Obviously, I picked up Pokémon Pearl when it came out on Sunday. I loves me some Pokémons, so obviously I'm enjoying it. Haven't sunk a ton of time into it, as I'm trying to concentrate on finishing up Super Paper Mario (or at least the story) for the time being. One really cool thing about the game though, (aside from the WiFi battling and trading) is that there are parts where a computer-controlled character will team up and battle with you for a short time. I'm only so far in that I've seen it happen twice (and one was only for a single scripted encounter), but I'm sure it'll happen again. I've always been a fan of double battles, which is probably why I hold Pokémon Colosseum in such high esteem, and it's nice to see the formula play into the game more than it did in Ruby and Sapphire. The 3D maps never fail to impress me either. Don't know why, but they do.
As far as Super Paper Mario goes, I've been making semi-steady progress. Trying to balance it with Pokémon, Dead Rising, and drawing comics has been a nightmare, but it's getting done. Nearly finished the story (which just keeps getting better), and it would appear that there are boatloads of things to do once you've finished the game. Remember the "Pit of 100 Trials" from The Thousand-Year Door? The one I failed on floor 100? Yeah. There are two of them here. And word on the street is that you've gotta finish the second one twice. Passing the first one was a time-consuming breeze, but I got owned on floor 55 of the second. I may actually finish filling out the recipe book in this one, and collecting all the enemy/character cards will be the most expensive task in a video game ever, next to getting the Post Office Model in Animal Crossing. And those are just a couple things that are going to need completing. Let's just forget about the treasure maps and Sammer Guys for now. Brrrrr. There's a lot to complete in that damn game.
It's a good thing I've got next week off. I have a lot of games that need finishing (starting in some cases). To list a few: Super Paper Mario, Pokémon Pearl, Guitar Hero II 360, Dead Rising, Yoshi's Island DS, Puzzle Quest, Magical Starsign, Children of Mana, TMNT(Wii), Beyond Oasis, God of War, Baten Kaitos, Baten Kaitos Origins, Tales of Eternia, LEGO Star Wars II, Me & My Katamari, Okami, Tales of the Abyss, Stubbs the Zombie, Pikmin II and truckloads more. Thank God there aren't any games I want coming out in the forseeable future, aside from Guitar Hero 80's Edition (and that's in June!). My wallet's happy about that too!
And your doubts about how awesome Super Paper Mario is are now gone.
So anyhow, ummm... I dunno. I finally bought The Black Parade. I still don't like "Welcome To The Black Parade", but the album as a whole is pretty darn good. In fact, all the other songs are good. Figures though. Singles these days seem to often be the weakest songs a band has to offer. Also, you know, Wikipedia telling me the thing was majorly influenced by Queen (favourite band ever) was really the deciding factor there. Certainly wins a lot of points for that one.
I got some deformed Peeps. don't know what to say. Better deforemd than retarded though, right?
Like the rest of the internet, I really have to vent about how angry I am at the way Activision is handling the downloadable content for Guitar Hero 2. It's just ridiculous. Chris Kohler complained mostly about the fact that the songs come in packs of three, and while it's not the biggest issue for me, I do agree. Each song should be independantly available, rather than packed in with two more you probably don't want. And then Tycho really hit the money (pun intended) on how the things are way too expensive. I could see charging a dollar's worth of Microsoft Points for one, but they average out to about $2.13, and at that point if you want them all, you're paying way more than a game disc would cost you. Guitar Hero had 47 songs, so if they were all available in the Marketplace, it would average 7500 points, equating to around $98. RIDICULOUS. I'm not buying shit for that price. At least, not tracks from the first game. If they release some decent new content, I may briefly consider it.
On the other hand, Super Paper Mario is fantastic in every way. I figured it would mostly be a platformer, but it really is just a regular ol' Paper Mario with some gimmickry and no separate battles. The whole 2D-to-3D business will really, really screw with your head. The first lesson you'll learn when you start it up is that perception is not always truth. All you think you know about platformers, about Super Mario, even about video games in general, all that and more will be challenged. And if the gameplay alone wasn't awesome enough, the game is probably funnier than the two previous Paper Mario games combined. Chapter 3-4 is hysterical, as it's a huge jab at the internet and geek/otaku culture, best of all being that the first half of the Chapter 3 boss is a Japanese dating sim pardoy. It's almost too much. I nearly hurt myself laughing as soon as I realized what was happening. Oh yes, and Luigi is a major-ish part of the plot, and a playable character! Super Paper Mario is without a doubt the best game currently on the
Wii anything, and Nintendo has a long road ahead of them if they expect to top this. Ever. I AM ERROR!
Speaking of screwing with your head, if you plan on playing Super Paper Mario and feel like your brain needs a little warm-up for thinking outside the box, try out this little doozy. Basically what it is is a really impossible brain teaser. You've gotta put blocks in a grid to match shapes/patterns at different angles, but you're only allowed to use so many. At first it seems like something that's simple enough, but when you get down to it, it actually requires a lot of thinking. I spent like half an hour on the first puzzle and still couldn't get it. I managed to figure out number 2, but that's about it. Oh, I guess number 10 is really easy. I got it right away.
Lastly, I stumbled upon what might be the death fo my free time as I know it. Normally, I'm pretty addicted to Wikipedia. It's like informational crack, and I'm known to spend entire nights just reading articles about characters, games, places, you name it. But now... I found this page. It combines my addiction to Wikipedia with my infatuation with cryptozoology to create some kind of horrible Ryan-destroying force of death and words and chupacabras. Also, after some light reading of a couple of the articles contained within the master list I linked, I've discovered that I need to head down to Churubusco, Indiana one of these Julys so that I can take in what must undoubtedly be the most wonderful festival ever: Turtle Days. From now on, that will be my life's ambition.
Yet again I have to suffer the consequences of looking like an idiot because I shot my mouth off before really ahving any idea what I was talking about.
Well, I suppose it's not all that bad, but the sad reality of it all is that Chick Chick Boom is not actually Wii-friendly. Sadly, the Internet Channel's Flash player isn't advanced enough to run the game, and now I look kind of dumb. It's still a cool game though, and we can only assume that it will indeed run on the full version of the Internet Channel. And speaking of that, where is it? I was hoping that when they said "April" they meant "April 1st or 2nd" but it seems like we're gonna have to hold out a little bit longer. Though now that I've bitched about it, it'll probably show up tomorrow morning just to spite me. Or get delayed some more.
You know what I really like? Ham. Just for the sake of mixing things up a little, I'm going to tell a little story about the best ham ever. Basically what happened was the family went out to my grandparents' cottage for dinner and visiting on Friday, and the main attraction of this particular feast was a beautiful ham. The first cool thing about it was that it was pre-sliced, like bread! It was a half-assed slicing job at best, but pre-sliced ham is a new technology, so we've gotta give 'em a little slack until they perfect it. Anyhow, the ham on its own was without a doubt the most delicious ham that has ever graced my lips. It was so full of flavour, and the skin was glazed with what must have been angel tears. But it gets better: the ham came with a second optional glaze, and holy cow was it the best thing ever. After applying even just a tiny bit of the cinnamony glaze, the ham tasted like friggin' candy. That's right. Ham candy. Candy ham. It's like God himself decided to answer my fondest prayer.
The only bad thing is that I may never see such a ham again, because my grandpa bought it on a whim whilst on a shopping trip under orders from my grandma to "buy a ham that looks good". Needless to say, he wasn't really paying attention to which ham he picked, so the brand is a complete mystery. Despite this little setback, I do have faith that one day, I and the most delicious ham ever will be reunited, and all will be right in the universe, if only for a little while.
Oh my God, you guys. I am not even kidding, Chick-Chick-Boom is the single best browser game ever. No exaggeration. No sarcasm. I love this game. Never mind the fact that it was made by Nintendo and intended to be played on the Wii's internet channel. It's just a really great game all around. You can even name your team, your chicks, and your opponents! It's no Worms, but it's still awesome in every way. I just realized that Nintendo made a completely free game. Wicked!
While I'm yapping about browser games, you should definitely give Warbears a shot. It's wicked sweet too, but requires more thinking and planning than decisive action. And it's real hard. I maybe should have mentioned that. I spent an entire night once trying to figure out the first mission. I probably couldn't even do it again in a single try. Man, games with cuddly little animals sure are great.
April's Band of the Month is quite likely one of the greatest bands ever, the oh-so-kickass Deep Purple. "Highway Star" and "Space Truckin'" are two of my most favourite songs ever, and all of the sane rock community will tell you that Deep Purple rocks. Kind of like how all punkers can agree on Bad Religion. In any case, the band really doesn't need me to speak for them. "Smoke on the Water", anyone? Yeah. Totally.
Anyway, I never really used to listen to them, but one day a few years ago, my buddy Tyler sent me the song "Lazy" and I was hooked. Then I heard "Highway Star" for the first time and I was fanatical. Really the best part of all is that "Hush" is on the Xbox360 version of Guitar Hero 2, and I totally didn't realize it until I stared playing the song. It was a moment to remember, that's for sure.
I think one of the things that really gets me about the band is that a lot of their songs are really great driving songs, and there's nothing I like better than a good soundtrack to accompany my adventures on the road. Edwin, Steve and I are planning a road trip, and I can just say that they'd better like Deep Purple, because you can bet that's pretty much all I'll be playing while I'm driving. That and maybe Lostprophets, possibly some Damone to round out the playlist. They're next month's BotM buy the way, just to spoil the surprise! I know everyone looks so forward to this feature!
There have been a lot of little thoughts bouncing around inside my skull lately, and I'll probably end up getting around to blogging about most of them sometime soon. So the blog will probably continue to be active for a while to come. But maybe not. You see, today was a very good day to have Wii Points, as two really awesome games have landed, and I may very well be absorbed in those for a while.
I've been waiting for it since the day I got my Wii, and finally finally StarFox 64 is available on the Virtual Console. It's like the second best StarFox game ever (I like Command only slightly more), and goddamn I loves loves loves StarFox. Pretty much anyone who knows me can attest to that. The real challenge here will be tricking people into playing multiplayer with me. Though really, I'm not that great at StarFox where playing against me isn't worth the trouble. Also the NES classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles showed up as a complete surprise to me. I must have logged a hojillion hours into that game in my youth and never gotten past that one really hard jump in level three. I downloaded it mostly out of nostalgia but also because I've made a promise to myself to finally beat it. That may, of course, be easier said than done, because the game is really flippin' hard. April's continued support means nothing!
To make matters worse, Guitar Hero 2 for the 360 lands in two days, and while I may have been able to resist the call otherwise, I cannot just turn away from the chance to play "Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo". Oh yeah, I guess I forgot to mention that me and the tall one bought an Xbox 360 last Monday. I've pretty much been playing Dead Rising, Gears of War and Hexic all week, but failed to even mention them even once. Oops. Making my bank account even less happy with me, Super Paper Mario is a requisite purchase for anyone with a Wii and common sense, and that happens on the 9th, or so my sticky note of important releases tells me. Thank God I still have a small wad of tax return money, or else there's no way in Hell that even I could justify spending so much in such a small period of time. And I pretty much hate money, so that says a lot.
While it's been fun arguing over consoles that have been obsolete for like ten years now (maybe next time we'll go over which version of the Atari was the best), everything's gotta come to a close eventually. Of course, like 97% of arguments, it was completely irrelevant because every point hinged entirely on opinion, and for the sake of this particulat disagreement, opinions cannot be wrong, they can only conflict.
One little note before I go though, is something that always gets on my nerves. Just because a game has an E rating and blood isn't a consequence of every possible action, doesn't mean it's for children. If it's got Teletubbies on the cover, yeah, maybe it is, but for the most part, that E is an accurate representation that everyone should be able to enjoy the game. If you think you can't enjoy a game because it's colourful and not overly violent, then you have some growing up to do. Taking a perfectly random example, Kingdom Hearts was not only rated E and stuffed with cute and colourful characters, but it also carried nearly every Disney lisence seen in the past 70-odd years. Yet if you actually play the game rather than blowing it off at the sight of Mickey Mouse, you'll see that it would take someone who's at the very least around fifteen years old to truly appreciate the game. It's sequel was even deeper, and most of the things that make it a truly fantastic game would be completely lost on children.
I don't like to get riled up about silly things, but when people will deny the worth of something because it doesn't feature anything that might spark some kind of controversy, it drives me bananas. In that way, I envy non-Americanized culture because they can appreciate things that aren't drenched in violence. Don't get me wrong, though. I loves me some violence (especially when zombies are involved), I just don't believe it's a requisite for quality.