Tainted blogged
Aug 4, 10 7:47am

For awhile, I was a lost soul.

I played sports, watched ESPN, and even looked up sports news while at work. When the heck have I ever cared that much about baseball? I'll give you a hint: Never.

These things, this physical activity and frequent exercise, it all felt so empty. My heart wasn't in it. I would enjoy it for a bit, but being athletic always seemed to leave me asking for more.

But then something happened. I started to hear a little voice in my heart, reminding me of all the things I was missing. Remember how excited for Little King's Story you were? the voice would whisper. Sin and Punishment: Star Successor looks good, huh? The voice resonated in my soul. I needed gaming.


Alright, obviously, this isn't quite how the whole thing went down. This is a complete caricature of my reunion with nerdiness. There was no epiphany, no creepy italics voice, and no repentance from my jock lifestyle. But this summer I have reconnected with my inner nerd, and it's been pretty awesome.

It started when I realized how awesome the new Sin and Punishment is. I haven't been able to put together an entire review (and for some reason, I haven't had the presence of mind to save my progress) but the game is amazing. The controls fit the game perfectly, and the action is intense. It's also brutally hard. All in all, this game made me feel like a gamer again.

I also had the brilliant thought to buy Little King's Story off of Amazon. This niche title is so awesome. And the fact that it's a niche title makes me feel like I am a part of the gaming culture again, which is good. Being a nerd is my thing.

Finally, I started reading the Scott Pilgrim series. If you aren't a nerd, you would immediately case me into that category, because the books look very nerdy. My friend described them as "Irish anime" (I repeatedly told him that it's manga, not anime, but he didn't get it). That forever solidified my redeemed status of a nerd. About dang time, too.

I figure I should get back into blogging too, to keep up the nerdiness. Hopefully one day I can write an entire review of S&P 2. In the meantime, I'll leave you with a question: Do you take the term "nerd" as a term of endearment, or do you think it as an insult? Would you consider yourself a nerd?

Peace out Neoseeker. I'll be back with a new post when I think of something witty or nerdy. Whatever comes first.

Small note: I still enjoy playing and watching sports. That was just an exaggeration. I love baseball! I love it when the Black Sox score baskets.

musingsthoughts gaming related
Tainted blogged
Apr 11, 10 6:05am

Howdy Neoseeker! Remember me? Life got pretty hectic for awhile, and Neoseeker was put on the back burner, to say the least. But, I'm somewhat back, as I've been lurking for awhile now, posting very sporadically. And now that life has slowed down, I might start posting more regularly. For now, I would just like to give you guys a quick update of what I've been playing and doing, and give my blog some new life.

First, I purchased Pokemon HeartGold on release day, and though I've played for 10+ hours, I have only gotten 5 badges. Apparently my party is pretty awful, but I like it. It's Haunter, Graveler, Quilava, Flaffy, Krabby, and Kadabra. In retrospect, I should have picked up a Pidgey early on. That one's gonna bite me in the end. Also, Haunter suuuuuucks. :/

I also bought Warioware D.I.Y., which is an awesome game. I am not very good at drawing, or creating fluid animations, and I am horrible at creating music, but I am having tons of fun creating games and playing the ones made by famous people. If anyone else out there has the game, drop me a pm and we can maybe trade some games or something. Hopefully in the near future, once I figure the game out a little more, I can write up a review and sharpen those skills.

One of the main reasons I was gone from Neoseeker was because it was diving season. And this year I managed to advance to the state diving competition, where I placed 30th in the state. Which isn't amazing, but I am proud to have made it that far. Not that you care about that part, but I want to cover all of my bases with this post. :)

What else... well, next fall I will be attending Grace College where I will probably be majoring in Math Education. I hope to one day teach calculus, or some higher level mathematics. I'm sure that doesn't interest most of you, but I love math and I love working with kids, so that seems like the best of both worlds.

I guess that's it for now. If you are curious about anything I've said in this post, comment here or drop me a pm. If you haven't already, pick up Warioware D.I.Y. It's a lot of fun, and it'd be even more fun if we had more people inhabiting the forum.
Tainted blogged
Dec 29, 09 9:19am

Isn't it depressing
When someone you know
Tells you that they look up to you
But you can't enjoy the compliment
Because you're thinking about the flaws that they don't know about?
Aug 5, 09 1:20am
is learning to like this profile.
Tainted blogged
Aug 5, 09 1:08am

So for awhile I was anxiously awaiting the release of a Halo for the Nintendo Wii. Not literally Halo, just a solid FPS with good online play and great action. I guess I felt a little jealous of the other consoles, who were getting waves upon waves of great shooters.

Well, that game has come and gone, but I'm too busy playing Wii Sports Resort to care.

As patronizing as I may have been towards the little white box called the Wii, there's no denying that these casual games are a ton of fun (well, except for Wii Music). Wii Sports Resort is no exception to this high caliber of gaming, bringing home a polished product that is one heckuva good time.

Of the 12 sports included in the game, 7 or 8 could be stand alone titles. Seriously, table tennis, swordplay, and basketball never get old. Nintendo once again struck gold with this follow up to Wii Sports, one of the biggest casual titles for the Wii, and the game that literally every Wii owner owns.

Let me veer off track here a bit to tell you an anecdote. I was playing Wii Sports Resort with my mom, and we were having a 3-point contest. On my first attempt, I racked up a meager 2 points. My mom, on the other hand, scored an impressive 8 points on her first time playing the game! I was frustrated and a little ashamed, sure, but the whole time my mom and I were laughing hysterically.

I tell you this story because recently I have been wondering one deep question: Where has all the fun gone?

When I say the word "fun" I don't mean in the broad sense of "enjoyable." I'm talking more in the sense of "playful, often noisy, activity" as according to The Free Dictionary. It seems that now games are more focused on skill, and less focused on fun. To some, that's not a bad thing, and I definitely appreciate those games. But I wonder this shift occurred.

Let me give another example. I am an avid player of Mario Kart DS. I learned to snake and PRB, and I tried to become a competitive racer. While doing Time Trials and learning these techniques was enjoyable, I had much more fun out of playing Battle Mode with friends via local multiplayer.

So again, I am not trying to bash games that aren't "fun." I'm really not. I'm just coming to realize that less of these "fun" games are being released. And you know, I think that is why I still stick with Nintendo. I enjoy arcade racers like Mario Kart over realistic racing simulators like Gran Turismo. I enjoy the frantic mini games of Mario Party of intense stealth shooters like Splinter Cell. And I enjoy casual sports titles like Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort much more than I enjoy Madden or NBA Live. Why? Because I have more fun playing these games.

And maybe this is just me, but I think local multiplayer is much more satisfying that taking the game online. I love the convenience of online play, and how it has expanded the gaming world. But, there's just something in atmosphere that comes with getting a group of friends together and playing a few Brawl matches, and trash talking after a victory. That comradery, that hilarity, that fun is priceless.

Again, maybe I am biased because I have spent so much time with Nintendo games. But I think there is something to say about the lack of "fun" in modern gaming today. It's for you to decide whether that is a problem or not. Now, if you excuse me, I've got to go take some jumpers. Momma's bringing her A-game tonight.

wii sports resort fun nintendo wii wii musingsthoughts
Tainted blogged
Jul 30, 09 7:02pm

If you have followed this blog at all, you will notice that I am pretty cynical when it comes to Nintendo. But honestly, it's a cynicism drenched in irony. I may make blog posts dissing on Nintendo's press conference, or why I regret buying the Wii, but at the end of the day Nintendo is still near and dear to my heart.

The only current gen consoles that I own are the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii. While this may be due to my inability to afford other consoles, it is also because I have faith in Nintendo. I may say that the company has failed me, but honestly, I would be lying. Metroid Other M has me incredibly excited, if only for the new Final Fantasy esque cutscenes. New Super Mario Bros Wii could possibly have been done on the DS, but playing with 4 players is going to be a heck of a lot of fun.

At the end of the day, Nintendo makes good games. They may not always be geared specifically towards the hardcore gamer, but that doesn't make the games bad. I think I deluded myself into thinking that I, a self proclaimed hardcore gamer, was above casual titles. Once I realized that casual titles were marketed to all gamers, I was able to enjoy those games more, and as a result, enjoy Nintendo more.

Above all else, I realized that I was being cynical because it was the cool thing to do. Everybody was hating on Nintendo, so it was an easy bandwagon to jump on. Once I realized that my bandwagoning was unfounded and went against my own personal opinions, I knew I needed to stop.

I say all this not to show my newfound mercy towards Nintendo, and get praise from fellow Nintendo fanboys. I am using this post more to ward off confusion, because in coming blog posts I am going to be much kinder towards Nintendo. Hopefully this is a decent enough explanation as to why.

wii musingsthoughts
Jul 30, 09 6:25am
Statuses eh? What's next, blogs? Oh wait...
Tainted blogged
Jul 7, 09 4:45am

I've always related to the Parable of the Prodigal Son. To summarize the story, a father has two sons, and he divided his property equally among both of them. While one is faithful to his father, the younger son wasted his money on an extravagant life, and ended up in shambles. He came and threw himself at the feet of his father, begging for forgiveness. His father is filled with joy, and offers up his best calf for a feast in his honor.

When I first heard this story, I saw obvious parallels to my own life. My brother could be seen as the younger son, who disobeys my parents' rules and cares about worldly things. Although my brother has yet to throw himself at my parent's feet, these parallels are the first thing that come to mind.

So, obviously I feel immediate compassion for the older son, who is faithful to his father. One part I left out of the parable is when the older brother finds out who the feast is for, he is enraged and asks why he never gets praise. And for the longest time, I wondered the same thing. The older son went unappreciated! He did everything his father asked of him, and yet his brother got the feast!

It wasn't until recently that I read the rest of this parable. When the older son asks why he didn't get a feast, his father responded with: "'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found'"

This verse made me feel bad for thinking poorly of the father. He shows appreciation for the older son by always providing for him. "Everything I have is yours," he says. But the father also says "Rejoice, for your brother has returned!" The father rejoiced because the son had returned, and showed obvious remorse for his actions. He didn't dwell on his mistakes, but rejoiced at his return!

I think there is a great lesson in that. I can first look to my own situation. If my brother came to my parents and admitted all of his wrong doings, and asked for forgiveness, my parents would not respond with contempt. They would say "My son is alive again! He was lost, but now he is found!" Would they not rejoice more in his return than they would in my consistent adherence to the rules?

And of course, this parable needs to be examined in a Christian context. When someone goes apostate and leaves the faith, their return is a cause for celebration. There is much more rejoicing than there would be if a devout Christian continued to be a Christian. Of course, that is also a great thing.

I no longer empathize with the older son. My perspective on the story has changed. However, this parable is still one of my favorite in the Bible, but now it is for a different reason.

P.S. - If you want to read this parable, here's a link.

Tainted blogged
Jun 6, 09 2:09am

Through some unfortunate events that I won't get into, I watched an episode of the Tyra show today.

Tyra's guest on the show was Paris Hilton, the twenty something who acts no older than eleven and has the personality of a grapefruit. While ordinarily I would take this time to rant about this new breed of hopelessly unintelligent divas, Tyra Banks' annoying habit of speaking out of turn aggravated me to no end.

Even though Paris was quick to plug herself wherever possible, it was expected because she was the guest on the talkshow. However, Tyra also took every possible opportunity to promote herself, cutting off Paris at times to tell her own story. While the entire idea of the Tyra show is incredibly convoluted, it was made even worse when Tyra butted in to tell the story of a boyfriend that cheated on her. Paris looked on in discomfort, finding it difficult to believe that anyone else could be more selfish than herself.

And when Tyra attempted to be modest, it was unbearably obvious that she was doing it to please the viewers. She looked directly into the camera when she spoke the words of scripted sympathy, losing the fire that she had when she told a personal story of her successes. It was embarrassing, to be honest. Why on Earth did she ever get a talkshow?

One of the most confusing parts of the episode was when a Tyra viewer got a makeover. This viewer was chosen to get a makeover because her husband was terminally ill with a brain tumor. Now, I understand that the woman is facing very difficult times, but is getting extensions really the best thing for her? I found this moment to be a worthless, trivial way to remedy the situation, when that money could have been spent in a better way. I feel that Oprah would have handled that situation much differently. "AND YOU GET A MALIGNANT TUMOR! AND YOU GET A MALIGNANT TUMOR! AND YOU AND YOU AND YOU! EVERYONE GETS A MALIGNANT TUMOR!"

tyra rant musingsthoughts tv and shows
Tainted blogged
Jun 3, 09 9:10pm

Nintendo managed to do one thing right this year in their E3 press conference: they gave Cammie Dunaway a smaller speaking role. However, other than their doing away with Dunaway (a little pun I thought up in the writing of this blog) Nintendo once again failed to deliver anything that satiates the unquenchable thirst inhabiting hardcore Wii owners.

Right off the bat Nintendo showed off their commitment to rehashing old ideas while calling them fresh. New Super Mario Bros Wii looks to be a horrible mashing of the Battle Mode from Super Mario Bros, and the casual portions of New Super Mario Bros. for Nintendo DS. In their on stage demo, Mario, Luigi, and two off-color Toads (no Red Toad love?) flopped around the level, showcasing the incredibly stupid game mechanic of picking up other players (which Bill Trinen saw as an entirely fresh idea) and the clunky pipe mechanics. What could have been an interesting concept was oversimplified into what will probably amount to the Link's Awakening: Four Swords Adventure of the Mario franchise.

Next they went into the next Wii Fit game, which I literally don't remember anything about. It really didn't matter what they said about the game, though, because everyone knows that Wii Fit Plus will sell millions of copies within a few hours of release.

They then showcased Wii Sports Resort, which looks even more gimmicky than it did at last year's press conference. A skydiving game as soon as you boot the game up? That's not going to appeal to hardcore gamers just because it is an extreme sport, Nintendo. And no matter how you look at the game, it will still be a casual title. Bill Trinen returned to the stage to talk about the game, and noted that because the archery game was easy to control, it was "all about skill" and therefore a hardcore game. It was at that point in the conference that I realized that Nintendo had completely forgotten what hardcore gaming was all about.

Then they ranted about the DSi being different than the DS Lite, which is a load of bull crap. They praised the idea of user-generated content, bringing out the two highlights of the show (at least in terms of first party support), Flip Note Studio and WarioWare DIY. Both titles show endless promise, although Nintendo will probably botch the latter. Mario vs. Donkey Kong also has a sequel with more customizable levels, but that series has never appealed to me anyway.

And in the most laughable segment of the press conference, Nintendo tried to say that the Wii had a good backlog of RPG games. They brought out Final Fantasy: The Crystal Bearers which looked horrible even from the trailer. Because they had run out of RPG titles for the Wii, they then hid behind the awesome third party support of the DS, with the announcement of Golden Sun DS and a look at the beautiful Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days. The announcement of a new Golden Sun game gave me hope that maybe, just maybe, Nintendo cared about the hardcore gamer.

And then they announced Super Mario Galaxy 2. Nintendo has always been extremely innovative in terms of keeping the mario series fresh. However, this sequel to the 2007 Wii title is a huge cop-out, especially when the first title in the series wasn't all that great. I may be a Yoshi fanboy, but simply adding Yoshi into the Galaxy universe won't make me want to buy the game again.

To try and tap into the hardcore market, they talked about three "hardcore" games on the Wii's horizon. The first was The Conduit, which I am very excited about, even though the trailer was lackluster at best. The next was Resident Evil Darkside Chronicles, and the final title was EA's Dead Space Extraction. Both of these titles are on-the-rails shooters, meaning you don't do anything but aim and shoot. That's so hardcore!

Nintendo closed the show with a brief glimpse into their collaboration with Team Ninja, the people behind the Ninja Gaiden series. The game is titled Metroid: Other M, and from the brief trailer we see that Samus Aran has somehow transformed into a ninja. She is leaping around the level, doing acrobatic cartwheels while grabbing dragons by the throat and snapping their necks. It was kind of cool, but it wasn't Metroid.

It was a year of sequels at the Nintendo press conference. New Super Mario Bros Wii, Wii Fit Plus, Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again, Mario and Luigi 3, Super Mario Galaxy 2. All of these games are nothing but a rehashing of old ideas. While some innovative ideas were coming out of third party development (namely The Conduit) Nintendo brought nothing new to the table outside of a DSware title.

It was as if Nintendo's press conference itself was a sequel. Nintendo once again praised itself for selling consoles. It once again praised itself for being innovative, where there was no innovation to be found. And, once again, Nintendo pandered to the casual market, leaving hardcore gamers asking themselves why they still believe in Nintendo.

nintendo press conference wii ds musingsthoughts gaming related
Tainted blogged
Mar 23, 09 4:34am

So I finally got my hands on Madworld, the widely anticipated game from Sega, and, more importantly, Platinum Games. This game is gritty, it's stylized, and it's laugh-out-loud funny at some points. But is it fun?

Yes... and no. I've played the game for about an hour now, and I've enjoyed it thus far. The controls work well; basic attacks are mapped to the A button, and you wield the chainsaw using the B button. To swing the chainsaw, you need to flick the Wii Remote. It works surprisingly well, actually. The motion controls don't seem gimmicky really.

Beating up the baddies is definitely enjoyable, especially with all the variety. You can pick up tires and throw them over someone so they can't use their arms. You can thrust a sign post through someone's head and skewer them. There are even some environmental deaths, like throwing someone in the path of an oncoming train or throwing someone into a fan.

But as fun as all that is, the one gripe I have with the game is that the enemies are painfully dumb. If I am beating up one baddy, the others are standing around, waiting their turn. They might get one punch in occasionally, but for the most part it's just me decimating the whole crowd of enemies. Boss battles are a huge challenge, but the other enemies are quite dumb.

I've just barely gotten into the game though, and I'm having a lot of fun with it. I am hoping to get a good review written when I'm done, but I've said that with a few games and never finished them. And even though I have a few gripes thus far, I still recommend this game. It's got an awesome art style, and the script is phenomenal.

foellinger auditorium wii
Tainted blogged
Feb 27, 09 6:39am

One thing I've always been fascinated by is Japanese culture. I love the technology, I love the bullet trains, I love the atmosphere of Tokyo (or what I can infer from the videos and photos of it), I love Japan. It is incredibly interesting to me, for whatever reason.

It's even gotten to the point where I have started to learn Japanese. My friend gave me a copy of Rosetta Stone with the Japanese pack on it, and I bought My Japanese Coach to see if that was helpful. And while that hobby has taken a little break as I've become more busy with school and diving, it's still something that I would love to pursue.

But Japanese... well, it isn't really a very useful language to know if you are a citizen of the United States. There aren't very many Japanese speakers in the US, so it's not like Japanese translators are in high demand. So it seems that pursuing Japanese would be more of a hobby than something I could pursue as a career.

But then I had an epiphany: I also have a pretty large interest in the gaming industry. And where do many premiere gaming industries have their headquarters? Why Japan, of course! I guess I probably should have made that connection sooner, since my borderline obsession with Japan almost completely stems from my love of gaming. It makes perfect sense that both should go together.

If I were to minor in Japanese (which is my plan regardless of what my major ends up being) I would have a huge upper hand in the gaming journalism field. I'm sure many top companies are in need of Japanese correspondents, and it would be awesome to live in Japan, reporting about all the latest news and whatnot. And maybe it would only help on a smaller scale; if I am able to land just one interview with a Japanese developer because I can converse with him, then it was all worth it.

Again, I know that it's a pretty easy connection to see, but I didn't think about it until just know. While I have not been able to make up my mind on whether or not I want to pursue journalism full time, or head down a different career path, it's cool when things fall into place like that. And until I do make that decision, I'll just have to sit back and repeat the phrase "Otokonoko tashi wa juicu onondeimas" into my crappy computer microphone, and continue writing up lackluster blog entries and amateurish video game reviews.

japanese japan gaming career musingsthoughts gaming related
Tainted blogged
Feb 9, 09 5:03am

Whenever I talk about the flaws that I see in Mario Kart Wii, people seem to be on my case, calling me a "Mario Kart DS fanboy" and some names that are a bit less pleasant. To be fair, I am pretty stubborn when it comes to Mario Kart DS, but at the same time, it's hard not to notice some of the glaring issues with Mario Kart Wii. I'm going to use this post to talk about some of those things and what I want to see in future Mario Karts.

First, I will admit that Mario Kart Wii is a good game. If you want to casually play a racing game, you need not look farther than MKWii. It's a really fun game, especially with friends. Online can be a blast when you just want a few rounds for fun. The controls are tight (the Wiil is clunky at times, but the Gamecube controller is awesome) the action is fast, and the items are as zany as ever. I'm not here to argue that it's a bad game, because it's not.

However, it's clear that the game is made with the casual gamer in mind. Which, again, isn't necessarily a bad thing. Multiplayer is where you'll get the most enjoyment out of this game, with four players racing onscreen at once. It's a blast to trash talk friends when you hit them with a well placed banana peel, and boost into first place. But, the whole experience is almost too fun, and there is very little room for competitive players to shine.

I have a few reasons as to why I think this. My primary reason is that items are used WAAAY too frequently during online and Grand Prix races. Seriously, I've been a half a lap ahead of the rest of the people in a race, but fall to 6th or 7th because I was bombarded by seven thousand blue shells. I understand that the game is about the crazy antics and over-the-top items, but at the same time, it gets obnoxious having eleven other players hurling items at you constantly.

And also, getting the better items give you a much bigger advantage than in previous Mario Karts. A Bullet Bill in Mario Kart Wii might take you halfway around the course, passing six or seven racers if you are lucky. In Mario Kart DS, you may only pass one person and will never travel halfway around the track. There isn't much balance to this game, which I think stems from the casualty of the game. Bad racers who are new to the game still have a fighting chance because of these godly items.

One of the things that bothers me most is that there is not any sort of competitive tactic that separates the best racers from the adequate. There isn't snaking, there isn't ticking, there isn't anything that can only be mastered by the best racers out there. Some may find that argument ridiculous, citing that it's good to not have any sort of "competitive tactic" but the lack of anything to master made me lose my drive in becoming good at Mario Kart Wii.

Some might sight stunts as something to master. Stunts seem cool at first, until you realize that they are incredibly easy to do, rendering them anything but competitive. All you do is flick the Wii Remote up and boom, you get a boost. I think that this is, once again, a move to get away from competitive play. Since stunts are easy to pull off, everyone can do it, which means that those who aren't so great at the game can feel like they are good racers by gaining that tiny boost through a stunt.

I think the lack of balance that I mentioned early might stem from the addition of four more racers on the track. Having twelve people racing at once sounds awesome at first, until you realize that more people equals more items, and more items equals a much less competitive race. Races are now won and lost by your items, and not your skills. With more people filling up the bottom half of the places, you are much more likely to get hit with a blue shell or one of thousands of bananas left on the track. It's more hectic, definitely, but not more fun.

Now I've really covered all of my gripes with the game. But if I want this post to be constructive, I should probably mention what I think should happen in the next iteration of the series.

First, I want to see the return of an online leaderboard. That was the best aspect of Mario Kart Wii, in my opinion, and is basically necessary in the next Mario Kart. Let me keep up to date on my favorite course in Time Trials, so I can see how they did it and what time I have to beat. People already do this on sites like the Player's Page, so it would be awesome to keep an official tab on times.

Also, give me some sort of competitive tactic to separate the great from the good. I don't mean that I want snaking back. People always assume that I only hate Mario Kart Wii because I can't snake, and that's not true at all. I do, however, want something that I can spend time learning and mastering, so I feel like I am an accomplished racer once I have learned it.

One thing I also would like to see is the option to turn items off in Online Play. I know items are half the fun to most people, but on the competitive racing scene most racers try to avoid using items during online matches. It would be nice to just have the ability to turn them off when racing, to make races fair and fun to those who don't really like items.

And finally, let's return to eight racers. I feel that eight was the perfect number of people racing at one time; it game balance in races but didn't get too much power to those at the rear. Races were still hectic and fun without being stupidly gimmicky. I know Mario Kart thrives on gimmicks, but there's a limit.

Take from this what you will. Maybe I am just a stubborn Mario Kart DS fanboy who dismisses Mario Kart Wii because I'm not good at it. However, I feel that Mario Kart Wii is another example of Nintendo dumbing down games to appeal to the casual market, and I'm not really fond of it.

Tainted blogged
Feb 8, 09 6:48am

While on my SEGA rant, I forgot to mention that everyone should pick up Deadly Creatures when it is released this week. It's yet another mature title for the Wii, and features a really unique set of protagonists: a tarantula and a scorpion. Intrigued? I know I am, and IGN's praising of the game has won me over. I'm picking the title up later this week.

IGN Review

Tainted blogged
Feb 8, 09 6:33am

SEGA is one of those developers that seems to be doing well, but hasn't really done anything memorable as of late. Yeah, Sonic games are stilling coming out by the dozen, and they are probably selling well. But for the most part, I haven't been seeing a lot of quality from SEGA, at least not for a long time.

But SEGA seems to be shaping up, producing a Sonic game that isn't atrocious (BLASPHEMY!) and also presenting three Wii titles that are shaping up to be high caliber titles. And what's even more exciting is that none of these games are aimed at the casual market.

The first of the three to be released is House of the Dead: Overkill. Under new development, the latest in the long running HotD is shaping up to be a fun shooter with tight controls and an awesome style. IGN game them game an 8.3, citing some framerate drops as the main concern. If you like the arcade versions of HotD, then this game won't disappoint when it is released on February 10.

Next game on the list is Madworld, the incredibly stylistic brawler from Platinum Games. Probably the most enticing aspect of this game is the awesome visuals, utilizing a black and white cell-shaded look that packs a lot of punch. This game definitely deserves its M rating, with buckets of crimson red blood spattering the black and white walls and characters. This game is set to ship in March, so be on the look out for this title.

Last but not least is The Conduit, the ambitious effort from High Voltage software that's had everyone hooked since it was first shown. The game was actually in jeopardy of not getting released not too long ago, because the game lacked a publisher. However, SEGA snatched the game up, which is probably a great move financially considering the massive hype surrounding this game. The game features crisp graphics, insane levels of customizability, and promise of superb online, it's no wonder that this game is so hyped up. With a tentative release date of June, we still have a while to wait for this knock out title.

So, SEGA definitely seems to be shaping up, at least on the Wii. All three of these titles are shaping up to be high quality games, and all three appeal to the hardcore fanbase of the Wii that has been left out to dry as of late. Hopefully these games can live up to the massive hype surrounding them, or else SEGA will remain the lackluster publisher that it has become.


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