelda games. Who does not know this? Raise your hands. Anyone who does not know this should not be visiting my site, or gaming. So yes, there is a new Zelda, as they say, "COMING SOON." However, I assume that "SOON" is actually four years.

In addition to this already great news, there are a quite few other Nintendo games in the works, many of which everyone would definitely want. I heard rumors that at this E3, Nintendo would reveal some info about their new "Mario 128" title, which was announced for the GameCube a while ago I think, but thus far I have heard nothing of. This saddens me, because I want Mario. Many say that this will be the true sequel to Super Mario 64, and that Super Mario Sunshine was only a small gaiden; a side story. If that is true, then I want my Mario 128; more than I do the new Zelda. In fact, Super Mario Sunshine was one of the last games that I had a lot of excitement for. Sure, every now and again there is a game that excites me slightly, but Sunshine had me visiting the awful place known as the GameFAQs message boards on a daily basis so that I could obtain every single piece of information regarding the new Mario. When it finally came out, the first few moments of moving Mario around and testing out the controls were... heavenly. Indeed, that was truly a heavenly moment.

So as you can no doubt guess, if the Mario 128 title is a sequel to Mario 64 and will kick Sunshine's butt, you can bet your life that I want it. One thing worries me, however. Every time Nintendo answers questions about Mario 128, they give answers such as "it will have never before seen game play," and "innovative stuff blah blah, innovative game play," and then Shigeru Miyamoto himself: "I do not want to make a simple Mario game, but something more." Now obviously, Mario has been seen countless times, so if it is "never before seen gameplay," then my dreams are crushed. I have no idea what Miyamoto's problem is, but for some odd reason, his opinion about Mario, his own creation, is entirely different than the fans'. I read many times that he never would have imagined making so many Mario games, and always wanted to try something else and leave Mario alone. Obviously, for him to not be interested in Mario means that a chance of an actual Mario type game where you jump is slim. So it is my guess Mario 128 will be an entirely different game with Mario's face on it. I saw a demo once that showed a bunch of Mario's lifting blocks and such, but they said that was later turned into Pikmin. Now I see Mario vs. Donkey Kong for GBA, a remake of Donkey Kong '94 for the original Game Boy, except they added some new game play nonsense about leading a bunch of little toy Marios to safety, so obviously this took some influence from that demo... and perhaps Mario 128 will, too. So personally, I hope Mario 128 will be the real sequel to Mario 64 and be the end all platformer game; the ultimate Mario game ever. Or at least, a very darn good one.

Right, I have still to shed any light on the largest news; the best bits. I said I would leave the best for last, and it appears that we're already at the "last" part right now, so here it goes: remember that new thing Nintendo announced a while back? No, not spinning toilets; the Nintendo DS, which was rumored to be its name? Well, they showed that at this E3. Let me just say; I was blown away. Many others were, as well. This is the counterattack to Sony's PSP, which has a potential chance of actually being a challenge to Nintendo's GBA.

You see, something everyone knows already is that Nintendo is having quite some trouble with their console market. The GameCube is not selling, and they are losing quite a bit of cash. In fact, if it were not for the handheld market, their almighty GBA, Nintendo would have been dead for ages by now. Indeed, Nintendo is hanging on by a thin string, and that string is their GBA market. This string is getting ever more thin, and if they do something stupid such as before, they will fall into the fiery pit of red hot lava, resulting in their death. So obviously, they have to do something; something to renew the domination of the handheld market, and to overall blast any new nonsense right out of the water, such as the PSP, AND to hopefully correct the GameCube's major wrongs.

Initially, I had my doubts about the Nintendo DS. Everyone had doubts. What gave me the most doubts was not only the two screen thing, which I could not think of a valid reason to have two screens, except for menus or maps possibly, but some guy at Nintendo stated that the DS will not replace the GBA. This, in my mind, meant that the DS won't play GBA games, and thus not carry on the GBA's legacy. To me, this seemed like suicide, as if Nintendo really went too far with their stupidity this time. The only selling point for this thing was two screens, and it was entirely unrelated to the GBA, thus rendering it a different handheld entirely. Everyone immediately thought of Nintendo's Virtual Boy, which died a horrible death. I did too, but I had a feeling swelling within me that, somehow, this thing could actually be crazy; something great. Most likely it would be garbage and Nintendo would die, I thought... but, something in me knew that this could, quite possibly, be the very thing to save Nintendo. I mean, Nintendo has been known to do a lot of insane stuff in their time, including screwing themselves over, but that is beside the point.

Now, with the DS revealed and all of its features out in the light, I know now that the little feeling I had swelling within me was actually 100% correct; the DS is what will save Nintendo from their ill fate this time. Let me actually talk about the DS; why it's so good and full of potential. It has a load of great stuff, such things can beat anything ever anywhere. In fact, I am surprised that Nintendo could obtain such greatness in something such as this. The DS has two screens, but that is not even the main thing about it. The two screen setup, thus far, seems to most commonly be: one screen for gameplay, and the other screen for maps or menus. Occasionally, there are a few games that will use the two screens for a more interesting effect, but generally, a lot of the games will use the setup I mentioned previously. One of the screens, from my understanding, has touch screen technology, meaning that, I assume, you can touch the screen to make stuff happen in the game. I am not too clear on that part, but that is what it seems to be. Now, already, this is amazing. Touch screen technology? This rated as overkill in my head. I mean, sure, that's great, but do you really need to beat the others into the ground so hard like that? Apparently, Nintendo is holding nothing back.

Moving onto the GBA issue. You see, the DS game paks will be very different than the GBA, GBC, and GB game paks, thus requiring a different slot entirely. However, and this is a big however, there will be a GBA slot there as well, where you can play all of the previous Game Boy games, since the GBA can play all the games that came before it. Now, this means that the DS can very well replace the GBA entirely. So that comment by that Nintendo guy previously is either way off, or he meant something else. Perhaps he meant that the DS will be slightly more expensive and some people only want a GBA, so they can just get that. However, there is an actual reason and motive to get the DS now, since if the games suck on it, at least you can play all the other Game Boys previously.

The games, however, do not suck. Every big Nintendo title will appear on the DS, such as a new Zelda and Mario, even Metroid Prime. "Metroid Prime?!" you scream in a childish voice, "BUT HOW?!" you then proceed to yell. If anyone recalls anything at all in their lives, Metroid Prime was on the GameCube. It was a 3D game. Yes, on the DS, it will be 3D, as well. Now we have all seen the 3D abilities on the GBA, and everyone who has witnessed such abilities was left on the road dead, or throwing up on the ground. Yes, the 3D graphics on GBA sucked a lot, and the only way it could look decent is if they used it sparingly, in very small bursts. Games on GBA that were fully 3D really looked terrible. The DS, however, it can display 3D graphics slightly better than the N64. It also uses a lot of advanced software techniques that programmers learned in this new age to make things look a little tricky, to trick you into thinking it looks pretty amazing, such as Super Mario Sunshine's graphics. In essence, the graphics in Sunshine was one of the worst on the GameCube, but to the naked eye, it looks great. So they do fancy stuff like that on the DS as well.

Either way, there is already a Metroid Prime game with multiplayer planned for the DS, and it will be entirely 3D. It looks pretty decent, as well. There is a remake of Mario 64, but with multiplayer as well, and a lot of other great titles that would need an immediate purchase of the DS. That is not all, either; the DS has some Bluetooth or WiFi technology for multiplayer. What does this mean? It means no more stupid link cables. Indeed, the age of link cables is now over, and you can multiplay with friends without all those cables to muddle you up. This is great, but I am not quite sure how your DS will know which DS to multiplay with, and how precisely that works. But wireless multiplayer is fantastic, so no questioning a gift horse in the mouth or whatever.

Did I mention that each screen is bigger than a normal GBA screen? Indeed, this is all some greatness we are witnessing here, and you can only be better served by witnessing all the many juicy screen shots and videos for yourself. They have a new Mario Kart, Mario platformer, WarioWare, Zelda, Metroid Prime, and a lot of other stuff; all already planned to be on the DS. That is quite a bit of stuff, if you ask me.

The only actual worry in my mind now are the batteries for this thing. Sure, they probably will let you charge them, but how long will they last? This thing looks to be a real monster, with two screens and dual processors and graphics better than the N64, so it must waste quite a bit of juice. Hopefully this won't be an issue, and I have a feeling it won't. I mean, they did so much already that I am sure they won't let such a little thing bring them down. The DS is something I will definitely have in my pocket the moment it is available in stores.

< Newer Posts | Older Posts >