I made this nifty little android version of myself using Google’s new Android App, Androidify. It’s basically an Android version of Nintendo’s Mii characters on the Wii.
The app is cute and fun, nothing difficult or crazy about it. My girlfriend and I few good laughs making ridiculous versions of ourselves.
College Humor’s Roast of Mario is a riot; especially for old school NES fans.
I know, my first post was “Day One,” but life got in the way of my four day, four highlight posts plan.
Onto the highlights!
Nintendo had a lot of big announcements:
The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword
This is going to be a hit.
The art direction is a happy medium between the art of Twilight Princess & Wind Waker. It also looks like it’s maxing out the graphics capabilities of the Wii.
It’s Mickey Mouse travels through a wasteland of forgotten Disney locals and characters. He uses paint to repair the world, and paint-thinner to erase things. It’s a deliberately darker take on the Disney mascot, and that’s cool… But I was hoping for something grittier.
The movie debuted in 1995.
The game felt delayed when it was released in 1997, but it was great. Goldeneye was revolutionary in 1997. Hell, it was good for years. However it doesn’t hold up in a world with franchises like Halo and Call of Duty. Anyone who says differently is selling you something…
I understand leaning on old and trusted properties like Mario, Zelda, Mickey, and Donkey Kong, but this one is weak.
It’s a 3D handheld without the stupid glasses. Based on the previews, and the reaction of people who’ve handled it, this is the first handheld that I have thought about buying since the Game Boy Color in 1998.
I’m curious if it will make me motion-sick.
No 3D glasses = Win
Notable games that were demoed include:
- Paper Mario
- Star Fox
- Kid Icarus
Kid Icarus Uprising
This 3DS game looks awesome, and a Kid Icarus sequel is long overdue.
There’s still a lot of stuff stuff to talk about from E3.
More to come…
I wrote a bit about 3D Dot Game Heroes last week.
Completing the game has not changed my opinion. It’s a great, and you should play it.
What I want to take a closer look at are some of the little details that make 3D Dot Game Heroes so awesome.
There are a number of design elements that make the game feel decidedly retro, and it’s not just the pixel graphics, and quasi-8-bit sound.
The Instruction Manuel
Crack open the case and you will see an instruction manual. However this is no ordinary manual, it’s really poorly written. It’s missing so many things, and some of the items that it does contain are explained poorly. Consequently, the book isn’t very useful.
This can’t be an error, because modern games don’t need to come with instruction booklets, and in the event that they do, they are well-written.
Back in the day, instruction manuals were rarely useful because they were incompetently written, poorly translated, or both. Just like this one.
The Blue Dragon
The Blue Dragon is a powerful foe who randomly shows up without warning, and kills you unless you are either souped up and/or very good.
Random over-powered enemies who unpredictably drop in to kill you is so retro.
In the time it took me to beat the game, I only encounter the Blue Dragon three times.
- Within the first 10 minutes of the game. He killed me before I had any clue what he was.
- Before I entered the sixth temple. I beat him.
- At the end of the game as I was about to enter the Dark Tower he dropped by. I slaughtered the blue bastard.
Color Pallet Shifts
Early video games needed to conserve memory. As a result, developers would reuse character models, and just change the color pallet to signify that the enemy was more powerful.
As you progress through 3D Dot Game Heroes, the enemies stay the same, but their color pallets shifts as they get harder.
At certain points, the game even makes fun of this fact.
Insane & Horrible Dialogue
The dialogue is so poor, campy, and deliberately bad that it is hilarious. Characters make inane and nonsensical demands of the hero, as well as send you on quests that don’t make a lick of sense. Just like so many other games from my youth.
Under almost any circumstances, these traits would constitute a horrible game. However, 3D Dot Game Heroes is to The Legend of Zelda as Space Balls is to Star Wars. It’s a parody, and it’s a brilliant one.
3D Dot Game Heroes is a brand new game on PS3 that pays homage to The Legend of Zelda and other NES era action-adventure/ RPG titles… But mostly it pays homage to The Legend of Zelda.
It’s a top-down action-adventure game with essentially the same plot, abilities, weapons, and map layout as the original Zelda, but it’s in 3D (The Kingdom of Dotnia became 3D after a decree from the King; he felt it would “lift the spirits” of his people).
Basically, it’s retro gaming at it’s finest. It doesn’t shy away from the source material at all, and the game makes a lot of fun of itself, and 1980′s video games.
When you talk to villagers, they say random stuff that frequently doesn’t make any sense, things are deliberately translated poorly, and the story is held together with Scotch Tape… And that’s half of what makes the game so great. The other half is the sword-play and puzzles. None of the puzzles have been brain-busters, but they are fun.
You can fully customize your characters, the swords are absurdly large, and some of the special weapons you can find are insane (like the fish sword).
3D Dot Game Heroes is a brilliant parody.
I’m about two-thirds through, but I already love everything about this game. At $40.00, it’s a steal.
Steve Jobs took to another dark stage to announce the “7 tent-pole features” for the next iteration of the iPhone operating system.
Here’s my reaction these features:
It’s about damn time.
It’s not true multi-tasking in my book, but if developers use it well, I have no doubt that it will greatly increase the usability of the iPhone.
I’m not convinced that this is a better or worse method than the truly open multi-tasking of Android, but it’s certainly a good thing.
This is a big win for anyone with an iPhone in his/her pocket.
Unified & Encrypted Email
Basically this is rendering the Blackberry obsolete. Those were the two advantages that Blackberry had, and they are gone.
People in the financial services industry have to use Blackberry’s because nothing else can be properly encrypted. Now they will be able to use an iPhone.
With regards to the unified email… Personally I would hate to have my work, and personal email in one inbox. I like keeping the two completely separate.
You can now make folders on your iPhone!
This is a “tent-pole” feature!? Really?
Folders are super basic computer function… Kind of like “copy & paste” (which iPhone users had to wait a year to get).
My only thought when I saw this coming in was, “How the fuck is this a ‘tent-pole’ feature Stevo. Stop wasting my time and move on.”
And with that, I will move on.
Yeah, yeah, yeah… eReaders are the new black. This is an obvious feature, but nothing new or special.
This is cool.
Basically Apple has made their own version of XBox Live for the iPhone. This feature is a clear shot directed at Nintendo and Sony. The battle for the hand-held gaming market is afoot.
If this works as advertised (and it probably will), it will be great for the iPhone gamer.
If I cared about hand-held gaming, I would write more, but I don’t.
As soon as I saw the graphic for this, I knew what it would be.
Apple is taking the Google model of advertising, and offering an ad service for iPhone apps.
If an app’s developer wants to include advertisements in an app, they just use iAd. The feature drops targeted ads into the app based on, well, whatever Apple chooses to base it on.
In turn, the app’s developer makes money from the ad sales. However, Apple takes a rake of 40%. That number seems extremely high to me.
This is a guess, but I bet that Apple won’t approve apps that use non-iAds advertisements. I’m pretty sure they will exercise heavy-handed control to maximize their ad sale revenue.
Most of these “tent-poles” are pretty underwhelming. The multi-tasking and game center seem like they will be very strong features, but they rest are pretty blah.
There is nothing here that is really new, or game changing.