29 Sep 2010 2:52 pm

Man, I love that Charles Stross’ next novel is called Rule 34. Which is a banned term on Wikipedia. And blacklisted on google live search.

29 Sep 2010 1:15 pm

It’s hard to be a gamer without being a fan of Nintendo’s portable lineup, especially if you were of an age to have started with their very first offerings — and no, I’m not talking about the original Game Boy. As a young lad living in the Philippines, it was a special treat when my seafaring uncles would come by the house, bearing gifts in tow, and more so if said gifts were a Nintendo Game and Watch. Since my family didn’t have anything resembling a home console at the time, and moreover since arcades were outlawed in the country, having a hand held gaming device was akin to possessing some piece of inscrutable and empowering alien technology. Never mind that the games were often simplistic; the LCD format meant that the animations (if you can call it that) were highly detailed and charming as all hell. I had a small collection of these, all of which were abandoned when I moved to Canada (which is a bit sad, considering that I kept them in near-immaculate condition, and considering that said collection would be worth a pretty penny to a collector these days…)

When Nintendo released the original Game Boy, it quickly became a must-have item, setting a precedent for acquisition that’s been followed ever since. Somewhere in one of the “miscellaneous hardware boxes” in here, there’s a black GBA SP (with its leatherette pelican glove), my original Japanese DS (with its ridiculously awesome plastic armor case that I won from a claw machine in Akihabara), and DS Lite. My current go-to, the DS Lite XL, is sitting on the games bench next to me, a position that won’t be usurped until sometime next February-ish, when the 3DS gets launched (hopefully internationally and simultaneously, as well).

3DS in a color North America won't get for years

Aside from the upgraded hardware, I’m really excited about the 3DS’ NES Max-esque analogue stick, or the “slide pad”, as they’re calling it. I’ve been wanting a return to that particular configuration for a while, though I’m not entirely certain it’s due to any inherent strength of that form, or if it’s due to many fond memories of playing Blades of Steel with that controller.

I’m a lot less sure about the whole 3D approach. Lenticular column pixel-display is neat technology, but does it make for neat gameplay? The only title that I can see seriously benefiting from this at launch would be Super Monkey Ball 3DS, but given Nintendo’s track record for enthusiastically embracing new modes of gameplay, I’m willing to give them a lot of leeway on this.

The most exciting part about the 3DS launch would have to be the starting lineup of games, even if they are remakes of a lot of their older properties. Then again, those were pretty fun games, and it’ll be nice to have them in a portable format — Kid Icarus and Ocarina of Time especially. The movie from the 3DS announcement conference has a lot of cool visuals of these games in action, assuming it isn’t just a load of corporate bullshot.

The one big bit that isn’t in the movie is the revelation that Mega Man Legends 3 is finally being produced; and that it’s a 3DS exclusive title. That’s another decade-long wait that’s finally over (along with Duke Nukem Forever). Depending on the presentation, this may be enough to absolve Capcom of the horror that is Mega Man Universe.

The only real concern I have about the 3DS is the 25,000 yen price point; currently tracking at over 300 Canadian dollars, this makes the 3DS as pricey as a home-based console. Considering that Nintendo has generally fielded their handhelds at lower price points, this new direction seems to take them into PSP / iPod Touch territory, which has worrisome implications. But Nintendo’s slowly been taking more and more cues from Apple’s playbook, and only time will tell if it’ll be to their benefit.

29 Sep 2010 10:42 am

Hah, new 2l diet coke bottle design too tall to fit properly in the fridge’s door shelf. #firstworldproblems

29 Sep 2010 8:45 am

What is this? First, Duke Nukem Forever is finally coming out, then Capcom announces Megaman Legends 3. What next, Skies of Arcadia 2?

28 Sep 2010 9:07 pm

@shebang_the_cat hah! That’ll learn me to ham-fingerdley type and rely on the provenance of autocompletion. Though that WOULD be a cool name